Any SEO company will tell you that search engine optimisation has become the holy grail of digital marketing in this digital trading era. That means businesses and organizations strive to ensure that their content pops up on top every time someone searches for something relevant on a search engine like Google. Therefore, to succeed in these efforts, it’s important to understand how search engines determine whether the content is relevant to a specific query.
That’s where crawlability and indexability come in. Search engines have web crawlers that follow website links to see where they lead. The crawlers then index what they find after scanning the content. Therefore, the more crawlable your site, the easier it will be for the web crawlers to index the content. That goes a long way in improving your SEO rankings. So the million-dollar question is, “How can one boost their site’s crawlability and indexability?” Below is a guide on improving these two crucial components of your website.
1. Enhance Your Site Structure
Site structure refers to the organization of content on your website. That means how your group link and presents the content. The better the structure, the more crawlable your site is. On the other hand, if your content is haphazardly linked together, the web crawlers will hit dead ends and strange pathways.
You need to keep three key things in mind when improving your site structure: improving your website menu, improving link placement in your blog posts, and reviewing the links in the website footer. You also need to cluster related content together to improve the flow.
Lucky for you, there are readily available tools you can use to implement changes to your site structure, such as Google Analytics. Additionally, pay attention to simple things, like using relevant phrases for your anchor text to avoid confusion.
2. Improve the Internal Link Structure
As you’ve read, web crawlers travel through the web, scanning the content and indexing findings. Since they follow links, they can only find pages linked to other posts or pages. Therefore, web crawlers might never find your content if you don’t link to it anywhere on your site. The opposite is true: a solid internal link structure makes it incredibly easy for web crawlers to find pages – even those buried deep in the site’s structure.
3. Secure External Backlinks
Besides finding your content through internal links, web crawlers can also find it from external websites. So your biggest task is securing backlinks. How can you get other sites to link to your content? Some common methods for obtaining external backlinks include contributing guest posts, creating resource pages, and participating in link roundups. You can also develop partnerships with other businesses.
4. Submit a Sitemap to Google
Think of a sitemap as a small file that helps search engines find, crawl, and index your website’s content. A sitemap also tells the search engine which pages on your site are most important.
There are four main types of sitemaps: XML, video, news, and image sitemaps. While web crawlers can easily find your content through links, submitting a sitemap to a search engine doesn’t hurt, especially if your site is new. A sitemap also comes in handy if your website has too many pages. For instance, if your site has two million pages, you need tons of links for web crawlers to find them. So, in that case, a sitemap would be your saving grace. It is also important to submit a sitemap if your site has a lot of rich media content (video and images).
5. Update your Content Regularly
Crawlability and indexability are not one-off things. On the contrary, web crawlers keep coming back to your website. If there is something new, the web crawler will scan it and update the index. Therefore, having new content is a good way to ensure that the search engine indexes it better.
However, it is deeper than that. As much as you want fresh content regularly, you need to ensure that it is high-quality. The search engine has to view it as valuable to searchers. Otherwise, your content might be deemed not worthy of indexing. Perhaps it has several grammar and spelling mistakes or needs external signals to boost its value and authority. It’s also important to get rid of duplicate content, failure which can lead to web crawlers getting hung up.
6. Work on Broken Links
A broken link refers to a web page on your site that a user can’t find or access. Every time users try to find it, they get an error message, such as 404 Page Not Found. There are several reasons why your website could have broken links. These include linking to content that has been moved or deleted or geolocation restrictions. Although broken links do not affect SEO results, your users will be frustrated.
The good news is that finding broken links on your site is a walk in the park. You can manually check each link on your site or use tools like Google Search Console. Once you find them, you can redirect the links, update them, or remove them altogether.