The most common website mistakes that Google hates

Whether you’re self-employed, working for a small business or part of an agency, you need to be able to make sure that your company’s website is seen on Google to generate leads, sales or brand awareness.

In this ever-evolving digital age, websites are a vital part of a company’s success. Visitors will come to your site for information, so if the content you provide doesn’t quickly and easily address their needs – they won’t be engaged, continue their journey through your website, or convert to a lead.

It’s crucial to remember that the most flashy and beautiful website in the world won’t gain any leads and traffic if it’s not optimised correctly for SEO. If you’re a beginner in the world of SEO and CRO, there’s a lot to learn – but don’t worry, we’re here to help with our list of the most commonly make website mistakes that cause search rankings and conversion rates to drop.

No quality content

Over the years, Google has been constantly changing and updating their algorithm, but there’s one element that has remained pretty much the same for a few years:

Quality content!

What do we mean by quality content?

Here are some things to consider to transform average content into flawless, quality content:

• Length

Typically you’ll want to aim for 500 to 1000 words per page on your site – which helps Google understand what your page is talking about and trying to rank for. Try to at least get as close as you can to that number and aim for more – the more the merrier! (Just make sure you’re not waffling, as while it may rank better, you’ll bore your readers and increase your bounce rate).

• Uniqueness

Don’t start copy and pasting from the internet unless you want to be penalised by Google for duplicate content. Always make truly original content that is unique to your site.

• Relevance

A strong ranking factor and something that people tend to forget about is relevance – Google is constantly looking for the most relevant content to match a search query. They’ve done this for years and have constantly improved on meeting their initial objective – finding out exactly what is relevant to searchers.

If you provide multiple services, ensure that you’re offering in-depth content that directly focuses on that service – we recommend a page for each one you offer (not sure how to build new website pages, let us know).

This is only the beginning when it comes to creating quality content, which brings us to our next point.

Keyword stuffing

Keywords in your content are vital to helping Google understand your ideal visitor and what topic your content is related to.

Unfortunately, there are often attempts to misuse this, in the form of keyword stuffing – the practice of overloading a page with repeated instances of the exact-match keyword, to the point where it appears unnatural or intrusive and impacts the user experience of the page.

Here’s a hypothetical example of keyword stuffing, where Milton Keynes is the target keyword:

“Who can you trust when searching for … Plumbers Milton Keynes, Central heating engineers Milton Keynes, gas engineers Milton Keynes, gas boiler engineers Milton Keynes or Gas Safe registered plumbers in Milton Keynes?”

Looks like spam right?

It’s good practice to include your main keyword in a page of content – but make sure that it’s used in moderation and doesn’t make the content clumsy and awkward to read. Google does everything they can to penalise anyone who tries to rank their website by manipulating the algorithm using keyword stuffing, so don’t be tempted.

Poorly crafted site architecture and internal linking

The site architecture of a website refers to how pages are connected – i.e. which page(s) are linking to which.

Without the proper organisation, it can be incredibly difficult for users to explore your website, and search engines will have a tough time trying to understand which of your pages are considered the most significant. One way to make sure you show visitors and search engines which pages are the most important is to list them in the main navigation.

Linking your website together can be make-or-break in terms of creating an engaging user journey and experience. Unfortunately, there’s no specific template for the perfect site architecture, but all you need to do is take the time to have a thorough look at your website and understand which of your pages make the most sense to link to and from.

Tip: Not seeing as many conversions or leads coming from your website as you’d like? Include as many clear and eye-catching ’call to actions‘ as you can. For instance, including your phone number at the top of your website, which mobile users can tap to call the number instantly.

Find out more about how to include phone links on your site here.

Old content

You may believe that once you’ve got a solid foundation of content and pages on your website, that you won’t need to create any more, but that’s not the case. Regularly publishing brand new content is one of the many ranking factors of search engines – mainly because it’s a signal that the company is active and committed to meeting their customers’ needs.

A brilliant way of adding additional content is by including a blog on your website – allowing you to post a helpful or fun article that is relevant to your niche on a monthly, weekly or daily basis.

Posting new content or updating older content with the latest details can have a range of engagement benefits, as it gives visitors a reason to revisit your domain frequently, increases time spent on the site, and entices users to visit further pages and continue their journey through your site.

Don’t have the time or resource to write regular blog posts? We can help with that, get in touch.

Expecting overnight results

It’s important to understand that search engine optimisation is an ever-changing process – with Google regularly updating their algorithm and new competitors constantly appearing, it can be tricky to keep up. SEO, unfortunately, is challenging work and does demand a huge amount of time – but if you remain patient and stick at it, you will see vastly positive results! (Don’t have the time? Give us a call).

One final mistake is failing to A/B test your website, read our blog post to find out what it A/B testing is and how it can increase your conversion rates.

Reviewing these common website mistakes will improve your site and give your rankings the boost that you’ve been looking for. If you have any questions about improving your website, don’t have one yet, or would like us to look at yours for you and offer our tailored expert advice – get in touch using the live-chat box on the right, visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 01604 806020.

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