Yep, free seo advice.
Last Wednesday Loren Baker announced that Search Engine Journal would be launching a new project called SEO Clinic. Every week SEO Clinic will offer advice to one selected site among those that request a review.
SEO Clinic is a free service and our recommendations will include ideas and tips on link building, site navigation, usability, copywriting, social media optimization and other techniques which help web sites rank higher for desired terms in search engines.
This a great idea and a great opportunity to possibly get some free expert advice. Most requesting a review probably won’t get one, but SEO Clinic is still going to be a great learning resource for all of us. No doubt selected sites will have problems common to many sites so even if yours isn’t selected you may still get some good tips that can help you.
The First Review
Ever since the announcement I’ve been curious to read the first review. Well today was the day and the first site reviewed was a software company called TechSmith, makers of SnagIt, a popular capturing and image editing tool.
If there’s one thing you can say about the SEO Clinic review, it’s that the review is thorough. It begins with a little bio of TechSmith and then deals with issues from the structure of the site to basic on page optimization to building links. There’s a lot to like here and a lot to learn.
A few highlights from the review. I was surprised to see that a site as old and large as TechSmith has 301 redirect and 404 error page issues. I would have thought both would have been among the first things an SEO would have recommended and I’m assuming at some point in time this site has had some seo work done whether in house or through hiring an SEO firm. TechSmith was also lacking h1 headers, which was another surprise to me and also one that gives me confidence SEOs will be in need for many years to come.
I thought the discussion about TechSmith’s lack of a clear objective for their blog had some good points and found it interesting to hear that a site with more than 150,000 incoming link could still have linking problems.
And while the this first review tends to focus on what would be considered seo 101 there are some pretty good ideas to generate natural links and make use of social media sites. Overall it’s a good look into the minds of some successful SEOs and how they would approach the problem of optimizing a site.
Could There Have Been A Better Choice For A Review
I think you get the idea that I liked this review. I do have one issue with it, though. I would have preferred a review of a different site. Nothing against TechSmith, but they seem like the type of site that could afford to pay for the advice and I’d rather see sites get reviewed that would otherwise struggle to pay for what SEO Clinic is offering.
I would also rather have seen a smaller site given the advice. A quick look at Yahoo Site Explorer is showing TechSmith has over 9,600 pages indexed and more than 150,000 links pointing into the domain. I don’t know about you, but I’d be very happy to have that many pages and links. Further TechSmith shows a PR8 and an Alexa ranking of 5,239. Their flagship product, SnagIt, has over 7 million users. We’re not exactly talking about a site that’s lacking in traffic or sales.
Sure the site had problems that were easy to discuss and perhaps that is the best option for SEO Clinic’s first review. While the seo advice is golden for the company being reviewed, it’s also meant for the rest of us and given what I’m sure were a lot of sites to choose from, SEO Clinic could really pick the site with the problems they specifically wanted to discuss.
In this case that advice meant a lot of seo basics like page titles and meta descriptions and general on page optimization, but I suspect as the weeks go by the optimization being discussed will become a little more advanced in many respects.
I’d urge you to take a look at SEO Clinic’s first review so here’s the link again.
I have no doubt the series will continue to improve and offer great advice for some companies to specifically help with their optimization and even more a great way for the rest of us to learn. It’s a look at how some SEOs would tackle the challenge of a particular site and I look forward to more of the same from Loren and the SEO Clinic group.