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SEO Site Quality – But it’s not my job!

by glen@glenkowalski.com
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I am always amazed how many times I hear that website quality is a job of the web master. Not the person in charge of SEO.  You may have heard that as well.
Nothing is further from the truth. Site quality and search engine optimization go hand in hand. In fact, I would go on to say that any SEO campaign that does not start with site quality analysis is doomed to fail.
Even you might be thinking that it is the job of whoever built the web site to provide an error free site. The SEO job is to optimize, build links, etc.
This is true, but …
The best SEO campaign on the planet is not going to improve rankings if the search engines can't find all your pages. And who do you think is going to be blamed if there is no traffic? Or whose business is going to suffer?
Do you want to leave your career or internet business in the hands of the web master or site author alone?   I didn't think so.
The first task that any SEO campaign needs is a thorough quality analysis done.
You need to check for items like broken links, missing Meta tags, pages that are too slow to load, spelling mistakes, spam and more. Each of these has its own weight in search engine optimization work.
Broken links are especially important. Remember the sinking feeling in your chest you felt when Google webmaster tools told you there was a problem finding a page. Now you are stuck waiting a few more days to get that great, keyword optimized page found. Or, maybe even longer.
Guess what?  That sinking feeling is deserved; there is no reason for that to ever happen. You already know there are a large number of free link testing tools available on the web. Not to mention, if you are serious about SEO, you must have link checkers in your tool set.
Webmasters are infamous for forgetting Meta tags. I know, it seems strange, but to many of them thes Meta tags are invisible anyway. The surfers can't see them, so they don't matter. Of course, you know better, but you must verify!
Slow pages and spelling mistakes speak for themselves. Spelling mistakes may not be a big deal for SEO. That is unless there are spelling mistakes in the keywords! Yes, I have seen that happen.
Slow pages have 2 negative affects, in addition to the obvious client complaints.
  • If a search engine robot times out, it is just going to move on. Without ever indexing the page.
  • Many engines only read a certain number of bytes. If important keywords are on the page after those bytes, those will never be read.
I left spam for last because it is not as obvious. Remember the webmaster above who didn't care about Meta tags? This webmaster is the opposite.
This site developer knows that SEO is important. And he wants to help. So he “helps” by stuffing the keyword tag with repetitive keywords. Or maybe he stuffs in keyword text that is the same color as the background. You know, all those really spammy techniques that are going to get you or your client banned on the search engines.
Traffic to you and / or your client’s site is the most important concern you have. This makes SEO as, or even more important than web design. Although I am sure site designers will disagree.
Customers may not notice a misspelled keyword, but the search engines will. Clients don't see the keyword stuffed background, but engines will ban you for it.
That’s not to say that web design is not important. And web designers are very good at what they do. But mistakes happen. This is your chance to fix them. And no one is going to see the great web design if it can’t be found.
You or your web master may have made quality errors when creating your site. SEO is a different phase in your site plan, but it needs to be built on a solid foundation.
Before you start your next SEO campaign, perform a quality analysis of your site. There are several tools available to help, but much of the analysis can be done by hand.
Without a solid foundation of superb site quality, you are building your SEO efforts on sinking sand. A strong base will enhance your SEO work and get you the most traffic possible.

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