A Website without an SEO Foundation is Pretty Much Useless (Series 1 of 3, The Importance of Site Maps and Indexing)
Millions of dollars are spent each year to redesign websites. And yes having an esthetically designed website is better than having a website that is not attractive but if there is not a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) foundation included than Fuhgeddaboutdit. And commit to paying Google Adwords a large amount of money to become visible. More money than the budget needed for the SEO foundation. A foundation that will have a longer shelf life than your immediate results from your Google ad spend.
Yet so many folks ignore the need for SEO. Why? Well SEO is scary. Lets face it. You don’t know what you don’t know. And SEO is paradoxical discipline. It based on constant principles yet it’s constantly changing. It is one of those skills that is best left to an expert. A lot goes on behind the scenes and requires correct—and immediate—reaction. With SEO, unless you have timely knowledge and swift strategic response, you quickly become roadkill.
We want our sites crawled and crawling a site means following a path. This is why XML sitemaps are so important. Sitemaps contain all of the information and links so Google’s bots can easily take a deeper look at your pages. Numerous tools and plugins exist to create XML sitemaps for your site, for example, to easily create a sitemap visit https://www.xml-sitemaps.com. The goal of the XML-Sitemap.com website is to let you create a “free” XML sitemap (up to 500 pages) that can be submitted to Google, Bing and other search engines so they can easily crawl your website.
“Crawlers” discover pages on your website and depending how these pages score, a determination is made if they should be “indexed” and where they should be “ranked” in the index of any given keyword. It can take as little as 4 days and up to 6 months for a site to be crawled by Google and attribute authority to the domain. Many, many factors are taken into consideration as new content is published and how quickly it will be indexed by Google.
To improve your site crawling:
- Create a sitemap and submit it to the search engines
- Submit an individual URL to Google
- Get your page linked to by another page that Google already knows about
To improve your page indexing:
- Use a healthy amount of text rather than being heavy on images
- Create short, meaningful page titles
- Use page heading that convey the subject of the page
Review and ensure the list of items above is complete. Then stay tuned next week when we post information about H1, H2, H3 tags. In the meantime if you want to speak to an SEO Strategist connect with us today.