5 basic SEO practices for Managed Service Providers

Jan 2016

5 basic SEO practices for Managed Service Providers


As you manage your company web site, SEO is for sure one of your top priorities. After reading the title of this blog postSEO Keywords you might think: “Yeah, yeah, I know all this. I know the SEO basics.” Even though you do, the thing is that we are all human beings and as such we are forgetful. It’s so easy to forget about a small and simple practice that will still help your pages do better in the organic search. Here’s the list of tips that I personally find easy to forget about:

  1. Make sure you add content into the description meta tag for your top ranking pages. Yes, there is no problem if the description meta tag is empty. The search engines will generate a description snippet based on your page content and will display it on their search result pages under the title. Nevertheless, it’s best to write custom description meta tag for the top ranking pages. It will influence the click-through rate as that’s what users read as they make the decision whether to click on your link or not.
  2. Don’t forget to use the rel="canonical” tag on pages that share the same content. It may happen that you need to use url parameters (page.html?parameter=yes) that don’t influence the page content or pages with different urls, but identical content. The canonical tag will give the search engines a hint that all of these pages with duplicate content are actually copies of a single canonicalized page and all the SEO value should be assigned to this page. This url will also be the preferred one to show on the search result pages.
  3. Remember to set up a redirect in case a page has inbound links and its url needs to be updated or the page is to be removed. Removing pages or updating their urls is quite common, but what if this page had outside links pointing to it? Someone out there decided that your content is valuable enough to link to it and send their own site visitors to yours. Now those people will see your 404 page and will most probably just leave. Also, the 404 page will send the 404 code to the search engine bots merely saying: “This page is no longer here. Remove it from the search results.” So, you’re not only losing the foot traffic to your page, but also the precious link juice. To avoid this, first check whether the page has any inbound links (check under “Links to your site” in Google Webmaster Tools) and if it does, set up a 301 redirect to any other relevant page on your site. If you don’t know what a 301 redirect is, ask your webmaster.
  4. Set up the preferred domain for your web site. The search engines see the www and non-www versions of your urls as totally different pages and will assign them separate ranks. Why dilute the SEO potential your pages have? This issue can be easily solved by setting up a 301 redirect to one preferred domain version (either www or non-www). An alternative solution is to select the preferred domain version inside search engine webmaster consoles. For instance, you can do so in Google’s Webmaster Tools by clicking on the gear icon in the top right corner and then selecting Site Settings.
  5. Regularly check the search engines’ webmaster consoles for any messages or error notifications. The search engines can talk to us! They’ve grown smart enough to inform us about the common errors present on our sites: duplicate content, missing pages, mobile usability , etc. Don’t forget to regularly visit the webmaster consoles (for example, Google Webmaster Tools) to see if there are any issues that require your attention.

I hope this list will help you drive more potential customers to your site. Don’t be forgetful!

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