No, not domain administration Peter! “Domain Health!” And because you manage a few of these domains as a in-house SEO, you call it a portfolio. Hence the term Domain Health Portfolio.
This DHP document or spreadsheet can become a really long and detailed one (such as the one I am currently trying to simplify at work), but we won’t go into such frightening detail. I am going to cover just a few important issues that would point you in the right direction when it comes to managing the safety, status of your domains, amount of in-links and rankings.
Ranking report for top key terms
You should always be aware what the ranking positions are for your top keywords in Google.com, Google.co.uk, Yahoo.com Yahoo.co.uk, Bing.com and Bing.co.uk. Do this once a week. Always a good thing to be able to impress the brass in a meeting if you can say where you are ranking, for what and where! They love it.
Search Engine factors
List each website and what Page Rank it has. Do your domains rank top for their respective domain names? If not, why not? What coverage do you have on page one out of the 10 possible results per domain? Did you know that you can have more than one or two results on page one for your brand name? I currently have a 70% coverage of page one for our brand name. This way you ensure that visitors are far more likely to click on your websites if they search for a brand term should they be sent via a TV campaign or word of mouth. Priceless! You don’t want an affiliate to get that traffic now do you?
Do your domains rank with their foreign language content in their respective countries? Where do they rank? If not – it’s an opportunity isn’t it? Either more in-links from that local region or more content or even PPC (this could be an acquisition channel you overlooked.)
Amount of pages indexed per domain
Not only does this tell you that your site is fully crawlable but you could see at one glance whether there is a problem i.e. yesterday Google showed 320 indexed pages but today its 156. There’s got to be a problem in that case. (link buying, dupe content, content scraping, robots.txt error, .htaccess errors, you name them)
This is where you write down all the domains that target the same country but with different keywords or strategies if that’s the case. Grouping them all together will make it so much easier to see where you are missing marketing possibilities or where you have over-invested.
Amount of back links
Yes, this could tell you a few stories. Have you dropped links? Why? Compare all your sites and you could even see where you need more incoming links. You might then want to build a blog on a domain lacking organic links, write some very compelling articles for link bait or install some off-the-shelf forum software – even start some social media campaigns to boost rankings. In most instances you should be able to see a clear connection between rankings and in-links. In-links = authority = good rankings with an authoritative website.
Website Load time
Yes, relatively new kid on the block when it comes to ranking factors but we all know it’s important as visitors DO NOT want to wait for your site or Flash to load. Have all your websites optimised for load time or download speed. There are a bunch of tools on the market including Google’s own Page Speed. Get this right and you have achieved a major goal in your domain health portfolio.
Thanx to @seosmarty for some pointers here. I used her post on 200 Parameters in Google Algorithm to extract a few factors to include in your domain health checks. There are many factors to document under domain factors such as: Google Webmaster Tools, presence in Google News, Google Blog Search, Google Adwords, Adsense and Google Analytics. Domain age, length of domain registration, do you have sub-domains on specific domains, domain past records, domain past owners, domain IP and domain IP neighbours. One more thing you could report on is whether you have geo-targeting settings on certain domains via Google Webmaster Tools. All this info sketches a very thorough picture of your domain landscape which is easy to read and see at one glance – even by your boss!
Specific website details
On what platform is it built? Programming language? What’s in the .htaccess or robots.txt files? Overall site update frequency and do you use XML sitemaps? Anything that could tell you at one glance what your sites’ architecture and “insides” are all about.
Surely all sites must be SEO’d or SEO optimised? Let’s say you’ve recently started your new job as an in-house SEO and you’ve inherited a ton of legacy websites and a network of sites that are either live, going to go live soon or are in the pipeline for the future. Making a list of all your sites detailing whether they are 100% optimised, not optimised at all or need TLC could be a life saver.
You could include a checklist consisting of stuff to check such as canonical URL’s, site structure, use of external CSS and JS etc.
There are numerous other factors that you could document on your domain health portfolio. The key here is to make it easy for yourself to see the whole of your domain portfolio at one glance in order to see opportunities for link building, new markets that need penetration. You could share this document with management, marketers and even the IT department because it’s a valuable tool in your SEO shed which could really empower you to build out your SEO strategy using many websites with different focuses in a variety of regions using different keyword strategies.
‘Till next time folks