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Sustainability at NYIT

Recently, I was asked by the Director of the sustainability program at NYIT to analyze their site from an SEO perspective. Belows follows a summary one-sheeter given to executive management.

Metric Score/Ranking Diagnosis
Page Rank 4 This is a relatively low score for an education institution. Steps should be taken to improve the results. The most important of which would be a link-building campaign, along with some basic improvements to the html mark-up.
Incoming Links 2 This is incredibly low and steps must be taken to improve. Only two known sites are linking to NYIT’s sustainability page, specifically thinkgreen2010.org and greencollar.org. Research should be undertaken to identify sites that should be linking to nyit.edu/green and have yet to do so. Here is one example: http://www.enviroeducation.com/. This would be in addition to submitting to important directories on Google, Yahoo and Bing of course.
Keyword Ranking Non-existent A search for ‘sustainability education’, ‘green education’,’education for sustainable development’ and ‘environmental technology education’ yielded results where NJIT was not in the top 30 of results. Less than 1% of all searchers look beyond the top 30 listings. It is interesting to note that the page being investigated does not even show up for a specific search such as ‘nyit green education’.
Source Code Poor None of the meta tage (<title>, keywords, and description) make use of what should be targeted terms. This is an easy step in SEO improvement. In addition, the site does not make us of ALT text in any of its images. Use of header tags (<h>) around targeted keywords would help organic results as well. On the positive side, the site is primarily text, which is still favored by search engines.
Analytics Non-existent? It does not appear as if any analytics have been installed on these pages. This would make it difficult, if not impossible, to discern traffic to the site and the most popular paths within it. Typically web analytics help the site management team choose additional keywords and design features to optimize page views and traffic to the site.
Keyword Density Low The most dense word on the page is ‘nyit’ followed by ‘energy’ and ‘green’. Sustainability is fifth. We recommend keyword density being one of the last things to focus on as it does not yield significant improvements in organic search results. However, there are very simply editorial elements needed to improve keyword density and after other recommendations are implemented, these should be followed as well.
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Review: Landing Page Optimization by Tim Ash

Going forward, every month we will review a book on either web strategy and optimization or the clean/renewable energy sector.

Landing Page Optimization, an aptly titled book by Tim Ash, is a strong mid-level resource for optimizing websites and performance. Tim, a popular speaker at many conferences, covers all of the basics to undertake a successful project for improving conversions on your website. The book is well-organized, and depending on your background you may opt to focus on certain areas.

The introductory section is very elementary, and most readers may choose to skim or even skip the material entirely; this is especially true of the first two chapters. Immediately thereafter, substantive information and tactics are provided. Very quickly it progresses to areas that are quite advanced, such as full factorial parametric testing. It is at this point that the book falls a little short, you get the feeling that the information is covered at a very surface level, and not necessarily explained in a usable manner. The major takeaway I had was that I need to find a few books on the mathematics of testing to review here.

The final section would be something a marketing manager or director would want to share with their executive sponsor, namely ‘Getting It Done’. Again, depending on your background you may prefer to skim this, however, this information  is probably more crucial to launching a successful optimization campaign than any of the mathematics.

I had a knowing smile with the caveat to ‘resist temptation to monitor the results frequently’. This is something anyone in the online marketing/optimization space must be very familiar and many of those themes are covered in the final chapter. An excellent summary of everything else in the book.

Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone undertaking major optimization campaigns, especially those working in a corporate setting. It will not necessarily provide you with many testing ideas, but it will help you structure your campaigns and acquire the necessary buy-in for a successful endeavor.

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