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How to Weed Your Website: Common Errors Affecting Your SEO Efforts Part 2

Last week we discussed how our websites are like gardens and take work to keep them in shape. Here at Lunar, we run SEO audits to tell us where we need to prune or water our websites. There are many common errors that we find on websites of all sizes when we run our audits. In this blog we will be looking at content issues, page speed, mobile-friendliness and checking to see if your content is contextually relevant.

Content Issues

There are many types of content issues. If there is not enough content on your page, web crawlers will have little to read to figure out what your company does. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 250 words per page. This content should include keywords that tell the website crawlers what you do and what you care about as a business. If you are a landscaping company, you’ll want to have at least 250 words on each page that talks about a different service you offer—yard maintenance, irrigation systems, landscape design, etc.

Another problem we run across is duplicate content. This happens a lot if you are selling products and use the same descriptions for similar items. Duplicate content confuses the website crawlers when determining which information is relevant to a search query. The more you confuse web crawlers, the less likely they are to choose your site as relevant.

Pagespeed

How fast your website loads directly impacts SEO. A slow-loading website can lead to a loss in customer traffic. Imagine standing in line for a roller coaster. If that line is moving slowly and the other roller coasters have faster moving lines, you may be tempted to bail and move to a different line. Luckily, finding out how fast your page loads is a service Google provides. We use Google’s freely available PageSpeed Insights tool to look at both how your page is loading on desktop and mobile devices. Common errors we find are images that are too large or are stored on the network server and not cached, so each time the page loads it has to contact the server to get those images. This slows things down and you inevitably lose potential customers.

Mobile Friendliness

Mobile search is becoming more and more relevant as the number of smartphones and tablets continues to grow, so your website now needs to be optimized for mobile search. Optimizing your site also allows Google to tag it as mobile friendly, which will help your site in mobile search rankings. Common issues with websites loading on a smartphone are things like text that is too small to read, or links that are too small to comfortably click with your finger.

Context

We use Google Keyword Planner to see if you and Google agree about the context of your website. This is a great tool to figure out keywords for an AdWords campaign. But it is also a useful tool for determining what exactly Google thinks your website is about. Sometimes what Google thinks you do, and what you actually do, aren’t a perfect match. For the best SEO, you want Google to agree with you about what your website is all about. Taking action on your website to make this happen can give you a large boost in SEO.

Here’s one more trick to evaluate your website’s performance: It used to be that you could search for your website on Google to see where your pages pop up in organic search. However, As Google has made efforts to personalize search results, their algorithm now takes into account what pages you tend to visit and shows those as closer to the top; a simple search is now catered to your search history and interests. Unless you’re searching in your browser’s private or incognito mode, you aren’t getting unbiased results. Here at Lunar Logic, we work incognito to figure out where our customers’ web pages would show up for associated keywords to a user with no search history. This tells us what work we need to do to get the search robots to see a business and rank it higher in the search results.

We hope after reading these blogs that you know what to look for to get your website into tip-top shape. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Image Credit: http://tinyurl.com/jdxrkhd
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