It’s always said there’s many different cogs to the machine, and that can be true of pretty much any machine. If you want to look at your online presence in this way, it’s a very conceptual understanding but it’s still there to be had. Your web designer or webmaster may be the most primary cog in it all, but there’s a whole lot of other valuable people too. Now I may be biased in this way being a copy and content writer here at , but I imagine that everyone who’s in a similar role with any good Canadian webs hosting provider is going to agree.
Agree with what exactly? Well that good, smart, and – perhaps most importantly – strategic content is very much an integral component in the success of your business or venture being online. In fact we’re pretty confident in saying that, as quality content goes perhaps the longest way in getting you’re the SERP rankings that you’re after. Alright, maybe that’s a s t r e t c h to say the longest, but we certainly can’t just take a ‘whatever’ approach to what we write for the sites.
Alright, enough patting ourselves on the back, but you get the point and it’s a very valid one. While there is an incredible volume of different content varieties that you can use for your website content – including blogs like this one – there are also a few types of content that might make sense given the context of your communications, but you should still avoid them.
Here they are, and here’s why you need to avoid them.
Content is king, marketers say – but not all of it. Indeed, some content can harm your website, slowing its performance, irritating visitors and badly affecting its search engine ranking. The way to deal with this is to check your site regularly and get rid of the damaging material. Here, we’ll explain what to look for.
1 – Heavy Images
While it’s true that images are important elements of a website, and they do have a positive impact on user engagement, you really need to be choosy about which ones you incorporate into site. Some are data-heavy and can slow down the loading time, which detracts from SEO and diminishes user-friendliness. No one’s suggesting you go deleting your images, but optimizing them for your site is a must.
Here’s the basic guidelines:
- Using PNG files of 72 dpi that are much lighter and can be loaded more quickly than larger files
- Using an image optimizing plugin that will take existing images and create light versions of the right dimensions for your theme
- Also possibly speed up your site even more with lazy loading or a content delivery network
2 – Pop Ups
It’s also true that popups do increase conversion rates, but you know what they do far more often and much more reliably? They annoy site visitors and actually make them resentful in many cases. I’ve heard that for some people with seizures pop ups can actually be the cause of a very bad and dangerous situation sometimes.
Use multiple pop ups and you may well be contributing to your bounce rate in a big way. If you don’t need them, take them down. If you do, ensure you use them lightly and judiciously and you should also make it so that closing them is easy and that they don’t appear on every page.
Keep in mind as well that a pop up adds an additional script to your website. This WILL affect its performance and impact SEO, and not in a good way for either.
3 – Overly Enthusiastic Cookie Consent Pop Up
You’ve probably noticed how all websites are required to ask for the visitor’s consent to using Cookies. However, users end up being seriously annoyed with having to click ‘accept’ every time they visit. So this is something you should try to avoid doing, and that is possible.
You can start replacing page dominating cookie popups with less obtrusive methods that aren’t as full frontal disruptive for viewers who’d rather just keep reading. The next thing you should do is set the cookie consent form to appear at the same frequency as your shortest cookie life. Once you have permission to store cookies on a user’s device, asking for it again isn’t required unless you start collecting new cookie information or change the length of the cookie.
4- Broken Links
Links are hugely valuable for both user experience and SEO. Internal links serve to aid users with finding the content they are looking for more quickly, plus enabling search engine crawlers to discover and index content on your site. Search engines see outbound links as adding value to your content and then they improve your SEO in turn.
Working links are great and helpful, broken ones are not and totally detrimental. Users will have little tolerance if they click on a link to a page that doesn’t exist anymore, and they may be so disillusioned that they ‘split’ altogether. That poor experience is noted by search engines when they follow your links, and this can also lead to the pages that they appear on (YOURS) being downranked too.
The good news is that there are many slink checking plugin that can make sure the links your out-linking to are up and operational, and not broken.
5 – Out of Date Content
One of the biggest trends that those of us in the copy business have been make wise to is ‘evergreen’ content. This means content that doesn’t have any degree of timeliness to it, and it can be as contextually relevant in years from now as it can be today. But then there’s also the issue of how in the metadata of your web pages is the date on which the content was published. It’s not visible to your visitors, but it is visible to search engines which use it to understand how up-to-date your content is.
Long story short, search engines prefer fresher content.
Plus, users themselves want the latest information – someone searching for ‘Best shoe stores in Brampton’, for example, would be disappointed if they found a page containing a list of shops of which weren’t even open anymore.
So what this requires of you is regularly going through your content, deleting pages and posts which are completely out of date and updating outdated information on those that still had some relevance. For companies which have product and service pages where there has been no change to what’s on offer, it may seem that there is no need to make changes. Sometimes even just little tweaks can make a significant difference.
6 – Third-Party Ads
Many sites will display adverts from 3rd parties like Google or Bing and that can be a nice source of income, with image-led links to content on other websites. Usually this is okay in moderation, but some sites go overboard with it and you should make sure yours doesn’t. This can slow down the loading time of certain pages in a big way and become a major obstacle to reader retention. It can have a serious impact on SEO, user engagement and conversion rates.
Testing how the loading time of your website is affected by the ads is a must if you’re going to use any amount of them that’s more than just one or two if that.
No one is going to be okay with website pages that load slower, are less relevant or provide a poor user experience, all of which can make your site perform worse in search engine results. And if visitors abandon your site, well that’s not going to be good for anyone. High bounce rates definitely aren’t cool.