Determining the SEO Health of Your Website

Last night, I attended a SEMNE (Search Engine Marketing New England) event in Peabody, MA. Jill Whalen, co-founder of SEMNE and CEO of High Rankings, presented “Determining the SEO Health of Your Website.” Although I have experience and successes doing organic search engine optimization for my clients, I was hoping to pick up a nugget or two, and, make new connections by networking with other professionals. I scored on both counts!

Jill outlined the  process that she uses when auditing a website for search engine worthiness; 5 or 6 major areas. Then, she discussed each of the areas in detail. That was followed by live audits of several websites managed by people in the audience.

Common SEO mistakes Jill sees are that companies: 

  1. Choose too broad keyword terms
  2. Create web pages that are simply not link-worthy
  3. Create menu structures that are unreadable by the search engines
  4. Hide content
  5. Write content that does not include the appropriate keyword terms for the given page
  6. Use poor quality analytics tools

One interesting tool that I will check into in more detail later is Google’s KeywordToolExternal. Jill has stopped using WordTracker and Keyword Discovery and now uses Google’s keyword tool exclusively. I have always used WordTracker, so, I look forward to learning more about Google’s tool. As a quick look-see, this morning I used KeywordToolExternal to review my website.  It was very revealing to see what Google is suggesting for keywords. The keyword terms that I most want to be found with today  – are not on the list.  Hummm got some work there.  

Another tool that Jill recommended is a Firefox plugin called KGen. I installed that this morning, took a quick look, and will play with it a while in order to determine how it can enhance my SEO efforts.

Also mentioned were: Google’s text cache, site operator, and Analytics, as well as http header checks(http://www.randycullom.com/headerchecker.php).

Recommendations made by Jill:

  1. Optimize a single page for three keyword phrases (not just one)
  2. Create Titles Tags of 10 – 12 words
  3. Use CSS-based pull-down menus (not JavaScript-based)
  4. Use 301 redirects (and not 302’s)

All in all an informative presentation. Thanks Jill.

What tools are you using? Have any tips for SEO? 

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