Guest Post: Website Tips from an SEO Expert
by Walker Oxley, Oxley Internet
Do I need a website?
The only answer to that question is YES! Unequivocally. End of Story. Regardless if you are a one man show or have 1000s of employees, having a website has become an essential part of any business. Even if you are not selling anything on the Internet, it is highly likely that clients and potential customers will go to your website to learn more about your company, products or services. If you do not have a web presence, you are losing potential business to your competitors.
However, a bad website is worse than having no website at all.
Your website is the face of your company. It should be professional and up-to-date. You want to send the message that you care about your business and your customers and that is reflected by having a great looking and user friendly site. The contrary is also true. People will judge you if your site screams “We didn’t try very hard on our website.”
Updated content is critical.
It is critical that you keep the content of your website up-to-date. There is nothing more off turning than a website with old/stale information. Make sure your pricing, contact information, data and articles are current. If you post “News and Media”, make sure the last entry wasn’t 6 months ago. This information should reflect what’s happening today. Your website is critical to your business. Take care of it!
Bigger is not necessarily better.
There is no need to freak out about getting a website built. It doesn’t have to be 100 pages, take 6 months to build and cost thousands of dollars. A well designed, efficient website can be as small as 10-15 pages, built fair quickly and reasonably priced.
Here’s the kicker. If you are going to have a website, it would be nice if people actually went to it, right? Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight and you will need to hire a professional to do your Internet Marketing. That is a broad term for the combination of components that results in getting your website higher in the search rankings. Without successful Internet Marketing, it’s likely that your website will never be very high in ranking. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Marketing (Google Adwords/Sponsored Ads) and Social Media Optimization are all individual components of Internet Marketing. It is essential that an Internet Marketing specialist is proficient with all of these areas.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) especially has a lot of components that will give your site the best possible chance to get higher search rankings. The base SEO starting point would be making sure your site has all the meta tags (page titles, descriptions, and keywords) optimized to best reflect what your site is about. Even though this is the starting point of SEO, it is easy to miss and overlook or completely mess up. The search engines require these to be genuine and within the guidelines of their algorithms and should be done by a professional that has done a competitive analysis for your industry. Don’t be another one of the 44 million websites out there with no meta tags!
Ideally, if you are building a new website, the person you hire will have knowledge of both the design process and the Internet Marketing. Making sure the content and website are optimized for Internet Marketing during the design process, will ensure great success down the road.
Your current website.
So, you already have a website. Good job! Now, take an objective look at your website and decide if it still reflects your business, message and success. You may want to have a third party evaluate your site to ensure objectivity. A regular “monthly clean-up” of your site will ensure that your content is still valid and your “look” is current. Remember, your website is critical to your business and should reflect who you are.