Is my SEO company any good?
You may not realize it, but keywords are just part of the success or failure of your web site. The relevance of keywords is a topic all its own.
Other factors that affect how well your web page ranks include:
- How quickly your web pages load (e.g., photo size and page size in terms of bytes and existence of page caching, which stores frequently accessed data in local memory)
- How mobile friendly your web site is
- The existence of well-written page assets (e.g., page title, meta description, headings, and so forth)
- Whether or not your web page has a security certificate (although not required for non-commerce web sites, SSL certificates appear to be highly valued by Google because they add security to your web site
There are many others.
But here are a few you can check on yourself.
You can check the performance of your web site
There are many other factors, but I bring up these four groups because they are some of the indicators used by HubSpot in its free online tool Website Grader.
You can check the success of your own web site at Website Grader, which ranks your website on a scale of 100.
You can also grade the web site of anyone who claims to provide search engine optimization services.
I tried this last night with everyone who claims to offer SEO services in or near my home town. The result? The lowest was in the low 60s and the rest, other than my company, ranked in the 70s and 80s.
OK, but not great.
Plus, keep in mind that every company interprets “SEO services” somewhat differently. You may find someone who only helps you with keywords. Another that specializes in local Google Search results — in other words, helping you perform better in your geographic area.
Some SEO companies can really help you with technical aspects, such as removing render blocking and lowering page-loading speed. And there are some who merely get you listed in the online yellow pages.
Free website grading tools
Here’s a list of free SEO grading tools. Here’s another. Some tools grade many aspects of your web site, some grade just one. Many offer you free trials of their full software. I recommend HubSpot’s month-long trial. You’ll learn a lot if you take advantage of all HubSpot’s trial offers.
Keep in mind that SEO grading tools are a way to kick the tires of your web site — they’re not an end unto themselves. But many of them will give you a good idea of strengths and weaknesses in your web site.
Also keep in mind that a lot of SEO is theory. Google doesn’t make public its search algorithm ingredients, much of what we all accept as “law” is good guessing and a lot of trial and error.
Performing well in search engine results is not a turnkey operation. It may take, for the average small- to medium-sized business, 10 or more hours a week over many, many months and years to make and keep your website performing at its best.
Should I do my own SEO?
So if you’re thinking at all of improving your SEO yourself, think twice. Trained SEO professionals keep up with the latest options, trends, and tools — over and above the work they do for clients.
SEO intelligence that was good even a year or two ago may not work today or may even be harmful to your web site. No one wants a penalty from Google.
Plus, only trained professionals can help you analyze your best SEO strategies and implement them.
When you’re ready to help your website succeed, call us at 410.404.5559. We’ve been in the SEO business since 2005.