Monday, March 03, 2008

What is the Third SEO Question?

In previous posts I covered what the first and second questions should be when kicking off a full search engine optimization project including an SEO technical audit.

First Question - What would your dream page 1 of results look like? (tip: don't promise to produce those results, yet)
Second Question - What do you want a searcher to do when they visit your site. (is it lead generation, brand awareness, page views, buy). Good Search Engine Marketing companies 'get' it that they need to understand their client's online strategy and goals.

The Third Question should be much more technical in nature because at this point you have pulled information from the marketing people about their messaging, keywords, pain points, and goals. Ask the technical team to join you, or at least stop reading their emails. Then ask them what is the underlying technology that the website is produced with. You will get answers about their content management system and hopefully the development technology. Dive deeper and ask about the file/directory architecture, the technology used to display the site (ie Flash, Java, Hidden Divs, etc), and are they in the middle of a redesign. [If they are in the middle of a redesign then the SEO audit becomes a lot more complex. More on this in a future blog.]

I forgot something, remember to ask them if they have done any SEO in the past and do they have in-house expertise. This way you know whether to look for spam tactics when doing your audit, an idea of whether you have to clean up after someone else's mess, and it helps you understand how much education may be required if the engineers are skeptical of the whole SEO-thing.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 11:04 AM     Permanent Link