One of the fundamental tenants of SEO is content, and if you’ve been browsing our blogs or reading up on a few digital marketing strategies, you’ll know that content is one of the biggest factors of ranking your website. But how do you know if all of the precious pages you’re adding to your website are actually being considered? The process of search engine robots scanning your website and taking the pages into consideration is called “indexing”. From there the on-page ranking factors are analyzed – anything from H tags to meta descriptions, keyword density, linking etc.. But it will never get to that point if there is no initial index, and without the index, your pages will never rank.
An initial test you can do is in a Google search. To see which pages are being noticed right off the bat, do the following search format below:
This will give you a good indication of what is being picked up. If your site wasn’t indexed whatsoever, it is likely you wouldn’t have a single result.
Indexing is a complicated process initiated by search engine bots in order to proper archive pages according to their subject matter and to group along with similar sites. Their valuation comes next.
At first glance from this technique, it may seem like everything is being indexed properly. But we won’t take this method as the final say. A more technical and concise approach is using Google Webmaster Tools to assist with your indexing. There are many reasons that some of the pages on your site may not be indexed – anything from site architecture that is convoluted to a robot.txt that invalidates some pages, to load times on pages due to media preventing an index.
Make sure you have Google Webmaster Tools installed on your site, and then do the following:
- Check if there are any crawl errors. If the DNS or robots.txt fetch files have errors, feel free to contact us. We’ve seen many reasons for this happening, so this has been an exploratory situation in many cases.
- On the site dashboard, check Google Index, then Index Status
Here you can see a healthy increase in pages being added to this particular website. If you have a flat-line, or are adding pages to the site but the index total is actually decreasing, you have some problems on your site.
If you don’t have a sitemap on your site, this is definitely a situation where you’d want one. You can submit it on webmaster tools directly by going to Crawl on the Site Dashboard, and then Sitemaps. Learn more about sitemaps in the blog we wrote about them. Sitemaps are beneficial in that they assist search engines in discovering and crawling all of the pages and posts on your website. A well-structured sitemap submitted to Google Webmaster Tools ensures that they will expedite the most accurate and up-to-date search results when using keywords associated with the content on your page or post.
Remember, you’re spending a lot of time on getting quality content on your site. It is imperative to follow up and see if it is getting noticed. If you’re still not entirely sure if all of the content on your website is getting indexed, email or call one of our SEO experts at Market My Market for a free marketing consultation.