First let’s just clarify what we mean by indexed. Your website is a page or preferably a collection of pages. Google sees each of these pages as an individual item or asset. It uses a complex algorithm to decide whether to show your page in its results in relation to whatever phrase someone has typed in to search for. If it doesn’t know that your pages exist then it can never show them to anybody, if it does know that they exist it has to decide whether to include them in it’s index or not, just because it knows your page exists doesn’t mean that it will include them in its index. If it decides not to include them in its index then again, it will never show them to anybody.
So there are two stages here, Google has to first discover your pages, and then secondly, decide whether to include them in it’s index. So first discovery then second, potential indexing. So let’s start with the 5 things you must do to get your WordPress website indexed by Google.
Make sure every page of your website has unique and valuable content
By valuable content I mean two things, your content must serve a purpose for your visitors, it must answer whatever search query brought them there. This means that first and foremost you a writing content for your visitors and not just to attract search engines. This means that for a start your content must be unique. Don’t think for a second that you can fool search engines by copying someone else’s content, and don’t think that you can use some sort of rewriting software that can disguise the fact that you have just copied someone else’s work. All that does is replace words with words of a similar meaning. Not only can the sentence no longer make sense but the search engines can spot it, for example if I rewrote the first part of this sentence swapping words for those of a similar meaning,would it still make sense?
Not only can the sentence no longer make sense.
Not unique can the verdict no lengthy generate perceive.
Just by swapping out words for ones that mean the same has turned the sentence into gibberish. That is what happens if you use software to rewrite things.
If you think of all the pages out there right now that are about the same topic as your page, targeting the same keywords, and with very similar content, why would any search engine rate your page any higher? You have to make your page very special to stand a chance, and you make it special by being better. If you do a search for your target keyword and their are over a million web pages in the results, you can probably easily get into the top 100 pages, but who scrolls through 100 pages, you need yours on the first page and that is very difficult, but not impossible.
As far as your page content goes we have talked about making it unique and making it relevant, but also make it as long as is possible without padding for the sake of padding. Creating a web page with four or five paragraphs totaling maybe 400 words is not enough. That content is too light and almost certainly less interesting than the pages that are already out there. You need to be aiming for a minimum of 1500 words, not only does this give you content worth reading, but it will also be content that you have a chance of getting search engine results for a much wider range of keywords. If you can write 2000-3000 words, so much the better.
Finally on this subject, keep adding more content on a regular basis. Google is accustomed to websites popping up on a regular basis and just nothing more happening with them. It wants to see fresh regular content. You will notice that Google prefers to deliver fresh content over old content, so keep writing. In your early months it will seem as if you are writing for nothing because although there is no such thing as the ‘Google Sandbox’ where new websites are locked away for 6 months before being shown to the world, Google does not rank new websites particularly highly until it sees enough signs of its worth. It will index them, and even give them first page positions, but only for the keywords that are almost unique to your website.
Make sure that your website has a logical internal linking structure
This is a simple one, but one that can be overlooked. Navigation within your website is done by links. A link connects one page to another. This is good from both a visitors point of view and the search engines point of view. Both can find new and relevant pages by following links. These links, within your website that to connect to other pages within your website, are called internal links.
You need to have a navigation menu at the top, or side of your website that takes you to areas of your website that are relevant to an area, or category or topic and there your visitor can see pages that are about that category or topic, that way, all your pages about that topic can be found together.
You will also want to put a few links on each page that connect to related pages, maybe below the main page content. Visitors now can use the main navigation to see everything about one category, or follow the links at the bottom to go to similar related pages. Your visitors can follow the links, and so can the search engines.
However, don’t make the mistake that so many do, of littering your content with links. It looks messy and it confuses the visitor. Links scattered in your page content are there just to benefit the search engines and not your visitors and should rarely be used.
Make sure that your WordPress website has a sitemap, and use it
A sitemap allows search engines to discover links to all of your pages in one visit. Without a sitemap the search engines discover your pages more slowly as each visit reveals the next few links. A sitemap shows everything. WordPress creates a sitemap automatically, you can see this by adding /sitemap.xml after your domain url. If you are using a search engine optimisation plugin the sitemap address might be slightly different to this, but you should be able to find it quite easily.
Place a link to your sitemap in your page footer by going to customise/appearance/footer, this way there is a direct link to your sitemap from every page of your website.
Make sure that you make full use of the WordPress Update Services feature
WordPress has a built in feature that allows you to notify (or ping) update services when you create a new post. This effectively announces to the world that you have new content. These services then list your new page in their databases meaning that others can find them. WordPress comes pre installed with this but with just one update service, you can add as many as you like. To do this go to Settings and then Writing. At the bottom of the page you can see a panel where you can enter more. For a complete list of services to enter here go to WordPress Update Services and copy and paste the list into that panel and hit save. Your pages will now become visible so much sooner.
Make sure that you set up and use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is probably one of the most important tools to use when getting your pages indexed. Search for Google Search Console, you will then need to give it your domain name, which it refers to as a property. You will have to verify that you own this property. There are a few ways to do this but if you struggle there are plugins that will do it for you. Google Site Kit, is a good one as it also pulls data straight into your WordPress dashboard.
Once you have Google Search Console set up you can see important data about how Google sees your website and how it is performing. The performance section shows how many clicks and impressions your website is getting over time. Hopefully as you work on your website you will see the graph on the page start to climb.
There are two crucial parts of Google Search Console, one is the site maps section. Here you add the sitemap url that we talked about earlier. This is a great short cut to getting your website indexed because it means that you aren’t waiting for Google to find it, you are directly adding it to its list of websites to discover and index.
The other is the URL inspection feature. Every time that you create a new post or page just copy and paste the page url into the search bar at the top of Google Search Console and hit enter. Google then checks to see whether the page is already in its index, it won’t be if its a new page, when the results come back a few moments later, you are given the option to index your new page, so do it. No more waiting for Google to discover your pages, you are plugging them straight into Google’s list of pages to index. Here is my Google Search Console request for this page to be indexed.
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