Make Sure Your Website Content is Indexable

Make it easy for Google to crawl your website to ensure efficient crawling and faster indexing.

If the Googlebot cannot index your website, your URLs will not appear in the SERPs – meaning that visitors will not be able to access your website via Google. Making sure your website is indexable is therefore an important factor in increasing traffic and thus the overall performance of your website.

To make it more likely that the pages of your website are indexed, you should make it as easy as possible for the Googlebot to crawl your website. In this article, we will show you how to create and submit an XML sitemap in the Google Search Console, clean up your website by removing 404 errors and orphaned pages, and how to monitor your indexed pages. This will ensure that Google can crawl your site easily, making your website content indexable.

Make Your Website Acccessible to Make it Indexable

If you compare the internet to a large map, with a domain being a house, the individual web pages of this domain are comparable to rooms or floors of this house. The Googlebot is like a visitor to your house – the house should be easy to find and easily accessible. The better your website is structured, the easier it is for that visitor to browse your site for content and save the data for a later visit. That is one of the main tasks of the Googlebot – to follow and save URLs.

When the Googlebot comes to your website, it will firstly be directed to the robots.txt. The robots.txt file contains instructions regarding which pages should be crawled, and it is stored on the website (for example www.mypage.en/robots.txt). The instructions in the robots.txt convey to the crawler what pages should be crawled and indexed.

How to Create and Submit an XML Sitemap

The XML-sitemap is a list of all of the URLs of your website. The URL to your XML-sitemap should be stored in the robots.txt file, and you can submit it to the Google Search Console, so that Google knows the structure of your website.

To make your sitemap machine-readable, it must contain the following elements:

Tags for xml sitemap

The sitemap can also contain these additional tags.

  • You can specify when the sitemap was last modified in the format YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmTZD.
  • This gives the Googlebot an indication of how often it can expect the sitemap to be altered. Possible values are: always (the website will be changed every time it is accessed), hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, annually, never (suitable for archived URLs). This tag should only be used if it can be assigned correctly to a URL. It is intended to show the crawler that they should visit the page frequently, as the content is regularly updated. It wouldn’t make sense to use the tag “changefreq always” for all URLs of your website.
  • With this tag, you can prioritize the crawling of your URL. 1.0 is the highest; 0.1 is the lowest.

Important: The use of these tags do not affect the ranking of your website – they simply help the Googlebot crawl your website efficiently.

So much for theory. Now let’s put it into practice: creating the sitemap.

For most websites, creating this file manually would be a very long process. There are therefore many tools that do the work for you, some of which are listed here:

Some CMS also have a function helping you to create an XML sitemap with just one click.

What to Watch Out for when Creating Your Sitemap

When creating your sitemap, you should make sure that it can be read correctly by the Googlebot, and that there are no errors. You can be fairly sure that a regular sitemap generators or your CMS will generate an error-free sitemap, but you should still check the following aspects of your file once completed.

Your checklist:

    • The coding of the sitemap must always be in UTF-8 format.
    • Special characters in URLs must be converted to escape codes. For example, the URL www.mypage.com/büro is listed on the sitemap as www.mypage.com/b%FCro.
    • The URLs must have a uniform syntax. If your site is accessible mainly via http://www.mypage.com, sub-pages should not be listed on the sitemap as http://mypage.com or https://www.mypage.com.
    • The URLs listed in the sitemap should not contain any session IDs. These IDs are usually added to the URL to assign users to it during their visit.
    • If your site is available in multiple languages, this should be noted in the sitemap as a hreflang tag.

Example:

Beispiel

You now have the basics for creating a sitemap. However, you should also be aware of the different forms of sitemap.

Special Cases: Videos, Images, or News

As well as listing the URLs of the subpages of your website, you can also list references to videos, images, or news in an XML sitemap. It is important to flag the content types within the tags in each sitemap.

sitemap special cases

If your website has many images, we recommend creating an images sitemap. The same applies to videos. A separate sitemap for news is only important if you want your website to appear in Google News. To be accepted into the Google News program, you have to meet certain conditions that you can find here.

Splitting Sitemaps for Large Websites

If you want your sitemap to list a large number of URLs, it is advisable to divide them up into several smaller sitemaps. As a general rule, a sitemap should be less than 50 megabytes and should not contain more than 50,000 URLs.

If you create multiple sitemaps, you should also create a sitemap index file that you submit to the Googlebot. For example, if you have 3 sitemaps, such a file would look like this:

Sitemap für Googlebot

It is important in this case to provide the central file with the aligncenter. In addition, you must specify with the tag where each sitemap is stored. You can also indicate when the sitemap files were changed last, making sure that your website content is indexable creates the basis for a successful website.

Submit Your Sitemap To the Google Search Console

The next step is to submit your sitemap to the Google Search Console.

      1. First, save your sitemap or sitemaps and index file on your server so that the files can be accessed via a fixed URL. Copy this URL.
      2. Log into the Google Search Console.
      3. If you have not used a sitemap before, click on “No sitemaps” in the right pane of the Search Console dashboard.
      4. If you want to test your sitemap for errors before submitting it, click “Test sitemap.” You will receive an evaluation of the file with information on possible errors, without the file being passed to the Googlebot.
      5. Important: Save the sitemap URL in your robots.txt file, so that the Googlebot can access it before crawling your site

It is important that your sitemap is always up to date. Therefore, you should update the XML file whenever URLs change, or when new URLs are added. A sitemap gives Google an overview of the structure of your website, so it knows which pages to crawl, making your website content more easily indexable.

Update Your Content: Regular cleanups

If you show the Googlebot your URLs via the sitemap, you should also ensure that the content of the URLs is always up to date and available, because if the Googlebot frequently encounters 404 error pages, it may no longer index your subpages. There’s also a risk that orphaned pages may not be found by the bot, and will therefore not be indexed.

Finding 404 pages

When a user clicks a URL to get to a page of your website that no longer exists, your server will issue a 404 status code (not found). This is firstly annoying for visitors, and means that the Googlebot wastes resources by trying to visit these pages. Ryte’s software can help in eliminating 404 errors: in the module Website Success, click on “indexability”, “status codes” to see your 404 errors.

You can find all 404 errors with the Google Search Console under section “Crawl” by clicking “Crawl errors.”

404 errors

If the contents of the “old” URL are accessible on a “new” URL, you can easily redirect the old URL to the new URL, using 301-redirect. Theoretically, you can do this step also when you redirect to similar content on your domain. If you cannot redirect the URLs, you should make an 404 error page, giving users the option to continue searching on your website or providing them with recommendations on related topics. Find out more information regarding the importance of creating 404 error pages for your users in this article.

Orphan pages

Orphan pages can interrupt the Googlebot’s crawling of your website because these pages are not accessible through incoming links, and are not connected with the rest of your website with internal links, making sure that your website content is indexable creates the basis for a successful website.

To find orphaned pages, you have to make up a list of all URLs of your website and compare it with the URLs that were actually crawled. The web pages that were not crawled are thus orphan pages. One possible cause of orphan pages is incorrect internal linking, which you should correct. If you find orphaned pages that either have no or incorrect content, delete them.

After troubleshooting 404 errors and removing orphaned pages you should update your XML sitemap so that only error-free content will be passed on to the Google bot.

Permanent Monitoring of Indexable Pages

It is important to permanently monitor the indexing of your website so that you can quickly react to errors and prevent your website losing valuable rankings or traffic.

You can use the Google Search Console to monitor the status of your indexed pages.On the left hand menu in the Google Search Console, click on the item “Google index” and then “Index status” to get an overview of Google’s indexing of your website.

If you find that the number of your indexed pages is rapidly decreasing even though you are constantly providing new content, you should find out why. As Google doesn’t guarantee that the URLs submitted via the sitemap will be indexed, you should keep an eye on the ratio of submitted pages versus indexed pages. If the number of submitted URLs is significantly higher than the actually indexed URLs, there may be errors on your pages that prevent Google from indexing them.

Log into the Search Console and click on “sitemaps”. Here, you can see how many of your submitted pages were actually indexed.

Indexed pages

If you see that the number of pages submitted is significantly higher than those indexed, the following points will assist you in troubleshooting:

      1. Check your robots.txt file. Are important website areas excluded?
      2. Check if you are using the noindex tag correctly. Are you mistakenly excluding subpages of your website?
      3. Check the correct use of canonical tags. Do your canonical tags direct to the correct pages? Are you using the same syntax?

The indexability report will also give you an overview of your indexable pages, showing for example how many are blocked by robots.txt. In this article, you can find out in more detail how to indexability report will help you check if your website content is indexable, making sure that your website content is indexable creates the basis for a successful website.

You can also sporadically do a site search through the Google search to see if individual pages of your site are in the index. Enter the following in the search box site:www.mywebsite.com/subpage. After clicking “Search”, your site will be displayed with a snippet in the SERPs if it is indexed.

It is important to regularly check the indexing status of your website after making changes or adding new URLs. Regardless of major changes to the website, you should create a plan for monitoring your indexable pages, using the Google Search Console and tools such as Ryte.

Conclusion

You should now be familiar with how creating and submitting a sitemap can help Google crawl and index your website content, and the importance of regular clean-ups and permanent monitoring for making your website content indexable. Bear in mind that these measures give no guarantee of good rankings – you still have to create great content for your users. However, if your website content is not indexable, users will not even be able to see your website content. Therefore, making sure that your website content is indexable creates the basis for a successful website.

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Use Interactive Content for Marketing Success

Struggling to create content that engages your audience? You’re not alone. Boosting engagement is a major cause of frustration for marketers, but one that can be remedied by embracing a new content format: interactive content.

Interactive content works by getting your audience to do something before revealing information. It works so well because it directly relates to time.

Time is a precious thing. Think about it: the punishment for some of the world’s worst crimes isn’t a monetary fine… It’s a time-fine (often jail time), which goes to show that time is valued more than money.

Interactive content encourages the investment of time, allowing you to reward your audience with hyper-relevant results.

This can lead to a fantastic user experience, social shares, and an abundance of site traffic… If you do it well.

In this article, I’m sharing the benefits of using interactive content in your strategy, along with the five ways you can get started.

Why Should I be Using Interactive Content?

Interactive content has been named as the future of content marketing. But, it’s not just a new phenomenon whose usage will decline rapidly in a matter of months.

46% of content marketers use interactive content, and that number is on the rise. Focusing on interactive content this year could position you a step ahead of the competition.

Here’s why you could hit the jackpot by focusing on it this year:

It’s preferred by consumers

Let’s start with the foundations. Think about the basis of any successful marketing campaign: a thorough understanding of your target audience, and what they’re more receptive to, marketing-wise. (These are the people you’ll be marketing to, after all.)

91% of B2B buyers prefer to consume interactive and visual content. Your ideal audience is already looking for interactive content. Talk about catering to their needs!

Educating potential customers

Another key element of a successful marketing strategy is to educate your audience. If your audience don’t understand what you have to offer, or become confused at some point in their buying process, it could push them away — and into the arms of a competitor.

Almost half of marketers report that interactive content is more effective at educating the buyer, compared to 6% with passive content:

Higher conversion rates

Businesses are always looking to drive up their conversion rate. Whether you’re looking to generate leads, collect email addresses or close sales, conversions are a key factor in many marketing campaigns.
Interactive content has been proven to convert 2x better than traditional content types.

Not only does this make it a great asset for sales-focused marketing teams, but the risk of using a new content format without solid results is eliminated.

Generates more pageviews

If the primary objective of your marketing campaign isn’t to generate sales, you’re still likely to benefit from this content type.

That’s because interactive content has been found to generate 4-5x more pageviews than static content. This surge in new visitors to your site could become long-term, high-paying customers, if they’re engaged.

How to Use Interactive Content in Your Marketing Campaigns

Now that you understand the benefits of using interactive content, let’s move onto the good stuff: the types of content your business can use to generate strong results, based on your marketing objectives.

1. Quizzes

A quiz is a fun piece content whereby your audience answers select questions in return for a result.

Buzzfeed is often referred to as being the King of Quizzes. It built its media empire using quizzes. But it’s not just big-name brands that can benefit from this type of interactive content.
Kayla Hollatz is a small business owner that offers branding services. In an attempt to use interactive content to generate leads, she created a personality quiz called, “What Is Your Brand Voice Style?”.

After embedding the quiz on her website, Kayla was able to generate 1,480 leads at a 55.8% conversion rate — all from one single piece of interactive content.

You can achieve comparable results for your own business, and it’s likely to be more fun than you think!

There are several quiz formats you can follow:

  • Personality tests
  • Results-based (i.e. – ‘You scored 9/10!’)
  • Multiple choice quizzes

Once your quiz is set up and hosted on your site, optimizing email integrations can help you to collect email addresses. These people are warm leads, with an already-proven interest in your brand. Going forward, you can use email marketing to upsell products and convert leads into paying customers.

2. Calculators

Another popular type of interactive content is calculators. However, unlike the quiz option, this format allows you to dive deeper into your audience’s needs, collecting information to build accurate buyer personas.

That’s because calculators work by asking a user to input data. Based on their data, your piece of interactive content will follow a set formula to generate a result, visible to your user.
You’ve got the opportunity to tailor this advice, depending on the outcome. This results in a better understanding of your customers, and the chance to create highly-specific content that appeals to each customer group.

By entering the price of my house, along with the time I plan to stay there, the calculator show me how much I could afford to rent a house for. Rather than spitting out a generic piece of content, this information is personal to me.

Let’s say that you’re a marketing agency who has decided to create a calculator. You ask your audience to input their annual turnover, how many employees are on the books, and their monthly expenses. In return, your calculator will suggest an affordable budget they can assign to marketing activities.

If someone using the calculator found their recommended marketing budget was $10,000 per month, you’re able to tailor the content they’re exposed to. Instead of showing beginner-level content to the companies with a bigger budget, you could refer them to content like “how to find a marketing agency.”

The same can be applied vice versa: if the person using the calculator only has a budget of $100 per month, tailor the content they see on the final screen. Granted, investing in calculators can be a financial and time-related investment, but it caters to the one critical requirement of content marketing: relevancy.

3. Interactive Infographics

When we mention the word ‘infographic’, it’s not uncommon for business owners to shudder in their boots. After all, creating a strong infographic that drives organic results (without paid advertising or manual outreach) can be tough.

That said, infographics are one of the most popular forms of static content; they’re liked and shared 3x more than other any other type of content on social media. If you create an interactive version, you could reach more people — and encourage them to convert when they visit your site.

You can add the interactive element into infographics by creating a visual piece of content that requires your audience to take action. That could be:

  • Clicking a button to learn more about a fact
  • Sliding a panel to reveal statistics
  • Hovering the mouse over an element to show more information
  • Here’s a fitting example of how Podio has used an interactive infographic to display the daily routines of creative people:

By hovering over the coloured sections of their infographic, I’m able to get more information on a specific topic. Not only does this get the user involved (catering to the interactive element), it allows publishers to add more value to their infographics without overwhelming the user with data.

4. Use Carousel Formats

In a blog post for Copyblogger, Scott Brinker from ion Interactive said:

“By its very nature, interactive content engages participants in an activity: answering questions, making choices, exploring scenarios. It’s a great way to capture attention right from the start. Individuals have to think and respond; they can’t just snooze through it.”

A simple (yet effective) way to do get your audience engaged is to use carousel formats on your website.

This tactic has proven particularly popular on Facebook, with carousel advertising formats performing 10x better than regular ads. Why? Because of the interactive element.

By hooking your audience in and persuading them to do something, they become more invested in your content. But, it’s not just paid advertising that could benefit from interactive carousels. Websites can implement this content format on their homepage, encouraging users to click-through for more information. The Tea Round App has an awesome example of this on their homepage:

By splitting their explanation of using the product into four steps, the company has used a carousel format to pique the user’s interest when landing on their homepage. The information isn’t there for them to read instantly. They need to invest time and complete a manual action before learning more, making it a fantastic approach to getting their audience engaged with their content.

5. Interactive Video

The final type of interactive content you could use is a new take on an old classic: video.

Video content has proven to drive excellent results for marketers in various industries. In fact, 51% of marketers report that video has the best ROI of all content types. Your results can be supercharged if your video features an interactive element.

Interactive videos come in many shapes and forms. You could create a video that gets your audience involved by clicking, typing, or performing another action. Because they’ve invested time into your content, it could result in longer average watch times — and positively impact conversion rate.

The Guardian has created something similar on its website, showcasing the ‘Seven Digital Deadly Sins’. The video opens with a 30-second introduction, whereby users can get a rough overview of the content they’re about to consume. They’re then directed to this screen, with a choice to make on which ‘sin’ they learn about first:

This is a fantastic way to get your audience engaged with video. Considering that only 65% of viewers watch more than three-quarters of an entire video, interactivity could be the make-or-break factor behind whether people watch your video in its entirety.

Conclusion

The aim of any piece of content — interactive or otherwise — should be engagement. As it’s a metric proven to relate directly to purchasing decisions, introducing interactive content to your marketing strategy is the best way to really drive results.

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Perfect Content Marketing Strategy

Having great and relevant content is one of the best ways of creating and improving your online presence – like a content marketing strategy.

In this article, I will explain how you can develop and implement a perfect content marketing strategy in seven steps, accompanying you from setting goals to measuring the success of your content marketing – like a sewa mobil surabaya and rental mobil surabaya.

Why is content marketing so important?

A content marketing strategy is only one element of the entire marketing plan. As well as the content strategy, a marketing plan should also lay out over which content should be provided to which target group and over which channels. The content is the message, and the online marketing channels like SEO, SEA or social media are the means.

For many companies, the focus lies on the channels, and the actual content is neglected. “More of the same” seems to be the motto for content marketing – but that isn’t a good approach for search engine optimization – like a sewa mobil surabaya and rental mobil surabaya.

An effective Content Marketing Strategy therefore becomes all the more important. It combines all long-term goals of online marketing with the creation and further development of digital content. In general, content marketing is successful if it relevant for the target group, and perceived by the target group as high quality content. The content has to be distributed effectively to users, and has to have the desired effect on them. The more competitive the online marketing is and the more expensive online or social media contacts are, the more important it is to have effective content.

The Content Marketing Strategy involves planning content, planning target groups, establishing problems with target groups, and many other points that are discussed in this guide.

User intention – the alpha and omega of content marketing

The biggest challenge of content marketing is to capture the perspective of users and potential customers. Content is often created from the point of view of the company or agency. The products are known, so the product texts are created en mass, routinely or even lazily. However, with these “standard” texts, companies miss the opportunity to show the product in relation to the customers’ needs, and how the product can provide a solution to the customer’s problem.

Content needs to be planned and structured well, and needs to be adapted to the actual needs of the target group (user intention). If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be creating relevant content that leads to successful online marketing. Your website traffic will increase, as the content offer befits the demand, and gets more attention. Not only will you generate more website traffic, your visitors will more likely switch from just being a user to being a regular customer. High quality and relevant content creates high customer approval rates on pages and makes your Content Marketing Strategy successful – like a sewa mobil surabaya and rental mobil surabaya.

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Steps for a Perfect Content Marketing Strategy

Your Content Marketing Strategy should describe goals, plans and activities in such a way that anyone involved or interested in content marketing have a precise road map of how the content should be developed.

In this guide, you’ll find 7 steps that you can use to establish a content marketing strategy:

1. Goal:

When you start your planning, you need to define a goal that the strategy and long-term activities should lead towards. Having a clear goal helps you to focus, and defining a goal makes it easier to measure the success of your content marketing. If you haven’t set any goals, how will you know if your implemented measures are successful?

Goals of a Content Marketing Strategy can be business related, such as increasing revenue, marginal returns or profits. Specific e-commerce goals can include increasing the conversion rate, or increasing the time spent on the page. General marketing and online marketing goals such as brand awareness and online visibility can also be the basis of the Content Marketing Strategy – like a sewa mobil surabaya and rental mobil surabaya.

An important goal is also to develop unique selling points through content. The content should show that your company, your brand, your team and your products are unique and have advantages over competitors’ offerings.

Your goal should be “S.M.A.R.T” , that is

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Action-oriented
  • Realistic
  • Time-sensitive

For only “smart” goals can lead to systematic success.

2. Target audience:

The internet is a global communication medium with a scope of several billion people. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to appeal to all users. You can only create effective and successful content if you know who the content is meant for. It is fundamentally important to know and define your target audience. Only this way will you be successful in creating relevant content that ranks well, making your brand visible in search engines.

The more intensely you scrutinise and segment your target group, and use their needs and segment specifications as a basis for your Content Marketing Strategy, the more successful the content marketing will be. For instance, do you know which devices your readers use? Have you looked at the preferred search terms or the topics that are particularly popular on social media? These and other aspects of target group segments are a good foundation for creating content that is relevant for your target group.

You don’t have to stick to one target group: Depending on your goal, target groups can complement one another. There can be a main target audience, and several sub-target groups to which you can appeal to with new content. In order for you to better adjust the content, you should reflect your defined target groups in personas. It is easier to write for a specific, defined person than for a large, impersonal group.

In order to recognise and define the target group, you should use the appropriate analysis tools. For example, Google Analytics or Facebook Insights can give you a great deal of insights. With a bit more effort, but a lot of precision, customer surveys provide useful information that can be generated by email, in person, or on the phone.

3. Inventory:

Before creating new content, you should carry out an inventory check. Experts call this a content audit. That means that every single piece of content is listed, giving you an overview of your content and the impact on your target group.

A content audit also gives you the opportunity to find optimization gaps. When you have compiled all existing content, evaluate it according to the defined goals, and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Was the customer’s issue resolved with this?
  • How relevant is the article?
  • Is it still up to date or should it be revised?
  • Should any content be deleted, because it is out of date or the effort to optimise it is too great?
  • Are any topics missing that are important to the target group?
  • How high is the bounce rate for your articles?
  • Which posts generate most traffic?

These and other questions give you an idea of what content to lose and what to improve. You might also find some really good pieces of content that you can now polish. Furthermore, you might find new thematic focal points that are important for your target group.

4. Comparison with the competition:

After you have gained a sound overview of what your content has to offer, you should now check what the strengths of the competition are in the context of your defined goals and target audience.

First, you should pick at least three competitors. If you aren’t sure who the strongest competitor is, you can identify it with a Google search. For this, use the keywords that you and your target group use and search for your competition. It’s important that the competition covers similar topics. After selecting competitors, look at the published content and pay attention to factors such as:

  • Frequency of posts
  • Writing style
  • Selected channels and
  • What topics are covered

Do your competitors have content covering similar topic areas or entire topics that you haven’t covered yourself? Find out where and how you can differentiate yourself, and how you might offer better content.

5. Content Management Systems:

Content Management Systems (CMS) can help you efficiently manage your content. This includes planning, creating, and analyzing content. Similar to content audits, your aim is to get a better overview with the appropriate CMS.

You should use your CMS as an editing schedule so that you can easily structure when which article is published, so as many facets as possible are presented. Using an editing schedule helps to measure the success of new posts, helping you to improve constantly. You can combine a social media calendar with the CMS to advertise content that is to be published later.

Using tools like Google AdWords Keyword planner, you can determine the best time to publish content for seasonal topics. That way you can find out when the search volume for keywords like ‘changing tires’ is highest for the topic. Key figures like that should also be included in a CMS.

6. Planning for topics:

Good content involves a lot of hard work, and producing it can be expensive. A long-term content creation and publishing plan is therefore all the more important. Your Content Marketing Strategy will help you there too.

Seasonal topics can be covered in a content calendar, as well as when the right moment to publish is. Long-term production should also be managed via scheduled topic planning. Travel might be necessary for specific photos or videos, and this of course has to be planned in advance. If there are any big events taking place that are time-limited, the accompanying content has to be planned and produced well in advance.

7. Measuring success:

The last step is measuring results that you achieve with your content. Is your scope increasing organically on Google? Has the number of YouTube subscribers increased? Are your users considering your website – like a sewa mobil surabaya and rental mobil surabaya or your shop a unique offering? These and other goals should be checked regularly, so your content measures can be critically assessed.

Measuring success takes place in the channels on which you have provided content. Google Analytics, for example, gives you an overview, but social media channels have their own analysing tools too. Always be critical and question even very good results, as spam and similar things can sometimes lead to positive results.

Conclusion

Even if it sounds like a lot of work to develop and pursue a concentrated, focused Content Marketing Strategy, it’s worth it! You’ll end up with successful relevant content that ranks well in search engines.