Optimising your website requires a thorough investigation of how users search, access, and navigate your digital marketing materials. When your team sets up and analyses your website, you are often looking with administrator access or focusing on a specific set of pages. Total website optimisation requires stepping outside of your role and navigating your website like a potential customer.
When you review your website from each user’s perspective, you may realise that there are holes, errors, and other complications that negatively affect overall user experience. These problems are common no matter what industry you are in or what process you took to set up your website. Common optimisation problems often require quick fixes or adjustments from a developer or a website administrator. Address these problems now to optimise your website and put your pages in front of the right online users.
Is your website guilty of the following optimisation errors?
Link building is an important SEO strategy throughout your landing pages and other website content. If you are not including internal and external links throughout every blog post or landing page, you are missing out on key opportunities to develop a relationship with other websites or encourage users to continue reading your page.
Broken links are not useful to anyone. If Google recognises too many broken links on a blog post or page, it will decrease the page’s rank and make it harder for users to find the page. Test out all of the links on your landing pages and especially older blog posts. Broken links may be eliminated or redirected to a healthier website that is more useful to website visitors.
Duplicating content from other webpages is an obvious red flag, but did you know that your team may have unintentionally created two of the same web page for your website?
Even if members of your team created original content for each of your pages, your website may still be guilty of duplicate content. Pages with almost identical URLs will both be recognised by Google. Google will not be able to rank one of these pages over the other, so both pages will be downgraded.
This is such a common problem that experts believe up to 29% of the Internet is actually duplicate content. Duplicate content may be caused by:
- Secure and non-secure sites (http:// vs. https://)
- Other types of URL issues (URLs with “www” vs. URLS without “www”)
- Duplicate product descriptions on web pages with little content
These issues can usually be solved by tweaking content or inserting tags to let Google know which page administrators want users to read. If you have added the appropriate tags, but are still facing issues with duplicate content, you may have to go back and fix the tags. Multiple canonical URLs or broken canonical links will also affect overall site health.
Quick tip: Duplicate content doesn’t just apply to body content. Duplicate title tags and h1 headings will also be flagged as an error or warning. Pay close attention to how you use headings throughout your pages.
Poor Page Security
How secure is your website from a cyberattack?
Website visitors want to know that they are entering a safe website; if their browser warns them that a webpage is not safe, they are less likely to click further. Security is especially important to ecommerce shoppers; only 3% of shoppers would give their credit card information on a website that didn’t display SSL credentials.
SSL credentials (the “s” in https://) are extremely important to enhancing user experience. If a page is not secure, it won’t rank as high. Secure all of your pages, but start with pages that require a password or ask for personal information. Remember to direct identical pages with a http:// URL back to the secured counterpart. Securing all of your older pages without proper care will create overwhelming duplicate content issues.
Pages With Too Little Content
Not all website pages have to include a novel, but pages with too little content will drag your entire website down. This fix will take more time, but can help Google recognise your page as a useful resource with more information for online users.
If you have a lot of blog posts or pages with less than 1,000 words, use the following tips to get word count up:
- Summarise the post: Start off your post with a short description that answers questions website visitors are searching for when they come to your website. This description may be similar to the meta description.
- Add updates: Pages from two or three years ago lose their value as new statistics or updates change the world of marketing. If your current archive of blog posts has lost its relevance, revamp them with updated statistics. This update could be a section before the main content.
- Condense blog posts: Five blog posts with 300 words are not as effective as one blog post with 1,500 words. If you have posts for recipes, for example, condense these posts into a larger blog post or ebook.
- Add Testimonials: Need to add some content to a landing page? Testimonials are a classic staple throughout different types of landing pages that help visitors see the value of your company. Visitors will see themselves in the users who wrote the testimonials. This is a great way to boost word counts without having to write any of the content yourself.
Images that are too big will slow down loading times and may take up too much space on mobile or tablet devices. In order to make these images more friendly to Google, your team can compress all of your troublesome images and decrease the file size. This is a quick fix, but can take up a lot of time if you did not considered image size while building and updating your original website.
Image size should not be the only consideration when you are looking to optimise images on your site. The following image-related errors could also contribute to poor site health:
- Images are broken
- Images do not contain alt attributes
- Current alt attributes do not contain targeted keywords
- Thumbnails are not optimised
- Images are not the appropriate file type (PNG, JPEG, GIF, etc.)
If your page doesn’t have a sitemap, you are missing out on an opportunity for Google to navigate your website and identify each individual page. A sitemap organises all of your pages and provides more information about what users will find on each page. Sitemaps also optimise your website by including a longer list of internal links in a more natural way. If your sitemap has broken links or is too large, however, Google will be less likely to identify your page as useful.
Create a sitemap if you haven’t already and integrate it into your page. Remember to include keywords to show users what to expect on each page. Continue to test and analyse the navigation of your sitemap and fix any broken links. Use Google Analytics and related data to organise the pages in a way that makes sense to the customer journey.
Lack of Promotional Efforts
Even if your website is technically sound and all of your content is optimised for visitors to see while they are using search engines, a low visitor count will hurt your rankings. Promote your website and encourage leads, customers, and supporters to share your pages. If your team is not making an effort to promote your website and boost visitors, you will not see results or a boost in rankings.
This doesn’t have to include advertisements or sponsoring your content. You can create promotional content simply by writing blog posts. Create a content marketing strategy that creates and distributes content on your website and throughout your social media channels. The more relevant content you have on your website, the more appealing your website will be to users who are searching today and tomorrow.
Optimise Your Pages With Digital Squad
Catch and fix all of these errors with a top Auckland search engine optimisation agency. The team at Digital Squad can take an unhealthy website and optimise each page to increase your position on search engine results. Search engine optimisation boosts not only the number of visitors, but it also boosts the number of high-quality visitors who are more likely to become a lead or a customer.
Optimisation errors can be as small as the headings on your page or a broken link on your sitemap. We catch all of these errors by conducting a thorough site audit and develop an action plan for your web pages. Once the website is up to optimal health, we create a plan for sustainably producing optimised content and maintaining a high ranking for relevant keywords. Our team has spent thousands of hours researching the Google algorithm; we have more secrets up our sleeve for optimising a website and making it appealing to search engines. So whether you’re looking for a content marketing agency Auckland, an SEO agency Auckland or AdWords marketing services Auckland, drop us a line and we’d love to chat. We’ll even buy the coffee!
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.