When it comes to running your own website, you will be inundated with opinions. Suddenly everyone is an expert and has little tips and tricks to try to improve the many things that you are aiming for.
That’s great, if you are avoiding the trappings that many businesses fall into when it comes to website optimization.
Here we have provided a list of 20 things that will kill your website, some of them you’re probably doing without even realising!
1. Ignoring Social Media
We live in a fast paced and rapidly changing environment. Instead of daily newspapers, people now have up-to-the-second information in the palms of their hands. Being able to react, engage and ultimately build brand awareness across social media platforms is an absolute must for any website trying to gain a foothold in the online world.
As much as we like to show off how intelligent we are with fancy words and long, artistic paragraphs, in general, your audience will lose interest quickly if you don’t get to the point. As mentioned in point one, the way we as human’s digest information now is very quick, if someone doesn’t get what they are looking for fast they will be exiting your site as fast as they entered. Don’t believe us? Check how long people spend on your webpages.
3. Not Using Pictures
Some websites read a lot like shopping lists, and who wants to read a shopping list? For better website optimization you should use a lot of pictures. Break up your blog posts with relevant pictures and increase reader engagement by doing so. Correct use of pictures should break up the text into easily digestible pieces of information. There are plenty of free picture resources out there, so you really have no excuse not to get your blog crammed full of interesting images.
4. Not Having a Subscribe Button
The goal of your website is to communicate with the wider world. To showcase yourself to a greater audience and to do it on a consistent basis. If you don’t have a subscribe button you are instantly missing a huge opportunity to generate leads and by default future sales prospects.
5. Inconsistent Blog Activity
Search engines love consistency, believe it or not, just because you hired a blogger to write 5 articles doesn’t mean they should be posted in one go. It is better to space out the publishing of blog articles at regular intervals. This shows search engines that you are regularly active and consistently updating the information on your website. It will really improve your website optimization.
6. Not Updating your Website
Do you still have the same website you started out with in 2010? Chances are that theme is looking at best a bit tired but at worst it will be looking dated. If your website looks old and tired, then that speaks volumes to visitors about your brand. It is best to review your website on an annual basis to ensure that everything remains fresh and up to date.
7. Less Than 300 Words on Pages
This isn’t a critical flaw, but it can have a substantial effect on website traffic. The reason being that search engines will sometimes require 300 words minimum to record the contents of that page. So if your ‘Contact Us’ page only have 150 words, that could be the difference between someone finding it on a search engine or not.
8. Not Tagging Images
Remember all those juicy and delightful images we told you to put on your blog? Well search engines want to find them too, except search engines don’t have eyes. You need to tag your images so that when search engines crawl your website they know what they are looking at and can bring your pages up in the image search results.
9. Not Having Call to Actions
It doesn’t matter what type of website you have, there will always be a purpose to it. Some people want to generate sales, some want a larger reader base, whatever the overall goal is, let your visitors know what to do. A simple “Buy now” button could be the difference between a profitable website and a non-profitable one.
10. Not Keywording
Like with the aforementioned tagging of pictures, not placing relevant keywords across an article makes it harder for a search engine to categorise exactly what your content is about. The key is to strategically target keywords to generate higher traffic to your site. Simple.
11. Keyword Stuffing
Point 10 was so simple right? Well, some websites go overboard on the keywording and it is a sure-fire way to turn off your next reader. While search engines won’t mind too much if a site has a keyword repeated endlessly your reader will. If they see content written for robots they will click away quick, this will have a detrimental effect on your search rankings as well because the search engines will see that people aren’t staying on your site long, so it must be trash.
12. Not Providing Communication Opportunities
Bit of a mouthful that one, but it is very straightforward. Having comment sections, opinion polls, user surveys etc allows your traffic to communicate with you. Yes, sometimes it isn’t what you want to hear, but criticism is always an opportunity to improve. Give your readers a voice and they will listen more attentively when you speak.
13. Spammy Adverts
It is very easy to get adverts onto your website nowadays. It can also be very lucrative and a great source of background income. But be wary of the type of adverts that users will see. Using AdSense and other ad programs can promote relevant products to your audience without detracting away from the content on your site. If you have a butcher’s website, do you really want a vegan diet advertised on your site? Be ad smart and make sure you know what is being advertised on your site.
14. Simple Isn’t Stupid
Earlier on we said how key it was to keep content simple. That doesn’t mean that the content should be poorly written. So many websites have blogs full to the brim with content that has poor grammar, spelling and in general are of low written quality. If you can’t write, use freelancing sites like Upwork to hire writers. Make sure your content reads well from start to finish and make sure it provides value throughout.
15. Being Too Salesy
Sounds counterintuitive to not try so hard to sell something that you want to sell. The key is to get clients and customers to buy into your products by showing them how much it is worth. No one likes a hard sell. If you want to keep your conversions low, then keep your sales pages being written as a sales page. If you want to increase conversions, then craft a sales page that gets readers interested in what the product can do for them.
16. Not Using Plugins
If you’re a WordPress site owner (the majority of you will be), be sure to utilise plugins to enhance your website. Some plugins are simple like displaying a button for social media; some are far more complex and run in the background to speed up page loading times. Either way, using plugins adds value. See our 20 Best WordPress Plugins guide here.
17. Lacking Direction
If you have a website, be sure to know what you want it to do. If you want to make money, make sure you have direct user journeys to your ecommerce store. Of course, you don’t want people visiting your blog and leaving empty handed. So make sure that you’re always focused on the overall goal of the website and plan each aspect accordingly.
18. Having a Poor Design
Almost as an addition to point 17, make sure that your website works properly. For example, having 404 (dead links) pages come up is frustrating for the user and will likely lead to them leaving the website. As well as making sure every link is working (there are plugins that do this for you) it is vitally important to make sure that your website is easy to navigate. A user should never be more than a click away from your home page, no one wants to be locked in a maze they can’t get out of. This point is really bad for website optimization.
19. Not Having Security Credentials
If you’re handling money and you are not providing encryptions or safety features for your customers, then they will likely not purchase anything. Something as simple as securing your transaction pages with the padlock icon will inspire consumer trust and have a positive effect on your conversions.
20. Negative Reviews
There is such a thing as bad publicity and it, of course, can bury a business or a website in an instant. If you are enabling people to review or you company is trading in a forum that can be reviewed make sure you stay customer focused. If you get the dreaded bad review, respond in a professional, courteous manner. Apologise and if necessary offer to rectify the problem. Pro-actively responding to the occasional bad review will show that you care. You won’t be able to please everyone all of the time; do what you can when you can.
Conclusion about website optimization
Hopefully you will have found this guide helpful, if you have made any mistakes on your website, remember, you can rectify it. Identifying the errors will now allow you to put right any wrongs. Be sure to subscribe using the icon above and make sure you get the latest information to make your website a success!