… it’s time for a spring tuneup, to catch up on things you’ve been meaning to address on your site.
You’ve got the blogging basics covered: creating unique, engaging content, promoting your blog, attending to SEO.
Now, take a few moments to take a look at your site under the hood.
Here are 3 blogging tips to to keep your “content engine” running well:
1. Update Webmaster Tools
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, recently explained five common SEO mistakes. Not using webmaster tools was #5.
Integrating these tools into your website is essential in a post Panda/Penguin world*, to keep your website “engine” in tip-top shape. *(Panda/Penguin: referring to Google’s much-noted algorithm changes).
Once added, use webmaster tools to check the following:
Set a preferred domain within your Google Webmaster Tools account.
The preferred domain setting tells Google whether you want the site to show up in the search results with the ‘www’ or without the ‘www’. It’s important to tell Google what you want, so you don’t create duplicate content issues and other problems. We provided more details about this process in a previous post about “Tech Tools”.
Sitelinks are the links that appear below some organic search results on Google. Sitelinks are automatically generated and are meant to help searchers navigate to popular content within your site.
While you can’t specify the pages that you want to display in the sitelinks, you can specify which pages you want removed. If a less desirable page has made its way into the sitelink results, go to the sitelinks page within webmaster tools, then type in the URL of the sitelink you would like removed.
It is important to note that old or erroneous URLs that you have previously demoted can and may return.
Short for malicious software, “malware” refers to software programs designed to damage your computer system.
With a verified webmaster tools account, both Google and Bing will notify you if they detect malware on your site. Both search engines will also label the search results with a warning (or remove the result) so searchers are aware and protected. Bing’s latest feature update included a “malware re-evaluation process.”
The process is easy to use, and designed to aid webmasters in finding malware, fixing the issue and then communicating the fix to Bing.
2. Refresh Keywords
Properly selecting target key phrases and incorporating them into your content and coding is vital to the visibility of your website or blog.
Here’s a keyword tip you may not know: people search differently for video content then other content. If you have video embedded on your site or a dedicated YouTube channel – use the YouTube keyword tool when selecting phrases for your title, description and tags. Check that video keyword data to optimize your video content for search results.
For the rest of your site, utilizing free tools like Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends and Social Mention can help you identify popular search phrases.
3. Check Browser Compatibility
With new websites, it’s typical to check how your site content is displayed on various browsers. If this hasn’t been checked in a while, however, it’s a good idea to give it a fresh look.
In addition to checking the most common browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome, pay special attention to mobile compatibility. It’s especially important to make sure your content is accessible on all screens.
There are tools designed to run browser compatibility checks — use your own tablet or mobile device to check how your site looks, too. If you see a problem, let your developer know, so it can be fixed.
4. Check important offsite factors, too.
Considerations like link building, duplicate content identification and social engagement must be part of an on-going review, not a one-time effort.
To make the most of your review, consider using automated tools - for instance, to identify instances of duplicate content and guard against content theft, find new quality link opportunities, monitor your site analytics, and more.
A quick site audit is all it takes!
Website spring cleaning doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, if you know what to look for. Simply check, update and refresh.
Your audience (and the search engines) will thank you for it.
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