Are you ready to begin working on improving the search engine optimisation of your website? We have 10 things you can do today, that will improve the SEO without having to do anything new. Clearing out the old mistakes before adding in the new techniques will help deliver strong results. Here are the jobs you can start with.
Check for errors in your internal link structure
Each page you create for your websites should be reachable by one static link text. While your CMS should take care of this for you, it is quite possible for the links to go wrong. One common error is adding every single link in the navigation of the site. All those links in your menus is a nightmare for people trying to use your website and find themselves around. It’s also very bad news for those visiting your website via a mobile device. Search engines will also struggle with your navigation, leading to confusion as to which are the most important pages and topics on your site.
Help improve the ranking of your site by:
- Using a categorical hierarchy
- Using contextual links in the body of your content
- Don’t use tag clouds and avoid the use of a dated archive list
- Not canonicalizing several page posts leading to the first page
Failing to Use Canonicalization
Canonicalization informs the search engines that the linked URL needs to be treated as a ‘canon’ rather than the current page. The reason for this is to stop any duplicate content from being indexed, which can reduce the search engine authority of your site. Another reason is to pass on the PageRank to the canonical page from the non-canonical page.
One definite use of the conical tag should be used during A/B testing. The conical tag prevent the alternative page from being indexed, ensuring any authority that is earned is passed on to the primary page of the two. You should also definitely be using them on product pages, such as products that are available in different colours.
Outbound Links Errors
In general, the only outbound links you should include on your site-wide navigation should be your social media profiles. There are a couple of reasons not to include outbound links in your navigation:
- Search engines might mistake them for spam
- External links in the navigation will reduce the authority that’s sent to your website
If you have links elsewhere in your website, within the main content, you only need to remove them if they lead to poor websites. Sites that might be considered spammy or unfavourable in Google’s eyes.
You must also remember to add a nofollow tag to every single link that is an advertisement. This could be sponsored content, a paid link request and so on.
You Do Need Outbound Links
You might be tempted to go and remove all the outbound links you’ve added in your content. That would be a grave mistake as you do need to have some. Studies have shown that sites without any outbound links don’t perform as well in the search engines. You should ensure that you link to good quality websites only, and link only to sites that are in context with the content on the page.
Lacking a XML Sitemap
You still need to have an XML sitemap for your site and it needs to be up to date. Research into whether your content management system automatically updates your sitemap each time you add new content. Your sitemap should also be submitted so that Google knows it’s there. Check over your current sitemap, update it if necessary and add it by visiting Google Search Console.
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