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7 Mistakes Website Owners Make

7 Mistakes Website Owners Make

Creating and maintaining a website nowadays is far from doing the same ten years or even just five years ago. Things have changed a lot and oftentimes website owners are not able to quickly adapt to these changes until a serious consequence resulting from negligence or ignorance slaps them hard in the face. If a website is not built and managed properly, you won’t achieve your expected page rank, web traffic, sales conversions, and profits.

All people who possess a clear understanding of how websites should be run have definitely committed grave mistakes in the past before they got to where they are now. This article shares seven common critical mistakes that new website owners often make.

1. Building a website on a free subdomain

As your website gets established and accumulates more inbound links, it starts to rank better over time in the search engine results pages. Let’s say that you chose to create your website on a free subdomain even if you have plans for future expansion. Then the time to move your site to a bigger hosting provider comes. What will happen to all of your site’s inbound links? Should you decide to move, you will lose credit for all of those precious links pointing to your free-subdomain site. This is because almost all free subdomain hosting providers don’t allow URL redirection. A 301 redirect is how you can inform search engines that your website has moved to a new address without having to start from scratch in terms of search engine rankings.

2. Creating a Flash-based site

It used to be the case that search engines couldn’t read and index Flash content. While they have gotten considerably better at that task, you may observe that Flash websites don’t rank at the top of search results pages for targeted keywords. The biggest hurdle with Flash-based sites is that the whole website is on the same URL. This means that you won’t benefit from internal links, site size, content relevancy, and other areas that play a crucial role in on-page search engine optimization.

3. Using a splash page as your homepage

Every one of us has visited a website with one engaging image or animation on its splash page that people have to click to access the “real” homepage. From a usability perspective, this is really bad because some people get confused, think that the website is still under construction due to lack of content, and hence leave.

What’s even worse is that it’s also damaging from an SEO viewpoint. This is because splash pages:

  • Have little to no text content – The homepage is normally the portion of your website that has the strongest chance to rank in search engine results. Hence, you should ensure that the content of your homepage is brimming with targeted keywords that would paint a clear picture of what your site is all about to search engines.
  • Can split link popularity – Let’s say your splash page is located at yourwebsite.com. When they click to “enter”, they will be taken to yourwebsite.com/home2.html. It can’t be helped that some people will link to your site via yourwebsite.com and some directly via yourwebsite.com/home2.html. If you have 50 inbound links pointing to you, those can be split between your splash page and your real homepage. In other words, link popularity will be divided. One homepage having all 50 inbound links pointing to it will be more valuable to your search ranking.

4. Taking internal links for granted

Search engines find other pages in your website through following internal links. One of the biggest mistakes that website owners make is that they don’t create internal links that connect one web page to another. For aesthetic purposes, they use dropdown menus. Others rely solely on search boxes. Hence, search engines won’t be able to locate their other pages, resulting in an SEO opportunity loss.

5. Not having title tags

Title tags are the visible words in the tabs of web browsers and also the headlines in your search engine rankings. While they aren’t directly on your pages’ content, they play a huge role in on-page optimization by telling search engines what a certain page is all about. It’s so unfortunate that many web owners take title tags for granted and use the default “untitled” as their page title! Some only use generic phrases like Home Page or About Us or utilize the same title for all of their pages, which also does nothing to tell search engines what keywords they should rank your site for. Take note that each web page should have its own keyword-rich title that describes its content.

6. Having duplicate content

Duplicate content occurs when one of your pages has the same wording as another page. For instance, some web owners don’t make the effort to change the default wording used by their e-commerce service provider. Duplicate content can also occur when there aren’t enough words on your page to differentiate itself from other similar page in the World Wide Web. When search engines can’t tell your web pages from others, then they simply won’t rank your pages.

7. Not capturing your visitors’ email address

One of the biggest mistakes that site owners make is forgetting to build an email list or attempting to do so using an ineffective method (i.e. making people sign up for a newsletter that they believe would flood their inbox). So you can do business on the net, you have to have some way to follow up with your prospective customers so they can know your business more and trust you enough. By doing so, your company will be top of mind when they’re ready to purchase.

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