Sunday, July 22, 2007

SEO Your Site in Less Than an Hour

SEO Your Site in Less Than an Hour
A. Visit the home page of your site.
Does it redirect to some other URL? If so, that’s bad.
Review site navigation:
Format — text or image? image map? javascript? drop-downs? Text is best. Page URLs — look at URL structure, path names, file names. How long are URLs?
How far away from the root are they? Are they separated by dashes or underscores?
Are keywords used appropriately in text links or image alt tags?
Review home page content:
Adequate and appropriate amount of text?
Appropriate keyword usage?
Is there a sitemap?
Do a “command-A” to find any hidden text.
View source code:
Check meta description (length, keyword usage, relevance).
Check meta keywords (relevance, stuffing).
Look for anything unusual/spammy (keywords in noscript, H1s in javascript, etc.).
If javascript or drop-down navigation, make sure it’s crawlable.
Sometimes cut-and-paste code into Dreamweaver to get better look at code-to-page relationship.
B. Analyze robots.txt file. See what’s being blocked and what’s not. Make sure it’s written correctly.
C. Check for www and non-www domains — i.e., canonicalization issues. Only one should resolve; the other should redirect.
D. Look at the sitemap (if one exists). Check keyword usage in anchor text.
How many links?
Are all important (category, sub-category, etc.) pages listed?
E. Visit two category/1st-level pages. Repeat A1, A2, A3, and A4 - this will be quicker since many objects (header, footer, menus) will be the same. In particular, look for unique page text, unique meta tags, correct use of H1s, H2s to structure content.
Check for appropriate PageRank flow. Also look at how they link back to home page. Is index.html or default.php appended on link? Shouldn’t be.
F. Visit two product/2nd-level pages. Same steps as E.
Also, if the site sells common products, find 2-3 other sites selling same exact items and compare product pages. Are all sites using the same product descriptions? Unique content is best.
G. Do a search in all 3 main engines.
Compare pages indexed between the three. Is pages indexed unusually high or low based on what you saw in the site map and site navigation? This may help identify crawlability issues. Is one engine showing substantially more or less pages than the others? Double-check robots.txt file if needed.
H. Do *** -jdkhfdj search in Google to see supplemental pages. All sites will have some pages in the supplemental index. Compare this number with overall number of pages indexed. A very high percentage of pages in the supplemental index = not good.
I. Use Aaron’s SEO for Firefox extension to look at link counts in Yahoo and MSN. If not in a rush, do the actual link count searches manually on Yahoo Site Explorer and MSN to confirm.


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