Is It Really An SEO Problem?

From time to time, we get emails from friends and prospects asking us about their websites and why their websites can’t be found in search engines.

Many people assume it is an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issue.

Photo credit: Johnathan Nightingale


They usually want to “fix” the SEO problem.

But is it really an SEO problem or is it something else? Many times, it is a combination of factors.

Seriously, you can focus on SEO all you want (and the easiest way to get right on the first page of Google is just advertise using Google Adwords and there you go, right at the top) but what’s really the main problem?

Here’s some email advice we gave Anita when she asked us why her website wasn’t showing up on Google and what she could do about it.


Dear Anita

An SEO problem is not always about the keywords and search terms.

In most cases it is the overall website that has problems plus it concerns marketing because your website is basically your marketing tool. Your website helps visitors differentiate you from the rest of the other websites offering the same products or services.

To answer your question why your website isn’t ranking well for the search terms you specified, you have to look at:
* how your website is built (structure and architecture)
* if your website content is fulfilling the needs of your website users (Are you giving website visitors what they came for? Or are you serving up what you want to serve up?)
* if each of your webpages include specific keywords not only within the website content and headlines but also in the page title?
* your internal links (Do you have any?)
* your images  (How are they named? Do your images make sense to search engines? Do your images make sense to your visitors? Do they include captions with the right keywords?)
* your calls-to-action? (What do you want your visitors to do eventually? What’s the next logical step?)
* your compelling message about how your business is unique and can serve the customers who come to you?
* personality – does your website reflect the personality of your business?

Once you’ve done that, also check:

* how often are you updating your website and when you update it, are keywords included?
* are you updating items that make sense for your customers?
* how are other websites linked to you, if any?
* what ways are you using to market your website?
* how are you keeping in touch with website visitors?
* how else are you informing people that you’ve got good stuff on your website?
* do you tell customers about your website and encourage them to visit and find out stuff that can help them?
* what is your analytics programme telling you about the people who visit your website? (what can you infer from these data to help you improve your marketing?)

To help you further, here are 3 other blog posts we wrote about this SEO issue.


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