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Is your website guilty of these 5 SEO Sins?

Using SEO Best Practice on your website.

seo help needed

There’s nothing more frustrating than setting up a website and not seeing your hard work pay off. Sometimes it’s a case that Search Engines just aren’t ranking your pages highly enough, leading to fewer visits, meaning less conversions via your website. Whilst at 156Digital we offer expert SEO Services to help boost your page rankings we thought we’d give you some food for thought about why your website isn’t performing as well as you’d hope.

1. Your Website Isn’t Optimised For Mobile.

non mobile optimised example

If your website isn’t ranking too highly on Search Engines there is a strong possibility that it isn’t optimised for viewing on a mobile. Why is this important? It’s estimated that 80% of consumers search for information on their mobile phones and websites such as Amazon are recording growths of up to 87% in terms of visitor numbers coming from mobile devices. Add to that users are five times more likely to leave a page if it isn’t mobile friendly. It’s no surprise that Search Engines are now looking for sites to be mobile friendly. Indeed back in 2015 Google announced that:

“We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

If you have any doubt about whether your current webpage is optimised for mobile there are sites that will allow you to check. Pages like Google’s Mobile Test allow you to enter your website address and get a visual representation of what a user on a mobile device and will let you know of any problems.

If your website isn’t already optimised for mobile then you need to make it a priority. Fortunately, mobile sites are so advanced your are likely to lose little functionality and a fresh website design can do wonder for your visitor numbers!

2.Your page URLs Aren’t Optimised.

Here’s an example of a problem that we see all to often which is causing your page to slip down the Search Engine rankings. Let’s imagine that a search engine is doing the ranking for the search term ‘birthday cards.’ As part of this it looks at the address of the page and its www.example.com/p=098.php. The engine then goes to a website which has a page called www.otherexample.com/birthday-cards.php. All other things being equal, which is likely to rank higher? The answer of course is the one which contains the search terms in the url.

Whilst this isn’t a major ranking factor, it can be one of those small things that make the difference where you end up on the search rankings. It’s very much best practice and will assist in planning out your website. Don’t let others tell you otherwise, these little details will add up to a far better ranking.

Sometimes re-writing the urls can be due to errors in the setup of your content management system. When it comes to re-writing the urls for existing websites there are several technical considerations that need to be taken. At 156Digital we have the know-how that will ensure any url transitions are carried out smoothly.

3.Your Website Contains Content Re-Published From Elsewhere.

Republished content comes in various guises. From Press Releases which span several different websites to product descriptions being very similar as they have been lifted from the same supplier product listings. Google defines duplicate content as being:
‘Substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.’

Search Engines want to provide users with the best possible experience when it comes to finding them what they needed. In the eyes of search engines duplicate content can be indicative of a site which offers little of value to a user and will therefore rank it lowly in it’s search results. This can seem harsh when you are describing a product where it is very difficult to stand out from the crowd. You have two options here though, you can either put in the work to develop these pages into unique and engaging pages that really differentiate your offering from others or you can accept sitting in the doldrums of the results pages (and by the way, Search Engines will be less likely to visit your pages in future by taking the second option.)

It might seem like a lot of work to develop unique pages all the time, but it is a strategy that will pay off in the long haul. By writing your pages in a way that lets users know about the unique properties of your business or product you are far more likely to keep the search engines happy, resulting in a higher ranking, resulting in more users coming to your site.

4. Your Site Contains ‘Thin Content.’

thin content

Cast your mind back to the early days of Google. Can you remember entering a search term, seemingly finding a page that answered your question, but then being disappointed when the page didn’t actually give you what you were looking for?

Such sites were guilty of the crime of ‘Thin Content.’ This websites were setup with the intention of drawing you in and then bombarding you with advertising. Sometimes, websites can still be guilty of this today and can setup pages designed to pull people in searching for a keyword without really giving them anything of value. In many ways this is similar to duplicate content. When writing web pages we need to consider who our audience is and give them the ‘value’ that they are looking for. If we want to rank highly for ‘Birthday Cards’ we need to have a page with content relevant to Birthday Cards, but also understand that users searching for that probably want to buy them too. Truly great webpages will have content that will inspire a user to make a purchase.

5. Broken Links and Non-Existent Links.

So a user’s found your website and found a link to something they want, they click it, but it goes nowhere. Nightmare! Users don’t like this situation and neither do search engines. You need to ensure that if you link to something on your website that it actually goes through to a page. Likewise, if you remove something from your website that you remove any links that once pointed to it. By removing broken links you give a better indication of quality to users and search engines alike and are likely to rank more highly as a result.

What about non-existent links? Sometimes you will have something on your website that looks like it leads somewhere, but a user clicking it will remain in the same place, or be provided with something they didn’t ask for.

As an example, a client we worked with had images of products they were offering that when clicked took the user to a bigger picture of the product, rather than to the product page itself. Under our advice this was changed so that clicking the picture took the user through to the product page. The result? The company started selling a lot more of the product and saw their rankings on search engines improve dramatically. Sometimes it’s just the little things that make a big difference!

Need help with your SEO?

As you can see optimising your pages to ensure that they rank highly can be a very technical affair and can involve factors that you might not even think about. If you’d like to discover how we at 156Digital could help to get your pages ranking highly on search engines by using our expertise then you need to get in touch. We offer a FREE consultation for clients within a 30 mile radius of our offices in Sandbach, Cheshire.

So why not take the first steps in making your website the best it possibly can be and get in touch with us via our contact form. We promise it will be one of the best decisions you will make today!