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Monday, July 16, 2012

Basic optimization tips : Effects on traffic

Meta Description

The meta description tag is an element search engines use to help determine what the page is about. The tag also appears as your site description in search results, so writing your tag to appeal to human eyes can lead to increased clicks on your listing. You will notice that the search engine bolds the keywords you originally searched for in the description tag. If you do not have a description tag, Google will write one for you, and you really don't want that.

Google PageRank

Your Google PageRank (toolbar PageRank is between 0 and 10 - the higher, the better) is basically a measure of trust and authority. Domains with a higher PR are likely to rank for more terms than sites with low PR.

Alexa Rank

Your Alexa Rank is actually a measure of traffic to your site where they rank your site compared to all other sites in the world. If your site is in the top 100,000 Alexa rank, your traffic is probably doing OK. For example, pearanalytics.com floats between 47,000 and 75,000.

Title Tag

The title tag is an element that the search engines use to help determine what the page is about. Since it shows up as the first line of your listing in search results, it can make or break your clicks if it does not sound appealing to people. A concise and appropriate title tag projects an image of professionalism as well as encourages users to bookmark your page, knowing they won't have to edit text to remember what they bookmarked.

Robots.txt

Your robots.txt file, located in your root folder, is a way for webmasters to indicate which pages/folders/directories should not be accessed by crawlers or search engines. A good example are any pages behind a login. However, there are some serious misuses of the robots file that we come across sometimes, and we want to try and alert you to those. Overusing or blocking too many sections of your site could cause harm to your inbound link effectiveness.

Page Load Time

Having slow loading pages can affect your rankings, and ultimately your traffic. Even the traffic you do get may bounce at a higher rate on slow loading pages. If you have an e-commerce site, expect a loss in sales for pages that load too slowly.

Clean URL

Use clean URLs and add targeted keywords where you can to enhance the SEO friendliness of your site. You will notice search engines will highlight those pages in the results, so having pages that are descriptive is better than random characters and number sequences, which is almost always the case. But be careful about pages that have affiliate codes or ID's in them. If they are duplicate copies of existing pages on the site, you want to be sure the search engine is not seeing these affiliate pages as duplicate content. You can "NOINDEX" them if necessary.

Domain Age

A young domain will likely not rank well immediately depending on competitiveness, unless there is a major social or viral event to drive a massive amount of traffic to the site in a short period of time. Domain age is used in the "trust and authority" calculation the search engine does. Also, purchase your domain out to 5 or 10 years instead of just 1 or 2 years at a time. That makes the search engine comfortable that you plan on being around a while.

Analytics

While this won't affect your traffic, it is what you need to measure YOUR traffic. 

 

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