5 Massive Mistakes You Probably Make on Your WordPress Site That Hurt Your Google Search Rankings
While the open-source platform can be a powerful tool for digital marketers, it also comes with some major pitfalls. Here are five serious problems you'll want to avoid when building your site.
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With that out of the way, let’s dive in!
1. Not using a mobile-friendly template
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and with good reason- they make our lives a lot easier. Between checking email, browsing the web, and using social media, we use our smartphones for just about everything. So it's no surprise that having a website that is mobile-friendly is more important than ever. Unfortunately, many website developers and entrepreneurs are still not using templates that are optimized for mobile devices.
Three reasons why you should consider using a mobile-friendly template for your website
1. Google will penalize your website
According to Google, the use of a mobile-friendly website is one of the "Most Important Ranking Signals" they use when determining how they rank websites. The reasoning is simple: if your website isn't mobile-friendly, Google knows that you're potentially ignoring millions of potential customers.
2. Higher conversions
It's no secret that people use smartphones these days. If your site is not optimized for smartphones, people will not be able to access it easily and conveniently on their phones. The result? A lower conversion rate, which will hurt your bottom line.
3. Easier to manage and update
Another benefit of using a mobile-friendly template is that it's easier to maintain and update- since everything is done online, you don't have to worry about updating your site's content when you're on the road or traveling. Your site's updates can be done from anywhere, so there will never be an excuse for missing an essential update or forgetting to post a new blog entry.
If you've been planning to update your site, this is the perfect time to do it. According to Google, "mobile-friendliness" will be a very important factor for search engine rankings in 2015 and beyond. The good news is that it's simple, easy, and free to build a mobile-friendly site using WordPress.
2. Using too many ads to monetize your site
Using too many ads on your site can be detrimental to your online business in the following ways:
1. You could potentially get penalized by Google
Google frowns on websites that stack their pages high with ads. They want to ensure that the users they provide with high-quality search results are given those results in a timely manner, and the inclusion of too many ads can delay page loading time, which is a no-no on Google's end.
2. Too many ads can make your site look spammy
Sites that are overloaded with ads tend to look spammy, and this is not the kind of impression you want to leave with your site visitors.
3. Too many ads can be distracting
Even worse than looking like a spammer, having too many ads on your pages will likely distract your visitors from the content itself.
4. Visitors will leave quickly
If visitors have to work to read content on your site due to ads, they are going to become frustrated and probably leave your website without completing the action you wanted them to take (whether that be making a purchase, filling out a form or signing up for an email list).
The simple fact is that if you're looking for a good return on your investment, using too many ads will not help. Using more than one ad per page is a good strategy, but this should be the exception rather than the norm.
3. Not optimizing images for loading time
Images are the headlines of your website, so it makes sense that you should make sure that you're optimizing them for fast loading time. In this article, we'll explore three ways to do this.
First, consider the image file type:
Second, when possible, use a web-optimized image format such as PNG or JPEG instead of a GIF or JPG.
Third, try to avoid using images with large file sizes.
One way to test an image's file size is to use the "Image Optimizer" tool at [http://www.redimension.com/imagetest/].
Optimizing images for fast loading time can have a huge impact on your website's usability, especially if you're running a business that relies heavily on visuals (for example, an online clothing store or an online magazine).
4. Hosting the wrong type of content on your site (e.g., porn, illegal downloads)
If you're trying to build a website for your business, it's important to think about what other content you can add in addition to your main products or service. One popular way of doing this is by adding "sidebar links." These are links on the side of your site that direct visitors to other websites (for example, Amazon links or blog posts that link to outside websites).
The problem arises when you find yourself with a website full of spam links and spammy information.
What's more, the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material on your site is illegal. If you're worried that you'll run into legal troubles with your website content, consider finding a content management system that gives you the flexibility to customize certain types of pages and posts.
A common mistake many small businesses make is thinking that their website content is not important. And, while your website should be a showcase of your products and services, you don't want to have a "porn site" that's full of links to other sites that are illegal.
5. Creating multiple pages with similar content
If you're a small business owner, you know it's important to create multiple pages on your website and dedicate part of each page to different content. For example, if you sell dog collars, then creating categories and product pages dedicated to dog collars (in addition to your main "About Us" page) is a good idea.
What most people don't realize is how easy it is to go overboard with this process. For example, if you have 20 product pages on your site, then each of those product pages will contain the same information - there will be no reason to create more page content. This can end up confusing your visitors and costing you money in the long run.
While it's important to create a variety of pages so that each visitor can find something they're interested in, spend most of your time creating content that attracts potential customers and not just followers.
Create multiple-page content, but don't be afraid to spend your time on 1 or 2 content pieces that are high quality and will help attract more customers than a dozen mediocre content pieces.
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