Give a bad Web site to a good SEO, and you have a match made in heaven.
A good SEO knows what tools to use when fixing a site. I don’t mean these kinds of tools (i.e., Firefox plugins, Greasemonkey scripts, etc.) in the literal sense, I mean figurative tools. Like this:
Do I need to take a hammer and chainsaw to this site, or is a paintbrush more appropriate?
One of the hot topics last week in SEO circles was an article at SEOpranos about hiring an SEO expert/company. It’s a very good article, as evidenced by the amount of discussion it started both on SEOpranos and on Sphinn.
“Tear apart this web site”
One of the suggested questions to ask is actually a statement/test: “Tear apart this website.” When I interviewed for my current job, I was asked that same question, albeit in less violent words. When I did the SEO Site Clinic at SMX West in February, same premise: Quick. You’ve got a couple minutes. What’s wrong with this site? It’s a great question, and a great challenge.
Whether in a job interview, a client interview, or a Site Clinic, it’s easy to do when you’re dealing with a Bad Web Site. But what about when you start with a Good Web Site?
One of my current clients is a fairly large retailer who’s been with us since last summer. We began the engagement with our site audit product. This client’s site scored off-the-charts. It was one of the best sites I’ve had the pleasure of analyzing. In fact, when we flew to their office to deliver the audit results, I began by apologizing because the scores were so good, I feared they might think the audit was a waste of money. (They didn’t. Whew.)
This site didn’t need to be torn apart. It just needed some massaging. We identified a couple Big Picture issues, and a couple incredibly detailed, on-page tweaks. We provided some additional analysis reports, all of which also involved high marks for the client’s site. At the risk of tooting our own horn, I’ll cut to the chase: They fixed what needed fixing, natural search traffic went up 35% and sales went up 23%.
My point is this: Sometimes a paintbrush makes a better SEO tool than a hammer. Being able to tear apart a site is good, but knowing if a site needs tearing apart in the first place is even better.
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