Screaming Frog is the creator of the powerful website crawler SEO Spider.
The SEO Spider tool scans every webpage for broken links, duplicate content, and other errors that act as speed bumps on your SEO journey.
But SEO isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon, and winning one requires technique as well as focus.
So before you decide to enter this race in crawl mode, you need to analyze the effectiveness of this SEO tool.
Will it leave you screaming in excitement or render you disappointed?
Don’t worry – you’ll know soon enough.
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links below to jump to a specific section)
- What is Screaming Frog?
- 4 Best Features of Screaming Frog
- How Much Does Screaming Frog Cost?
- 2 Limitations of Using Screaming Frog
- 2 Awesome Screaming Frog Alternatives
- Hop Over All SEO Hurdles with Screaming Frog
Let’s get cr(o)acking! 🐸
What is Screaming Frog?
Screaming Frog is a search marketing agency based in the UK, most notable for its website crawler, SEO Spider.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool helps businesses with custom extraction of meta data, crawl scheduling, XML sitemap generation, and reporting.
SEO specialists use the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool to examine broken links, devise PPC campaigns, analyze H1 tag, title tag, meta description, and so much more.
Moreover, the tool integrates with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, PageSpeed, and Link Metrics for additional insights.
Once you install Screaming Frog SEO Spider, all you’ve to do is enter the website URL you want to assess.
The tool will crawl every page, looking for any broken image, empty alt text, missing page title, and anything amiss. Upon completing the crawl process, it generates the website audit report detailing all the errors you should fix to improve your onsite SEO.
In other words, Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool uses the custom extraction process to take all the manual labor off your plate, leaving no room for error. This way, you can:
Screaming Frog also has Log File Analyser, a tool for viewing and analyzing which search bots crawl your website and how often.
Next in this Screaming Frog Review, we’ll go over some of its best features that can boost your SEO performance.
4 Best Features Of Screaming Frog
Here are the four best features of Screaming Frog:
1. Spots Technical SEO Issues
Screaming Frog helps you conduct a comprehensive SEO audit. This way, you can identify all the onsite SEO issues affecting your organic search results and ranking performance.
With SEO Spider, you can identify server errors, duplicate content, incorrect meta data, and more. You can even generate a sitemap and analyze the backlink profile of your website.
Additionally, you can pinpoint XML sitemap issues. An XML sitemap lists all the important web pages within a given URL. Sitemaps can help search engine crawlers analyze these crucial pages with ease.
Once the technical SEO audit is complete, your SEO team can gather insights about where your strategy may be going wrong.
This technical SEO analysis can also help you find and fix critical SEO issues promptly or even avoid them altogether. This way, your website can keep functioning like a well-oiled machine!
Here’s an example of a Screaming Frog website audit report:
Here’s a breakdown of the above Screaming Frog website audit report:
- Overview: Gives a summary of the image alt text, internal links, H1 tag, title tag, meta description, page title, and HTML codes used in the entered website URL.
- Site Structure: Gives an idea of how the website content is structured and how each content is linked, grouped, and presented to the reader.
- Response Times: Mentions the time taken (in seconds) for the user inquiry to be answered by the server.
- API: Identifies any running application like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Moz, etc., and mentions their work progress details.
- Spelling & Grammar: Pinpoints the URLs affected by grammatical and spelling errors, along with the error counts.
On top of that, the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool offers different visualizations, so your onsite SEO reports don’t look as drab and dull as your standard X-ray reports.
You can view your page’s internal linking structure and sitemap to get the big picture, literally.
Following are some of the cool visualizations offered by SEO Spider.
A. Crawl Tree Graph
The green circles in the crawl tree graph indicate the website URLs, and the lines connecting and running between them represent the internal links. This SEO Spider visualization helps you identify the link building activities in the website URLs shown on the graph.
To know more and expand specific sections of the URL structure, you can right-click on them.
B. Directory Tree Graph
In the directory tree graph, the green circles represent URL components like protocol and hostname.
Site protocol is the component of the internet that ensures a safe and secure browsing experience for you. For example, the site protocol used in https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/ is https.
Whereas hostname is the label assigned to a device (a host) on a computer network. For example, the hostname of http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/ is www.
However, the lines in this SEO Spider visualization graph don’t refer to the internal links connecting different website URLs.
C. Force-Directed Crawl Diagram
The force-directed crawl diagram is a visualization diagram where the main URL (entered for crawl analysis) is represented by the darkest green circle in the center.
With this SEO Spider diagram, you can view any web page with the highest authority (sites with the most external links from reputable websites). You can also identify a web page with a weak backlink profile.
D. Force-Directed Directory Tree Diagram:
In the force-directed directory tree diagram, the hostname is represented by the circle at the center, and the protocol (http or https) is represented by the darkest green circle hanging from that central node.
These tree graphs and crawl diagrams in the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool are highly useful in understanding your website’s architecture.
2. Helps You Schedule Audits
Feel like this about your memory?
Not to worry – Screaming Frog lets you schedule crawls to run at specific intervals! This way, you won’t have to remind yourself to run a crawl constantly.
You can schedule crawls ahead of time in Screaming Frog for an entire month or even a quarter. So, when your manager or client asks for the monthly audit report, you can instantly share the crawl analysis data.
This SEO Spider tool also can automatically export the crawl data to a Google Sheet or any other location.
Screaming Frog also offers a Crawl Overview Report that includes important data such as the number of URLs found, blocked, and all the response code encountered. You can even get insights into the response code and content type.
These reports can be saved as a CSV file or exported to a Google Sheet:
Additionally, you can access all the above-mentioned structured data offline and open it in an Excel Sheet like this:
3. Integrates with Google Analytics
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool easily integrates with Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This helps you assess changes in your customer behavior as well as your content’s engagement level.
You can also select and view up to 30 metrics on the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool, including bounce rate, page views per session, average session duration, conversion rate, and more.
Google Analytics also helps you identify which social media platforms drive maximum traffic to your website.
You can access Google Analytics insights from the Analytics Tab on the SEO Spider tool.
For this, all you’ve to do is:
- Click on the dropdown arrow at the end of the tabs.
- Choose Analytics from the dropdown menu.
The Analytics tab on SEO Spider will then display all the metrics and data gathered from Google Analytics. You can save it as an Excel file or Google Sheet.
The Google Analytics reports from the SEO Spider tool can help you understand your customer’s buying journey and retain more customers.
For example, you can create a well-organized landing page or website content that answers every question your customers might have. As a result, your customers won’t have to visit another site to find the answers they’re looking for.
In other words, it’ll reduce the bounce rate of your website and instead add a bounce to your step. 💃
4. Assists with Broken Link Building
Broken link analysis helps you identify links to 404 pages or error pages on your website and fix them by embedding a functional link (that may redirect to your website or others).
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider lets you check for broken links on any given website.
All you have to do is enter a target URL and switch the mode from ‘Spider’ to ‘List’ like this:
To view broken external links, click on the Response Code tab and apply the Client Error (4xx) filter. This will display a list of broken links that can be identified by their 404 status codes.
Now, you can go about fixing those links by replacing the error pages with working outbound links.
Why should you fix broken links?
Broken links can negatively impact a user’s online experience and lead to a higher bounce rate.
And Google’s web crawler (Googlebot) navigates through links to collect data about every web page. So it’s always a good idea to fix your broken links to make sure crawlers, and visitors can access the right content. This can also improve your chances of ranking higher in the SERP (search engine results page).
SEO specialists can use these features to hop, skip, and jump on their way to SEO success. 🐸
But which pricing plan will you jump to?
Let’s find it out next in this Screaming Frog review.
How Much Does Screaming Frog Cost?
Here’s a breakdown of the Screaming Frog SEO Spider pricing plans:
- Free version:
- Scan and site audit up to 500 URLs
- Find broken external links, errors, and redirect chains
- Analyze page title, H1 tag, title tag, and meta description
- Discover exact duplicate pages
- And more
- Paid version ($173/year)
- Scan unlimited number of URLs
- Crawl configuration
- Google Analytics integration
- PageSpeed Insights integration
- And more
Like a wise frog, it’s better to test the waters before jumping to conclusions!
So before you purchase the Screaming Frog license, let’s take a look at some of its limitations.
2 Limitations of Using Screaming Frog
Here are two significant drawbacks of using Screaming Frog:
1. Troubled by Memory Issues
Screaming Frog tends to consume tons of memory when it crawls a large website.
This causes the system to lag and slow down. Consequently, it might delay other work processes and tasks.
However, you can adjust the memory allocation within SEO Spider from the configuration menu. This’ll ensure that the tool uses the memory optimally, and you’ll still have additional memory space.
In fact, SEO Spider offers you options to customize your memory settings to crawl and collect less data. As a result, you can regulate memory consumption and save your system from constant lagging.
And when your system doesn’t lag, you don’t lag behind competitors.
2. Not a Cloud-based Solution
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is not a cloud-based software. It’s an offline technical site audit tool that you need to download and run on your desktop.
Although SEO Spider supports major operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu, users familiar with cloud-based tools may need some time to get accustomed to this tool.
But don’t let that cloud your judgement!
The SEO Spider tool offers fantastic site audit features, and it can divide reports into structured data categories like crawl overview, page speed, duplicate content, and more.
This way, you can identify the root cause of your SEO technical site audit issues without any confusion.
But as we all know, Screaming Frog is just one frog in the big SEO pond.
Next in this Screaming Frog review, we’ll explore two alternative SEO tools.
2 Awesome Screaming Frog Alternatives
Here are the top two Screaming Frog SEO Spider alternatives you can try out:
1. WebSite Auditor
WebSite Auditor is a powerful tool for onsite SEO audit and content optimization. It can also help you analyze your competitors’ on-page SEO and outbound links content strategy. This way, you can replicate their strategies and rank higher.
It also offers technical guides and instructions to help you through all your SEO issues.
However, the tool has a complex UI that might overwhelm new users as they try to find their way around the tool.
So you may have days where you feel like…
Ahrefs is an SEO tool offering features like organic and paid search, a content explorer, a keywords explorer, a site explorer, and a lot more.
It also has a site audit tool and presents data in visually interactive graphs!
However, Ahrefs’ pricing plans are a bit steep. Their most basic plan starts at $99 and lacks some features that are available for free in many other SEO tools.
Hop Over All Your SEO Hurdles with Screaming Frog
If you’re looking for a tool that’ll diminish SEO issues and boost website traffic, then the Screaming Frog SEO tool won’t disappoint you.
From technical SEO audit to crawl analysis, Screaming Frog offers almost everything that’s expected of an excellent SEO and audit tool!
But even after an extensive SEO audit, you’ll need to develop a solid keyword and content strategy to jump to that coveted number one spot.
And that’s where we come in.
If you need assistance in creating an impeccable SEO strategy or decoding your keyword data, connect with the SEO experts at Startup Voyager. We can help you create and implement effective marketing strategies that drive tons of organic traffic to your website!