By this point in my career, I’ve worked on more sites than I care to remember. While very few sites are what I would consider “perfect”, I’m still surprised at the number of sites I see that seem to be missing some of the very basics.
Here are 4 mistakes that I see far too often.
CMS / Site Architecture Issues
Many sites are plagued with issues resulting from a poorly implemented CMS. URL structures, redirect issues and duplicate content issues are at the top of the list.
Overly Optimized Content
It’s no longer necessary to fill your website with keyword stuffed content that has been written primarily for the search engines, with little regard for the end user. While it’s still a good idea to make sure that your target keywords are contained in the key areas (page titles, heading tags, body copy) they should be inserted naturally, and not appear forced. The bottom line, is this – your primary focus should be writing content for your users, not the search engines.
Poorly Optimized Meta Data
Titles that are too long. Meta Descriptions that don’t entice the user to click through. Keyword stuffed Meta Keywords tags. Your Page Title and Meta Description serve as your websites first impression since it’s the first thing that users will see when you your website appears on a search engine results page (SERP). Make the most of the space that you have. Oh, and the Meta Keywords tag? Just stop using it. Seriously – stop.
Incomplete Data Capture / Poorly Integrated Analytics
There is absolutely no reason not to have an analytics package installed on your website – especially since the industry standard, Google Analytics, is free. Without it, it’s impossible to know where your visitors are coming from, and what they’re doing once they get there. Don’t stop at a basic installation, though. Setup goal tracking. Track specific events. Setup custom dashboards and automated reports. Use the tool to become an informed marketer that makes decisions based on facts, not feelings.