Search engine optimization or SEO is being utilized by businesses big and small to increase traffic and conversions onsite. The stakes are high as Google AdWords and Bing Ads are gaining more and more real estate on the search results page pushing organic listings further down. To get any traffic requires your SEO campaign to be firing on all cylinders.
1. Poor page speed
First up is a failure to address page speed. Google makes it fairly obvious that page loading time is important by providing tools that allow webmasters to test speed e.g.
There’s also a few useful other tools to check out:
https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse/#devtools which you can run against a URL to perform an audit for performance.
If you find that your page speed is poor what can you do? It’s time to call your website developer and hosting company:
- Can your developer incorporate some optimizations on loading?
- Can images be optimized?
- From the hosting side, are you on the basic level of server competing with hundreds of other websites for resource?
These are things which can be addressed but will probably cost you money in developer time and better hosting packages. But it might just be worth it. Google has announced that from July 2018 mobile page speed is going to be a ranking factor. Their research indicates that as page loading time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32%. By 5 seconds, the probability increases to a huge 90%.
Think about it. Your website is losing nearly all its traffic on mobile. Is it worth spending some money to keep those customers – and give your rankings a boost?
2. Failure to move to HTTPS
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is transferred between your browser and the website that you are browsing. It means that all data that you send is secure and encrypted. Google has announced that from July 2018, all websites still on HTTP when browsed in chrome will display a warning about security of the website. This may mean that some of your customers do not visit your website out of fear. That’s not good. We also know already that HTTPS is a known ranking signal . So moving to HTTPS is a priority now for every website owner who cares about their traffic.
3. Believing social media is pointless
Google (or its employees anyway) has always said social signals are not a direct ranking factor. So for many business owners, this piece of information may make them glad that they haven’t wasted their time. In fact just recently Wetherspoons announced that they are quitting all social media as it wasn’t essential to their business. Wrong. Social signals may not be part of Google’s algorithm, but they do help SEO and your traffic immensely. JD Wetherspoons may not need to rely on Google as much as a small business whose brand is unknown.
- Social mediaprovides a means to amplify your new content – whether it is a blog, press release or new photos of a job you’ve completed. This can bring traffic to your website. Relying solely on organic traffic is risky as your website may take a dive as a result of an algorithmic update and you could lose everything. Having a mix of traffic from different channels is better.
- Shares and Likes may give Google a nudge to go and find your content and index it which means that it can be discovered online and deliver traffic to your website.
- Social media will boost your brand mentions and make Google believe that your brand is worthy of being associated with a particular service or product.
None of these things are show stoppers – your website will still be visible in Google and Bing. But it means that you are not squeezing out as much ranking power as you could be by ignoring these. What do you think?