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SEO Mistakes


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SEO Mistakes

  1. 1. SEO Mistakes Most Bloggers Make By Stephan Spencer, Founder & President, Netconcepts
  2. 2. Blog SEO <ul><li>So easy a child could do it </li></ul><ul><li>16-year old blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Passive income: ~$1000/month from Google AdSense </li></ul><ul><li>Effort required: 1 hr/month </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you, Google! </li></ul>My daughter, SEO-in-training
  3. 4. #5 for “neopets” #3 for “neopets cheats” #6 for “neo pets” etc.
  4. 7. Biggest SEO Mistakes <ul><li>Leaving title tags to be auto-generated (from the post name, category name, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Squandering your “crawl equity” by letting pages get indexed that don’t deserve to be (“Email this page” etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Having multiple “homes” for your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Not using unique “Optional Excerpt” to minimize duplicate content </li></ul><ul><li>Not using rel=nofollow to direct PageRank flow </li></ul>
  5. 8. Biggest SEO Mistakes <ul><li>Over-reliance on date-based archives </li></ul><ul><li>No stability in keyword focus on category & tag pages </li></ul><ul><li>Suboptimal URLs (too long, too many words, too many directories) </li></ul><ul><li>Only one RSS feed, and it’s un-optimized </li></ul><ul><li>Hosting blog/feed URLs on a domain you don’t own </li></ul><ul><li>Using suboptimal anchor text when linking internally </li></ul>
  6. 9. What Are We Waiting For?? Let’s Fix Your Blog!
  7. 10. Rejig Internal Linking Structure <ul><li>Tag clouds & tag pages & tag conjunction pages (e.g. “UTW Theme Compatibility Thing” WordPress plugin) </li></ul><ul><li>Related Posts (e.g. “Yet Another Related Posts” plugin) </li></ul><ul><li>Top 10 posts (e.g. “Popularity Contest” plugin) </li></ul><ul><li>Next & Previous / pagination (e.g. “WP-PageNavi” plugin) </li></ul>
  8. 13. Tags point to Technorati tag pages Tags point to internal tag pages
  9. 14. A tag page
  10. 16. Optimize Title Tags <ul><li>Blog name at the end of the title, not at the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Tag name should go in title on a tag page </li></ul><ul><li>Customize with additional keywords for display only on your home page </li></ul><ul><li>Override title tags w/ custom one ( “SEO Title Tag” WordPress plugin) </li></ul>
  11. 17. “ SEO Title Tag” plugin for WordPress <ul><li>Allows you to override the title tag with a custom one on any post, static page, tag page, category page, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Now updated to work with WordPress 2.6 </li></ul><ul><li>Can even define a custom title on ANY url </li></ul><ul><li>Reverses the order of the blog name and the title, or drop the blog name altogether, or replace it with a shorter nickname </li></ul><ul><li>Can use category’s description as the title on category pages </li></ul><ul><li>Has a Mass Edit admin and an Options page to change settings </li></ul><ul><li>Download at </li></ul>
  12. 18. “ Thin Slicing” <ul><li>Make quick decisions. Don’t overthink. </li></ul><ul><li>Only really works if you’re an expert </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. hand-optimize title tags across hundreds of pages quickly (prioritized) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your title tags, H1s and URLs </li></ul><ul><li>Don't obsess, doesn’t have to be perfect. Instead, iterate. </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have an admin interface, use a spreadsheet and do a database import </li></ul>
  13. 19. Thin slicing title tags
  14. 21. Great name for the blog!
  15. 23. Optimize URLs <ul><li>URL affects searcher clickthrough rates </li></ul><ul><li>Short URLs get clicked on 2X long URLs (Source: MarketingSherpa, used with permission) </li></ul>
  16. 24. Optimize URLs <ul><li>Further, long URLs appear to act as a deterrent to clicking, drawing attention away from its listing and instead directing it to the listing below it, which then gets clicked 2.5x more frequently. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  17. 25. Optimize URLs <ul><li>Subdomain? Subdirectory? New domain? Domain of your blog host? </li></ul><ul><ul><li> vs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Got a or URL? You benefit from their domain authority, but you’re forever wedded to them! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rewrite to contain keywords, hyphens not underscores </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain legacy URLs even after switching platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Keep post slugs relatively short (e.g. “Slug Trimmer” or “Clean Trunks” plugin) </li></ul>
  18. 26. Optimize URLs <ul><li>Test and optimize URLs, but don’t lose link juice to previous URLs. 301 previous URLs to latest. No chains of 301s. </li></ul><ul><li>WordPress handles 301s automatically when renaming post slugs </li></ul><ul><li>Mass edit admin for URLs (post slugs) in WordPress – via the “SEO Title Tag” plugin ( </li></ul>
  19. 27. Thin slicing URLs
  20. 28. Optimize Anchor Text <ul><li>Make the post’s title a link to the permalink page </li></ul><ul><li>Use SEOMoz Backlink Anchor Text Analysis tool or BLA ( to look for opportunities to request revisions to anchor text on inbound links </li></ul><ul><li>Internally link back to old, relevant posts within the body of a blog post. Don’t use “here” or “previously” etc. as the anchor text! </li></ul>
  21. 29. Post title is anchor text. “ Permalink” is yucky anchor text!
  22. 30. “ Sculpt” Your PageRank <ul><li>My preference is to have rel=nofollow... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On links in trackbacks, comments (by default on most platforms) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where the link would be reciprocal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On links to date-based archives, assuming you have category and tag hierarchy (noindexing/disallowing is not enough!) </li></ul></ul>
  23. 31. Minimize Duplicate Content <ul><li>Code your Main Index Template to display “Optional Excerpts” on everything but permalink page </li></ul><ul><li>For each post, write unique content (i.e. paraphrase), don’t just use the first couple paragraphs (i.e. Don’t use the <!--more--> tag!) </li></ul><ul><li>Meta robots noindex & rel=nofollow are your friends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Date-based archives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ OR” Tag conjunction pages (e.g.|articles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printer-friendly versions </li></ul></ul>
  24. 32. Improve the Keyword Focus <ul><li>Heading tags </li></ul><ul><ul><li>category name on category page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes for post titles, no for dates! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emphasis tags within posts (bold, strong, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sticky” posts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always appear at the top of the page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A way to add keyword-rich intro copy to a category page or tag page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. “WP-Sticky” or “Adhesive” plugin </li></ul></ul>
  25. 33. Sticky post
  26. 34. Optimize Your RSS Feeds <ul><li>Full text, not summaries </li></ul><ul><li>20 or MORE items (not just 10) </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple feeds (by category, latest comments, comments by post) </li></ul><ul><li>Keyword-rich item <title> </li></ul><ul><li>Your brand name in the item <title> </li></ul><ul><li>Your most important keyword in the site <title> container </li></ul><ul><li>Compelling site <description> </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t put tracking codes into the URLs (e.g. &source=rss) </li></ul><ul><li>An RSS feed that contains enclosures (i.e. podcasts) can get into additional RSS directories & engines </li></ul>
  27. 40. Thank You! <ul><li>For an ebook on Google power searching, SEO checklists & worksheets, and audio recording, executive summary & transcript of thought leaders teleconferences on SEO & blogging, drop me your business card or e-mail your request to [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>To contact me: </li></ul><ul><li>Download... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PPT: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Article: </li></ul></ul>