SEO is not simply related to links and keywords. To reach the best possible ranking, there are many other factors acting a role. Among those factors, there are 3 not given enough attention when doing SEO, which are breadcrumb, canonical URL, as well as hreflang. In this guide, we are to talk about the three factors one by one to reveal their roles in SEO practices.
Actually, breadcrumbs are the simple internal link menus located on the top of pages, which serve a series of purpose described as following:
- It will make visitors quickly navigate your websites and clearly know how “deep” they are have went from your homepage;
- Breadcrumbs can also make the search engine know the structure of your website during visitors’ crawling process;
- They are also used in Google search engine results.
SEO for Breadcrumb
A lot of WordPress themes have built in as well as configurable breadcrumbs, while there are still many themes having no breadcrumbs. If that, these themes are not so good to SEO practices.
To make up this shortcoming for those themes without breadcrumbs, you have to ways to go. One is to employ a developer who focuses on this part; the other way is to use a plugin. For this, we know that Yoast SEO is a good plugin for this part, which has breadcrumb support. As to you, you just need to enable it and make the configuration for the personality of your website.
Breadcrumb and Schema
Schema is not only important to SEO but also to breadcrumbs. In order to make search engines figure out the hierarchy of you breadcrumbs, those structured data markups are always used to tag the components making the breadcrumb menu.
Besides, there is one thing you should notice that when the search engines present a website’s information, these breadcrumb markups are used as well. Please see the image in below:
You might not know that these structured breadcrumb data markups can make your breadcrumbs more user-friendly, especially for those mobile users. It is very easy. You can just remove the characters which are not necessary to show on the mobile device.
It is extremely common to say the duplicate content on a number of websites. Yes, it is true that Google claims that it won’t penalize those websites that include duplicate content, but if your site is full of duplicate content, which absolutely makes Google and visitors or users feel that your website is less important as those having their own original content. Don’t let duplicate content destroy your website reputation!
We have a very effective method to solve duplicate content issue, which is to make canonicalization. We know that sounds complicate but it’s simple in reality. You can just provide more information and details of your site and offer special help to help visitors differentiate the most significant content from others on you site. It can effectively avoid you being trapped by duplicate content problems.
When to Use and How Canonical URL Works?
We recommend you to use the canonical URLS on those pages having the similar content.
The purpose of canonical URLs is to help Google identity which page should be included in it index. To illustrate the process, we are to should you an example.
Supposed that you are running a property rental site having this URL:
Besides, you also have some filters to guide your customers to find the rental property and these filters can make customers get the exact location of texas, facilities and so on. When a customer click their option, the filter will make the URL above be changed into:
The page of the URL above will show the similar content to your parent page (villas-in-texas). This page does not include any unique content for your website. In crawling process, the search engines will know the two pages including the same content, and then search engines will decide which page to include in index. At this moment, canonical URLs can work! You just add one to the filtered page so that it can point to that parent page.
Just one step, you easily sole the issue once and for all. And the link will be like this:
<link rel=”canonical” href=” http://www.yoursite.com/villas-in-texas” />
Additionally, canonical URLs also should be used to consolidate your incoming links to one single page, especially when there are some other websites linking to your pages. Adding the canonical URL to that dynamical generated page can enable you to pass the link values to you own parent page, instead of other websites’.
Canonical URLs are Necessary When You Syndicate Content
If you are going to syndicate your own content on any other blogs or websites, then canonical URLs are much important to you, pointing to your page. It can make Google understands your site is the first place publishing that content, and then it of course get rid of the duplicate content problems and also make your site more authoritative to that content.
Canonical URLs regularly appear in your website’s header and look like this:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”some url.com”/>
There is a rule to add the canonical URLs, which is that one page one canonical URL. If you add it not following that rule, you must make Google confuse. Actually, we think it is very good that each page of your site should have a canonical URL, even as to those pages pointed by canonical URLs. It can protect your content and link value because if there are some websites stealing your original content, those canonical URLs you add before can still point to your own site.
When your website is available in multiple languages, you should implement hreflang that can make Google serve your visitors in the most suitable languages. For example, when your visitors are Chinese, the language on your site is Chinese as well. Besides, hreflang also can help your site avoid duplicate content problems in case where your page includes the same content that is translated into other languages.
We introduce you 3 methods to implement hreflang! One is to add tags on each page on your site to make it; the other is to make use of sitemap.
Use Hreflang Tags
This idea is, for every page of your site, to tell Google and other search engines that the equivalent RULs supporting multiple languages which your pages are available.
For instance, if you are running a website in English and Spanish, then you need to implement the hreflang tag for each your page in the header. Those hreflang tages will identify both the English and Spanish version of that page, the URL is just like this:
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.yoursite.com/es/page1/” hreflang=”es” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.yoursite.com/en/page1/” hreflang=”en” />
To implement hreflang tags, you still need to apply some other technical skills such as country codes and the content showing for those visitors without geographical specifications. For those technical skills and rules, Google has detailed guide. Therefore, if you decide to use this methods, you should go over other hreflang tags guides by Google.
Take Use of Sitemap
We have said that there is another way to make it. It is take use of sitemap.
We are sure that we have ever introduced some SEO practice for sitemap, so you can check out our SEO guides on Bigcheaphosting.com. Additionally, you can also enrich sitemap by including the necessary data for the hreflang.
Actually, to some degree, this is the same idea like the former one. For every page on your sitemap, you should add URLs in all the available languages.
These 3 parts are very important but usually are ignored by webmasters, because to appropriately configure them, you need technical expertise of editing themes as well as messing up with codes. It is not very easy to most beginners and the easiest way we figure out is to employ a SEO to specifically deal with the necessary changes; if you are using WordPress, then there are many free or paid useful plugins available to use. To make your site more SEO-friendly, you still need to learn and try more in practice. So, be patient!