According to research, 53% of the total traffic (1) on your website can come from organic searches. However, since the algorithm changes often, so does the ranking of your content on Google.
One day, your website is at the top of Google’s first page, and with the next update, you’re on the fifth page simply because Google has tweaked its algorithm. So, what can you do to get Google to fall back in love with your website? You can either wait for it to happen over time -which can take months – if at all. Or you can proactively make website updates to ensure your website is in Google’s good graces. We’ll explain the second approach in this article.
First – What if Your Entire Website isn’t Indexed?
If your whole website is not indexed, it’s likely because of a crawl block. The block is in your robots.txt.file. Here’s how to fix it:
- Type com/robots.txt.
- Look for one of the two code snippets:
- Remove this snippet to let Google crawl your website.
Likewise, if Google is not indexing a specific page in your website, a crawl block might be the reason.
- Go to Google Search Console and select the inspection tool.
- Paste the URL of the webpage in the tool.
- Click the ‘Coverage’ block.
- In the details displayed on the screen, check for the following error: “Crawl allowed? No: blocked by robots.txt”.
- If the error exists, check the robots.txt file and remove any ‘disallow’ rules.
How to Update Your Old Blogs to Get Re-Indexed and Crawled?
When it comes to old content, you can either let it be, delete it, or update it. We’d suggest going with the last option since it helps you reap the results of your former SEO efforts and keeps your site relevant.
Here are some ways to update your old blog:
- To your older posts: Keep them up to date. Also, longer content seems better for SEO,(3) more shareable and engaging.
- Reoptimize for Keywords: If your blog post is five years old, the keywords you used then may not be relevant now. Use one of Google’s keyword planners (4) to find the current pertinent keywords and use them in your updated content.
- Interlink: Interlinking (5) helps get more views on your older or less-read posts, along with spreading link equity or ranking power around your website. It also creates an information hierarchy on your site, allowing the reader to navigate easily.
- Add New Content Formats: Visual content marketing wasn’t as popular five years ago as it is today. There was a 5% increase in visual content (6) use from 2018 to 2019. So, if your old blogs only have text, spice them up with videos or images.
- Update Expired Content: Your older content may not be indexing anymore simply because the promotion/event may have expired since you published a blog about it. Go through your old posts and update what should stay, what should be updated, and what needs to go to make it easy to index for Google’s bot.
Get Google to Recrawl the Updated Content
Once you’ve made the updates, you can ask Google to recrawl your content by requesting it. If you’ve made changes to a blog post, you can request for recrawl by following the steps given below:
- Make sure you’re compliant with the general guidelines. (7)
- Use the URL Inspection tool to inspect the URL.
- Then, click on Request Indexing. It will run a live test on your URL and queue it for indexing. If there are any issues on the page, you need to fix them, as shown by the tool.
However, if you want to submit multiple URLs, you need to create a sitemap. (8) Once you’ve done that, wait for a few days – or weeks – since crawling can take some time, depending on the number of URLs you submitted.
You can check the status of your request in the Index Status Report. (9)
How to Make Your Website Google-Friendly?
If you want to get fresh views on your old content or rank higher in the search results, here are some tips to consider.
According to Google Search Central (10), Google started “mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search)” from July 1, 2019.
For older websites, Google informs the website owners about when their site goes to mobile-first indexing in the Search Console. Google has a detailed guide on optimizing sites for mobiles since over 90% of the world’s population uses phones to access the web.
You can use the Mobile-Friendly Test (11)to check if a specific web page is optimized sufficiently for mobile devices.
Use Proper Tags
Google is only able to follow links with a certain format, as shown below:
- <a href=”https://example.com”>
- <a href=”/relative/path/file”>
On the other hand, if the link looks something like: <span href=” https://example.com”>, Google will not follow it. So, make sure your links have the proper tags and attributes.
Optimize for Voice Search
If your website is not optimized for voice search, you have missed out on 111.8 million people in the US who use voice search on Google. More importantly, Bright Local reports that 53% of the consumers use voice search to find local businesses.
It’s even more vital to note that of all the voice searches made in a day, 46% are for local businesses. Thus, as a small or medium business, you’re losing customers if your website is not voice-optimized.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Focus on conversational keywords since Google now uses natural language processing to show searchers top results.
- Include inquisitive words like ‘how,’ ‘where,’ and ‘when.’ Also, focus on comparative keywords, such as ‘top-rated and ‘best.’
- Make sure you answer the questions – containing the keywords mentioned above – most likely to be asked by a prospective customer on your website.
One of the best ways to revive your old content is to add high-quality pictures since Google’s latest algorithm loves visuals.
According to Google Consumer Survey, 50% of online shoppers make a decision based on the images. Therefore, good images can make or break your website’s ranking. Along with adding clear and non-blurry images, you should also focus on the following data:
More importantly, define your image using a well-written alt text. Google uses alt text to understand the image’s subject matter. Google suggests using “information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the page’s content.”
Here are three examples to understand the difference:
- Bad: <img src=”puppy.jpg”/> (there’s no alt text)
- Good: <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy”/>
- Best: <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”Dalmatian puppy playing fetch”/>
Speed Up Your Website
Your website should load in under four seconds since websites with websites that take five seconds to load have a 38% bounce rate. (12) Moreover, every one in four visitors will abandon your site if it takes over four seconds to load.
Google’s algorithm also focuses immensely on fast-loading websites, especially the ones with quick-loading images. If you have a ton of images – typical for e-commerce sites – use responsive image techniques (13) to speed up your website.
Google shows the AMP logo in front of pages that load quickly. If you have an image host page that displays in Google Images, consider turning it into an AMP to load your site quickly and retain more visitors.
You can check your website’s speed using PageSpeed Insights (14) and make changes accordingly.
Remove Broken Links
Broken links or 404 errors affect your SEO negatively and drive visitors away from your page. Use plugins like Broken Links Checker (15) to detect broken links in a WordPress site. You can then remove or fix these links.
Google’s algorithm changes frequently, and it will continue to do so. If you want Google to stay in love with your website long-term, you will need to remain committed to making those necessary updates when the time comes. But for now, the tips mentioned in this guide will help you keep your relationship in good graces with Google.
CMG can help you navigate your Digital Marketing Needs Give us a call.