When looking to set up a website, most of us are rather linear in our approach.
We pick a platform, put together a color scheme, figure out some fonts that fit into our brand’s style, slap a logo on the website and call it good.
However, after you start learning more about SEO, mobile-friendly design, and conversion, there is a tendency to step back and take a look at your site in a new perspective.
While at first you may not have considered factors other than mere colors and a logo, you now know that there are probably a few key components you may have missed that will help your website really work for you.
But in the world of the web, navigating what you’re doing right or wrong in regards to SEO and conversion can be a little daunting — even if you’ve been in the online game for awhile.
You likely know the basics:
- Your website needs to be mobile-friendly
- It should load quickly
- You should optimize for keywords in your posts
- Long-form content tends to rank higher and get more social shares
But what about all the other stuff you didn’t know or forgot was important for SEO or converting traffic?
Below we’ve compiled a rundown of 11 of those points you may have forgotten in the midst of Google’s updating its algorithms.
1.) You Forget That The Fold Still Matters
There’s no cut and dry method for getting your traffic to convert better.
However, placing a clear, simple call-to-action (CTA) above the fold has proven to be effective time and time again.
Here’s an example of what I mean when I say “above the fold.”
As you can see from this homepage, the CTA is placed above the fold — the area of your screen that can be seen when the page first loads.
When the space above the fold is clean with clear direction, it helps grab a visitor’s attention and lead them in the direction you want.
Above the fold — on both a desktop view and a mobile phone — are important areas to consider in your design.
Though homepages tend to convert less than a very specific landing page, you still shouldn’t ignore this area on your website.
And while it’s true that this doesn’t directly affect SEO, in a roundabout way it can help alleviate a high bounce rate and keep people on your site longer.
2.) Not Taking Website Personalization Into The Equation
The world of the web has changed over the past few years and people have evolved with it. One of the major changes that has subtly crept in is website personalization.
Website personalization is something that enables a website to change based on the action, behavior or personal information of a user.
Using that information, you can automate various changes to the content of your site for a more personal viewing experience.
Google started doing this by giving people better results based on both keyword searches and search patterns.
Amazon also implements this technology by recommending additional products to specific users based on their purchase or search history.
These aren’t the only cases of website personalization, and the increasing trend of sites doing this has fostered a desire in people:
Namely, to have better, more personal experiences on websites.
As this need has grown, many companies have popped up to provide personalization for websites.
This list includes companies like Evergage or Monetate.
However, for small businesses, digital marketing agencies and hosting companies looking to offer websites to small businesses, these options tend to not equate to a great ROI due to price.
That’s where Duda’s built-in website personalization tool comes into play.
It gives you or your web design clients the power to create a more personalized experience on their website, which helps boost engagement and conversion on both mobile devices and desktop — minus the hefty price tag. If you haven’t see this tool yet, click here to see it in action
3) Always Writing Posts With A Low Word Count
I can hear your protests…
“But Seth Godin writes 200-word posts!”
I know, I know.
But you and I…
We are not Seth Godin.
While I can’t come out and say that a certain word count will always rank better, there is evidence to prove that longer posts do better.
Just look at the data-driven answer that Neil Patel wrote about on QuickSprout.
According to the data he compiled, posts that are 2,500+ in word count receive more backlinks and social shares.
This generally has to do with the fact that long form content tends to be viewed as a resource that can be continually gleaned from.
However, he also concluded that each blog audience is different and will respond to content length accordingly.
This is important to consider when putting together a content and site strategy of any kind.
While creating and posting content that is shorter in length tends to be easiest, why not test out a longer post that is more informative, and full of actionable tips that either solve a pain point or teach something new?
4) Using Photos That Are Too Big
When it comes to photos, size matters — just not the way you may think.
So why would you use a background photo that is 5000 pixels wide when loading something that large can put a lot of pressure on your server?
If you’ve been struggling with site speed, take a look at image sizes on your site.
Are you using photos that are too large for the area they’re in?
If so, resize them to a smaller pixel width.
5.) Not Using Breadcrumbs
This is the way that Smashing Magazine defines breadcrumbs:
A “breadcrumb” (or “breadcrumb trail”) is a type of secondary navigation scheme that reveals the user’s location in a website or Web application. ~ Source
Your mind may be taking you back to the story of Hansel and Gretel — and that’s just the point.
The two children in the story used a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way back home.
Breadcrumbs on a website are essentially the same thing.
In cases like this, I like to give a visual example of how this looks.
Here’s a snapshot from TheGuardian.com using breadcrumbs in navigation.
Using this seemingly small feature is great for improving the usability of your website (i.e., it helps users find their way around without getting frustrated).
But it’s more than that.
It’s good for SEO.
Google can crawl breadcrumbs on a site and then display them in the search engine. (see example below)
By using breadcrumbs and then optimizing those for keywords, you make it easier for your site to be crawled and indexed.
All of these updates are a push for a better online experience for Google users.
So by giving users a better experience on your site, you’re sending good vibes to Google which can’t hurt, right?
6.) Ugly Mobile Navigation
The way a website’s navigation looks on a desktop is often very different from the way it looks on a mobile phone.
At the very least, it’s cumbersome, which is something you want to avoid for both SEO and conversion.
Depending on the last time you designed your site and the platform or template it’s running on, your mobile navigation may need a bit of design love.
Having a collapsible mobile menu keeps your site looking cleaner and is easier to navigate.
You can see an example of what I mean here:
As you can see here, the mobile navigation is hidden in the top right corner and stays out of people’s way until they need it.
Take a look at your site to see how this area appears.
If it needs some sprucing up, then be sure to take the time and do so.
7.) Forgetting To Link To Other Content In Your Blog
You’ve probably read time and time again how vital it is to link out to other high authority blogs from your own.
If not, here are some great resources that talk about it:
- 6 On-Page SEO Strategies That’ll Boost Your Rankings
- How Outbound Link Improves Your Blog Authority & Ranking
- 5 Reasons You Should Link Out to Others From Your Website
However, you may have forgotten that linking internally is just as important. Your website has many pages and posts to it, but linking to them is what pulls everything all together.
No only that, but it distributes authority and rank power throughout your entire site.
Here is an excellent guide on the KissMetrics blog that explains the why and how of internal link building.
8.) Putting Important Info In Something Other Than Text
I see it all the time on small business websites.
By that, I mean I see the mistake of placing business information in a photo but nowhere else on the site.
From a logical standpoint this may not seem like a big deal, but for SEO it is.
See, Google can’t read the text in photos — not yet.
So if information like a business name, address and phone number are only in images, then a site is losing out on some serious SEO boosting juice.
This is especially the case if the business relies heavily on local SEO for business.
To rank high in Google’s local search, your name, address and phone number need to be the same across all directories and on your website.
Be sure to put this information in text form on your website.
Create a page with this information and a Google Map embedded there and also place it in the footer of your site.
This will tell Google what it needs to know to help rank you high in local searches and help people find your business.
9.) Not Tweaking Your Meta-Description
Sure, technically speaking, the meta-description for your posts or pages doesn’t directly affect design or SEO.
However, it’s not something you just ignore — though we do tend to forget about it.
Your meta-description can do a lot to either help or hurt your CTR (click-through-rate) from Google search results.
By taking the time to mold a meta-description for each of your posts and pages, you’ll be helping yourself in the long run.
Have quite a few posts with meta-descriptions that haven’t been updated yet?
Focus on the posts that get the most traffic as a place to start and work out from there.
10.) Not Providing A Better Mobile Experience
I’d put $20 on the table right now to bet that your website is responsive.
It’s been a few months since Mobilegeddon and everyone and their mother now knows the need for a mobile-friendly site.
But I’m about to drop a knowledge bomb on you…
Mobile-friendly is not always mobile user-friendly.
Just because a website responds to smaller screens doesn’t mean that it gives a mobile viewer the best experience on a mobile device.
Sure, your responsive site may get the green light from Google, but it’s the everyday people who you should really be making happy.
Take, for example, a click-to-call button.
When designing for desktops and tablets, this isn’t something to consider since you can’t call out from these devices.
However, when you’re taking into account mobile traffic and people looking to contact you, then having a Click-to-Call button on your website, from the mobile side of things, could be invaluable for conversion and income.
Editing the content that appears on your mobile site (e.g., contact forms, image sliders, etc.) is just as important as having a responsive website.
This is something that we’ve known for a long time now, which is why we made it possible within our platform to edit your website by device.
Not only will this help you generate and convert leads better on mobile, but by doing this, your site will load faster on mobile.
How’s that for brownie points?
11.) Forgetting To Link Google Search Console To Your Site
Connecting your website(s) to Google Analytics and checking back on it regularly can give you some otherwise lost insights on how your website is performing and where your traffic is coming from.
But have you taken the time to also connect Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmasters)?
If not, now is the time.
While the almighty Google Analytics is great in all of its glory, it doesn’t tell you everything.
For example, when Google Analytics tells you that your traffic is coming from Google search, it might not tell you for what keyword they found you for.
It also doesn’t tell you how many internal links you have or the amount of pages indexed by Google.
Google Search Console (GSC) fills in the gaps with this type of information.
If you haven’t connected your Google Analytics to GSC , here is a tutorial to walk you through it.
Wrapping It Up
As you’ve likely figured out, “setting up a website” has a few more layers than many think of when considering the phrase at face value.
Business owners and marketers alike are figuring out that designing for users is what helps them rank better and convert towards their end goals.
These are just some examples of things that may be forgotten in a site’s overall strategy, yet they’re crucial to a well-rounded website that’s both high ranking and high converting.
If you noticed a few areas that might need some attention on your site, I encourage you to take note and start implementing the ones you deem most important.
What other mistakes do you think are important to avoid when it comes to SEO and conversion?