5 Fast SEO Fixes You Can Do To Your Website Today

5 Fast SEO Fixes You Can Do To Your Website Today
Kate Headen Waddell - Wed Jul 22, 2009 @ 04:07AM
Comments: 86

Mr. Fix itIf you know anything about SEO, you know it’s a big, complex subject with a lot of elements that feed into that final rank. Even better, the rules vary from engine to engine and they are constantly changing.  I have blogged about writing SEO web copy, but today I am going to give you the 411 on a few other quick and easy fixes you can do (probably today – or possibly tomorrow if you have to get your designer involved) to plug up some common SEO holes. 

Finding your SEO blind spots

There are a couple of sites that offer this service, but the one I use is http://whois.domaintools.com/ . Go there now, and type your web address into the big empty box on the landing page. I’ll wait.

Look at the first section, called “Front Page Information.”  For a sample, I picked Visa USA, just to show you how even a really big company with a lot of money to spend on SEO can miss the “gimmees.”

Whois screenshot

 

What to look for

Here we can see that Visa has pretty low scores on relevancy for all of their meta data. What this means is that the search engine matches the website's reported (meta) title, description, and keywords against their actual site content. A poor score alerts the search engines that Visa might be stuffing its meta data to mislead searchers, and negatively affects its rank.

The two other lines we are going to worry about today are the “Links” and the “Images.” Links are how many internal and external links you have in your site. The more of these you have, the better, especially the outbound links. Images are literally the jpegs and gifs that make up your website. Alt-tags describe the picture for your visitors, in case it doesn’t load correctly.

The Fix

Most of these fixes can be done very easily with a simple html editor. You can read a pretty good article about creating and adding your own tags here http://www.fg-a.com/MetaTags.htm.  If you don’t “do” your own website, gather your changes together and send them to your web designer.

Meta Keywords: Visa fell victim to a lot of mistakes in their keyword selection. The first being that they seem to think potential customers are going to type “more people go with visa” or “print advertising” into Google when they want a credit card. The second being keyword diarrhea: trying to fit every conceivable search term into the keywords, instead of focusing on the top six. Check out my recent blog post about picking keywords for more information.  Once you have the right keywords selected, you will use them to rewrite the meta description and the meta title.

Meta Title: Visa went with their company name and tagline for the title of their website. This is good branding, but not necessarily good SEO. So that the search engine will consider the title more relevant, they have two options. That can either add their name and tagline to the footer of each page, so that the search engine sees the terms being used throughout the site, or they can change the title to reflect their improved site keywords.

Meta Description: This is the text that will show up under your website on an organic search. Visa went with a very conversational sentence here. The problem is that if they don’t repeat many of these words regularly throughout the site, they will get dinged. The easiest fix for this would be to re-write the description to be keyword dense.

Images: Alt-tags are one of the easiest fixes. Click the image (inside the web editor) and select “properties.” The alt-tag box will be empty. Write something in it. Use a keyword if you can. If you are going to do this yourself, consult the help section of your editor for more exact instructions. Otherwise, throw it over the wall to the web designer.

Links: The search engines love links. Internal ones are good, external are even better. Links should be made on keywords whenever possible. For example, “Find out more about Visa credit cards.” Instead of: “Visa offers a wide range of credit cards. Find out more.” Go through your website page by page and look for places where you can link keyword terms to other pages within your site. Also look for places where you can link out to other sites for more information or complementary products and services.

These five fixes won’t guarantee your site will be at the top of the list, but they are the basics that will get you headed in the right direction.

Have you discovered any other quick SEO fixes?

Comments: 86

Comments

1. Jonathan Kranz  |  my website   |   Wed Jul 22, 2009 @ 06:28AM

Kate, your timing is perfect -- I'm relaunching my site this afternoon! Great stuff.

One question/comment: Are you sure you want to pack the meta description with keywords? Since this is the blurb that appears in the results, I write these to "sell" the site to searchers making comparisons among the search returns. If I overtly pack the description with keywords, don't I risk turning off potential visitors?

2. Jamie Lee  |  my website   |   Wed Jul 22, 2009 @ 06:32AM

Kate - thanks for a great post about some basic (and often overlooked) SEO tips. Sometimes little things can make a BIG difference.

3. Kate Headen  |  my website   |   Wed Jul 22, 2009 @ 09:18AM

Jonathan - great question. The goal is to not cram keywords anywhere, but to make sure that the search engines recognize your meta tags as relevant to your site. They do that by matching the words you use in your copy with the words you use in your meta tags. SOooo if you are using good, relevant meta keywords it should be pretty easy to use a bunch of them in your description without sounding awkward - or sacrificing your message to searchers.

4. David Pinto  |  my website   |   Wed Jul 22, 2009 @ 04:48PM

Agreed, cramming keywords is definitely not going to help your SEO. As this great post from Kate states... content and keyword relevance is key, from titles, through descriptions, meta tags...going forward. You may also consider judicious use of H1, H2 tags. Another good practice is clever footers that stay below the fold, but improve the content relevance when juxtaposed with the keywords associated with a page. The bHive site does use this but may not be the best example since its used very sparely...our site is built on Salesforce.com and the differentiator is that we're integrated with the CRM if that's your cup of tea (side benefits into the funnel). However (and no plug here, just being helpful), we did work with our friends at AdviceAmerica and the footer change--among others--to their site has done wonders for their SEO. My Web $0.02, nuff said!

5. Aveline  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 17, 2013 @ 02:52AM

outbound links. Images are literally the jpegs and gifs that make up your website. Alt-tags describe the picture for your visitors, in case it doesn’t load correctly.

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That can either add their name and tagline to the footer of each page, so that the search

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The problem is that if they don’t repeat many of these words regularly throughout the site, they will get dinged. The easiest fix for this would be to re-write the description to be keyword dense.

8. Mike  |  my website   |   Fri Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:05PM

I have only had my site up and running for 3 months and I have been using a couple of the online SEO score check websites to get an idea of where my site stands. I know, just like anything, there are good and there are not so good. On one of the sites my website receives a score of 97% for SEO. On another my website receives a 30%. The site that is mentioned above gave me an 84% SEO score. How much should I pay attention to these scores.

9. Rob Swick  |  my website   |   Mon Jul 22, 2013 @ 10:27PM

That's a REALLY relevant SEO topic. Amazing to see that VISA is making those basic mistakes but in my experience there's no relationship between company size and SEO errors.

I especially like your point about VISA going with 'good branding' instead of SEO. Companies are finally learning that it IS possible to do both... but slowly. :)

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HVAC: These are the most basic and highly relevant SEO tips, even in 2015. Although META Keyword is redundant for Google etc. Dispite, it's a good post Kate. See the example http://www.homedepoter.com/what-is-hvac-certification-requirements

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