Sunday, March 4, 2012

Do I Need SEO For My Website? What You Should Be Asking

For many different reasons, a lot of people aren't too sure if they need search engine optimization (SEO) for their website. As the digital world continues to expand, and more people rely on search engines to provide them with the information they are looking for, answering that question becomes imperative. So, how do you know if you need SEO for your website? Check out the following questions you should be asking yourself - you'll have your answer in a few minutes.

Are My Title Tags Optimized for Relevant Keywords?

Optimizing title tags is one of the sure fire ways of increasing your visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In fact, you can even rank on Page 1 for less competitive keyphrases with a well optimized title tag. If your answer to this question is "no", yo definitely need SEO for your website.

Is My Content Optimized for Relevant Keywords?

This is a very simple concept - if the keyword your are trying to show up for does not appear within the body of the web page, it will be very difficult to outrank your competitors. It is important to understand why that is. If a search engine robot crawls your site and can't discern what each page is all about (due to a lack of keyword emphasis), why would it return your web page high up in the SERPs to people looking for something specific?

Do I Know What Technical Factors Influence Website Visibility in the SERPs?

There are many technical pieces that factor in to the success of a website's performance in the SERPs. For example, were you aware that many servers automatically create two versions of each page on a website - one with "www" at the beginning of the URL and one without? If you didn't, then you also don't have 301 redirects set up to essentially tell the search engines there is only one page. Without those in place, you could run in to issues of internal duplicate content - something that can negatively impact your site's rankings. That is just the tip of the iceberg - there are many other pieces to this puzzle, such as sitemap and robots files - that you need to know about.

Do I Know What On-Page Factors Influence Website Visibility in the SERPs?

Likewise, there are many things that need to be done on-site to increase your visibility in the SERPs. Do you know what alt tags are? What about internal linking? The importance of bolding keywords? If the answer to each of those questions is "no", again, it is likely that you need SEO for your website.

Am I Familiar With Link Building and Why Backlinks Are So Important?

Google's ranking algorithm is heavily weighted on the number and quality of backlinks that point to your site. Do you know what I am talking about? If you don't know what a backlink is, you definitely need SEO for your website. In the meantime, know this - links are what drive rankings. Without a sound link building strategy in place, it will be nearly impossible to have success online. Links signal to the search engines that your site is important - when another site links to yours, it in affect is saying, "I vouch for this site, it is valuable." The more "votes of confidence" you get from around the web, the higher the chances are that your site's visibility will increase in the SERPs.

Don't feel bad if you didn't know the answers to some, most, or all of these questions. Everyone has to start somewhere! But if this post was relatively foreign to you, it should be crystal clear that your website needs SEO moving forward. Best of luck!

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