In the previous article we went over two of the top four tips for using SEO with Google. The importance of using metadata, alt image descriptions, and the advantages and disadvantages of using general keywords or "long tail" keywords were discussed.
Below we will list two more aspects that are essential to position your page in Google search engines:
- Avoid duplicate content and use canonical urls.
When there is a page on our website that can be accessed with different names, such as: https://example.com/product/shoes and https://example.com/product/3212/shoes, Google will probably begin to consider these pages as duplicates and that is not good at all. A duplicate page in the worst case will not even be able to be indexed in Google. (Seriously, Google hates repeated content.)
The way to fix this is by using the attributes for canonical URLs and explicitly declaring to Google what we want the "real" page to be that it should index. This can be achieved through a system or directly from HTML.
In the case of sites that are multi-language something similar happens, but in these cases it is not completely necessary to declare a canonical page since we want the versions in each language to be indexed equally and not give priority to a particular version. This is achieved by using the alternate tags and specifying to Google which are the languages that this page supports and what is the URL to access each one. Again Google offers a manual to do this with HTML or from the sitemap, as it sees fit.
- Consider using structured data
Structured data is a powerful tool that serves Google to display smarter results and serves us so that our information is deployed to search engine users in a format easier to digest.
For example, with structured data, we can make a page that talks about a recipe explicitly detail the steps to follow, so that when someone Searches Google that recipe, they can get the breakdown of the steps to follow, without having to enter the website. Another example would be a job offer site: by using this technology, the search engine could display cards with job offers, as if it were a catalog.
There is structured data for many types of content: articles, videos, news, recipes, software applications, local businesses, among others. Each type requires different information, so it is necessary to first decide on what kind of data our page will speak. Here you can see how to implement them.
Many websites have not yet adopted this technology and some types of data are still in a beta state. This represents an opportunity that should be taken full advantage of, but it should always be kept in mind that it should only be used in cases where it does apply. If the information on any page does not fall into the categories listed in Google's data types, it is not recommended to try to abuse this tool by filling it with false information.
And now, what's next?
You have already implemented some or all of the suggestions that we list here and it is sure that you will see the changes reflected in your ranking little by little, once the new information spreads. But it doesn't end there. In web development it is necessary to monitor the efficiency of our decisions and evaluate these results to make new and better decisions.
We hope that this article will be useful to help you raise the ranking of your web pages. Reducing the bounce rate, increasing the user's time on the website, optimizing the site for mobile, adding new and relevant content for the user are other concepts and techniques that you will need to master to climb to the top of that coveted results page.