As a digital marketer or website owner, you already know that search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for your online success. And one of the most critical aspects of SEO is ensuring that your website is crawlable. Crawlability refers to the ability of search engine bots to access and navigate your website’s content. If your website is not crawlable, search engines won’t be able to index your pages, which means your website won’t appear in search results. To help you optimize your website’s crawlability, we’ve put together a list of top 5 essential factors to include in your crawlability checklist. By implementing these factors, you’ll be able to improve your website’s rankings, attract more organic traffic, and ultimately, grow your business. So, let’s learn how to make your website more crawlable!
Understanding how search engines crawl your website
Before we dive into the essential factors to include in your crawlability checklist, it’s crucial to understand how search engines crawl your website. Search engines use bots, also known as spiders, to crawl and index web pages. These bots follow links on a web page to discover new pages to crawl. Once they find a new page, they analyze the page’s content and structure to determine how relevant it is to a particular search query.
To ensure that search engines can crawl your website effectively, you need to make sure your website’s content is structured correctly. This means you need to use a clear and logical hierarchy of headers and subheaders, use descriptive URLs, and avoid using too many images and videos that can slow down your website’s loading speed.
Factors that affect crawlability
Several factors can impact your website’s crawlability, and it’s essential to address these factors to improve your website’s rankings. Broken links, duplicate content, and slow page speed are three of the most significant factors that can adversely affect your website’s crawlability.
- broken links,
- duplicate content, and
- slow page speed
Broken links occur when a link on your website leads to a page that no longer exists. These links can frustrate visitors and search engines and reduce your website’s crawlability. To avoid broken links, make sure you regularly check your website for broken links and fix them promptly.
Duplicate content occurs when you have the same content on multiple pages on your website. This can confuse search engines and reduce your website’s crawlability. To avoid duplicate content, make sure you use canonical tags and remove any duplicate content from your website.
Slow page speed
Slow page speed can also impact your website’s crawlability. Search engines prioritize websites that load quickly because they provide a better user experience. To improve your website’s loading speed, you can compress images, use a content delivery network (CDN), and minify your website’s code.
Top 5 essential factors to include in your crawlability checklist
1. Importance of XML sitemap and robots.txt file
An XML sitemap is a map of all the pages on your website that are accessible to search engines. It helps search engines understand the structure of your website and discover new pages that they might have missed. It’s essential to have an XML sitemap on your website to improve your website’s crawlability.
In WordPress you can easily enable sitemap by installing AIOSEO.
You can submit XML sitemap on Google search console once its complete.
A robots.txt file is a file that tells search engines which pages on your website they should crawl and which pages they should not crawl. It’s essential to have a robots.txt file on your website to ensure that search engines crawl and index the pages on your website that you want them to crawl.
2. URL structure and its impact on crawlability
Your website’s URL structure can also impact your website’s crawlability. You should use descriptive, meaningful URLs that are easy for search engines and visitors to understand. Avoid using long URLs with too many parameters or unnecessary characters. A clean URL structure can improve your website’s crawlability and make it easier for visitors to navigate your website.
Here are some tips to have a better URL structure
- Always use lowercase
- Include your target keywords
- Use hyphens to separate each word
- Make it simple and short
- Avoid using characters and symbols
For example: your post is titled “Importance of backlinks for SEO” and its under a subdomain “blog” then the URL should be “ your domain name / subdomain/ost title/ .
3. Importance of meta tags – title tag, meta description, and header tags
Meta tags are pieces of HTML code that provide information about a web page. The three most important meta tags for SEO are the title tag, meta description, and header tags.
The title tag is the title of the web page that appears in search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s essential to use descriptive, relevant titles that accurately describe the content on your web page.
The meta description is a brief summary of the content on your web page that appears below the title tag in SERPs. It’s essential to use compelling meta descriptions that encourage users to click through to your website.
Header tags are HTML tags that define headings and subheadings on a web page. They help organize the content on your web page and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.
4. Mobile responsiveness and its impact on crawlability
With the rise of mobile devices, it’s essential to have a website that is mobile-friendly. Google has stated that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, which means that having a mobile-friendly website can improve your website’s rankings.
Mobile responsiveness not only impacts your website’s rankings but also its crawlability. Search engines prefer websites that are optimized for mobile devices because they offer a better user experience. To improve your website’s mobile responsiveness, you can use a responsive design or a mobile-specific website.
5. Internal linking and its importance in improving crawlability
Internal linking refers to linking to other pages on your website from within your content. Internal linking is essential for improving your website’s crawlability because it helps search engines discover new pages on your website.
When you link to other pages on your website, make sure you use descriptive anchor text that accurately describes the content on the linked page. Also, make sure you link to relevant pages that provide additional value to your visitors.
Best practices for improving crawlability
- Regular updates
- Removing unnecessary pages, and
- Avoiding flash content
Regularly updating your website with fresh, relevant content is essential for improving your website’s crawlability. Search engines prefer websites that provide new and relevant content regularly.
Removing unnecessary pages from your website can also improve your website’s crawlability. Old, outdated pages or pages with thin content can negatively impact your website’s crawlability.
Flash content can also impact your website’s crawlability. Search engines prefer websites that use HTML5 over Flash because HTML5 is more search engine friendly and provides a better user experience.
Tools to help you monitor your website’s crawlability
Several tools can help you monitor your website’s crawlability, including Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, and Moz Pro. These tools can help you identify crawl errors, broken links, duplicate content, and other factors that can impact your website’s crawlability.
By using these tools, you can quickly identify and fix any crawlability issues on your website, which can improve your website’s rankings and attract more organic traffic.
Crawlability is a critical aspect of SEO, and it’s essential to optimize your website’s crawlability to improve your website’s rankings and attract more organic traffic. By including these ten essential factors in your crawlability checklist, you can ensure that search engines can crawl and index your website effectively. Remember to regularly update your website with fresh, relevant content, remove unnecessary pages, and avoid flash content to improve your website’s crawlability. And don’t forget to use tools to help you monitor your website’s crawlability regularly. By following these best practices, you can improve your website’s crawlability and ultimately, grow your business.