Those in the digital marketing industry will have heard the age-old saying that “Content is King”. It’s a term that people have overused and some try to steer away from it completely, and yet, here I am about to write this very article about the latest Screaming Frog update whereby the content analysis features are pretty darn awesome.
And so, I’m going to say it. Content is King. Or maybe let’s just keep it simple and say that it’s key. Content is a key part of any business, it’s marketing and ability to drive sales.
Why is content so important?
If you have little to no content on your site how will a potential customer understand what it is you’re offering them?
Also, if there are inconsistencies such as Americanisms, when you’re UK based, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, it doesn’t make you look all that professional. So, why would they choose you over one of your competitors – especially if their content is fantastic and offer’s the potential customer with the right information in a professionally written way?!
But… It goes deeper than that.
It’s not just customers reading the content on your site, it’s all the site crawlers too, like those from Google. Those crawlers determine where you should be positioned within their search results. If crawlers can’t understand what your business is about and there’s various spelling errors and even duplicate content all over your site, how can they determine where to position you??!! Essentially, they’re going to mark you down.
This is where Screaming Frog comes in!
A great tool just got even better
We have used Screaming Frog for years to assist with our website audits and ongoing SEO consultancy work. It helps us address technical issues and identifies areas we need to work on in terms of Meta Data strategy and H1 title tags, for example. There’s also the low content pages feature that identifies pages we need to create content for. This is where the cross over begins – Where technical meets creative content. But, the latest update takes it one step further.
Now, not only can we analyse the Meta Data and title tags to come up with a strategy using keyword research and content analysis, but we can identify pages with near-duplicate and exact duplicate content. AAAAand, we can check an entire site for spelling and grammatical errors!
Proofing content has been something we tend to do fairly manually and although we do have a few tools to help us along the way, this is the first tool that we can run and it’ll pull together an entire list of potential content issues to address.
How useful is it?
It’s great, but as with any tool it needs some configuration and don’t expect it to be 100% accurate.
We looked at a couple of sites to give it a bit of a test. The first site we checked was a struggle to review as the site, although British, had an American lang tag. And, oh my, how different those two languages really are! It confused the crawler (and me), so first things first, check the site you’re about to crawl is set up with the relevant lang tag and set Screaming Frog to the same language within the configuration settings.
I then thought I’d give the Cadbury’s site a look-see. I wasn’t just browsing their treasure trove of chocolate… Honest.
On crawling Cadbury’s website, it did fail to understand that the names of some chocolate bars were not incorrect. It seems to struggle with names in general.
That said, it did identify 202 spelling errors and 208 grammatical errors. As it’s not an exact science it does require human intervention. What does that mean? You’ve basically got to look at each error yourself. That bit isn’t rocket science, just a manual process.
Here are a couple of errors it found:
I’ve never had a “goey” caramel bar, but I’ve definitely had a gooey one.
As you can see, it’s not just identifying the issue, but suggesting what you could change it to, which is pretty helpful!
In general, it’s a good tool to use if you want to give everything a sanity check to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to be the professional brand you want people to see you as and to appease all the search engines, of course.
Keeping content fresh as a daisy
So, you’ve checked for spelling and grammatical errors, what next? Well, you could get creative to ensure your content is engaging, targeted and different. Why would you want to do that? Isn’t it obvious? It always comes down to two things:
1. Attracting customers
2. Helping search engines understand your business
Customers don’t always land on the homepage of your website, they land on internal pages they’ve found after doing a Google search (other search engines are available). But, they’re still likely to have a good gander and look at other pages while they’re on your site, so you don’t want to sound like a broken record.
Repeating the same content over and over isn’t ideal. It won’t encourage anyone to get involved with you as it doesn’t look like you’ve been bothered to take your own business seriously, so why should they?
When it comes to search engines, basically, having duplicate content makes them struggle to differentiate what each page is about. The result… You don’t rank as well as you could.
If you want to address duplicate content on your site to appear higher in search results and get more customers, did you know there’s a tool to help with that too?
The latest Screaming Frog update now allows you to look for duplicate and near-identical content. The SEO Spider will identify near duplicates with a 90% similarity match, which can be adjusted to find content with a lower similarity threshold.
You can find out exactly how to set everything up and use the tool for this purpose here >
And, so we come back to our initial question, and I’ll ask it again, “why should Screaming Frog be part of a content creators toolkit?”
Because if it’s not, you’re missing out! Missing out on rankings, traffic and customers! And if you’re in an agency, that’s exactly what your clients are missing out on too, so why not use this tool and impress them by highlighting all these errors you can fix? They’ll be amazed by how much work you’ve done when all you’ve done is run a crawler = huge reward for minimal effort!
If you don’t have access to this tool, but want to know how many errors are on your site and where you could make improvements, get in touch and we’ll run the crawler on your site and give you the results. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.