SEO or Search engine optimization is a widely misunderstood term among business owners and marketing experts. There are a lot of people who still believes that SEO is collection activities that is kind of a black magic which helps to rank your website on top of search engines. Some believe its about hiring a link builder and spreading spam around the Internet to gain back links to your website and thus fool Google to rank on top. Well actually it's not these days and believe me, it was not ever before.

SEO is actually a set of practices that ensures that your website is clean,visible and friendly for both the user and the search engines. Only thing that matters is that these practices, most of them, changes overtime according to the changes in Search Algorithms. So before you decide to say NO to the help of an SEO make sure your website qualifies all those criteria. And ensure that your website performs well by ranking on top of search queries that matters your business. And last but not the least it is able to provide you a much better conversion experience which is the major goal of having a website online.

Still wondering how to do that? Not in a mood to put your head inside complications of Search Algorithms? Well we are here to help you out by providing some simple check points that you can perform sitting in front your computer. All you need is a basic understanding of the important thing that matter. Its not again the algorithm i am talking about, its a simple checklist for you to decide whether or not your website need help of an SEO.

Is your website well presented in SERP?

SERP or Search Engine Result Pages is where your website will be listed when potential customers or visitors search for products and services you offer. See example below..

There are 3 things that are visible and have most importance in SERP listing of a webpage.

  • Title : Make sure your title is attractive and provide an easy and to the point introduction about what that particular page of your website is all about. Make sure the title is not stuffed with keywords but at the same time contain at least one of the top search query related to that page.
  • Description : Description of a webpage is a golden opportunity for you to provide some longer and descriptive details about your page. Make sure you have made effective use of that space with important details.
  • URL : There are a lot of websites with amazing domain name which very much reflect their business, which is quite easy to remember. But many of them do not care about extending that quality of domain into inner pages or sub domains, which may cause you serious issues in long term as search engines have started considering url structure as quite a big deal to rank websites. So it is important to make sure your website urls make sense. Make sure they reflect what is inside the pages that it represent so that the users can better understand where they are heading to by clicking.

Is your website easy to navigate

Consider the website navigation as telling a story. There should be a relation between each and every page of your website and make sure the both the users and search engines can easily navigate through and find the content they want. Search engines usually treat a website as individual webpages but overall picture of a website also is most important.

  • Make sure the website architecture is based on the home page and ensure easy navigation
  • Ensure the users are able to navigate to previous section or root of the website
  • Make sure your website has sitemaps that provide enough information for users and search engines
  • The highlight of overall site architecture should be simplicity and easiness of usage

Do you actually offer quality content and services

You might have heard the slogan "Content is King". yes, truly it is. After the Google Panda algorithm update things have changed a lot and quality and uniqueness of content inside your website have the at most importance. So make sure the content, what ever it is, like text,images,videos, etc is unique, offer quality and is highly useful and is acceptable. User have crazy search behaviors. People with a little knowledge about your topic will search using some exact keywords but others who are not really into the details might search some broader or wired queries. Make sure your content is smart enough to answer their queries and provide value to user of both type. Keyword tool provided by Google Adwords is an excellent opportunity to find keywords and queries that your target audience usually search for and thus try to bring them to your content.

  • Make sure your text is easy to read
  • Content is organized and broken down to logical sections
  • Contend is unique and fresh

Have you made effective use of images and headings

Have you taken most advantage of the images in your website by optimizing them for the search engines to crawl them? Have you used proper file names and clever alt text for your images? Well there are many benefits for optimizing images in your website with file names and alt texts. One is that the alt text will be displayed in the place of the images if some user is viewing the page from a browser or a device that do not support images. There is another benefit that optimized alt text and file names helps the search engine bots to easily read and rank your images in normal search results and also in image search results. So make sure

  • Your images are consolidated inside a single directory instead of being spread across. (example.com/images)
  • Commonly supported file types are used
  • File names and alt text is brief but descriptive
  • Alt text is not too long that looks spam to bots

You have control over the website and it's traffic

Webmaster tools and Analytics are two wonderful and free tools from Google which helps site owners to have better control over their website. Webmaster tools helps you to understand critical issues regarding your site's performance in search results and also enable communication between you and Google. With Google Analytics you can monitor your website's traffic and understand

  • How much traffic you are receiving?
  • From where this traffic is coming?
  • Which part of your website is most favored by users?
  • How much time a user spends in your website and which pages they browse and many more?

There are many more critical factors to be considered to make your website search engine friendly but it is important that you qualify at least the above ones. So before you decide whether or not you need the help of an SEO try to go through the above simple check list.Hope that helps.. Do share your comments and queries with us.