SEO is important to rank higher in search results. To do so requires a variety of tactics and understanding. In fact, there could be existing factors that are hurting your SEO. We’ve listed a few.
1. There’s no content on your website
Minimal or no content not only hurts your SEO, but it makes it hard for visitors to understand your business. Your website is where you should be advertising what your business does and what it can do for people. Basically, it should be easy to understand and provide relevant information. Additionally, Google won’t have much to index. Believe it or not, Google is very smart at connecting and understanding content on your site. That’s why it’s important to fill your pages with related images and rich content. Without this, your website could be ranked lower.
2. Your website is confusing to navigate
A site’s structure that is confusing has a big impact on your SEO. For example, if your menu is messy or unorganized, you could be confusing your visitors. Keep it clean so people can find information easily. Sometimes a big menu isn’t necessary. The reason it hurts your SEO is that people might be leaving your site quickly to move onto the next one. This is called a high-bounce rate and Google recognizes this as a negative SEO factor. Moreover, a website that is confusing to navigate makes it hard for Google to index your pages. Again, keep your most important pages in a well-structured menu so that it’s easy for users and Google to navigate.
3. Back-links from untrustworthy sites
A part of successful SEO is having other websites link to yours. This is called a back-link. When you have a website that has a lot of traffic or high domain authority link to your site, increases your chances for great SEO. Opposite of that would be having a sketchy or spam-filled website have a link to yours. Yes back-links are great for SEO but not if they come from untrustworthy sites.
4. Website Not Mobile Friendly
Designing a website that is mobile-friendly is essential for great SEO. As of May 2019, Google announced brand new websites are being indexed mobile-first. Not saying desktop is irrelevant, but it goes to show how important mobile-friendly websites are. Also, almost 35% of website traffic in Canada comes from mobile devices. If your website isn’t designed for mobile, your SEO is affected due to the amount of traffic it gets.
5. Stale content
Stale content is a factor affecting your SEO because it shows you’re not active. Google likes to see new, original content and will rank websites higher because of it. Additonally, updating content on your website shows people you’re relevant and trustworthy.
6. Your site isn’t secure (SSL Certificate)
With an SSL certificate, your sites URL will state that it’s secure. Without one, some people might be notified that your site isn’t safe. If you think about it, you wouldn’t want to purchase anything from a site that says it isn’t secure right? There’s a good chance you and like many others, would leave the site. That’s why SSL certificates are a standard for every website nowadays.
7. Free Website Hosting
We understand that websites don’t come cheap. However, if you want to show up in search results, free website hosting isn’t the way to go. First, the URL of your site is long, and not memorable. Second, free website hosting tends to be slow. A long URL and slow-loading times are both factors to poor SEO. Professional website hosting allows your URL to be relevant to your business and your site to load faster.
8. 404 Errors – Page Not Found
How annoying is it when you click on a link and you get this message: “Error 404 – Page Not Found”. In most cases, this is a broken link on a website, meaning it doesn’t go anywhere. If you have a lot of them on your website, you’re hurting your SEO. Since Google follows links, it’s best to make sure they’re all working.
9. Irrelevant Title Tags
A title tag is the bold large text you see in search results. How it’s worded will affect your SEO. In the same way, make it more inviting for people to click on. Proper research for the right key term goes into how you can rank higher. With the right key term in the title tag, you’ll start seeing your website rising in the rankings. When the title tag is irrelevant (ex. Home: My Small Business), you’re not going to get the results you want.
Over-optimizing your website for SEO is a real thing. Back in the day, you could get away with stuffing your content with keywords. Now, Google will penalize your site for doing so. It’s not necessary to overuse your key terms in your site’s content. As long as your content make sense, you shouldn’t be too worried about how many times your key term is used. In this case, quality over quantity.