Website AND SEO Audit with Screaming Frog and Excel

Cathy Gray
Strategizing Print & Digital Marketing w/ Business Operations
(and always with coffee in hand)
About | Contact

A Step by Step Website and SEO Audit with Screaming Frog and Excel

I’ll be using this website for this website and SEO audit. 

I’ve prerecorded a video that is on my YouTube Channel, but you can also watch it below without leaving the site. 

I am currently working on a transcript and instructions to follow along if you prefer to follow along at your own pace.

All right, we’ll be going in the step by step on a website audit using Screaming Frog and Excel. Let’s have some fun.

If you guys hear any walking around that’s my dog being a dog and if he barks it’ll scare the crap out of me, too. (Luckily my dog never barked, so I didn’t have to edit out a barking dog.)  

A Glimpse at the Final Audit

The following video is a short clip of what the final website and SEO audit should look like. The video pans to the right showing the content tabs, but does not scroll down to show all of the pages that are included.

Start with Screaming Frog

Let’s get started with Screaming Frog to crawl or scrap our website and export it to Excel where we’ll do some conditional formatting. With the conditional formatting, the report will tell us where we need to make our adjustments for SEO optimizations. It will help us prioritize.

Depending on your website goals, you can add other details to keep track of as well. 

In my case, I’ll have an additional tab for page layout updates, keyword mapping and other things as they come up.

What is Screaming Frog?

First and foremost, don’t let the strange name make you scratch your head. It’s simply a website crawler that gathers meta data or details about a website.

I used the free version because it suits my purposes for this website audit.

There is a paid version which allows you to crawl a website that has more than 500 pages. This is good for an eCommerce site or one that has many pages and articles.

If you need to download it, visit the makers of the software. https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/ It’s available for Mac and PC. 

Let Screaming Frog Start Collecting From Your Site

Enter your site and hit start. The time it takes to crawl your site depends on your internet speed and the size of your site.

It isn’t like waiting for water to bowl, watch it or grab a cup of coffee then come back.

Close up of screaming frog before entering a website to crawl Closeup of Screaming Frog with a Website Crawl Complete

Closeup of Screaming Frog Export Button

Once it is complete, export the file.

In my example, I selected All from the drop down menu, but you can filter down if you would like.

For this website audit, this is all that we’ll be using Screaming Frog for. There are so many other things that it can be used for, but right now, it’s about getting prioritizing and setting up a list with what needs to be done.

Finishing Off with Microsoft Excel

In the first and original video, I used Microsoft Excel 2007. In the second video, I used the version of Excel that is connected with my hotmail account. It’s completely online, so the screenshots might be a different from the version that you may using. However it still works in the same way. The styling is the ony thing that will be different. (The Microsoft Office on my computer has been acting goofy today. I quite honestly haven’t had enough coffee today to correct the problem.)

Cathy Gray

Cathy Gray

A Marketing & Operations Aficianodo

About | Contact

 

Latest Articles

Website AND SEO Audit with Screaming Frog and Excel

Cathy Gray Strategizing Print & Digital...

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cathy Gray Strategizing Print & Digital...

Why You Should Always Use a Child Theme in WordPress

Utilizing a child theme is a best practice in Wordpres.

Google Adwords (Now) Certified and Growing

Adwords Certified!

Became certfied with Google Adwords today.

Now, while one doesn’t have to be certified to use Adwords for a business, it is very helpful to take the online courses through Google Academy for Ads. It is always changing and it is important to stay up to date with the changes that Google makes.

(Currently writing this on my phone, so excuse any misspellings.) 

To get certified, one must complete an overall fundamentals course then choose one of the other available courses. They are:

  • Search Advertising (completed)
  • Display Advertising (current)
  • Video Advertising
  • Mobile Advertising
  • Shopping Advertising

    To keep it simple, completed the Search Advertising first then will continue with the others. 

    Over the weekend, also became Mobile Site certified. Took this  why a with not attitude. Glad that I did because I found some answers to technical website coding questions when I’ve ran site performance tests. 

    Competing Sites for Cathy Gray and Competitive Website Landscape

    Website Competition with AlatenightcoffeewithCathyGray.com

    ~ Last updated May 2017

    A competition site is one that is higher in the SERPS than this website. I talk about keywords and keyword strategy as well.

    • The major competitor is an Australian artist, also named Cathy Gray. The site and Facebook page ranks first. As she is an artist she will naturally have a very large amount of backlinks to her site from art galleries, events and her Facebook account.

    A few others sites worth mentioning:

    • The Realtor – Kathy Gray. This site is going to have a large number of backlinks as well from real estate listings. Cathy with a “k” shows at the bottom of the page for suggested search results. In my opinion, this comes from this site along with an alternate spelling for the name. From a search, all of the pages are spelled with a “c”. this site is the only with a “k”.
    • The Tech-Savvy High School Teacher with a class website – Cathy Gray. As a high school teacher, this site’s traffic is going to be direct, the time on page is going to be high and the bounce rate is going to be low.
    • Dr. Cathy Gray practicing psychiatry in Jacksonville, Florida.
    • Find Cathy Gray (White Pages, Spokeo and similar sites)

    Competitive Website Analysis

    For the time being, a detailed analysis will have to come at a later day.

    Case Study on SEO Ranking Factor

    There is a page that is similar to the one you were previously on.

    If you came here from another page, view the test page regarding title and h1 header tags.

    I stumbled across the other page and noticed that it had a published date from several years ago. The published date was from early 2015. The content was relevant to today’s SEO best practices. This post also ranked first in the search results with no competing PPC ads. While there were results in the millions, the first page was a good candidate to do an SEO ranking factor experiment.

    search results number screenshott

    SEO Ranking Factors Test

    While it is not a huge ranking factor, I am curious to know how a published date will affect page rank. Since the other page’s content is still current, content accuracy will not be calculated.

    The first objective is to get the test post crawled by the spiders and record the time period for future use.

    Then,

    About the first 20 search results

    Before I started, I did a quick visual test at the results, comparing the meta descriptions, published dates if available, URL and title.

    Among the first twenty results, the pages shown had:

    • Varying published dates. The oldest date was 2011  and youngest in the first position was dated from 2015. The published date is over two years old, making it a good candidate for comparison.
    • URLs had various structures. Some were example.com/3/5/2011 for example, using the post’s published date. Others used stop words in the URL and others did not have all of the addresses visible.
    Page Position URL Structure Published Date Domain Age
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10

    Pages’ Overall Similarities

    First Position Post Test Post
    624 total words total words
    Post not page Post not page
    Some grammatical errors Matched the same type of errors
    Page built with WordPress Page built with WordPress
    Similar keywords Matched keywords

    Differences Between Pages for the Test

    First Position Post Test Post
    No images 2 images with keywords in image title and alt text
    Longer Domain Age Very short Domain Age (Published on 5/2017)
    10+ comments 0 comments (so far)
    1 – H1 and 4- H2 Headings Also used H3 headers instead of bolding
    Higher Domain Authority Lower domain authority
    URL structure: abc.com/2/18/2015/keywords only URL structure: abc.com/keywords only

     

     

     

    What’s the Difference Between a Title Tag and H1 Heading?

    (This page is also being used as a test page for comparison. More on the SEO test here.)

    When you develop a site, there are behind the scenes factors that assist search engines to direct searchers to your site. These factors are combined together with different important levels for each. Though it is debatable on what’s the most important, it is a best practice to use Title Tags and H1 Header tags for SEO.

    I don’t want to give you a detailed, long-form post; only a brief explanation. You’ll know the difference between Title Tags and H1 Headers. Just enough to make you dangerous. 🙂

    For an easier read and variety, Title Tags may be referred to as titles and H1 Header as H1.

    (Placeholder for a graphic.)

    Title and H1 Header Tags: Behind the Scenes

    At the previous section, it stated: “there are behind the scenes factors”. Here’s what it looks like (just in case you’re curious):

    Title Tag:

    <head> <title> Title tag content that will show within the search page results. </title> </head>

    H1 Header Tag:

    <body><h1>H1 heading content will show on a page. </h1></body>

    (Placeholder for a graphic.)

    Defining Title Tags and H1 Header Tags

    If you are only researching to grasp what they are. The important piece to remember is that each page has a title tag and H1 Header.  The page’s keywords should appear in both locations.

    Title Tag: a Non-Technical Definition

    The bolded text is a basic definition of a Title Tag. It is what I feel is most important to make someone aware of in order to understand SEO basics.

    • A title tag is the blue text on a search result’s page.
    • Serves as a link or hyperlink from a search results page to the web page where the content is found.
    • A title tag is also located at the top of a web page, on the tab in the web browser and when bookmarked.
    • Not found by default within a page’s content.
    • Is a type of meta tag.
    In this example, I did a search in Google for Woodstock, GA.

    Title tag basic description with examples for website and business owners by Cathy Gray

     

    H1 Header: a Non-Technical Definition

    The bolded text is a basic definition of a Title Tag. It is what I feel is most important to make someone aware of in order to understand SEO basics.

    • It appears within your web page.
    • H1 Header does not usually show up in search engines.
    • Can be styled and often only located at the top of a page.
    • Is a type of meta tag.

    (Placeholder for an H1 Header graphic.)

    Title Tags vs H1 Headers

    Both tags should have your keywords that represent an overall message of your webpage. So the best way to optimize Title Tags and H1 Headers is to write for your viewers while following SEO best practices.

    Overall, tags and headers share a similar function. This can stem a little confusion between the two.

    The main difference between these is where their location. This difference impacts how a search engine and users analyze a page.

    Other Differences:

    • Title Tags are located in more places while an H1 Header tag appears in only one place, but doesn’t have to be used.
    • H1 can be visually stimulating and titles cannot.
    • Search engines can give more weight to Title Tags than H1 Headers.
    • Google can change a title but not a header.

    Common Best Practices:

    • Place the keyword at the beginning in both tags, if possible.
    • Use only one Title Tag and one H1 Header tag per page.
    • Keep both tags’ content short and unique.
    • Use the keyword or keyword phrase in both tags.

    How to Write Title Tags & H1 Headers

    Put yourself in the shoes of your targeted viewer.

    For a title tag content, ask “What does the page title to say to gain a viewer’s attention from a search page”?

    For the H1 Header tag content, ask “What will be a good introduction to get the viewer on the page”?

     

    Do this while following basic SEO best practices, and your HTML tags will please Google the way you want them to.

    (Placeholder for a call to action.)