Today is the ninth day of Diduary. You can see links to all of the published articles in the series here.
Ever wonder what you can do with your website to make it more friendly to search engines? Microsoft recently released a free tool to help you with this. It’s called the Search Engine Optimization Toolkit, and you can use it on any website, regardless of where or what it’s hosted on. Once you’ve got it installed, you’ll see this screen (click to enlarge):
Click on “Create a new analysis” under the Site Analysis section, and you’ll get a prompt to add your website. In the image below, I have also opened the “Advanced Settings,” but I didn’t change any of the default values.
Once you click OK, it will start running your site analysis. For my jeffblankenburg.info site, the analysis takes about 45 seconds. I am eventually presented with a summary of this SEO analysis (click to enlarge).
Here’s the surprising part: It found 209 SEO violations. Clearly, I’ve got some work to do. Opening the Violations tab, I can see that the bulk of my issues are based on missing ALT attributes, something I can ultimately choose to live with. It’s not accessible whatsoever, but if I just have decoration graphics, perhaps you don’t want them to have attributes. The only that really surprised me was the 4th one down. “The description is too long.” (click to enlarge)
Something I had never realized is that the <meta> description value could only have 150 characters? That’s something I’m going to have to optimize.
It also noticed that I had a broken hyperlink. I was linking to
when my FriendFeed username is actually jblankenburg. Little things like this can make your site seem broken to a user, but are absolutely confusing to a search engine. Fixing these seemingly simple issues can make you rank much higher in Google, Bing, etc.
So go download the Search Engine Optimization Toolkit, and try it on your site today. I think you’ll be surprised.