Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Microsoft SEO toolkit to help your startup

It's difficult trying to get the word out about your new startup. There are the usual methods of getting link-backs, writing blog content and doing search engine optimization (SEO). I just came across the free SEO Toolkit from Microsoft. The toolkit is an IIS plugin, but in practice can be used to scan any website for SEO improvement recommendations.

I'm not too sure of the value of this toolkit, but here are some of the recommendations it made for the LabSlice website:
  • Multiple 'title' tags: We erroneously created multiple title tags for each page, one for the page content and another automatically generated in our master page layout. Having multiple title tags can confuse the search engine as to the actual website's intent.
  • Brand name in the title: The MS SEO tool recommended that we remove the word 'LabSlice' as the first word in the title. Apparently search engines heavily weight the first word or two in the title, and therefore it's not a good idea to waste such words on the company's brand name.
  • Multiple 'h1' tags per page: I have read about this SEO issue before, but apparently not all our pages adhered to this SEO recommendation. Use only a single h1 tag per page to highlight to the search engine exactly what's important in your content.
Was the SEO Toolkit from Microsoft useful? It's hard to say, but I guess that it also can't hurt. Give it a shot on your website.

The Microsoft SEO toolkit is added as an IIS7 plugin that manages site analysis, sitemaps and robots.txt.

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