Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Technical SEO Audit with Screaming Frog

Jan. 21, 2023 9:00 pm PST | SEO Gazette | By Luke Ross

Screaming Frog is a powerful SEO tool for technical audits, providing in-depth insights into a website’s health. Regular audits are essential for identifying and fixing SEO issues, and Screaming Frog offers a comprehensive solution to this need. Remember, the key is in the details; thorough analysis and consistent action based on the audit results will lead to improved SEO performance.

SEO audit screaming frog spider tool - SEO Gazette

Step 1: Download and Install Screaming Frog

Download Screaming Frog SEO Spider from their official website.

Install the application on your computer (available for Windows, macOS, and Linux).

Step 2: Basic Configuration

➢ Open Screaming Frog and go to ‘Configuration’ > ‘Spider’ > ‘Crawl’

Set Up Crawl Limits: If you’re using the free version, note the 500 URL crawl limit. For larger sites, consider the paid version.

Configure User-Agent: Set it according to the devices you want to mimic (e.g., Googlebot for desktop or mobile).

Screaming Frog Configuration Screenshot - SEO Gazette
Screaming Frog Configuration | Screenshot – SEO Gazette

Step 3: Enter Your Website

➢ In the main interface, enter your website’s URL in the ‘Enter URL to spider’ box.

➢ Click ‘Start’ to begin the crawl.

Step 4: Analyzing the Crawl Data

Monitor the crawl: Check for status codes, response times, and URI issues.

Identify Redirect Chains and Loops: Navigate to the ‘Response Codes’ tab, filter for ‘3xx Redirection’.

Check for 4xx/5xx Status Codes: Look under the ‘Response Codes’ tab for client and server errors.

Screaming Frog Response Codes Tab - Screenshot, SEO Gazette
Screaming Frog ‘Response Codes’ Tab | Screenshot – SEO Gazette

Step 5: Audit On-Page SEO Elements

Title Tags & Meta Descriptions: Check for duplicates, missing, or too long/short under the ‘Page Titles’ and ‘Meta Description’ tabs.

H1 Tags: Ensure each page has one H1 tag and it’s relevant to the page content.

Step 6: Analyze URL Structure

➢ Check for overly long URLs, underscores, or URL parameters that might not be SEO friendly.

Step 7: Review Page Depth

Analyze Click Depth: Found under the ‘Page Titles’ tab. Pages shouldn’t be more than 3 clicks away from the homepage.

Step 8: Evaluate Internal Linking

➢ Check the ‘Internal’ tab. Look for pages with few internal links pointing to them.

Step 9: Assess Page Speed

➢ While Screaming Frog doesn’t give detailed speed metrics, it does show response times, which can be a speed indicator.

Step 10: Identify Duplicate Content

➢ Use the ‘Duplicate’ filter under various tabs to identify duplicate page titles, meta descriptions, and content.

Step 11: Exporting and Reporting

Export the Data: Go to ‘Bulk Export’ and select the data you need.

Create Reports: Use the exported data to create actionable SEO audit reports.

Screaming Frog Bulk Export Tab, Links - Screenshot, SEO Gazette
Screaming Frog ‘Bulk Export’ Tab | Screenshot – SEO Gazette

Step 12: Implement Changes and Monitor Results

➢ Based on your findings, make the necessary changes to your website.

➢ Continuously monitor the results and performance, and adjust your strategy as needed.

Additional Tips

You should regularly update Screaming Frog for the latest features and use integration features with GA4 and GSC for additional insights. For larger sites, consider increasing the memory allocation for a smoother crawl.

Article written by Luke Ross, The SEO Gazette

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