Writing content is one thing and getting it noticed by your audience is another. The bridge that covers this gap in majority of the cases is the search engine.
So how to ensure that your content is discovered and indexed by Google (and other search engines)?
This post covers the top 10 foolproof ways to improve Google’s crawl rate of your new content. Let’s start from bottom to top:
10. Social Sharing – by no means this is a great signal to Google. However, it’s wise to have your Social networking accounts linked to your CMS so your content automatically is shared when you publish it. There is a separate life for the posts published in your social networks that lives on its own. Which also leads to links from those websites to your blog and thus an increased crawl rate to your website.
9. Canonical – as long as you have unique content in its own unique permalink, you are good to go. But if you have multiple links leading to the same content, then you must have a Canonical version explicitly declared. You can do that by using canonical URLs.
8. Submit and Verify your website – submitting a website to Google is NOT the same as verifying it. I have already written a detailed post on this process on my another blog at The Key Ponderer here.
7. Sitemap – sitemap is an optional thing – as long as your site is really well structured. But with the usage of plugins like Yoast, it’s a cake walk to create a sitemap. However, you must submit the sitemap to Google in order for it to efficiently crawl your website. This shows how your site is structured. But having the sitemap will definitely boost the crawl success rate. Ideally, you can submit the sitemap through your Google Search Console once a week – depending on how frequently you update the site. Otherwise, even once per month is also OK.
6. Robots – having a carefully constructed Robots.txt file can really help in increasing the portions of your website getting crawled by the search bots. This, on the other hand, can seriously affect your crawling rate too – so exercise caution here. There are some pretty neat and useful guides from Google themselves on this subject – so refer those before you start editing that robots.txt file of yours.
5. Less plugins – obvious one! But it’s so tempting to install and test that fancy plugin. Happens all the time. Before you install another plugin, check if you REALLY need that. More than your need, see if your user REALLY needs that. If yes, and if it adds to the security or speed of your site, then fine. Or else, I highly recommend avoiding any more plugins than the basic ones for your WordPress site. This is because, the number of plugins loading every time on your site is directly related to the speed of your website loading time. Less the plugins, means less the loading time and that is good news to your visitors.
4. Regular Updates – as you can see a pattern now, all the metrics given in this post are quite related in some way or the other. More importantly, most of the metrics are directly dealing with making the visitor’s experience better. Of course, updating your site regularly takes 4th place for a reason – nobody wants to stay or come visit to a site that wasn’t updated in the last one year!
3. Interlinking – one of the common methods of indexing and knowing the other pages of your site is through links found from one page to another – a natural flow of information within your pages – more so on inter-related pages than random linking to other pages of your site. Beware that Google is still a bot but not a brainless one. So link to other posts and pages of your blog but only with relevance. Or else, that can even attract a penalty from Google.
2. Site Speed – I gladly repeated this to reiterate and make the point! Ensure your loading time is less than 2 or 1 second. Or else your visitors may not stick around. It’s a great and hard step to master, but a vital one – and it’s possible too. Site speed takes the 2nd place only next to well, users!
1. Users – at the end of the day, your website or blog exists for just one reason – to serve or help your users to get entertained/learn something/get helped. Whatever action you take on your blog, keep your users in mind, always! This can drastically improve the chances of better and effective crawling of your site by the Google bots, because Google loves traffic. The more the organic traffic to your site, the more frequent your site gets crawled and indexed and thus displayed on the first pages of SERPs.
Go… make something happen!