How to Make Sure Your WordPress Site is Visible for Google
It is not that we are more active than ever before. People are still going to work on a 9 to 5 schedule. In fact, if we compare our century to the one before, people are, generally, working less.
Yet, we are more productive than ever before. And all this is the result of the technological advancement. This is an ever true statement. Technological achievements are always on the top. They are always the best we ever had.
This is the essence of the evolution. Today is better than yesterday. Tomorrow will be better than today.
Still, more and more people are claiming that our level of technological advancement is “greater than ever before”. Tomorrow it won’t be. And even though the tomorrow will not be like yesterday, we are obligated to do whatever works today, in order to be part of the time we are living in.
In order to create the tomorrow, we are striving to. And today’s big thing is Google. People are now capable and are taking advantage of the possibility to search. Everyday. Everywhere. In every hour of the day.
We are searching for information, reviews, knowledge. The question is, will you be there when we are searching? Will your WordPress website be the one to provide the knowledge, or you’ll fall deep into the void of the SERP’s?
I hope you never do this but nevertheless, WordPress allows you to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’. And if you want your WordPress website to be visible for Google, you’ll definitely want to unmark this option, if you ever marked it.
To do so, you need to enter your wp-admin. By now, you probably are more than familiar with the WordPress Admin Panel.
Now that you are in the Admin Panel, go to Settings – > Reading.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll see an option, saying ‘Search Engine Visibility’. On the right, there is a checkbox, followed by ‘Discourage search engine from indexing this site’.
If you want to make sure, you are visible to Google, you first need to make sure that the box is not checked.
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Robots.txt is a file that webmasters create to communicate with web crawlers. Although this file communicates with other web robots, not only with crawlers, as for now we’ll focus on its function to interact with search engines.
The file is really straightforward and comprehensible. You can see it, the way the crawlers are seeing it, by entering https://yoursite.com/robots.txt. But in order to edit it, of course, you’ll have to access your website’s files.
The robots.txt file has the following elements:
This element is, in a way, talks directly to a specific bot, or to all of them, at once. If you want to Allow or Disallow only Google’s Web Crawler to visit a specific page or your website as a whole, you need to address the bot directly.
Meaning, in your robots.txt file, you’ll have to start with:
After you’ve given the restrictions and rights to this bot, you can again write User-Agent and give other limits to the Bingbot. But you also can address all of the web bots simultaneously, by simply writing an * on the place of the name of the specific bot.
When allowing, you can yet again write the name of the specific page, or just put an asterisk (*), thus allowing the specified bot (or all of them at once) to crawl wherever they want.
I hope, you’ve taken care of your cybersecurity by using a strong password. Yet, I would highly recommend you to disallow bots to crawl your wp-admin page, or other admin panel entering the page, if you are using other CMS. This is for security.
Still, you may want some pages to stay hidden from the crawlers. To achieve that, you should just write their URLs after Disallow. Bear in mind, you should do this one page at a time.
And so on.
Sitemap: A sitemap is another file, it helps web crawlers to understand the structure of your website. Thus, makes the crawling easier and no ‘orphan pages’ are left behind. In the robots.txt file, we are directing the web crawler to the sitemap, in order to facilitate their work.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is merely a set of tools for webmasters that are allowing webmasters to perform a vast number of actions in order to facilitate Google’s bot in his not light endeavor of crawling the web.
Once you verify the ownership of your website(by adding an HTML file to your website’s directory), you have the ability to:
- Submit and check a sitemap.
- Check and set the crawl rate.
- Write and check the robot.txt file.
- See the keywords that led your website to the SERPs
And a lot more. Really. A lot more.
If you want to get noticed by Google A.S.A.P., taking advantage of Google Search Console, is a must.
Now that you’ve done all of the above, and you optimized your content for the search engines, so people are really looking for what you have to offer them, the only thing left to you is to measure your level of success. And if it doesn’t satisfy you, you can revise what you did so far.
If the technical part is fine, you can check your content, and if it is adequate as well, you maybe should take care of your digital marketing.
But still, all of the above and even the results of your marketing efforts is measurable in Google Analytics. Once, you install Google Analytics on your WordPress website, you’ll get access to all the information you may want. Even a bit more.
By using Google’s analytics tool, you’ll also be able to see how many users are coming from Google’s search. And sometimes what keyword led them to your website.
Being sure that you are visible for Google is one thing. Yet, another is making sure that your content is one that people are looking for. And even if they do, what you are creating, should be shareable, and valuable enough for people to really share it.
Giving value is key to everything you do. Everything. Strive to make everything that you ‘touch’ better than before. Doing so will guarantee your success.
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A writer by avocation, web enthusiast by choice. In love with almost every type of art.