Mindy is a world renown SEO expert, marketing professor, published author, and the founder of MindShift, just to name a few. Here are the 9 most common website fixes that she recommends to clients to improve their ranking.
1: Robot.txt Files, make it easy for Google
Robot.txt files tell Google’s crawlers what areas of your website to scan. Make sure you have one in your root directory and that you include your XML sitemap.
How can I check my robot.txt files? → Google Search Console (https://www.google.com/
2: Examine your Canonical Link Elements
What is Canonical? According to Wikipedia, it is “an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the preferred version of the web page.”
Mindy suggests that you should self canonical and make sure the full URL is referenced and does not redirect. Here is the long and short on doing it yourself:
Add a rel=canonical link from the non-canonical page to the canonical one. So if we picked the shortest URL as our canonical URL, the other URL would link to the shortest URL in the <head>section of the page – like this:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://example.com/
How can I check my canonicals? → Screaming Frog SEO Spider (https://www.screamingfrog.co.
3: Redirects have Feelings too, don’t Forget about them
Redirects tell the search engine that a web page has permanently moved to a new location. Mindy says that we should always try to minimize the number of redirects and never have chains.
4: Check yourself for that Duplicate Content
The duplicate content itself isn’t the issue, but if you have duplicates it most likely points to something bigger that is going wrong. Mindy suggests that you check HTTP vs. HTTPs, WWW vs. non-WWW, pages found under multiple URLs and boilerplate text.
How can I check for duplicate content? → Siteliner (http://www.siteliner.com/)
5: HTTP to HTTPS Checklist, Basic Stuff People
6: Poor Performing Content is not your Friend
Mindy encourages everyone to do a content audit. You can easily gather your pages using a crawler like Screaming Frog. From there, get the page metrics and make the necessary changes. Here is her in-depth article in Street Fight Magazine (http://streetfightmag.com/
How can I audit my content? → URL Profiler (https://urlprofiler.com/
7: No, it’s not their Internet… your Page is Slow
Page load time is super important! Google recommends above the fold content load no slower than 1 second. If not, you run the risk of only being partially crawled or skipped completely. Mindy suggests that you compress your images with sites like Compressor.io (https://compressor.io/) orTinypng.com (https://tinypng.com/).
How do you check page speed? → GT Metrix (https://gtmetrix.com/)
8: ‘Please don’t Confuse me with your Link Structure’ – Google
Your internal link structure is important so Google can efficiently crawl your site. Mindy suggests simplifying your themes, global navigation, and breadcrumbs.
How do you check site structure? → Meta Forensics (https://www.metaforensics.io/
9: Ranking & traffic 101
Once you made your site easy for Google, here are a few additional ways to improve rankings:
Check Google for updates! They are quick and you don’t want to miss out on something key.
Moz has a great update page (https://moz.com/google-
Constantly improve your on-page content like content, UX, and code quality.
Spy on your competitors’ pages, it’s okay to be creepy here. See what is working for them.
Review your topical density to ensure the searches are still flowing in.
If you have any questions ask Mindy yourself through Successly!