What drowns your site: SEO, content or usability?
This time, a whole “shoal of lost fish” got into the network of “Debriefing the heats”. Based on our own audit statistics of 25 sites, we decided to highlight the most common mistakes in SEO, usability, content and design. We sincerely hope that the advice of our experts will help your online business to emerge in the top search engines and sales rankings.
Usually, the site audit service is ordered for a resource with low efficiency and low sales. In other words, the site must have made gross errors. Our task is to identify them, find the root cause of problems and low site conversion.
Gross mistakes in SEO of your site
Search engines take into account hundreds of factors when determining the position of your site. Even without resorting to the services of optimizers, you can correct some of the shortcomings and improve the reputation of the site.
Our SEO-specialist, Internet marketer Olga, tells about the most common website optimization mistakes:
- Most of the sites we analyzed lack meta tags. At best, title, descriptions and keywords are spelled out selectively, incompletely and incorrectly. Competent and ubiquitous presence of meta tags for each (!) page of the site, even for individual products, is the basis for further optimization of the site for key queries.
- 90% of audited sites do not have 301 redirects configured. It is needed for gluing domains with www and without www. For example, the sites www.site.ua and site.ua are available. Search robots define them as two separate resources and share the site's link popularity between different domains, which negatively affects the results of site optimization and promotion. The same situation with duplicates of the main page http://site.ua/index.php and http://site.ua/index.html and sites with site.com and site.ua addresses.
- An audit of incoming links showed that sites often do not have a natural, gradual, positive growth dynamics in the number of links. We are seeing a spike or drop in inbound links, which can negatively impact both site rankings and traffic. Search engines regard this order of things as an unnatural removal of purchased links, which can lead to sanctions from Google / Yandex.
- Social networks play an important role in shaping the SEO image of the site. Most of the analyzed resources need to be prepared for socialization (facebook, VKontakte, twitter, Google+). Groups in social networks and the ability to “plus” a page on Google will help attract additional targeted traffic.
- Very often headings h1 - h6 are not registered for text documents. It would seem a trifle, but unpleasant, because even such an insignificant error makes your site less attractive to search robots.
- The absence of a sitemap negatively affects the indexing speed of its pages and deprives the resource of many useful bonuses.
- The settings of the robots.txt instruction are also reflected in the positions of the site. Accordingly, incorrect data in this file can cause slow indexing and low resource traffic.
What is wrong with your website content?
Internet marketer Anna found out that 85% of sites receive fewer orders precisely because of content problems.
- Most sites cannot boast of unique content from the point of view of search engines, and even more so, the so-called "texts for people" - really interesting and useful for users.
- In text sections, such as "About the company" or "About the project", there are often no real numbers and facts in the description of business goals, although they directly affect the formation of the level of trust in the site and the positioning of the project as a whole.
- Pay attention to the optimization of images: make sure that they are adequately displayed on the page, be sure to write alt and title values for each image. An important point is the size of the image. Any pages with photos and pictures should load quickly, especially when it comes to the product catalog and product page. However, the image itself must be of high quality, try to strike a balance in this.
- Incorrect or missing product names in the catalog lead to incorrect page indexing and a lack of traffic for low-frequency queries.
- Do not neglect the detailed description of the product or service, the more information (including photos and videos) the user receives on your site, the more orders and calls will come to your site.
- Don't create empty or "under construction" pages, they are frankly annoying to users.
- Keep up-to-date information in the product catalog. Often the prices of the site and the offline store do not match, the range of goods or services does not correspond to reality. Any inaccuracies of this kind play a dangerous game with the company's reputation.
- The absence of fresh news or promotions alarms the site visitor, suggesting that the resource is dishonest or archaic. Make it a rule to hold a promotion at least once a month and add at least 3 news or articles to the site.
7 mistakes in the usability of your site
For any Internet user, the site is the answer to the question and the solution to the problem. Having not found the necessary information or product, the visitor will immediately leave the resource in search of a more suitable site. Such behavior, given the current high level of competitive offers, is natural and justified. Keeping a visitor on the site helps competent, relevant to the theme of the site, design and high usability.
Our SEO project manager, Internet marketer Andrey revealed that the sites we analyzed often:
- There are no contacts in the header of the site. The best options for the location of phones, e-mail and other options for communication with the owners or managers of the resource: the upper right or left corner. These areas are usually the focus of users' attention.
- There is no button "order a call back", "leave a message", "buy", "ask a question about the product". An unforgivable mistake is to hide them in the footer of the site. For example, the “buy” button must be visible and located near the price of the product.
- No bread crumbs. The visitor should feel comfortable on any page of the site and know exactly his “location”.
- Missing or not working search and search filters. A properly configured search is a convenient and very useful feature of the site.
- There is no possibility of online consultations, which are especially relevant for large online stores that supply specific little-known services, expensive or exclusive equipment.
- It is not possible to make a purchase without registering on the site. What is there to explain? Agree, it's just convenient :)
- Incomprehensible order forms. The norm is 5 points in the form, with 2-3 mandatory fields. An order on the site should be as simple as possible, you should not fool the user and force him to solve the puzzles of the order form. The best converting sites are always very simple.
Pay attention to the errors indicated by us, correct them, and a positive result will not keep you waiting long. Any questions? We are always happy to help you :)