Search engine optimization is the collection of practices marketers use to increase website traffic through organic search engine results. Search engines, like Google and Bing, help users locate sites based on their interests through a complex algorithm that matches keywords to quality content. Web developers, in turn, can optimize their pages to meet the algorithm’s criteria and receive more traffic from the search engine results.
Improving a website’s user experience increases its credibility, which helps it “rank” higher in the search results. A higher ranking means more clicks, and therefore more leads to capitalize on. Search engine optimization has a significantly higher ROI than pay-per-click or even social media advertising because you don’t have to pay for any of the traffic. The only investment you need to make is time and recruiting the best SEO marketers to your team to make your campaign a success.
There are many different ways to optimize your website and increase its rankings, but even the best efforts may not be enough if any of these issues are present on your website.
You have duplicate content on your site.
Duplicate content can also cause problems for your website rankings. If you post the same page more than once or on another website, it confuses the search engine on which page to rank higher. Usually, the search engine will choose to penalize both sites and the content won’t be seen at all. Even small snippets of duplicate content can cause major problems for your site.
Small technical errors are bound to happen on any website, and the search engines won’t penalize you for these. However, if a page has been removed or experiences long-term problems, but still appears in your site’s navigation, you may be penalized.
- 403 Error – The user has tried to access a page that is forbidden
- 404 Error – The user tries to access a page that is no longer available
- 500 Error – A general error caused by the internal server
If you have a 403, 404 or 500 error on your site, it simply won’t rank, no matter how good the rest of your content is. These errors create a poor user experience and lower the credibility of your site to web crawlers.
Your site is not mobile friendly.
Google recently switched to a “mobile first” algorithm for ranking. This means they use the mobile version of a site for indexing and ranking before the desktop version. Mobile optimization is a core element of SEO best practice, and if your website is not optimized for mobile, you can’t expect to be ranked at the top page for any search engine.
You have a high bounce rate.
The bounce rate of a site is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting just one page. A high bounce rate indicates that your content is not relevant to users or not engaging enough to keep them reading. The less time people spend on your site, the less likely you are to rank well. Make sure your visitors have plenty of content to view and direct them from one place to the other to keep them on your page.
Luckily, any of these SEO mistakes can be easily resolved with some minor changes to your site. The more you learn, the better your SEO campaign will perform and the more quality leads you’ll be able to generate from search engine marketing.
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