Lifehacker.com is one of the most popular blogs online. But their on-page SEO is hurting their traffic.
I bet if they made a few small changes they’d see a nice spike in traffic, that would stick around for the long-term.
I’m calling you out Lifehacker!
It sure isn’t about your incoming links (they have ~8 million), or unique content. People love Lifehacker and the site puts out great content. It’s funny, cause that’s the ‘hard part’. They are messing up on the easy parts.
Here are the Problems
1. Title Tags
I wouldn’t be a nerdy SEO without looking right away at Lifehacker’s sloppy title tags. First off, they need to drop the Category and the omnipresent “Lifehacker” from each post’s title tag.
Looking at this post on Webmonkey Stopwatches, the current title “The Browser Stopwatch Speed-Tests Page Load – Bookmarklets – Lifehacker”.
That should be changed to “The Browser Stopwatch Speed-Tests Page Load”. Why? They lose relevancy as the title tag gets longer. Also, they are going to rank for “Lifehacker” regardless of including it in all their page titles, and Google might view this as duplicate crap.
This is a quick change in their CMS. If you use something like WordPress, be sure to do this on your site.
2. Title Tag decouple/Keyword smarts
Second thing with these title tags is to try to be more aware of what keywords are worth ranking for. This post entitled “First Look at Window’s 7 Backup and Restore Center”. That’s a good title to show users on the site as a headline, but Lifehacker should go do some keyword research on Windows 7 before they post on it.
A keyword like “Windows 7 Review” gets 135,000 exact match searches a month. This post could easily have a <title> of “Windows 7 Review – Backup and Restore Features”.
With 8 million freaking backlinks, and such a popular site, I bet they’d rank very high for ‘windows 7 review’ with that title, and ultimately get more traffic.
Decoupling a post headline and the <title> of a page is easy in any CMS.
3. Take the 4949422 out of the URLs.
That Windows 7 post’s URL is http://lifehacker.com/5144757/first-look-at-windows-7s-backup-and-restore-center
Why with the ‘5144757’? Take that out.
Any time there’s a “:” symbol in the post title, it goes as a “+” in the URL. And look how long that is.
Lifehacker should micromanage their post-URLs to be shorter, cleaner, and more keyword-focused. Cleaning up the <title> values is part 1, then translating that into the URL is part 2. So http://lifehacker.com/5144757/first-look-at-windows-7s-backup-and-restore-center might become http://lifehacker.com/windows-7-review-backup
That’s how I’d do it, and I bet the traffic would go up, up, up across the site.
That’s 3 simple things that are on-page changes Lifehacker should do that would instantly increase their traffic. The current setup is poorly leveraging all the link popularity they’ve built up.
The point is these are easy changes that have the greatest effect when it’s a big site like Lifehacker. I just wish they’d take a listen . . .