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3 Most Common “Behind the Scenes” SEO Website Mistakes

b2b online marketing strategy

When you think of a good website, there are a few things that immediately come to mind.

  1. It has a visually pleasing design and looks modern.
  2. It has a good structure and is easy to navigate.
  3. It has a lot of helpful information and resources.

While all of this definitely makes up a good website, there are a lot of “behind the scenes” elements that a website needs to be user friendly and be optimized for search engines.

So many times I see a website, or get a new client, that has a good website on the outside, but once you dig into the source code or poke around in the back end, there are major red flags. I have laid out 3 essential behind the scenes website mistakes and their easy solutions.

1. More Than One Homepage

Having more than one version of a homepage is a common issue with websites. Generally how this happens is when you create a website you have the homepage as a page, but really the homepage should be the domain name. So instead of the homepage showing up as only www.(website).com it shows up as www.(website).com/home as well. So now you have two URLs with the exact same content. Because of this, search engines may report the homepage as two different pages. This creates:

  1. A duplicate content issue, because you have two pages with the same content. Search engines like Google penalize this.
  2. A tracking issue, because with two homepages you will not get a clear picture of traffic to the homepage and other sections of the site.

This is a very common issue and is sometimes even unavoidable depending on the platform that you are creating your website on. Thankfully, there is a very easy solution: 301 redirects. A redirect is a function that sends a user from one URL to another URL. This way when someone, including search engines, land on the www.(website).com/home version of the homepage they will immediately and automatically get redirected to the correct URL version, www.(website).com.

There are several ways to set up 301 redirects, so be sure to talk to your IT team to figure out how to set them up on your website’s platform.

Note: Very similar to this, be sure to redirect the non-www. version of your website to the www. version. Not doing this could create the same problems as above.

2. Not Having a “Map” of Your Website

Search engines, like Google, and humans are actually more similar then you would think. Just like humans would benefit from having some sort of map of all of the pages on your site, Google needs it as well. Creating two sitemaps on your website are essential to telling users and Google about your website’s structure.

  1. XML Sitemap. An XML sitemap tells a search engine bot how to “crawl” a site and discover new pages. This is a key element in search engine optimization because it tells Google what pages are on the site, which are most important, how URLs are related to each other, and so on. This all factors into whether or not Google will choose to show your website’s link during a search result.
  2. HTML Sitemap. An HTML sitemap is an actual page on your site that lists all the pages and URLs in a hierarchy on your site, and therefore is helpful to both customers and search engines. If customers are looking for a certain page, they can go to the sitemap to quickly find if it exists. However, it also tells search engines what pages are on your site and shows search engines that your site is user-friendly.

Therefore having both sitemaps will give both customers and search engines a map of your website which will help them navigate the site and index pages.

3. Slow and Steady Doesn’t Always Win the Race

A slow loading website isn’t only troublesome when you are a customer trying to search a website, but it may also affect your ranking on search engines. Google claims that faster sites create happier users, so Google doesn’t want to give results of websites that are slow to load. So not only is having a slow load time on your site bad from a customer perspective, but will also affect your rankings on organic search results.

This is a common hidden issue, because how do you determine if your website is slow? Google has an online tool that will give you a score out of 100 on how your load speed is and specific ways on how to fix it. A lot of the times the issue is with the code of the site. Be sure to run this test and talk to your development team on how you can minify ccs files, html, etc. to make your website speed faster.

Leave a comment below to learn more about behind the scenes SEO mistakes, or contact us to learn about how SVM can help your B2B website tackle these issues.

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