Overall Satisfaction with Screaming Frog SEO Spider
I currently use Screaming Frog as one of the tools for managing and maintaining our company websites. I primarily use the program for doing SEO audits. I use it to verify links and find broken ones, identify content types and scripts, find duplicate content, and create XML sitemaps. Analyzing our sites allows us to detect potential SEO issues proactively and make educated decisions about site content.
- Finds broken links (404 pages). Broken links hurt user experience.
- Identifies pages that include meta directives like nofollow/noindex/canonical etc. Helps understand what your pages tell crawlers to do.
- Get information about all of the internal and external links on my site (anchor text, links per page, etc). Helps in identifying key word choices and page weight.
- Requires Java. This isn't a huge deal as many computers already have it installed, but it's yet another 3rd party component.
- The free version has a crawl limit of 500 pages per site. This is fine for smaller sites, but if you're running a big e-commerce site then you'll need to pay for Pro version.
- The user interface isn't very pretty. This is an analytics tool so it doesn't really have to be, but it might be helpful for improving the overall user experience.
- It's hard to specifically identify the impact the Screaming Frog has on ROI. SEO is a continual process of implementing changes to improve site visibility. The program definitely provides key insights about site structure though.
- Identifying broken links does help us improve user experience. Happy users tend to stay on sites longer.
- Using the program on competitor websites does give us insight into how we can improve our own pages.
SEMRush is not a dedicated on-demand SEO crawler like Screaming Frog. SEMRush is more of a digital marketing suite that happens to offer SEO crawling along with other marketing tools. As such, it's much more of a commitment; which you'll notice with a monthly cost versus a single program purchase fee. Moz, like SEMRush, offers a comprehensive toolset that's helpful if your site gets increased visibility and improved search engine ranking. Moz can help optimize pages, identify SEO fixes, evaluate links, and research keywords. Screaming Frog is a tool specifically for generating sitemaps, discovering duplicate pages, auditing Hreflang attributes, analyzing meta directives, reviewing page titles and meta-data, plus finding broken links, errors, and redirects. It's essentially a free or single cost (pro) version of one of the tool sets offered by the aforementioned competitors.
Screaming Frog tracks the crawl level, internal links, outbound links, title tags, and meta descriptions of the pages it crawls. It also adds HTTP status codes, title tag length, meta description length, H1, H2 tags and lengths, and canonical tags. Many of these elements are also broken into their own tabs at the top so that you can easily focus in on problem areas. You can right-click on any URL for many more options. The program is definitely valuable to anyone who is looking to gauge factors regarding SEO. However, if you are not a web designer/admin, you're going to lack an understanding of the information it provides.