The Top 5 Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make With Regard to Websites
If you came to this article expecting super-advanced stuff you may be disappointed. I’m going to give you what the biggest mistakes are by the volume in which I see them when we chat with businesses.
Get a Website Built
The biggest mistake is not making your site crawlable or not having a domain at all. There’s a tonne of businesses who don’t actually have a website. Only yesterday, a company telephoned us requesting we do the SEO on their website. After further discussion, it became clear they did not have a website, but a page on a larger franchise website. SEO needs to be applied to a whole website, rather than a page. It involves improving the structure of the website, how pages interlink, how customers navigate through the website and how best to convert them when on any particular page. Yes, you can improve one page, but that is the same as mowing 1-square foot of your lawn and expecting the whole garden to look like the pitch at Wembley.
If you have a website or have it locked up where people can’t find it all that easily, that’s a big problem. So just click around on your website. Make sure that you can reach the pages on your site by clicking on regular links. But really just try to surf around and make sure you haven’t hidden the good content away somewhere where it’s really hard to find.
Think about the words people will use to find you
The next one is to include the right words on the page. Think about what the user is going to type, and include those words. So you don’t want to just say “Mount Everest elevation”. ” You want to say words like “how high is Mount Everest” because people are going to type “how high is Mount Everest?” (The answer is 8,849m or 29,029ft by the way)
And not just including the right words on the page. If you’re a restaurant, include the menu. Put it in plain text, not just a PDF or image. Or make sure that it is extractable into plain text somehow, so that Google can read the text. Put your business hours on the page. Make sure your full address is easily visible on every page – not just a “contact us” page. What will people search for? And what will they expect to see on the page?
Align the Website with Broader Marketing
The next thing is to think about is compelling content and marketing. If you first think about making something compelling, some reason why they really want to use your website, and then think about the broader area of marketing. That can include billboards. It can include paying for advertising and all that sort of stuff. But it can also include clever guerrilla marketing. It can include just reaching out to people in the community. I would try to think instead about “what can I do to market my website” to make it more well known within my community or more broadly, without only thinking about search engines? As an example, I like sport, so I sponsor the local rugby club and local children’s football team. Let people in your community know you exist, even if your market is not your local area.
Clear Titles & Descriptions
Another good point is to think about the title and description of your really important pages. Previously, I mentioned making sure you have the right words on the page. But you really should pay attention to your home page. What is the title there? If you bookmark it, are you going to be able to have users, later on, find exactly what it was? Or is it going to say “untitled” or “Welcome”? Or is it going to say something that people won’t even be able to find later? Likewise, your description can sometimes determine what shows up in your snippet, the two lines of text that Google displays in the results, and that determines whether people will be enticed into clicking on to your website. So you can run various tests, experiment with different copy for the meta description. It might not be worth doing it for every single page on your site, but it will definitely benefit your website if you do. I know that that is a lot of work. But for the very high-traffic sites, you want to not just create a great experience, but you want to make something that people actually click on when they see it in the search results. So something that lets them know you’re going to have the answer that they’re looking for or something that makes them understand this is a good resource.
Understand How Google Sees the Website
Although we said write content for the potential audience of the website, you also need to understand how Google sees the website. And that would actually be my last biggest mistake I see, not using webmaster resources. Google provides free webmaster tools, called “Search Console”. They provide a blog you could read, lots of webmaster videos, creating lots of useful information. There’s a tonne of information out there on the web. And there’s a tonne of people who are interested in SEO, are interested in Search, and are happy to talk about your website and give you feedback. So you could start on the Google “Search Console”. But basically, explore that space because it’s almost like an iceberg. There’s a lot of resources in their HTML documentation when you start digging through Google Webmaster. And that can really help improve your website.
So just to recap, make sure that your site is crawlable, which includes having a domain name or website in the first place. Include the right words on the page. Include the words that people are actually going to type. Think about compelling content and marketing, not just link building. Think about a title and description of your important pages. And finally, be aware, or investigate, the free resources that are out there on the web because they can really help you improve your site, which is going to make you more money and make your users happier.
If you are unhappy with how your website is performing or you need a new website, then please consider consulting Digital NRG on 0333 7000787