5 Small Tips to Find Big SEO Problems

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In need of some easy tips to better optimize your site? Look no further for some quick ways to identify potentially significant SEO issues.

  1. Home page canonical issues – the easiest and probably most common source of duplicate content. Check variations of your home page as these are still considered “separate” pages. By implementing a 301 redirect from the other variations to the main domain, inbound links will be aggregated and duplicate content resolved. Sometimes you’ll come across situations in which an entire site will be duplicated with pages that render as both with the www and without. So, always double check.

www.example.com

www.example.com/index.html

www.example.com/index.php

example.com

example.com/index.html

  1. Duplicate Title Tags – a simple report in Google Webmaster Tools (Diagnostics > HTML Suggestions). Export into in Excel and start with the title tags that have the most duplicates. You may find that a lot of important content is not accurately reflected by having unique title tags and therefore hurting organic visibility.
  2. 302 Redirects – Quickly and easily find a list of all URLs on your site that have temporary 302 redirects. These should be changed to permanent 301 redirects to better preserve link juice. My favorite tool is the Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool, which spits everything out into Excel for you.
  3. Suggested URL parameters – in Google Webmaster Tools, the URL parameter report includes a list of parameters found in your site’s URLs. This is a great way to mitigate the negative effects of duplicate content. For each listed parameter, you can tell Googlebot if that parameter doesn’t change the page’s content and to ignore it in order for Google to crawl your site more efficiently.
  4. View your site as a search engine does – ever wonder exactly how Google sees your content? Wonder no more, with tools like SEO-Browser.com quickly visualize whether the page is loaded with too many links or if some content can’t be read (like Flash).

What are some of your small tips that uncover big SEO problems?

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman

Rachel Freeman works for the Jive Software, the pioneer and leading provider of social business solutions. She has expertise in all aspects of search engine... Read Full Bio
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