10 Things Google Hates About You
Did you know that Google applies over 10,000 ranking signals to your website? If you don’t cater to the search engine, it’s easy for your content (and business) to become lost in the deep dark depths of Google (aka not the first page of results). If you want to boost the visibility of your business online and get more traffic to your site, take a look at some of the stuff you should be fixing below.
This is an easy thing to tweak. Review your site’s content: is it easy to digest? Or does it read a bit like a Shakespeare play? If the answer is yes to the latter, then consider rewriting your copy using words and phrases which your prospective client is likely to be typing into the search bar on Google.
Using industry jargon that your prospects don't understand makes it almost impossible for them to stumble upon you online. For example, architects who provide office design often write about “space” and “environment visualisation” when their prospective customers are searching for “office layout” or “how can I get more desks in my office?” – which means they don’t get found by their potential client, only by other architects employing the same, flowery language.
Having hefty images on a web page can slow the speed of your site right down – not good considering that big images can increase your bounce rate. Think about it: if it takes far longer to download pictures on your site than it does of your competitors, which one do you think is going to provide the better experience for the user, particularly as more of us move to mobile?
Noisy Little Monkey recommend 150dpi for a photo used on a website. If you do an image test with WebpageTest (using a UK test location), it will tell you which of your photos are too big and you can compress them to give your visitors (and Google) a better user experience.
3. Duplicate Content
When Google crawls your site to match a search, it wants to find the one specific page with that information on. But, if you have the same service description (or the same lawyer profile bio) thrown onto multiple pages of your website, Google’s not going to know which piece of content is best to serve the searcher. To get rid of duplicate content on your website, use Siteliner. It detects duplicated copy and highlights it.
Also, check the content provided by your content marketing agency – is it absolutely unique to your site or is it spun out across many other legal websites? If so, Google’s seeing all that content as low value, probably even spammy.
4. Mobile Friendliness
A good web developer will know that a website does not serve a ‘one size fits all’ purpose. Use Google's mobile friendly test to check whether your website is mobile responsive. Solicitors often ask us – “Why bother, doesn’t everyone search on a laptop for legal services?” Well, the quick answer is no; most people search using a mobile which is why Google's search index is soon going to switch to evaluate web pages on a mobile-first basis. This means that Google will rank its search listings based on the mobile version of your site's content (as opposed to desktop as is currently) and when it comes to dealing with big changes like this on Google, the secret is to emulate a scout: be prepared.
Get these foundations right and you’ll be on the path from having a site that Google hates, to a site that Google loves. Want to know the six other tweaks you should make to your site? You’ll have to nab a front row seat at Jon’s talk on Thursday 22nd March at 1pm in Theatre 3.
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