Posted by Sam Battin, Senior Search Strategist
This post is a “Part 2,” so please feel free to go and read Part 1 before you continue.
Now that you’ve read Part 1, and you know the problems bad SEO can cause, I’ll talk about how Performics solves these problems, and how you can review your site for improper SEO.
When Performics begins an engagement with a client, we always start with a thorough compliance audit. We check elements like keyword density, frame usage, and outbound links to ensure that the client site is avoiding SEO practices that can harm rankings. Like we talked about in our last article, bad SEO can get onto clients' sites in a variety of surprising ways, so it's always worthwhile to look. Like the Russian proverb says, "Trust, but verify" and that's what we do with a compliance audit.
If you’re not working with Performics, how can you review your site for bad SEO?
Building a Web site requires such specialized talents that it’s not uncommon for management to be unaware of all the technical contents of their site. Management’s primary concern is to keep the business running, after all, and Web page content, HTML code, and page interlinking are the responsibility of the IT Department. However, if your site has non-compliant or improper SEO, it can impact the bottom line and reduce the profitability of your online offerings.
For example, if search engines find code on your site that appears misleading, they may penalize your site, and reduce its rank for particular searches. Naturally, visitors that can’t find your site on search engines won’t see your product offerings or marketing message, so it’s in your best interest to make certain the code on your site is legitimate and complies with search engine expectations.
If you’ve had an SEO firm work on your site, review the documentation they provided you on the changes that were implemented. Each of the changes they made should have a strong, clear rationale that explains how the revision improves visibility for your site. Google has made great efforts to identify which practices are misleading and which aren’t; we advise our clients to enroll their sites with Google Webmaster Tools. With this service, Google will report consistent problems they find in your site, and your IT team will have clear directions on how to get things fixed.
If you run across visibility issues that your IT team can’t handle, then it may be time to call in an SEO firm. Expect professional work. Even if you don’t happen to be a very technical person, the SEO firm you hire should be sufficiently skillful to explain the gist of what they’re doing and the results you can expect from the changes. The realities of 21st century business raise new challenges and require new skills, after all, so you might as well roll up your sleeves and get started.