Crawl budget is essential for SEO, because it brings in the traffic a site needs. Even if your site is popular, it’s still important to separate these incriminating factors:
- On-site duplicate content
- Soft-error pages
- Low-quality content and spam
- Faceted navigations and URL parameters, AND
- Hacked pages
…from pages and contents that drive traffic.
Here are ten ways to optimize the crawl budget for your site.
1. Make Your Site Faster
Site speed affects the crawl rate. By enabling compression, optimizing images, and improving code, your site will work to where users don’t have to wait two seconds or more for a page to load.
2. Have A Less-Cluttered Design
Although it’s okay to have good design, you may want to simplify your site to where it’s not only appealing, but also fast and functional. First, compress your images. Then, make sure that your images aren’t crowding your page(s).
So, appearance doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s functional and attractive.
3. Have Simple Web Structure
Simply structure your website layer by layer. Start with the homepage, then make categories/tags, and then put in the content pages. As you review your site structure, make sure that your topics are organized into pages, and utilize internal links to guide crawlers.
4. Avoid Crawl Errors
Crawl errors happen when a bot crawls your site and runs into an issue. In fact, Google (with its Googlebot) will even spot errors for you. Just open the Search Console and choose the property you want to analyze. Next, select “Crawl,” and then “Crawl Errors,” where it’ll take you to a dashboard.
It should tell you how many errors you have, and the URLs that are returning crawl errors (site errors or URL errors) which cause your site to have a longer response (or even be overloaded or temporarily down).
To diagnose errors, select “Crawl” on Search Console, and then select “Fetch” (or “Fetch and Render”). If it returns your homepage with no errors, then your site is okay. But if you can’t fetch your site, fix those errors, or consult an expert about it, since server errors can be really bad.
5. Look For Duplicate Content
Everyone wants to see quality and unique content. Therefore, limit duplicate content by using the right tags, categorizing pages and tags and reducing URLs with parameters.
6. Find And Fix Redirects
Redirects can be problematic, since they cause bots to make unnecessary multiple crawl hops. Use a log analyzer to find and fix redirects by pointing the first URL to the last one in line.
7. Use Internal Links
Using proper internal links allows Google to prioritize the right pages with many external and internal links, including backlinks to every single page of the site.
8. Beware Of Orphan Pages
Orphan pages have no external or internal links, so they’ll most likely have no direct connection with the web. It’s because of this that Google can’t find these pages. So, it’s best to avoid orphan pages.
9. Clean Out Low-Value URLs
Low-value URLs can affect a site’s crawling and indexing negatively. Google also realizes that, since it wants to see high-quality content. Low-value URLs are nothing more than filler – in other words, not high-quality.
First, check that all your pages work correctly (no 404 pages). Plus, as mentioned before, no duplicate content. And finally, don’t ever resort to shady tactics to boost SEO, or Google will penalize you for it.
10. Increase Popularity
All sites want to be popular. But to get popular, you’ll need to have fresh content. The fresher content you post, the more people will share it, and the more crawl budget you’ll get out of it. Having a good content marketing strategy can help you see what people like, and what they don’t like, so that you can determine what’s fresh in Google’s eyes.
Crawl budget is underrated, to where it’s often not talked about in learning SEO. But at the end of the day, having a crawl budget matters, because search engines like Google want to find the best content out there.
However, you can’t be too showy, and you can’t offer too little. So, it’s up to you – the site runner – to make sure that your crawl budget is up-to-date, and that nothing is slowing or hindering your site.