A website is one of the most important business assets a business owner can have. It is your cyber real estate – it is your online 24/7 store. And, today the last thing you want to do is encourage visitors to leave quickly! A website with too many ads, usability issues, and lacking or bad content will reflect poorly on the overall brand. The greatest content and SEO work in the world is wasted if it lives on a website that isn’t fully accessible or easy to use.
So what things matter when investing in website design and SEO? At the top of the list: quality content, relevance, and usability. All 3 are important to remember when creating good SEO. And even though you know your website will be crawled by the search engines for relevant content, always write for your human reader. Your content should sound natural and not written for an algorithm.
Below are 3 common mistakes that harm SEO efforts.
TOO MANY ADS
Website ads fall into two camps: obvious and hidden. Obvious ads are bad for obvious reasons. Hidden ads are ads that are deceptive in nature. They may contain affiliate links that are placed in the middle of content that are not designated as sponsored links. In addition to being annoying, they can slow down your site. Ads should not be prominent, but more like background noise, not the first thing people notice on the website. However; not all website advertising is bad. Google does understand that website owners want to make a profit off of their website. We may not know everything about Google’s search algorithm, but Google has given us enough hints over the years about what’s important.
Slow page load time is another SEO-killer. It should be easy for website visitors to navigate the website, no matter what device or browser they are using. The navigation should be built in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for, within a few clicks. Pop-Ups can be annoying. They pop up in front of website content or take up prominent space on the page, forcing users to scroll down to find the content they’re looking for as well as slowing load time. Google isn’t going to rank websites prominently if they take forever to load since those websites have what is considered, a bad user experience. Your goal should be to create a responsive website, meaning that it should respond well to whatever device it is being viewed on. If a site wants to rank prominently, it needs to be providing a good experience.
POORLY WRITTEN CONTENT
At its foundation, SEO is really about quality content that is structured properly. If your website content isn’t great, your visitors will click off right away increasing your analytics bounce rate. It won’t rank well for those all-important keywords if they are not in the correct place. Doing so will reward your site with a better search ranking for relevant keywords. Your goal should be to create original, quality content that encourages inbound links from the search engines, letting people know that this page offers something of value. Google wants to rank sites that fulfill the needs of searchers and provide a positive experience.
These aren’t the only website mistakes people make, but they are some of the most common and easily fixable. If you’re going to invest in it, hire someone who can give you the results you’re looking for. Good SEO requires time, effort, and knowledge of how it works.