Here are the five SEO recommendations that I’ve consistently seen make a positive impact in SEO's ever-changing world. This is a clear example of tailoring the advice to your site’s needs and industry — I have consistently seen structured data making a positive impact for clients in different industries, but different structured data will be required for different sites and pages within the site. When you obtain search results that have an old date, such as articles, depending on the subject, you might consider them less relevant than if they had a recent date. We also updated the date on structured data to match the new date. Page freshness matters for any industry, and while dates are helpful, your content freshness should always reflect and target what users are searching. However, I am here to tell you that not having too many links on one page can make a positive impact. There are many factors to consider when changing how you internally link from the homepage, some of which are: Likelihood of these pages to better compete Revenue that comes from these pages When we recommended a change in internal linking to one of our clients in the personal beauty service industry, we saw an overall 21 percent increase in sessions from the previous month for the site as a whole. In my client's case, we’ve positively tested the following changes: Include the year in the title, which also signals freshness. Obtain backlinks One thing that consistently helped my clients to obtain external links is creative pages — not shocking, I know. thanks to creative content.
One of the biggest challenges in SEO is measuring impact — we know what matters (or doesn’t matter) until the rules of the game have changed. And when they do, we’re all scrambling to find a baseline again.
I decided to put together a list of what I consider to be steadfast SEO recommendations. This list has yielded wins for a number of my clients — they had an impact that we were able to identify and quantify — and might be useful to you and your clients. While not all of them may be applicable (they should ultimately be tailored to your site’s specific needs) I will provide further details and examples of what I mean within each.
Here are the five SEO recommendations that I’ve consistently seen make a positive impact in SEO’s ever-changing world.
1. Structured data matters
The short explanation of why structured data is helpful is that it tells crawlers what there is within your page. If you are not familiar with this you can follow this helpful Structured Data guide to get you quickly up and running.
This is a clear example of tailoring the advice to your site’s needs and industry — I have consistently seen structured data making a positive impact for clients in different industries, but different structured data will be required for different sites and pages within the site.
Below, I show the increase in impressions that occurred after we updated the information included on structured data of product pages. In this case, the correct type of structured data was already selected, but the information given to it was incomplete or inconsistent with what was on page:
Above is an anonymized graph of a client’s impression performance during a month after the structured data update.
Here are the industries where I’ve seen structured data being useful:
- Beauty services
Structured data makes it faster and easier for crawlers to understand the information within the page, making it a powerful (but often misused) tool. If applied correctly, it will make quite a positive impact on your pages.
Here are a few additional steps to help you get started:
- Check your competitor’s page’s structured data
2. Page freshness
Your page’s freshness is determined by multiple factors, but simply having a date on a page is one of the easiest ways to indicate to Google how fresh your page is. This applies to blogs and news, but it’s also relevant for product pages related to dates, such as event sites.
If you think about page freshness from a user perspective, it’s easier to understand why it matters so much. When you obtain search results that have an old date, such as articles, depending on the subject, you might consider them less relevant than if they had a recent date. Crawlers know this too and have the ability to differentiate between fresh and old content whether it has a date or not.
For one of our clients in the event industry, an old date took a toll on their rankings. After updating their page’s content to ensure it was search relevant, we went through and made sure no content within the page (i.e. page copy or text at the bottom of the page) was referring to older dates. We also updated the date on structured data to match the new date.
After the update, we observed improved ranking on SERP results, which doubled impressions and CTR.
Page freshness matters for any industry, and while dates are helpful, your content freshness should always reflect and target what users are searching. Here are a few other things to consider if you think you may need to refresh your pages:
- How often have you conducted keyword research in the last 18 months and updated your page’s content based on keywords results?
- Are you featured on SERP results with dates and if so how old are these dates?
3. Internal linking (still matters)
The right balance of internal linking is never a straightforward answer, so I am not here to advise…