Search engine optimization (SEO) is tedious and isn’t for the faint of heart. Trends are constantly evolving and there are simply no rules set in stone for you to follow and get comfortable with. The ultimate goal for search engines is to provide internet users with the most relevant and helpful information for their search or query. However, there are many factors that go into how high or low a website ranks in search results other than the topic relevance. If your website ranking isn’t as high as it should be or can be, it’s time to check these five things that could be hurting your SEO.
First, what is SEO and why is it important to business owners?
Simply put by Moz, search engine optimization, commonly referred to as “SEO”, is “the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as ”organic”) search engine results.”
As a business owner, organic search results generally help you appear more credible and often receive higher click rates. The better your SEO is, the higher you appear in search results; the more clicks and website traffic you get; and, ultimately, the more traction and sales your business will get.
Here are 5 things that could be hurting your search engine rankings.
- Slow Page Speed
For several years now, page speed has remained high on the list of SEO ranking factors. In other words, page speed is crucial if you want to consistently rank high on Google searches and, ultimately, turn visitors into customers. Reducing file sizes of your website’s media, such as images or graphics, is often the first and most impactful way to increase your page speed, which can simultaneously improve your bounce rate and search rank.
Want to test your page load speed? Use this simple mobile testing tool to check how fast (or slow) your website loads for mobile users. According to Google’s new PageSpeed industry benchmarks, if your page speed is taking longer than seven seconds to load, your bounce rate will likely increase to 113%—yikes. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to keep your bounce rate between 40% and 55%.
If you just checked your load speed and it could use some speeding up, get in touch with our team to find out how we can build a site for you with higher load speeds.
- Broken links or media files
Have you ever visited a website to find more information about a certain topic or to answer a question, you click on a link and it takes you to a 404 error page instead? Yeah, us too, and it’s certainly not ideal!
When a visitor tries to explore your website, but links aren’t working and it’s preventing them from getting to know more about your service, the less time they will want to spend on your website for giving them a bad user experience. Not only does this reflect poorly on your business for not regularly updating your website, but it’s bad for your SEO! The less time visitors spend on your website because they can’t navigate it, the more Google and other search engines will assume that your website isn’t providing the content that visitors are looking for; thus, the lower you’ll appear in search results.
- Poor user experience
Have you noticed a recurring theme in this post yet? Each of these topics seemingly always relates back to user experience. The worst thing you can do for your website and your search rankings is to provide visitors with poor user experience. While this can include a range of things, the other four items on this list are among the most impactful factors for user experience. To help improve your user experience, you’ll want to stay on top of these tasks: improve your page load speed, ensure all your links are working properly, don’t duplicate content across multiple pages, and make sure your site is mobile friendly.
- Too much duplicate content
According to Google’s own SEO guidelines, actions such as intentionally duplicating certain sections or portions of your site’s content to use on more than one page of your website can ultimately result in poor user experience. When Google “crawls” your site during a search, it’s goal is to show as much distinct and relevant content to the user as possible.
If a visitor clicks through to your site but they aren’t getting the optimal content they were looking for, they will likely click that trusty “back” button. When that happens in most cases when people visit your site, your bounce rate will continue to increase and reflect negatively on your SEO.
- Your website is not mobile-friendly
Nearly 60% of Google searches are made from mobile devices. One of the biggest factors that could be hurting your SEO is not having a mobile-responsive website. So, to say responsive design is absolutely necessary for your website is an understatement.
Did you know that starting in July 2019, Google rolled out a massive search engine update that enables mobile-first indexing on all websites? This means that with each search, Google will analyze and rank your website based on its mobile version, as opposed to its desktop version. Although this doesn’t mean that you will not show up in search results if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will still certainly reflect negatively on your overall search rankings.
How is your website ranking in search results? We’re here to help make sure you’re getting the most out of your website. Each website built by doneWebs is fully optimized for SEO to ensure it’s showing up for your target audience. Do you need a search optimized website to help boost your online presence? Visit us at donewebs.com to get started today!