Today’s SEO review is going to look at My Metro Talk - and specifically, MyMetroTalk Dubai. It’s a “What’s On” listings site, covering the familiar social territory of Restaurants, Culture, Bars & Clubs, but with the addition of some elements which don’t usually turn up in city listings sites – namely Education, and Live & Work. The latter two in particular offer some great options for depth of content and user experience.
It should be noted that the site is still in Beta, so it’s no real surprise that the PageRank is (at time of writing) showing as 0; neither is it surprising that some elements of the site are marked as “Coming Soon”. So – taking that into account, here’s the SEO review in brief, picking out a few of the major points…
Design & Functionality
As we know, Googlebot looks to reward well-designed sites that focus for users, rather than SEO ranking in mind. My Metro Talk has been well laid out, with clear headings both at the top of the page and in the centre column, which makes navigation easy. It’s also very easy to share, with prominent social sharing buttons on the home page and in the listings.
Loading Time Speed
The loading time from Pingdom is acceptable but it can be optimized by using CDN. CDN or Content Delivery Network is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers in the Internet. Although its good for optimizing the loading time of the website, improper use of it will produce duplicate content. Implementing rel=”canonical” or another canonicalization technique will avoid the issue
Looking on what my metro talk is doing, I think they are doing really good. However, using more rich anchor text keyword will give them a much better result in the search engine ranking. To add up on that, linking the H1 of the listing will carry a higher value in the eye of search engine as well as adding pagination to the listing and articles could decrease the crawl time of the search engine.
Personally I’d do some more linking from articles to review pages. Doing it now rather than later when the website is bigger would benefit the overall website performance in the search engine, but hey! as the site’s in the early days I don’t think it’s still a problem.
Another important thing for the SEO is the website structure. A just had a quick look at the sitemap shows a simple but solid theme-based structure, and the addition of articles under each of the headings (plus a few more) ensures that there’s enough relevant copy on the site to give it some depth beyond the basic listings & reviews. However, although there’s a clear HTML sitemap, there isn’t an XML sitemap – so although users can find content, it’s possible that the search spiders can’t. The metadata in the XML sitemap would mean that Google would know much more about specific types of content on the site.
SEO Recommendation: add an XML sitemap for pages and images . This to make it easier for search engine spiders to find your content.
The site’s URLs follow for the most part the standard domain.com/page-name structure, keeping the most relevant keywords toward the front of the URL. Some of the articles could probably do to have shortened titles, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. I still recommend to include the location within the url. and removing the “.html” file extension as well as optimizing the search filter URL will produce a bigger impact.
Source Code: Tags, Title & Headers
The source code for the home, first and second level pages shows generally proper use of the title, description and keyword meta tags. I am curious as to why some of the first level pages are missing keywords, but as the title and descriptions are in place, it’s less of an issue than it might be otherwise. The <h1> header is evident in a few articles but not in all.
SEO Recommendation: add keywords to first level pages, and standardise the use of <h1> tags (which reflect the keywords) across the range of articles.
Source Code: Microformat data
A look at the source code for a few of the review pages shows that there’s no microformat data, which puts the site at a disadvantage in search results. Comparing results through both Google, and Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool (http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets) shows that the site’s not performing as well as it could do in this area against other sites listing those businesses – hotels could have information about room prices, for example. It’s great information to include in search results.
SEO Recommendation: add relevant microformat data to review pages – this will make the search result look far more authoritative in search results. The site might also wish to look at the more extensive markup options for rich snippets offered by http://www.schema.org.
SEO Review – in conclusion…
Although there are lots of elements that can be analyze and optimize on this website. In general, http://www.mymetrotalk.com/ ticks all the right boxes for good SEO as well as being an informative and easily navigable site with a pretty high standard of original content. There are some coding elements that could do with a polish though, and that could reap real benefits for the site as it moves out of Beta. Overall I believed they are taking the right direction and hopefully to see these changes to be implemented on their website!