May Recap: Ask WooRank's SEO Team
We're back with another live Q&A session with WooRank's SEO team!
This month, you submitted lots of great questions in advance. We did our best to answer every pre-submitted and live question to help you achieve your SEO goals while working from home. Stay tuned for next month's webinar, and enjoy a recap of the live session below.
Note: This webinar originally aired on May 28th, 2020
Q: What's WooRank all about and what's the need for it?
A: WooRank is a powerful suite of web intelligence tools.
It brings together data and information on many key SEO factors and lets you optimize your website based on this knowledge.
WooRank also has a ton of guides, how-to’s and a great support team to help you get your site fixed.
It also tracks your rankings (SERPs) and helps you identify what your competitors are doing to outrank you.
Lastly, we also offer 1 on 1 consultancy services so if you get stuck with your SEO - we can organize to help you directly with one of our SEO experts.
Q: How I can add SEO content to my homepage without it being visible in the front end, but only read by Google crawling bots? Say I just want to put a large image on my home page and add HTML text in the backend but only visible on the page HTML source code.
A: Hiding text or links in your content to manipulate Google’s search rankings can be seen as deceptive, so it’s against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Text can be hidden in several ways, including using white text on a white background or placing text behind an image.
We’ll share the link to learn more about what Google has to say about this in the comments.
Q: Do you think regular posting on Google My Business helps with search rankings?
A: Yes - anything you can do “with” Google will help. Participating with Google My Business in both posts, updates, accurate business info and especially getting some great reviews helps improve your overall visibility - definitely.
Also be sure to post your services, products and images of things for sale directly into GMB - these photos tend to get a lot of views and Google will send you a regular email letting you know which are being viewed. When clicked, they can link right through to your website - Google takes no commission.
Q: I've been reading up on keyword cannibalism, specifically from this Yoast article.
This kind of turns my strategy upside down, as I generally establish a main keyword I want to rank for, create some solid content around it, and then post blogs with supporting keywords, and this leads me to believe that I could be doing more harm than good. What are your recommendations for building SEO, specifically with content, in a way that does not cause keyword cannibalism?
A: So I’ll start with a quick summary of Keyword cannibalization - this is when a website targets the same keyword across multiple pages.
While both pages may appear in the search results, they can end up competing against each other.
I often see cases where a site ranks well for a keyword with one page, but it keeps dropping from the results and is replaced with another page covering the topic, but in a lower position.
The theory is that the website would perform better with a single page, making it less confusing to Google which page to rank, while focussing all of the authority on a one page, rather than diluting it across multiple pages.
It sounds like you’re taking the ‘hub and spoke’ approach, with a hub page targeting a specific keyword and other supporting spoke pages covering the general topic and linking in to the parent hub.
This is absolutely the right thing to do if planned well.
The hub should be a long-form piece covering the central topic, with the spokes covering long-tail variations.
These can include anchor links with your hub keyword to link to the hub page.
You can also link to the spoke pages from the hub page naturally within the content.
You can also use your URL structure to reinforce the hub and spoke model. For example,
Spokes: /seo/on-page-seo, /seo/off-page-seo, /seo/technical-seo
Q: The top five things we should be doing for SEO? For example, banklinks, ensuring meta descriptions and title tags are well written, using schema, etc.
A: Note: Please watch the YouTube recording for more detail.
- Technical SEO (WooRank Page Review)
- Content relevancy/Search terms
- Mobile & page speed
- Link profile (incl backlinks)
- Traffic engagement, UX Design, conversions
Q: My WooRank score is fluctuating between 48 and 51 and I was on 56? Im not sure what is going on.
A: First, The WooRank score can (and does) change periodically. This is due to the Search Algorithm changes that are constantly released by Google, and we are adjusting our score to reflect these updates.
Second - have any updates occurred to the website including but not limited to: Plugins (Wordpress), new pages, removed pages, updated content, Headings, etc. Also backlinks?
If the score is continually changing over more than a couple of days - we would be happy to have a consult call to look at that specifically and see if there is something on your site causing it. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a call.
Q: What advice can you give on redirects? Specifically, when starting a new website.
A: I’m assuming you’re talking about redirecting an old site to a new one with updated URLs.
In this case, it’s really important to ensure that all of the value you’ve built up over time can live on in its new home on the new site.
I would recommend putting together a spreadsheet
- old pages mapped to new pages
See your CMS, XML sitemap but
Use Google Analytics to gather URLs to make sure you haven’t overlooked any pages and export the URLs from your favourite crawler - woorank allows you to export pages
You may decide not to migrate all pages
closest match to redirect to,
page gets traffic? backlinks pointing to it?
If a redirect is required you can set up permanent 301 redirects to direct users and bots to the new pages.
Also, update your internal links, XML sitemap and robots.txt if necessary.
Q: What are the top 5 thing to do to speed up a website?
A: Note: Please watch the YouTube recording for more detail.
- Fully mobile responsive
- Better quality server hosting close to where your 3. clients generally are
- Remove unnecessary plugins from Wordpress - uninstall and remove them not just disable
- Minify JS and CSS
- Optimize Image sizes
Q: Is adding alt-text important for SEO?
A: Yes - search engines find it hard to understand the content of images, so adding alt attributes helps them to index the images and rank them in the image search results when they relate to search queries.
Google has started pulling images into the normal search results, especially on mobile devices, so that gives them even more potential to drive traffic to your website.
You should also remember to use descriptive filenames, using hyphens to split up words, while keeping them under 100Kb where possible, as large images are one of the main causes of a slow website.
You can also include any keywords targeted on the page naturally in the image alt attributes and filenames to further reinforce that the page containing the images is relevant to the target keywords.
But be careful not to come across as spammy - avoid just adding lots of keywords, as Google probably won’t like that.
Q: How can I build backlinks?
A: There are quite a number of ways to generate backlinks.
First, the most important concept is to understand what makes a “good” backlink in modern SEO. You must be careful not to chase huge quantities of low quality links because with today’s Google Algorithm this can actually penalise your website - and HURT your rankings.
Simply, a good link is one that makes sense!
If you have a website selling Umbrellas, then having some backlinks from your manufacturers, wet weather clothing stores, camping and hiking forums, or facebook pages talking about “rain, weather, etc.) -- this all makes sense and therefore a link or two from these places will do you a lot of good.
However, if you just go and fill out every business directory you can find, place links in every blog and facebook page, and link from places that have no connection with your product - then these links may end up penalising you.
Then, there are toxic links - links from bad websites full of spam or anything illegal (violence, drugs, etc.) -- backlinks from these sites will definitely hurt you.
In fact, it’s important that you monitor the types of links being created because if someone decides to build 100 links from an illegal website pointing at you - this WILL hurt your site and you may need to report them to Google and “disavow”.
Q: When looking at a standard SEO checklist, we check all the boxes, and yet somehow we rank lower than competitors that perform lower in all these categories. Why?
SEO is part technical yes, but is also part Content which is difficult to measure using some checklists.
i.e. Relevant up to date content that answer popular questions
It's very hard to “scan and score” content. This is why Google has such a complicated and powerful algorithm that is updated constantly to do just that!