Geotargeting is when you serve a user content, based on their location. There are several ways to determine where a user is located, for example by checking IP-address, device ID or even using GPS. It can be beneficial to present your user content that’s customized for their locale, for instance using familiar imagery.

Still, it pays off to give some thought to the implications for your site’s SEO if you start using geotargeting. And of course, make sure you don’t go through all this trouble, without properly implementing everything!

Rufino emailed us his question on the subject:

“We’re considering using a geotargeting tool on our WordPress site, in which images and content on the landing page will change based on the city the person viewing is located. How will doing this impact SEO?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Changing content based on the location of your visitors

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“Well, to be honest, even if a lot of this stuff on the page changes, Google always comes from Mountain View, California. That’s what it will report. So, that’s the only version that will be in the search results if all those changes are being shown everywhere.

If content really changes then I would suggest changing the URL and doing an hreflang implementation. If it’s just images, you don’t need to worry as much. But if it’s really content that’s changing, then you should probably look at our Multilingual SEO Course and look at how Hreflang works and what you can do about that. Good luck.”

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In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Perhaps we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: hreflang: the ultimate guide »

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Hooking up your site to services like Google Analytics provides you with a wealth of knowledge and data about visitors on your site. But it can be hard to know how to interpret all this data. And of course, you should also think about what your goals are. What’s most important for you may differ, based on the purpose of your site.

For example, you can have a site with a low bounce rate, but also with a low amount of traffic. Is that a good or a bad thing? The truth is, it probably depends on several things. Like what? Let’s get into that in this Ask Yoast!

John Brown emailed us his question on interpreting analytics data:

From an SEO point of view which is better to have: a lower bounce rate and lower traffic to the site or a higher bounce rate and higher traffic to the site?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Which is better: low or high bounce rate and traffic?

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“That’s a tough question to answer in a generic form, but usually, I would say that if you’re relevant to all the traffic, then having more traffic is probably better because then you can optimize for people not to bounce away.

But if you’re not relevant for a lot of that traffic, then having less traffic is probably better because that means you get more targeted traffic, which actually wants to see you and that usually means that you’ll stick around longer in the long run. Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Perhaps we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘Understanding bounce rate in Google Analytics’ »

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Affiliate marketing is a means to monetize your blog or website. You can recommend products on your site with a trackable link from your affiliate partner, or put that link in an ad. If someone clicks on the link and buys a product through your site, you’ll get a commission.

Especially if your site has many visitors and high credibility, you’ll have a good chance that your audience is willing to follow your recommendations. Still, it’s definitely a good idea to give some thought to how you implement affiliate marketing on your site. For instance, do you write blog posts to promote affiliate products, or create seperate pages? And if you choose the latter option, what’s the best way to do that? Let’s discuss in today’s Ask Yoast!

Davide Roccato emailed his question on the subject:

I want to create a number of landing pages on my news blog, targeted for affiliate marketing. What’s the best way to do this from an SEO point of view? Should I create them as pages or should I create a new custom segment so these are parallel to my blog post and pages?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

The best way to create landing pages for affiliate marketing

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“Honestly, from an SEO point of view it doesn’t really matter. What works best for you in the backend it’s probably what works best. The only advantage that a custom post would give you is that you’d have a separate section in Yoast SEO to set the titles, a separate XML sitemap so you can see their indexation in Google search console a lot better, so you’d get slightly better handling on the SEO side. But I don’t think that it has to be a problem so just choose what works best for you. Good luck.”

 

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Perhaps we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘How to cloak your affiliate links’ »

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A few years ago, Google announced the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project, and it’s becoming increasingly important for all kinds of websites. AMP is a technology to make webpages faster on mobile devices, improving loading times by stripping some of the design.

Initially, AMP was mainly relevant for static content, like blogposts or news articles, that didn’t need interaction from the user. But these days, it’s also useful for dynamic types of pages that site owners of (small) businesses might want to use. Implementing AMP on your site can be a bit daunting if you’re new to technical SEO. But if you manage to get it right, you may even end up preferring the clean, focused look of your AMP pages.

That was definitely the case for William Anderson, who emailed us on the subject:

I’m thinking of redirecting all my responsive pages to my AMP pages because I prefer their look. The AMP pages click through rate is astounding but I’m wondering what the SEO implications will be.

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Redirecting responsive pages to AMP pages

“Well, to be honest, what do you call a responsive page? If you have separate mobile pages that you can redirect to your AMP pages: perfectly fine, go for it. If you have a responsive version of your website, then doing that is actually technically very hard and not something I’d recommend.

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Google is pushing the idea of what they call canonical AMP, so the idea that AMP is the only version of your page. If that fits your business, by all means go for it. Because I think it’s a very good idea for your click-through rate and a lot of other things in terms of rankings. I hope that helps. Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Perhaps we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘Setting up WordPress for AMP’ »

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Finding the right structure for your site can be difficult, but it’s an important thing to figure out for your SEO. It’ll not only guide your visitors to the content they’re looking for, but also help the search engines understand what content on your site is most important.

Dividing your content into groups, using categories and tags, is a great way to structure your content. Naming these categories and tags is where it can get difficult, especially if you have several different taxonomies on your site. You’re probably aware that you shouldn’t have a category and a tag with the same name. But what about tags and categories that are in a different taxonomy?

Andrew emailed us his question on site structure and taxonomies:

“I know it’s bad to use a tag that you also use as a category. However is it okay to use the name of a category from one taxonomy as a tag in a different taxonomy?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Is it OK to reuse a category name as a tag in another taxonomy?

“Well, the problem is that the name is also the search term, and if someone searches for that term, which page on your site should they land on? Which is the most important one? How do you tell that to Google?

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If you have both, then you have to find a way to link from one to the other and deem one more important and that’s actually hard to do. So if you can avoid it, avoid it. Good luck.”

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In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Perhaps we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘What is the difference between tags and categories?’ »

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If you know a specialist or influencer in your niche, interviewing them and writing an article about it for your site can be a great idea. It’ll give your readers a different perspective, and it offers a nice change from regular blog posts. At Yoast, we have a tag for interviews, and we enjoy the chance to share with you what all kinds of experts from the world of SEO have to say!

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After going through the trouble of interviewing someone, you’ll want the resulting article to rank, whether it’s the first or the hundredth interview you’ve published. Depending on your niche, interview-based articles can even make up a significant part of the content. If that’s the case, you should still keep the rules for creating quality content in mind. But, are there any specific tips for optimizing interview-based content?

Ben emailed us this question on optimizing interview-based content:

“If we publish an interview-based article, is it a good thing or a bad thing SEO-wise to use header tags as the interview questions? If it’s a good thing would you recommend a particular header tag? At the moment we are using <h2>.

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Which heading tag should you use for interview questions?

“You know what I think, Ben? That you should think less. This is honestly overthinking SEO. The h2 tag you’re using now is perfectly fine.

Think about the quality of your content more than about the tags that you’re using on that page. If the quality of that content goes up, that does a whole lot more for your SEO than thinking about the specific tags. Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Maybe we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘How to use headings on your site’ »

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If you own a business in a small town near a big city, you’re probably a bit jealous of your competitors in this big city. The search volume for that city will most likely be significantly larger, and with that, the amount of potential customers as well.

So, is there any way you can still benefit from this proximity of potential customers? Perhaps if you also appear to be located in this city? You could, for example, easily use the name of a city in your URL, even if your business is actually located in the neighboring town. But how does this affect your SEO? And are there perhaps other reasons to avoid doing this? Let’s discuss in today’s Ask Yoast!

Vincent Ramos emailed us his dilemma:

I have a website with a city name in the URL, but my actual location is in the neighboring city, which gets smaller search volume. Our NAP is in the footer of every page with our actual address. Does it hurt my SEO that there’s a different city in the URL?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Adding a different location to your URL than your actual location

“Does it hurt your SEO? No, but it might hurt your visitors when they come and visit your site because they expect you to be in city A and you’re not. So, I’d always tend to go to the side of honesty: just say that you’re in the city that you’re actually in.

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You’ll find that actually being close to the center of the city that you want to be found in is very important in terms of local SEO. It’s very annoying, but that’s how most of the local rankings work. So, don’t lie, put your real location in your website URL if you can. See how that reflects on people and just say on your page, “We’re very close to ‘whatever the name of the city is’…”, because that’s the honest truth that usually lasts longer than any tricks around that. Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Maybe we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘Ranking your local business’ »

 

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We regularly receive questions about category pages and similar pages. It seems some of you are unsure of how to properly implement these. And sure, it’s good to think about this, as pages like category or tag pages can be thin content, if you do nothing to improve them. But you can also use these pages to your advantage!

It’s a good idea to give your category and tag pages some TLC, so there’s sufficient content on them. For product category pages, that means adding some text about that particular type of product, for example. So, what about food blogs? What should you do with your category and tag pages to help your recipes rank as best they can?

Analida Braeger emailed us her question on the subject:

Is it true that leaving tags, categories and paginated content open on a food blog hurts the ability of existing recipes to rank effectively? Should these be blocked with a ‘noindex, follow’ robots tag?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Should you noindex tags and categories on food blogs?

“No, don’t noindex those pages. Category and tag pages are very important pages that you want crawled a lot. As soon as you start noindexing them, Google will crawl them less and less. So you shouldn’t do that.

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What you should do is optimize your category and tag pages for terms that are groups. So, if you have recipes, then you have groups of recipes too, and you should optimize those category and tag pages for those terms.

You should make sure that, for instance, for pasta recipes, your category page for that is good enough for people to land on. So, you should improve on those pages and make them better landing pages to land on from the search results and then they will get traffic for terms that are broader than the average recipe, and they’d be perfect pages. So, don’t noindex follow them, instead improve them. Good luck.”

Read on: ‘Using category and tag pages for SEO’ »

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There are many occassions when you may want to put a PDF on your site. For example, when you’ve made an online magazine, when an article you wrote was featured in a book or magazine, or when you’ve written detailed instructions for a DIY project. So far, so good.

But things can get a bit more complicated when you also have the content from this PDF somewhere else on your site, or on another website. To avoid duplicate content, you need to set a canonical URL. But how do you do that for a PDF document? And what is the best way to do that? Let’s discuss in today’s Ask Yoast!

Karen Schousboe emailed us her question:

I plan to publish a PDF magazine under medieval.news. Some of the articles in each issue will also be freely available on a sister website. How should I handle that? Do I link canonical from the articles to the PDF magazine or from the magazine to the website?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Canonicalization and PDFs

“Well, you can have a canonical HTTP header and what I would suggest doing is canonicalizing from the PDF magazine to the sister website, because HTML pages just rank a lot better than PDFs, usually.

In fact, I would suggest publishing everything in HTML and not necessarily in PDF because PDF is just not very easy to land on from search. You can’t do any tracking, you can’t do a whole lot of things that you can do with HTML. So I would seriously consider doing all of it in HTML pages and then canonicalizing between them. Good luck.”

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Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Maybe we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘rel=canonical: the ultimate guide’ »

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To increase your reach, it could be worth your while to post some of your content on sites with more authority and more visitors than your own site. But it’s a good idea to think about how to do that. You may think ‘If many people see my post on a site like medium.com, they’ll automatically head over to my site to check out that post, increasing my traffic.’ But is that really the case?

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You probably don’t want to end up with duplicate content, and it also isn’t in your best interest to be competing with high authority sites. So, how can you use these platforms, like Medium, to your advantage? Let me tell you what I think in today’s Ask Yoast!

Tsahi Levent-Levin emailed us a question on crossposting content on Medium:

There seems to be a trend of placing a post on a blog and then republishing the exact same content on medium.com. As there’s no ability to control the canonical tag, how do you view this practice? Does it increase reach and discoverability or does it dilute ranking due to duplicate content?

Rectification: It appears that you can set a canonical link on Medium! So please add it and prevent duplicate content by doing so.

 

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Maybe we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘What to do if the traffic on your blog is decreasing?’ »

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