Ever since the idea of the Screaming Frog Spider first popped into Dan’s head I have always been pushing to make sure that it is not only an awesome tool for spotting common SEO issues but also a brilliant tool that screamed (you see what I did there) out about being added to any PPC toolkit.

As Dan said earlier today, we’ve now released the version 1.20 of the Screaming Frog SEO Spider, this release fixes some of the bugs we’d seen in earlier spiders but more excitingly now gives users two brand new awesome features that finally stop me from nagging at everyone about making the tool great for PPC. Dan has already gone through the various functions in his post earlier but I’ll run through them again, this time looking at them from the PPC side of the Screaming Frog brain.

The first great new feature that we’ve added to the spider is the ability to upload specific URLs in a list. With the latest release, users are able to upload a list of specific URLs that they want to crawl. This means that you are able to upload all your PPC landing page URLs & run a very quick check to make sure that none return the dreaded 404 or a unexpected redirect (because, you know, sometimes clients like moving pages just to mess with us). We’ve worked very hard on this function and one of the great things we’ve managed to do is to allow users to upload the URL list direct from an AdWords Editor export of their accounts. This has been quite a struggle and we have on more than one occasion realised exactly why other tools only allow uploads in particular formats but after going back and forth (and also A LOT of coffee) we are very pleased at how easy & quickly it is now to upload campaign URLs.

To upload your own list you simply need to look under ‘Mode’ and change the setting to ‘List’ instead of ‘Spider’. Once this has been done you can select the file you want and upload it to the tool. Once you’ve uploaded the file the spider will then tell you how many unique URLs it has found.



Once the spider has read all your URLs, simply hit start and it will start crawling them, letting you know of any problems as it goes! As with the normal crawl mode you can then export the data or use it from within the tool. Great huh!?!

The other great feature we’ve managed to add to the new release is the ability to create and run a custom search in the source code of the site you’re crawling! This in my eyes is even more useful and is something that I’m very excited about (be quiet, that’s not sad), by using this search function users are able to search for ANY text on the pages.

To set up and run the search you first need to look under the ‘Configuration’ button for the ‘Custom’ option. Under here you can enter up to 5 different filters to narrow down the results so that they show you exactly what you want.


Now you’ve set up all the filters you want, simply run the crawl and your results will appear as if by magic on the new ‘Custom’ tab in the main window! From here, as with the other crawl options/ features you can export you data & manipulate it in Excel or if you prefer you can play around with it in the tool itself.

This feature is particularly useful for PPC campaigns as it allows you to find any pages that don’t include your tracking codes (e.g. Google Analytics or another third party tracking tool) or, for those ecommerce campaigns any page that points to products that are currently “Out of Stock” or ones that have “Free Delivery” (a great USP to use in ad copy BTW).

As with earlier versions of the spider the current free version will allow you to crawl up to 500 URLs, if you want to crawl any more than that you will need to download the licensed version of the tool. Don’t worry that version doesn’t cost the earth; it’s only £99 per year and well worth the money if you ask me!

If you haven’t tried our spider out yet, give it a go. Trust me; once you start using it you’ll wonder how you managed to get anything done before…

Matt Hopson (21 Posts)

Matt has managed PPC campaigns for over 5 years for a large selection of clients including large travel companies through to retail & a number of charitable organisations.