Posted on 15 July 2010 by RChurt
Scribe is an SEO software service for WordPress. It’s pretty cool and you can try it for free to start. Think of it as a content optimization assistant – that analyzes web pages, blog posts, and online press releases. The goal is for the tool to assist you with the following:
- Optimizing content faster
- Eliminating guesswork about keywords
- Employing SEO best practices
Scribe tells bloggers how to tweak their content to ideally get more search engine traffic.
The plugin is available with a quick download and if your are new to SEO or even been doing it for a while, if you have multiple bloggers then this is a good way to keep all your content in check. It makes sure that before you publish you have your content ready to go, custom title tag added and your meta description as well. An SEO’s dream.
Posted on 13 July 2010 by RChurt
Want to learn more about your website – Is it set up for success? Is it being crawled by search engines? Is it site too slow? How can I tell?
Free tools like Google Webmaster Tools provide you detailed reports about your pages’ visibility in Google, and registration is simple – and did I mention free. You should actually register your site with Yahoo Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Center as well. (note: this post is specific to tips within your Google account and can be applied across the board.)
First add your site and verify that you are indeed the owner or at least have access to managing it. Once logged into Google Webmaster Tools you will have access to three primary areas for review – site configuration (managing your website), your site on the web (how Google sees you), and diagnostics (where Google is getting stuck).
1. Submit a Sitemap:
This is not the public sitemap that you use as an index for your content, but rather a dynamically built sitemap which updates on a regular basis to include your most current pages of your website as you create them. This may sound complex – not at all. You can build one yourself through any free “.xml sitemap generator tool” out there or just ask your webmaster to add one. How do you know if you have one? Most are set up to be found at www.domain.com/sitemap.xml. Having one and submitting it via webmaster tools allows you to politely nudge Google to crawl your latest content (note: not all content that gets crawled gets indexed, because the harsh truth is that not all is index worthy).
2. Managing Geographic Targeting:
This is something that can easily be controlled via your site configuration > settings. Note that this is a little like playing with fire and you wouldn’t want to disqualify your content from being displayed to Europe unless you are truly only selling to the United States. However, if you have multiple websites or subdomains which are targeting foreign countries then this will be a must for you to help control where your content appears.
3. Crawl Errors and Site Speed:
To diagnose potential issues, troubleshoot or determine if there is even an issue at all, refer to crawl errors and stats which show you that information. What do you do with this information? It will help you diagnose if something is wrong and ultimately work to improve site performance. If there are no errors, then no worries. If yes, then you will want to take action and most often they will actually give you suggestions on what to do next. The crawl stats will also show you how much time is spent loading a page. This is extremely useful for large sites that are looking to do advanced optimization or any site heavily using images, dynamic URLs etc. The faster your site is the more likely crawlers are to go through more of your content. (tip – when using firefox, “firebug” can help you analyze a good chunk of this too.)
In summary, these tools are helpful because they show you a lot about your site that you would otherwise not be able to track, and it helps troubleshoot.
Posted on 06 July 2010 by RChurt
You have to know when to make changes. Obviously you want to make edits to your overall strategy or even minor tweaks when needed. But when do you make these changes? When is the best time?
Quite simply – most often your changes will need to be based on data. Analyzing your traffic sources, based on keyword traffic, referring sources, pages most frequently visited, goals met etc will be the most common factors. Based on data like this you should assess your strategy on a monthly basis and make a plan to change things about 3 – 6 months into the start of your SEO and every 1-3 months from there. But don’t let that be written in stone, here are more reasons when to switch things up…
6 Reasons You Know It’s Time To Change
- Positive Keywords – if keyword A brings in lots of traffic make sure that corresponding page has supporting content for that topic
- Make a clearer conversion path – make sure there are calls to actions and landing pages tied to pages
- Negative press/keywords – if you see people searching for negative things – like bad reviews. Take action. Here’s your opportunity to jump into forums, set up review profiles, create a new campaign, press releases, social media etc…you name it. The worst thing you can do is nothing or react negatively in return.
- Following on the tails of the before mentioned, make sure you are adding yourself to review sites, better business bureau, and other directories that matter. They help you with inbound links, a positive image and appear less like spam.
- Take it a step further, create a campaign around large traffic generators. With success from basic optimization efforts you can easily take things to the next level – video, email, pod casts, blog posts, call to actions, events, contests…the sky is the limit.
- Test, test, test. True SEO geeks will test to no end even if things are going well. It’s only through testing (anything and everything) that you will be able to truly see what counts and what has a positive or negative effect.
Posted on 01 July 2010 by RChurt
A website audit should be the foundation for determining how you will proceed with your search engine optimization efforts and/or a website redesign. Read this first if you are about to embark on a redesign and make sure you have the following in place first.
What is this for– To define content more clearly for your users (usability) and search engines (SEO).
Why do you want this– To inspect the framework and architecture of your website for both users and the search engines. So you will be examining some technical issues, infrastructure and the overall robustness of your website.
Who is involved – Your web developers and/or IT team will play an integral part in help marketers get this done. What if you don’t have those resources – then you will want to work with a consultant to help you get this done.
- Keyword Analysis
Review Key Phrase Performance
Number of pages currently indexed by the major search engines
Number and quality of inbound links
- Current SEO Analysis
Page Title review
Meta Description review
Current Stats Analysis (if historical “pre-optimization” information is available)
- Keyword Research
Analysis and suggestions for best key-phrases to target
Identify target market/key buyer personas
- Usability Study
Design and layout recommendations
Page load time check
Browser compatibility check
Conversion path and/or shopping cart or checkout process review
Review for errors, bad copy, broken links
- Copywriting/Marketing Analysis
Appeal to target audience
Writing style and content overview
Additional content recommendations – such as call to actions etc
In short the goal is to assess how friendly your website is to search engines and look for any common pitfalls and room for improvement. There is always room for improvement. The goal should be an actionable list of items for your team to implement to help increase traffic and get more qualified leads.
Posted on 18 June 2010 by RChurt
- Make sure that the most difficult keywords (in terms of search volume and competitiveness) are on your homepage.
- Use long tail versions or variations of the keywords you highlighted on the homepage for interior pages, which also means that each interior page title should be unique (meaning none are the same).
- Place your most important keywords first in the title.
- Don’t put “Home” on your homepage. Everyone knows it’s your homepage.
- Don’t have a string of keywords in your page title. It just becomes redundant and spammy looking and more than likely you will be beyond the recommended 70 character limit. Remember only the first 70 characters are displayed in the search results. So get to the point.
- Similarly, don’t have a sentence in your page title. Page titles commonly get confused with the “description” which unlike the title should be a
declarative brief sentence summarizing the page.
For instance the Page Title for this article/page is – Meta Page Title Best Practices | Food For Thought. Doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Photo credit: Readatyourisk.wordpress.com