<< by on December 29th, 2010
This post is part of a series in which I share my New Year’s resolutions in five different areas of SEO, and today I’m addressing how to take an end-of-year look at your website’s content.
Content has always been one of the most important factors of search engine optimization (SEO). Website content typically does not change very frequently for most site owners. But it does change as product offerings evolve, staff member come and go, and site design gets updated. So whenever your site content changes, it’s important to consider the SEO implications. And the end of the year is a good time to think about upcoming changes that may be coming down the line. Prepare yourself now.
What to Consider?
1. New pages – If you have new content coming out soon (perhaps for a new product or service), consider whether that new page will need a new SEO keyword of focus. If you are already tracking an appropriate keyword, plan ahead to get that phrase into the content. (Remember to maintain a healthy keyword density!) But also use the opportunity to do a little keyword research for similar terms whose search traffic may be growing. You may find a new keyword after all.
2. Lengthy content – Review your site for looooong pages. Actually, length in and of itself is not the real issue. But long pages tend to be rambling pages. In general, it’s best for SEO to have one page per topic. (The reason for this is that you want to try to give each SEO keyword of focus at least one whole page of tailored content.
If only closely-related content appears on a page, it is easier to maintain good keyword density). It’s ok to have one catalogue page of all your products, but make sure you also have an individual page devoted to each product. And likewise, create an individual page explaining each of your company’s core values rather than just lumping them all together in one catch-all page.
3. Flash - Will you be making extensive use of Flash in your upcoming redesign? Well, search engines cannot read (or therefore index) Flash. So be sure to understand how to use SEO-friendly scripts and the <noscript> tag so that search engines are able to index all that Flash-y content.
4. Broken Links and Old Pages – It’s always a good idea to periodically scan your site for broken links that may have accumulated during site re-designs and re-organizations. Broken links are obviously bad for user experience, but they also represent a lost opportunity for SEO. When an old page is simply deleted, users (and search engines) who visit that URL will receive a 404 error page. Any rankings or link value that the old page possessed is lost.
The better alternative is to use a 301 redirect. A permanent 301 redirect will direct users to another appropriate page of the site so they can continue browsing. And a 301 redirect will transfer most of the existing link value from the old page to the new page. This will help your site maintain any rankings that the old page previously held.