Content and editing.
After week 3 of the internship those 2 words ‘content’ and ‘editing’ were officially stuck on my mind. This week (as I’m sure you could already guess) was all about the importance of website content and editing and how that directly affects SEO. In order for websites to rank well they must have a significant amount of content that’s relevant to the search term, in particular specific content. So my role for the week was to look at some of our clients websites and see what they want done/what can be done to help them rank better in organic search.
The first task I had been assigned was for a client who needed some editing done to her website in order to make it more presentable, as well as needing a new page added for her upcoming course dates in 2015. The editing was merely a matter of spacing out paragraphs and adding in small amounts of text where relevant. This was not exactly complicated work, however, it made the webpage look a lot more professional and presentable, which is important for all websites as they often decide a person’s opinion on your business. Even if your website may be receiving a lot of traffic and is ranking well, it is almost pointless if the website doesn’t look neat and professional to the visitor. The majority of people wont use or buy from a business that they don’t believe looks professional.
After editing the website for our first client it was time to move onto the next, who needed to flesh out approximately 12 new pages that were currently under 3 existing pages. My task, essentially, was to unpack the 12 pages out of their 3 home locations and repost them as individual posts. This was done purely for SEO purposes; individual pages will help rank better because their content is more relevant to specific search terms. The good thing about this task was that it was straightforward and quite simple, however, it did take a significant amount of time. The client was a travel agent, which meant that the website had to look as enticing as possible and had to contain proper images of the destinations the webpage was about. After separating the pages and adding in the images, I began to write short 2-3 line descriptions for each page that were going to be displayed below the thumbnail for each page, in order to give people a little information as to what the page is about. This editing helped the website look a lot more full and pack with content, as well as look more professional and relevant when Google does its rankings.
The most complex task this week was also my final task; linking canonical URL tags to their correct webpage for the benefit of SEO. To be completely honest I had no idea what a canonical URL tag was up until this week and to be even more honest, it took me a little while to understand. In hindsight though it isn’t something as complex as it sounds, it is essentially a way of telling search engines which URL to display and which one is the authoritative, in particular for a website with multiple URL’s (e.g. example.com, www.example.com, example.com/home.asp). The first component of the task was to map out the tags and ensure that each search category and location combination had the correct canonical tags to match. It was definitely a lot easier having the tags in front of me in a spreadsheet; it made the whole process seem a lot simpler and more streamlined.
After I had mapped out the canonical tags, the second component was to visit our client’s office and physically enter them into their system (which could only be accessed on the premises). At first I was a little unsure of what the system would be like and how complex the software was to use, but after speaking with our contact at the company I found out that it was only a matter of connecting to their Wi-Fi, visiting their admin site and simply dragging the canonical links I had already mapped out in my spreadsheet and placing them into a template on their site which did all the work. I managed to get my task done in half the expected time and even added more canonicals that I hadn’t even mapped out yet. So I guess you could say that was a good introduction to canonical URL taggingâ€¦
Although week 3 did become a little repetitive and less interesting at times, I still felt like I had learnt a lot from this week. The whole process of editing and adding to website content for SEO was something I didn’t know much about till this week, and the same could be said for canonical URL tagging. To sum the week up into one word would give the result ‘professionalism’. I say this purely because this week reaffirmed my existing belief that in order for businesses to be successful, there still must be a high level of professionalism, especially in relation to SEO. The more professional websites that have been set up correctly and are constantly edited to maintain that status are those who will see the full benefit of SEO.