The Lack of Basic SEO Components in Many Small Business Web sites

I am constantly surprised by the general lack of search engine optimization that I see on many small and even medium sized business Web sites. The best example is when I find a business Web site with “Home” or “Untitled” in the title bar of their page.

I could easily give you the addresses of company Web sites as examples, but I feel that would be unprofessional. So, to try and explain it better, I did a few searches on Google using the term “Home” and “Untitled” and the results were interesting.

“Home” resulted in 3.7 billion Web sites (this is a little misleading though because many optimized websites will still use the word “Home” in their main page along with their targeted keywords). The term “Untitled” returned approximately 94.2 million websites.

If you jump back just a few pages in the “Untitled” Google results to overlook the sites that are intentionally using the term “Untitled” you will begin to see what I mean. Side note: You will also see many of the results are .pdf documents that ironically, even fewer people realize .pdf files can be optimized.

You may be asking “So what?” or “Why?”. The answers are pretty simple; many people will still use programs such as FrontPage which automatically inputs these terms into the title bar (Sadly, I have even found Web design companies with these problems on their sites).

Since the individual is not an expert or experienced in Web design and SEO they don’t realize the importance of keyword research and keyword insertion in the title bar. Title bars are an important part of the search engine optimization recipe that many business owners miss. They may have their spouse, child, or family friend who knows how to use a program like FrontPage or Dreamweaver design their Web site. This is a common mistake that has been reduced over time, but is still obviously present.

Your company Web site can be one of your best sales tools and must also be considered a storefront. Some businesses have many more visitors to their Web site than their actual place of business. A well designed and professional looking Web site can mean the difference between procuring the sale and losing the business to your competitor. I would advise any business owner that is serious about their business to avoid trying to save a few bucks by designing the site themselves or having a friend/family member create the site. This decision could cost them significantly more in the long run. Many organizations that don’t understand this obvious business decision will likely be left in the dust by their competitors in the near future.

A strong marketing plan for your company should have more than a Web site included, it should have a Web strategy. Effective Web design is a business cost that is worth its weight in gold.