Blogging Tips: Give Your "Content Engine" a Tune-Up

Posted on Jun 13, 2013
By Ellie Becker

The sun is out, the weather is warmer ...

... time for a spring tuneup, to catch up on things you’ve been meaning to address on your site!

As a serious blogger, you already create unique, engaging content, promote your blog, and attend to SEO.

Now, take a few moments to take a look "under the hood".

Here are 3 blogging tips to keep your "content engine" running well:

1. Add Webmaster Tools

Integrate webmaster tools into your website... essential in a post Panda/Penguin world*, to keep your website "engine" in tip-top shape. *(Panda/Penguin: referring to Google’s much-noted algorithm changes).

You can use webmaster tools to check the following:

Preferred Domain

Set a preferred domain within your Google Webmaster Tools account.

The preferred domain setting tells Google whether you want the site to show up in the search results with the ‘www’ or without the ‘www’. It's important to tell Google what you want, so you don't create duplicate content issues and other problems. We provide more details about this process in a previous post about "Tech Tools".

Undesirable Sitelinks

Sitelinks are the links that appear below some organic search results on Google. They are meant to help searchers navigate to popular content within your site.

While you can’t specify the pages that you want Google to display in the sitelinks, you can specify which pages you want removed. If a less desirable page has made its way into the sitelink results, simply go to the sitelinks page within webmaster tools, then type in the URL of the sitelink you would like removed.

Check this periodically: old or erroneous URLs that you have previously demoted can and may return.

Malware

With a verified webmaster tools account, both Google and Bing will notify you if they detect malware on your site. (Short for malicious software, “malware” refers to software programs designed to damage your computer system.)

Both search engines will label the search results with a warning (or remove the result) so searchers are aware and protected. Bing’s latest feature update included a “malware re-evaluation process.”

The process is easy to use, and designed to aid webmasters in finding malware, and fixing the issue.

2. Check and Refresh Keywords

Here's a keyword tip you may not know: people search differently for video content then other content.

If you have video embedded on your site or a dedicated YouTube channel – use the YouTube keyword tool when selecting phrases for your title, description and tags. Check that video keyword data to optimize your video content for search results.

For the rest of your site, free tools like Google Keyword Tool‎, Google Trends and Social Mention can help you identify and optimize for popular search phrases.

3. Check Browser Compatibility

It's important to check how your site content is displayed on various browsers.

In addition to checking the most common browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome, pay special attention to mobile compatibility. It's especially important to make sure your content is accessible on all screens.

There are tools designed to run browser compatibility checks -- and use your own tablet or mobile device to check how your site looks there, too. If you see a problem, let your developer know, so it can be fixed.

4. Check Important Offsite Factors, Too

When doing your spring tune-up, it's important to check offsite factors.

Link building, duplicate content identification and social engagement must be part of an on-going review, not a one-time effort, to keep tabs on duplicate content and content theft, find new quality link opportunities, monitor your site analytics, and more.

A quick site audit is all it takes!

Website spring cleaning doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, if you know what to look for. Simply check, update and refresh.

Your audience (and the search engines) will thank you for it.

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