Simply having a website isn’t enough in the competitive internet landscape. Many web design companies are successful at developing beautiful websites but tend to lack in the area of search engine optimization and internet marketing.
Business owners are often times left with flashy websites that result in little to no traffic and what’s the point of having a website if nobody can find you?
Studies have shown that the first listing in Google will receive 33% of clickthroughs while the 7th position in the search results will get less than 5%. The competition can be incredibly stiff depending on target keywords and/or industry but ‘to the victor comes the spoils’.
Through years of various website audits, I’ve found that most websites tend to lack certain factors that if addressed could drastically transform their online presence and potentially there overall business growth.
Let’s jump into it!
1. No Clear Call to Action (CTA)
All websites should have a certain goal for visitors on their website. Whether it’s to purchase a product, fill out a form or call a number, it’s important that your website should have a clear call-to-action to tell visitors what they need to do.
Advice: Place a clickable phone number in the top header, display CTA buttons in your header (ie Get a Free Quote), add visible contact forms in the header, body and sidebars.
Now that mobile has surpassed desktop when it come to search, it’s important to make sure that phone numbers are linked using the proper HTML so that when clicked they dial. This can be easily done by using the following HTML tag below:
2. No Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of maximizing visibility in search engines like Google. This crucial step is one that is often ignored by many web designers and/or web companies. As a result websites are not easily found, receive little to no traffic and perform poorly.
Seo can be broken down into on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On on-page SEO refers to optimizing individual pages within a website and off-page SEO refers to external SEO factors such as backlinks.
Advice: At the very least make sure your website has title tags, meta descriptions and h1 tags that include keywords on your pages. Try and gain backlinks from quality websites that are relevant to your industry or niche. This advice is a small fraction of the SEO process and certainly over simplifying, however it can certainly provide an impact on your websites search rankings. If you’re running a WordPress website install a website called YOAST for SEO.
3. Slow Page Speed
Page speed is a factor rarely considered, if ever by most web designers. Having a slow loading site can increase bounce rates, lower average time on a website and even affect search rankings. Just think about how you would react to a slow loading website. You’d probably leave right?
40% of visitors will abandon a web page if it loads more than 3 seconds.
Two major culprits that affect page speed are the use of large images and poor web hosting. High resolution images contribute to the size of a web page which affect loading time. While it’s tempting to use high quality images, it comes at a price.
Advice: Reduce the size and quality of the images. Make sure the image size dimensions aren’t larger than they need to be. You don’t need a 2000 pixel wide image if it’s going to be used for a logo or thumbnail. Save images as Medium quality rather than Maximum.
Hosting can have a drastic impact on page speed. Much like loading software on a computer, it’s important to have good server technology to render your website. Web hosting companies such as Siteground hosting offer affordable packages, 24/7 support, Free SSL & CDN and great customer service.
As mentioned previously, mobile search has surpassed desktop so it’s important to have a fast loading website. If you’re running a WordPress website you can easily increase page speed using a caching plugin such as Super Cache or WP Rocket. These plugins can caches pages and compress scripts resulting in a 50% decrease in page loading.
4. No SSL Installation
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a technology used to encrypt data that is being transferred between the browser and server. This is important if you are collecting personal information.
In 2017, Google announced they would start flagging websites that didn’t have an SSL certificate installed which resulted in 2/3’s of he web.
Not having SSL installed can increase bounce rates, affect visitor trust, make websites vulnerable to hackers and even negatively affect search ranking.
Advice: Install an SSL certificate. One can usually be purchased through your web hosting company from as little as $65 to hundreds of dollars. Siteground offers a free SSL certificate using Let’s Encrypt which can be installed with a few clicks.
5. Thin Content & No Blogs
You may have heard the cliche “Content is King”. Having a content rich website and blogging regularly can improve search rankings. This remains one of the most effective ways to promote a website, increase conversions & leads and help build a successful online presence. Unfortunately it’s one rule that is often ignored or not communicated properly to website owners which results in websites having little content.
According to HubSpot, companies that published 16 blog posts per month received 3.5 times more traffic.
A content strategy requires a lot of effort and time but the benefits make it certainly worth it as it can build trust with visitors, rank your website for new keywords, increase traffic & conversions and overall business growth.
Advice: Make sure your web pages have at least 350 words of content and START BLOGGING!!!
These are just some obvious issues I come across when auditing websites. Through my site audits I can find what is holding your website back from achieving online success.
You can hire me through NexToronto’s web consulting services to identify issues and make recommendations on how to improve your online presence. You have the choice to hire an expert to make any site upgrades or take the audit document to your web designer or web developer.
What other common issues do you find most websites tend to ignore or lack? Feel free to drop a comment below.