We talk a lot about good SEO practice, and how to make your website as search engine friendly as possible. A good search engine ranking can be so important for your businesses, and it places your website directly in front of people who are searching for the services you offer.
But for every business that’s made it to the first page of Google, there are hundreds of businesses that haven’t. These businesses have websites that are sitting anywhere from page 2 to page 102, so it’s unlikely they’ll ever get much business out of their website.
While there are countless factors that determine your rankings in the search engine results, there are a few things that could be happening on your website that are preventing you from getting a better ranking.
Here are a few of the most common SEO mistakes, which might explain why no one can find your website!
If your website is suffering from duplicate content, it means you have text on your site that’s nearly identical to text that on someone else’s site. Google has been coming down hard on people who just copy their content from someone else’s site, and for good reason too. After all, if you want to be number on one Google, doesn’t it make sense to just copy whatever the number one website is doing?
Best practise is to always write unique content for your website. In some industries that can be hard, but search engines are intelligent enough to know whether you’ve copied something directly from someone else. The way they see it, they already have that same content stored in their index, so don’t have a reason to index your website as well, especially if it has nothing new to offer.
Keywords are vital for SEO. Search engines read your text and identify the keywords you’ve used. Then, when someone conducts a search using some of those keywords, you’re more likely to appear in the search results.
One way people try to increase their chances of being found is to stuff their content with keywords, so that it’s almost unreadable to visitors, but is full of as many keywords as they can fit.
Again, search engines are smart enough to know when you’re keyword stuffing. It’s a silly idea because it means your audience isn’t likely to even read your content, but it’s also a sign to search engines that you’re trying to cheat their algorithm, and they don’t take very kindly to that, meaning you could be penalised with an even lower ranking.
If you want to use keywords well, then make sure you mention them in your titles and headings, and a few times in your text. So long as your content reads naturally, you should be fine!
Not enough content
A common design trend these days is to make your website a visual experience. With the increasing use of mobile devices to view the internet, visitors often respond better to images and icons than to paragraphs of text. But the problem with this is that when you replace all of your written content with images, you give the search engines nothing to work with. There are no keywords for them to identify, and no text to provide viewers with a preview of your website.
So if you’re keen on turning your website into more of a visual experience, take some time to think about where you can include a little written content. It doesn’t have to be much – even a paragraph or two of well-written keyword-rich content will work wonders.
Social media is becoming more related to SEO every day. Search engines identify connections between your website and your business’ social profiles. They’re able to see how many likes and followers you have, how often you update and post to your profiles, and the level of interaction you have with your followers.
The better these statistics are, the more relevant they identify your website and business as being. That said, while a healthy social media presence is definitely going to help you, it’s not necessarily going to give you a higher ranking than your competitors that don’t have a healthy social media presence. There are so many factors that go into determining your ranking, and social media is just one of many.
Another factor Google has recently started placing more weight on is how quickly your website loads. If it takes 5-10 seconds for your site to appear on a user’s screen, you can be sure your search engine rankings are going to suffer.
Your website should load in less than 3 seconds. Up to 5 seconds is acceptable. Anything longer, and you should look to make some improvements.
There are a number of things that may be causing your website to load so slowly, but one of the more common reasons is your images aren’t optimised for the web. If your website is trying to load a bunch of images that are 4 megabytes each, it’s going to take an age to load, especially over a slow connection. Cut down the file-size of your images, and you’ll see a massive improvement.
Not mobile friendly
Early in 2015 Google introduced the mobilegeddon update to their algorithm, which meant only mobile-friendly websites would show up on Google searches conducted on a mobile phone.
Since mobile searches make up such a massive proportion of Google searches, this means you’re really missing out if your site isn’t mobile friendly. While many have ben quick to improve their websites, so many businesses haven’t, and now’s the time to strike! Getting a mobile friendly website doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, but it will leapfrog your website above your competitors, and you’ll see a healthy increase in traffic to your site.
These days it’s so important that your website is following healthy and ethical SEO practices. Trying to trick algorithms and failing to keep up with the times is only going to make your website’s rankings suffer.