Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Kerry.
1. Forget what you thought you knew about header tags
A Twitter poll this week revealed that more than half of SEOs don’t know what Google’s advice regarding header tags is. When asked whether Google prefers one H1 tag per page for optimisation purposes, 57% said yes.
Quiz: Does Google recommend using a single <h1> in your content for SEO purposes?
— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) May 11, 2021
In fact, Google’s official guidance on header tags is not as simple as that, with John Mueller stating “you can use H1 tags as often as you want on a page. There’s no limit, either upper or lower bound. Your site is going to rank perfectly fine with no H1 tags or with five H1 tags.”
It’s something Google has actually clarified on a number of occasions, in various videos and hangouts. So why, as an industry, are we so hung up on one H1 per page? The fact that Google used to rely on them more is partly the cause, but with SEO audit tools still typically flagging pages that don’t have an H1, or have more than one H1 as a concern, it’s hardly surprising.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that Google’s frequently telling us not to worry about optimising our websites whilst simultaneously rewarding those who do. It comes down to a bit of common sense. The main purpose of a heading is to communicate to Google what that section of content is about, so in most cases you will want to include an H1 and put some thought into an accurate description. And in more cases than not, you’re likely to be focusing on one topic per page, but it’s handy to note that if you have got a page covering multiple different topics, you won’t be penalised for including more than one H1.
2. Core Web Vitals research reveals June could be interesting
We all know how important user experience is, but sometimes it takes the threat of an algorithm update for these factors to be prioritised. And sometimes, even then it isn’t enough!
An in-depth study has revealed that only 4% of websites achieved a good score in all three Core Web Vitals – meaning an astonishing 96% didn’t. Google’s incoming Page Experience update, set to start rolling out next month, will see Core Web Vitals become ranking factors.
The study from SearchMetrics found the following:
- 54% of sites had a good Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) score. Almost half (46.23%) had “poor” or “needs improvement” LCP ratings.
- 54% of sites had optimal First Input Delay (FID) ratings. Only 8.57% of sites had a “poor” FID score.
- 65.13% of sites had good optimal Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) scores.
It’s also just a good lesson in context. It’s easy to be alarmed by technical reports, but it’s important to delve a little deeper. If the pages causing you issues are old or unimportant pages, you’re in a very different situation to a handful of serious issues on key service pages you rely on – if they are impacting your traffic. It’s also a reminder that it’s about how you perform in comparison to those around you. So without a benchmark, a score of 60% on your Largest Contentful Paint score might not seem like cause for celebration, but it puts you above average in this study.
3. There’s a new Schema markup tool in town
As Google phases out its Structured Data Testing Tool, Schema.org has launched a replacement. As promised, the new Schema Markup Validator is now in beta, available at validator.schema.org.
The tool helps you validate your structured data on your site that is used for general purpose structured data debugging and validation, outside of the Google Rich Results Testing Tool, which can still be used.
The Schema Markup Validator is powered by Google’s general infrastructure for working with structured data, and is provided to the Schema.org project as a Google-hosted tool.
4. Call History Report starts showing data in Google My Business
Since October, Google has been showing a call history feature in Google My Business, but up until now the data has been blank. Now Google is beginning to show call data including names, phone numbers and dates of answered and missed calls.
When a customer clicks the Call button on your business profile, their call should show up in the Calls tab in GMB, and from here you can uncover recent calls and importantly, missed calls.
With many people still working from home, and phone systems not being manned in the way they were before, this could be very helpful in making sure businesses don’t miss out on sales, as well as helping them to prioritise who to call back first.
5. KFC says we can lick our fingers again
The pubs are reopening, you can get a haircut again, and KFC have resumed their usual tagline – it seems as though life is slowly returning to normal.
For 65 years, the fast food outlet has stuck with the strapline ‘finger lickin’ good’, but took the decision to drop it last year, due to it being “inappropriate” during the pandemic, breaching hygiene advice. The temporary hiatus is now over and the well-known phrase is now back in full-force in its new campaign running across TV, radio, digital and social.
It’s strangely comforting to have the slogan back, but probably the best bit about the ad is the shameless mocking of the individual who called 999 in panic over the infamous 2018 chicken shortage.