Search engine optimization (SEO) is not dead. However, with new technology, changes in user habits and the growth of user experience (UX) design, its definition and best practices have changed significantly over the years. The strategies that worked before could already be the costliest mistakes your business could make today.
To stay ahead of the curve, you need to be proactive and dedicate time to understanding the new SEO and UX landscape. You can begin by knowing the five most common SEO and UX mistakes that can kill your digital marketing campaigns:
1. Slow Page Speed
A Microsoft study a few years ago revealed that digital-savvy humans had an attention span of eight seconds – comparable to that of a goldfish, according to Time Magazine.
That’s not enough time to make a good impression and persuade someone to stick around your website. If your pages take too long to load, users will likely get frustrated and leave before they even get to see what you offer.
Worse, website conversion rates decrease by nearly 4.5% for every additional second of loading time, and 40% of users will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
Solution: Google suggests keeping the page load time under two seconds. While that sounds like a tall order, it is doable by removing unnecessary elements on the page, such as large images, non-optimized code, and excessive plugins. Improve your server response time and use content delivery networks (CDN) to reduce loading times for users located farther away from your server.
2. No Social Media Integration
In the past, SEO was all about optimizing the website for the search engines. But with the popularity of social media, that’s no longer enough. According to Statista, Internet users spend over two hours on websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Social media helps SEO and UX design by providing a platform to reach a wider audience and connect with potential customers. These websites help you get feedback in real-time about your products or services.
Further, not integrating social media accounts on your website can make it seem out of touch and dated. You also miss the chance to enhance your link-building strategies and domain authority.
Solution: Add social media buttons accessible on every page of the website. Pay attention to current social media marketing trends, such as using high-quality visuals, and take advantage of social media features that can improve your SEO, such as hashtags, rich snippets, and Twitter cards.
3. Lack of Mobile Optimization
With the ubiquity of mobile devices, it’s no surprise that people are now doing more searches on their smartphones than desktop computers. In fact, Google reports that mobile searches now account for over half of all global searches.
Moreover, a 2020 ComScore study showed that over 6 million monthly mobile owners used their devices for shopping compared to fewer than 4 million desktop users.
Having a “mobile-friendly” website is no longer enough. You need a website designed specifically for mobile users, with a UX optimized for the small screen. Unfortunately, Verizon shared that 91% of websites today are not mobile-optimized – probably including yours.
Solution: Use responsive web design so your website can adjust to any screen size. Pay attention to the details, such as font size and placement of buttons and links. Ensure the website loads quickly on a 3G or 4G connection, and consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to improve performance further.
4. Poor Content
One of the most important powerful digital marketing strategies is content marketing. CSO Insights noted that over 30% of companies that implemented it achieved almost 28% higher win rates than those that didn’t.
Meanwhile, Small Business Trends shared that 48% of enterprises with content marketing used it to generate sales and revenue.
Content marketing creates brand awareness, builds credibility and trust, generates leads, and closes sales. If you’re not getting these benefits, then it’s time to dive deep into the quality of your content. It may be that it fails to provide value to the reader. The text may be riddled with errors and the topics either too general or too specific.
Even the visuals of the content can affect conversion. Complex charts and graphs can be difficult to understand, while too-small or poor-quality photos can make the page look unprofessional.
Solution: Improve the content quality by ensuring it is well-written, relevant, and interesting. Use visuals such as videos to break up the text, add appeal, and improve brand storytelling. Optimize your content for the search engines using keywords, metadata, and alt tags. Lastly, ensure that your website loads quickly to keep users from bouncing off.
5. Obsession with SEO and UX
Too much of a good thing can be bad, and that includes your obsession with SEO and UX. While you need to focus on improving your website for both search engines and users, you can go overboard.
For example, you may be so focused on SEO that you stuff your content with too many keywords, making it difficult to read. You may also link to websites unnaturally, which can hurt your website’s credibility.
As for UX, an ineffective design can also drive users away. You may neglect the user experience in favor of search engine bots, resulting in a confusing and complicated website.
Solution: Pranjal Bora with Digital Authority Partners calls SEO and UX the dynamic duo. They work together to create an exceptional user experience that, in turn, improves search engine rankings. So find a balance between SEO and UX by considering both when making changes to your website. Use keywords only when they make sense. Write for humans first and search engine bots second. Regarding design, focus on making the website easy to use and navigate.
A non-converting website is a waste of time and resources–and a lost opportunity to connect to consumers. To improve your conversion rate, look at your pages and see where you went wrong.
Use this guide to identify the common SEO and UX mistakes that can lead to a low conversion rate. Once you know what they are, you can take the necessary steps to fix them and improve your website’s performance.