The Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Need to Fix On Your Website

Thursday, October 6, 2016

You spent weeks working with the web designer to determine the best styles that appeal to you and your customers, drafted all the right content, and upgraded tools to make the ultimate website. But guess what? There might still be some little details in your website – details that can actually make a big impact – that need to be fixed. Even the smartest businesses make these mistakes. Here are 5 of the most common ones you need to address right away.

The phone number and address displayed on your web pages are all wrong.

The format of your business phone number and office address actually does matter. It should be consistent across all websites – on your website and all the business profiles you have in other directories and review sites.

The way you spell out the street address and suite number matters. If your address is displayed with “Suite B” spelled out on all the business listing sites, it should not be shown as “Ste. B” on your own website.

Your phone number should also be consistent, unless you are using a special number for lead tracking purposes. And more importantly, the phone number should be in a format that has a clear area code and is supported by click-to-call mobile technology.

Here in Austin, our area code didn’t matter locally for a while – so lots of folks just typed it in the format of “555-1234”. But now that we have grown up and have multiple area codes, the full number with the area code is essential. Plus, if someone uses a mobile device to visit your website and the full number with the area code is not present, clicking on the number will not function.

 

You are not using social media properly on your website.

Social media links vs. Social sharing

Successful bloggers know that sharing content is important. But in order to share content easily to hundreds of people and gain followers, your blog must have easily accessible social sharing tools installed. What many website owner’s don’t realize is that this is different than links to your own social media channels.

It’s certainly recommended to feature links to your own social media pages, perhaps with little icons for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest linked to the pages where your followers can engage. However, these direct links to your own social channels are not the easiest way for a visitor to share your content to their own network.

Social sharing tools offer a way for the visitor to quickly click to share your content to all of their contacts on social media – by sending their own quick tweet, Facebook post, or Reddit post. Social sharing tools may include a service like Addthis that provides an embed code to place on your site, or a plugin that you install to your site.

If you do use a popular plugin, be sure to check all the settings and customize them with your own unique social media profiles and your preferred icons, instead of leaving everything as the default. For example, if you do not customize the settings and someone uses the “share on twitter” feature, there will be no mention of your Twitter handle in the message.

 

Your homepage title still has “Home” in it.

Meta titles should be unique and have relevant keywords. This means they should not only be unique from other websites, but also unique from page to page within your own website.

When using a content management system or templates to create a website, it is common that the title tags are auto-generated based on the title of the page. If you do not spend a few minutes to customize the titles of your pages, your homepage will probably just display a format like “Home – mywebsite.com”. This is not only super uninteresting, it will likely be viewed as duplicate content, and it contains zero keywords relevant to your target market.

For WordPress websites, there are some useful tools (such as the Yoast SEO Plugin) that help novice website editors craft some decent meta title and description tags with purpose. These tools are not SEO magicians, but they do make important improvements.

 

Your Contact Us page is difficult to find.

We all love to be special. “Why have such boring links in the navigation menu?  Let’s make it fun and stand out.” Not so fast.

A link to Contact or Contact Us in the main menu is still very useful and natural to most visitors. If you elect to bury this link somewhere deep in the website, it is unlikely a visitor will have the patience to hunt for it. Since users today have such a short patience for clicking and reading things online, their brain might not register that you renamed your “Contact Us” page to “Get in touch with me, dude!”

If you do business by phone, make your phone number visible. This means featuring it on your homepage, landing pages, maybe everywhere in the header of your website – not just your contact page.

Test your contact forms to make sure they work. Make sure the right people in your organization get the email leads, and make sure it is easy to fill out the form without errors.

You need to stop posting the same content on your blog and Linkedin.

There is a known concern in digital marketing known as “duplicate content”. This basically means that the same exact content is copied on more than one website.

Search engines like Google want to see helpful, educational, unique content. They don’t want to see the same exact articles on 2 or more different websites.

Duplicate content comes in a variety of forms, even shorter pieces of data – but the ultimate mistake is to copy an entire blog article from your own website and paste that same thing to Linkedin featured content. This means that your site is no longer able to get the SEO value from that great content marketing, because you removed the uniqueness of it, and in turn downgraded your website’s content quality. As a result, this will damage your rankings or prevent worthy pages from being properly indexed.

Now, this does not mean that you cannot share your content. You can certainly post a link to your Linkedin status to promote a blog, or tweet about it. But you want the visitors to read the actual article directly on your website, so don’t copy the entire blog to those other social channels.

Or, post a newly written unique article to Linkedin about a similar topic. This is still a great marketing tool and a way to spread your expertise.

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Posted in: Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Quick Tips, Web Site Maintenance

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