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Manage your meta data with one free tool

22nd May 2017

Meta data is a fundamental part of your search engine optimisation that you should be paying close attention to. However, there will often be times when you will want to review your website's meta data as a whole - so how should you do this?

There's a handy (and free) tool called "Screaming Frog SEO Spider" that allows you to enter a URL - yours or someone else's - and view the meta data used on the whole website. The great thing about this is that you can export the data you want (i.e. page title, meta title, meta description, keywords, header tags) into a spreadsheet for a full review rather than having to view the page source of each individual page.

Doing it this way can save you a lot of time, especially if you have a lot of pages on your website. An e-commerce store is likely to have a lot more content that a basic website, so a strong focus on SEO is required.

Below is an example of what you may see - I used the East Devon County Council website as a test subject:

Screaming Frog

The SEO Spider is lite, flexible and can crawl extremely quickly allowing you to analyse the results in real-time. It gathers key onsite data to allow SEOs to make informed decisions. Some of the common uses include:

  • Find Broken Links: Crawl a website instantly and find broken links (404s) and server errors. Bulk export the errors and source URLs to fix, or send to a developer.
  • Analyse Page Titles & Meta Data: Analyse page titles and meta descriptions during a crawl and identify those that are too long, short, missing, or duplicated across your site.
  • Extract Data with XPath: Collect any data from the HTML of a web page using CSS Path, XPath or regex. This might include social meta tags, additional headings, prices, SKUs or more!
  • Generate XML Sitemaps: Quickly create XML Sitemaps and Image XML Sitemaps, with advanced configuration over URLs to include, last modified, priority and change frequency.
  • Audit Redirects: Find temporary and permanent redirects, identify redirect chains and loops, or upload a list of URLs to audit in a site migration.
  • Discover Duplicate Content: Discover exact duplicate URLs with an md5 algorithmic check, partially duplicated elements such as page titles, descriptions or headings and find low content pages.
  • Review Robots & Directives: View URLs blocked by robots.txt, meta robots or X-Robots-Tag directives such as ‘noindex’ or ‘nofollow’, as well as canonicals and rel=“next” and rel=“prev”.
  • Integrate with Google Analytics: Connect to the Google Analytics API and fetch user data, such as sessions or bounce rate and conversions, goals, transactions and revenue for landing pages against the crawl.

There is also a premium version which unclocks more handy features. You can download it for free via the Screaming Frog website.