SEO Code Errors are like holes in a bucket
After almost a year of being back into the SEO world, I've noticed a huge problem that seems to be still unaddressed.
So many websites are still having a significant number of code errors on their website.
These code errors reduce the effectiveness of people's websites. It is like a bucket with holes. You wind up losing leads, traffic, and SEO value. Unlike holes in a bucket, which are easy to see, for a website you have to dig a little deeper to see the holes. More so when you think the website is doing okay.
So being one to raise problems, I want to unpack this and offer some solutions.
The Premise of the article:
- Search Engines can't index information if they can't find it.
- Users don't enjoy websites that don't work correctly.
- People pay for websites and expect a certain amount of value to be generated.
- Website owners are trying to build more value for their websites.
- Web developers get the site up but sometimes miss SEO elements.
- Errors are defined as broken, missing, or duplicated information.
The Problem of SEO Code Errors
Assuming a person/business invests in a website to help bring potential clients to their site, i.e., people already looking for the product, service, or solutions the business provides. The website is like a bucket that carries the water, i.e., web visitors, to the site's main point. When a website has code errors, these are like holes, as web visitors fall out of the bucket.
When a website has code errors:
- It reduces the indexability of the website. Not everything is picked up and read. (Search Spiders miss out)
- Users run into issues, and it may damage the perception of the brand. (People bounce from the site or leave the pipeline early)
- It reduces the effectiveness of the content on the site. If there is duplicate content, it creates a penalty. (Takes away value)
- Efforts to build up the website's rank or traffic conversion are more costly. (You pay more to overcome the challenges provided by the errors.)
- Searchability is another layer to web development and may not have been included in the original website development price/contract. Web Developers generally worry about the design and functionality and miss some elements that impact SEO.
How to Remedy SEO Code Errors
The way to fix this is to run an SEO code audit on your website. There are plenty of tools that will give you a snippet of information. You then have to pay to get more details. The other challenge is trying to prioritize which errors need to be fixed first. Here are some considerations:
- Get a website SEO audit. There are plenty of people that will do an audit of your website. You should be able to get a high-level overview for cheap/free. But you may want the specific errors to work on a punch list for your website. I offer a Full Website SEO Audit.
- Prioritize your fix list. Start with duplicate content and broken images and links. Then work on missing meta descriptions and too-long titles. Finally, work on alt tags, internal links, and more.
- Prioritize your best-ranked/key pages. If you have a larger site, start with the most important pages and work through your site.
- Pause AD spending. Consider the amount you spend each month on your website, content creation, and SEO efforts. Could you briefly pause some activity to fix the bucket?
- Work with a third party. SEO is considered a separate field and service by some providers. Your current web person may make some of these fixes or need some advice on what needs to be fixed as part of their regular service. You may want to get an objective third party to identify errors and make the fixes.
Aim for 90% Error Reduction: When you fix the SEO code errors, set a goal for yourself. I usually shoot for a 90% reduction in these types of errors. The last 10% of errors sometimes result from tougher errors that will help but may cost more than they would benefit.
Some Errors are Repetitive. Some errors are caused by some small issue that repeats itself. Sometimes you have to go in and fix an error multiple times manually. Know how to parse out repetitive work to a cost-efficient solution.
Future error-proof the site. Create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for updating content on your site. Be sure to include an SEO checklist before the page gest published. I create SOP's for our clients to help reduce the chance of future errors.
Hire a Neutral Third Party. There are plenty of people that enjoy the challenges of SEO (I do!). Higher a third party to come in and "catch the site up." They should be neutral and just there to fix a problem. Watch for agencies that offer website SEO audit services but actually want other businesses. They may offer solutions that require their proprietary solutions.
Conclusion - Get a Website SEO Audit
I hope this helps website owners and managers to pause and think about why some efforts may not be having a strong impact.
This is by no means a silver bullet solution, but SEO code errors are one of the big reasons people have holes in their website efforts.
Please fix the errors, i.e., patch the holes and see how much better your site serves its purpose.
For my clients, their sites improve ranks within a few weeks of fixing these errors. They have continued to rank well, with new content being indexed fairly quickly.
Want to talk SEO code audit?
Contact me for a free 15-minute consultation. Send me some basic info and I can give you a brief overview of what I find with an initial quick audit.