There is a very common mistake among bloggers and website owners: they believe in Google’s power to automatically detect new sites and list them in its results. So, they do nothing to affect the process of indexing.
Google is effective in delivering search results; there’s no doubt about it. However, it won’t automatically list websites every time. It’s important to get your site on Google ASAP, so you should take few steps towards quicker indexing.
What Is Website Indexing?
Google sends its bots (spiders) to crawl sites and detect content updates. These bots grab information from the page, so when people search for something related, Google includes the page in its results. That’s called web indexing.
When you develop a site, it’s not just about publishing what your target audience wants to see. It’s about providing information to Google, so the search engine will know you offer something the audience appreciates.
Why is indexing important? If you want to get visitors to your website, you want Google to take them there. For that reason, you can’t put your hopes in automated indexing. You want your site re-indexed all the time. As the spiders crawl your site, you want to inform them that you have fresh, relevant content there.
There are few steps to that process:
1) Preparing Content For Your Site
First and foremost, you need something to be indexed. Back in the days, this step was all about keyword stuffing. But Google’s spiders got more sophisticated, so they will quickly label you as a spammer if you use too many keywords.
To achieve successful indexing, you’ll still target keywords with your content. You’ll also use other SEO elements, such as social signals, inbound links, and especially meta tags.
But the search engine is mostly concerned about user experience. Through the content, you want to engage the users by keeping them at the website, triggering conversions, and getting comments and shares. Those signals tell the spiders that your page is useful for the audience.
The spiders will process the content, mega tags, and alt image attributes.
This is the most important thing to remember: your web pages have to be mobile-ready. Google’s indexing system sets the mobile version of your WordPress site as a priority.
This is part of the announcement on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, from March 2018: “We are notifying sites that are migrating to mobile-first indexing via Search Console. Site owners will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot. Additionally, Google will show the mobile version of pages in Search results and Google cached pages.”
2) Creating And Sending A Sitemap
You want to make the crawling process easy for the bots, so they will index data more efficiently. You can tell them what’s at your website and how often they should come back to check for new content.
The sitemap has a list of the entire content featured at your site.
You can use a WP plugin like Yoast SEO to create and manage sitemaps.
3) Checking Your Site In The Google Search Console
You use Google Analytics for your WordPress site, right? You need to set up Google Search Console. This is a feature that helps you check your presence in Google Search results. It also helps you to maintain and troubleshoot the site’s status.
It’s also smart to use a separate website status checker. Still, you need Google’s Search Console because you’ll submit the site map there.
Here’s how to set up the Console:
- Go to the Admin section in your Google Analytics.
- Choose Property Settings under the Property column.
- Scroll down and you’ll find the button Adjust Search Console.
- You’ll get into the Search Console Settings. Just click Add.
- Now add the site to the Console, and you’re done.
4) Sending Your Sitemap To Google
The sitemap doesn’t have a direct impact on the rankings. However, it affects the speed and effectiveness of spiders when they crawl your website. You want them to grab information ASAP, so they will index the new pages without delays.
Once you’re done creating the map, you need to submit it to Google Search Console.
- Go to Search Console.
- You’ll see the option Crawl in the menu on the left. Click on it.
- Choose Sitemaps from this menu.
- Now, you’ll see the Add/Test Sitemap button. If you want to add a sitemap, just paste its URL.
Tips to Prepare Your Website For Indexing
What we covered above were technicalities. But we also said that when bots crawl your site, they are after user experience. There are lots of things you can do about that.
1) Mind The Site’s Social Media Presence
Whenever you publish new content at the website, share it across social media. The site needs presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
When you stretch the presence of your site across social media, the indexation process will be quicker. Google indexes social media content, too. If people react to your shares on these platforms, they send signals to the search engine that your content is important.
But it’s not just about sharing links to your site. It’s about building strong social media presence and engaging the users there.
2) Attract More Comments
When you share a new page to social media, invite people to check it out and engage them to in a discussion. This is a contribution to the content. You don’t want any spam there, since the bots will index it.
If you share Facebook comments on your website, you should know that the bots index them, too. This means that you want more comments, but you should also manage them more diligently than ever before.
3) Participate In Online Forums
Forums like Reddit and Q&A sites like Quora are great for distributing links to your WordPress site. You want to offer high-quality content on these forums and attract visitors from there.
But when you share your links there, Google’s bots will scan them. So that’s an additional effort to get the page quickly indexed.
4) Invest In Guest Posting
When there are many high-quality links taking visitors to your website, Google will index your website faster. All bloggers and website owners should invest time and effort in guest posting, especially when their projects are new.
Whenever you publish a new page, you want posts from other blogs to link to it. That gives you a higher chance of getting found and indexed by the bots.
5) Get Reviews
Do not be afraid of user experience. If you do everything well, the reviews will be great. Invite people to share impressions about your site and the brand’s products and services. Google indexes and showcases reviews in the search results.
Getting your site crawled and indexed ASAP is important. You can’t just publish content and wait for the bots to do their thing. You need to publish the right type of content, tell the bots your sitemap was updated, and take few additional steps to speed up the indexing process.
Fortunately, all those steps are easy. You already know what to do!