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The SEO makeover: simple tools for better traffic

The SEO makeover: simple tools for better traffic Andrew Hazen
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It is possible to achieve prominent website placement and convert visitors into customers, even if no one can guarantee you the top position on a search engine or a specific ranking based on a keyword phrase.


To exponentially increase visibility, deliver a tremendous amount of qualified traffic and lower customer acquisition costs, sites need to employ best SEO practices requiring the proper use of metadata, site structure, link building, URL naming conventions and web copywriting techniques -- all of which are considered best practices for successful SEO.


These were all top of mind as we conducted the following SEO reviews of websites. Take a look!

AccuQuote is a term-life insurance provider.


Site recommendations for the company to improve SEO, general optimization, layout, call to action and site stickiness include:



  • Creating a unique selling proposition that sets it apart from the competition


  • Posting helpful informational documents on the home page such as:



  • Five things you MUST know before purchasing term life insurance

  • Top 10 tips for first-time purchasers of life insurance

  • Top five tips for purchasing life insurance online


  • Implementing an internal search bar to enhance the visitors' overall experience with the website. It would enable them to quickly locate sought-after information and provide the company with website analytics by tracking visitors' keywords when they utilize this function. The information could tell AccuQuote if these terms have enough daily and monthly search volume to warrant building out additional pages optimized for these keyword phrases. Taking this course of action would enhance the overall SEO value of the website (enabling it to rank better naturally for industry-related terms) and help drive more qualified traffic to it, thereby resulting in more monthly conversions.


  • Adding a link from the FAQ section of the site to the home page. Answering your most frequently asked questions would educate visitors and improves their chances of doing business with the company. Moreover, it would lessen the risk of them leaving the site.


  • Converting the navigation bar written in JavaScript (which is not read by search engines) into keyword-rich text-based navigation (which they do read).


  • Optimizing unique individualized page titles with targeted keyword phrases that generate more monthly searches.


  • Having new and updated meta-keywords and descriptions mirror one another.


  • Enhancing meta-tags to target only one-two keyword phrases.


  • Naming URLs so that they all contain primary keyword phrases for improved search engine visibility and user readability.


  • Creating ALT tags that are SEO-friendly with searchable terms.


  • Including primary keyword phrases in unlikely locations, such as image file names.




  • Implementing a canonical 301 redirect so that all traffic points to http://www.accuquote.com/ to avoid penalties from search engines for duplicate content.

The Execu-Search Group is a professional recruitment and temporary staffing company. Tracking visitors' entries, via web analytical software/tool Omniture, to and exits from the site reveals some interesting data. First, visitors are exiting the site extremely quickly, leading to the conclusion that it lacks enough viable content to maintain their interest. Also, nearly half of the visitors (47 percent) enter through the Job Detail page rather than the home page, and then exit at a rate that greatly exceeds the standard. Therefore, the following tactics are recommended to increase website stickiness, improve page views, navigation and overall website visibility:



  • Add drop-down navigation to the home page to greatly increase ease of navigation to the popular Job Detail page.


  • Enhance the home page by increasing relevant copy and internal linking.


  • Optimize existing pages with under-utilized, highly searched relevant keywords to generate more traffic and leads.


  • Launch a PR campaign based on Execu-Search poll results to drive more traffic and get industry-related websites with a high Google Page Rank to link back to the site, since it has been indexed by Google but lacks external links.


  • Move the "Contact Us" link, which performs well, to the header on every page to increase accessibility, creating a better experience for customers to prompt their return.



  • Repair broken links


  • Update the dated flash animation on the home page on a regular basis to improve website credibility.

iMedia Connection is a trade publisher and event producer serving the interactive media and the marketing industries.


Site recommendations to address areas of concern to improve SEO, general optimization and overall website experience include:



  • Converting the navigation bar written in JavaScript (which is not read by the search engines) into keyword-rich text-based navigation.


  • Determining top relevant keywords to be targeted in the optimization process through keyword research.*


  • Creating and implementing new unique page titles selected through extensive keyword research and targeting one-two relating terms per page.*


  • Implementing new and updated Meta keywords/descriptions that mirror one another, so that every page containing unique Meta tags specifically targets the chosen keyword phrases there.*


  • Ensuring that all article pages have URLs with keyword phrases.


  • Revising H1 current tags to target the primary chosen keywords, using them only once on each page rather than multiple times.


  • Updating pages to include H2 tags for each article represented.


  • Having SEO copywriters create additional keyword-rich optimized content to further improve the consistency among the page title, meta-description, meta-keywords and Header tags (H1, H2).



  • Generating an XML sitemap, since sitemaps provide a way for websites to specify what pages within the site should be indexed and what new content has been added. Once created, the site would be submitted to Google and Yahoo. The XML sitemap allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes and how important it is in relation to other URLs on the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently.*

*Editor's note: These recommended enhancements to iMedia have recently been made or were already in progress as of the publication date.


All of these techniques make websites user-friendly with effective navigation, clear visual design, proper search functionality, hyperlinks, page titles and headings. And that spells increased, qualified traffic.


Andrew Hazen is founder/CEO of PRIME Visibility, a PV Media Group company.


    As the Founder & CEO of Prime Visibility, I work with our talented team to create successful internet marketing strategies via search engine optimization, paid search and social media.

    View full biography

    Comments

    to leave comments.

    Commenter: Bennett White

    2008, July 15

    Well done Andrew, no matter how much you do this stuff it's always good to be reminded, because being human we are bound to forget and make mistakes! keep up the great work!

    Commenter: David H Deans

    2008, July 12

    iMedia Connection wasn't already utilizing SEO best practices -- how ironic is that?

    Commenter: Brett Sherman

    2008, July 09

    well said.