Google rewards websites that provide good experiences to their users. When Google rolls out a new algorithm update the purpose is to provide a better experience to their users. Below I’ve highlighted five critical mistakes that I’ve seen businesses make when it comes to their website and getting ranked in Google.
Outdated Website Design
Your website design must stay up to date with best practices. Google likes fast and secure websites. There are several ways to accomplish building a website. In early years it was quite common to write entire websites in HTML and use simple inline coding to style each page. Today we commonly use separate CSS files that hold design information. Programming languages are updated regularly for functionality, speed and security. To stay relevant in Google you must keep up to date as trends change.
Using Stock Content
Many website designers and companies tend to focus on particular industries. Law, Real Estate, Doctors, Dentists, etc… These designers tend to expedite their clients websites by simply regurgitating content, they use the same copy and the same stock photos over and over again. A lot of times they just change the logo with yours and BOOM project complete! As I’ve mentioned time and time again, duplicate content is bad. If you contract with a company that offers to include content for your website, find out if it is unique content and not regurgitated content.
As we all should know mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in 2015. Google will now penalize your website for not being mobile friendly. This means if someone does a quick search for a local restaurant while they’re driving or needs an emergency plumber while they’re not on their desktop computer then your website will not rank in their search results. It’s extremely important that your website is optimized for mobile searches.
No Initial Keyword Research
We get a lot of clients that say “Hey, once you’re done building our new website maybe we should talk about SEO.” The fact of the matter is that SEO should drive the website design, not the other way around. Proper keyword research should be done at the beginning of a website design project to determine the type of content that is needed. You need to look for a website designer that encompasses a complete understanding of search optimization and web design. If not bring in an SEO consultant it will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Google likes fast. When a designer builds a website with images that are not properly optimized it will cause your website speed to drastically slow down. Many designers use images that are sized at a much higher resolution than is actually needed for the website, make sure your website designer has an understanding of image optimization to avoid image loading problems.
Google sets expectations and then continually modifies their expectations of how a healthy website should perform.
To some people these might be “no-brainers”, but it’s an important reminder that the whole point in having a website for your business is to reach your audience, explain your business, and generate more business. Simply just having a webpage isn’t going to help your business in this day and age.
About The Author: Kevin Watts
Kevin Watts is the founder of Raincross, a premier web design, development and digital marketing agency headquartered in Riverside, CA.
Kevin got his start in online marketing and website design by working for some of the most prominent names in online retail. He's most recognized for helping to start e-commerce retailer Organize.com in 1998, and spent 12 years running the company's e-commerce and online marketing operations. He has been recognized and has received several online retail, marketing and merchandising awards throughout his career.
Kevin grew up in Riverside, CA and graduated from the University of Wyoming. In his spare time, Kevin is an avid fly-fisherman, college football fan, and enjoys spending time with his son Matthew, daughter Kate and wife Lindsey.
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