Q: Is it necessary to optimize every page of a website, or can we just select a few?
A: That depends. How many pages do you want the search engines to find?
While that may sound like a cheeky response, it bears some thought. In most cases, you can skip optimizing internal pages that don't offer a lot of value to your audience. These include your site map and terms of service page, among others.
Instead, stick to the pages that drive traffic, and are useful to your audience.
When you optimize your content, you accomplish two critical goals:
- You tell the search engines who you are and what you do.
- You tell your audience who you are and what you do.
Doing both requires a delicate balance. It is more art than science. And so, if a page offers useful content that you want to be seen and utilized by your target audience, it should be optimized. If it doesn't offer useful content, consider whether or not you need it in the first place.
The longer, and perhaps more nuanced answer is that on-page optimization is really just the foundation of what should be a larger SEO strategy – a strategy that includes link building, social media marketing and content generation.
While that may seem daunting, consider the alternative – not being found in the first place.