We live in a digital society, and the first place that consumers go–whether it’s for B2B or B2C–is the internet. Because of this, it is vital that businesses have great websites that rank well for terms potential customers are searching for. This requires SEO. SEO isn’t mystical, and it isn’t BS, though there are many who claim to “know SEO” who don’t have a clue what they’re doing.
So how do you know if your site is good or if you need SEO help?
How to check if you need SEO help
There are many ways you can see if you need SEO help, and there is excellent software out there that can identify lots of issues. But we’ll stick to three free and easy methods: HTTPS, SERP results, and PageSpeed Insights.
HTTPS is the secure version of a URL. Since 2014, Google has used HTTPS as part of their algorithm for ranking websites, and it has continued to get more important since. Now, search engines and browsers want every website to be secure. Check to see if your website is running HTTPS. If it is, you’ll see a green lock like this.
Secure HTTPS deliciousness
If you type in your website like https://www.mywebsite.com and you get a warning like this, it means your website is not secure.
Insecure HTTPS badness
That’s bad for SEO and it’s a sign you might need some help. Even if you don’t get that warning, you may still not have HTTPS setup properly. A green lock or some other green indicator that you’re secure is the only sign you’re all good.
Seeing how you appear in search results
Looking at how a link to your page appears in Google is a great way to see if you need help. When a website has been properly SEO’d, your page title and description will be informative and helpful to the searcher.
Here’s a good one:
It says what we do and who we are (a digital marketing agency in NYC) and the description goes into further detail describing our services. This is great!
Here’s a not-so-good one:
It doesn’t describe what they do or who they are. And the description just gives information that was scraped from the page. What do they do? I don’t know. If you saw both of these when searching for a service, you’d click on the Taikun one, right?
You can go directly to Google and search for your domain name, and you will see what your page looks like in the search engines. Do it for a few of your important pages. How does it look? If they don’t look great, you might need SEO.
How fast your website loads is very important. According to a study, people expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less. Google knows this, so they prefer to rank websites that load quickly. The faster your website loads, the more likely people will be happy to have clicked on your site. Speed is so important that Google has created their own speed test program that will identify problems that are slowing down your website.
Run Google’s PageSpeed Insights Test on your website, and see what you score. If you scored below a 75, your site is not optimized for speed, and you need SEO help.
Your Options for Fixing SEO Issues
So you’ve gone through some of the steps outlined above, and you want to fix the SEO issues on your website to help it rank better and help your business get more out of the web. There are two ways you can do this: you can do it yourself or you can hire an outside SEO expert to do it for you.
Do It Yourself
There is so much information about SEO on the web, and a lot of it is terrible. In fact, following bad or outdated SEO advice can hurt you. But there are a number of great resources. Moz is an amazing resource for SEO. They have a wonderful beginner guide to SEO that’s free, and they also have very reasonably-priced training seminars. The Moz blog is also a great resource. Search Engine Land is another great resource.
Hire an SEO Agency or Freelancer
The other option is to hire an SEO agency or freelancer to do the work for you. Hiring a good SEO person can be a challenge, because there are many people who claim to be experts who are not. Google has a great video about what to look for in an SEO agency or freelancer, and the sorts of questions you should ask.
There are many places where you can find freelancers. If you work at a WeWork location, you can use the WeWork community to ask for someone. Freelancer websites like UpWork and Freelancer are also good places. Finally, you can even go to Craigslist.
Finding a good Agency is easier than finding a freelancer; however, agencies are typically more expensive. Look for agencies that are at the top of google. Get a referral from someone you know who has had a good experience. Moz even has a list of recommended SEO companies. (We’re not on that list yet, but we’re working on it!)
No matter what direction you go, it is important to know if your site is search engine optimized, and if it isn’t, that you fix it. Business starts on the web, and if you’re not showing up online then as far as your potential customers are concerned, you don’t exist.
Collin is the founder of Taikun, and a data-driven digital marketing expert with over 10 years of experience helping businesses succeed on the internet. He is a badged Google Partner with 7 figures of ad spend under management.