Digital Marketing is not only about finding a great writer and figuring out what the audience demands. There are several technical elements to ensure that your content is successful. One such important factor involves finding out how many people are actually able to locate the webpage with your published content. This is where we introduce the term “crawlable” with respect to Search Engine Optimization.
Eliminate Mess from your Website
Before we proceed, what exactly does “crawlable” mean? The “optimization” bit of the SEO acronym is actually what crawling stands for. Crawler bots (also known as spiders) help the search engines to add web pages to their indexes.
“Crawlable” means every link within your website can be discovered and fetched by search engine spiders. Spiders or web crawling bots are programs that determine which sites and how many pages of those sites are to be crawled and fetched. These are sent out by search engines to locate and re-visit content (web pages, images, video, pdf files, etc). In case a spider is unable to follow a link, then the destination page will either not be included at all, or exist in the search engine’s database but not be included in the universe of web pages available to search results.
Spiders are used by search engines to retrieve publicly accessible web pages for indexing, and they can also be used to check for links to web pages that no longer exist. Search engine indexes are full of words and their locations on the web pages. Now, to have good search traffic, you first need to have your web pages in that warehouse full of words and locations.
The way that spiders weave their webs begins with visiting your main website and then following every single hyperlink you have there. Following the hyperlinks, the spiders add each webpage’s content to the search engine index – so broken links are a huge no-no. You want your content to be crawlable.
Guidelines to a Good URL Construction
Follow these tips to achieve a good URL for your website:
● Put yourself in user’s place – Think from the user’s point of view and look at your URL. Make the URL appropriately descriptive and yet compact, easy and accurate to predict the content on your page. The URL should be fully visible in search results and easy to be copied. Though description is important, just remember that the shorter, the better.
● Keywords should be used appropriately – If your web page targets a specific term or topic, include it in the URL as a keyword. But do not use too many keywords as it results in less usable URLs.
● Human-Readable URLs – Instead of going overboard with parameters, numbers, and symbols, make use of actual terms which can be interpreted by people. Dynamic parameters are great but they may lead to overall lower ranking and indexing.
● Use hyphens to separate words – Hyphen characters are a better option than using underscores (_), plus signs (+) or spaces (%20) to separate words in a URL since not all websites can actually interpret these separators.
Usage of Keywords
A successful content strategy entails of achieving a proper combination of sharing content as well as getting the appropriate search traffic in correspondence. Usage of keywords is extremely important since it will enable you to know what people are looking up.
In order to maintain good search traffic, you will first have to make sure that you are working with the right keywords and you have full knowledge that which ones are your areas of focus. Once that is done, you have to gather some quality content and focus on making the website reachable and crawlable.
Guidelines to Usage of Images
● Refrain from putting up large images that block up unnecessary space. When required, use images for graphics but keep most of the text in HTML.
● Use alt text to describe images. You do this in the source code.
● Use descriptive filenames.
● Give a proper caption to each image.
How to Make Web Pages Crawlable
Some important steps to make your web page crawlable are listed below:
● Quick accessibility – Make sure that the most important links are three clicks or less away from the homepage. Make the clicks as shallow as possible. The most important pages that you want people to visit should be easily navigable so that you do not have to face insufficient crawling.
● Meta content is important – Search engine result pages (SERPs) show people Meta titles, descriptions and tags among first things when a particular content is searched upon. Meta titles are tiny and searchable themselves. They help you to create the first impression, give an overall idea about the content on your site and help you to increase the crawlability of your content.
● Fix broken links – Spiders track every individual hyperlink on the website. Hence, you do not want any broken links or orphaned/ inaccessible pages. Make sure that the hyperlink goes exactly where it is supposed to go and there are not any pages that cannot be accessed from your homepage, sitemap or any other part of your website.
● Clean up all the junk – Instead of having a tangled and messy website, clean up all the unused or junk URLs so that you do not put yourself at the risk of being ignored by the search engines or being ineffectively crawled. Whenever new content is added to your site, the XML file should be updated.
● Fix them or dump them – The 404 or 4XX pages? Either fix them or dump them. Get rid of pages that are not eventually working. Huge number of redirects, orphaned pages, and pages that do not index make up a cluttered sitemap and result in a bad outcome for SERPs
● HTML sitemap pages should be created within 100 or fewer text links to important pages on your site. Sites larger than 100 pages can have more than one sitemaps to keep it all organized.
● Create alternative navigation with text links elsewhere on the web page, either in the footer and/or in breadcrumb navigation.
● If you are creating a new website, make sure that the web developers design and plan your website not only for its proper functionality, an easy user interface, and maintenance but also for search engines. Hiring an efficient SEO from the very beginning of a website project will save you a lot of time and money.
● Provide search engines with an XML sitemap list of all the URLs from your website that you would like crawled. This does not guarantee all URLs will be included, but it can supplement what search engine spiders find on their own. There are also useful reporting options.
● Allow inbound links from authoritative websites to your homepage as well as to important (and linkable) content within the site. In order to make it easy for customers and spiders to reach all areas of the site easily, cross-link with anchor text between pages.
Search engine results are mostly affected by usage of keywords as well as how often your content is linked. Following the above precautions and tips will definitely help to ensure that your website and the content on your website is crawlable.