For websites, ranking on Google is a priority. After all, your site pages are no good if people searching for your products and services don’t see them. If you’re having trouble getting Google to show your pages in search results, chances are that you’re experiencing indexing issues. Here’s what these issues are and how to solve them, from our Melbourne web development and SEO team.
The basics of Google indexing
Indexing is the process where Google uses crawlers to analyse website pages, understand what their content is, and display them in relevant search engine results. It may sound simple but it’s trickier for businesses than it seems. Firstly, Google doesn’t index all web pages, as there are just too many. Secondly, the crawlers look for SEO elements in a very particular way, and if your content doesn’t align with that, it may misinterpret or fail to rank your pages as high as it should. Chances are that if your pages aren’t ranking, you probably have some common indexing issues that can be corrected with the right expertise.
Common indexing issues and how to solve them
#1 – No domain name
This is usually due to a website having a URL that doesn’t align with the content, or because it has been incorrectly set up on WordPress. First, make sure that your domain name has keywords in it that link to your content. For example, if you sell cakes and baked goods, the website domain name should contain a keyword like “bakery” to show Google what it is that your business does. Secondly, you need to check that your IP address is redirection is configured correctly, which can be done by adding 301 redirects to www versions of your pages.
#2 – Old or overly complex code
The more complex, outdated, and complicated your website coding is, the more likely you are to have indexing issues. This is because it makes the job the crawlers do much more difficult. This is a common issue with old and DIY websites, and it’s worth sending your website to a web dev team to analyse and streamline, making it more Google-friendly.
#3 – Not mobile-friendly
In 2020, Google officially moved all websites over to mobile-first indexing, which means that their crawlers will only look at the mobile version of your website to index and rank your pages. You can check your website’s status on Google Search Console and see how mobile-friendly it is on Google’s dedicated testing tool. Mobile optimisation isn’t always a complicated process, relying on responsive web design for the most part, as well as ensuring your data is similarly optimised on the mobile versions of your website, and that the structured metadata is the same as well.
#4 – Slow load times
Google crawlers look at how quickly each page of content loads, and it needs to be lightning-fast – ideally under .5 seconds – if you want your pages to rank. This is because internet users, especially those on mobiles, have notoriously low levels of patience with load times, so pages are abandoned in favour of faster competitors if they take more than a couple of seconds to load. This directly affects SEO as well as indexing, but luckily you can check your website load speed easily and implement some effective ways to increase load speeds, including performance-optimised hosting, compressing your images, and loading files asynchronously.
#5 – Poor or insufficient content
Content, including written content, images, and videos, all create opportunities to entice Google crawlers and inform Google of how your web pages should rank. If you have very little content or it’s not high quality, then the crawlers are going to struggle, resulting in poor indexing. There are some easy ways to fix this, from high-quality keyword-rich on-page content, metadata, and alt text to creating informative and SEO optimised blogs, videos, and downloadable content.
Let our team take your website to the front page
We understand how web development and SEO work to make your online content more targeted, more competitive, and more effective, making your business easier to find by all the right people. If you’d like your website to rank high on Google search results pages, contact us today – our Melbourne-based website development and SEO team is experienced, friendly and ready to help!