July 12, 2007

SEO and Website Visibility/Performance

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a very popular topic among the DotNetNuke community as well as in all other types of web development. I do not claim to be a master in SEO, however, I do have a number of tools that I use to help judge the SEO capacities of my websites and also a number of directories that I utilize to enhance the visibiliy of my website. In this article I will share some of these sites, links, and directories that might help improve your websites search engine placemen and/or popularity/visibility.

I am going to divide this article into two categories; utilities and directories. The utilities will include links to rank checkers, speed optimization tools, and webmaster toolkits. The directories will include directories that you should either submit your site to or provide methods for users to link your pages to the sites.


For the utilities section I have a large number of utilities that I work with on a regular basis, below you will find links to each and detailed information on them.

Google Webmaster Tools
The Google Webmaster Tools are one of the items that I use on a regular basis, you can submit a sitemap of your website with a listing of all pages that you would like Google to consider. An example of a sitemap can be found here. With the Webmaster Tools you can also view your search engine placement for specific search terms as well as you can view information on crawling statistics and Page Rank. Overall a very helpful tool
Website Speed Analsys
This tool isn't necessarily a SEO specific utility however I felt it was worth mentioning. This utility will analyse your pages to determine the "speed" of you pages and provides a great method for you to see how much space your pages are taking up. One thing from a user experience perspective that is very important is to keep the website speed up while providing quality content.
Smart Page Rank
This tool is an online page rank utility that you can use to check your websites page rank as well as other general information on your website. The makers of this utility also provide an "estimated value" of your website, I am not sure what the factors are that are behind the calculations, but it is intersting to look at.
HubSpot Website Grader
This utility is one that assigns a grade to your website based on many factors including; domain age, Technorati rating, Alexa rating, page content, Google PageRank, backlinks, number of indexed pages, directory inclusion, and others. This utility can help you identify troublesome HTML items as they provide warnings if you have markup elements that are considered "unfriendly", this is another great tool.
The tools provided at IWebTools.com are yet another set of utilities that you can use to check page rank, load times, and other items related to the performance/popularity of your website.
Feed Burner
This is a website that I was debating on listing under Utility or Directory, however, I believe they are more of a utility than a directory. They offer FREE e-mail blog subscriptions as well as perform blog aggregation services. You can build and retain user loyalty via this service, therefore I see it as more of a utility.

This covers most of the utilities that I use on a regular basis to help determine and promote my website's visibility. If you have additional utilities that you would like to see listed here, please leave a comment.


The following directories are places that I have found are a good idea to either submit your site to, or allow your users to bookmark pages at these sites. Below I will discuss them in detail and let you know if it is something that you need to submit, or something you would allow your user to submit via a link.

This website is a blog aggregation site that you must first submit your site to, and then users can add your blog to their favorites. Traditionally you will put a link to Technorati on your blog site, if not on each specific post. Listing your website here can provide more visibility to your site due to their expansive search functionality.
The Open Directory Project is one of the most important directories to get your site listed in as the entries in this directory feed many of the popular search engines. Be sure to read their submission guidelines carefully to ensure that your website is not excluded. This directory is obtained by a large number of volunteers so it can take a while before your request will be approved. (I am the primary editor of the DotNetNuke category)
This is a online bookmarking website that allows users to bookmark favorite websites and pages and then they can access them from any location. Providing methods for users to directly link to your pages in this manner is something very helpful to do. You are starting to see more an more sites that offer "Save to del.icio.us" links on blog and article postings. These bookmarks provide additional traffic sources which can help promote the popularity of your website.
This is another online bookmarking website similar to del.icio.us that is helpful to provide links for users to bookmark content using their website.
Windows Live Favorites
This is yet another online bookmarking website similar to the others. It is again helpful to provide links for users to bookmark content using this webiste.

Overall using the above tools and directories I have been able to drive my websites organic traffic upwards by over 50% in the past 3 months. Hopefully you will find items in this article that will help you out. If you have other helpful links please note them in the comments section and I will update this document accordingly.

tags: DNN, ASP.NET
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