Website Ranking Self Assessment

by Jim January 19, 2007

In my last article I looked at the importance of ranking high in the search engines. 85% of web traffic is generated by them so if you are not being found in at least the top twenty results then you are missing out on a lot of potential customers.’So why aren’t you ranking?

Are you indexed?

Go to Google and type in site:yourwebaddress.com.au . The pages that Google returns in its results are all your pages it knows about. These are the only ones it has in its index. So if Google only returns 1 result but you have a 30 page site, you need to do some work. ‘Typically websites built entirely in Flash have this problem. The reason Google will show less pages than what you have in your site is because it hasn’t found all your pages. In the case of a Flash site that has only one page in Google, there is no way for Google to find the other pages.

Search Engines love links. That is how their bots move around the Internet. They jump from link to link. So if all your pages are not linked from somewhere, they will not get indexed. With a Flash site it is essentially a graphic and the bots cannot follow the links embedded in it.

Get a sitemap. Sitemaps are great not only for navigation but also for bots to find every piece of content on your site.

If Google does not have any information about you, it means the Googlebot has not visited yet.

How important is your site?

Go to NineMSN and type in link:yourwebaddress.com.au . The number of results returned is how many pages, which NineMSN knows about, that link back to you. The Search engines place importance on the quantity and quality of sites, which are linking to you. This is known as Inbound Links or IBLs.

If you type ‘Corporate Caterer’ into Google the number 1 result is a client of mine, ajays.com.au. Yahoo knows of 712 IBLs for Ajays but only 111 for the number 2 result.’Type one of your own keywords into Google and study the number one result. Usually they will have more IBLs than you if you are not ranking.

It’s not just about IBLs though. If you type the word ‘Workchoice’ into Google you will see that my site is usually number 1 & 2 in the world. This occurred because the night after the Government released their new policy I reviewed the site in my blog from an SEO perspective. ‘If you look at the number 4 result it is an ABC Online story. NineMSN is reporting around 1800 links back to my site but about 600,000 back to the ABC.’The difference is how I wrote my article and how the story is linked internally within my site.

Building IBLs

If you are not ready to employ an SEO company to build links, there are some simple things you can do yourself.

Participate in online forums. Find forums related to your industry and become a member. You only need to spend 15 minutes a week posting replies to user questions or asking questions yourself. Most forums allow you to put a signature in your post. This is where you put a link back to your site.”

Got time to blog? Blogging is a great way to not only get links back to your site but to also add content to your site. You get links back to your blog by letting other interested bloggers know about your blog. They link to you and you link to them.’The more content that you have in your site, the more opportunities there are for you to rank.

Choose keywords wisely

Whilst I regularly rank in the top 3 for ‘SEO Melbourne‘ I get very little traffic from it. It is industry jargon. Website Owners want to know how to get ‘increased online traffic’ (no.1 ranked) or how to ‘Appear first in Google’ (no.1 ranked). I get more enquiries from these phrases than SEO related ones.

Above all keep in mind that your site should be geared towards humans not bots.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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