OK, I have to admit it – partly I love this content marketing tool because of its name. The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a tool that lets you review a site from an SEO perspective so you can determine if everything is working that should be working.
For example, say you linked from one of your blogs to a page that provides the details of a program you offer. Two years pass and you stop offering the program so you take down the page that invites people to sign up for it. The blog that sent people to the page about the program is now buried under 100 other blogs that followed and you have totally forgotten that you even wrote it. None of your staff members remember that you wrote it either. Because you disconnected that page, the blog is now host to a broken link, which search engines do not condone. Maybe you have half a dozen other broken links that you don’t even know exist.
Maybe, for various other reasons, you even have 200 broken links. It can be very inefficient to shop a site and manually assess every single link on every single page and, actually, it’s very unnecessary when you have the option of using a tool like Screaming Frog.
Screaming Frog will crawl your site for you and come back with a report about:
- Errors – Client errors such as broken links & server errors (No responses, 4XX, 5XX)
- Redirects – Permanent or temporary redirects (3XX responses)
- External Links – All external links and their status codes
- Protocol – Whether the URLs are secure (HTTPS) or insecure (HTTP)
- URL Issues – Non ASCII characters, underscores, uppercase characters, parameters, or long URLs
- Duplicate Pages
- Page Titles – Missing, duplicate, more than 65 characters, too short, etc.
- Meta Description – Missing, duplicate, more than 156 characters, too short, etc.
- Meta Keywords – Mainly for reference
- File Size – Size of URLs & images
- Response Time
This is a very useful content marketing tool and it’s worth giving it a whirl so you get a good sense of what the search engines are seeing when they visit your site. They reward sites that are structured well and if yours is not, it could be holding you back from more traffic.
There are countless tools out there to streamline your content marketing efforts and I’ve mentioned just a few of our favourites. I’d love to hear about other ones that you have found valuable – please share your best with us on the Crossman Communications Facebook page!