If you have a website, it doesn’t matter if you are a Fortune 500 publicly traded brand or a local mom-and-pop store, you need to have your website technically optimized.
While many business owners will hire an SEO agency to optimize their site, there are others who for any number of reasons would rather do it themselves.
That’s where this post comes in. I’m going to give you the quick and dirty version of checking to see how your site is optimized and the steps you need to take to get your site properly optimized.
First things first: On Site Analysis
Before doing anything you really need to know where you’re starting from. Are you “halfway there” when it comes to proper optimization or are you starting at basically square one?
If you were to hire me (or another SEO agency), this is the first thing I would be doing and providing to you. Here is how I do it, and it’s easily completed by a DIYer.
The first thing you need to do is download a free program called Screaming Frog – this is a tool that will “crawl” your site and pull the data that search engines see.
Once you download the program and install it, open it and you will find a text box to enter your website URL. Place your full website address in there (http://www.yourbusiness.com/) then press “START” the program will then crawl your website and pull up tons of information. At this point we’re concerned with how your homepage and other pages are being “described” to the search engines.
Once ScreamingFrog has completed crawling your site, click on the “Page Title” and “Meta Description” sections of the tool. This is the information that appears when Google or other search engines show your site in search results.
Example: 1. is the meta title, which is simply what the title is of that page. 2. is the meta description and is simply describing the point of or the content of the page being displayed. These are key components to proper SEO. You must properly optimize your title and description so search engines can determine if your site is a good option for a potential search customer.
You want to export your crawl from Screaming Frog and look through all of your pages for optimized meta titles and meta descriptions. Your titles and descriptions should be easy to read for both humans and computers, but also contain the main words you would want that page to show up for.
In a practical example, if you are a Jacksonville Pediatric dentist you want to ensure your homepage title and description are optimized for those search terms.
In this example, they haven’t placed the location in the meta title, but Jacksonville (and Orange Park and FL) are included in the description along with “Pediatric Dentist.” This is a properly optimized homepage title and description.
You would want to go through all the main pages of your website and ensure that they are targeting terms you want searchers to find you for. If you find that your pages are under-optimized or worse, not optimized at all, this is the number one thing you should complete.
Here’s where the trickiness comes in though: depending on how your website was built and the platform it’s on, you may find that updating your title tags and descriptions is well above your programming knowledge. If you created your site on your own with a free website option such as WordPress or Blogger or Weebly, they have components that make editing and updating your titles/description fairly easy. If you have a custom, HTML coded website you may need to go back to your developer and ask them to work with you to get your site updated.
But, here’s the kick: if you’re spending hours trying to learn how to do this and taking time away from your day (or time away from an employee that could be doing other things) then is this a productive use of your time and your company’s revenues?
This is when hiring an SEO to properly work with your site will likely save you money in the long run.