In the past few weeks, our SEO specialists at Consider Digital all noticed the same crucial mistakes. While performing SEO audits, some of those mistakes kept occurring although they should be obvious. Based on these frequent mistakes, our SEO specialists are able to point out five best SEO practices that can also alternate into helpful tips for you.
- 301 Redirects to Homepage
It’s been known for a while that redirecting URLs, which doesn’t exist anymore, to the homepage, is being seen as soft 404s by Google. In the last Webmasters-Hangout, John Mueller explained these: Google sees the 301 redirects as soft 404 errors and thus simply ignores them. A query is considered a soft 404 when it doesn’t deliver fitting content without sending the right HTTP-status. Find out more about this here.
So, for example, in your next big migration project, you should keep away from building redirects to the homepage for dead URLs. Instead, you should build links pointing to the correct new URLs. By doing this, you will also be able to “transfer rankings and trust from its predecessor”.
- Multipage Focus
Another often encountered mistake in e-commerce: Websites often want to rank for their different selection of products at the same time. For example: A company selling bikes wants to rank for each different category at the same time for their individual pages.
As this is going to be a long and tedious process to rank for several keywords at once, the company should rather focus on ranking for the one strong product, like for example “mountain bike”. This will utilise the strength of the company’s strongest keywords and thereby also push the others.
- Updating to HTML5
Many webmasters are rushing to update their platform from HTML4 to HTML5. From a web-development point of view, this very much makes sense, since it comes with many improvements. Not so for your website’s organic ranking, as it doesn’t really affect its SEO score. Our specialists that participated in Google’s Webmasters-Hangout session were informed about this by a top Google SEO specialist.
- More Crawling ≠ Higher Ranking
Many people believe that their site ranks low because the Googlebot rarely crawls their websites. This is only true in one specific case, which is when the website rolls out updates, immensely improving SEO in a short period of time. In the other 99% of all cases, the crawl frequency of the Googlebot does not matter in how high you rank. Websites should focus on their website’s’ overall SEO performance and quality of content to rank higher.
- Sitelinks & SEO Performance
Contrary to many firm believers, sitelinks do not help your site rank higher in organic results. Although they do help increase the overall user experience with your website as people are able to find the pages they’re searching for faster. In the video below, Google’s John Mueller is answering this question, too.
Have you encountered SEO related problems in the past few weeks? If you have, let us know and do share this article to your friends if they have the same issues!