Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to a number of techniques that — when utilized correctly — can allow your website to appear more prominently in search engine results. But whether you have a brand new website or your site is a few years old, you might unknowingly be sending signals to Google that could end up hurting your ability to rank on certain search terms.
This doesn’t merely come down to link-building strategies or poor keyword selection. The user experience plays a substantial role in organic search rankings. This means that if internet users have trouble navigating your site or they simply don’t enjoy the experience, you’ll have a much more difficult time appearing prominently in search results. After all, it takes only 0.05 seconds for someone to form an opinion about your site — so first impressions really count.
That’s why it’s a good idea to examine your website on a regular basis for areas that can be improved. Then, you can work with a web design company to make those fixes or to create a whole new website to ensure that your SEO won’t be negatively affected. But before you do that, it might be helpful to identify how your current website could be hurting your SEO. Let’s take a look at some common scenarios.
Slow Load Speed
The speed of a given website is one of the many ranking signals Google takes into account. Web users are likely to abandon a website that takes more than a few seconds to load. If your site is too slow, you’re not going to serve your customers’ needs. Slow site speed can also decrease dwell time and increase the bounce rate, which means that a website that’s overloaded with large images and video can end up hurting its own rankings.
Slow load time doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have an outdated website, but it does necessitate that you look into these issues further and do whatever you can to speed things up. It’s a good idea to run a website audit and work with a professional team to identify what’s going on behind the scenes. They’ll come up with viable solutions that can make your website function at its best.
No Site Security
At a time when hacking and data breaches have become our new normal, your website needs to be secure. Even if you aren’t collecting any sensitive data from customers, you’ll want to obtain an SSL certification to switch your domain over to an “https” URL. Google designated site security as a ranking factor several years ago — so if your domain is still an “http,” you’re going to have trouble ranking. You’ll also look antiquated and may have trouble convincing potential customers to trust you. While this is a relatively simple fix, it’s definitely one you won’t want to ignore.
Lack of Mobile Friendliness
Because more people are conducting internet searches on their phones, it’s never been more important to ensure your site is mobile friendly. Simply put, you need a responsive website to ensure a consistent web experience for consumers. No matter where or how they view your website, the experience should be the same. In addition, Google embraced the mobile first indexing model a few years ago, which means any business that has a separate mobile version of their site would have that version indexed first.
To put it plainly, you must consider mobile users when designing a new website or updating an old one. Forgetting about these users will end up promoting frustration and alienation. They’ll quickly abandon your site for a mobile friendly alternative. And if you want to prioritize local SEO, you’ll find it nearly impossible if you don’t consider the people who are searching for results on their smartphones.
While these are far from the only website elements that can hurt your SEO, they’re proving to be among the most important right now. If you think you’re long overdue for a new website or you’re worried that outdated design is making it harder for customers to find you, we’re here to help. For more information, please get in touch with us today.