Partake In The Great SEO Zombie Hunt

by Andy Crestodina January 10th, 2012 

zombie

More than anytime in history, we are prepared for a zombie attack. We all know the advantage of crossbows and to always aim for the head. Now its time to apply this same vigilance to web marketing.

The dead are out there, lurking in your site, your links and your keywords. Get out there into the woods and hunt the zombies that wander through your SEO.

Dead Links

dead-links

You've seen them before, deep in your interior pages, gnawing on your SEO and user experience. Its been awhile since you checked, but don't get soft now. Get into Analytics, get into Webmaster Tools and bring the shotgun. Head shot. Reload.

Here are two more zombie link hunting grounds:

  • Screaming Frog: shows all your crawlable pages, along with their status code.
  • Check My Links: this Chrome extension color codes all the links on the page you're viewing according to status code.

The real trick is to hit the zombie links right as they're crawling out of the grave. When you move a page, create a page or make a link, pay attention. Check your links: are they _blank or _parent? follow or nofollow? Watch yourself of you could have a regular Thriller video of zombie links on your hands.

While you're at it, test all your forms. Just the thought of losing a lead to an undead script or bad address makes me sick.

Target Dead (and dying) Phrase

hunter

Those phrases you first targeted don't smell so fresh anymore. Double check to see that your main phrases aren't rotting. Check Google Insights to make sure that search volume isn't decaying, or that your phrase isn't popular in your region.

There's nothing wrong with targeting low-volume, long-tail phrases. Like a hand in a jar of preserving fluid on the shelf in your lab, keep these pages around. But if your top phrases are crawling along like a legless undead torsos, grab the axe.

Careful You're Not Making A Zombie

make

Sometimes, the zombie is lumbering toward you from your navigation. Like body parts sewn together in Frankensteins monster, your site looks like patchwork. Your menus have grown long into lifeless limbs. PDFs and pop-up windows hang off pages like moldy rags.

Your usability is a reeking, disorganized heap that makes visitors run. Use the torch. Burn it. Redesign.

Stick Together

together

What's the difference between an elite zombie fighting force and a guy stuck on his roof with a deer rifle and some beef jerky? Organization.

Work with partners in the business, as a team. Stay connected with partner companies and keep an eye on each other. Collaborate on content, quality and zombie control. Once you've cleaned up your own site, check on them. If you see something, say something. Nothing says I got your back like pointing out a dead page or broken form.

SEO zombie safety and awareness is everyone's job. Be willing to do what it takes to keep the undead at bay. Be strong, search marketers. Be strong.

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He's also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing

Orbit Media's Blog

You May Also Like

Comments are closed.