Anyone with a website will know why SEO is so important. Its main premise is to ensure better rankings on search engines and consequently allow your website to be discoverable and prioritised. SEO not only aids in business performance but also provides a positive user experience by minimising frustration when searching for and navigating your website. Below are the common SEO mistakes that should be addressed to give your site maximum impact.
Ranking For The Wrong Keyword
Keywords are used in search engines to locate a desired product or service and is fundamental in reaching potential customers. If your page is ranking for the wrong keywords, ie: keywords not relevant to your products, your target audience is not reached, and the users finding your site will dismiss it as irrelevant. This ultimately results in fewer click-throughs and less traffic to your site.
Optimisation for generic keywords is also problematic as you will be competing with companies all over the world using the same keywords. Using specific keywords, or better yet, long-tail keywords (two or three words together) may mean a lower search volume for your company but it will also mean less competition and therefore a higher ranking for click-throughs on search engines. With research showing that 95% of users choose not to go past the first page of their search results, getting a higher ranking is an essential strategy to aid your business growth in terms of online engagement.
Pages Load Too Slowly
No one likes to be kept waiting–especially in the digital world. Website Magazine suggests that 47% of visitors expect a website to load within two seconds and that 40% will leave if it hasn’t done so by the third second. It isn’t just a lack of patience that is highlighted here, but also the importance of maintaining a seamless user experience. Users like to remain in control of their actions and having to wait too long results in a feeling of not being able to navigate freely.
Of the many algorithms used by Google to rank websites, load time plays a key factor. You can influence your pages load time by having optimised images. Smaller images or smaller file size with compressed images loading faster than heavier data files. You can also enable browser caching which will make your site load faster for returning users, demonstrating you value your visitor’s time.
Not Writing Good Quality Content
Original content of more than 300 words is valued by Google and will result in a search query that leads to better ranking. The use of keywords will highlight the relevancy, but overuse will make the piece harder to read and can lead to Google interpreting your page as spam. Using synonyms creates a better user experience by ensuring readability. Synonyms are also recognised by search engines when establishing the relevancy of your page to words used in the search query.
Good quality content is informative and answers users questions. It generates more traffic to your site and helps establish your brand through user recognition and by dipicting you as an authority on the subject matter. It is not necessarily a marketing feature to sell your products or services, but it will enhance your reputation in the industry making you the go-to site for information.
Having useful content that is easy to read and well organised may lead to links from other websites (backlinks), giving your site credibility and a higher domain authority. This will also result in a higher ranking as search engines will represent you as being an expert in the subject.
Not Using A Call To Action
A Call to Action (CTA) is a button or line of text that gives your reader an action to respond to. This could exist in the form of a “buy now” link for a product or a “subscribe” button to stay in touch or “call us” action to get a quote. Having CTAs allows users to become customers by directing them to take action. It makes clear the purpose of the page, keeps the customer from leaving your website, and improves your click-through rate.
CTAs can be designed so that they are eye-catching without detracting attention from the main content of the page. Using images to replace certain words can be very powerful as the human-eye is naturally drawn to visual cues. This idea can be implemented through the use of colour, imagery, and sizes of CTA buttons or links. Wording on CTA links and buttons is also important. CTAs such as “Read More” or “Free Quote” will still entice a click-through from users who are not quite ready to commit to a purchase or subscription. Use of phrases such as “try, discover, free, or cancel anytime” will alleviate commitment anxiety and encourage a greater number of responses.
Having too many CTAs on one page can, however, be confusing and distracting, not to mention take up a lot of space which could be used to inform and engage the reader. Having one or two CTAs which are easily located is a suitable amount for most pages. And remember, most online searches are conducted on mobile devices. Too many buttons, or buttons poorly located will make page loading slow, and the content difficult to navigate.
These mistakes can be easily addressed to offer a better user experience, and consequently a better impression of your company. At the same time, your ranking on search engines should be improved, resulting in more traffic to your website and hopefully the growth of your business.
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