Have you ever visited a site with dead links, slow pages and missing images?
What did you do?
I certainly hit the "back" button and never come back again and so should you. Nothing is more annoying that coming to a site and nothing seems to work.
It's potentially very bad for your business.
Before you do any major search engine optimization efforts I suggest you take a close look at the following issues.
Dead links causes two types of problem
- The page might not be indexed because it's not visible for the spider. If the spider can't find the page it won't index the page and your traffic will suffer.
- It's incredibly annoying for the visitor who perceives the site as unprofessional.
Both your traffic and your conversion rate suffer from dead links.
Make sure all your links works.
Deep pages cause similar problems as dead links.
- Spiders only crawls a few level down from your homepage so a very deep page will not be indexed by the search engine.
- Visitors will be frustrated if there are too many levels in the site and gives up before the page is found.
Again, both your traffic and conversion rate suffer from deep pages.
Make sure all pages is not deeper than three levels. If the site is very large it might not be possible but in that case you should make a sitemap so the spiders easily can find all pages.
Missing ALT tags
Link text is very important for the search engine to determine the relevancy of a link. Search engines only understand text links so if you have a image link you should use the ALT tag so the search engine can "understand" the link.
The ALT tag is also used for special browsers used by blind people.
Make sure your ALT tags are updated so both blind people and spiders can "see and understand" your images.
Missing META Tags
Missing META tags cause two types of problems.
- Especially the TITLE tag is important for your ranking so your ranking will suffer if the tag is missing. The keyword and description tags are less important for ranking.
- The TITLE tag and the META description tag provide the potential visitor valuable information about the page when looking at the search result. The potential visitor might ignore clicking on the link if the information is missing.
Make sure you have relevant and appealing text in the META tags.
Duplicate META Tags
Duplicate META tags in the same page or identical tags for several pages can hurt you ranking. Google might index only one page if several pages have the same META tags.
Make sure you remove all duplicate META tags from to avoid being penalized by the search engine.
Missing images is very annoying and hurts your credibility. Your conversion rate will suffer in the end from this kind of problem.
A slow dial up connection is still very common all over the world. Large pages take very long time to download so your visitor might lose patience and hit the "back" button.
Your conversion rate will suffer in the end from this kind of problem.
Bad spelling and grammar
Bad spelling can hurt your rankings if it concerns your important keywords. Always make sure you spelled your keywords correctly unless you purposely optimized you web for a misspelled keyword.
Bad spelling and grammar also hurts your credibility and in the end your conversion rate.
Poor navigation confuses the visitor and people don't like being confused. A confused visitor is likely to leave you site quickly.
Simple quality problems can easily hurt your ranking and conversion rate. It can also easily hurt your professional image.
I recommend you take a close look at these problems before you start optimizing your web pages or by traffic through PPC campaigns. WEB CEO have a wonderful functionality that checks your whole site for all these problems except poor navigation.
It makes sense to first fix all quality and conversion rate problems before attracting and especially buying traffic.