Major Website Problems That Could Be Hurting Your Search Ranking
As of 2016, Google was aware of nearly 130 trillion web pages on the internet. Since that time, that number has likely grown substantially. It’s a good bet that your business’s website is just one of those 130 trillion, but whether your site stands out for the right reasons is a totally different story. In many cases, a site may actually stand out for the wrong reasons — and that can really hurt your ability to rank in search results, increase traffic, and facilitate growth.
Even if you’ve made efforts to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), your site design could be holding you back. Many of the functional features of a website play a significant role in how your site is ranked. That’s because Google values excellent user experience. A poorly designed site won’t provide the positive experience web users expect and demand. Consequently, you’ll need to focus on the web design component of SEO. Let’s take a closer look at some of the site problems that could be negatively affecting your ability to rank.
- Slow Site Speed: Slow-loading pages might seem like a minor annoyance to you, but they actually matter a lot. Site speed is one of the major factors Google considers when ranking websites, so a site that takes what seems like forever to load completely can hurt your ability to make improvements to where you appear in search results. In addition, Google’s crawlers won’t be able to index everything on your site in the time they have allotted, which means that you might not appear in results at all in certain cases. What’s more, web visitors won’t have the patience to deal with a slow site. In fact, they’re likely to abandon your site completely if it doesn’t load within a few seconds. Whether your slow loading speed is due to coding issues, extra large images, or hosting complications, you’ll want to work with a qualified web designer to address it so that this doesn’t continue to hurt your rankings.
- Broken Links: You’ve probably experienced the annoyance of clicking on what looks to be a helpful link and then being directed to a page that shows a 404 error. This is referred to as a broken link and it typically happens when content is removed, rather than updated. You can avoid and fix broken links by conducting site audits — and you should do so, as both Google and web users really dislike these broken links. All of the internal and external links published on your site should work as intended. Otherwise, it can harm your brand perception and your rankings.
- Duplicate Content: Any web design company will tell you that “content is king.” You need to publish relevant, useful content on a regular basis to drive traffic to your site. This content should help solve a problem, entertain audiences, or provide some kind of value. Unfortunately, some business owners think that if a piece worked well the first time it was posted, publishing it a second time will produce the same results. That often leads to what’s known as duplicate content — any content that’s extremely similar or exactly the same as other content that already exists on your site. Duplicate content can end up confusing search engine crawlers and can make Google think that you’re trying to game the system. Therefore, all of the content you publish needs to be truly unique.
- Poor Mobile Experience: Web traffic from mobile devices now accounts for a large chunk of all site visits. That means that businesses can no longer get away with ignoring mobile users. In fact, they need to make efforts to specifically appeal to them. That’s a stance supported by Google, as the company has made adjustments to prioritize mobile optimization and mobile first indexing. If your website isn’t responsive and mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a huge demographic of potential customers — and the ability to rank well in search.
SEO isn’t all about using relevant keywords and developing link building strategies. It starts with having a website that functions well and provides the information users need. To learn more about how we can help to improve your website design, please contact us today.