Good & Gold Help Center

    Best Practices: Search Engine Optimization

    April 18th, 2022

    In our ongoing management of your website’s SEO, we regularly crawl and audit your site to find and fix issues that may impede your site’s ability to receive high-quality traffic, rank, or be indexed by search engines. However, our efforts to both fix issues and to proactively improve your website’s SEO will be greatly improved if your internal team follows these ten tips. As always, let us know if you have any questions!

    Use unique, keyword-focused meta titles.

    Meta titles are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The meta title of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page's content—thus, it should be unique for every page. In search results, search engines will highlight keyword phrases for searched terms, which increases visibility and click-through rate. Meta titles should always be 60 characters or less and should not contain quotes or any non-alpha characters.

    Use concise, descriptive meta descriptions.

    The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a web page. Search engines such as Google often display the meta description in search results where they can highly influence user click-through rates. Every page of your website should have a unique meta description that provides an overview of the page’s content. These descriptions should be limited to 160 characters, but no less than 50, and should not contain quotes or any non-alpha characters.

    Use smart, scannable URLs.

    It’s important for URLs to contain descriptive keywords, but it’s also important to keep them short and human-readable. Do your best to limit URLs to about 75 characters, use hyphens instead of underscores, and maintain a consistent system for URLs across your website.

    Avoid 4xx errors.

    A 4xx error is an “HTTP status code” that indicates that a particular page couldn’t be reached. It often appears when a page doesn’t exist on the site. In many cases, this happens because a page’s URL was changed at some point. To avoid this, do not ever change a URL without creating a 301 Redirect from the old URL to the new URL.

    Remove out of stock items from your inventory.

    Whether a product is temporarily or permanently out of stock, make sure to update your inventory to reflect what you have available sell. Rather than removing product pages from your inventory altogether, which will create 4xx errors, you should “hide” them from your site. 

    Remove duplicate content from your website

    Duplicate content can result in improper indexing of your website in search engines. Google considers pages that are substantially similar to one another (90% or more) to be duplicates, and will choose one to index regularly and one to suppress unless given further instructions. 

    In order to avoid this situation, make sure that pages that are similar in nature (for example, products) contain unique copy. Good & Gold will alert you when a site crawl discovers duplicate content.

    Optimize your images.

    All images published on your website should be saved with a short, descriptive file name, and should include alt text. Before uploading images to your website, it’s also important to reduce their file size as much as possible without sacrificing resolution, so that large image files don’t affect page load times. You can use a desktop editor like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint, or an online editor like Pixlr to do this.

    Here are some general guidelines for doing this:

    • Use an image that is at least 1500 pixels wide.
    • Use an image file of less than 500 KB for best results.
    • Only use letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens in file names. 
    • Save your image in .jpg, .gif, or .png format.

    Build a strong internal linking system.

    When writing a new post or creating a new page, always link to other pages on your website when relevant. This will encourage users to spend more time on your website, and a higher average “time on site” leads to a lower bounce rate and an improved user experience. Make the navigation through your website as smooth as possible.

    Update your content!

    The best path to SEO is high-quality, well-researched, searchable content. When you consistently update and add fresh content to your website, Google will give your website more authority and will rank it higher in search results. Ultimately, fresh content tells Google that you are maintaining your website.

    Maintain your Google Business Profile.

    If your business either has a physical location that customers can visit, or travels to customers where they are, the Google Business Profile is an essential element of the search engine results page (SERP), and actively maintaining it will serve your business well! We highly recommend regularly reviewing your profile, and following Google’s best practices for keeping your profile optimized and up-to-date.

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