Don’t ignore the screaming frog

Last week Stone Junction welcomed Escherman’s Andrew Bruce Smith for another digital training session. During the workshop, Andrew introduced a handful of SEO tools to further improve our digital offering — for me, one really stood out. Here Jessica Phillips, junior account manager at technical PR agency Stone Junction explains how the Screaming Frog SEO Spider can help improve your SEO strategy.

The Screaming Frog is a website crawler that allows you analyse and audit technical and onsite SEO. Simply download the free tool, type in your URL and the frog will crawl your site, flagging up any meta data issues at the click of a button. The tool tells you which, if any, of your pages are missing title tags, how many of your title tags are duplicates and even if any are too long. It also does this for meta descriptions, meta keywords, H1 tags, H2 tags and canonicals.

The tool is an easy way to spot pages in need of attention and it also shows you which pages are not being indexed by Google — something that I found particularly interesting. If your page isn’t being indexed by Google, it means that it won’t show up in search results, no matter how well you’ve optimised it.

There are several reasons why you might choose not to index a page. It might be that that it is not the canonical version of that page, so you’ve applied a tag to tell Google to look elsewhere. Alternatively, you might have applied a redirect to tell the search engine that the URL isn’t relevant anymore. Finally, if you’ve set your URL to ‘disallow’ in the robots.txt file, search engines won’t be able to crawl it.

If your page isn’t being indexed and you want it to be, The Screaming Frog will tell you why this is and how to fix any issues. For example, you can easily check the disallow rules in your robots.txt, which you can access by adding /robots.txt onto the end of your website’s URL.

There may be easy fixes for some issues but creating on-page content and meta-data that gets you where you need to be in Google is another story. No matter what stage you’re at on your SEO journey, Stone Junction can help. For more information, give us a call on +44 (0)1785 225416 or drop me an e-mail at jessica@stonejunction.co.uk.

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Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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