Indexability is SEO jargon. Simply it refers to how easy it is for people to find things on your website. In practice it is usually applied to search engine spiders – the robots which search the internet finding new websites and then indexing them within the search engine’s web (network). This post covers the basics of making your site indexable for SEO and creating a good structure for user experience.
People use search engines such as Google to find information. A simple signal of a bad site is bad structure, if you can’t find what you are looking for then you won’t be satisfied with a search result. If Google wasn’t accurate it wouldn’t have its massive user base.
In 2016 cheating the system has no real space in SEO. It’s all about your users the best experience. So I will explain this from a user’s point of view.
My blog deals with several categories, currently they are:
- On Page SEO
- Off Page SEO
- Pay Per Click
- Social Media
Somebody looking for advice on social media may want to find topics on Facebook and Twitter, but it is unlikely that they would want to find information on pay per click marketing. Likewise somebody looking for specifically on page SEO tricks wouldn’t want topics to do with social media muddying their results. This is why it is important from an end user perspective to have a well indexed site.
The Site Map
Indexability is also largely what on site SEO is about. A very simple tweak you can make to your website is to ensure that nothing would take more than two clicks to get to from your homepage – this sounds like an ideal but it can easily be achieved easily with a site map. Google has a great article about why sitemaps are important and I would advise reading this before continuing.
A good sitemap makes it easy to see how well you categorise your website – for yourself, your users and also for search engine spiders. You should identify what it is that your business does and categorise where appropriate so separate topics stay separate. When search engines are crawling the website they like all content in each category to target similar themes and keywords making them appear more relevant.
This section refers to a user focused site map rather than an XML sitemap for search engine spiders which is explained later.
Indexability of Deep Content
Don’t forget about the content that is deep within the sitemap. as stated earlier you should try and avoid having content to many layers or clicks in from the homepage.
Google is less likely to list your deep content. Google doesn’t like deep content or long URLs so for indexability deep content is best avoided. If you really can’t find any way of avoiding having it then generate lots of links to this content. Otherwise nobody will ever read or benefit from it however I will stress again, it is best avoided.
From a search engine’s perspective everything should be organised so it is easier for real people to find the content on the site. For a small website with a blog your URL’s should look something like this:
But if you have a larger website you might consider doing something more like:
The important bit is categorising your website so that as you get deeper the keywords you are targeting become more uniform. So in the above example my home page may be targeted for six different main keywords one of which is SEO, the sub category could be on page SEO and then the article could be how indexability benefits SEO.
Google, as a robot, understands a logical structure. If your website is a mess you may still get indexed but you won’t rank well. Indexability is a very important part of on site SEO.
Indexability relates to on page SEO, which relates to what my website does. On the same layer of the site as this article I could have for example a guide about on page SEO best practice and Google should understand the two topics are linked..
To this end remember don’t create content for no reason and don’t add layers to your website just as a way of keyword stuffing your content. This is cheating and search engine algorithms will see straight through this. Your end user doesn’t want to trawl through pages and pages of categories with no content and neither do search engines. URLs are a great place to put keywords and keeping your site well categorised is vital for good on page SEO. Just remember.
- Design each layer of your webpage with keywords in mind
- Avoid very deep content but network and link as much as you can to your deepest content
- Create a site map for search engine crawlers
- Use your site map to see if your site has the most logical structure – is everything in the right place?
- Keep it simple
Follow the advice given in this article and you will have a well laid out site making it easier for users to find what they need and also for search engines to index your content.
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