Is Your Website Putting Up a Better Offense & Defense?
Feb. 04, 2019
I am writing this while watching the Superbowl 53. A perfect example of what I want to discuss today. Two great teams, the defense has kept the pressure on, some small missteps, and then suddenly New England is ahead (never looking back), this time not blowing its second attempt at a field goal, and putting up a better defense. Do you know where your website ranks?
When a business looks to create a website they try to find a website designer that will enable them to accomplish their goals. They search online looking for examples of websites, competitors websites, and some ask colleagues for referrals. But how are you sure that you're seeing results, other than the phone not ringing?
When a client calls me I always ask for the most basic of information besides their name and phone number unless they are starting a new business or website for the first time. The reason is quite simple, before talking to a client I investigate their information so that the next time we speak I can discuss what I found and what I would like to recommend. No, I don't have a magic crystal ball. But I do have the next best thing, the internet.
Today I would like to share with you what I look for, in trying to understand where the prospective client is online and elsewhere and their standing in comparison to their competition. I want to see if they are actively maintaining their presence or are they ignoring the constant changes that Google, Yahoo, and Bing are making in regards to search.
I look for Google and Bing business listings, reviewing the business hours comparing them to what is posted online, photos (looking for former employees, out of date pictures), links, and customer ratings. This shows me (and I'm guessing Google and Bing) if anyone is maintaining the business information online or did someone do it years ago and the information is out of date.
The next step for me is running a full SEO audit of their site, and no I don't need your permission in advance, it's how companies discover what their competition is up to, and it's totally legal. I want to find out if anyone bothered proofing for errors, broken links, videos hosted on YouTube, etc.. I will also get an idea if they of where they are in regards to SEO.
The next step in my search of a business website is to see where they are in regards to traffic, rank online, what they are bidding on advertising and some other key indicators that will help me find out where they are.
Below are the five most common website design mistakes I have come to expect.
- Spelling & grammar errors, women, in particular, resent typos, as do many men and search engines.
- Broken outdated links (even on brand new websites). One account the client paid $2,000 for a website and on the about us page there was no way to navigate the rest of the site.
- Wordpress missing plug-ins for SEO, anti-spam, analytics, no blog back-up, and other critical plug-ins. Non-licensed plug-ins so that the next time there is an update, the client either pays or they leave their site open to attack or injection.
- Nonsense articles designed for keywords that are hurting their site rankings, search engines have gotten better and learned to detect fake pages. The user unaware that these pages are for search ends up reading pages that are redundant and unnecessary.
- Special effects that serve no purpose and slow down the site, causing lower ranking on search.
There's plenty more of "bad ideas" and "bad mistakes", the five listed above are just the most frequent.
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