Digital Marketing: How to Optimize Content for Search Engine Robots

By Ryan Deiss, Russ Henneberry

If you are a digital marketer, don’t neglect optimization strategies for search engine robots. Search engine robots are programs that visit web pages and “crawl” or index the content on those pages. However, if barriers have been placed, the robot can’t crawl the page, so that page doesn’t get indexed or served to searchers. One of your search marketing goals should be to make it as easy as possible for search robots to access and index your pages.

At this point, search marketing can become extremely technical. If your website is unintentionally creating barriers and “speed bumps” for search engines, you may need to involve a search engine optimization (SEO) professional who understands the technical side of search marketing.

To determine whether your website has robot optimization issues, install Google Search Console on your website. Google Search Console (formerly Google webmaster Tools) is a free tool that allows you to see your website as the Google search engine sees it. You can view important technical information about search robots’ capability to index your website, including the following:

  • Index status: The total number of URLs from your site that have been added to Google’s index. If your website has 100 pages, for example, you should see that number of pages in the index-status report.
  • URL errors: Pages that Google is having difficulty accessing. Investigate the reasons why pages have errors, and repair them.
  • Security issues: If your site contains malware, it will appear in the Google Search Console. A site with security issues is very unlikely to be served traffic by search engines like Google. Address malware issues immediately.