Website Rankings – In our digital world, it’s essential to have a website for your business. But merely having a website doesn’t always cut it.
Google wants to provide the most relevant websites that can solve web users’ problems. So if a site is well-designed and provides a great user experience, it’s more likely to show up prominently in search results.
On the other hand, a site that provides a poor user experience could actually be seen as less valuable by search engines. That means the site is less likely to be found and visited – resulting in lower traffic, conversions, and online visibility.
With that in mind, you’ll want to pay attention to the structure and design of your website. Without a great website, all of your other marketing efforts will go to waste. Here are just five ways that your website could ruin your chances of being ranked well in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Arguably, nothing is more annoying than a slow-loading website. According to digital marketing expert Neil Patel, nearly half of all consumers expert a web page to load in two seconds or less! Furthermore, around 40% of people will completely abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
Both human visitors and search engines want to see websites load quickly. Loading speed has a big impact on the overall user experience – which is why Google has increased the importance of website speed in numerous algorithm updates.
One of Google’s most-hyped updates, the Page Experience update, involved the introduction of the Core Web Vitals – core ranking signals that specifically measure the speed, consistency, and interactivity of a page’s layout.
While overall site speed is still highly significant, factors like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID) also play a part in how your site is ranked on a per-page basis. LCP measures how long it takes for large pieces of content on a page to load completely, while FID measures how long it takes for a user’s interactivity features to become fully functional.
Basically, this means that if your overall site speed is slow or if individual pages are slow to load completely, your rankings could take a hit. If you want to make sure that visitors find your site and stay there, you’ll want to measure your site speed and find ways to improve it.
Some site speed improvement methods include:
Eliminating sluggish speeds can go a long way, but this isn’t the only website snafu that could hurt your ability to rank. Another common problem is that your website might not be truly mobile-friendly.
Since Google estimates that more than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, you can’t dismiss the needs of mobile users anymore. If you do, you’ll be alienating a lot of potential customers.
Slow site speeds are definitely a problem for mobile users, but so are issues like full-page pop-ups (known as intrusive interstitials), poor site security, hard-to-read fonts, and a lack of responsive design. Responsive design adjusts automatically for the user, depending on what kind of device is being used, which can streamline the entire visitor experience.
In simple terms, you’ll want to avoid making mobile users pinch their screens to zoom in or require them to tap on tiny buttons to navigate your site. This can result in a lot of unnecessary frustration – and ultimately, that could cost you.
Confusing navigation is a problem for both desktop and mobile visitors. Web users of all kinds have very little patience for these kinds of structural issues. If it takes more than a second or two for them to figure out what they need to click to find the information they need, you’re going to end up driving customers away.
As a rule, you should keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. Although you might enjoy your clever navigation labels or unique drop-down menus, customers won’t. They want to locate the pages they need with the least amount of effort possible.
Reduce the amount of clicks a visitor might need to locate any given page on your website and make sure that drop-down menus feature clear, easy-to-understand labels that can be viewed on all devices. Be sure to include a site map, which can provide both web visitors and search engines more information about how your website is structured. Finally, always provide a way back to the homepage and include a search bar at the top of your site for convenience.
In the same way that some business owners have ignored the needs of mobile users, others have dismissed voice search as a passing trend.
But we know that voice-powered searches are becoming more popular with each passing year. Many users, particularly those who own smartphones, depend on voice-powered technology to find the quick answers they seek.
The truth is that we don’t always physically type queries into a search engine anymore. Instead, we rely on Siri or Alexa to provide us with information.
As such, we perform searches a lot differently than before. We ask questions in complete sentences out loud rather than typing a few keywords into a search bar. This means you may need to optimize your site a bit differently to appear in voice-powered search results.
On your site, you should have an FAQ page that features questions that voice search users are likely to ask. You should also focus on location-based keywords, including “near me” phrases, to appeal to voice searchers. Since mobile users are more likely to use voice search technology to find solutions nearby, it makes sense to design your website with those customers in mind.
Optimizing your site for voice search might not involve a complete design overhaul. But it may change how you structure your product or service pages or conduct keyword research. Voice searches tend to return slightly different results than traditional searches, so you’ll want to keep the needs of mobile users (and voice searchers, by association) in mind when you’re updating your website.
If you think it’s unlikely that your customers will spend time reading your blog, you might assume that your site doesn’t even need one.
But that assumption represents a fundamental misunderstanding of your blog’s purpose. Not only can it be used to increase brand trust and industry authority, but it can also be a huge driver of traffic for your website.
Even if your current customers won’t take the time to read your blog, that doesn’t mean prospective customers won’t.
When you have a regularly updated, well-optimized blog, you can improve your ability to rank in SERPs and drive traffic to your site. Blog posts provide you with ample opportunities to rank on relevant keywords and provide the kinds of solutions that your audience desperately needs.
Plus, posting consistently on your blog will keep your website fresh – and Google loves sites that are updated regularly. Blogging can make your website a better resource for information, which can allow you to do everything from repurpose content for social media marketing to form relationships with other publishers who will provide you with a backlink.
If your website doesn’t have a blog, you’ll have only limited opportunities to optimize your content and reach your target audience.
Ultimately, the quality of your products and services can’t do all the heavy lifting. Your website needs to be accessible and provide a positive experience for everyone who visits. If you address these aforementioned issues, you’ll have a better chance of improving your rankings in search engine results over time.
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