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The SEO Clinic at Affiliate Summit East, lead by Rae Hoffman-Dolan with Kenny Hyder, Michael Gray and Jim Boykins, was the next session I attended on Sunday. It seems like there were a lot of SEO sessions at Affilaite Summit (SEO Clinic, SEO – Ask the Pros, SEO for Large Sites), but this is one I wouldn’t miss.
The sites reviewed were Big City Vegan, Penny Auction Watch, Ecotools.com, HipJointPainRelief.com , and reuseit.com.
Big City Vegan had a lot of elementary SEO opportunities, such as forcing either www or non-www domain, creating (and properly using) a robots.txt file, setting up an XML sitmap, fixing dead affiliate links, and hosting affiliate product images locally.
Penny Auction Watch mentioned that search traffic has dropped, and the dates coincided with Google Panda updates. What a site owner can do is, in Google Analytics, find pages with a high bounce rate, high exit rate, and low time on site. These are all triggers to the Google Panda that the site isn’t useful, so remove them from the site. There were also opportunities to tweak WordPress for better SEO, including using the “more” tag, removing the calendar, and displaying categories as a list, not a dropdown menu.
EcoTools.com, aside from having a domain name that doesn’t really represent what they’re selling, has no plain text on the homepage. All of the panelists went on and on about the blog having to be in WordPress. There’s no need to even look at another blogging platform. To show that your site is trustworthy, make sure you have pages for Contact, Privacy, and Terms of Service.
The shopping experience isn’t easy on EcoTools.com, which isn’t directly an SEO topic, but something to be considered. In addition, leaving a review isn’t simple. Reviews should be displayed in the Review Microformat.
Hip Joint Pain Relief was just a mess from the beginning. Every link on the homepage is nofollow, and there’s not a single backlink (well, now that I linked to them, they have 1). The store is just a datafeed, using the merchant’s descriptions. Unique descriptions should be written for the products, in order to not be seen as a scraper site.
Finally, reuseit.com was examined. When going to the site, a double-slash is added to the URL (http://www.reuseit.com//). Something that many site owners are guilty of: don’t put brand name (domain name, in this case) in each title tag unless you’re having problems ranking for the brand. Also, there should only be 1 <h1> tag per page (on a product page, that should be the product title).
I took away a few ideas for some enhancements to BuyLegLamps.com, including removing ” – Buy Leg Lamps” from each page title.
I know there are technical limitations to what can be done in a panel, but with 4 people looking at a site four different ways (one looking at backlinks, one looking at source code, one looking at usability, etc) it’d be nice to see what the person speaking was seeing. The audience always saw Rae’s screen, but when the others were looking at source code, for example, I wanted to see what they were seeing. A 4-Port VGA Monitor Switch Box is less than $15 at Amazon.com.