SEO Is Not That Hard

Quick SEO Tips #61 to #70

May 22, 2024 Edd Dawson Season 1 Episode 110
Quick SEO Tips #61 to #70
SEO Is Not That Hard
More Info
SEO Is Not That Hard
Quick SEO Tips #61 to #70
May 22, 2024 Season 1 Episode 110
Edd Dawson

Send us a Text Message.

Let's unravel the mysteries of 404 error pages and the hidden power they hold in the realm of SEO! I'm Ed Dawson, and in this journey, we're diving into the intricacies of what these pages mean for your site's credibility with search engines. You'll get to grips with the significance of proper header codes and the perils of 'soft 404s,' alongside a treasure trove of practical tips from my two decades of website development and monetization experience.

In our quest for digital authority, we explore why the adage 'quality over quantity' is gospel in the world of backlinks, and why buying them might not be the shortcut to success you're hoping for. With a nod to past missteps and the harsh lessons of the Google Penguin update, this episode is an essential guide to building a robust SEO foundation and steering clear of common pitfalls that can derail your progress. Whether you're a budding website owner or an SEO veteran, these tips will sharpen your strategy and set you on the path to SEO mastery.

SEO Is Not That Hard is hosted by Edd Dawson and brought to you by KeywordsPeopleUse.com

You can get your free copy of my 101 Quick SEO Tips at: https://seotips.edddawson.com/101-quick-seo-tips

To get a personal no-obligation demo of how KeywordsPeopleUse could help you boost your SEO then book an appointment with me now

See Edd's personal site at edddawson.com

Ask me a question and get on the show Click here to record a question

Find Edd on Twitter @channel5

Find KeywordsPeopleUse on Twitter @kwds_ppl_use

"Werq" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Let's unravel the mysteries of 404 error pages and the hidden power they hold in the realm of SEO! I'm Ed Dawson, and in this journey, we're diving into the intricacies of what these pages mean for your site's credibility with search engines. You'll get to grips with the significance of proper header codes and the perils of 'soft 404s,' alongside a treasure trove of practical tips from my two decades of website development and monetization experience.

In our quest for digital authority, we explore why the adage 'quality over quantity' is gospel in the world of backlinks, and why buying them might not be the shortcut to success you're hoping for. With a nod to past missteps and the harsh lessons of the Google Penguin update, this episode is an essential guide to building a robust SEO foundation and steering clear of common pitfalls that can derail your progress. Whether you're a budding website owner or an SEO veteran, these tips will sharpen your strategy and set you on the path to SEO mastery.

SEO Is Not That Hard is hosted by Edd Dawson and brought to you by KeywordsPeopleUse.com

You can get your free copy of my 101 Quick SEO Tips at: https://seotips.edddawson.com/101-quick-seo-tips

To get a personal no-obligation demo of how KeywordsPeopleUse could help you boost your SEO then book an appointment with me now

See Edd's personal site at edddawson.com

Ask me a question and get on the show Click here to record a question

Find Edd on Twitter @channel5

Find KeywordsPeopleUse on Twitter @kwds_ppl_use

"Werq" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to. Seo is not that hard. I'm your host, ed Dawson, the founder of keywordspeopleusecom, the place to find and organise the questions people ask online. I'm an SEO developer, affiliate marketer and entrepreneur. I've been building and monetising websites for over 20 years and I've bought and sold a few along the way. I'm here to share with you the SEO knowledge, hints and tips I've built up over the years.

Speaker 1:

Hello, welcome to the latest episode of SEO is not that hard, and today we're going to carry on with our quick SEO tip series, and today we're going to do number 61 to number 70. So, without further ado, let's crack on. So tip 61, 404 pages that's the page not found pages that your web server should return. The page doesn't exist. They should return a 404 pages that's the page not found pages that your web server should return. The page doesn't exist. They should return a 404 header code. If they return a 200 header code, this is known as a soft 404 and it's not advisable to do this now. This is because if a web server returns a 200 header code, then you're telling the search engine that this page is okay and exists. It then risks google looking at the page and decided that you've got thin or non-valuable content on this page, and if this happens a lot, then it could cause google to decide that your site is full of thin content and it can have a detrimental. Now if you don't know what um website header codes are and uh, web server header codes are that, this may sound like a whole load of gobbledygook. The way to find out if you've actually got this happening on your site is to go to Google Search Console and if Google has found soft 404s, it will report those in the errors. So look out for those and then, if you Google around on how to fix this, you'll get a lot more information. So I know that it probably sounded nonsensical to many people, but it is something you can easily find by just going to google search console and then have a look about how to get that fixed.

Speaker 1:

Okay, tip 62 prioritize quality over quantity for backlinks. Now, not all backlinks are created equal, so a backlink from an established site that itself has a lot more backlinks will be worth a lot more than a link from a brand new website that has few or none of its own backlinks. And, additionally, a link from a page or site that is topically relevant to your website has additional value and this is because google it doesn't count all links as equal from other sites to yours. Partly it'll be to do with the authority of the page. The amount of page rank the page is linking to you has got will provide. The more page rank it has, the more page rank you will receive. But also Google also looks at where on the page links are placed. So some links can be more valuable just by the placement on the page. So within the context and the content of an article is better than, say, say, a footer link, and also it looks at the words around links to decide the relevance. So if a page is talking about the same topic as your web page that's being linked to, that'd be more powerful than one that is on a completely different topic, where it looks just like the link has been inserted for no particular reason. Tip 63 more links.

Speaker 1:

Be very careful if you decide to try buying backlinks because it's against Google's terms of service. Not that it can't work. Just ask anyone who remembers the Google Penguin update how bad the consequences can be. Now you'll find a lot of SEO influencers out there who are just telling you that buying backlinks works and often they'll also try to sell you backlinks as well. So there's a conflict of interest there maybe, but they won't often tell you of the risks of doing this. Now, buying backlinks can work and for the short term it can often work. But in the long term, if you're lucky, then Google will just discount these links and you'll have only wasted some money. But in the worst case, google will penalize or even de-index your site. Then you'll have wasted money and hurt your website and just set yourself back to square one.

Speaker 1:

And I speak here from bitter experience, having been badly hit by the Google Penguin update many years ago. We used to buy backlinks prior to Penguin Since then. That was when I had my epiphany, and it was a case of I'm not ever going to buy a single backlink again, because I just saw the value destroyed and all the work and money I'd put into getting there. Buying those backlinks just wiped out my site and set us back to position zero again and we had to start again with a new, whole new strategy, and it would just it would have been better if we'd never done it in the first place. Um, now, I'm not moralizing. Some people moralize on backlinks. I never moralize whether people buy backlinks or not. It's purely it's your choice. Just know the risks. And also I would say to this be careful on of conflating paying a link builder who uses white hat techniques to boost links for you with going to a service that just sells links and would pay people for the links. There's a big difference there. People who build links for you using things like digital PR, that's fine. That's all within the guidelines. You've just got to avoid people who are just going out and basically bribing people to give you a link with no editorial control.

Speaker 1:

Okay, tip 64 buying an expired domain that has existing backlinks can give you an easy ranking boost to start a new site with, but just beware that the site wasn't previously penalized for something. Now, this tip is one that I've considered taking out of my tips, because in March 2024, google announced that they now consider using expired domains as manipulating search results, as expired domain abuse. So Google are trying to crack down on this one. Now, that's not to say that there isn't some grey areas here. I think if you are buying a domain that's in a very similar niche to what you are wanting to start a site on, then you're probably going to get away with it. I think if you're just buying expired domains and then 301 redirecting them into your existing other website of the domain, then that may cause you more problems, and it's yet to be clear how much effort google have put into penalizing this and detecting it. It's one of those things that should be quite easy to detect, um, but I'm going to say that this one now needs to be treated with caution and is probably less of a big attack. It maybe used to be okay.

Speaker 1:

Tip 65 some niches are seasonal, so traffic levels can vary a lot through the year. Have this in mind. If you see traffic dropping, it could just be seasonal. So, for example, if a website that targets gardening, then you're going to see natural dips in traffic as you head into autumn and winter. At broadbandcouk we found that december was always an awful month for traffic and sales, as no one wants to switch their broadband in the run-up to christmas. But january would always be our best month, as people never spent at christmas for looking for ways to save money on their bills by switching to a cheaper broadband supplier. So always look out for seasonality, especially if it's the first time you've launched a site or you're new to a niche because you might think, oh my God, everything's terrible, my traffic's dropping, when actually it's just normal for the time of year and you've got to work out those seasonal patterns.

Speaker 1:

Tip tip 66 the weather can affect your website traffic. A sudden heat wave can drop traffic in many niches quite significantly as everyone rushes to be outside. I've seen this in e-commerce. Traffic sales drop dramatically for short periods when we have heat waves in the uk as people decide they'd rather be outside enjoying the sun rather than spending time online. But on the opposite side, if we get significant snowfall, then it can boost sales and traffic as people stay indoors. We've had this just at the time of recording. We've just had a really nice weekend in the uk and, you know, saw traffic drop 10 to 20 on sites that target in the uk because people were just like hey, the sun's come out for the first time in ages, let's get outside. And you see sales drop. So just be aware, you know, if ever you see a sudden drop one day just look out the window, look at the weather forecast. If it's a glorious weather then you can probably say, actually let's not worry about today, we'll come back and check in a while these things. If we have prolonged heat waves, I find that it normally takes three or four days and people start to resume their old habits and then you'll see the traffic come back up.

Speaker 1:

Tip 67. Downtime can kill your rankings. Use a service like Uptime Robot to monitor your site and alert you to problems. Google doesn't want to recommend a site that's often not available I mean occasionally you can get away with it, you know, because Google appreciate that things happen to sites. Even big, massive sites occasionally have outages, but if it becomes frequent, then it will hurt your rankings. So be proactive. Set up monitoring so they get alerted as soon as your site develops any issues so you can fix it ASAP. With Uptime Robot, they have free plans where it can check your website exists every five minutes. If it sees a problem, it will send you an email and then you can actually sort it out. It's free to set up and it means you don't have to be constantly checking the site yourself and can minimize downtime.

Speaker 1:

Tip 68. Looking to find websites that might link to you? Then look at your competitors backlink profiles to find websites that might link to you. Then look at your competitors backlink profiles to find sites that link to sites like yours. This will show you sites that are already willing to link to sites like yours, and they're perfect candidates for you to reach out to them and see if they will also link to you. If you want to see what kind of sites are linking to your competitors, then you can use ahrefs free backlink checker if you don't want to pay for a full Ahrefs account, and that will give you plenty of ideas and plenty of people to go and talk to.

Speaker 1:

Tip 69. Always use alt text with images. It's good for Google and it's also good for people with visual impairments. I mean, this is just good practice, both for SEO and for accessibility. For Google, it's another chance to reinforce what your content is about, and for the visually impaired, it could be the difference between your site working or not working for them, and so always, always use alt text with your images.

Speaker 1:

Tip seven don't neglect internal links. They help google navigate and understand your site, and real people use them as well. You should consider the internal links on your website, between pages, just like backlinks from external sites, but they're ones that you control. You can use the anchor text to send a signal to google what the web page you're linking to is about, and they also help google and your users find new and relevant content on your site. So yeah, when it comes to anchor text, don't use click here. Always use something that's descriptive of the page that you're linking to. Always try and make sure that pages are not too many clicks from your homepage. Try and think of your website structure logically, but always, if you're writing any new article or any new piece of content, if there is a relevant term you can link to another page to then do it. Look at how Wikipedia links between pages. Wikipedia has a huge number of links on its page. Users don't mind it, google doesn't mind it. People could put more internal links, I think, than they do, and it's a really important tip.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I hope you found those tips useful. If you want to get all the 101 tips in one nice, handy document, just go to the show notes. There's a link in there on how to download the one-in-one guide and see you next time. Before I go, I just wanted to let you know that if you'd like a personal demo of our tools at Keywords, people Use that you can book a free, no obligation, one-on-one video call with me where I show you how we can help you level up your content by finding and answering the questions your audience actually have. You, the questions your audience actually have. You can also ask me any SEO questions you have. You just need to go to keywordspeopleusecom slash demo where you can pick a time and date that suits you for us to catch up Once again. That's keywordspeopleusecom slash demo and you can also find that link in the show notes of today's episode. Hope to chat with you soon.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for being a listener. I really appreciate it. Please subscribe and share. It really helps. Seo is not that hard. It's brought to you by KeywordsPeopleUsecom, the place to find and organize the questions people ask online. See why thousands of people use us every day. Try it today for free at KeywordsPeopleUsecom To get an instant hit of more SEO tips. Then find the link to download a free copy of my 101 quick SEO tips in the show notes of today's episode. If you want to get in touch, have any questions, I'd love to hear from you. I'm at channel five on Twitter. You can email me at podcast at keywords people usecom. Bye for now and see you in the next episode of SEO is not that hard.