Getting Google to notice your website’s content and increase your crawl rate can feel like a game you can’t win. However, it’s not a game of chance. Instead, there are concrete steps you can take to increase your crawl rate.
Here are a few tips for increasing the Google crawl rate of your site.
Submit an XML Sitemap
This is one of the most important steps you can take when optimizing for crawl rate. Creating and submitting a sitemap to Google gives the bots a clear path to follow when investigating your content. This is especially important if your site is new or large.
Submitting a sitemap gives you more control to prioritize certain pages over other less important ones. This allows the crawlers to move more quickly through optimized, relevant content that you want to be indexed and ranked.
Upgrade Website and Server Response
We all know the frustration that comes from attempting to access a site that loads slowly. Even automated systems like crawlers don’t have all day to comb through your site. If your server has a slow response time or your site is weighed down with high-resolution images, the bots won’t be able to spend their time on the content that matters.
If your website’s pages have already been optimized for speed but you’re still having trouble with crawl rate, make sure to check your server’s response time. Even if your site is up to speed, a slow server will bog down Google’s crawlers.
Update Content Frequently
Google is interested in relevant content, is up to date, and answers searchers’ questions. Updating content regularly shows that you are an active site and worth paying attention to.
Along with creating brand new SEO-optimized content, updating your current content can also be a helpful strategy. Research current keywords on your topic and make changes necessary to increase your chances of getting crawled and ranked well.
Using internal links to connect your content is another smart way to give Google a roadmap to follow when crawling your site. This helps to lead crawlers from your main pages to more quality content deeper within your site. It can also boost your site authority, giving Google another reason to rank you higher in the SERPs.
While you’re at it, take some time to review your current internal and external links. Broken links, redirects, and links to low-ranking, low-quality sites will severely hinder your crawl rate.
Avoid Duplicating Content
It can be challenging to come up with new ideas for content. It’s easy enough to create pages that are very similar to each other unintentionally. Some sites do this purposefully to manipulate their rankings, but it usually backfires and creates an underwhelming user experience.
To avoid duplicate content,
- Consolidate similar pages. If you have multiple pages of content with a lot of the same information, consolidate the pages into one, reformat, and repost.
- After tidying up your site, use 301 redirects to clear the way for users and Google’s bots to access your updated content.
- Monitor syndicated material. While syndicated content can improve your organic traffic, you must note which page is getting indexed. If your content is featured on a high-profile site, it can backfire as bots index that site while your website is left behind. Make sure to discuss your plan with your syndication partner ahead of time.
If you have pages with many visuals, take the time to optimize those visuals for crawlers. Including alt text gives Google’s crawlers language to understand how to interpret your images and their relevance to index your content correctly.
Any SEO endeavor takes time and patience to see results. Conducting research, evaluating your current content, and implementing best practices will continue to move you toward your goals. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and in due time you will see your crawl rates increase and your rankings improve.