This article focuses on three different recurring SEO tasks that are almost hassle-free for any business – at any stage in their journey – to roll out at scale.
The three recurring SEO tasks cover three main areas:
Technical SEO tasks
Technical SEO is all about working on website structures and performance with the main purpose of making your website more accessible to crawlers as well as providing a great user experience.
For many website owners, this is also where it becomes difficult to prioritise. For a recurring optimisation process, you need a strong team that can deliver on it. An optimal team structure usually consists of a mix of web developers, CMS specialists, copywriters and data analytics specialists – but even with the perfect team in place – where should you begin?
If you could do just one thing that doesn’t require an entire team, and something to execute simply, then you should prioritise internal links and redirects.
A redirect sends both search engine crawlers and users to a different URL than the one they originally requested to visit.
Why should you care about re-directs?
Redirects are a great method to explain to both search engine crawlers and users that a URL has changed its destination either permanently (301 redirects) or temporarily (302 redirects). If your URL paths change or move this is crucial, yet way too often we see that redirects end up in so-called redirect chains and loops.
A redirect chain is when your page 1 redirects to page 2 that redirects to page 3 that redirects to page 4 (you see where this is going, right?!) and a redirect loop is when page 1 redirects to page 2 that redirects to page 3 and then redirects back to page 1.
These redirects chains and loops directly impact page speed, can cause tracking issues and also have a rather negative effect on user experience.
This is bad since Google with their most recent Core Update explains how an optimal page speed and user experience is a must for website owners.
And quite frankly, missing out on actionable performance insights due to redirect tracking issues is just frustrating.
How to manage redirect chains and loops
First, you want to make sure that we avoid all redirect chains and loops by inspecting your current setup with redirects.
Second, we want to ensure that when we serve updated and relevant content based on outdated pages we must also remember the redirects.
Finally, we want to make sure that any old URLs from which a redirect happens are no longer available for crawlers and are not indexed.
How often should you manage your redirects?
Redirects are almost inevitable and this is an amazing opportunity to take control and make sure that you are always serving relevant and reachable URLs.
If you would like to stay current, then apply this in your monthly or quarterly optimisation roadmap. How often you need to prioritise this is entirely dependent on how often you update your website with new and relevant content.
The challenge lies within the lack of knowledge for what brings the most value for crawlers and users – where to prioritise efforts and how often? Indeed, an area that has always been of high importance, and potentially now more than ever, is in the web page’s heading tag.
The HTML heading tag is used to define headings of a webpage. A heading is not only visible for users but also for crawlers since it is marked up in crawler readable HTML code.
The heading structure is determined by a number between 1 and 6, where the heading 1 (<h1>example text</h1>) is the primary heading tag. Therefore, we should also regard a heading structure as a hierarchy where 1 is the primary and this is where we want to include our primary keyword(s).
According to Google’s John Mueller, headings are one of the most important signals to crawlers and users. Almost all CMS have a standard editing function for working with the heading tags on a website. This means that in almost all cases, you are able to manage headings without the need for any additional resources making this task so easy to tend to on a regular basis.
There are so many ways that you can work with heading tags but we always recommend to organise through two approaches. One involves working across all pages and the other is very efficient mostly for commercial and transactional pages.
By isolating a landing page in Google Search Console you can see exactly the keywords you’re visible for. Use these insights to identify what keywords you would like to include in your heading and also what keywords you should include in that specific URLs HTML tag.
(To strengthen this approach you must include competitor data)
The most simple approach that does not require any 3rd party insight tools is to simply conduct a search in an incognito browser on the preferred keyword. Pick the top three to five ranking results and use this as inspiration combined with the results from Google Search Console to create your new and updated keyword optimised heading.
This approach functions very well for commercial and transactional pages. However, since the user intent for these pages is often rather far down the conversion funnel, including performance data from paid search is a perfect strategy.
If you have not already gone through your existing headings and optimised them as explained previously, there might already be a lot to tend to. Often we see that headings do not need changes that often once they are reflecting users search intent. However, if you create new landing pages frequently or optimise old landing pages then applying this data-driven approach is key to ensure a high level of relevance.