How To Improve Crawl Budgets for Top-Performing URLs
Crawl budget is a critical element of SEO — but it’s also easy to overlook if you don’t know why it’s so important.
Businesses may take for granted that Google’s crawlers will browse their websites in full and explore every page. But that’s not the case and certainly not for large, enterprise websites. Your site may not achieve the online visibility you expect if you fail to optimize your crawl budget.
In this post, we’ll explore:
- What crawl budget is and why it matters
- How you can find your top performing URLs
- How you can measure URL performance
- How to improve the importance of your URLs
What is crawl budget and why it matters
Crawl budget applies to the time and resources search engine crawlers spend crawling your site — specifically how frequently crawlers explore your domain and the number of pages they index within a specific period. Believe it or not, even powerhouses like Google have finite resources. They have to split their focus across an increasing number of websites — around 2 billion exist as of January 2021, though below 400 million are active.
Your crawl budget – the amount of attention your site receives from Google’s spiders – depends on how often they want to crawl it and how often they can.
A crawl budget enables search engines to prioritize their crawling processes in a logical, organized way. It is critically important because simply put, a page cannot end up in search results if Google fails to even find it in the first place. The larger the website, the more likely it is that strategic pages are going undiscovered.
If search engines overlook your highest-value pages and visit too many of your low-value pages, your target customers may have a harder time finding the content you really want them to.
How to find your top-performing URLs?
A page’s demand affects its crawl budget: users want to find quality content, and a page’s popularity determines the budget assigned.
Crawlers should mainly crawl the pages on your site that feature your most important content, such as the most profitable product pages on an online store.
So, how do you identify those top-performing URLs on your site?
The Botify Analytics suite integrates a number of datasets – crawl data, web server log data, website analytics, and user query data – to give you the most holistic representation of the health of your website and how it’s seen from the lens of search engines and users. .
Botify Analytics brings back more than 1,100 data points for each URL to give you a comprehensive look into your domain — and your top-performing URLs.
How to measure URL performance
You can measure URL performance by analyzing specific metrics, including the five below:
- Bounce rate: A high bounce rate indicates that users are leaving a page for one or more reasons, such as slow load times, poor navigation, or content that didn’t meet their query intent.
- Time to title: The length of time that passes between a user requesting a page on your site and its title appearing in their browser tab.
- Time to start render: The time from a user’s request and the moment a page’s content is displayed in the user’s browser
- Time to interact: The time from a user’s request until they can interact with the page (e.g., fill in forms)
- Time to first byte: The time between making a connection to the server and the first byte of information reaching the user’s browser
The better the performance of a page, and the more valuable its content, the more likely it is to engage users and be crawled by search engines.
How to improve the performance of your URLs
Follow these simple tips to boost your URLs’ performance:
- Address broken URLs: These can waste your site’s crawl budget and stop crawlers from finding important pages, and indicate that your site is badly maintained
- Remove duplicate content: This encourages crawlers to concentrate on content that’s unique instead of unique URLs
- Increase your page load times: Slow load times can prevent crawlers from reading as much content on your site as they can — learn more about why website speed boosts SEO
- Take advantage of internal linking: Internal links direct crawlers to the pages on your site you want them to index, so create logical connections from one key page to another
- Block crawlers from URLs you DON’T want them to index: This prevents non-priority pages from being crawled — reducing the risk of wasted crawl budget
Issues to keep in mind
Be aware of the following when optimizing crawl budget:
- Clear, bug-free sitemaps can help crawlers view your site’s pages in one space
- Redirect chains can negatively affect your crawl limit and stop crawlers exploring your site before they reach valuable pages
- Look out for unnecessary infinite spaces, which can waste crawl budget
- Avoid linking to 404 error pages as you don’t want crawlers to squander time and resources visiting them
Improving crawl budgets for your top performing URLs can help you achieve better visibility and reach more customers on SERPs
Botify’s suite of tools empowers you to identify performance issues, recognize improvement opportunities, and optimize your crawl budget to ensure you deliver the right content to search engines.