Get Found in the Google Search Engine: A Website Owner’s SEO Checklist

As a marketing professional, you probably already know if you want to be found in the search engines – and especially Google – there are several SEO steps that you need to take, including getting support from an agency like boutique digital media.

Furthermore, we all search for products and services online these days, which is why it is so important that potential customers find your business first.

SEO techniques can help drive traffic towards your website, ensuring that your websites and pages can rise through the search engine ranks and are therefore more likely to be discovered online.

Want to try some SEO boosting strategies for yourself?

Knowing where to get started can sometimes feel overwhelming.

To help your website stand out from the competition, why not consider reaching out to an SEO consultant such as Daniel Foley for some website development and marketing advice tailored towards your needs?

Looking for even more digital marketing and SEO insights and tips?

Here’s a quick Search Engine Optimization article from Future-Ink.com that could serve as a checklist of the minimum you should have as part of an SEO program.

Six Stages of a Website Makeover for 2009

Six Stages of a Website Makeover for 2009. What you need to consider before revising your website or hiring a website company.

Considering a Website Makeover for 2009?  If a website redesign is part of your 2009 marketing and branding program, before you begin updating and rebranding your website, here are some things you may want to consider:

  1. Navigation: Making it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for.  Not everyone thinks the same way and not everything on your site should only have one way to find it.  Consider a variety of navigation methods and you may want to select a few, especially including some hyperlinked text to key places on your website.
  2. Graphics: What’s the image you are trying to portray?  Will you be using stock images or actual photography?  What are your colors?  Try to give graphic direction to your website development team by providing examples of other websites that you like.  Look at your key competitors to insure you are not too close to them.
  3. Content: Writing content, providing images and pulling all the pieces together takes time.  While you want to include as much of the key information as possible, a website is constantly evolving, so it doesn’t have to have all the content done at once.   Figure out how much you need to get Phase I up and running.
  4. Building the site: Give enought time for the developer to create the programming and upload the content.
  5. Training: If your site will have content management.  Make sure you know how to log in and modify the site and you’ll be so much happier in keeping the content current yourself. 
  6. Search Engine Optimization: A new website is nice and all, but if no one can find you in the search engines it matches the old adage: “doing business without advertising is like winking in the dark… you know you did it, but no one else does.”  Make sure your website is optimized for search engines, particularly Google. 

How Important Is It to Keep Your Website Up to Date?

I visited a website of a business this morning that has some old information on it:

  • the old address from before they moved
  • an email address and photo of an employee that is long gone
  • and event information from a date passed but written like it will be a future event

Perhaps you have encountered the same situation.  What’s your feeling about that?  Forgivable?  Or does it need to be spit-spot with complete accuracy?

To me, it seems a little sloppy, but forgivable in this case, based on the type of business that particular company conducted.

I realize not all companies have their website converted over to a content management system. They still have to rely on getting an email to their webmaster asking for an update. Each time the webmaster goes on the site, there is a fee associated with it, so many businesses decide they will gang up their changes all at once.  So I can understand why the sales & marketing manager decided to have a website that is not up to date.  But still… are they mailing out information on old letterhead? Probably not.

I wonder how much business is lost because things aren’t up-to-date and look sloppy?  Wonder how much business they have lost because someone mapquested the old address and once they got there, couldn’t find the business?

What are your thoughts on keeping your company’s website up to date?

When should you update your Website?

Sandy Donaldson at the Donaldson Resources blog offers 3 telling clues for you to investigate that will tell you if you need to update your website:

  1. Bounce Rate
    Take a close look at the bounce rate (how many one page visitors) – if it’s greater than 30% then you may be driving the wrong audience to your website, or the message on the page doesn’t match what the visitor was looking for.
  2. Most Popular Pages
    Look at the pages that are getting the most traffic – if your primary marketing pages (products/services) are not getting the traffic then it may be time to look more closely at the navigational structure of your site. Is it easy to follow – does it intuitively take the visitor to the most important pages?
  3. Call to Action Elements
    When a visitor lands on a page in your website what action to you hope to see this visitor take – call the office – fill out a request for quote – download a brochure/report – fill out the contact form – visit your locations page – look at other services or products – buy something? Do your most popular pages have prominent “Call to Action” elements on each page driving visitors to these next steps?

I’d like to add a 4th:  If your website is still in frames or you don’t have an easy to update content management system that makes posting almost as easy as posting a blog article or sending an email, you really need to consider doing an update.

Do You Market from Your Customers’ Viewpoint?

Do your customers see what you see? Probably not. Unless your monitor is set to the same resolution and you use the same browser.

When you review your online marketing materials, what browser do you use? If you’re like my company’s customers, you’re probably on IE 6.0 or maybe 7.0.

What about screen resolution? Again if you are like the traffic that comes to my company’s website, you are probably using a 1024 x 768. But what do your readers use?

You probably know which browser you use, but do you know what your screen set to? (If you don’t know how to check it, try this: from the Start Menu, go to Control Panel. Click Display. Select settings tab.)

Don’t be fooled thinking everyone sees what you see. I suggest that you find out what your customers use and change your settings to reflect their settings.

Do you know what browser and resolution graphic designers use most? Engineers? Sales people?

Please feel free to chime in with comments, I’d like to understand this whole thing better because I know it changes over time. For instance, about 6 months ago, Firefox was just a blip on my radar. If you have additional info or questions, please comment!!

Are business executives over 40 years old more likely or less likely to use 800 x 600