As a small business owner, you understand everything about running a successful business. One key element is getting high-quality leads who require your services and attracting new clients. Your website should be providing you with a steady source of leads for your business. If your website is under-performing, there are steps that can be taken with standard Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices.

Not sure if your website needs to be optimized? Here are 7 signs you should invest in SEO.

1.      Your website isn’t showing up on search engines

This might seem obvious, but some people think as long as they have a website, they are set. Your content should be easily found by search engines and ultimately your customers. I don’t recommend hiring an SEO firm that ‘guarantees’ a page 1 ranking, but your website should be found when your keywords are being used. Why have a website if no one can find it?

2.      Your website is slow

Make sure your web pages and images on your site are optimized for loading speed. The average attention span is only 8 seconds, so you don’t have a lot of time to keep a reader waiting.

If you want to check your website, use this page load tester.

if your website is slow it could affect your ranking

Is your website slow? It could affect your website traffic and search engine results.

3.     You hired a ‘cheap’ SEO firm

Ever heard the phrase ‘too good to be true’? If you find a company who offers to do your SEO for a cheap price and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are certain things that you need to invest money in, and a discount SEO company puts your website (and potential clients coming in) at risk.

Now, I’m not saying you need to pay a crazy amount of money for SEO services, but if it seems way to good for the price… it just might be.

4.      You think your content is original

Not sure if your website content is authentic? There are some online website checkers you can use. Not only can plagiarized content get you in trouble with Google, but if your website content isn’t optimized properly with keywords (or stuffed with keywords, which is just as bad), your website will take a hit on searches. You might see an initial spike in traffic, but your website will get penalized eventually.

Also, make sure that you are allowed to be using all your website images. There are great, free sites you can use for professional photos.

5.      Your website is hard to navigate

Potential customers need to be able to find what they are looking for, and find it quickly. If someone gets ‘lost’ on your website and can’t find the information they need, they will move onto your competitors. Internal website linking is important. Having an organized and well laid out site, and menu structure is also a big part of an overall SEO strategy.

Once you add a page or post to your website, make sure to add some internal linking so that your site flows well, and also make sure that all important pages are easy to access.

6.      You haven’t updated your website content… ever

In addition to making sure your content is original, you need to constantly be updating your website with fresh content and ensure all information on your site is up-to-date. Adding some interesting blog updates to educate your customer is a great addition, and well-written blogs incorporating your keywords helps with online searches.

Adding some interesting blog updates to educate your customer is a great addition, and well-written blogs incorporating your keywords help with online searches.

Not sure what to write about? Ask your customers on social media, send out a quick survey, or ask people at local networking events what struggles they are having. Based on this, write a post that helps solve those problems!

7.      Your website doesn’t look professional

Appearances do matter and this especially the case with your website. This is (oftentimes) the first point of contact your potential clients have with you, don’t you want to make a great first impression? Having a professional logo, high-impact images, and powerful videos on your website all make a difference.

A clean, professional web design will catch someone’s eye, but if your content is hard to read and confusing, no one will stay on your site long enough to find your contact information.

The ultimate goal of having a website is to bring in high-quality, targeted leads that require services that your business offers. In order for this to happen, you need to have proper SEO for your website. Google is constantly coming out with changes, and staying on top of SEO best practices takes a lot of time. Make sure to invest in a reputable company that will rank your website high on the search engines.

Remember, there is no magic formula for Search Engine Optimization, you simply need to write quality content on your website that makes sense for people wanting to find you. If you are writing enough content to educate customers and you follow these general rules of practice, you should rank fine with the search engines.