Feb 9, 2021
SEO can be a minefield, so having an understanding of particular SEO concepts helps you better understand what our SEO experts are doing every day and can help you build your foundational SEO knowledge. Because of this, Digital Reflow has created a visual guide to help you understand important SEO concepts.

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What are Canonical Tags?

Canonical Tags
A canonical tag (rel canonical) tells search engines that this specific URL represents the master copy of a page. This tag helps prevent duplicate content issues on multiple URLs. As duplicate content is complicated, understanding that search engines crawl multiple URLs with identical or similar content can cause a lot of issues for your website’s SEO. 

The issue of duplicate content causes are the effect it has on your website’s crawl budget. This means that if a search engine crawler has to wade through loads of duplicate content, it will most likely miss your unique content. Additionally, duplication of content will make your website’s organic positions plummet. This is because it’s possible that the search engine will choose a different URL over yours as it may believe that the latter is the original author of this content. 

Why Do You Need Hreflang Tags?

Hreflang Tags
Hreflang Tags are useful when you have content that is specific to your business’s local audience. For example, if your business's local language is English but a consumer is searching in Spanish, these tags tell the algorithm that although the user is looking in Spanish, your website’s destination will take them to an English web page.

These tags will help lower your bounce rates and increase your conversions as it ensures that your target audience is being targeted and your English only content is only appropriate for English speaking users.

If your website can be in several languages then you’ll need different Hreflang tags for all versions of your website. For example, SEMRush discusses what your tags would look like for English, German and Spanish versions of your site:

  • English Version -  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="" />
  • German Version -  <link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="" />
  • Spanish Version - <link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href=""

Check out SEMRush’s Ultimate Hreflang Guide for steps on how to instal this into your multilingual website. 

What are 301 & 302 Redirects?

Knowing the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect helps keep your website’s SEO optimised. The wrong redirect can cause a loss of traffic on a specific web page or multiple web pages.

Essentially the main difference is that a 301 redirect tells search engines that his page has been permanently moved, whereas a 302 redirect is a temporary move. 

What is a 301 redirect and when should I use it?

301 Redirects
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, so it is not useful for temporary changes or A/B testing. A 301 is telling search engines that your previous page has been replaced with a new one.

You should use 301 when: 
  • You’ve moved your website to a new domain name and you’re making a transition from your old website to your new one. 
  • You’re migrating your website from HTTP:// to HTTPS://. 
  • The page has outdated links and you want these links to be sent to your desired page; similar to merging two web pages or websites permanently. 

A great example for using a 301 redirect is where your URL is redirecting to

What is a 302 redirect and when should I use it?

302 Redirects
A 302 redirect is temporary and directs users and search engines to the desired page for a limited amount of time until it’s removed.

You should use 302 when: 
  • A/B testing of a webpage for design or functionality reasons.
  • To get client feedback on a page without impacting rankings. 
  • Broken webpages to keep a good user experience
  • Updating a web page whilst providing a consistent experience for users. 

Choosing 301 or 302 matters as using the wrong type of redirect can cause issues for search engine ranking and more e.g. continued indexing of an old page URL and division of link popularity. 

What's the Difference between Flat Site and Deep Site Structure? 

Flat Site and Deep Site Structure are common website navigation structures. Flat website structures are designed to make each webpage available with very few clicks, whereas deep website structures use long paths to access specific pages on the site. 

What is a Flat Website Structure?

Flat Site Structure
A Flat Website Structure is where a website’s pages are one or two clicks away from its homepage. The best SEO practice on a flat site structure is to arrange your website’s navigation which should be logical but hit the top keywords you wish to hit. 

What are the Benefits of a Flat Website Structure? 
  • These sites are flexible to organisational changes.
  • Easy to manage your website as it reduces micromanaging.
  • Easy communication with your users.

What is a Deep Website Structure? 

Deep Site Structure
A Deep Website Structure enables you to create specific and targeted content. It does take search engines longer to index your website but this doesn’t mean that deeper content doesn’t earn better SEO, it can. Content that is more specific can win over more general search terms. Deep site structures work well for websites with many pages of products and/or information that can be easily categorised and sub-categorised, whereas flat structures are for few categories and no product pages. 

What are the benefits of a Deep Website Structure? 
  • Not limited to the amount of content on a website
  • Content can be very specific and targeted
  • Good for e-commerce retailers.

Building an effective website means that user-friendliness and optimisation are at the forefront. It’s important to know the difference between flat and deep structures. But like most aspects of design, there is no right or wrong answer; it’s all dependent on how many pages or categories your website has. 

Need help with designing your website’s structure? Get in touch with our team today.

What are NoFollow backlinks?

NoFollow Links
Nofollow links (rel=’nofollow’) are links which tell search engines to ignore that link. This tag is usually used to ensure that the link doesn’t pass PageRank so they don’t impact search engine rankings. 

If you put a Nofollow HTML tag on a link, you are telling search engines that you do not vouch for the authority of that link. However, it’s important to know that Nofollow links are a hint, not a directive. 

Whereas a Dofollow link is an opposite. If you don’t have a Nofollow tag on the link, it means it’s a follow link. You use this if you’re giving someone a link because you want to and therefore you’re telling the algorithm that the website you’re linking to is a good resource and you haven't been paid to link to this website. 

When should I use a Nofollow link?

  • If you sold the link or someone has paid for your to post their content.
  • Where you think you could be penalised for the link.
  • If the link is sitewide, for example when we make websites, you’ll often find ‘Website design & build by Digital Reflow’, which is linked sitewide. 
  • For widgets and blog comments.

When Should I use a DoFollow link? 

  • When you’re linking to a trusted source.
  • If it’s a guest post that isn’t posting on a large scale (if you are not paying for the post!) 
  • Linking to social media profiles.

What is a NoIndex Tag for?

Some websites have pages that serve a purpose but don't serve ranking in search engines or traffic to the websites. Sometimes you have these pages because regulations require you to have them or they play a part in functionality within the site. 

Noindex means that a web page shouldn’t be indexed by search engines and shouldn’t appear on search engines results pages. Pages like payment confirmation/thank you, author archive, admin & login or internal search result pages.

Know Your Website Goals

Every website is different so it is necessary to know the SEO concepts above to manage your website content with optimising for SEO at the forefront. It’s important that your website is user friendly and search engine friendly to ensure conversions and a strong ROI.

Need help with making your website SEO friendly? Contact Digital Reflow today to discuss your project.