84% of companies fail while on theirdigital transformation journeys.This can lead to everything from bad business to bankruptcy. What’s worse, small business website errors are often at the heart of failed websites.
What do we mean when we say “failed” website?
A failed website is one that brings in next to no organic traffic, ranks poorly on SERPs, and doesn’t have much to boast in terms of conversions. All of this points to two significant indicators: SERPs don’t think your website is worth looking at, and viewers don’t like visiting your website.
If your website has been doing poorly, perhaps it’s time for introspection and change: are you making these website development and SEO mistakes?
Your Website isn’t Optimized for Mobile
61.43% of the global population own ssmartphones. For every personal computer in the world, there are five phones. There’s a reason why so many online shopping sites have become mobile-friendly in the past few years. In fact, here’s an interesting fact: more peopleown phones than toothbrushes.
What do these numbers and facts tell us?
Well, for one thing, that smartphones have become an essential part of everyday life. And SEO for small businesses needs to factor that in; it’s non-negotiable.
It goes without saying that your target audience is likelier to visit your website via mobile than via desktop. And if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, any or all of the following may follow:
- The website may take longer to load, forcing the viewer to switch to a different website, thus increasing your bounce rate
- The images and text on your website might not be displayed properly
- The images might not load
- Difficult navigation or a confusing checkout process
Expecting your prospective customers to access your website using a phone will compel you to take mobile optimization seriously. Whether you’re hiring a small business SEO services provider or doing the optimization yourself, ensure that you:
- Make the website responsive. If you’re using WordPress, choose responsive themes—that is, a theme that’s compatible with all devices.
- Choose the right web hosting provider. Web hosting directly impacts how well your website performs. Speed is essential—and far more important when it comes to mobile devices.
- Perform SEO audits regularly and check if your web pages take too long to load. If they are lacking, start optimizing the codebase and compressing images. Google’s Mobile Speed Test Tool is an excellent resource to check how well you’re doing.
- Eliminate or minimize obstacles. Incorporate caches, use video streaming websites to upload videos, and regularly update your website.
- Once your website is optimized and ready, use a tool such as Google’s Mobile-friendly Test, to make sure everything’s in place
- Additionally, building a separate mobile application goes a long way in retaining customers. It also makes doing business a lot easier for you.
Your Website has a Bad Design
If you think web design has nothing to do with gaining an audience and customers, think again. Visuals affect us significantly—and if your website doesn’t look good, you’ll lose customers.
Additionally, good web design is also about easy navigation and a quick, simple checkout process. And lastly, it helps build your brand image—everything from the color to the structure of the website matters.
What exactly is bad web design, and how do you ensure yours isn’t an offender?
Here are a few telltale signs:
- The website is cramped: there’s text everywhere
- Fancy fonts and funky colors—it looks like a one-year-old’s picture book
- Customers can’t figure out how to navigate or checkout
- No custom homepage
- No landing pages—your website is just one page
Hiring an expert SEO services provider that specializes in small businesses is one way to correct these errors. Explain your target audience, brand’s vision, and requirements to them before proceeding.
Your Website is Slow to Load
We’ve already talked about the significance of speed when we explained why mobile optimization is important. However, it isn’t just mobile page speeds that need to be swift. A slow-loading website on any platform can kill your business over time.
Customers aren’t the only ones who hateslow-loading websites; Google hates them too—and it even announced a new “badge” for such websites. If it gets attached to your website, this badge of shame will turn away prospective customer seven before they visit your website.
Ideally, your website shouldn’t take longer than 2 or 3 seconds to load. Five seconds is the absolute limit before a viewer will switch to a competitor. Thus, not only do you lose a prospective viewer, but you also lose them to a competitor, which is worse.
Google’s speed update is a sure sign that the search engine has caught up with what matters to its users: getting things done, fast.
And how do you speed up your website? You do more or less what we’ve explained needs to be done with mobile optimization, along with:
- Minimize redirects. Additional redirects—from one page to another page—slow your website down.
- Use browser caches to remember users. Google hasmore informationon caches.
- Boost server response times. The higher the traffic to your website, the greater thechances of your website slowing down. You’ll have to get rid of bottlenecks here: poor routing, bad web-hosting providers, slow database, bad memory, and so on. Getyour server response below 200ms.
- CDNs—or Content Distribution Networks—are a clever way of distributing your content. These networks have copies of your website distributed to various data centers, thus ensuring your viewers get access to your website quickly.
- Get images right. Optimize them. Format them correctly—such as in PNG or JPEG—and compress them. Use image sprites to upload all your images at once, thereby triggering fewer HTTP requests. It’s time-saving and ensures your viewers don’t have to wait for one image after the other to load.
You’re UsingOutdated SEO Techniques
Like everything else, SEO evolves. And small businesses, more than established empires, need to understand and implement all the latest developments into their SEO strategies. At the same time, you need to get rid of outdated SEO techniques that are no longer useful.
Some of these techniques are:
- Article spinning: Using software to create “unique” content that is unreadable garbage
- Over-optimizing exact keywords: Google knows keyword stuffing when it sees it.
- Excess pages: You might think you need separate pages for your, say, 25 different services. That’s how you’ll rank for each keyword, right? Perhaps. The only problem is that your website is oriented toward keywords and not at customers, and Google is more user-friendly these days. Besides, Google can detect spammy pages as well. Its Knowledge Graph Search API will do you in eventually.
- Quantity matters: Churning out blog posts as if they were coming out of a machine is a bad idea. Your blogs won’t have any novelty, they’ll have no value, and it’s a useless waste of time. It’s the TMI—Too Much Information—of SEO. And TMI is never good.