After we optimize a client’s website from an on-page SEO standpoint, our next step is to take advantage of their top pages that are either 301 redirected or restricted by robots.
To get started, go to the Open Site Explorer powered by SEOmoz’s link scape index, enter your domain and then click ‘Get Link Data’. For our example, we are using www.staples.com as the domain. After the page loads, click the ‘Top Pages’ tab and you should see the following:
Your next step is to ‘Export to CSV’ the results of the ‘Top Pages’ tab. (see red circle above). After you download the CSV, open it up in Excel and let’s start getting to work.
First step is to prune your list. We are looking for any pages in the top 20 that are blocked by robots.txt or are HTTP Status 301/302 redirects or 404 errors. In this case, there are 4 solid candidates that we have identified as being prime candidates for removing the 301 redirects, adding some solid content to the pages and then adding some quality internal links.
Make sure you’ve got real pages at these URLs now with real valuable content. That will let you funnel a lot more authority back to your site than a 301 redirect any day of the week.
That means to remove the following 301 redirects:
And make sure that you include some hearty, valuable content that links to related topics and popular internal pages you want to pass strength to.
You might be asking yourself, “But I have a 301 redirect in place to the new page I’m trying to rank for, why would I want to do this!?” which is a fair question. My answer is a 301 redirect isn’t ideal, because the link authority carried through a 301 redirect ‘decays’ over time. Furthermore, you can now pass page strength to several internal pages instead of just redirecting the page to one location.
Implement this to a couple of your top 301 redirecting pages, provide quality and relevant content and link internally to relevant pages and watch the rankings of those internal pages jump a couple of spots.