How to use Screaming frog?

Search engine optimization(SEO) audits are a key to your website’s success. Even though many may not like the idea of searching through a site for possible architecture problems, but it is one engaging SEO activity. To some people, the overall site audit process can be challenging and time-consuming. The main reason for this trouble is because they did not choose the tool that is fit for the job.

That being said, we introduce you to Screaming Frog. This tool is helpful to all types of online marketers: beginners or experts. The tool is made with a user-friendly platform, and this is what makes it very convenient to work with.

However, if the tool is very much a piece of cake, we won’t be giving you this guide. We made this complete guide to Screaming Frog to explain the numerous ways that SEO, pay-per-click(PPC), and other online marketers can use the tool for site audits, keyword research, competitive analysis, link making and more.

In this blog post, we will further dig into the core of Screaming Frog and help you figure out how to operate it.

The Guideline

Monitoring Response Codes

Click on the grey tab marked “Response Codes” near the top of the screen. After selecting it, the tool will show us every response codes to all the URLs of the crawled website. To make everything clearer, click on the “Status Code” column to arrange the URLs by status code number. After that, you can review the redirects and ensure that the exact response code is being implemented on each page. A 301 response code is a permanent redirect while a 302 employs when it is only a temporary one.

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There are 404 pages you need to consider after that. A 404 response code indicates that the URL is linking to a page that does not exist. Typically an error message will show up when it is clicked on. To resolve this problem, find all the pages with 404 error codes and 301 redirect them to a related page.

It can be quite tough when you are updating Response Codes. Still, if you update all the pages with redirects and error codes, your user experience and your rankings will exceedingly develop.

Review Your URL Structures

What makes websites very hard to crawl on it is when it bears unusual parameters and figures. Confusing URLs will also cause poor user experience and will make it troublesome for visitors to conveniently navigate throughout your site.

This is why checking the URL structure is crucial.

To do this, you must click on the “URL” tab on Screaming Frog SEO Spider and look at your account of addresses. Make sure that each address is about four to five words, without unnatural characters and punctuation, and with no copies.  

Right Page Titles

Navigate to the “Page Title” tab and you will notice all your page titles as well as your title pixel width and word count. When you check each page title, what you need to correct is duplicate titles, the important keywords, and the length which should only be 50-65 characters long.

Preview and Test SERP Snippets

Click on any link address you want to preview. In the lower window near the bottom of your monitor, you can see “SERP Snippet.” After you click that tab, you can view your SERP Snippet as well as a data table that involves a title and description length.

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Optimize Pictures

Screaming Frog lets you identify which images slow down your page’s loading speed. Images can largely influence the loading speed of your site. To optimize images, click on the “Images” tab in Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Then, you will see a record of all your images on your website. You can also view their measurement as well as the number of inbound links each has. To simplify your data, move to the filter on the top-left corner and select “over 100 kb” to see all pictures that are over 100 kb. Now you can figure if these images can either reduce them to a smaller size or substitute them with a tinier picture.

Examine Crawl Depth

To analyze the crawl depth, you need to navigate back to the first tab, which is the “Internal” tab. A URL’s Crawl Depth is the number of clicks it needs to go from the homepage to that particular page. The Crawl Depth will change and depend on how large the site is. Always remember that the more clicks a Crawl Depth has, the tougher it will be for traffic to hit your webpage, and the harder it will be for the page to be crawled and get high rankings. If you hold a significant page on your website that has a Crawl Depth of 4, you might want to reconsider and change its Crawl Depth into 2.

To analyze your Crawl Depth, go to the bottom scroller in the main window and scroll to the right till you see the column named “Crawl Depth.” You can then pull that column closer to the URL so you can view the address and the Crawl Depth info at the same time. You can click on the Crawl Depth column itself to order by number. While you are looking at your addresses, look for relevant pages that have too long of a Crawl Depth number and remember them in your website audit or project.

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The Bottomline

If you are asking if that’s all, we are going to answer ‘no.’ This is because there will be many more traits of Screaming Frog you will discover along your journey of understanding it. We hope this guide is helpful for kickstarting your business.


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About the Author: Adam