The whole purpose of your website is to get people to visit it and to stay there, reading what you have to say or offer. There are a few things that will have people leaving your site so fast they will never even find out if you are selling something or just trying to help them with a problem. Once you have your website set up, take an afternoon and go over it with a fine tooth comb. The following errors are more important to your traffic and search engine ranking than all the graphics, animations and sounds you have added for fun and attention.
Once someone gets to your homepage, it is important that there is a way to get to the information needed. You need to have a sitemap that allows visitors to go from page to page without having to look all over to find the tabs or links. It is vitally important that the tabs work properly. Spend time checking each and every one of your internal links.
You might think the over-the-top graphics, background music and animations are going to draw people to the site, but if you have so much going on that the site loads slow, visitors will click away before there is a chance to see everything. If you are going to have these things, give visitors a chance to turn them off when they first land on your home page. Always make sure any sounds, music or videos can be turned off, not just the volume lowered.
One URL per Website
There are some websites that can be accessed through more than one URL. While it might seem like a good idea, Google will consider it to be duplicate content and put you way down on the search results for this. As long as you have good tags and meta descriptions, you do not need to have more than one URL for your site. Good content is the key to higher rankings.
Grammar or Spelling Errors
You may not realize how many people will go to a different site if you have spelling and grammar errors on yours. People like to feel that they are dealing with someone trustworthy and professional. If you cannot be bothered to make sure you have error-free content, you must not be too professional. Remember, people coming to your website get their first impression of you by what they see there. Most people want to see at least business casual attire on the people they are doing business with. Grammar and spelling is your attire when it comes to doing business over the Internet.
If you are going to put in a link to a source, make sure the link works. If a visitor clicks a link that does not take them to the site, they will figure things are not right and go elsewhere for the information. Another thing to check is that clicking a link does not cause visitors to leave your site. Make sure it just opens a new window for them. Do not have links to a page that has nothing to do with your content; they should be giving more information. Linking to a site that simply reiterates what you have already said will have your clients going directly to the linked site the next time they need or want something instead of coming back to you.
Leave your site completely and go back to it a couple times as a visitor would. If you are getting any type of malware warning, go into your admin tools and find out why. People who get a warning before going to your site will never let it load. It is also a good idea to double check any links. You do not want to be sending your clients to a site that will put malware on their computers.
Giving your Contact Information
People, especially customers, want to know they can get in touch with you if necessary. You may not like the idea of putting your phone number on your site, but if you keep your contact info to email only, it will turn people away. And please, do not use a form that they fill out with no way for them to get your email address. It will make people feel you are hiding something; which you are.
Search engines are getting strict on the overuse of keywords and phrases. You cannot just stick them in anywhere if they do not make sense. Trying to trick them by using common misspellings of words will not work either. Customers are getting tired of reading the same information on every site they go to; come up with a new angle on things to keep them reading. If you are selling things, make sure customers can see what it is and read a good description. If they cannot get what they need to know about something on your site, they will go to a site that is more detailed and buy it from them. To keep your website on good terms with the search engines and keep visitors coming and staying, ask a few friends to look over the site and critique it for you. It may look incredible, but no one will know that if they just click away to another site.
Author: Charles Dearing has extensive experience as a business SEO consultant. He enjoys sharing his tips and insights on various webmaster and SEO blogs. If your site needs urgent SEO Services, find out more about SEO Works.