Help Google Crawl Your Law Firm Website

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To reach your marketing goals and turn potential leads into paying clients, Google needs to be able to crawl and index your website. There are a number of approaches you can take to improve your online visibility. If you want to help Google crawl your law firm’s website, there is foundation SEO knowledge you need to know, as well as specific indexing information. 

What Is Crawling and Indexing?

Google’s web index is essentially a database of valuable information on the internet. Google uses its database to store trillions of pages of information so that when users submit a query, the most relevant web pages pop up to provide valuable answers. To locate the most helpful web pages on the internet, Google uses “spiders” to crawl from site to site. The spiders follow links to find content, and the crawled information is stored in Google’s index. So, when a user performs a search, Google sorts through its established database to provide answers efficiently. 

Google wants to provide the most up-to-date results possible, so its spiders constantly crawl the internet for new information. The massive database is continuously being updated. 

Check Your Indexing Status 

To check the status of any web page, all you need to do is enter “site:yourdomain.com/.” When you type that into Google, the results will show you all of the pages the search engine has indexed, as well as the current meta tags saved in the index. If none of your pages appear, it means that your site has yet to be indexed. 

If you are just getting started, it can take some time for Google’s spiders to crawl your website and index the pages in the database. However, if weeks or months pass and you still are not seeing any results, it is time to do some investigating. 

Reasons Your Website Is Not Appearing on Google 

If your law firm’s website is not showing up on Google, you will want to solve that problem as quickly as possible. Some common reasons websites do not appear in search engine results include the following:

  • Your website has not been indexed. If Google has yet to index any of your web pages, your website is not accessible through any organic search. 
  • You do not have a Google My Business Listing. Google My Business listings help law firms when users use local search terms in their queries.
  • Your website and web page content are not optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization is absolutely crucial for your website’s visibility. 
  • Your target keywords are in a competitive market. Targeting keywords that other established law firms are already ranking for can make visibility challenging. 
  • Your website has been removed from Google. It is unlikely your website has been removed from Google unless you have violated quality guidelines.

The Benefits of Quick Indexing 

The sooner your new content is indexed, the better. Google spiders may not always find your web pages on their own, mainly if your site is relatively new or it does not get crawled often. If that is the case, it could take days or even weeks to index new content. If there are delays in your website’s search engine visibility, you may not see the digital marketing success you were expecting. 

Once your web pages are indexed, you can start competing for top spots in search engineer results. It is not uncommon for it to take months or even years for a website to reach a place on Google’s first page for a given query, which is why quick indexing is so valuable. 

One of the most popular tools web admins use to improve the chances of fast indexing is Google Search Console. The free tools can help you monitor your website’s visibility and rankings. The tool can be used to ensure Google knows your content exists by monitoring crawling and learning about index errors and security issues.  

How to Help Google Crawl Your Website

If Google is not indexing your web pages, your website is essentially invisible to search queries. To ensure you get organic traffic, there are a number of steps you should take to help Google’s spider crawl your website more efficiently.  

1. Remove Crawl Blocks 

If Google is not indexing your website, the issue could be because of a crawl block. Crawl blocks happen in robots.txt files. Essentially, the code snippet tells Google it is not allowed to crawl any of the pages on your website. To check to see if this is the problem you are having, go to the backend of your website and look for either of these code snippets and remove them:

  • User-agent: Googlebot, Disallow: /
  • User-agent: *, Disallow: /

2. Remove Noindex Tags

While there is occasional use in keeping some web pages private, pages that are accidentally marked as not to be indexed can hurt your website. To determine what pages have a noindex meta tag, you can use Ahrefs’ Site Audit. Under the Indexability report, you can look for noindex page warnings and address them as needed.  

3. Remove Unnecessary Canonical Tags  

Canonical tags inform Google of preferred web pages. The majority of pages either have no canonical tag or have what is referred to as a self-referencing canonical tag. Both let Google know that the web page is the preferred and likely only version. However, if you unnecessary canonical tags, they could be telling Google about page versions that do not exist. If that is the case, your page will not get indexed.  

4. Add a Sitemap to Your Website 

If you have not already, make sure you add a sitemap to your website. A sitemap is a webpage that tells Google which pages are most important. It can also guide Google on how often the website should be recrawled. While Google should be able to find all of the pages on your website whether you include them in the sitemap, it is considered good practice to add them. If you are uncertain whether a specific webpage is included in your sitemap, you can utilize the URL inspection tool in Search Console. 

5. Check for Orphaned Pages 

Any page that does not have internal links pointing to it is considered an orphaned page. When Google crawls websites, it cannot detect orphaned pages. Website visitors are unable to find them as well. There are two ways you can fix orphaned pages. If the page is unimportant, simply delete it and remove the link from your site map. If the page is important, simply incorporate it into your website by adding it to the internal link structure. 

6. Optimize Internal Links 

When Google crawls your website, it is looking for new content. It is crucial to add internal links to your website to ensure that content is found. You can do that from any other web page Google has crawled and indexed. 

7. Fix Nofollow Internal Links 

Nofollow links prevent the transfer of Google’s PageRank to the destination URL. According to Google, pages with nofollow links are not crawled. However, it is possible the target page could still appear within the index if other websites are linking to those pages without using nofollow links. To avoid nofollow link issues, make sure that all internal links to indexable pages on your website are followed. 

8. Evaluate Your Page Content 

It is unlikely that Google will index pages it considers low-quality because they offer to value to visitors. If technical issues do not seem to be the reason your page is struggling, look for pages that could be lacking value. If users are unlikely to find value on the page, you need to look for ways to improve your content. 

9. Remove Low-Quality Pages 

If you take the steps to tackle technical issues and improve your content, but you still have too many low-quality pages, it is time to consider removing some of those pages. Doing so can help optimize your crawl budget. The more URLs your website has, the more efficient your crawl budget should be. 

10. Revamp Your Backlinking Strategy  

If another website links to one of your web pages, Google is more likely to find value in your website. While Google does not only index pages with backlinks, it is more likely to view them as necessary. Common backlinking strategies include outreach, guest blogging, and paid promotion. 

How Law Quill Can Help Google Crawl Your Website 

Whether you are just starting your law firm’s digital marketing journey or you have been at it for years, it is crucial to understand your site’s visibility and what you need to do to help Google crawl and index your pages and quickly and efficiently as possible. 

We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at support@lawquill.com.