Hello, it's me again, Mike. I'm going to cut to the chase. In my previous post, I talked about three technical SEO issues you need to fix to increase your website’s traffic. I've received a handful of emails and private messages on Facebook from people who are interested to know more. So here are 3 more quick SEO strategies to help you improve your website's performance in search engines.
1. Eliminate Crawl Errors
Sometimes you don't realize that some of your web pages are not properly crawled in Google, and of course you don't want that. I already discussed about broken links in my previous post. It's a bit similar to eliminating crawl errors, only this time, the process is simpler and the data we need is from Google Webmaster Tools.
How to fix this:
- Go to your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard. If you don't have it, why? Seriously, you need Google Webmaster Tools to maximize the potential of your website. To install it, visit this link.
- Choose the website you want to check.
- Check out the Main Menu on the left side. Go to Craw l> Crawl Errors. You'll see all the errors in your website (Server error, Soft 404, Access Denied, Not Found).
- Click Download. You get a list of all errors that looks like this:
Now that you have the list, you'll have to check if these pages have links. I use this free tool called Netpeak Checker for this.
Open Netpeak Checker. Uncheck all radio buttons except Ahrefs(Backlinks), Moz (Link Count) & Majesticseo (Backlinks). This will show the total number of links to your error pages (internal, external, followed & unfollowed). You'll then get an idea if a certain error page is authoritative.
Still not convinced if the error pages have authority? Use Netpeak Checker again to check for the Page Authority. This time, uncheck all radio buttons except Moz. Choose SEOmoz Page Authority only.
6. Now that you're done filtering all error pages with authority, 301 redirect them to their similar pages. If they're old pages, find their new version pages then 301 redirect them. By doing this, the authority of the error pages will be transferred to the new pages.
2. URL Rewriting
A good URL has been considered a ranking factor by many SEO experts. Some created case studies to prove that it can increase rankings and can lead to more traffic in a website. I personally think it's a ranking factor considering that Google bothers to talk about it.
Some say dynamic URLs are not SEO friendly, and I have to agree with that, but there are certain cases when you have to consider these dynamic URLs. Ex. Product filters in your Ecommerce website, forums & some content management websites. I think that as long as you keep the parameters short in your URL, Googlebot won’t have any problems when it comes to crawling them. Indexing might take a while though.
Here’s an example on how to rewrite your Dynamic URL (source Google). Consider this URL:
- language=en - indicates the language of the article
- answer=3 - the article has the number 3
- sid=8971298178906 - the session ID number is 8971298178906
- query=URL - the query with which the article was found is [URL]
Not all of these parameters offer additional information. So rewriting the URL to www.example.com/article/bin/answer.foo?language=en&answer=3 probably would not cause any problems as all irrelevant parameters are removed.
Static URLs are indexed faster and rank fairer than dynamic URLs. Dynamic URLs are hard coded in HTML, while Static URLs don’t have variable strings; they usually contain keywords describing the page itself. Experts love static URLs because they get a lot of SEO benefits from it.
According to Rand Fishkin, the advantages of Static URLs are:
- Higher click-through rates in the SERPs, emails, web pages, etc.
- Higher keyword prominence and relevancy
- Easier to copy, paste and share on or offline
- Easy to remember and thus, usable in branding and offline media
- Creates an accurate expectation from users of what they're about to see on the page
- Can be made to contain good anchor text to help the page rank higher when linked-to directly in URL format
- All 4 of the major search engines (and plenty of minor engines) generally handle static URLs more easily than dynamic ones, particularly if there are multiple parameters
3. 301 Redirects
Let’s say you are redesigning your website and you are changing every page and migrating to new URLs. There are a lot of things to consider when doing this and you have to keep in mind you lose all the SEO work you've invested on if you don’t do them properly. This is where 301 redirects come to place.
Passing on the authority is one of the benefits you can get from redirecting your old webpage to the new one. Google and other search engines would then see all the links to the new page and consider it as the most authoritative one.
See what Matt Cutts has to say about 301 Redirects:
In some cases, Matt said 301 redirect is better than Rel canonical. For starters, 301 redirect is recommended also because it’s easier to implement.
Ask me anything!
This is just some technical SEO issues you need to fix to increase traffic but there are still more out there. If you have questions or recommendations, feel free to email me at Mike (at) spiralytics.com.
SEO is not just about Content Marketing and Link Buillding. It’s also about knowing the little things inside your website. Sometimes, link opportunities & technical issues are just there waiting to be discovered. You just can’t see them at first but if you dig deeper and find ways to fix them, you’ll take your website to a whole new different level.