The primary reason for having a website is so prospective customers with money will find you online. Seems obvious. Yet common obstacles built into so many websites actually prevent prospects from ever arriving to see the perfect solutions you have for their problems. Avoid these five website mistakes and significantly impact your organic search engine rankings. These mistakes are common, but are easy to fix.
Home page is a graphic
Many people scratch their heads wondering why they have little web traffic. One of the best ways to bungle your website is creating the home page, or even worse, all pages in graphic form. Search engines follow text, not graphics. Although indexing graphic pages is beginning to take place, it is in its infancy.
A lawyer friend, using his own name as the URL, asked me why his website did not come up on search engine results. In fact, if you searched for his name, Lance Armstrong came up higher in the rankings; same last name, but not exactly the results lawyer had in mind. In two seconds upon arriving at his website I had the answer. Now, I dearly love web designers because it’s a skill I don't have, but never let a designer direct your web effort or you'll be asking me the same question and you won't like the answer. The entire home page was created as a graphic and, therefore, not optimized for search engine rankings. An unnecessary obstacle on the site, but once discovered could be a fairly easy thing to fix.
If your website is constructed in graphic form, particularly key information, have someone change it immediately.
No keywords in headlines
Make sure you include keywords in your web page headlines to help readers realize they’ve arrived at the right place and to enhance your organic search rankings.
It’s amazing how many web pages have no headlines, much less fully optimizing headlines with keywords. Prospects find your site by typing words and phrases into search engines. If they arrive at your site and are confused about what you offer, they will leave the site. The better the continuity between the search words used to find you and the page they land on, the more significant the impact it has on whether prospects stay on your site and take action.
While the best SEO copywriting is about writing for your readers, not for the search engines, headlines are a great way to improve your organic search rankings. In your source code, a headline will look like this: <h1>keyword optimized headline</h1>
No internal or external links
Internal links are easy to create and give search engine crawlers clues about each web page and your site. Take every reasonable opportunity to make links from one page to another. Instead of saying Click here, use meaningful text to guide readers and the crawlers from page to page.
External links—those on another good quality site linking back to your site—is the equivalent of striking gold for organic search rankings. Having many inbound links, built up over time, is the best way to boost rankings and is one of the most over looked areas—big mistake and a big bungle.
Content that doesn’t change much from week to week does not encourage repeat visits from prospects and does not entice web crawlers to visit very often. Your organic rankings will suffer unless you find ways to continually create new content on your site.
New content can include articles, press releases, videos, new pages, content updates, event information and RSS feeds.
Get to the point in a concise way, get rid of “who cares” content and be the solution to the prospects problem. Almost every site has content a company feels compelled to include, but frankly, who really cares other than you? Read your content from a prospect’s perspective. What do they need to know to take the action you want them to take? Poorly written or organized content makes the reader work too hard and few people will stick around to figure it out. Good content addresses problems or questions prospect may have and helps them take action.
Like designers, there are lots of good copywriters, many right in your area, but if the writer doesn't thoroughly understand how to write for the Internet, then you'll end up hiring a second person to optimize the content. By finding one copywriter who understands search engine optimization and how to integrate it from the beginning of the project, you'll save hundreds or thousands of dollars.
For a successful website project, hire a web designer who understands content is king when it comes to being found on the Internet and hire a copywriter who incorporates optimizing techniques while the content is being written.
Now that you know five common web ways to bungle your website, review your site and take care of as many as you can this week. Then, watch your organic rankings rise.
Have questions about Internet marketing and search engine optimization? Please visit my website at www.strategywriter.com.