Google Best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Practices – Part 5

The fifth and last part of this article will concentrate on the internal and analysis areas of the optimization for Google. I will review 3 essential areas. Let’s start:

Why do you need to use Google Sitemaps.
If your site has hundreds of pages, then a compressed version of the file can be created. You are required to create an account with Google in order to take advantage of this feature. Two things to consider before uploading the sitemap file are to verify that your robots.txt allows Google to craw the site for this to work in the first place, and that you check for 404 error pages in your site. Now to why you need this: Google will crawl your site more frequently to verify changes in the sitemap file, and index files that normally it wouldn’t. So keep it up to date with your weekly changes. It saves Google time, since it will only concentrate on updated content, and getting new or updated pages indexed as a benefit.

The importance of Web Analytics.
Keep track of your optimization and log results by understanding your analytics. It is essential that you monitor your visitor paths and exit pages. Make all necessary changes through your pages to make sure you are improving those pages that are top exit ones. One way to achieve this is by creating stronger offerings, guarantees, and calls to action among other things. SiteCatalyst is a very robust solution with a lot of features. SiteCatalyst provides data related to navigation, ecommerce, content, and other detailed visitor information. It also has a pretty flexible dashboard and it is very data intensive. One of the great features that it provides is comparison, which allows you to compare different campaigns and groups to see how they are doing so against each other, so that campaigns can be optimized. If you are looking robust features such as customizable dashboards, then Omniture SiteCatalyst might be right for you.

Staying out of the Supplemental Index.
Sites of any age, size, and rank can end up in the supplemental index. For the first 2 factors, it is related to the update ratio or duplicate content. For the last one, because of missing elements. The number one reason to be listed in this index is the update ratio. So how do you fix this? Update the content of the page. Change the body content mostly. Title changes and Heading tags also helps. Number two reason is that the page is no longer internally linked from home or main category pages. So, the fix? Self explanatory. Last reason, your site is online but less than six months old. If this is your case, please read my 2 part article on “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics” were you will be able to find out what to do to get out much quicker.

Closing Statement about Google Optimization.
To recap… Make sure that your site is compliant, stays true, stays natural, and stays organic. Focus on content, and bringing quality traffic to your site. If people are attracted to your site and buy, Google will be attracted to the site too and the site will naturally rank well. Make it easy on Google, and they will make it easy on you.

By Dedicated SEO Consultant: Jose Nunez