3 common SEO issues that can cost you traffic

In this article, Bill Vasiliadis from SEO for Small Business looks at 3 common SEO issues that cost business websites traffic and he provides links to some handy SEO tools you can use.

There are several SEO issues that can cost your website valuable traffic ranging from on-page issues to off-page and technical problems. Here are three of the most common ones I see every day with business websites. Although quite basic, many sites get these three areas wrong – and it’s unnecessarily costing them traffic and sales!

1) Is your site crawlable?illustration of crawlable website content

It is vital that search engine spiders are able to access your site pages and crawl all components of your website content including text, images, and links! When a search engine spider visits your site, its job is to visit and index as many of your site pages as possible within a set time period. If it comes across obstacles, then you are missing out on potential indexing of your site pages which results in less visibility and traffic from the search engines.

Obstacles can include complex navigational setups which use technologies that are not easily accessible by the search engines (for example complex Javascript or Flash). Although search engines are getting better at interpreting these kinds of technologies, nothing beats plain HTML text links for your site’s primary navigation. You can still come up with attractive and effective navigational options while ensuring it is accessible! Speak to your designer and developer about this and consult with an SEO consultant if required.

Other search engine stumbling blocks include broken links on your site which results in a ‘page not found’ error, and text embedded in images. You want to ensure that your site’s textual content is accessible and read by the spiders and not embedded (hidden) within your images.

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is an effective tool to analyse and audit your website from an SEO perspective. It crawls your website just like a search engine spider would!

2) Are you using the right keywords within your website content?Key to symbolise keywords

When writing your website content, your target audience will always come first though it is a good idea to know what keywords will drive the most targeted traffic to your site.

Once you know these keywords, they can be naturally slotted into the content by your copywriting agency.

It is crucial that you undertake professional keyword research to determine the most effective phrases to target based on what your audience is searching for relevant to your products and services. Article writers or a professional copywriter can then reference these target phrases and naturally slot them into your copy.

Keyword research is an ongoing requirement, especially if you are producing content for your website on a regular basis. Knowing which keyword phrases to include in your copy will ensure further targeted traffic to your website.

Effective keyword research tools include Word Tracker and the Google Keyword Tool.

3) Are you effectively implementing the title tag and meta description tag?

Both these tags can be set for all pages of your site. They should be unique and contain the primary and secondary target phrases of that page. The search engines only read a certain number of characters for these tags so they should also be optimal in terms of character length. The title tag should contain the primary target phrase and 1-2 secondary phrases and read naturally.

The Meta Description tag is the snippet found at the search engine results pages (under the title tag snippet) and it should describe the page with an included call to action. The aim of this tag is to attract the searchers attention, so it should again contain the pages’ target phrases and entice the user to click through to your site.

Primary and secondary phrases should always be determined by Keyword Research (as above) and not assumed.

Here is a simple tool to ensure you are within the character lengths for the title tag and meta description tag.

Effective implementation of these tags will result in further visibility with the search engines and drive targeted traffic to your site.

As you can see, I’ve only touched on 3 basic SEO areas that many business sites get wrong – but they’re issues which can be costing them potential targeted traffic. If in need of assistance with these areas and further SEO and content writing, seek the professional help of an SEO expert and respected content agency.

Bill Vasiliadis

SEO for Small Business specialises in providing affordable SEO services for small and micro enterprises. He often assists our clients with keyword research prior to the preparation or revision of their website content. You can also obtain a free SEO analysis from Bill and even have your site compared to that of a competitor.

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