Forget About Keywords - How's Your Sitemap?
October 6 2016, 2:31 pm
by Wes Sovis
Website Development Basics for SEO
In the world of website development, content is extremely important. But in focusing on content alone, many companies forget how important it is to structure your content in a way that makes indexing your site as easy as possible for search engines. As guest blogger and SEO-aficionado Tyler Tafelsky can attest, ignoring your website's structure, aka a sitemap, is one of the biggest hindrances to having meaningful SEO performance.
Luckily, you don't have to be a seasoned SEO professional to see if your sitemap is up to scratch. In just a few minutes, you can check to see if any search engine is able to easily index each page on your website.
Checking Your Website's Sitemap
Step 1: As With Everything Else in Life, Go to Google.com
Why Google? Because Google holds 63% of the search engine market, so you might as well use the search engine that most of your consumers will be using. Also, because I prefer Google, that's what we're going with for this exercise. After getting to google.com, all you need to do is type site:domain.com. For the purpose of this example, let's use Swell Development's website. Enter your website and then search.
Step 2: What Do You See?
If your sitemap is up to par, you should see each of the pages on your website broken out one by one in the results. Some websites may only have a few results if there are only a few pages associated with the website, while more complex sites could have multiple pages of results. In this example, Swell has five full pages of results, including blog posts and landing pages in addition to the standard navigation pages.
The important thing to keep in mind after you complete this assessment is that if you don't see a specific page from your site in these results, then a search engine isn't seeing it either. This means that the content that you worked so hard to put together on that page isn't being crawled or indexed, and is thus not being factored into search results.
Remember that while the content on your website is crucial to positive SEO performance, it's just one of many components of the algorithm that determines where your website ranks for any given search phrase. Need help? There are plenty of resources online, but you can always drop us an email and we'll help out in any way that we can.
Swell Development is a web development firm with offices in Grand Rapids and Traverse City, MI. We specialize in web application development, custom website design, template-based website design, and web hosting solutions. Our developers also have extensive knowledge concerning database set-up and custom reporting functionalities.