Sunday, August 30, 2009

Solving Duplicate Content Issues

Many site owners worry about duplicate content issues. Often site owners might see a search engine results page (SERP) with words to the effect of

"we have omitted some results from the search results here. Click here to repeat the search with these results included"

If you click the repeated search and your site appears, it probably means you have duplicate content issues. Google has a hard time dealing with duplicate content issues, and scraper sites which copy articles, blog posts and wikipedia articles, for example and reproduces them on a grand scale.

Search Results Omitted

Of course the biggest way to avoid duplicate content issues is to produce 100% original, quality content. This is not always possible, though, and if you have an online store, it's often difficult to describe a series of, say, LCD TVs that different to what the brochure says and what (more importantly) hundreds of other sites say. Adding user reviews to a page can help with this, for example.

Google's rel=canonical tag can also help with this issue. This is more for sites which have different navigation to reach an end product and can be accessed therefore via different urls. The use of the canonical can be used here to tell Google which you want the "right" page to be, and the other pages can be effectively ignored by the search engines. This is a fairly complicated topic for a newbie, so I may expend on this in another post.

If you have old pages of content which you have edited slightly, or changed to a new, user-friendly url, and don't want to lose any link juice, then use a 301 redirect (permanent redirect to the new/correct url).

Do you think your site may be prone to duplicate content issues ? Contact me at Barcelona SEO for a chat about the site and the ideas. Or if you prefer SEO Training in Barcelona, we can arrange a series of sessions for me to explain these things one on one.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Compare Google...with Google

As has been widely publicised - even by Google themselves - there will be a new change in Google's algorithm coming shortly, and instead of having a surprising drop/rise in the SERPs, Google has given you the change to try out the new search engine and see the results for yourself here. The new change has been dubbed caffeine by Google.

Barcelona SEO - Compare Google

All good, but what about if you want to compare the current position of your site in the SERPs with the new results side by side? Well, help is at hand, in the form of a couple of websites, but my favourite is Get Caffeinatedfor the funny design.

I suggest you check it our for yourselves - it's great to compare both and see if you're in for good news, or a bit more work!

Looking for website optimisation in Barcelona? Contact me at Barcelona SEO for a chat about your site, and how to improve your rankings.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

SiteMap Help From Bing.

Anyone wanting to index their entire site quickly in any search engine should submit a sitemap to the search engines. This is no guarantee that your entire site will be indexed, but it will be crawled much much easier. If you add new content to your site, you can modify your sitemap, and "ping" the engines, letting them know you have new content, too.

Bing - Barcelona SEO

The standard for a search engine site map is an xml file, nothing to do with a html sitemap you may have on your website (or asp, or whichever code your site uses), as this is not for the end user to help find their way, rather the seach bots.

Bing has today released a very comprehensive guide to submitting a SiteMap to their search engine, although the principle can be applied to the other bots. Well worth a read, especially for those not too tech-minded.

Looking to improve your visibility on the search engines? I offer Search Engine Optimisation in Barcelona and also Link Building Services for your website to improve rankings. Contact me for more details.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Improving Conversions

Any web page has a purpose. Perhaps it's a click through to a second page, a sign-up, a form to be completed, or any other clear Call To Action (CTA). Optimising a page only for keywords is a great way to start your SEO, but it's only half the battle. If you're a good Search Engine Marketer, you'll know that once the visitor arrives on your page, they need to act on what you've planned. This is what's known as a conversion.

Money on a table - Barcelona SEO

Conversions can easily be set up as "goals" in your analytics software, for example, it's a really quick exercise in Google's Webmaster Tools. You will be able to see the amounts of visits to the page in question and the goals completed, or the conversions you have managed to get. You might be pleased with the current results, but there's always room for improvement. What use is the analytics data you have if you don't aim to improve, right?

One of the best ways to improve on conversions, which I've touched on before is to start doing testing. It's amazing how stagnant a page can become with nothing changing it over a period of years. You have to ask yourself this question: If it's free (minus your time) then why not do it? There are a ton of free tools out there, and it makes sense to test everything. EVERYTHING. Start with split tests A/B and check the bounce rate, and the conversion rate. Then make follow up tests to see if your choice is right. Google's website optimiser is a great tool for this - I really, really like it.

Ask your friends who have no idea what you do to take a really quick look at your website, and get them to tell you what sticks out. Tone down colours, leave out images, see what happens. Don't make your page too "noisy" with too many choices. Funnel your visitors to the right page, and the rest should follow naturally.

Not getting the conversions you want? Barcelona SEO can help. Contact me for a chat and we can brainstorm some ideas. I also offer comprehensive SEO Training in Barcelona - both in-house or one-on-one.