Not seeing your website show up on Google’s search results can be frustrating for any small business owner. One of the things that could be causing your frustration is that your website is not indexed correctly by Google and other search engines.
When a new website is created or existing web content is added or updated on the internet, it needs to get found by companies that provide search engine services, most notably Google. Before your company’s website can have success “showing up” in the results of an online search, you have to be properly indexed by these search engines. Because Google is used for over 70% of searches, we’ll focus on how they index, why it’s important, and provide a few tips if your site is not indexed the way you’d like it to be.
How your website gets indexed
Google indexes web content with a web crawler (automated software application) called Googlebot. Googlebot is constantly discovering new and updated content on the internet. When a website is crawled, Google places it in different indexes to be accessed during a Google search. The webpage’s URLs, page titles, and meta data are separated and stored into a set of indexes to be used in generic, broad, or competitive searches. While “on-page” content is stored in different indexes for more specific or “long tail searches.” Although it’s tough to verify, there’s believed to be over 30 trillion webpages in the Google index, all categorized and ready to be accessed and delivered for a user’s search result in under a second.
Why it’s important for a website to be indexed correctly
It’s important for a website or web content to be indexed properly so that Google understands who would find value in viewing that webpage or content. Think of your webpage as a product in a grocery store. When deciding where to put your product, you’d want to make sure it was in an aisle near similar or complementary products. When someone asks a clerk where the peanut butter is, he/she will tell them aisle 12, halfway down, on the left. If that someone asks more specifically, where the JIF® Peanut Butter is located, the answer will be similar, but not exactly the same. Aisle 12, halfway down, on the left, top shelf. Let’s say the person inquiring didn’t know what peanut butter was, they may ask for a spreadable, creamy product made from peanuts. After an eye roll for the ages, the clerk would still give directions to aisle 12. Now, if your brand’s peanut butter is in aisle 10, you’ve got problem.
Tips to help get your website or content properly indexed with Google
Google’s goal is to get its user the most relevant, valuable information based on the terms and words entered into the search engine. The proper indexing of your website or other web content helps them achieve this goal. Here are some tips:
- Set up Google Search Console and submit a XML site map. Sending this file helps Google crawl your site more efficiently.
- Make sure your Google directory listing is accurate though your company’s Google My Business account.
- Use page titles and meta data that clearly communicate what your webpage is about.
- Utilize H1 and H2 tags to organize the information on your page.
- Have quality content and copywriting to engage the end user in the searched topic. Google’s goal is to deliver quality content for its users, anything your website can do to support that, is a good thing.
Having a website that shows up on a Google search can have a dramatic impact on your small business. Making sure your web content is indexed properly should just be one small tactic in your SEO strategy, but nonetheless an important one. If your customers are being directed to aisle 12 and your product is in aisle 10, Give us a call. Let’s see what we can do about it.