6. Not Being Mobile Friendly
It’s 2020, people! Nearly 60% of web searches are conducted on mobile devices. People use devices and screens of all different sizes. If you don’t have a mobile responsive site, you are WAY behind.
Google warned for years that mobility would be important. In 2018, it began using mobile-first indexing. In other words, it shows your mobile site (rather than the desktop site) in the search returns.
Having a mobile responsive site is not an SEO ranking advantage. However, not having a mobile friendly version of your site is an SEO problem. It may determine whether your content will appear in the search return at all.
Most important, if you haven’t gone mobile, you’re giving your users a terrible experience.
In sum, ensure that your site is mobile friendly—preferably with a mobile responsive site.
7. Not Having a Secure Sockets Layer (an SSL)
Again, Google warned for years that it was important to have a secure website. In the summer of 2018, it began calling out sites that were not.
Wondering if your site has an SSL? The simplest way to find out is to go to your site in the Chrome browser and look at your browser window. If you’re site has a lock icon and starts with https (secure hypertext transfer protocol), you have an SSL. Your site has the necessary certificate to make it more secure.
On the other hand, if your site has an exclamation mark and reads “Not secure” in a clear, san serif font followed by http (hypertext transfer protocol), you have a problem.
Not only is your site less secure without an SSL, it also makes you look outdated. Furthermore, HTTPS has been a mild ranking signal since 2014. Google will downgrade your rank without it.
In sum, get your SSL.
When you do, be sure to properly transfer your URLs from HTTP to HTTPS by following Google’s detailed guidelines.
8. Overlooking Schema Markup
Schema markup is a code that helps bots to understand what kind of content they are crawling. Content such as names, addresses, and phone numbers (NAPs), books, blogs, recipes, products, and more all have similar types of identifiers.
For example, blogs have publication dates, authors, and titles. Recipes have names, ingredients, reviews, and directions.
Schema is not an algorithm factor. However, users often will click on search returns with rich snippets from structured data schema markup. As a result, your site may enhance the user experience, RankBrain is likely to favor you.
Neil Patel provides a thorough overview of how to apply schema markup. Schema markup improves search ranking, and it’s a tool in the SEO arsenal that many are not yet using. Read as “SEO advantage.”
Google provides an opportunity to test your markup in Google Search Console.
In sum, apply schema markup.
9. Snubbing Google’s Guidelines
Want to know just about anything? Google it!
Web and SEO guidelines are no different. Google moved from a multiple page pdf of web/SEO guidelines to extensive online web guidance. Most likely the answers to your web development and SEO questions exist on Google. Follow Google’s best practices, and your site will fare well.
Furthermore, keep in mind that Google controls almost 93% of all search. (This includes Google images, Google Maps, and YouTube—all owned by Google.) Why wouldn’t you follow the behemoth search engine’s advice?
In sum, be aware of and follow Google’s guidance.
10. Falling Behind With SEO
By most reports, Google tweaks its algorithm several times a day. Other times, it launches major shifts in its algorithm. Subscribe to SEO newsletters or hire a consultant who does.
In 2019, Google had 12 major algorithm updates. Keep track of all Google algorithm updates. Others companies will keep up with the changes. If you do not, you will quickly fall behind.
In sum, keep up with SEO changes or hire someone who does.
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