Hey, Nick Ponte here. In my Maui-based digital marketing agency, we love helping small businesses create optimal marketing strategies. I frequently share tips about how to get the most use from Google and their variety of business tools.
As a small local business, you want to aim for a high ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Your ranking improves as Google reads your website’s content through a process called “crawling.” Once a website has been crawled, Google indexes it. That means it takes your content and puts it into the ring to compete for ranking.
How do you know if Google has indexed your website correctly?
Also Read: How Hawaii Businesses Can Use Content Optimization to Improve Search Engine Results
Why Indexing is Important for Hawaii Websites—and Business—Health
First, you need to understand how indexing helps you and why you ought to be concerned with it. Users tend to only pay attention to the first several results that pop up in search engines. If you want to get to the top of SERPs, you’ve got to make sure Google correctly reads and indexes your pages.
When you have optimal indexing, users find you more easily. That results in an increase in web traffic, which improves your visibility. This gives you a greater probability of sales and increased revenue.
How do you get a website indexed? If you add a new page to your site, you don’t have to do anything—assuming your website is already in the index. Since you’ll have links to that new page throughout your website, Google will eventually pick it up.
However, if you want to get it indexed a little faster, there are a few steps you can take to speed up the process.
Also read: Quality SEO Link Building
How to Make Sure Google is Indexing Your Website
Use these tips to make sure Google accurately crawls your website and speed up the process of indexing:
- Build a Site Map
Site maps aren’t just for user site navigation—though that’s certainly helpful to them. They allow your site visitors a quick overview to find what they’re looking for. But they also provide a navigation for Google’s crawl so that it can accurately index your pages and content.
You have a few options when it comes to creating a sitemap. You can manually create one by following XML sitemap code structure. That might seem too technical at first glance, but your sitemap doesn’t actually have to be in XML format. You can build a text file with a list of URLs—just make sure you separate each with a new line. Use Google’s guide for help to set up one manually, or use a tool like Google XML SiteMaps to help automate the process.
Not every site needs a map. However, if you regularly update pages and add new content, it will help Google get a more thorough idea of your website. Plus, it speeds up the process, so your ranks improve at a quicker rate.
- Use Google Search Console
To continue this quicker path to indexing, submit your sitemap to Google from your Google Search Console. From there, run a test to check for errors that could prevent Google from indexing key landing pages. If Google somehow misses those, you could end up ranking lower in relevant searches, even though your content matches key terms.
If you have Google Search Console, request indexing in the URL Inspection section. This benefits you, whether you want to introduce new content, or help Google understand what you already have. Within minutes, Google starts to recognize your content, and it’s searchable. By doing this, you can also look at how Google already sees your site and make any necessary changes to improve it.
- Include Quality Content
f you want to optimize your website for search engines, prioritize quality content. That means you need to keep overall goals and primary keywords in mind as you create the content for your web pages. Make sure you have a basic understanding of on-page SEO, and focus on influencing at a local level with targeted keywords and content that appeals to your ideal consumer.
The more content you add to your site, the more chances Google has to pick up on it. With regularly updated content and web pages, Google will view your site as a trustworthy, authoritative source. This improves your rankings and maintains your high status over time.
Sometimes getting a website primed for successful ranking presents a challenge. My agency optimizes business’s most important pages, so Google knows to push their websites to the top. If you want to learn more or want help, reach out to us today!
Further Reading: 3 Ways to Use New Google Features for Local SEO in 2022
Photos Courtesy of Jelle de Gier, Firmbee.com, & Jakob Owens