7 Homework Items to Complete Before Any SEO Class
Below are seven of the top items (though certainly not the *only* common items).
2. Not having unique title and meta tags for every page…
Every single page on your website should have its own unique title tag that describes the topic of that specific page. Title tags are an extremely important on page factor and having each one be different and topical are vital to your success – both for rankings and click through rates in the search engine result pages.
Additionally, every meta description tag, while not instrumental to your rankings, should be unique to each page because search engines often use your meta description tag in their search engine result pages. Good and unique meta description tags contribute to the overall uniqueness of each page and can help increase your click through rate in the search engines. Which listing looks more appealing?
Welcome to our landscaping site. Home Services Rates Contact Us … provide great landscaping services to all of… bookmark us now because you will want to …
Acme Landscaping Services | Houston Texas Landscaper
If you’re looking for landscaping services in the Houston, area who serves the South Houston, Pasadena and Deer Park regions with competitive rates, stop here.
I’m sure you get it now. The meta keyword tag? In my opinion, it’s of no real use, but it is simply good practice to include it on your pages, making sure that the content of this tag applies to the content on your page.
4. Enter here pages…
Sure, they look cool, but there are several problems with having the homepage of your website be a flash movie or graphic that asks users to click something to enter the site. First, it is typical that a site has their homepage as the most frequently linked to page on their site. By having a bunch of inbound links coming to a page with no indexable content, it wastes the power of your homepage in regards to obtaining search engine rankings.
Additionally, because some people linking to your site may choose to link to the page you get to *after* you “click here” to send *their* visitors directly to the actual content, it also splits the link popularity between what is essentially two homepages – one with content and one without. You’re better off having all of your power combined into one effective, well designed and content full homepage.
Second, from a user perspective, making them click more than necessary is never a good thing. Don’t make users search for content – put it directly in front of them.
5. Canonical issues…
Basically, a canonical issue refers to the search engines finding several different URL variations of the same page. On your server, they are all the same page, but the search engines, particularly Google, have a hard time figuring that out. For instance, your homepage can likely be found be default under a variety of different addresses:
To your server, those are all the same pages. Google however sees them as four separate pages. Fixing a canonical error is fairly simple… pick the URL you want the engines to consider your “real” and only homepage and 301 redirect the other variations to the URL you have chosen. I typically recommend that you choose a version of the root. Either:
Additionally, I typically recommend that most sites use the www.homepage.com version, as most people will tend to insert the www automatically. However, you’ll notice that Michael chose to use the non www version for the real and only homepage on SEO Class. His reasoning (sometimes you learn something new every day) was that he found that you could get a larger font size for the URL on your offline advertising materials by omitting the www. We plan to do a bit of offline advertising as our primary focus is New York businesses. If you do as well, I’d recommend keeping Michael’s tip in mind. If you don’t plan to do a lot of offline advertising, my recommendation would be to choose the www version. If you already have a canonical issue, check out Matt’s post on the topic for expectations in fixing it.
6. Multiple domains for the same site…
This is an offense committed mostly by big companies with various brands. They have one site at www.brand.com and then own www.subbrand.com, www.subbrandtwo.com and www.brandnickname.com and either have 302 redirects in place from the sub-brands to the main brands, or simply render the same exact site that appears on www.brand.com on all of the alternate domains.
If you’re utilizing more than one domain name, place a 301 redirect on the other vanity domains to either the main page of the site or to the appropriate sub page on the main site. For instance, www.brandnickname.com might 301 redirect to www.brand.com while www.subbrand.com might 301 redirect to www.brand.com/subbrand.asp.
This allows you to use multiple domains for advertising purposes, but 301 redirect all visitors (and inbound links) to the appropriate pages on the main domain to avoid duplicate content issues as well as consolidate the inbound links to the various subdomains to the correct pages you want to rank for the terms in the search engines.
7. Focusing on the small stuff…
Almost every site has problems of some form if there hasn’t been an SEO professional working with the site since before the launch. But, it is important to have any items you need to work on prioritized in a manner that allows you to make the most impact in the shortest amount of time, or which allows you to fix the biggest thorn. An example:
A client of mine once had huge duplicate content issues. In addition to using part of their content from another site (with permission) they were allowing a huge, old, big brand site to utilize their original content verbatim. The “other site” was ten years old, has over 100,000 backlinks and is someone you would see advertised on television. I had to explain to the client that they were being seen as the duplicate and that this big brand site was who was showing up for all their search terms. In addition, the site had canonical issues and needed a big push in the link development arena.
They proceeded to spend thirty minutes asking about whether or not they should bold their keywords on their pages. I told them that if their website was a house, then the garage was sitting in a sinkhole and that asking about bold tags was the equivalent of asking me what color curtains would look best in the kitchen. It wouldn’t matter what color their curtains were because no one would be visiting them while their house was taking on mass damage from the sinkhole.
Moral: If something is causing you massive damage or your site has a big issue to address, fix it before you do anything else.
So there you have it – a few of the more common items you can address before attending a workshop or conference, or paying a professional to take a look at your site.
posted on http://seoclass.com/ unknown author.