Let’s face it – we are living in 2019. Did you know that Google can penalize you for issues with your website? The last thing you want is to fight Google to try and show up in their Search Engine…you will lose.

In this blog post, I will be discussing mistakes you can avoid that I often see with websites our clients had before coming onboard with us.

1. Website Is Not Mobile Optimized

I see this one a lot. Their website is not optimized and set up to properly display on different types of devices. Not all of your potential customers are going to be using a desktop computer. In fact, a study done by Statista reports that in 2018, 52.2% of website traffic on average was on a smartphone or mobile device. Your website should look good on all platforms, and not be limited to only looking good on PCs. If your website doesn’t display properly not only will Google penalize you, but your website visitors will bounce off of your site at a rapid rate, losing a vast majority of potential business because of your website setup.

2. Slow Website/Website Speed Issues

A large factor in Google’s algorithm in how they decide to rank your website also can depend on how long users stay on your website. Google has figured that users will typically stay on website more that is high quality, an authority site in an industry or niche, and that the business of the site must be one of the best locally. Your site needs to load fast and should be generally easy for an end-user to browse, navigate, and load pages. If your website has problems, loads slow, and pages don’t work then Google won’t want to rank your website as high as competitors who have working websites that are faster and have no issues.

3. Broken Links

Going along with the last one, you want to make sure all of your links work on your website. Broken links hurt the user experience, and Google will penalize you many points for having links that do not work. You can check if your website has broken links using the free online tool BrokenLinkCheck.

4. No Content

Users love content, and so does Google. You want to make sure you are providing some sort of value to your visitors, and Google loves this. Blog posts are an easy way to publish content (more on that later.) Customers will generally trust a business more that showcases they know what they are talking about on their website.

5. Having No Blog

If you can have a blog, opt in to doing so. Having a blog can be night and day for your search engine ranking. Not only does this show your customers you are knowledgeable, you can educate them as well and even use your blog as a tool if you run a mailing list. You can release “weekly tips” and then send an email out to your list with a link to the blog post when it goes live. WordPress allows you to schedule blog posts to be published at a time you would like, which is a very convenient feature to maintain a scheduled blog posting time to use with things like email marketing.

6. Poor Website Security & No HTTPS/SSL Certificate

Let’s face it – hackers are rampant. You should at the very least implement a HTTPS/SSL certificate with your website, thus encrypting the majority of data transmitted across your website. When you visit a website and see a padlock or https:// in front of the website URL, this means the website uses HTTPS/SSL. Some smartphones will actually display a warning stating “The following website may be unsecure”, which will actually scare off a lot of users from visiting your website if you do not have a certificate. We offer HTTPS/SSL certificate creation and implementation as a service here at Presto Website Design Buffalo.

7. No Phone Number & Address Visible

Customers like seeing there is a phone number they can call to speak with you. I have dealt with clients that are too paranoid to put their phone number on their website. You need to have your business address and phone number listed on all of your listings – including your website. Not having an address listed can actually harm your SEO. Citation building using NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is a statistically important part of the SEO process. I know countless people that do not like to email or have to message a service provider. People like working with a company that is only a phone call away.

8. No Analytics/Website Data Collection

If you run a business you need to be aware of what marketing is working and what processes or platforms you should drop. Likewise, it is important to gather data on website click through rate (CTR), how long visitors are staying on your website, and what the most popular pages and blog posts are with your customers. By gathering this data, you can improve your website and more importantly your content to keep your visitors and Google happy. Google Analytics is a free tool by Google that you can implement into your website to begin collecting data.

9. No Site Icon/Favorite Icon

A site icon is an image that is 32 pixels wide and tall that is used to represent your website in a web browsers’ bookmarks/favorites. Site icons are also important for your brand and brand recognition, as they help users to easily recognize your website in a group of multiple site listings. Search engines will even occasionally use site icons. You want to stand out from your competition, not blend in with a large group of bland businesses.

10. Not Having A Logo

I see this all the time and it is shocking to me. If you are a business you need to have a universal brand and a logo to display who you are and what you do. I have seen countless websites with plain text stating the business name, and no logo. This is very unprofessional - and people do notice. Your logo should match your website’s color theme or scheme. If you use red and blue on your website, then your logo needs to match those colors. Having a logo with out of place colors can lead to an increase of visitor’s bouncing off of your website since logo placement is usually at the top left corner of a website, and most people read left to right.