A lot of SEO companies will focus on really cool new technical stuff that they tell you will get you to the next level.
However I still come across sites that are missing some of the basic’s. A lot of this is down to lack of maintenance, Websites are a bit like children, they need lots of attention, check out my list and hopefully you will score 12/12.
- Having A Site Built With Old Technology
- Bad Grammar And Poor Writing
- Not Mobile Friendly
- Too Mobile Friendly / Desktop Unfriendly
- Your Social Media “Widget” Is Showing Tweets From Last Year Or Even Longer!
- The Copyright Date Is Not The Current Year
- The News Page With “Coming Soon” Or “Test Articles”
- Broken Links
- Using Grainy Images For Your Logo And Banner Images
- Using Images From The Dawn Of Time
- Having Tiny Buttons Which Have No Purpose
- Images That Don’t Relate To Your Actual Capabilities
HAVING A SITE BUILT WITH OLD TECHNOLOGY
Technology keeps marching on, over time browsers move to align with latest web technologies and devices. This means your once up-to-date website will not look so good on the latest display or device.
Google is all about delivering quality websites to it’s searchers so if your website is built on old code that doesn’t display or “render” properly there’s no doubt this will have an impact on your google ranking. Don’t bother even investing to Search Engine Optimise, you are wasting your cash, invest in upgrading your site ASAP. First impressions last! So get going.
Commit to working with a web developer, contact us and we can give you an idea of what you need your website to do and get your site updated.
BAD GRAMMAR AND POOR WRITING
If I see a spelling error on any of the main of a website I will email the company and let them know. Again, First impressions last! Bad grammar reflects on your business, your professionalism and your attention to detail.
It doesn’t start and end at bad grammar though. Your website should influence, encourage and persuade, this is achieved partially through the design, but mostly through the writing. It’s a real skill to write in a persuasive and informative way. When you get it wrong, it can have the opposite effect and lose you customers
A quick solution to this one would be to tackle the spelling and grammar internally. Find a good expert in your office. Get the website reviewed, then get it updated.
The more long term solution is to hire a copywriter or ensure your marketing department have the skills to write good copy
NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY
This is a big one, especially as this impacts your Google ranking. Mobile friendly is not a luxury, it’s a must. Even in Business to Business sales and marketing, the majority of website visits are performed on mobile devices.
If you’re website is not mobile friendly, difficult to read on a small screen, difficult to navigate and frustrating to interact with, you are losing customers.
And that’s if they even find you. Google ranks websites that are searched for on a mobile device differently to how they rank them on desktop. See for yourself. Do a search on desktop, then do it on your smartphone. The order of the results will be different. Some of this may be to do with your IP address and all sorts of other things, but mobile friendliness is a serious factor. If you’re website is not mobile friendly, you’re website ranking will be impacted negatively. Once again, search engine optimization efforts is futile if you don’t have a good mobile site.
The good news is that any website built using a good CMS, for example something like WordPress.com are mobile friendly from the get go but make sure to test your mobile website on a number of mobile devices.
TOO MOBILE FRIENDLY / DESKTOP UNFRIENDLY
Don’t go overboard on the mobile focus. A lot of people will research on a mobile device and go to purchase on a desktop.
A lot of companies are shifting to a mobile-first sales strategy but some research shows that the reality is that mobile conversion rates are low and most online sales occur elsewhere: on a desktop or laptop computer.
The key point here is to test your website on multiple devices and see how it performs. Also check that a customer can move between devices and still be recognized on your website.
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA “WIDGET” IS SHOWING TWEETS FROM LAST YEAR OR EVEN LONGER!
This is a big one. We all have high hopes when we start out on social media, but it takes a lot of work. If you’re not sure whether social media is going to work for you, or you’re worried about keeping it updates don’t put a ‘live widget’ on your website. This will let your website down, even if the rest of it is super slick.
Ditch the widget if you are not updating frequently.
THE COPYRIGHT DATE IS NOT THE CURRENT YEAR
This dates your website, its creation date and how up to date it is. This tells the website visitor when it was you last took your website seriously. This can leave some site visitors wondering if you’re even still in business if it been a few years. Do you want this question to cross your potential customers minds?
The very quick and simple solution would be to change the date. Or if your site looks great other than this get some code written so the site simply displays the current year on an ongoing basis.
THE NEWS PAGE WITH “COMING SOON” OR “TEST ARTICLES”
In combination with the outdated copyright date and the old social media posts, this makes it look like you went with the idea of having a news page but never really committed to making anything happen! Web developers will encourage you to have a news or blog section, this is because the ranking of your website will be influenced heavily by you posting news and new content on your website.
If don’t have plans or time to do get into content marketing, don’t bother with these sections.
If you have no content, create some. Commit to writing some a short piece of news every week to get yourself some momentum and some better google ranking. You may want to trim that back to once a month after a month or two but get something flowing.
This is where you get something called a page 404 redirect. Basically, a button or link on your site leads to a dead end. If someone has clicked on a button, link or navigation tab on your website and it’s gone to a dead end, you’re missing out on the opportunity to convince them.
You’re not delivering the information they are looking for, but even worse than that, you’re building expectations and letting them down. If you are paying for clicks (PPC) and people end up in dead ends , you are just wasting money.
Google picks up on broken links. Broken links are a sign of poor quality user experience, so Google will reduce your ranking.
Google’s tools can show you which links don’t work on your site or ifyou’ve got a CMS like WordPress you can usually pretty quickly identify and fix the problems.
USING GRAINY IMAGES FOR YOUR LOGO AND BANNER IMAGES
Your logo, and any images you put on your website should be of high quality, not stretched pulled or squashed and optimized to the right level. How you treat such important elements of your brand is an indicator to your customers how serious you are about your business.
If you had your logo designed by a graphic designer at some point they should have provided you with various file formats such as jpeg, png, gif, svg. Get your web developer tofix the logo and other images and update it on your site.
USING IMAGES FROM THE DAWN OF TIME
Smartphones can take pretty amazing pictures and people expect amazing visual experiences from your website. If you are still using stock images from the 80’s, 90’s or even the 00’s? This seriously dates your website. Customers want to feel that you are up-to-date not “stuck-in-your-ways!”
Update the images that need to reflect your business today and keep the images that show your heritage or achievements in the past. You can even use free stock images or splash a bit of cash on some iconic images.
HAVING TINY BUTTONS WHICH HAVE NO PURPOSE
What I’m talking about here are social sharing buttons. Have you tried pressing them with a touch screen, they don’t work when you press them! And I see a lot of these social sharing buttons are actually not connected to a social media account. Needless to say this doesn’t give your customer the greatest confidence.
If you’re not active on those social media accounts, ditch the buttons. They serve no purpose, so get rid of them.
IMAGES THAT DON’T RELATE TO YOUR ACTUAL CAPABILITIES
This is such a common problem, this often happens when you use a template or a generic business website.
Invest some time and money to get images that better represent your brand and business and consider a content management system like WordPress than will allow you to edit your website easily.