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10 Signs your website is broken and how to fix it

No-one likes to think their website is broken, but if you recognise any of the elements in our list, then maybe it's time to take a fresh look at your website, make some changes and start reaping the rewards of your investment.

1.   Your website isn't mobile-friendly

Your website needs to look great and function well on any device.

Over 52% of all internet users browse websites on their mobile device.

Google now prioritises mobile-friendly websites in their mobile search engine results.

Websites that are optimised for mobile rank better in the search engines than those that don't.

Solution:

(Image - http://gs.statcounter.com/platform-market-share/desktop-mobile-tablet)

Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet Market Share Worldwide 2017-2018

2.  It's been more than 3 years since your website was updated!

The internet changes very quickly and so does technology.

If it's been a while since you last updated your website, then chances are your website 'look and feel' are outdated, the technology used to create your website may not work as good as it once did, and your website may not be delivering the best experience for your visitors.

Updating your website look will allow your business to be seen as modern and relevant, user-friendly and stay competitive.

Solution:

  • Speak with your web developer about giving your website a makeover. You may need only a few tweaks or updating with fresh images to give your site a refresh, but if it's been quite a while since your website was updated, you may need to start from scratch. Your web developer will look at all your options and provide you with the best advice moving forward.

3.  Your web page takes more than 3 seconds to load.

40% of visitors will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Slow websites kill conversions. Every second counts.

Web page speed also affects your Google ranking.

Google is on a mission to 'make the web faster' and so uses page speed as one of their many ranking factors.

Solution:

  •  Speak with your web developer about reducing web page load speed including minimising code, server response time, file compression, browser caching, optimising CSS, optimising image sizes, outdated or unnecessary plugins etc.

  • Also consider your web hosting options to make sure you have the right hosting option for needs. Cheap doesn't always equal best (think limiting of website speed after you reach a certain bandwidth limit) and there are many options available.

  • Consider hosting with a company in the country of your target market eg if your customers are located in Australia, find a hosting provider in Australia. Hosting outside of your target market location can cause noticeable performance issues for visitors outside of that location.
(Image - https://medium.com/@vikigreen/impact-of-slow-page-load-time-on-website-performance-40d5c9ce568a)

Slow websites kill conversions. Every second counts.

4.  No fresh content - you look like you're out of business

If you haven't updated your website or added fresh content in a while, then you haven't given search engines crawlers ('bots') and more importantly, your website visitors, any reason to re-visit your website.

Search engines will frequently visit sites that have regular fresh content (blog articles, added web pages etc). This will help with indexing your site in Google's search engine.

Regularly updating your website lets your visitors know that your business is current and active, keeps them engaged, and gives them a reason to return to your site while increasing the possibility of converting them into customers.

Solution:

  • Add regular blog/news/articles posts get the 'bots' crawling your website, and to give your visitors more relevant and useful information on your products or services. Don't forget to share snippets of your blog articles with your email list and on your social media platforms. Include a link back to your website to the original article.

5.  Your website can't be found in the search engines

Can't find your website on Google? There can be many reasons why your website isn't showing in search results.

It can depend on whether or not Google has indexed your website (if it's a new website), whether your website is optimised for search, if you're using the wrong keywords on your site, or your website has been penalized and removed from Google.

Solution:

  •  The obvious solution here would be hire a search engine optimisation consultant to analyze your website and report back to you, however there are a couple of things that you can have a look at first.

  •  Submit your website sitemap for inclusion in Google Search Console http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools   

  • Add your website to Google My Business https://business.google.com/add

  • Check the keywords you've chosen are relevant and trending and not too broad eg 'swimming' instead of 'children's swimming lessons in Brisbane' https://trends.google.com.au/trends/

  • Add meta tags - title and description - using keywords

  • Check H1 tags - using keywords

  • Website wording - includes keywords

  • Add website link to social media accounts


6.  Your website contains broken links

A broken link on a web page happens when the page it was linked to is no longer available. This could be because the page has been moved to another location or no longer exists.

Broken links can have a negative impact on your search engine optimisation efforts and create a bad 'user experience' for your visitors.

Solution:

  • Check for broken links using Google Analytics if you have it connected to your website. Identify broken links that need to be redirected. Create 301 redirects.

FatGalah 404 error page

7.  You're not tracking your website's performance

You've heard the saying 'what gets measured gets managed'.

To create and grow a successful online business you need to track how your website is performing and improve under-performing areas to get a better return on your investment.

Solution:

  • Setup Google Analytics and connect Google Search Console.

  • Determine to relevant KPI's to measure and check regularly.

  • Add 'annotations' to your Google Analytics to track when you start or finish a marketing plan.

8.  Your website doesn't have clear call-to-actions

A call-to-action is a prompt on a web page that tells your visitor to complete a specific action and helps guide them on what actions to take next. Without an effective call-to-action on your website, the visitor may leave your website without ever completing the task.

An example of a CTA is 'add to cart', 'buy now', 'read more', 'sign up for our newsletter'  

Solution:

  • Test CTA's - colours, size of buttons, location of CTA's, different wording choices

9.  Your website has auto-play music or video

This is another legacy of an era when it used to be cool to have every new cutting edge piece of content on your website.

These days, people like to be in control of how they interact with a website. People are consuming content on their mobile on the train going to or coming home from work, while waiting in line for their coffee, or sneakily while in a meeting. Having music or a video blaring on your website is intrusive and drives people away.

Solution:

  • Give the visitor a quick and simple way of choosing to listen to audio or watch a video when they're ready.

10. Your website has a high bounce rate.

A 'bounce rate' is a marketing term used to describe the percentage of people who visit a web page and leave ('bounce') without viewing any other pages within the website. It can be viewed in your Google Analytics account.

A high 'bounce rate' can occur for a few reasons and may be perfectly normal for your particular type of website eg. visitors can get everything they need from one page.

Reasons why 'bounce rate' may be high: website is slow to load and the visitor won't wait, incorrect meta title and meta description tags causing the visitor to enter your site expecting one thing and your website was something else, there's a fault with the page and it returns a 404 error page, low quality content, under optimised content, outdated look or poor user experience eg poor navigation (visitor can't easily find what they're looking).

What is considered a high 'bounce rate'?

    25% or lower: Something is probably broken

    26-40%: Excellent

    41-55%: Average

    56-70%: Higher than normal, but could make sense depending on the website

    70% or higher: Bad and/or something is probably broken

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Solution:

  • Test your web page speed via https://tools.pingdom.com/ Speak to your web developer if the results show that your website loads slower than 3 seconds.

  • Review your Google Analytics. Specifically: Time spend on page, average session duration, crawl errors. Fix the errors, and take a look at problem pages. How can you improve those pages?

  • Review your Meta Title and Description tags: Tells people (and search engines) what your page is about and if written well entices visitors to click through to your site. Make sure it aligns with what your page is about.

  • Review your website content: Check that the content is written for people, not search engines.

Did you recognise any of these on your website? If so, make time to investigate what's happening and take stock of what needs to be improved. Need help implementing some of these changes or like to chat about how you can improve the return on your website investment? Contact FatGalah to chat with a member of our team.