SEO has become the dark arts of the world wide web. Many businesses put their trust in a consultant's magic, without actually knowing what they do, how they do it and indeed, if it actually makes any difference to their website.
This leaves a lot of businesses confused as to what added-value their SEO consultant is giving them, but still maintain their services, paying them a sizable chunk of their marketing budget every month.
On page SEO
Before starting to look at off page SEO, your consultant should be optimising your on page SEO making it clearer for users and search engines to find your website.
So what can be done to break the spell and find out just what on page SEO you're paying for? Here's 7 questions you can ask your consultant with authority to find out the answers:
"How fast do my web pages load?"
All your web pages should load as fast as possible. Although you cannot take into account every visitor's browser, operating system and internet connection, on average your pages should load in less than 1 second as a benchmark.
Failure to do this and its not just visitors that will get annoyed, Google will also pick up on the slowness and mark you down. Remember, optimising your B2B website means getting yourself in front of your potential customers, every little detail counts.
"Have I got enough internal links?"
All web pages should have internal links to other pages on your site. These help to guide visitors through your website to their preferred destination. If you haven't got any, your visitor will struggle to find their way around your site, and Google and other search engines will see the page as virtually non-existent.
Remember to ask about every page and make sure they don't exceed 100 on any one page.
"Do all my images include alt text?"
All images used on your website must have an alt text which describes the photo in a textual meaning. This has been found to contribute to the overall performance of websites in general.
Heavily image-based web pages can also be a problem. Your consultant should have limited your photo-heavy pages to 50 maximum.
"Are my page titles performing well?"
There are 5 points to a great page title, and every page on your site should have them. As well as actually having a page title (yes there are websites without any), the title must also be unique to your website.
The title should also be no more than 70 characters in length, include at least one targeted keyword and does not contain the domain name.
"Are all my meta descriptions optimised?"
Believe it or not, there are many websites controlled by SEO consultants that don't have any meta descriptions at all. These are vital and should be unique and filled in for every page on your website.
They should also be no longer than 150 characters and not include the exact page title. These descriptions appear on search engine results so make them interesting so people click onto your site.
"Do all of my pages have call-to-actions?"
Call-to-actions are a big part of the inbound marketing process, and are generally used to direct people towards key pages such as subscription pages and special offers pages.
These should be included on all pages with specific call-to-actions for certain niche pages of your site. They should also look good and link visitors to the desired page advertised. A broken link makes for a frustrated visitor.
"Have I got H1 tags?"
H1 tags are essentially the main heading of each page. As well as H1 tags making it easier for the visitor to browse your site, these are also crawled over by search engines.
Every page, including blog posts, should have a H1 tag with at least one keyword included. No more than 10 H1 tags are recommended on any one page.
The SEO spell
SEO is a difficult spell to master. Unlike some digital marketing that requires one swoosh of a wand, it takes time to learn, time to tinker and time to see the results too.
If you're SEO consultant isn't giving you the feedback or the results you require, then follow the 7 questions above to get your deserved money's worth from them and start rising up those rankings.