You’ve probably heard of a crawl budget but never really looked into it, because you’re focusing on other aspects of SEO. You’re not the only one who’s overlooked a crawl budget, with many webmasters not worrying about the crawl rate and how much to spend on it.
However, if you have a large-scale website (or plan to), then you’ll need to add a crawl budget to improve your SEO strategy. Sure, the connection between the crawl budget and your SEO ranks isn’t direct. But the relationship is there — making it crucial for SEO as well.
How does it work, and in what ways can you optimize your crawl budget for better SEO and search engine rankings? Read on as I show you what a crawl budget is and ways you can optimize it to improve your website’s SEO and search engine rankings.
What Is a Crawl Budget Anyway?
Crawl budget refers to the frequency search engine crawlers would go over your domain’s pages. Such frequency is created as a tentative balance between the bots’ attempts to avoid overcrowding your server —while still being able to crawl your domain correctly.
Optimizing crawl budget will help increase the rate of search engine bots visiting your page. The more they visit, the quicker it would be to index updated pages. As a result, all your SEO efforts will take less time to begin positively affecting your Google rankings (as long as you do it right).
When you think about it, crawl budget optimization is crucial, and you need to exert all your efforts on it. Remember that crawling in itself isn’t a ranking factor. Crawling alone won’t be enough to have SEO experts think about crawl budgets. Yes, it’s that neglected!
Do take note; Just because it isn’t a ranking factor doesn’t equate to the fact you have to ignore it. It is especially so for huge websites that have millions of pages. You’ll want each page to be crawled immediately once updated.
However, if you’re a small or moderate-sized domain, you won’t need to exert most of your efforts on a crawl budget. Also, another thing to take note of is that search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just about changing one factor and expecting the best immediate results.
Instead, it is about ensuring that all of the small elements are as optimized as the big ones. It includes your crawl budget. Besides that, ensure that there’s nothing on your site that hurts your crawl budget.How does it work, and in what ways can you optimize your crawl budget for better SEO and search engine rankings? Click To Tweet
How to Optimize Your Crawl Budget for SEO In 7 Easy Steps
Now that you’re familiar with what the crawl budget is and its importance, how can you optimize it properly? Here are the things you’ll need to pay attention to when you want to optimize your crawl budget:
1: Make Sure Your Important Pages Are Crawled In Robots.Txt
This step is the most obvious tip to implement and is the first step to take when thinking about the frequency which search engine spiders would go over your domain’s pages. You can manage the Robots.Txt manually or use reputable website SEO audit tools. I recommend that you use a website tool when you can, that is more:
- Accurate, and
- Shows results.
When using a website audit tool, as the Robots.Txt which will have you block or allow crawling of your domain pages within seconds, upload the edited document, and that’s it!
Doing it by hand is possible if you have a small website. But if you have a larger one with more required calibrations, use tools instead.Optimizing crawl budget will help increase the rate of search engine bots visiting your page. Click To Tweet
2: Look Out For Redirect Chains
Looking out for redirect chains is another must-do or marketers, not just for crawl budget, but for optimum website health as well. You’ll want to avoid having even only ONE redirect chain throughout your entire domain.
Unfortunately, larger websites may have 301 or 302 redirects here and there. However, one or two won’t damage your website but ensure to keep your site as clean and free from such errors. When you have more than two redirect chains, it will hurt the crawl budget to the point search engine spiders will stop crawling and NOT reach pages you want indexed!
3: Utilize HTML When Possible
By sticking with HTML, you won’t hurt your chances with any search engine bot.Looking out for redirect chains is another must-do for marketers, not just for crawl budget, but for optimum website health. Click To Tweet
4: Don’t Allow HTTP Errors to Affect Your Crawl Budget Negatively
Another thing to be wary about is the 404 and 410 pages, which can eat into the crawl budget. Besides that, it can also affect user experience, just like redirect chains. That is why it is crucial to fix all your status codes and prevent HTTP errors from happening.
Again, you need to have a trusted website auditor tool to do this. The software will be able to identify any error codes and pages for you to quickly fix for better crawling.
5: Take Care For Your URL Parameters
Remember that website crawlers count separate URLs as individual pages. Because of this, it can waste important crawl budget that could be used for other updated webpages. You need to let search engines know about such URL parameters.
It will save your crawl budget while preventing Google bots from thinking you have duplicate content. You can let Google know this by adding such URL Parameters to your Google Search Console account. Update this regularly to prevent spending your crawl budget wrongly.
6: Update Your Sitemap Constantly
It is crucial to always update your XML sitemap for both humans and the website crawlers. Search engine bots will have an easier time understanding what the webpage is about, as well as where the internal links are leading.
Just make sure that you’re using URLs which are canonical for the sitemap. Besides this, ensure that the XML sitemap is compatible with your newest uploaded version of the Robots.Txt. There are tools which can help you update your sitemap adequately.Don’t Allow HTTP Errors to Affect Your Crawl Budget Negatively Click To Tweet
7: Look Into Hreflang Tags; They’re Important
When analyzing localized pages, crawlers would use hreflang tags. However, you’ll need to notify Google about such localized versions of webpages. That is where hreflang tags come along, as you can use it in HTML for Google and other search engines.
Make sure that you have the <loc> element on the necessary URLs. It will point crawlers to localized versions of your webpage. Also, place this in the webpage’s headier: <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”lang_code” href=“page_url” />
Some of the best SEO Firms can overlook crawl budgets because of the many tasks and issues they have. That is why it is important to include it and SEO stats into your SEO strategy to avoid it from being ignored, which can indirectly affect your efforts.
With the right tips, you’ll be able to maximize your SEO rankings and improve organic search traffic. I hope this article on the crawl budget will encourage you to focus on this aspect of your website. So begin applying these tips for optimizing the frequency search engine spiders would go over your domain’s pages properly.
If you have any questions or want to share your experiences in crawl budget optimization, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated!