4 Out Of 5 Lenses Have Poor Health!

I have analysed almost 70 thousand lenses at Squidoo by 2,250 Lensmasters, and I’ve identified a number of issues that common to a staggering 80% of these lenses. Some of these issues are preventing the lenses from ranking well in the Search Engines, and many Lensmasters have posted to the forums complaining about a lack of traffic.

Here is an overview of the issues I have found, and how Lensmasters can fix them.

Issues with 80% of Squidoo Lenses

The biggest problem found on the lenses analysed is the Primary Tag, with almost half of them having the same text for their Primary Tag as their Lens Title. This is mainly because the Lens Creation Wizard uses the Title as the default for the Primary Tag, but Lensmasters should get into the habit of changing this to something more suitable. Ideally, the Primary Tag should be the 2 or 3 word key phrase that is most important for that lens.
Read more about this in the post How To Pick Your Primary Tags.

Don’t forget to add your Primary Tag to your other regular tags too,
or your lens won’t appear on that tag page!

Around 38% of lenses have not got any votes. Admittedly, this isn’t really the fault of the Lensmaster – those lenses simply haven’t been visited by other Lensmasters and rated. The key to getting ratings is to be active within the community, i.e. leaving comments in other peoples guestbooks, and posting to the forum. Ratings do not directly influence search engine traffic, but they can improve the Lensrank of a lens so that it appears on more tag pages.

Next up is the tags20% of the time, lenses will only have 3 (or less) tags that the Lens Creation Wizard asks you when you first make a lens. In the lens workshop, you can add up to 40 tags – try to think of all the 1 and 2 word tags that are relevant to the content of the lens. The best tags to have are ones that already exist on other lenses, so try to avoid adding too many ‘long tail’ keyphrases.

The Introduction module lets you define a subtitle which will appear below your content, just before your content begins. This is another place where your key phrase can be presented, improving your chances of getting ranked by the search engines. While it is not mandatory, 1 in 5 lenses are missing out on this opportunity. Some lenses (15%) use the same text for their subtitle as for their lens title – while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a good idea to mix up your key phrases a bit.

Another oversight on many lenses (13%) is the Lens Photo. You can upload a picture to the Introduction module, and this will appear on the left had side of the text. It’s a good idea to put keywords into the file name of the photo before you upload it – another factor that search engines will take note of. The lens photo is also shown when lenses are Featured by other Lenses and Groups, so an eye-catching picture will attract visitors to your lens.

To help Lensmasters build better lenses, I have created a new tool.

The Lens Health Check tool will check your lenses for all of these issues, and a few more besides. All you need to do is copy-n-paste the URL of your lens, and press the button. The tool is still in beta, and there is more I will be adding to it when I can.

All feedback gratefully received. :o )

Related posts:

  1. Improved Tag Pages at Squidoo
  2. New Tools for Squidoo Lensmasters
  3. Making the Most of Squidoo Tags
  4. Relevance is Key!
  5. How To Search for Lenses and Groups