If you look at a customer journey map you will see that the first stage or phase is awareness.
- How will users find your website?
- What are the touchpoints?
- What are the opportunities?
Obviously search will be one major touchpoint that helps users find your website. But what will the user be searching for and do you have that information on your website? Is it easy to find? Is your content answering a question or solving a problem for the user? These are the sorts of questions you need to ask in order to provide relevant content to your users.
So how do you go about making your website searchable?
Of course you need to structure your pages so that googlebots can read them otherwise your site will be hard to index.
HTML Title Tags
These days people tend to search in a "long tail query" fashion. Meaning that instead of typing one or two keywords, they will type a whole sentence and expect that google search experience and response. The HTML Title Tag is the first thing the user sees in search results.
HTML Title Tag Example
Title Of Your Website Page
HTML Meta Tag Description
HTML Meta Tag Descriptions are the second thing the user sees in search results.
The HTML Meta Tag Description in the html pages tells google what to display on search engine results pages directly after the title. They can be tailored to answer the user question, provide a solution or reveal valuable information that the user needs.
Meta Tag HTML Example
"Crawling can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Be patient and monitor progress."
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results.
URL Inspection Tool
Use the URL Inspection tool to request a crawl of individual URLs. If you have large numbers of URLs, you should submit a sitemap instead.
To submit a URL to the index:
- Inspect the URL using the URL Inspection tool
- Select Request indexing
Note: Requesting a crawl does not guarantee that inclusion will happen instantly or even at all. Googles systems prioritise the fast inclusion of high quality, useful content.
Send a GET request in your browser or the command line to this address, specifying the full URL of the sitemap. Be sure that the sitemap file is accessible:
Insert the following line anywhere in your robots.txt file, specifying the path to your sitemap. Google will find it the next time they crawl your site: Sitemap: http://example.com/my_sitemap.xml
Your Sitemap has been successfully added to our list of Sitemaps to crawl. If this is the first time you are notifying Google about this Sitemap, please add it via http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ so you can track its status. Please note that we do not add all submitted URLs to our index, and we cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.
How do you check on your website to see if Google has you indexed? You can use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.
See Google’s indexed articles of a site by typing "site:" in front of the site address in Google Chrome address bar.
See Google’s cached version of a site by typing "cache:" in front of the site address in Google Chrome address bar.
Local Google Chrome Cache
In some experiments I have undertaken in this area, there seems to be a random display of newly indexed pages. Sometimes they show up and then they disappear. This might be something to do with your local browser cache, but I am not totally sure.
I know it can be quite frustrating when you work on pages and are waiting for ages for them to index, but unfortunately there are many other submissions going on, I can't image the volume.