Making design mistakes in the construction of websites is common, but if you can avoid these classic search engine optimisation mistakes to start the process towards a much better search result.
#1. HEAVY PICTURES AND GRAPHICS RATHER THAN TEXT:
Search engines like information and text content, and lots of it. The more your copy content is updated and kept current, the more often a search engine will come back to index your website. Apart from that, graphics, flashy animation and images can slow down the website performance thus adversely impacting the visitor experience.
#2. WRITING COPY IN INDUSTRY LINGO:
Often people searching for businesses like yours don’t use your industry jargon at all. Once you know how they search for you, you can start to write more relevant copy that will return a search engine match to potential customers. The key is to write your copy as though you are the person searching for someone like you – not as someone who is immersed within it.
# 3. USING A DOT COM DOMAIN AND OFFSHORE HOSTING BECAUSE IT’S CHEAPER:
Search engines look to match local results to local queries because they want to deliver the most relevant search results. So if you only trade in Australia, for example, get a com.au domain. If you already have an international domain, you can specify a target geographic market through verifying your website with Google Webmaster and specifying your market in Webmaster.
#4. IGNORE THE 5 SECOND RULE:
You have less than 5 seconds to tell a website visitor what you do. Make headlines very clear about the products or services you offer and include key benefits. If you site is looking to sell something online, ensure your navigation is less than 3 clicks to order. And finally, have a conversion trigger, such as call to action or an instruction which tells customers what you want them to do.
#5. ASSUMING OFFLINE AND ONLINE CHANNELS ARE THE SAME:
People interact differently online and if you don’t understand this principle, or worse ignore it, it will be to your peril. Although your website needs to work with your offline channels (such as a sales force or shop), it needs to be built as a standalone complementary part of your business. Make sure you design it so that it works well in its online environment.
#6. BEING SCARED BY COMPETITION:
Punch a search phrase into Google and see how many results come back, the numbers are scary because they are so large. But most of these results will be irrelevant – so don’t let the numbers frighten you away. Optimize your website properly, and you might be on the front page faster than you expect.
#7. DON’T DUPLICATE CONTENT ON MULTIPLE SITES.
It’s hard work creating good content. Once you have done it, the temptation is to put it up on multiple sites so that you can occupy lots of space on the front page. When website content is substantially the same across multiple sites, it is known as “mirror sites.” If you are caught, you risk all your domains being blacklisted by the different search engines and this means that none of your domains will rank.