5 top tips to boost the crawlability and indexability of your site

Nov 4, 2022 by
5 top tips to boost the crawlability and indexability of your site

All the optimisation and incredible content in the world aren’t going to help you if search engines simply can’t find your website and, as we all know, it’s the web crawlers you need to appease if you want any chance of being seen right now.

To ensure you stand the best chance of being seen amongst the literal billions of sites on the internet, you need to know what these sneaky spider bots want and give them exactly that so they will crawl and index your pages as reliably and favourably as possible.

Crawlability and indexability are two sides of the same coin. The former refers to how easily bots can scan your pages and the latter to how easy they are to be indexed. One directly impacts the other, as an uncrawlable site is hard to index, and a page needs to be indexed before it can appear in search results. But how do you optimise your site for these crawlers and indexers?

1. Make your page load faster

It might sound a little strange but try loading up your site and seeing how long it takes. If it takes too long for links to load, then the crawler is going to be less likely to notice it. Figure out what’s causing the lag by using tools such as Google Lighthouse and keep chipping away at it until it loads in milliseconds on both desktop and mobile devices.

2. Strengthen internal links

Backlinks might be the foundation of SEO in many ways, but internal links are what make your site seem more cohesive and organised. It’s your way of guiding users to the pages you think are important and guiding the search engine to the way you wish your site to be indexed. A logical internal structure is a great foundation for any SEO campaign.

3. Submit a sitemap

While Google will get around to crawling your site eventually you can expedite the process by submitting a sitemap to the Google Search Console every time significant changes have been mapped. This allows Google to learn about numerous pages at the same time and is particularly useful if you have a very deep site or add new content regularly.

4. Robots.txt

This is the text file located in your site’s root directory that informs crawlers how you would prefer your site to be crawled and is a great way to direct bot traffic and limit which pages are indexed, and which are not. Of course, this is a file that is not to be tampered with if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing but if you have someone on your team that understands what a robots.txt file is and how it works, get them to look over it occasionally.

5. Check canonical tags

These tags work to consolidate several URLs into a single URL, which allows search engines to index the pages you want and skip duplicates and outdated pages. Use a URL inspection tool to scan for duplicate or old tags and remove them so Google doesn’t end up indexing the wrong pages and directing traffic to pages that are no longer relevant.