Crawlability refers to how effectively Google spiders can crawl or browse your site for indexing.
Poor crawlability means slow indexation time and also loss in rankings.
If your business is reliant on SEO, then it's high time for you to optimize your website keeping crawlability in mind.
Search engines like Google, follow the hyperlinks on the web to crawl and index the content all around the internet. While doing so, it'll rank the indexed content to the keywords keeping around 200 ranking factors in mind.
So how to boost crawlability of your website?
Tips to boost crawlability of your site
The below tips helps you make sure that Google crawls every part of your site in the best possible way.
Build backlinks to internal pages
If you are building backlinks only to the homepage of your site, you are committing a huge mistake. You need to also build links to the internal pages of your site.
If you have more backlinks pointing to the internal pages than your blog's homepage, then your backlink profile natural. Because, natural backlinks are often earned to the internal content pages.
Here are the benefits of linking to internal pages.
- As you have a link to the homepage in the header of every page, it will also pass some juice to the homepage.
- When your old content, gets fresh backlinks, it'll send a signal to Google that it's still relevant and rank higher.
- Natural link profile.
Internally link related content
Internally link blog posts.
It helps in uniformly spreading ranking power among all the pages on your blog. Thus, it spikes up the DA of the entire site.
Interlinking helps Google in understanding the structure better and also the relation between the content on your blog. It, in turn, boosts up the crawlability of your site.
To help Google better understand the structure, use LSI keywords as anchor texts for your internal links. It helps your posts rank for some related search terms.
Execute content pruning
You need to regularly get rid of old and outdated articles on your blog. If you have blog posts that are getting very low traffic and has no backlinks, you need to either consider merging them with relevant posts or if there are no relevant posts, delete them all together.
Why to do this?
These outdated content negatively influences the reader engagement metrics like bounce rate, average page visit duration, so on.
On the other hand, as there is a search engine crawl budget assigned to your site, you'll end up not allowing the search engine crawlers to crawl the pages that matters to you the post.
Do not use AJAX and flash menus
Once you include AJAX, flash on your site, it decreases the Crawlability. Google can read AJAX and flash, However Google does not like that sort of content. It also causes Crawlability issues with other search engines.
Avoid navigational menus that are AJAX and flash rich. Craft menus that constitute only HTML and CSS.
Link to the pillar articles in your navigational menu. The pillar content normally has internal links to dozens of your blog posts. So linking to pillar articles, helps in passing the homepage ranking juice to your pillar content. And also for all your linked blog posts.
Along with this include an about page, contact us page.
Create an HTML sitemap if you do not have one
Sitemaps help Google in effectively crawling the content. It mainly helps Google to classify the content on your site. Whether it is based on category, tags, whatever. You should include a sitemap in your site.
There are two sorts of Sitemaps. One is XML and another one is HTML sitemap. HTML Sitemaps are both Google and user readable.
One HTML sitemap serves both purposes.
After creating a sitemap, make sure you submit the sitemap in Google webmaster tools.
Boost page speed
Google and other major search engines take the time of site to load completely as a ranking factor.
Sites which load faster, have an edge in rankings over their competitors.
I have already posted about this. You should stress on high page speed.
Google has a limited time. Within that limit, it should crawl your pages (crawl budget). To make room for Google to crawl more pages, you have to improve your page speed.
High page speed is a signal of great user experience. People love to visit fast loading pages. They want the results fast. The focus time of web users is dropping rapidly.
So if you want to offer a great user experience, increasing page speed is a must.
Take care of robots.txt
Robots.txt is a file, that resides in the root directory of your site. It helps inform search engines, what to crawl and what not to crawl.
Your robots.txt should be something like,
User-agent: * Disallow: /wp-admin/
But not like,
User-agent: * Disallow: /
The above indicates not to crawl your entire site!
Remember you should disallow only admin pages of your site.
If you are facing any indexing issues on your site, then do check your robots.txt file once.
You can do this with the help of WP Robots plugin for WordPress. The feature is also bundled with WordPress SEO plugin under “Edit files” sections.
If you want to fill up, then use this tool.
Avoid 404 error pages and internal server errors
The 404 errors mean that the requested page cannot be found on the server. It can be caused, due to deleted blog posts or changed permalinks.
You can keep an eye on these broken links using some WordPress plugins. This sort of plugins is known as resource hogs. So, note that these broken link monitoring plugins, when used in shared hosting environments lead to lots of problems.
Make sure that your hosting provider is maintaining 100% uptime of your site. In case, if you use services like Cloudflare, make sure that your blog's not returning error 522.
Broken pages make search spiders stop crawling your site. It breaks the internal linking strategy of yours.
Up to you
Increasing the crawlability of your site makes sure that Google indexes each page of your site. Indexing is the first step towards gaining search rankings, right?
What are you waiting for? Go ahead, speed up your site. Internally link your blog posts. Fix broken links.