WordPress SEO in 5 Minutes – What is Crawlability?

Crawlability is an essential technical consideration for a solid SEO strategy. Many website owners overlook this due to the perceived highly technical nature of the factor. Let’s see what crawlability is and what you can do to improve your site’s crawlability.

What is Crawlability?

To understand this, let’s see how search engines like Google ‘crawl’ websites. They use crawlers or robots (searchbots, bots, or spiders) to look at web pages and follow links on these pages. A crawler collects data from the webpages and saves it to the database or index. A crawler will visit your site whenever you update or make changes to your webpages, and update the changes to the database.

So, what is crawlability? Crawlability is a search engine’s ability to crawl a webpage. It means how easily a crawler can access and crawl the content on a webpage.

Factors affecting crawlability

There are a lot of factors that affect crawlability, here are a few basic ones –

Site Structure – Site structure is crucial for a site’s crawlability. If any of your pages are not linked, Google will not crawl those pages.
Ensure you have a good site structure. Submitting a sitemap to Google increases your site’s crawlability, and also alerts it about any updates you make to your pages.

Internal Links – A crawler finds pages by following links. So, in addition to a good site structure, you should have strong internal linking. A crawler can easily reach pages that are linked from the content on another page.

Improving links between pages ensures content is connected and increases crawlability.

Content – Crawlers visit your site frequently if you regularly update your content. It may surprise people that it isn’t unusual for Google bots to visit your website multiple times a day. When they see fresh content being added regularly, it really gives your search visibility and performance a boost. On the flip side, duplicate content reduces the chances of crawlers visiting your site. Make sure you update existing content, fix duplicate content, and add fresh content to increase crawlability and SEO value.

Page Speed – Crawlers move around 24/7, so they have a crawl budget of how much time they can spend on your site. The faster the pages load, the more number that search engines will be able to crawl.

Technical Factors – Crawlability can be affected by technical factors on your site. A few examples to be aware of – unoptimized codes, redirect loops, hidden links behind uncrawlable elements like frames, forms, plugins.

Crawlability is a basic element of SEO. But for most people, it can be daunting and overly technical. The uninitiated can cause more damage than good, and you can end up blocking webpages unknowingly and hurt your rankings. You need a thorough review and regular maintenance of your site to ensure easy and quick crawlability. You can use tools like Google Search Console to monitor your site or delegate the daily grind to a professional. As a leading Perth SEO and web development agency we are happy to help. Contact us today or email at squad@codesquad.com.au to speak to our SEO experts.

Codesquad is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies.

Today’s Jargon Buster

Crawl Budget – the time that a crawler spends on your site looking at pages.
Index – the database where a crawler stores the data from the pages it has crawled.
Site Structure – the page setup of a site or how pages are linked (connected) to one another.
RedirectLoops – when two pages of a website get redirected to each other, causing the search bots to get caught in a loop.