If you want to get a leg up on your competition, one of the most important things you can do is to concentrate on search engine optimization (SEO), which can increase both the quality and quantity of your website’s traffic through search engine results. Internet Live Stats recently reported that there are over 65,000 Google searches performed every second, and whether you’re a realtor selling townhouses in Atlanta, a freelance consultant or a retail business owner, you know that the closer your site makes it to the first page, the higher your profits will be.
If your website doesn’t rank high, these technical SEO fixes might be able to change that.
The faster your site is, the better the user experience, which is why its ranking can be affected by its speed. Slower sites are penalized which causes them to move down farther in the rankings. If server response time is over two seconds, Google will reduce the number of crawlers that’s sent to it, which also means fewer pages are indexed. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to track and measure your site’s performance and determine how to fix the problem. Oftentimes, the problem is too many plugins, large unoptimized images and/or poorly written code.
Too Many 404 Errors
If you have an eCommerce site and a product expires or is removed, it often becomes a 404, or “not found” error. While they don’t always cause SEO problems, 404 pages can lead to issues if internal or external links are pointing to them, they’re getting traffic and/or are shared through social media. To avoid this, set up a 301 redirect from the page that was deleted into a page that’s still relevant on your site to preserve SEO equity while providing a better user experience.
If you’re using copied content, it’s not only bad for your reputation, but it can negatively affect your site’s rankings and it may be penalized by Google too, potentially even losing the chance to rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) at all. Never use copied content – you can analyze it by using a tool like Copyscape to ensure originality.
While it was once the belief that the more pages for “SEO” purposes the better, it’s definitely no longer a good idea to crank out pages with weak content. Google aims to rank pages to provide value and purpose, which means you need to have quality content, ideally with a minimum of 500 informative words. If the content is too low-quality, it’s likely to reduce search engine crawl rate and traffic as a result.
Broken Images and Missing Alt Tags
Broken images and missing alt tags are the most common problems that wreak havoc on a business’ SEO efforts. An alt tag is an HTML attribute to an image which describes its content. If a component of an image doesn’t render properly, the alt tag will describe the contents and the function – it also helps to reinforce keywords by aiding search engine crawlers in understanding information on the page.
To implement alt tags, all you have to do is located the image component in the HTML code and add the alt tag to it. It should look something like this:
[notice type=”success”]<img src=”catdanceparty.gif” alt=”cats dancing”>[/notice]
[notice type=”info”]<img src=”pancakes.png” alt=”Stack of strawberry pancakes with whipped cream”>[/notice]
Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com