Improving the website user experience you provide is a great way to grow your customer base. Some business owners fail to realize just how important a functional website is. Generating new sales leads will be nearly impossible if your business website is filled with technical errors or provides a bad user experience. 

Over 40% of online consumers will stop engaging with a website if it is slow or unreliable. Not only do you need to make sure your website loads quickly, you also need to make sure each of the pages on your domain are being discovered by popular search engines like Google. If you are having problems getting parts of your website on the radar of search engines, you might be dealing with orphan pages. Read below to find out more about what orphan pages are and what you can do to fix them. 

What Is an Orphan Page?

An orphan page is a page on a website that is difficult for search engines to discover. This lack of discoverability usually takes place because the page in question has no internal links from other parts of your website. In most cases, these URLs fall through the cracks because a search engine crawler can only discover pages that have external backlinks or that are featured on the sitemap file. Website users will only be able to discover these orphan pages if they know the URL by heart, which is rarely the case. 

Common Issues That Cause Orphan Pages

Generally, orphan pages are developed due to a lack of planning. During site migrations or site redesigns, you need a plan to ensure no orphan pages are created. According to Google, the main method used by its crawlers to discover new or updated pages is by following links from page to page. If these links are not in place, parts of your website will receive little to no traffic. This can be extremely detrimental to your ability to accomplish your search engine optimization goals. 

How To Deal With Orphan Pages

There are a number of website audit tools on the market that can help you find orphan pages. Once you discover where these pages are, you need to develop a plan to fix them. The best way to fix these orphan pages is by adding them to your site structure. Adding internal links to these pages is the first step in putting them on Google’s radar. 

You also need to make sure these pages are included in your XML sitemap. Once you have added them to your XML sitemap, you need to resubmit it to Google for indexing. After Google indexes the new sitemap, your orphaned pages should start to show up in search engine results. 

If you are unsure about how to eliminate this problem from your website, then it might be time to reach out for some professional help. With the help of the team at Small Business SEO, you can make sure your website is firing on all cylinders.