The top 10 under the hood mistakes you’re making – that may not appear to be a problem on the surface.
Having a website in 2021 is a necessity for every business. But only having a website is just half the battle. While many consumers choose Social Media, Directory Listings (like Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, FindOpen, etc), or No-Click Searches to get the information they need, it is imperative you provide the opportunity to showcase your brand, your contact information, and your online identity through a website. Your organic visibility depends on numerous factors and considerations to ultimately determine what page you appear on. Google is the first Search Engine that comes to mind, but other SE’s like Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Yahoo have their own ranking algorithms. Many of these ranking factors are at the forefront of website design and maintenance. However, there are significant website details that often go overlooked entirely.
Reach Digital has summarized a few of these most ignored details below. These mistakes often go undetected without a thorough website audit and analysis but can be relatively easy to update with the right tools and information. This audit is something you can book from us at no charge.
1. Your Website is Not Fully Indexable
If Google cannot find certain pages on your website, how is anyone else going to? Indexing ensures Search Engines like Google are able to find each unique page of your website. This allows people to be able to find your website when using their preferred engine. While driving all of your traffic to the Homepage might seem like an okay idea on the service, not allowing people to land on specific pages of your website increases the likelihood they will never know you offer that product or service. Check your XML Sitemap, run diagnostic checks through Search Console, and make sure each page can be Crawled & Indexed by Google! If it’s not indexed, it cannot show up in search results! If you still don’t know what this means contact us – we can help you!
2. Your Website is Improperly Indexed
Do you have a “Thank-You” page on your website? What about URLs for decorative images? If Google can find these pages, then Google can offer them as landing page results in SERPs. If a person looking for a particular service instead ends up on a File Upload page, not only is that a confusing User Experience but it will impact your Bounce Rate and other key behavioural metrics! Make sure the only pages that people can find Organically are the pages you want to be found for!
3. Local SEO Tactics Are Not Present
Your approach to eCommerce vs driving in-store traffic has to be different. If you have 1 physical location vs multiple locations across multiple cities, how you optimize your website cannot be the same. Local SEO tactics are vastly different from standard SEO best practices. Local SEO tactics make sure that people close to your brick & mortar location can find your services. Therefore you are not spending time and effort catering to someone half a world away! If you don’t use Local SEO tactics, you run the risk of competing against other businesses that may not be anywhere near you, and are not competing for your customers!
4. You Are Ignoring Behavioural Metrics
- Session Duration
- Pages per Session
- Landing Page
- Bounce Rate
- Exit Page
If these terms are not part of your regular vocabulary, you are not analyzing your website data from the perspective of what people are doing once they arrive on your website. Getting someone to the website is the easy part. Keeping them there, and giving them a reason to come back is what makes you stand out from your competition. Paying close attention to these metrics can tell you what is working, and what isn’t.
5. You Are Not Utilizing Google Analytics or Tag Manager
If you are not tracking how people are getting to the website, you are likely not tracking what people are doing on the site either. If that is the case, there is a lot of incredibly powerful data going unused that is readily available to you with a few clicks. Google Analytics can show you how people are finding you, who they are, and what they are doing on the website. Tag Manager can track specific activities and interactions so you can tangibly see what parts of your website are being utilized the most. This only scratches the surface of what Google Analytics can offer you in terms of learning who is visiting your website and making sure they are potential customers.
6. You Are (Or Not!) Optimized For Conversion
There is a huge difference between how you want your site to be found, and what you want people to do once they arrive. If your line of business is focused on getting people to the website to call a phone number, fill in a form, or add an item to their cart without much browsing, is your site built for that? Are you allowing for simplistic and fast conversion? Alternatively, is your website full of rich content like Blogs or Videos to encourage people to stay awhile and come back for the latest news?
7. Your Content is Stale
Having strong, frequently updated content is critical. You want people to visit your website to complete a purchase or action. But you also want to give them a reason to come back. Even if they are not ready to buy today, they need a reason to remember you tomorrow. Making frequent updates not only gives people new reasons to explore your website, but it signals to search engines like Google that you regularly maintain and update your site in general. This allows you to be found for a wider variety of short & long-tail keywords and gives people more ways to find you!
8. Core Updates & Plugin Updates are Pending
If you are using a WordPress or Shopify website, then you need to be managing all your updates. Of course, you cannot simply click the “Update” button as this can result in significant errors or issues with your website. For as tempting as bulk updates maybe, it’s imperative you create a backup of the site, ensure each 3rd-party Plugin is compatible, and then update one at a time. Outdated Core Updates or Plugins can result in a slower performing, inferior website experience. Just like updates to Apps on your phone, these can occur at any time with both minor bug fixes or significant changes each time.
9. Your Plugins Are Conflicting or Outdated
While it is crucial to maintain each individual component of your WordPress website, keep in mind that each Plugin adds more bulk to your website which can impact speed and performance. Most Plugins are created by 3rd-Party developers in which it is up to them to update and maintain their products. If your version of WordPress is too far ahead (or behind) for a Plugin, it can cause serious issues. Not all Plugins are compatible with your Theme or WordPress version in general. Plus many Plugins might do similar (or the same) features as one another. This creates conflicts in addition to bulk on your website. Furthermore, many Plugins may have been relevant or even essential 3 or 4 years ago, but are now rendered almost obsolete by today’s standards.
10. Your Host and/or Server Are Not Powerful
Today, there are so many options for choosing your Domain, Host, and Server. Many providers even offer you a free or discounted website when you sign up for their services. The reality is most of these packaged deals focus on ease of use rather than performance. For many people, this is a fair and suitable trade-off. However, if your competitor has a faster, better-performing website than you do… your customers will notice the difference! You don’t need to have your Domain and Host in the same place. You can mix and match service tiers and find the solution that’s right for you or rely on your trusted agency to handle those details so you can focus on the things that matter most to your business.
Have a question about any of these points? Of course, you do! The world of SEO and websites can be extremely difficult to follow and is constantly changing. That’s why Reach Digital has a Team of SEO, Website, and Digital Marketing Specialists to stay aware of all these details so we can educate, inform, and share our knowledge with our clients. When you have questions, we have answers. Connect with us today to learn more!