Christmas Cleanup Fixing Common SEO Mistakes
Search Engine Optimization is a tricky and dynamic industry but avoiding certain pitfalls can increase your chances of winning a top spot on the first page of any search engine. If you’ve been in the industry for some time you may think you know what works but that has all changed and continues to change every time there is an algorithm update. In fact the tactics that used to earn you a high rank will now bury you deep in the SERPs. Despite Christmas being officially over, we are still full of holiday cheer and have some helpful advice to impart on you so that you too can take a good swing at the fast-pitch algorithms send you way.
Content Management vs. Static HTML
When developing a website it is recommended to use a platform that allows for the implementation of a content management system over the typical static HTML. Why you ask? Because when you have a website that is developed on platform with a CMS you can add pages, make edits in minutes compared to using static HTML. For those who made the mistake of using a static HTML for their websites, you are going to have to pay the developer more than you should to make minor edits, which adds up very quickly. Those with a CMS can do it themselves and make an unlimited number of changes to the content, images and one of the most important things meta data.
Redirect: 301 vs. 302
Bigger is not always better. Case in point: the redirect. When creating these types of links on your site, make use of a 301 unless a 302 is absolutely necessary. 301 redirects are very useful when you move your website to a new domain, move or merge content from one page to another, and it tells the crawlers that this is a permanent move. While using 302 redirects tells the crawlers that it is only temporary move. If you are using 302 redirects for off domain, you run the risk of the web server pulling content from the wrong domain. Example, you have domainname1.com and domainname2.com, and create a 302 from doaminname1.com to domainname2.com, the web server can change its mind since it is a temporary move and pull the content from the domain you intended to redirect from.
While a 404 ≠ 911 it is still quite alarming from an SEO standpoint. (For those of you wondering, a 404 is the dreaded broken link page). A 404 will not ruin your site but can have adverse effects on your SEO progress. The good news is that the remedy to a 404 is quick and easy. Replacing broken links is web development 101 but to prevent taking time out to make these fixes, set aside 10 minutes every few weeks and test all links on your site, using Screaming Frog or Xenu.
Following these three tips will ensure your website is easier to crawl, allows you to make edits in minutes and increase its performance. By developing a website on a CMS you will be a step ahead of the game and, you will be able to address broken internal links and even 301 redirects, all you have to do is access your .htaccess folder. Merry belated Christmas to all!