In order to keep any website on top of the search engine page, website owners do many things. They write content and do SEOs of all kinds. Also, they focus on keywords and relevant content.
But with so many websites, Google can’t go through them individually to check your SEO efforts.
So, search engines rely on search algorithms and bots to determine the page’s content and decide which position the website should take. It is where credibility and indexability come into play. Today in this blog, we will discuss how to improve website crawlability and indexability.
- What is Crawlability?
- What is Indexability?
- Does Website Crawlability Affect SEO?
- How to Check Your Website Crawlability?
- 9 Factors on How to Improve Website Crawlability and Indexability
- 7 Crawlability Testing and Monitoring Tools
What is Crawlability?
Crawlability means the ease or ability of Google to crawl the content of your website and retrieve all links to your site and landing pages without falling into a dead end. It is determined by how well your site is designed, coded, and formatted for your users.
What is Indexability?
Indexability is the feature of search engines to properly index and displays your site. It is one of the key factors in determining how high your site ranks on Google and other search engines. Some factors that affect indexability are: quality of content, site design and layout, site speed, availability, and how well you optimize your pages for search engines. Elements of a page such as a title, title/subheading, 404 error page, and other meaningful tags.
Does Website Crawlability Affect SEO?
One of the most important factors when it comes to SEO is the crawlability of your website. If it’s challenging to navigate, it will be more difficult for search engines to index and rank it.
Several factors can affect crawlability, including:
- Site structure: A well-structured website with clear and logical navigation makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages.
- URL structure: URLs that are clear, concise, and descriptive can make it easier for search engines to understand the content of your pages.
- Broken links: Broken links can prevent search engines from crawling certain pages on your website.
- Duplicate content: Having duplicate content on your website can confuse search engines and negatively impact your SEO performance.
- Page speed: A slow-loading website can negatively impact crawlability and SEO performance.
Therefore, ensuring your website is easily crawlable is essential for good SEO performance. Optimizing your website for crawlability can help search engines find and index your pages, leading to higher rankings and increased traffic.
Google should crawl your website from once every 4 days to 30 days, depending on how active it is. Sites that are updated more frequently tend to be crawled more often because Googlebot searches for new content first.
How to Check Your Website Crawlability?
There are various paid tools available to check your website crawlability. But before that, let’s check some methods and free ways to review your website crawlability:
1. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows website owners to monitor their website’s performance in Google search results. It also provides valuable insights into how Google crawls and indexes your website.
2. Search query on Google
You can enter “site:yourwebsite.com” in the Google search box to see how many pages of your website Google has indexed. If you notice a discrepancy between the number of pages you have on your website and the number Google has indexed, it could be a sign of crawlability issues.
3. Check your Robots.txt file
Your website’s robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which pages or sections of your site they can or cannot crawl. If you have inadvertently blocked search engine crawlers from crawling essential pages or sections of your site, it could have a negative impact on your website’s crawlability.
4. Check for broken links
Broken links on your website can prevent search engine crawlers from wholly indexing your site. You can use tools like Broken Link Checker or Dead Link Checker to identify and fix broken links on your website.
5. Use a website crawler tool
Various website crawler tools are available, such as Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, and Sitebulb. These tools scan your website and provide detailed reports on crawlability issues, broken links, duplicate content, and other technical SEO issues.
By regularly monitoring your website’s crawlability, you can identify and fix issues that may negatively impact your SEO efforts.
9 Factors on How to Improve Website Crawlability and Indexability
a) Good internal linking
Internal links are links from your site to other pages on your site. Users can view additional content and find related information more easily when they click these links. Internal links make it easier for visitors to navigate your site, resulting in higher conversion rates and a better user experience.
High-quality internal links are often required to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Therefore, it is imperative to focus on creating solid relationships between the pages of your site so that all content is easy to find and access.
Attention: Crawlers can only index pages that they find.
b) Fix broken links
Broken links happen when you move or rename a web page. If you don’t search and replace throughout your site, you may inadvertently create dead-end links.
Crawlers cannot access pages from broken links. You will get a 404 page not found error when there is a broken link.
c) Great site structure
As I mentioned, your site should link to the appropriate pages. Search robots (or site visitors) should be able to access any page within 1-2 clicks (up to 3). Pages nested too deeply indicate poor site structure and poor user experience.
To help Google better understand your content, your site structure should have a link relationship around a main topic page that leads to related subtopics, commonly called content clusters.
d) Avoid duplicate content
It’s important to make sure all your content is original and unique. Duplicate content on your site can hurt your site’s ability to be crawled and will only create more work for search engines. Pages with the same content may rank lower than pages without duplicate content.
e) Give crawler access with Robots.txt
Robots.txt is a service file that lives on your site and is crawled by Google. They have a specific block/ allow indexing guidelines to help Google improve “crawling efficiency” and “indexing accuracy”. Meta tags can also provide pagination guidelines in some cases.
f) Improve page load speed
Your page loads should be minimized to make your website easily crawlable. Page loading speed is one of any search engine’s most important ranking factors.
Not only can slow website pages frustrate and annoy your visitors, but they can also negatively affect your SEO ranking.
Here are some tips to speed up your page-
- Compress the image size as much as possible.
- Avoid using plugins or scripts that complicate your website design or codebase.
- Optimize CSS files for speed and performance.
- Minimize the number of 404 errors.
- Ensure all relevant pages exist, and there are no typos or missing numbers in the URL.
g) Fix crawl errors
If a search engine follows a link but cannot access the page while crawling, the index has no new entries. Web servers may return HTTP errors such as 500, 502, 503, and 404.
Crawl errors are displayed in Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). So you should fix it right now.
h) Use Sitemap.xml
A sitemap lists the vital web pages of your site and tells search engines about your content. A sitemap also provides essential metadata, such as when a page was last updated.
If you include a well-optimized sitemap on each page, all the content on your website is easily accessible and optimized for indexing by Googlebot.
Make your sitemap available to Google by adding it to your robots.txt file or submitting it directly to Search Console.
i) Provide quality content
Nothing attracts search engines like authoritative quality content. However, not all content is equally good. It should match the litmus test of organic keywords and represent something of value to consumers.
Creating high-quality content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests can increase the chances of your website being crawled more frequently and ranking higher in search results.
It’s also important to ensure that your website’s technical SEO is in good shape, including proper indexing and a clear site structure. This can make it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your website’s content.
7 Crawlability Testing and Monitoring Tools
Audit your site regularly to maintain good SEO standing. Website auditing is necessary to keep you update about what’s going on. The site audit tool gives you a comprehensive overview of your site’s overall health, allowing you to pinpoint problems.
- Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to monitor your website’s performance in search results, including crawlability issues. It provides a detailed report on your website’s index status, crawl errors, and sitemap status.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Screaming Frog is a popular desktop program that crawls websites to identify technical SEO issues, including crawlability. It can crawl large websites quickly and provide detailed reports on issues such as broken links, duplicate content, and missing tags.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool that offers a site audit feature to analyze your website’s technical SEO issues, including crawlability. It provides a detailed report on crawl errors, duplicate content, and broken links.
- Ahrefs Site Audit: Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool that offers a site audit feature to identify crawlability issues on your website. It provides a detailed report on broken links, 404 errors, and duplicate content.
- DeepCrawl: DeepCrawl is a cloud-based tool that crawls your website to identify technical SEO issues, including crawlability. It provides a detailed report on crawl errors, duplicate content, and missing tags.
- Mobile-Friendly Test: It is another excellent tool to show how well your mobile device is performing.
- PageSpeedInsights: It analyzes your pages and provides suggestions for improving speed and usability.
Are you tired of your website feeling like a deserted island? Do you want to attract more visitors than a celebrity beach party? Then you need to ensure your website is easily crawlable by search engines!
But how do you do that? Why not use our discussed methods? These will work like web-savvy spiders crawling through your website to ensure it’s easy to navigate and SEO-friendly.
So, don’t be a hermit crab hiding in your digital shell. Use these techniques to make your website more crawlable than a spider’s web, and attract more visitors than a clown at a children’s birthday party!