Independent retailers are at the mercy of the web designers and search engine optimization (SEO) consultants they hire. Why do I say this? As someone who has extensively studied SEO methods and attempts to stay up-to-date on how the Internet is changing, I must report that there is a lot of hot air posing as know how. Are you falling for this hot air and is it setting you back in your SEO efforts?
Below are the top 10 warning signs indicating that you have fallen victim to out-of-date or poor SEO technique:
1) Your web designer presents you with a turnkey site that he or she has created and declared as “optimized for search engines.” Then they give you no means to add to or change the site.
2) The “SEO Expert” advising you puts great emphasis on your website’s keyword or description meta tags, neither of which have figured into SEO for many years.
3) Your SEO consultant tells you, rightfully so, that keywords and keyphrases are very important. Then, they politely ask you what your keywords are without suggesting that they will do keyword research to augment and strategize your site’s keywords throughout the site.
4) If they do provide keyword research and they show you the Google keyword tool, they are giving you no advantage over your competitors who are using the same research tools.
5) They then proceed to put the same keywords on every page of your site, i.e., a long list of keywords that read identical on every page.
6) When you ask your SEO consultant what their support will include, they show you the free Google reports that are readily available, perhaps packaged with their SEO company’s logo. Then, they put a high price tag on what are essentially one-click reports.
7) When you ask, the SEO consultant cannot tell you how localized search, personalized search, social media, or mobile devices should figure into your website design or verbiage. Instead, they state that they will get you ranked on page one.
8 ) Your SEO consultant says that inbound links are important and when you ask for further detail, he or she says there is no such thing as a “bad” inbound link.
9) Your SEO consultant measures your site’s keyword density and tells you to beef up your copy’s keyphrase density first and foremost because they say that is always the most important factor. Or they say that ANY SEO factor such as outbound link count, title keyword, etc., is always the most important for every site.
10) You measure your site about six months after it is up (e.g., http://www.globalb2bcommunications.com/seo-tools/search-engine-listings-2/) and you find that your site has less than 50 percent visibility on the Internet.
Why stop at 10? In my next column, I’ll share with you other signs of out-of-date website design and search engine optimization that are widespread. If any of the above list is puzzling to you, please do not hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me why I have included it in this top ten list.
Amy Munice is president of ALM Communications, now also d.b.a. Global B2B Communications, www.globalb2bcommunications.com and Web and Design Science, www.webanddesignscience.com, a marketing/public relations firm that both gives, guarantees and fully integrates high-powered artificial intelligence search engine optimizers for lead generation and online sales, into all communications strategies. Contact Ms. Munice at email@example.com, or 773-862-6800.