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Time for Your Site`s SEO Tune-up?
By: terri
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    You can't just set and forget search engine optimization for your website. As with a car, it requires regular maintenance. Just as you change your oil every 3,500 miles, you should check your website for SEO issues at least every six months. Keep reading for what to look for and fix.

    Let me give a tip of the hat to Nick Stamoulis at Search Engine Guide for covering this important topic. He discussed four areas you need to examine to keep your onsite SEO in top shape. If you take care of these tasks, your visitors will enjoy their time browsing and shouldn't run into any major issues. Remember, a happy visitor is more likely to become a repeat visitor, or even a buyer.

    Start by checking your website for broken links and missing pages. I don't know about you, but I hate it when I click a link in the search results and discover that the page I'm looking for no longer exists! More often than not I'll leave the site rather than try to hunt down the content; most visitors will react the same way. This is why you need to make sure that you employ the proper 301 redirection to tell the search engines that you moved something permanently.

    The second thing you should examine is your keywords. Some fields can change a great deal in six months. Even if you did your keyword research – and I'm sure you did – the lingo can change. How do you spot this? Check out what keywords are driving traffic to your website. Are any underperforming? Are you getting traffic from keywords you weren't expecting? You need to consider all of these issues. I'm not saying you're going to need to totally redo your research, but you might find it necessary to add a new set of keywords to your target list.

    Here's a helpful hint from Stamoulis: if you're seeing more non-branded keywords from traffic arriving at your website, it means your SEO campaign is working. Why? According to Stamoulis, “an increase in non-branded keywords means that people who have never heard of your brand are finding your site in the search engines.” That's a good sign.

    The third thing you need to look at while doing your onsite SEO tune-up is your content. It's been six months since the last one. Has your company put out new products in that time? Are the pages related to those products properly optimized? Has anything been discontinued? Did you remove the pages for expired sales campaigns? And what can you do to strengthen your content? Stamoulis suggests you consider merging two pages of thin content to create one really strong page, for instance. Keep in mind that it's your content that will convince  a human visitor to buy from you. Therefore, “You want to make sure your content is written for a human reader, incorporates relevant call-to-actions, and targets both decision makers and influencers,” Stamoulis notes.

    Finally, to conclude your onsite SEO tune-up, look at your site's internal linking structure. Visitors should be able to travel naturally and easily to all the parts of your website that could interest them. Don't force them to travel all the way back to your home page to find the navigation links they need! If you've put your content together correctly, any page could be a landing page; that means your visitors might start from anywhere. Don't leave them stranded. A good internal linking structure will not only help them; it will help you, because search engines will be able to crawl your website better, and spread out the link juice appropriately.

    Just as you may notice your car driving more smoothly after an oil change and a tune-up, your website will perform better for your visitors after a proper SEO tune-up. It will make the search engines happier as well, and that's definitely a win. Good luck!

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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