For many non-search engine marketing professionals, they’re often told keywords are the most important component of SEO. But over recent years, having a website that offers a positive user experience has been proven to be more important than relevant keywords. There are many things that impact positive user experience and below are twelve things that hurt SEO.
ADA stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act. The act was established in 1990 and it prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the Internet.
For a website to be ADA compliant, people with disabilities must be able to read and understand the content on the site. This means a transcript for audio-only media and closed captions on videos. Website ADA compliance also includes page contrast, the placing of descriptive text behind images, and organizing the site in a way that is easy for screen readers to access the content in a logical way. A site that isn’t ADA compliant hurts SEO because the site isn’t accessible to everyone.
If you want to learn more about ADA compliance, be sure to check out the seminar we are presenting in October at the Enterprise Center.
A blog is another thing that provides sites with a positive user experience and by not having one can it can hurt SEO.
Blogs provide positive user experience because they help build brand trust. Regular blog posts give sites fresh content, and by not utilizing one, it can give users the impression your site hasn’t been updated in a long time.
Another way blogs improve SEO is you’re able to rank for long-tail keywords. Longer, more specific keywords are good for businesses that are small and have big name brands as competitors. Half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer.
Thirdly, a quality blog gives sites more reasons to link back to your site.
Just like with blogging, by not being active with social media you are hurting your SEO. An active and engaged social media presence sends search engines the signal you have good authority. Additionally, social sharing drives traffic to your website and social media profiles rank in search engines.
With positive user experience in mind, slow page speed greatly hurts SEO. In today’s instant gratification world, people are impatient and want information fast. A slow page speed also means search engines can’t crawl as many pages.
Technical errors like broken links and missing pages hurt SEO. You don’t want people coming to your site only to find the thing they need is broken. You can use Google Search Console to see if there are any technical issues with your site.
Naturally, Google prefers sending users to trusted sites. Standing for secure sockets layer, an SSL certificate creates higher consumer confidence and encrypts form data. You can tell your site has an SSL certificate by looking up at your address box and seeing if you have ‘https’ in your URL. Last year, Google started labeling HTTP sites as “not secure.”
Spam comments are something every blog deals with, and unfortunately it can hurt SEO. Spam comments hurt SEO because Google considers where your site links to as a strong indication of what kind of site you are. The comments discredit you and impact your site’s authority. Be sure to always monitor your comments so you can avoid looking spammy. And remember, it’s your site and you can decide whether those comments appear.
You know how you can tell you’ve received a spam email by its poor spelling and grammar alone, well search engines are also wary of sites with these mistakes. According to Search Engine Land, sites with higher ranked pages tend to have less spelling mistakes and grammatical errors than lower ranked sites.
Pages with too many links are not user-friendly. When you have too many links, you give Google the impression your content isn’t valuable and you’re trying to stir users to somewhere else. Always make sure your links are relevant and are not going to distract users from the content on the original page.
Google loves original content and sees duplicate content as a shortcut. When updating your site or adding new pages, double check that a significant amount of content is not anywhere else on your site. If you have some duplicate content on your website because it is useful for users, put ‘no index’ or ‘no follow’ on those pages so that they don’t hurt your SEO.
At Sperling Interactive, all of our work is aimed at creating positive user experiences. Whether we built your website or not, we can optimize your site for search engines and provide positive user experiences. To learn more about the work we do, give us a call at (978) 304-1730.