Thursday, April 30, 2009

Web site review: Small site with big plans

In every issue of our print publication, the Internet Marketing Report, we review a Web site for a subscriber. This is the review from the April 24 issue.

What foundations does a small site need to take advantage of search engine traffic and the growth of social media?

Subscriber Derek Mayers asked if WNPInc.com, a small printing company in Stafford Springs, CT, would see the fruit of its investments online.

It should. Here’s what WNP is doing right:

• Focused on what matters. Product pages and their page titles are about the most important bit of search engine optimization you can do. Yet even big sites neglect them them, often using the same title on every page. WNP hasn’t made every title on the site unique, concentrating instead on crafting unique titles for product pages that matter. For example, the Thermal Products page’s title says: “Thermal Transfer products and Product Labels.” It’s easy to understand and intuitive.

• Used Alt tags. WNP makes sure search engine spiders can read its images by using Alt tags generously throughout the site, even including them in the header on the home page.

• Launched a blog. That’s a smart way to repurpose newsletter content that should lift search results and engage prospects. WNP could get more search juice by posting more often and increasing the number of links between the two sites, even including an RSS feed of blog posts on its site.


• Embraced social media. It's trying Twitter and Plurk.


Duplicate content problems

Duplicate content problems can dilute any company’s search results, particularly as new domains start while others fall by the wayside.

WNP’s search results should be better than they are, but the search engines are penalizing the company because it has multiple domains pointing back to the main site, WNPInc.com.

Here today, gone tomorrow

The problem?

The search engine spiders will choose only one site to index and it may not be the one you want. And if Google thinks the sites are trying to trick it, it may penalize the company by downgrading results or removing a site from results.

The fix? Use a 301 redirect

Although many vendors offer paid packages to detect duplicate content problems, don’t bother. This similar content checker at Webconfs.com is quick, free and easy.

Prevent this problem with a 301 permanent redirect to send traffic to the one domain. Find out how at Webconfs.com and reading what Google had to say about duplicate content recently.


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