This was the title of a recent study by ientry.com released today, highlighting what’s going horribly wrong with websites today. Why they’re not getting the Google traffic they deserve and their owners expect. The site may look great and has the needed keywords… But
- 78% of websites have robots.txt and sitemap problems
- 63% of sites have duplicate titles and content issues
- 15% of sites misuse rel=”canonical”
- 96% of sites have broken links and 404 errors
- 84% of sites have HTML and/or CSS errors
- 43% of sites lose link juice due to poor structure
Result? Google hates you. You’ve little chance of appearing in a search. And these six issues are just the tip of the iceberg of problems. Sadly, mentioning the above items to the average NZ web designer will get you a blank stare, or have it dismissed as ‘unimportant’.
…sadly, most Web Developers simply don’t understand how Google looks at their site
A good analogy of what’s wrong with most websites is the leaky homes situation here in NZ. If ‘the build’ isn’t done right, with poor materials and workmanship, then the long term result can be disastrous to the business. Sure, like these homes, it likely looks great when you first move in. The problems show up later. And fixing a poorly built website can be expensive, often as much as the original design cost. Like leaky homes, the problems lie underneath the classy exterior. They’re hidden from view, but NOT from Google…
For those of us with an interest in SEO, this is old news. The problem with most business websites in NZ, is that they’re built by web designers and developers that have only a superficial understanding of how Google looks at their sites. Many still think the inclusion if a few meta keywords is all that’s needed. This trick stopped working in 2003.
My SEO industry colleague, Jim Stewart, spoke earlier this year of what can go wrong for companies and developers around search. (video, right). Our experience is similar. Most websites today are poorly optimised for Google. It’s often easier to completely rebuild a website from scratch, than trying to patch up a weird html site or content management system.
In a world where everyone is looking for more traffic and a higher Google ranking, web designers aren’t helping their business clients. They’re naturally focused upon what the site ‘looks like’ visually. There’s little concern, time or budget going into what hides beneath – What Google sees when it examines your website and determines if you’re worthy of its traffic and referrals.
Get expert help – Discover why you’re missing out on website traffic
We’re not asking web designers to learn all this stuff. SEO optimisation and understanding how Google works requires a different skillset, background and mindset from visual design. It’s certainly not a creative chore. SEO techniques also change constantly. There’s no local classes that teach this stuff.
The solution? Designers need to partner with an SEO expert (like ourselves), when building any new website, large or small. Sometimes it means trashing their existing web developers toolset or content management system (CMS), in favour of WordPress. This change ensures we can guarantee the sites structure is clean and ‘Google-friendly’, but taking nothing away from the visual design or branding goals.
Call or email us for a free analysis of your site and what you need to do to fix it