The report is a bit complex, I know, but we’re only interested in examining the information for the three columns that were highlighted in red.
First of all, check the “Status Code” and “Status” columns; if you see 404 / Not Found values there, you have discovered a page that doesn’t exist anymore, but is linked to from another website page. Having one or two 404 errors isn’t critical, but if you’ve got many of these, the search engines will penalize your website for sure.
The “Size” column will display the size of each website page; do your best to optimize the big pages, thus helping them load faster, and the search engines will reward you for that. As an example, if a page has over 500KB, you should definitely consider reducing its size by changing the size of the images or by saving them as jpg files with a lower quality.
What about the outbound links, the links on your website that point to other people’s sites? The “External” tab will list them all, thus offering you the chance to fix all the problems. Don’t forget that many websites have a short life, so check all the outbound links and remove the ones that have become obsolete or point to shady websites – this will help improve your SEO score.
Tool No. 3: Backlinks
The backlinks continue to be the most important ranking factor; without them, the search engine spiders wouldn’t be able to crawl the web, after all. Not all the backlinks are created equal, though, and some of them can be very dangerous these days. So what backlinks are safe now and will continue to be safe for the years to come?
If you run a business, you will want to be found in all the reputable, industry-related directories. This doesn’t mean that you should blast your website to thousands of unrelated web directories, but that you should register your site in the online directories that are known to be a trusted catalogue of industry-related companies. As an example, if you sell car insurance, a simple Google search for “car insurance directory” (without using the quotes) will reveal millions of websites that give you the opportunity to register and add a link to your site.
What about social media links? They have a moderate linking power (at least for now), but they are a safe source of backlinks that will not only boost your search results rankings, but will also drive traffic, visitors that will be interested to learn more about you and your company. Create accounts at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, to name the four social media giants of the moment, and then start posting information and links to industry-related news; don’t forget to post links to all your blog posts, as you create them.
Another safe backlinking method is guest blogging. I have mentioned that you should encourage people to guest post on your website, thus getting free, high quality content, but you should also reach out to other people in your industry, asking them to post your 100% original, informative articles. Resist the temptation to ask the people that have posted on your website to accept your guest posts, though; the search engines would see this as reciprocal linking, and if you have got too many reciprocal links, your website will be penalized for sure.
As you can see, promoting your website is not a very complicated task; make sure to reserve a few hours of your time for online marketing each week, and the results will be visible in only a few months. Do that and you will not only see an increase in search engine rankings, but you will also get more website visitors and (most of all) more sales.
George Dan Pirvu, the author of this article, is a certified Google Power Searcher and the founder of Randombyte, an internet marketing company that was founded in 2002 and helps the business owners sell more products and services online. George has worked for big corporations like General Motors, as well as for small business owners, offering them all efficient, 100% ethical internet marketing services.