9 SEO upgrades you can make right now
Ian Lurie Jan 26 2010
SEO is really, really hard. Not because it’s mysterious: If you can’t do the math there are always smarty pants out there analyzing the algorithms. You can always just read their stuff and learn.
No, it’s hard because it’s nearly impossible to figure out where to start.
Here are the 10 site upgrades I usually look at first. They’re relatively easy and, if you need ‘em, you’ll see solid results:
- Put your brand at the end of your title tag. Search engines place more weight on phrases that come at the beginning of the title tag. Hopefully, you already rank for your company name – put the brand at the end! Time required: 30 minutes.
- Get yourself a link on Joeant.com and BOTW.org. Why not? They’re links. Links are good. Time required: 45 minutes.
- Consistently link to your home page. Link to your home page to www.site.com, not www.site.com/index.html or other randomness. This is canonicalization 101. Time required: 2 hours, max.
- Add ALT attributes. Make sure every product image, logo and navigation button has clear, descriptive ALT text. Time required: As much as you like, or 30 minutes.
- Extend your domain reservation. Search engines look at the expiration date on your domain name. If it expires in 10 years, you could earn more trust and rank higher. Go extend your domain reservation to 10 years. Time required: 10 minutes.
- Set up Google Webmaster Tools. Look at Diagnostics >> HTML Suggestions. Fix any duplicate title or description meta tags, and insert any missing ones. Search engines are pretty anal retentive. They love that stuff. Time required: 1 hour.
- Use Google Webmaster Tools again. Look under Crawl Errors >> Not Found. Any broken links from other sites? Set up a 301 redirect to the right page. That’ll get back the link authority you lost due to the 404 error. It’s instant link building. Time required: Varies wildly.
- Download Xenu Link Sleuth. Crawl your site and then save a sitemap from the result. Upload it and tell the search engines where it is. Check sitemaps.org for the details. Time required: 1 hour.
There you go. SEO upgrades, 7 hours or less.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More