Google is the Boss
If you're curious about the world and dependent on the web to give you answers to all of life's questions like everyone else on the planet, then you've likely realized how many times a day you visit Google. It is the single-most visited website in the world, all thanks to its well-earned reputation for being a search engine that gives the user what they want. Google rewards websites with highly organized and well-written content. So, if you're thinking your website can make it on its own without adhering to Google's algorithms, think again. Here are 5 things Google hates about your website.
#1: Content is Key
Think of your website like a novel. While your readers are certainly going to have an opinion on the cover page and art, the reason they bought the book is for the story. Obviously, people don't like badly written books. If the story doesn't make any sense, contains plot holes and fails to flow from one chapter to the next, then don't expect your book to make it on any bestseller list.
The content of your website follows the same rules. Google rewards quality content. Therefore, if your website reads like one long ad riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes with the same keywords stuffed all over the place, your website will fall off the face of the earth.
How to fix it: Don't cheap out on the content. Produce meaningful, quality content on a regular basis that's relevant to your website and doesn't look like spam. Click here to read Google's advice on creating top notch content.
#2: Fix Your Broken Links, Already!
If you're a person who frequents the web, then you have probably experienced the sheer frustration of trying to find something on a website only to encounter the dreaded 404 File Not Found error. So, if you don't like broken links, why inflict them on your users? Fix these errors as soon as possible!
Google rewards those who take care of their websites. Remember, it's all about the user's experience, so to have a website with missing pages isn't exactly abiding by that credo. Fixing broken links can actually change your rankings.
How to Fix it: Properly link all your web pages. Use any free broken link checker to quickly and efficiently go through all the pages on your site.
[caption id="attachment_959" align="aligncenter" width="384"] Jealous?
#3: If it Isn't Mobile-Friendly, You're Doing it Wrong
There is no excuse for it. If your website isn't mobile friendly, you should seriously a) accept the 21st century for what it is and where it's going, and b) consider the fact that most Google searches are done on a mobile device. Again, remember that the user comes first. The user's experience will suffer without mobile-friendliness. Google will lay down heavy penalties if your website isn't mobile-friendly, so don't think you can hold off or run and hide from Google. Its algorithms will find you and punt you down the SERP rabbit hole.
How to fix it: It's simple. Make your website compatible with smart phones and tablets and be henceforth pardoned of your sins!
[caption id="attachment_958" align="aligncenter" width="317"] Look how excited kitty is by mobile-friendliness
#4: Don't Underestimate Importance of Sitemaps
Sitemaps are the blueprints of your website. If your blueprints are missing, incomplete or wrong, then how do you expect a contractor to build your house properly? Think of your sitemap in the same way. Always have an accurate and up-to-date sitemap. Without proper sitemaps, Google and other search engine crawlers will struggle to properly index new and updated pages.
How to Fix it: Consult with your web team (Psst! We know a great one) to build a proper sitemap. For more information on how to construct your website's sitemap, click here.
[caption id="attachment_956" align="aligncenter" width="480"] If you don't have a sitemap, you ain't got nothin'
#5: Help Google "See" Your Website with Alt-text and Meta Descriptions
Google may be a lot of things, but until our nightmares about the future of technology come true, it doesn't have eyeballs. That being said, Google relies on us to explain what it is that users are looking at. Obviously, it can't see images, which is why we should write descriptive and accurate alt-texts for every image we post. This is your chance to show google that your images are relevant to your content.
Like image alt-texts, meta descriptions tell Google what your content is all about. Meta descriptions tell the user why your site showed up on search results. But if Google can't understand what your web page is about, don't expect a user to. In fact, don't even expect the user to find your website at all. Google won't do your site any favours if there's no concise, relevant meta description to quickly and succinctly describe what your content is all about.
If your website is struggling to get a higher search engine ranking, there may be a solution. Don't be a hero! If you need some help, but you're not sure how to get started, it may be worth it to hire a professional SEO firm. Contact us
today to discuss possible solutions.