Page errors (404, Soft 404)
Creative Digital Marketing Agency in London first thing you need to do is check Google Search Console to see if you have any 404 errors. For any pages that no longer exists use a 301 redirect to the relevant new page. Likewise, if you have any temporary pages missing, use a 302 redirect. Whilst 404 errors don’t directly affect Google Panda and are a natural part of the web (content comes and goes), where possible it’s a good idea to ensure you redirect any pages where there is a highly relevant alternative to a suitable alternative if you have one. If there are no alternatives which meet the same query which search engine users are seeking for their information need then where possible serve a 410 response code if the content isn’t coming back. For out of stock products return a 404 Gone code as the product if the product will be re-stocked in the future. One area to avoid is returning a 200 OK code when there is none or very, very little content of any relevance on the page at all. Google will treat these as something called ‘soft 404s’ which means you’re saying they’re OK and something is there but in actual fact it’s really nothing at all. You’ll see pages which Google believes are ‘soft 404s’ in Google Search Console. 404 errors by themselves are not unhealthy but pages which pretend to be filled with content by serving a 200 OK response code to search engines but are not really serving anything much don’t exactly give a signal of high quality or of server response codes which should be trusted.
If you use any CMS or syndicated content platforms you can easily end up with multiple URLs leading to the same content. This is a big no-no with search engines so take a look at Google’s very own guide to canonicalisation and setting preferred URLs.
All major search engines recommend you have an XML sitemap to help their search bots count your web pages. Type in www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml to check you have a sitemap and, if you get a 404 page error, you need to create one.
Content & Editorial SEO
Content and keywords
You can’t escape it – quality content is your biggest asset for SEO success and the standards rise with every Google update. You need to create regular content which has genuine value to your target audience and make sure your keyword strategy meets the latest Google regulations.
Page titles & headings
Digital Marketing Agencies Leeds good page title should be natural, contain your primary keywords and generally end with your brand name. Keep it descriptive though – just like all content you are writing for humans first and search engines second.
Get to know your heading tags from h1 to h6 and make sure you use them properly.
Meta & alt descriptions
Meta descriptions no longer factor in search ranking, but they are the first thing people see on the results page – so your meta descriptions need to entice searchers to click through to your page.
Don’t forget about images either. Alt tags give you a chance to describe your pictures for image searches and screen readers. Which means search engines and hard of sight users can both interpret your images.
Semantic markup doesn’t help you rank any higher either, but it can increase your click-through rate by giving your search listing an edge on the competition. By using Schema or another semantic language you help search engines rank your pages more relevantly and in return you get author names or product ratings in your snippets.
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