Last week, we discussed the importance of Response Codes, and how they play a role in determining whether or not potential car buyers are getting what they need out of your dealership’s website. But what about Google’s ability to get what they need in order to deliver your site to those customers? Well, stay tuned, because we have “Just the Tip” for you.
Let’s Talk “Crawlability”
To deliver the best results for any search query, Google first needs to assess the value of the content that’s out there. The process of doing so is referred to as “crawling and indexing”. To say that the crawlability of your dealership’s site is important would be a huge understatement. So, now that we’ve defined the term, let’s talk about the process.
How can Google crawl your dealership’s site?
Well, there are a couple of ways. The simplest way is for you to submit the sitemap to Google. What’s a sitemap? It’s literally a map of your site, helping Google to find their way around.
How do you submit your sitemap?
First, you need to find your sitemap. Most of the time you can find the url to your sitemap here: https://your-domain.com/sitemap.xml. You may have multiple. In that case, you can submit them all. Copy the url of your sitemap. Then navigate to https://search.google.com/search-console Then go to your website property. On the left sidebar click sitemaps. Where it says “add a new sitemap” paste that sitemap you had copied earlier. Then submit it to Google. See? Easy.
Now, Google may take some time to process your submitted sitemap. In some cases, the process has been known to take weeks. But check it out once in a while and see what the status is. Eventually you want to see a “Success” in the status column, that means Google has successfully been able to read your sitemap. Also check out the number of “Discovered urls” and compare that against the number that should have been listed on the sitemap
If You Don’t Submit Your Sitemap…
Google will eventually make their way through your site, beginning with your homepage, and following each of your various links to dive deeper and deeper into your content. But why wait?
If You Have a Suspicion…
…that a particular page, or piece of your content, can’t be crawled by Google here’s a Pro-Tip for you. Navigate to https://search.google.com/search-console. In the upper left, you’ll find your website property, as well as whether it’s been registered with Google. If not, you’ll need to do that first. However, once registered, copy the url of the page in question, and then paste it into the area that says, “Inspect any URL on “. This will tell you whether that page is “accessible” to Google, or if its listed as “not accessible”.