SEO Tips for site optimization

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continuously changing and fast paced industry. A tactic that might be working today may notwork tomorrow so it is always a requirement in this industry to keep learning and improving by conducting own studies or reading the studies of other SEO experts from their personal or professional experiences.

While some studies don't really seem to have shown and proven results, others have seen a tremendous positive impact that can be very effective for every websites in any industry such as:




However, this does not mean that if their strategy worked for their industry or niche, it would work for your industry as well, right? Before you do any further SEO on a website, you should first look at the backbone of your own property for improvement and follow the studies mentioned above. This list of SEO tips may actually help you lead your way to succeed in ranking in organic search without having to rely on various case studies and everything.

Note: Case studies mentioned above are awesome. I use and follow those ideas for better performance in search industry. :)

The main purpose of this post is to help websites become search engine friendly, increase organic traffic and improve user experience.

This post consists of the SEO tips for on-site optimization that are not about the meta data, image alt, keyword in URL etc as you already know more about them than I do and there have been a lot of articles written about them so I won't attempt to rewrite the history.

Find 404 pages

Giving the best user experience to our visitors is what we always wanted to improve in the long run. We obviously don't want them to be disappointed whenever a new visitor discovers our site by giving our audience pages that are no longer available or live. For small or enterprise businesses out there, Im sure it will be a huge slap to their website when a visitor left their website due to annoying 404 pages and went back to organic results to look for your competitors. So dealing with 404 pages is not just an option, it is an important tip that should be incorporate to a website.


Also, did you know that this can help build your website the following benefits?

  •  Longer engagement rate
  • Increase conversion rate
  •  Increase return visit rate
  • Trust rate

How to discover 404 pages on a website?

Finding 404 pages should not be really time consuming and difficult to perform as there are tools that can help you do the job as quick as possible! In this phase, you will need to acquired ScreamingFrog tool to see the list of 404 pages

The process:
  1. Have your website crawled by the tool
  2. Go to URL list of your website and select the response code status found on your website.
  3. Export the list of 404 pages and start redirecting them to related content on your website.
Another way, you can see 404 pages by checking your site errors in GWT.

Login to your GWT account, go to your website, CRAWL section to and see CRAWL errors.




Eliminate 302 redirects

This is rarely happens on every website but it is still something that should not be kept as far as optimizing a website as a whole is concern. In an SEO perspective, losing high quality inbound links to a website is definitely a serious matter. Especially if those links are from governmental or educational sites so the value of links should be given priority.

For 302 status code, this is quite similar to losing your links to your site as 302 redirect or temporary redirect don't pass any value and authority to a website compare to 301 redirect. So getting rid of 302 redirects is imperative especially for e-commerce website.

How to identify 302 redirects on your pages

  1. Have your website crawled by the tool
  2.  Go to URL list of your website and select the response code status found on your website.
  3.  Export the list of 302 pages and start redirecting them to related pages using 301.


Resolve unresponsive website design

While the uses of desktop computers are high, the uses of smart phones and tablet are on the rise. A study show that engagement on Mobile and Tablet is becoming more popular in for search users as this gives them a convenient way of browsing the internet at their comfort times. So giving your audience an optimal viewing experience is definitely crucial if you want to give positive user experience in various technology platforms to your audience.




Resolve canonical issues

It has always been an issue for websites to avoid duplicate content issues. Although Google has told many times that duplicate content can severely damage a website ranking in organic search, it is still surprising to see websites that practice having duplicate content on their website unconsciously or consciously. One good example of this issue is by having unresolved canonicalization issues; it is very given that when a website is accessible in different URL format, it triggers duplicate content as search engines look at it that way.

Example of accessible website in different URL format:

  •  http://www.domain.com/main.html
  •  http://www.domain.com/index.html
  •  http://domain.com
  • http://domain.com/main.html
  • http://domain.com/index.html

While we all know that those URLs mentioned above points to the same page, Google considers them different as pages with the same content that causes duplicate content issue.

Another way of identifying duplicate issue on a website is by using Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), one of the beneficial features is this can help webmasters spot the potential duplicate issues of title and description within a website, which is not a good practice approach in the field of digital marketing.

How to spot HTML improvement to a website using Google Webmaster tools:

  • Login to your Google mail account and go to Google.com/webmasters
  • Spot duplicate meta title and description within your website as defined in HTML improvement of your website

Optimize your rich snippets

One crucial SEO tip a webmaster needs to be taken into practice and implementation is by optimizing your search preview for your target key phrases that will drive organic traffic to your website. In organic search results, the more information your website is able to show in SERPs, the higher the chances that you will increase your CTRs which is highly important as far as increasing organic traffic is concern.



There are several types of rich snippets that Google supports for several content types; this summarizes a page that helps users to understand what the page is about in our search results. These types are actually the information that Google believes are informative to search users and can give them an idea of whats on the page and why its relevant to their search query.

  • Reviews
  • People
  • Products
  • Businesses and organizations
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Music
  • Videos

How to get started with rich snippets and structured data?

  •  Learn what micro data is
  • Start marking up your content
  • Test your rich snippet


To see full example of implementation of rich-snippets, visit this blog post by HobSpot.

Implement breadcrumbs

For large websites like news sites or e-commerce sites, it is important that they help their audience track back their locations on a particular page of a website. This set of links can help a user understand and navigate your site's hierarchy that can give them a better user experience while on a website.

In digital marketing industry, implementing breadcrumbs navigation is not just a requirement; it is a mandatory for every website which aims to help their audience have a wonderful experience.

Importance and best practices of breadcrumbs for a website:

  •  SEO Benefit
  • This helps your audience navigate your site
  • Always start from your home page down to category page  individual page
  • Utilize relatively keywords as displayed anchor text in your trail
  • Breadcrumbs should always reflect to your website hierarchy

A good example of breadcrumb is listed below:

Dresses Real Dresses Real Green Dresses
Webmaster Tools Help articles My site and Google Creating Google-friendly sites

Doing your website and your audience a small favor will give you huge success in terms of user experience, longer visitor engagement and most importantly, this helps your website for being search engine friendly which is absolutely important for larger websites.

Appearing in In-depth articles

Optimizing your appearance in organic search is really crucial as this helps provide more information to your audience on what information they should expect to see on your website. In related to that section, Google has given another feature that websites and webmaster would enjoy hopefully in the long run. Google will reward websites that provide high quality content to appear in in-depth article section that can increase your organic traffic from Google.
  
What are the requirements for this markup on a website?

Normally, this will require schema article markup highlighted the following features:

  • headline
  • alternativeHeadline
  • image (note: the image must be crawlable and indexable)
  • description
  • datePublished
  • articleBody




To see the benefits of this awesome mark-up on Google, visit this blog post on QuickSprout.

Allow comment board section

Having a conversation with your audience about specific topic posted on your blog section can help you get to know them. Perhaps, this is also a good section to hear their opinion and thoughts about a specific topic.  Of course, anticipating that spammers will come around to spam your comment section, you need to set some rules that even if a spammer drops a comment, that won't have negative result to your website at all.

Have some rules:

  • Use real name
  • Require email
  • Don't ask for a URL
  • Review comments

Implement social buttons


Essentially, giving your audience a way to connect with you in different ways is a great approach in digital marketing. I know it is very common for every digital marketer out there to place social buttons on their clients' website or their own but surprisingly, a lot of them failed to do this. The opportunity they actually missed here is not actually a lot - sarcasm saying! They are just losing potential social followers that could be a big help to them!



Moving forward, placing your favorite social platforms on the very prominent place of your website is good enough to catch your audience attention. If you want help with installing social buttons on your site, you can use the Addthis plugin. There are free and paid plugin with different design that you can choose from so do an experiment to see which design will work best!




Give Subscribe button!

Looking to expand your email subscribers list is actually one of the high priorities to establish in digital marketing space. You need to have a sky is the limit list but you also want to ensure that those subscribers are the right people to target.



And this is where subscribe button comes in. By adding subscribe button on the very prominent section of your website, you can actually increase the list of people who are happy to get updates from you.

Actually, there is a plugin that I'm using on this blog called ManyContacts - a free subscribe to me plugin that can help you build your sky is the limit list! If you want to know how this plugin works, checkout this review by KaiserTheSage.

If you are marketing your business online, getting all the potential help that can help you improve your traffic, links, user experience and more importantly sales or conversion in a legitimate way, this one is right for you.

Shazam! It ends here..

Doing your website and your visitors a huge favor in terms of user satisfaction experience is actually a big win to achieve for business owners. If you don't think it is not very rewarding, it is not probably your goal to improve your user experience.

Remember that Google monitors a website in so many ways with (GA code installed) particularly based on visitors behavior on a site. If they leave right away and went back to SERPs, this would mean that you didn't meet the expectations of your visitors and could cause negative impact to your website. So dealing with issues and looking for improvement is a good combination that an SEO must always use to a website.

If I missed SEO tips for webmasters, let me know in comment section and I'll be happy to update the list. If you like this post, you can socialize with me! 



Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippine-based Online Marketing blog. Joseph has been working in SEO industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ and Ahrefs.