Do you have a website that’s not ranking on Google? If so, then it could be a result of bad coding. A lot of SEO companies would have you believe that you have to pay a ton of money each month to rank on Google. But the truth is, it’s possible to get on Page 1 of Google just by having proper coding for your website.
What Does Proper Coding for Your Website Look Like?
Here is an example of a site that we developed that ranks on page 1 of Google just from proper on-page coding.
Consider Nest Design Co., Inc.
This company ranks #1 on Google for ‘design company Ross CA’ and also for the search term ‘interior design Marin’ even though the words do not appear in any content on the Homepage.
Most web designers would tell you that you need to scatter your keywords all over your Homepage and while content does play a major role in SEO, proper coding can do even more to help you rank.
Headline Tags Help You Rank Higher
Another website that has been coded properly is Bayline Cutting & Coring. This site ranks #1 on Google for ‘concrete cutting San Francisco.’ This particular website shows up twice on Page #1, both in the local results and in the organic results. Ranking for your keywords and in your local market can result in even more leads.
The Bayline Cutting & Coring Website uses heading tags to tell Google that they are relevant for the search term ‘concrete cutting.’ These tags coupled with other coding tricks, such as proper linking, are the reason Bayline is on Page #1 in the search results.
Proper Coding Improves Page Speed
Google gives preference to websites that load quickly. Unfortunately, a lot of web designs use large video files that, while they look good, bog down a site. However, a properly optimized HTML5 video can add a stunning visual to your site. You just have to avoid bad coding or your site will become invisible to searchers.
Take a look at the Skydive California website. The first element you see on their Homepage is an eye-catching skydiving video. This video is optimized for PC and does not interfere with the page loading speed. The code for the mobile version of the website does not include the video to prevent this client from slipping in the mobile index. Bad coding does not take into account that there are two search indexes and a website must have the proper coding for each.
The Top Reasons Your Site Is Invisible to Google Because of Bad Coding
Here are some of the most common ‘bad coding’ errors that keep websites from ranking in the search results.
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Improper Keyword Research
Finding a specific keyword phrase that generates traffic but does not have a lot of competition is extremely important. However, finding that phrase is not enough. It must be properly coded into the web page so that Google can find it and associate it with your company.
A common sign of bad coding is that the title tag and meta description do not target a specific keyword. One of the biggest errors you see is a title tag of just ‘Home’ for the Homepage. This does not tell Google anything about your company, and therefore it is seen as irrelevant during a search.
You can improve your Google rankings by properly tagging every element of your site such as your images, heading tags, and linking structure.
Using the Wrong Platform
Certain website platforms, also known as CMS, are better for ranking than others. A CMS like WordPress is great for search engine optimization (SEO). Google just happens to really like WordPress websites, and if you use one, you are way ahead of the game. Conversely, platforms such as Wix or Squarespace do not offer as many benefits for SEO.
Slow Site Speed
If your site is very slow, due to bad coding, Google will penalize you for this and reduce your ranking. If you need to check your website speed, you can do it here.
If your site lacks an SSL certificate, Google will reduce your site’s ranking. This is a result of a push by Google over the past year to encrypt the web. Starting in October 2017, if your site does not have encryption, Chrome will flash a ‘Not Secure’ warning to your visitors if they enter any info on the site, including lead generation forms.
So, if you do manage to make it into the search results without an SSL, you will still properly suffer from a lack of conversion on your website. In most cases, SSL is now free and can be added easily to the coding of your website.
If your site has broken links, Google will penalize you. Proper coding includes redirects that help you rank and also improve your visitor’s user experience.
Not Optimized for Mobile
As we stated before when we talked about the Skydive California website, your mobile website and the one that displays on PC are not necessarily the same. Proper coding for each is important if you want to rank in both the Primary Index and the Mobile Index. In fact, there has been some talk that the mobile index will become the Primary Index in the not too distant future. Your website must be coded to be mobile-friendly.
There are many factors that go into ranking well on Google, but just having a properly coded site will go a long way to showing up high in Google’s search results. It’s always easier to prevent bad coding that it is to fix it. That is why we encourage you to think about this issue before doing a website redesign or getting a new website.
Don’t let bad coding cause you to become invisible on Google, contact Thomas Digital Design for a Free Mock-Up of your website. See what a redesign will look like before you commit.