You think you know everything that goes on in your website, but in this ever-changing world called the internet, you can never be too sure. A crawler might suddenly do something completely new and perplexing to cause your rankings to tank. This is why you should do site crawls on your own site regularly, to check for any issues and nip problems in the bud.
The fact is that search engines don’t care about you. They want to maintain their own authority by making sure that they return accurate and relevant results with every search. To do this, they use advanced and specially developed bots to crawl the entire web for content to index. Naturally, if these search engine crawlers cannot find the right content on your website, your pages won’t rank well—and you can’t receive the organic search traffic you need. It’s not enough for your website to be findable, either. If your content isn’t sending the right relevance signals, your rankings and search traffic are still likely to suffer.
How do you ensure that Google’s crawlers and bots are happy with your website? You can use third party crawlers that are designed to mimic the actions of the sophisticated crawlers and bots search engines use. These services can help you uncover all kinds of technical as well as content issues to improve on so you can upgrade your natural search performance. Below are major reasons why you should consider regular site crawling as part of your search marketing strategy:
- Site crawlers help you learn exactly what searchers see on your website. Search engines are capable of finding and remembering not only your fresh pages and content, but also the obsolete and forgotten areas of your website. Site crawlers can let you catalog these outdated pages so you can decide on the next steps to take concerning their existence on your site. In some cases, these pages may still be useful if content is refreshed. Others can be 301 redirected to strengthen related areas of the site, so as not to waste their link authority.
- A site crawl helps you detect issues with disallows, redirects, and other errors. Crawlers can be used to identify areas of your website that may potentially be inaccessible to search engine bots. If your crawl report returns holes where specific sections of site should be, it may be that content is not accessible because of disallows, coding problems, or noindex commands that are keeping bots out. Knowing this will help you do something about problematic indexation.
- A crawler can also help you identify existing metadata on pages, which you can later optimize on a larger scale. Site crawlers can be used to gather data on title tags, keywords, meta descriptions, language tags, H headings, and other things you can optimize to help your pages perform and rank better.
- Doing a site crawl also helps you detect canonical tags and bot directives that may be sending search engine crawlers mixed signals. Individual page data can tie search bots into knots when they are not structured correctly. This can mess up indexation and affect a page’s ability to perform in organic search.
Now that you know how regular site crawls can be useful in your overall search health, it is also important to remember that running one can put a heavy load on your servers. This can be problematic, especially when you are already experiencing substantial customer volume. This is why it is important to consult with a professional team on how to go about your regular site crawl and the best time to do it. SEO services will know the best time of day to do a site crawl as well as the frequency at which you should set them.