According to Alexa, the top ten local websites in Cyprus are sigmalive.com, kerkida.net, 24sports.com.cy, philenews.com, onlycy.com, shootandgoal.com, supermpala.com, politis.com.cy, laiki.com and apoel.net.
These websites attract thousands of visitors, however, according to our study these are not SEO friendly. The SEO factors used for comparison are the following:
Title: The text that appears in the browser. Titles should be relevant and use primary keywords.
Meta description: While not important to search engine rankings, they are extremely important because they are used by search engines in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Users usually read these descriptions and decide whether to click on a result or not.
Headers: Header tags communicate to search engines and readers what a page is about.
Friendly URLs: URLs should be readable by visitors. Also search engine robots prefer friendly URLs.
Sitemaps: Sitemaps help search engines index a website.
Robots.txt: Search engine robots look for file robots.txt. This file tells them which web pages should be indexed and which pages should be ignored.
Custom error page: Error pages are shown when a visitor tries to access a web page that is unavailable. Websites should always have a custom error page to help visitors navigate to other available parts of the website.
Pages indexed: Number of pages that are indexed by Google. This number can be found with the search query “site:www.example.com”.
Backlinks: Number of external referring domains to a website. The tool used was majestic SEO.
Google Analytics installed: Free service by Google that generates statistics about the visitors to a website.
1. Top Cypriot websites are not SEO friendly. Positive factors in the websites surveyed appear to be just features of the systems tha the websites run.
2. All of them have Google Analytics installed.
3. Backlinks and number of pages indexed is important.
4. Websites could easily fix negative factors such as titles, meta description and add a sitemap and a robots.txt.