Missing and duplicate meta descriptions are the most common SEO problems we encounter.
Thankfully, this is easy to fix and it can have a huge impact on your traffic. Not because they impact your rankings but because they impact click-through rates (CTRs).
Meta descriptions are the text you see below a search result on Google. If you haven’t written them, Google writes them for you, and they are not usually very good.
Meta descriptions should be around 300 characters in length (Google increased the length they will display in December 2017) and:
be written with the reader in mind
be engaging, not boring!
give the reader a reason to click and visit your website
contain the keywords found in your page title.
They should also be unique! You should never ever have duplicate meta descriptions.
Thankfully, most Content Management Systems have great tools for helping you write meta descriptions. We use Yoast SEO for WordPress.
3. You Don’t Have Alt Image Attributes
Alt image attributes are another example of under the hood optimisations that your website designer doesn’t care about. Every image should have an alt image tag!
What’s an ‘alt image attribute’ you may ask?
It’s simply a piece of code associated with images on your website that help Google and other search engines understand the content of your website and individual pages.
Most websites are missing alt image tags. Thankfully, it’s usually an easy fix in most content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.
And it can really help boost your rankings.
It’s really easy to add ‘alt attributes’ to image in WordPress. All you need to do:
Open your Media browser
Select the image
Update the ‘Alt Text’ field!
4. Your Website Is Slow
Your website is almost certainly slow. You probably can’t tell, but Google can and it impacts your rankings, traffic and conversion rates.
It impacts your rankings because Google cares about user experience.
When your website loads slowly, visitors get bored and leave your site. This is called “bouncing”.
Slow websites have higher bounce rates than faster websites. When users bounce, they don’t view your services or buy your products.
Research by section.io found that the bounce rate increases as page speed goes up. Just check out this table that shows how the bounce rate increases from 9.6% on average for websites that load in 2 seconds to 32.3% for websites that load in 7 seconds!
Website speed also impacts e-commerce cart abandonment rates. Slower websites have higher abandonment rates.
Online giant Amazon found that for every 100 milliseconds slower their sites loads, their sales dropped by 1%. 100 milliseconds is almost indiscernible to you the website owner, but it has a big impact on sales.
Lots of research supports this, including a study that found a 1-second delay in page load time reduces conversion rates by 7%.
You can’t afford to give people any reason not to click the purchase button.
Just like a sales rep who turns up late and unprepared for a meeting, you shouldn’t expect your customers to wait for your slow website.
Your website should load in 2 seconds.
How To Tell If Your Website Is Slow
Thankfully, there are tons of free online tools available that will tell you just how well it performs and what you can do about it.
Here are our 2 favourite free tools to check your website’s speed and performance.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to work out just how well your website is structured technically.
PageSpeed Insights checks to see if a particular page has applied common performance best practices. It provides a score ranging from 0 to 100 points for both Mobile and Desktop experiences.
Based on the page’s score, you get detailed feedback on what you need to do to speed it up.
GTMetrix hooks into both the Google Pagespeed Insights and YSlow APIs and allows you to measure your site’s performance from various locations around the world.
The free plan is pretty decent and allows you to track a bunch of sites. You can upgrade to paid plans to monitor more sites and access their API.
How To Speed Up Your Website
There are tons of articles on the web about how to speed up your website.
Instead of regurgitating more the same, here are some links to further reading:
You might ask what we’re talking about with this article. What do dogs, stars, cash cows, and question marks have to do with my business? Don’t worry, we haven’t lost our collective minds, and all will be revealed. What we’re talking about is a portfolio planning model developed by Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting […]