SEO Checkup for 2011

So, how does your SEO strategy for 2011 stack up to last years¨ or the year before? Have you even considered changing / shifting directions? Were your 2010 efforts successful? How do you know? Lucky for you I am here and ready to help you with a short checkup for 2011¨s SEO efforts to ensure that you are as successful as you can be´.Before we race toward SEO domination in 2011, it is essential to review the current state of affairs on your own website!sites large and small will greatly benefit from removing barriers, ensuring relevance, determining rankings, and getting strategic plans based on the data collected from the previous year.Remove SEO Success BarriersThe perfect website has all of its pages accessible by search engines and they are crawled with frequency!however, most websites encounter significant barriers such as diagnostic issues (crawl errors). By removing these barriers or least making an effort to reduce them, you are giving search engines an easier time of crawling content and help to refocus SEO efforts. How do you get started, you ask? Identify the pages that are returning server errors!most notably anything in the 4xx or 5xx range of status codes!and start correcting the issues. Find pages with broken links using the free W3C LinkChecker, then either start building pages where none exist or implement a 301 redirect to send users to the appropriate destination; this one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on search engine rankings. How much duplicate content is on your website? Well, another opportunity to remove barriers is to reduce duplicate content on your site!the areas that are most susceptible to duplicate content are the title tags, dynamic URL¨s, meta descriptions, and product descriptions!betcha didn¨t know that! One of the most highly regarded tools to help in the fight against duplicate content is Xenu Link Sleuth!the tool provides information on broken links and the information can be exported for review of possible duplication issues!you could also use Yahoo! Site Explorer.Ensure Site Relevance in SEOSEO irrelevance can strike quickly to your website!especially when those who are responsible for SEO rely on edgy and freelancing content development strategies. Perhaps the best tool available to ensure site relevance is provided by Google in its Webmaster Tools product. Google provides a glimpse into what they consider the most common keywords on your site!this information can be used to optimize content and ensure that it is focused around a central theme or topic. More importantly, is that using the tool will reveal if the content is actually relevant (to Google) to your website and its underlying objectives. Wanna get a little dirty? Develop a tag cloud!even for individual pages!to determine relevance to the keyword target of the page!one of the more common tools is TagCrowd. Determine Existing RankingsOne of the most egregious errors made by those new to the process of search engine optimization is the failure to realize that it is a process!and one that requires building upon incremental improvements (meaning it cannot and will not be done overnight) over time to receive those ever-elusive high search engine rankings. Without knowing where a website ranks for a particular keyword at a given time makes it very difficult to know if the changes you are implementing are helping or hurting your overall efforts. Google Webmaster Tools provides insights into how a verified site is ranking for a variety of queries through its Search Queries report. This report will also reveal the number of impressions you are receiving versus the number of clicks ! a good indication if it might be time to improve the quality of titles and descriptions. But there are alternatives to Google. Most, if not all search marketing software solutions offer some way to track rankings and dramatically cut the time necessary to do so.Now that you better understand crawl errors, have a renewed focus on ensuring relevance to a central theme on your website, and are committed to determining your existing rankings, it is time to set a formal plan. Setting up regular (monthly) reviews of crawl errors, relevancy assessments and ranking reports will not only help cut down on the necessary SEO work of next year but improve your rankings in the short term, too. If you have any ideas, please share them with us!