Are you confident that you‘ve got SEO mastered? Or do you think perhaps your company may benefit from some helpful expertise when it comes to optimizing for search engines – and more importantly for conversions, leads and sales.
Below are warning signs indicating you might need some assistance when it comes to SEO.
You might need some help with SEO if…
1. You haven’t defined your site’s goals or tracked these goals
Do you know how many visitors to your site converted to qualified leads? How many filled out a form, made a purchase, or called you because of your website? An SEO savvy business should be able to quickly access this information and should be benchmarking and steadily improving these numbers.
2. You haven’t checked your website analytics this week
How is your site performing? Have there been any major spikes or dips in traffic? It is important to regularly review analytics data to ensure there are (a) no major site performance issues and (b) you are meeting your digital marketing goals.
3. You’re not tracking phone call leads from your website
One of the most often overlooked tracking opportunities involves phone numbers listed on your website. Effective digital marketing will provide a unique phone number that can be tracked for call volume. This measure allows you to identify, quantify and assess phone call leads from your website.
4. You’re using the same or similar content on various pages of your site
Google recently updated their search algorithm to penalize sites using the same or similar blocks of content on pages of websites. Every page on your website should have 100% unique and original content.
5. You’re using the same keywords over and over on various pages of your site
Reusing keywords is a practice called keyword cannibalization and it is a big SEO no-no. Repeating keywords on different web pages confuses search engines as to which page should rank for the keyword.
6. You’re not testing the form pages on your site or your site’s landing pages
Shorter web forms can result in more submissions and more leads. It is important to A/B test different versions of your site’s form pages and landing pages to see which layout and content result in the most leads. This is an ongoing requirement. Business dynamics and your target audience are not stagnant and your digital marketing needs to stay in step with (ideally, ahead of) your competition.
7. You don’t know which sites are linking to you and you’re not actively working to increase incoming links
The number of quality sites linking to your site is an important factor for search engines. The more quality inbound links, the better. An SEO-smart business will know the number of inbound links and regularly work to improve this. Such a business also knows that poor quality links can actually hurt search engine results, so link quality control is essential.
8. You don’t have a presence on Google+ Local
Google is the undisputed king when it comes to search. So like it or not, Google’s local listing tool, Google+ Local, is an important element in the search engine optimization game. With its indexed local search listings and integrated business pages, Google+ Local is an SEO, customer service, and marketing tool all rolled into one.
9. You have no idea how many broken links on your site are resulting in site errors
It is important to regularly look under the hood of your website. If web pages are returning a 404 “page not found” error, indicating that a link is broken, users will have a poor experience on your site and those pages won’t be indexed by Google.
10. You don’t know how many people view your site using which varieties of mobile phones or tablets
Visitors to your site are increasingly using their mobile phone or tablet to search for and view your site. How does your site render to these visitors? Is your conversion rate lower or your bounce rate higher for mobile visitors? It is important to regularly audit your site to determine how your site performs for mobile and tablet visitors. Many businesses find that their target customers have different access needs when accessing the site from a mobile device. Proper adjustments in messaging and user experience can be key differentiators in successful web results for these companies.
11. You don’t use Title Tags or you’ve duplicated them all over the site
Keyword rich title tags have long been a part of good SEO strategy. Title tags provide the means in which search engines confirm the content of pages on your site. They also show up for the user in the search results and at the top of the web browser. For the same reasons as duplicate keywords detailed in Sign #5 above, maintaining unique and relevant title tags for each page on a website is a SEO standard of excellence.
12. Your site is missing an XML sitemap
Creating an XML sitemap provides a simple, effective way to give the search engines a list of all your web pages to crawl and index. Regularly resubmitting your XML sitemap alerts search engines to any changes on your site. Note: XML sitemap is different from an HTML sitemap.
13. Your site is S-l-o-w…
To directly quote Google, “At Google we’re obsessed with speed.” Google incorporates site speed as one the over 200 signals used in determining search rankings. If a business website site is slow, clunky, and annoying for users, it may be penalized by Google, and that business can’t expect to rank competitively in search results.
14. You’re missing Alt Tags (Image Tags) or H Tags (Heading Tags)
Alt tags allow you to add descriptive text to your images. The words used within an image’s alt tag are its text equivalent and optimizing images is important part of SEO. Heading tags (H1, H2… H6) can be used to tell the search engines and site visitors the structure of your page’s content. Both tags are essential to good SEO.
15. You have ugly, unfriendly URLs
Best practice for SEO is to keep your site’s URLs short enough that they can easily be typed in the browser’s address bar. You also want to use your keywords in the URL structure. This exercise is often a delicate balance and is a critical part of the SEO readiness equation when designing and building a website. This is a key area where a businesses’ experts in web design, development and SEO need to be working together in tight communication.
If this list has created more doubt than affirmation about your SEO expertise, or if you think perhaps you need assistance when it comes to search engine optimization, I encourage you to contact Bayshore Solutions and speak with a web marketing specialist today.