Has your site been stuck on page 2 or 3 of Google’s search engine results pages (SERP)? Or, worse yet is it foundering in the great beyond of pages 4 through oblivion? Well that could be based on how Google is crawling your site.
Maybe you’ve managed to tweak your site and get it onto page 1, but you can never seem to nudge it into the top 5 results.
In all of these cases, a quick focus on both your on-page search engine optimization (SEO), content, and your site’s craw-ability will boost your rankings, and may even push you into the top three spots on page 1.
What is Crawling?
Crawling is a term for how search engines read a website. They send out bots that search or “crawl” through the content, internally, of every site on the web. The exact pathways are unknown, as Google never reveals all, but the basics are well established.
The good news is that many of the ways your site is crawled by Google are similar to how it’s read by your human visitors.
The bad news is that technical issues need to be turned over to a professional because they are complicated.
If you build a site that is easy for humans to read, Google will favor your website. In the early days of Google domination, a common theme was that Google liked to give a site the Grandma Test. Could the average grandmother navigate your website without becoming confused and frustrated.
This is still a good measure. And one of the ways to make your business’ site more Grandma ready is to increase interlinking.
- Link internally on your site, from page to page
- Make sure your home page is easy to find no matter where on the site the user is – no more than two clicks, one is preferable
- Link to all email, phone numbers, and contact methods
Think of interlinks like tiny bridges. If your site is a huge park with lots of paths, small streams, islands of grassy land, it can become easy for someone to get lost. But, if you install enough bridges with good directions, it will be easier to find one’s way home.
The easier it is for Google Bot to crawl your site with well-placed interlinks, the higher it will rank your site. Good interlink pathways increases the number of pages the bot will crawl, increasing your Page Rank.
Detours Wreck Rankings
Do you hate driving through traffic then being forced into a detour without much direction for an alternate route? So does Google Bot.
Broken Links, 404 Errors (page not found) and dead-end links frustrate the bot, and your users. If you have 404’s fix them with good re-directs. Use Google Webmaster Tools to scan your site for broken links. Find them and either delete them or have them fixed with a re-direct.