Agency Insights: SEO Tips That Improve Indexing
When you're beginning or resuming an SEO campaign, it's paramount to understand how Google's search crawlers work. Even if you're working with an experienced SEO agency, we highly recommend you know some of the basics.
Indexability problems are at the top of the list for many websites. Sometimes you might not even realize your site has severe indexing problems. There's no need to worry because after reading this article, you will know the essential tips for improving SEO indexing.
Before we get into the tips, we should understand why site indexing is crucial to SEO. When a search engine crawls your website, it's trying to index all of your pages. The process of indexing is how Google understands the content on your website. They do this by reading and analyzing your site's code and structure.
Any problems with your site's indexability will affect your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs)). For instance, you could go from potentially ranking on the first page of SERPs to ranking on the fourth or fifth page simply by having poor indexability.
So, let's jump into tip number one.
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The first step in improving your site's indexing is making it crawlable. Crawlability is the ability of a search engine to reach your pages and read your site's code.
You can do a few things to ensure that your site is crawlable.
1. Use a Sitemap
A sitemap is an XML file containing all of your website's URLs. It helps Google find and crawl all of your pages, even if they're not linked to other pages on your site. You can create a sitemap using Yoast SEO or another plugin or create one manually.
2. Check for Broken Links
Broken links are links that lead to pages that don't exist. They can be caused by misspellings, outdated URLs, or pages that have been deleted. If Google crawls a page with a broken link, it will stop crawling the rest of your site.
3. Use Robots.txt
Robots.txt is a file that tells Google which of your website's pages it should and shouldn't crawl. You should use this file if there are any pages on your website that you don't want Google to index.
4. Improve Your Site's Speed
Site speed is the time it takes for your website to load. A slow website will discourage Google from crawling and indexing your pages. You can improve your site's speed by optimizing your images, using a caching plugin, and minifying your code.
5. Fix Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is content that appears on more than one URL on your website. It can happen if you have different versions of the same page (e.g., http://example.com/page and http://www.example.com/page) or the same content on multiple site pages. Google doesn't like duplicate content because it doesn't know which version of the page to index. As a result, it might not index any pages with the same content. In addition, plagiarism is very similar and will result in your site not being indexed.
Optimize Internal Linking
Internal linking is the process of linking to other pages on your website. It's essential to do this because it helps Google understand the structure of your website and find new pages.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your internal links:
1. Use Keyword-Rich Anchor Text
Anchor text is the text that's used to link to another page. For example, if you're linking to an article about SEO, the anchor text might be SEO tips.
2. Link To Relevant Pages
When you're linking to other pages on your website, ensure they're relevant to the current page. For instance, if you're writing an SEO article, don't link to a page about PPC.
3. Use Descriptive Titles
When you're linking to other pages on your website, use descriptive titles that explain what the page is about. For example, don't just link to a page called Products. Instead, it would be best if the linked page is called Our Products.
4. Don't Overdo It
Too many internal links will make your website look like spam. So, only link to other pages when relevant and add value to the current page.
5. Broken Links
As we mentioned before, broken links are bad for SEO. So, if you're going to link to other pages on your website, ensure they're working correctly first.
Use External Linking
External linking is the process of linking to other websites. It is crucial because it helps Google understand your website and how it fits into the greater online ecosystem.
When performing external linking, follow these tips.
1. Link to High-Quality Websites
When you're linking to other websites, make sure they're high quality and relevant to your website. For instance, if you have a website about SEO, don't link to a website about fishing.
2. Use Keyword-Rich Anchor Text
As we mentioned before, anchor text is the text that's used to link to another page. When using external linking, ensure your anchor text is relevant to the target website.
3. Don't Link To Spam
When you're linking to other websites, ensure they're not spam. If you link to a website full of spam, it will reflect poorly on your website.
If you want your website to be indexed by Google, it needs to be mobile-friendly. There are a few things you can do to make your website mobile-friendly.
1. Use a Responsive Design
A responsive design is when a single website easily adapts to any device's screen size. That means your website will look good on all devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones.
2. Use Large Font Sizes
Your font sizes should be large enough to be easily readable on a small screen.
3. Use Images Wisely
Don't use too many photos on your website; make sure they're optimized for mobile devices.
Google uses a complex algorithm to decide which pages to index and how to rank them. However, you can do a few things to help Google index and rank your website. By following the tips in this article, you're well on your way to gaining success with your SEO campaign. Whether you're just starting or have been at it for a while, these tips will help you improve your website's indexing and ranking.
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