Do you want to bring more traffic to your website, without paying for it? Then you better make sure your website is SEO friendly. To determine how SEO friendly it is, all you have to do is answer these four questions:

1. Can a search engine find your content?

No matter how great the content is on your site, if search engines cannot find or access it, you’re going to be S.O.L.

For a search engine to be able to find and rank your content on its search results page, it needs to be able to access it and read it. In SEO-speak this is called crawling your website. Having content that can be crawled is one of the most important factors that will determine whether your website has a solid SEO foundation or not.

If you’re not sure whether search engines are able to access your content, it’s probably time to talk to a developer (we have some who would be more than happy to help) as you made need to make some major changes to your site.

Bottom line – search engines need to be able to “see” your website if you are going to rank.

2. Will a search engine be able to rank your content?

It’s important that you tell search engines what pages on your site are important. Search engines are smart enough to read your site, but they’re not smart enough to read between the lines.

If a search engine is able to crawl your website it is going to assume the pages it comes across, again and again, are the most important. The more it sees a page, the higher it will move it up the priority ladder.

So, how do you structure your website in a way a search engine will be able to read it?

Make it stupidly easy to get to the critical pages on your site. Link to them from your navigation. link to them in the footer. Link to them from other pages. Link to them. Got it?

Put another way, make sure you don’t bury the most important pages in the depths of your website.

3. Will a search engine know what your content is about?

For people to find your content, you need to make sure it includes the terms people are searching for. Now, this doesn’t mean you should cram a ton of topic-specific keywords into your content.

Whatever you do, don’t do that.

Search engines aren’t interested in how many times you use a keyword or a similar word or phrase. They want to know if you’re answering a question and providing information that people are looking for.

How can you tell?

By checking to see if you’re using phrases and terms real people use. One simple way to check is by typing keywords or phrases into Google’s  (or another search engine’s) search bar and seeing what the search volume is. For example:Image of google search bar for a blog titled, "How to Determine if You have an SEO Friendly Website."

You can also look at what other ways people are searching for similar topics by looking at the related searches at the bottom of the search engine results page. So in our case, that would look like:

There is a ton of information out there about keyword research and strategy, but one basic rule of thumb is that you should only target one primary keyword per page.

You may use similar terms and phrases when writing about that primary keyword, but you should focus on that one topic. If you keep one keyword in mind as you create your page content, it will help you focus your writing and make it easier for search engines to read. If your site is on WordPress, we suggest using YOAST’s SEO plugin to help you out.

4. Will the search engine know that your content is trustworthy?

When another site links to yours, it shows Google and other search engines that your content can be trusted.

Think of this link similar to an online review. Just like you look at a review before deciding on whether to eat at a restaurant, a search engine will look at your site’s backlinks to decide how to rank it.

However, it’s worth noting that not all backlinks are treated equally.

Like too many negative reviews, poor quality links will hurt you. It’s much better to earn them over time or even asking for them than buy them.

Yes, it may be tempting to buy links in order to boost your site’s credibility, it most likely will have the opposite effect.

So what were your answers?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you’re off to a good start. You can find more in-depth information on each of these topics here.

If you answered something like “I am not sure”, “what?”, or “no” that’s ok too. We can help. All you have to do is pick up the phone or drop us a line and we’ll help you get an SEO friendly website in no time!

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Dave Linabury

Director of Strategy

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