How to Make Sure Your E-Commerce Site is Indexed Quickly by Google

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May 27, 2024

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How to Make Sure Your E-Commerce Site is Indexed Quickly by Google

The Dreaded ‘Scanned – Not Indexed’ Dilemma

Picture this: you’ve poured your heart and soul into building an absolutely stunning e-commerce website, filled to the brim with captivating product descriptions, stunning imagery, and a user experience that would make even the most seasoned online shopper swoon. You hit publish, eagerly await the influx of traffic, and then… crickets.

Frustrated, you turn to Google, frantically searching for your masterpiece, only to be met with the dreaded “Scanned – Not Currently Indexed” message. What gives? Didn’t you do everything right?

Well, my fellow e-commerce entrepreneurs, the truth is, there’s a bit more to getting your online store indexed by the Google gods than meets the eye. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to dive deep into the inner workings of Google’s indexing process and uncover the secrets to ensuring your e-commerce site is discovered, indexed, and ranking in record time.

Getting the Robots.txt File in Order

Let’s start with the basics – the humble robots.txt file. This unassuming little text file is essentially the gatekeeper to your website, telling Google’s bots (the little critters that crawl the web and index content) which areas of your site they’re allowed to explore.

Now, you might be thinking, “But wait, I want Google to index everything! Why would I ever tell them not to?” Well, my friends, there are certain pages on your e-commerce site that you might not want to be indexed, like your checkout process or any pages with sensitive customer data. That’s where the robots.txt file comes in handy.

According to Google’s own documentation, the robots.txt file is a critical first step in ensuring your content is discoverable. It’s like inviting Google in for tea, but setting some ground rules first.

So, the next time you’re working on your e-commerce site, make sure to create a robots.txt file and double-check that it’s properly configured to allow Google’s bots to explore your content. Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of headaches down the line.

The Magical Powers of the XML Sitemap

Alright, now that we’ve got the robots.txt file sorted, let’s talk about another essential element for lightning-fast indexing: the XML sitemap.

Think of your XML sitemap as a roadmap for Google, outlining the structure and content of your e-commerce website. It’s like handing them a cheat sheet and saying, “Here, this is where all the good stuff is!”

As one Shopify community member pointed out, the structure and URL format of your e-commerce site can have a significant impact on how quickly Google indexes your content. By creating a comprehensive XML sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console, you’re making it crystal clear to the search engine exactly what pages you want them to crawl and index.

But the benefits of an XML sitemap don’t stop there. As Dominique J. explained, regularly updating your sitemap with new content is a surefire way to keep Google’s bots coming back for more. The more frequently you’re adding fresh material to your e-commerce site, the quicker Google will pick up on it and start indexing your pages.

So, don’t be shy – get that XML sitemap up and running, and make sure to keep it updated as you add new products, blog posts, or any other content to your online store. Trust me, Google will thank you for it.

Leveraging the Power of Backlinks

Alright, now that we’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, let’s talk about something a little more, well, social: backlinks.

Backlinks, for the uninitiated, are essentially links from other websites that point back to your e-commerce site. Think of them as digital high-fives from the rest of the internet, telling Google, “Hey, these guys are legit! You should check them out.”

As Dominique J. mentioned, building a solid backlink profile is a surefire way to boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google, which in turn can lead to faster indexing and higher rankings.

But how do you go about getting those all-important backlinks? Well, my friends, the possibilities are endless. You could reach out to industry influencers and ask for a guest post, participate in online forums and discussions related to your niche, or even try your hand at some good old-fashioned link building outreach.

Remember, quality is key when it comes to backlinks. A single high-authority link from a reputable website is worth way more than a hundred spammy links from low-quality sites. So, put on your networking hat and start making those connections – your e-commerce site (and your search engine rankings) will thank you for it.

Optimizing for the Mobile-First Indexing Era

Alright, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: mobile-first indexing. In case you haven’t heard, Google has been steadily shifting towards a mobile-centric approach when it comes to crawling and indexing websites. And let me tell you, if your e-commerce site isn’t optimized for the small screen, you’re in for a world of hurt.

As the folks at HubSpot pointed out, Google wants to see that your website is not only visually appealing on mobile devices, but also lightning-fast and easy to navigate. After all, the majority of online shoppers these days are browsing and buying on the go.

So, what can you do to ensure your e-commerce site is up to snuff? Start by making sure your website is fully responsive, with a design that seamlessly adapts to different screen sizes. Next, take a long, hard look at your page load times – if your product pages are taking more than a few seconds to load, it’s time to optimize those images, streamline your code, and maybe even consider a hosting upgrade.

And don’t forget about the user experience! Make sure your mobile navigation is intuitive, your checkout process is a breeze, and your product descriptions are easy to read on the go. Trust me, Google (and your customers) will thank you for it.

Consistency is Key

Alright, now that we’ve covered the technical side of things, let’s talk about something a little less tangible, but equally important: consistency.

As Dominique J. so eloquently put it, the more often you’re adding new content to your e-commerce site, the more frequently Google’s bots will come crawling. And let me tell you, those little critters love a site that’s constantly evolving and updating.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I’m an e-commerce business, not a blog! How am I supposed to keep up a constant stream of fresh content?” Well, my friends, the answer is simpler than you might think.

Start by getting into the habit of regularly updating your product pages with new images, videos, and detailed descriptions. Heck, you could even try your hand at running a company blog, where you showcase your products, share industry insights, or even introduce the team behind your e-commerce empire.

And don’t forget about social media! Posting regularly on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter not only helps you engage with your customers, but it also gives Google’s bots even more content to crawl and index.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to keeping your e-commerce site fresh and relevant in the eyes of the Google gods. So, get out there, start creating, and watch as your site climbs the search engine rankings faster than you can say “add to cart.”

Putting It All Together: A Winning E-Commerce SEO Strategy

Alright, let’s recap everything we’ve covered so far:

  1. Robots.txt File: Make sure your robots.txt file is properly configured to allow Google’s bots to explore your e-commerce site.
  2. XML Sitemap: Create a comprehensive XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console to help the search engine discover and index your content.
  3. Backlinks: Build a strong backlink profile by reaching out to industry influencers, participating in online discussions, and engaging in strategic link-building outreach.
  4. Mobile Optimization: Ensure your e-commerce site is fully responsive, lightning-fast, and user-friendly on mobile devices.
  5. Consistent Content Creation: Regularly update your product pages, start a company blog, and stay active on social media to keep Google’s bots coming back for more.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your e-commerce site is indexed quickly and efficiently by the Google gods. And let’s not forget the added bonus of boosting your search engine rankings, which can lead to a flood of high-quality traffic and, ultimately, more sales for your online store.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, put on your SEO hat, and start optimizing your e-commerce site for lightning-fast indexing. Your customers (and your bottom line) will thank you for it.

Oh, and one more thing – don’t forget to check out MCR SEO, the Manchester-based agency that specializes in e-commerce SEO. They just might have a few more tricks up their sleeve to help you conquer the world of online retail.

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