Many times, business search rankings are taking a hit without owners knowing about it... While not as glamorous as executing an exciting digital new strategy, tackling SEO mistakes are often where we start with new clients. A focus on getting the simple details right can have such a large impact down the road.
We're sharing the five most common new site SEO errors that we’ve come across during our recent Wivisor engagements. Some good news though - all of these have quick remedies that can be applied.
#1 - Missing Meta Descriptions on Active Pages
We wanted to start this common errors list with Meta Descriptions because this is an easy fix and quick win. A Meta Description is a page’s ‘kicker’ that visitors will see under the page title shown in the results on Google. Best practices indicate that these descriptions should be between 50-160 characters.
More often than not, missing descriptions will pop up during our review with new content that’s been recently added. We’d be lying if we weren’t guilty of forgetting this ourselves during some of our initial projects. To counteract this common error, the best approach can be to establish strong content review processes and make Meta Descriptions a part of them. Checking before content goes live and after publishing are no-brainers to make sure there aren’t any misses.
#2 - No Consistent Content update strategy
Now stepping back and taking a larger look at content, a systemic problem that we’ve come across is finding a client’s website looking thin or sparsely populated.
Why is this a mistake we want to raise to new website owners who likely are still working on content strategy? Because empty websites typically exist in ‘content desert’ mode long after they’ve been created when a content gameplan isn’t considered right from their go-live date.
We suggest at a minimum discussing and outlining the following:
- Who do we need to be viewing our website?
- What type of content can we provide to make our site useful to these viewers?
- At what frequency are we going to commit to publishing that content?
- Is our website transactional, informational or navigational in nature?
Now we’re only scratching the surface of content strategy with the three bullets above. At a minimum, answering these questions internally can act as the launching point for defining a compelling game plan to build around.
#3 - Not considering the code
Are you keeping SEO in mind while building out or expanding your site? A lot of website builders will automatically optimize for mobile display, but not always for overall site speed. We’ve come across scenarios where sub-optimal site loading speed went unnoticed for months, which is going to negatively impact rankings and overall user experience.
We switched to Webflow earlier this year because their platform allows us to push out websites with clean code. Minimizing any unneeded access that would have slowed down load times. Read more about the benefits of clean code in our post here.
#4 - Inconsistent or Missing NAP Information
With frequency we’ve come across NAP Information (Name, Address, Phone Number) that isn’t consistent across a site and linked social media and Google My Business pages. This can quickly lead to user confusion while confusing Google when determining rank and status. A discrepancy commonly occurs here when contact information was changed. A simple audit can quickly capture a mistake like this. We suggest maintaining a checklist of active pages with NAP Information that can be referenced whenever an update is made.
With our list of four common errors above, we’ve done our best to call out of some of the broader miss steps we’ve seen trending. With any luck (and maybe a little help from your pals at Wivisor), you’ll be able to avoid these pitfalls as you push forward in the SEO space.
Thanks for reading!
- The Wivisor Team