Search Engine Optimization Tests

It's pretty easy these days to get a website, but is that enough? For the most part business people expect that their website will help solve problems and generate revenue. That being said, the most common expectation is that your internet audience should be able to find your site based upon some key words or key phrases entered in a search engine search field.

Depending on the type of business that expectation changes and the amount of effort to create that visibility varies. A business that operates in a single city such as Erie, Colorado or perhaps Boulder does not have to go through the same steps to make it visible as a business that operates in a Metro Area, Denver, Colorado for example or even a group of neighboring cities. If the business operates in two states this presents unique problems to solve in getting visibility. Supposing the business has customers in Cohasset, Massachusetts and Mountain View, California? That's a pretty vast area to cover effectively.

Here are a few simple tests that you can do to get a sense of whehter your site is findable. They don't require downloading any software, but of course do require access to the internet.

Search engine frequency index

Call it what you want as I don't have a better name for the test. Wouldn't it be nice if your business cards could be spontaneously upda ted every time pertinent information changed, but without having to reprint them? If the internet was a static medium then it would perform as such and search engines would not need to regularly index web sites. A site which has historically been static doesn't supply that moti vation.

If you have a site and frequently add new content which you want folks to be able to find on your site soon after it's been added, then it' s important that the spiders, the major search engines, visit and index your site regularly, perhaps even daily. To check when a site was l ast indexed by google, access www.google.com and in the input field enter:

cache:www.mysite.com

cache:http://www.mysite.com

The results will give you an idea of when and even if your site has been last spidered. This test should be minimally repeated weekly to v alidify the results. This will only report for the home page. To check a specific page, add that page to the url, such as:

cache:www.mysite.com/search_engine_optimization.php

Keyword placement

Keyword placement refers to the relative importance of your keyword phrases. For the most part you want them to come up on the first re sults page of google and other search engines. To check your placement use the keyword placement tool available off marketleap.com:

http://www.marketleap.com/verify/default.htm

If your keyword phrase places below the first three pages, then it won't show up in the output. In that case you'll need to go the long route which is to visit google or any of the other search engines and do your search, then page through the results.

Link-worthy

Search engines and those who manage them put a lot of weight into this. In theory the relative importance of a site is determined by not on ly the quality of the content, but also the relative link-worthiness of a site. If no one finds it important enough to link to, why should the search engines respond differently? To check how many other sites link to yours try entering the following in the google search box:

www.mysite.com -site:www.mysite.com

This will tell (or should tell) google to search for sites linking to your site, but exclude your site from the search.

Are your pages findable thru internet searches?

To get an idea if your pages are found enter the following in the Google search input field:

site:www.mysite.com

site:www.mysite.com -zzzzz