When I am carrying out an SEO audit, one of the first things I do is a Google SERPS Check. This is a check to see if your website is listed in Google and has been correctly indexed.
If a website is not being indexed correctly then you may see no pages listed when you search for your business, or you may see less than you expected.
How to check if your business is correctly listed in Google?
In the Google search bar type “site::yoursitename.com” to get an approximate number of pages that Google sees as indexed. In my search below, Google tells me I have approximately 276 pages listed.
When I look at the results I am looking for two things.
- Content that really shouldn’t be there. That could be stand alone images, pages that should be hidden, thin content pages etc. Depending on the way your website has been built you may find you have a lot of ‘extra’ pages that are smaller parts of larger pages. This happens in WordPress. E.g I use a testimonial plugin on my site. Each testimonial is created on its own page. I don’t want people to find the individual testimonials in Google. On their own they don’t really add any value to my customers journey. They also only contain a few sentences so they appear as thin content to Google which will affect the overall quality of my website.
- The initial representation the page in the results. That is, how does the title and description look. Are they easy to read or are they a jumbled mess?
How to do a SERPS check If you have access to your Google Webmaster / Google Search Console account
Log in to your Google Search Console account and navigate to the Index -> Coverage report. Here you will see the pages that are indexed and those that are not.
I prefer to do the SERPS check using the Google Search Console because it has a lot of useful data about the pages it has or hasn’t indexed. Looking at these reports can often identify problems for poor ranking.
Case study 1
A client of mine came to me wondering why she had no traffic from search engines. After one minute into the audit I could see she had no pages in the Google index. Since she had a WordPress website I quickly checked that she had not ticked the box in the settings that stops Google from indexing you. She had ticked it. You may have the seen setting yourself. Once she unticked it, she finally started getting traffic.
Case study 2
During another SEO audit for another client, I noticed that not all his pages were being indexed. After further investigation I found that Google was omitting about a quarter of his pages because the page title and description were very similar. Google thought these pages were too similar to the home page. This is currently ongoing so I will report back once he has completed his SEO tasks.
Understanding how many pages of your website Google has in the index is the first step to improving your SEO. If you would like me to check for you, I can do this as part of my SEO audit. You can read more about my audit here.
Over to you
Leave a comment below if this has helped you or ask a question if you would like some help.