28 Mar 5 Things Killing Your Website
I have spent the last few hours doing keyword research and competitor analysis for a new client who’s business serves residential customers looking for Home Automation and Integration. This involves many Google searches, exploring competitor websites in the same area, researching similar websites in other major markets, and focusing on keyword trends that are industry specific. This blog post is not about what goes into the research, but rather what I have learned today after looking at hundreds of webpages.
Several things became very apparent in the many, many websites I came across today and I am going to highlight the top things I found that will make you bounce rate skyrocket, and customers to hit the back button when they come to your website. Frankly, I can’t believe some of these companies were still in business after how horrid their websites were.
Outdated Content On The Homepage
This one should go without saying……..I came across more than one website today that had dated material right on the home page above the fold. One page, Sound Waves of New England, had a heading; Current Events. Guess What? The date was December 20th, 2014 and they were announcing a “new” product they now carried.
At this point you must know that it takes customers less than 5 seconds to decide weather they are staying on you site of getting out of dodge. In a competitive industry that is constantly updating like Home Automation, I think you may have a problem if that is how your homepage looks.
Lack Of Easy Contact Info
I have highlighted this before and let me say it again, it has to be easy for customers to call, click, or contact you on your website. If you have done your homework and actually have a website visitor and they want to take the next step and buy something or get a quote (called a conversion), then please make it easy to for them. I looked at a home theater company in Basking Ridge, NJ who did not have their phone number on any page and a button to send an email in only one location.
You should have your contact info at least in the top right of your website, if not in the footer as well. Remember, for most of you reading this your website is a lead generating tool, make sure it is doing it’s job. Every single page should have some way of contacting you and tell your potential customers your location or the area you serve.
Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly
This is a no brainier, if your website doesn’t work properly on a Tablet or Smartphone, you might as well call it a day. Over 60% of all internet searches are done from a mobile device today. Nobody wants to scroll left, right, up, or diagonal looking for you hours, directions, or email…..if you even have it listed.
In addition, if your site is not mobile ready by Google standards, you have no chance! You can check your sites prospects with this Google Tool. Mobile optimization is only getting more important and Bing and Google are focusing more of there customer experience around user interface and site speed.
Telling The World You Have A Free Website
There are countless reasons if you are a real business to have a legitimate website, but there is simply no excuse not to have your own domain that does not have Wix, Bigcartel, or Shopifiy in the address. How can you expect your customers to spend money with you if you are to cheap to pay for a simple, clean, working website? At Sound Solutions in Nevada, I found their phone number….right next to the ad asking if I was interested in website solutions by Godaddy.
Even if you can not afford a professional website right out of the gate, you can at least spring for $100 and have a one page web presence with your basic info. The majority of web users today understand the basics of the internet and there is no hiding the fact that your website stinks. If your business is on a WIX sub-domain, that speaks volumes about the credibility of your business. Do I have to mention having to mention telling the world what WordPress Theme you are using……….
Stuffing Your Website With To Many Keywords
Have you ever come across a website that has every major city, street, and river listed on there homepage letting you know they provide service in those areas? That is called Keyword Stuffing and today that old school tactic can actually hurt your Google rankings. Once again, customers know when your website is poorly written and seeing 25 cities listed all over the place screams “Unreliable”
The search engine algorithms hove evolved to the point where they are using actual semantic speech. This means the content on your website needs to be written grammatically correct and how people actually speak. Having the city your service 7 times in the same sentence is killing your chances on getting organic rankings. I think a lot of this problem is a copy cat crime. So many websites still think this is a viable techniques and unsuspecting business owners just copy the techniques not knowing.
Get A Game Plan
Trying to manage your own website can be an overwhelming proposition, but do not freak out and try to fix everything at one time. Take little steps and work on your site a few times a week, the same old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies here. Pay particular attention to what you are doing to your site in case you have to reverse any changes, sometimes a tweak in the wrong spot can cause you additional problems. Using good judgement will get you far in SEO if you are just starting out.
Spend time and do your research and start fixing the basics. A good habit is to optimize and fix one page a week. If you are a business owner who is doing there own web design, this can be a manageable way to break up a big project. In many cases, it is worth talking to a professional SEO or Web Designer to lay the ground work and set you off in the write direction. The time you can save and additional traffic from an well optimized website can quickly pay for itself.
About Blair Witkowski-
Blair is a WordPress expert living in Bluffton, SC with his wife and kids. He specializes in Local SEO for contractors, service companies, technology providers, and construction companies. When he is not developing keyword plans for clients, you can find him home with his family in their woodworking shop. His wife Jennifer has an amazing Etsy Store