The majority of websites only have around half of their content indexed by the search engines. It doesn’t matter how good those pages are, if they are not indexed in the search engines database, they won’t appear in search results and they won’t be receiving any traffic. One of the problems with many sites is that they haven’t made life easy for the search engines to find their pages, let alone read them and index them.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are several things that every web master could do that could lead to a significant number of pages being indexed fairly quickly. The first is fairly standard now – including and XML sitemap on your website and submitting it to the search engines. With Google for example, you can use its Webmaster Tools feature to submit your sitemap. Bing and Yahoo! have similar features. In most cases, you can also track the number of pages that have been indexed.
For some websites, including a user friendly sitemap will also help, especially if it is linked to from the home page. Links are at the heart of page indexation. If a page is quite deep in your site and it takes three or four clicks to get to, then there is a good chance it won’t be indexed. Important pages should be as high as possible in your website’s hierarchy thus making it easier for search engines to find.
One factor that will help search engines find your pages are the external links. The more external links coming into your site, the higher it may rank in search results. Sometimes variety is better than numbers so spreading those external links to important pages may yield better results than just linking to one or two pages all the time.
The more pages a small business has indexed, the better it can compete. Each page may only deliver one extra visitor per day, but if you can get another 50 pages indexed, that’s another 50 visitors each day, perhaps more. Check how many pages your website has, then check to see how many the search engines have indexed. If there is a significant difference, find and why and look to see what you can do to change the situation. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.