People use the internet for everything. Whether it’s something as simple as a recipe or technical like looking for an online course, it’s all on the internet. According to NP Digital’s Co-founder Neil Patel’s blog, 78% of US people use the web to research products before purchase. This entails that your consumers must know where to find you and what your website looks like. Optimization is for both users and the search engine. Here’s where canonical tags come in:

What Are Canonical Tags?

A canonical URL is the version of your webpage you want the search results to display. Their purpose is to redirect users to your main web page no matter how they type in your web address. They also prevent the URL from confusion and help the search engine index your web page appropriately. 

What Makes Them So Important?

You must be able to guide your users and the search engine when it comes to your webpage. Your canonical tags help you achieve this in the following manner:

1. They Specify Your URL:

When you type in a web address, you might be aware of how you order it if you end up on the web page you were looking for. This is what canonical tags do. They ensure all duplicate content gets put away and your customers end up on the web page version you want them to see.

They also help keep your URL structure organized. You’re picking out the best and optimal version of the URL, which contains the information about the page and the product to give users an idea of what part of the web page they’re on. 

This is the Beginner’s Guide to Canonical Tags, and you’ve only scratched the surface on how essential canonical tags are and how you can use them. The more you read on these tags, the more you may find yourself incorporating them in the SEO plan.  

2. Accessible To Track for Search Engines:

You don’t want to confuse the search engine. The bots need to index your page correctly. Unless you specify what page you want indexing, you may lose your position on the search engine’s results. They help all the information on your webpage, including all the links into a single URL to ensure that you have one authoritative domain. It makes sure that the traffic flows in one direction, and you can get the ranking you want.

3.They Keep your Web Page Organized

When you’re adding pages to your website, you can refer to all pages through a canonical. Suppose you want all your products on different pages. You can add numbers to your web page and make sure you place the effects on other pages or add a ‘view all’ option and make sure all products get displayed simultaneously. You can also add a no-index tag with your canonical tag to ensure which URL of your website you don’t want the search engine indexing. It makes it further clear how the indexing should go. 

What Are The Best SEO Practices For Canonical Tags?

While you’re working on your canonical tags, you want to ensure that you’re using the best SEO practices to penalize your website instead of getting your ranking. Here’s how:

a. Go For 301 Redirects:

Think of this as a status code. It informs the search engine that you want a permanent redirect from one URL to the other one. A 301 redirect makes sure that the search engine can access all relevant URLs for indexing while ensuring that your users see only one URL. It is a good practice as you’re not misleading the search engine, and there is complete transparency on all the URLs for your webpage. 

b. Use Passive Parameters:

The search engine lets you set URL parameters. It entails which URLs you want the search engine to ignore. Suppose you pick a URL and set it for a passive parameter. It will tell the search engine to ignore this specific URL for indexing. It is a good practice because the overall indexing of your URLs sets the tone for your ranking. You don’t want your domain authority slipping, so pick and choose what goes into your indexing.

c. Use Location Hashes:

Location hashes are sometimes also known as fragment identifiers. They specify the section of a page. You use this to jump across areas of your content. You can use these in your URL, and the search engine will still rank the jumped content in an orderly fashion and your overall URL with the hash wi one entity. Remember, the entire idea behind these techniques is to give the search engine-specific instructions. You want to end up with a high ranking and not be why your website is lagging. 

d. Don’t Leave Your Homepage Behind

It would help if you tried to canonicalize your homepage as much as possible actively. It is effortless to overlook simple details when you’re adding canonical tags. Home page duplicates are a common problem since people may end up linking to your homepage in many ways. You want to ensure that the canonical tag on your homepage leads your users to the homepage you wish for them to see. It should inform you that a good web page is a mixture of your On-page, off-page, and technical SEO, without which you cannot compete for a good rank.

Wrap Up

Duplicate contents are a hassle. It keeps your users from viewing the webpage you want them to see and from the search engine ranking your pages correctly. This is where canonical tags come in handy. Not only do they organize your web page, but make sure all your duplicate URLs get redirected to your main webpage. You quickly become traceable for the search engines and get the indexing you want. Finally, make sure to employ good SEO practices, as deception only backfires on your canonical strategy.