5 SEO Improvements You Can Do In 15 Minutes
Sometimes the simplest SEO tweaks make a huge difference in how you're perceived by the search engines. A finely tuned site can boost traffic and even make conversion easier as visitors find it easier to find what they're looking for. While many webmasters think of SEO as a long-term strategy, here are 5 things that will make an immediate impact.
1. Review Your Robots.txt File
If you have a robots.txt file on your site, check it out. You might be surprised by what you find. Many sites are unknowingly withholding pages, folders, and images that would make for good search engine spider food. Also, run a site scanning tool like "Screaming Frog" to see if you're excluding any pages. Both of these provide a quick fix and have both short and long-term benefits for you.
2. Assess Canonicalization of your Domain
Search engines hate duplicate content. Most sites unwittingly hurt themselves by giving the search engines two copies of their landing pages. It only takes a moment to fix this. If your site exists as www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com, then you need to establish a canonical domain name. SEs don't like seeing two versions of your content. To fix this, create a simple 301 redirect that redirects all non-www pages to their "www" equivalent.
3. Check For Duplicate Title Elements
You can do a quick check for duplicate title elements in Google's Webmaster Tools. This will tell you whether you have duplicate pages, keyword cannibalization, or bad title element structure. Checking this property feature will quickly show you where the issues are and give you a clue as to how to fix them.
4. Review Your Google and Bing Listing
The web is becoming more localized. Google and Bing are both favoring local listings over national ones. Because of this, you need to ensure that you're seen at the local level. It's surprising how many websites and companies don't have a local listing. Even if you do sell nationally, it pays to have your business listed in the local listings. It makes you look more legitimate and you might even get visitors (and sales) that originate from your own town or city.
5. Review Links in your Footer and Sitewide
Update any outdated links (or remove them). By reviewing links in your main footer, breadcrumb, and any other navigation element, you will also quickly figure out whether you have duplicate content issues with default pages like "index.html." These pages need to be 301 redirected to the absolute page. Then, the links themselves can be updated to point to the absolute page. Cleaning up your internal link structure will pay off faster than you might think. As search engines find it easier to crawl your site, you'll find more of your pages being indexed - and that leads to more traffic for your website.