A number of our clients come to us after having a new website designed for them. They are excited to start an SEO program with their beautifully designed website. However, their design may need additional work before we can help them implement a search engine optimization program. Here are the top 6 new website mistakes we still see today.
1. Failing to use responsive / mobile friendly design
Based on our analysis of our current clients, 50%-75% of their website traffic comes from visitors on a mobile device. Responsive design means that your website adjusts its display based on the size of the screen that your visitor is using.
The easiest way to test this is to view your website on your own mobile device. Think about how the content is displayed. Is it a simple process for your visitor to take the next step? If you offer a local service, is your phone number easy to find (within 1-2 seconds)? If you sell products, test the full process of finding a product, adding it to the cart, and completing the order.
2. Lacking quality content on every page
Most visitors will only view 2-4 pages on your website. Every click that they have to make to learn about your business, services, and products makes it less likely that they will continue to the next step.
Google treats the length of content on a page as a key quality indicator, which means that it influences your SEO. Don’t be redundant, however, be sure to explain your products and services with the appropriate amount of detail.
Be very cautious about including pages that only contain a paragraph of content. If you have multiple pages with small amounts of content, try to find a way to consolidate them. The only exceptions are conversion pages such as contact pages, landing pages, and check out pages.
3. Making it difficult to find things
The home page should quickly segment your visitors. It should clearly direct them to specific products or services your organization offers. This can be accomplished by a well-organized menu structure with a home page layout that reflects that same structure.
For example, we offer five core services. If someone is interested in SEO we want the process to look something like this:
In the first two examples, these would be sales leads and we would contact them right away. In the third example, this would be a marketing lead and we would add them to our marketing automation system to help move them into the sales process.
4. Lacking a clear call to action (CTA)
What do you want a visitor to do when they visit a particular page on your site? Do you want them to purchase a product? Do you want them to read an article? Do you want them to contact you? Every page on your site needs a clear call to action (CTA) on what you want a visitor to do. For example, writing a new blog post about your new product is great; however, including a clear and specific call to action that links to the purchase page or a way to get more information about the new product is even better. Here are a few ways to leverage CTA’s:
- Buy now button on a product page
- Download a free eBook (collect emails to build your email database)
- Offer a free consultation (include a form with fields to capture their contact information and business information)
- Use a popup to encourage people to subscribe to your email distribution list
5. Failing to integrate Google Analytics at the very beginning
How many people visit your website each day? Which pages are most popular? Which calls to action get the most attention? These are basic questions that analytics can help you answer.
If Google Analytics is not set up the day the new website is launched, you will lose all of your visitor data. It cannot go back in time and recover it. We’ve worked with clients that reached out to us 6 months after launching a new website and missed out on collecting valuable data because Google Analytics was not installed on launch.
If you fail to integrate analytic tools into your web development, you are handicapping your ability to analyze your website performance and make strategic improvements in the future.
6. Not setting up an SSL certificate
There should be a green lock to the left of your URL in the web browser and have HTTPS at the beginning of the URL.
Google is really forcing the issue here. It directly impacts SEO and is an important step in securing your website.
Repairing New Website Mistakes
Does your website currently have any of the above issues? The good news is that any of the six new website mistakes can be fixed in a relatively short period of time. Taking care of them will significantly improve the value of your website. If you need any help feel free to contact us. We can help with website design and website optimization projects.