Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beware the "SEO Expert"

Working with two new clients this week who recently had their websites built by "SEO Experts"...
Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
It's funny how people can actually say this to a client with a straight face, and then you look at the websites they built, and none of the on-page SEO has been done correctly. Yet these "website design firms" (I use that very loosely in these cases) charged top dollar for this "On-Site SEO work".

Website #1 was built by a large recently renamed "directory" that churns out nice enough looking websites, and promises all kinds of neat results. Too bad looking at the website, the only company benefitting seems to be the directory itself.

The SEO is a mess, and on site issues include:
  • meta titles and descriptions that have nothing to do with the content and are duplicated site wide
  • improper use of heading tags 
  • every photo on the website is a "large file" unoptimized for load speed
  • no ALT tags or titles in the pictures
  • no use of schema markup
  • and the biggest issue - a bunch of links on each page that go back to the directory itself, helping benefit the directory's "search rankings"
Basically this "national directory" ignored all the on-page "SEO 101" practices. Yet they charged a lot for an "SEO optimized website" AND continue to charge a "monthly SEO maintenance fee"

Website #2 was built by a small "local" website design firm - promising that they would give better "hands-on" work then a large firm. Sorry, another fail, all the same issues as above (minus the crazy backlinks)

This is where business owners need to do a little homework. When you hire a company and they promise to "optimize" your website - get it in writing what they are actually going to do. And download this - Google's Official "Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide" If you want to dig deeper then go here as well - Webmaster Guidelines - Best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site

On-page SEO is not that difficult - there are simple rules and guidelines to follow. It just amazes me how many website design firms don't follow them, yet claim that they do...