In today’s Internet-driven economy, businesses absolutely rely on their websites to help them thrive. In fact, it’s estimated that 13% of website visitors convert into customers. Not too shabby, right?
More and more business owners are pursuing e-commerce structures over brick-and-mortar retail space, making a well-functioning website the essence of their businesses. However, even brick-and-mortar establishments need to have a solid web presence, given the fact that many of these stores have had to permanently close their doors because they could not compete with their web-savvy counterparts. It’s estimated that 54% of people search for local businesses on a regular basis. Why miss out on all those potential customers?!
There are two key elements to any good website – functionality that make your business easy to find via search engines, and a design that makes your website an easy to use, visually appealing experience for visitors.
Below are five common flaws that many business owners make on their websites. Use this checklist to ensure that you are not making the same mistakes, and that you are doing everything you can to ensure high search engine visibility!
No H1 (AKA Headings) Tags
This one seems so simple but is an element that is commonly forgotten (or even removed on purpose so that it doesn’t interfere with the design elements of the page). This is a big no-no! H1 tags, or header tags, are essential because they rank high among the website elements that search engine crawlers use to interpret what your website is about. By incorporating the H1 tag (especially on your homepage) you ensure that your website is ranking as high as possible on search engines like Google and Bing.
Too Many Popups
While popups are a great strategy for capturing leads, if they are very intrusive (think full-page), they might actually dock you points on Google’s rankings. This is because Google really considers the users’ experience, and very elaborate popups make it difficult for visitors to access your main content (which is what they are probably coming to your website in the first place).
We’re not saying don’t use popups – just make sure that they are not obtrusive and kept simple for lead capture, and that they don’t stay on the screen longer than 15 seconds. Experiment with and without them, and if you’re seeing a decline in traffic while the popups are visible, that might be a good indicator that you’re better off to removing them from the page.
Lack of In-image Text
Little known to web designers, including a text overlay on top of an image is far better from an SEO-standpoint than to actually include the text within the image.
The reason why? Search engines can’t view an image, and therefore can’t read the image text. Crawlers will interpret this as a lack of text entirely. So, if you’ve got great text that’s related to an image, include it an overlay rather than within the image and you will put yourself at an advantage!
Using a Free or Generic Website Builder
Companies like Squarespace and Wix seem awesome upfront – they are fast, easy-to-use, and require minimal overhead. So, what’s the issue? Well, these types of website building apps actually add a ton of lines to the back-end code, making your site load slowly. As time goes on, this can lead to serious website performance issues. They are also not open-sourced, so you have to rely on third-party integrators, which can cause compatibility problems to your site.
Your website is your own piece of Internet real estate, and it’s worth investing in. If you are serious about directing traffic towards your business, then a free website probably isn’t the way to go. Choosing a tool such as a WordPress instead will result in a much more reliable and UX-friendly website.
Too Much Space for Ads
No one is saying that placing advertising on your site is a bad idea. If your headers, foots and sidebars are filled exclusively with ads, however, you could be shortchanging yourself. Those website areas can be better used for your own content, as well as site navigation. As with any other website element, balance is key. Before shifting the focus to advertising, make sure that your own content is front and center and that your website design is responsive and easy to navigate.
There you have it, folks! A handy checklist to help you ensure the health of your website. Have questions or need assistance figuring it all out? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to our Contact Form for all your website needs!