Article Archive by Melanie Wahl


July 15 2011

10 SEO Questions Every Webmaster Should Ask

by Melanie Wahl

Webmasters faced with building a new website or updating an existing one are often overloaded when told that the site must be search engine optimized.   We put together this as a handy checklist for you to use during development.   This list is just a foundation of some of the most important elements we have identified.   Feel free to leave additional questions in the comment section of this blog post.

  1. Language Barrier. Will the search engines be able to understand my website?   Have I included Flash or other files that are not necessarily search engine friendly? Is there a way to include the same textual or visual content in a way that will have search engine optimization benefit?
  2. Link Structure. Have I designed the links of my website to be search engine friendly? Are keywords included and separated by dashes?
  3. Lost In Translation. Have I checked for broken code? Have I checked for broken links?
  4. 404 Page. Have I designed a custom 404 page so that visitors to my website are taken to a friendly and easy to navigate page in case of an otherwise dead-end.
  5. Canonicalization. Have I chosen the preferred structure of my website URLs that I would like to be canon? For example, do I prefer http://www.domain.com/ or domain.com? Other non-canon variations of the URL will redirect to this chosen canon URL. Have I set up this redirect properly?
  6. Sitemap.   Have I remembered to include a sitemap with links to the important pages on my website?
  7. Robots.txt. Have I set up a robots.txt file to alert search engines how I would like my website crawled and if there are any off-limits areas.
  8. Webmaster Tools. Have I set up the various ways of learning more about my site such as search engine provided tools for webmasters (Google Webmaster Tools, Bind Webmaster Tools, etc.)
  9. Analytics.   Have I chosen an analytics providers (Google Analytics, Webtrends, IBM Coremetrics, etc?) Have I set up and tested an analytic tracking service?
  10. Loading Time. Have I tested my home page and other pages of my website for their loading times? What can be done to reduce it? The search engines have begun to take into account the loading time of the pages on your website when determining rankings.

Please let us know if you have any additions to add to our list of SEO building blocks webmasters should have when developing a website.

June 27 2011

Tracking Mobile Users with Google Analytics

by Melanie Wahl

Think for a second of what you would do if you were a customer looking for your products or services on your favorite ________ (fill in your handheld device here — we know you have one). Your company’s page begins to load and then — gasp – something goes wrong. Maybe the page stops loading, maybe it isn’t sized for easy viewing, maybe there is too much content on the page and your phone is overloaded or you have to scroll to the south poll to find the content you want. You click away. In this theoretical example, you may have reached your company’s website, but the poor user experience drove you away. Don’t let this happen to your customers!

Google Analytics can identify which mobile devices are accessing your website right now. If you currently have Google Analytics installed, you can access this information in just a few clicks. The mobile section in Google Analytics (in both the current and New Version) will enable you to delve into the data of website viewers on the go.

The Mobile Devices / Mobile dashboards default to organizing your data by Operating System (iPod, iPhone, iPad, Windows, BlackBerry, Android, etc.) You can then segment your data by a second dimension as the following screenshot shows.

Designers and developers may be interested in diving deeper into Screen Colors, Screen Resolution, Flash Version, Java Support, and other dimensions pertinent to their work. By digging into your mobile user data, you can answer some overarching questions and some very specific ones:

Q: How much of my incoming traffic is from mobile?
Q: What is the traffic breakdown between mobile devices?
Q: Is mobile traffic as a whole performing well for conversions or goal completions? Is there one specific Operating System that is delivering better traffic than others?
Q: Has my website been tested on all of these mobile device platforms for user experience?
Q: Is my website designed to be functional for visitors who have smaller screen resolutions? Mobile flash versions? No Java Script?

Your team can customize the experience of visitors to your website from a mobile device. Customized user experience is the future of mobile websites.

Keep monitoring MoreVisibility’s Analytics blog for information on Google’s just released new mobile report features!

Posted in: Analytics

June 10 2011

Twitter’s Follow Button

by Melanie Wahl

Currently, most websites include social media icons that link to their social media profiles; typically you will see icons for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Twitter has just launched a Follow button, that when placed on your website, allows visitors to follow your Twitter account with a single click. No longer do you need to worry about your visitors being taken offsite to Twitter.com and then not making their way back to your webpage.

The current Twitter icon is second from the left, amongst typical social media icons:

https://www.morevisibility.com/

The new Follow button is pretty straight forward.  It keeps the two-tone Twitter blues and bird and will automatically have your account follow the account connected to the button if you are logged in to Twitter.

You can access the code for the Follow button to add to your website here: https://twitter.com/about/resources/followbutton

Vanity Fair’s main page is an example of the new Follow button in action:

 http://www.vanityfair.com/

The new process of following through the use of the Twitter Follow button:

The process of following through the use of the Twitter icon:

Don’t confuse the Follow button with the Tweet button.  The Tweet button allows visitors to your website to share content from your website to their Twitter followers with a click of a button your website. 

Examples of Tweet buttons:

http://twitter.com/goodies/tweetbutton

There are many benefits to using easily identifiable Twitter icons, the new one click Twitter Follow button and the Tweet button. Twitter continues to release new ways to enhance your website and increase engagement with your audience. We look forward to seeing how these onsite buttons will progress in the future.

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