Everybody wants to have an awesome Website, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s just a pile of HTML and programming code sitting on a server somewhere. You can gain access to this Website by entering the exact URL into the browser, however this does not mean it will actually be found in search results. As a matter of fact, making a Website worthy of displaying on the first page of Google its an uphill battle from day one. I have seen many businesses spend thousands and thousands on a Website only to find out later on that it cannot be found in search (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc).
Many factors apply at this point. The Website must have content on the pages that represent your goals. Many will immediately put up a site full of products and services and never once think about what the users they desire are typing into search or if the competition is high for these keywords. This is one way to kill a Website.
Duplicate content, especially content from another Website, better said as stolen content, is one of the fastest ways to make a bad Website. I have seen designers just copy product information from another site to put on the site they are currently building. Not only is this copyright infringement and can get the owner of the Website sued along with a take down order of course, it also makes your Website look like a “scraper” to the search engines. A scraper is a program that copies content to its own Website in hopes of getting the content credit from Google. Google and the other search engines, permanently ban sites that look like a scraper site. Think about that for a moment, permanently banned; your site will never be found in the search results, all effort for this Website will have been in vain and you had to pay for someone to do this to you.
The solution is to carefully monitor your Website’s progress. If you are concerned about duplicate or stolen content, make it clear to the designer that it will not be tolerated or make sure it is in the contract somewhere. You can also check yourself. One way to do this is to take some of the text, like say maybe 20 words, and paste those words into Google Search. Let me say that it is normal for some of those words to come back in the search result in bold print but if Google returns those entire sentences in bold print, its a match to someone else’s Website! Another even better way to check is to use Copyscape, a Website that can check for copies of stolen text and your copy as well, against duplicated content already on the Web. There is one more nasty thing that can happen with duplicate content. Sometimes a designer will put the site live on their domain to work on it, but then forget to take it down after they install it on your domain. This means their domain gets credit for the content and yours looks like that scraper we talked about earlier!
While we are on the subject of killing Websites.. Google has a strict point of view when it comes to buying links. Its actually part of a larger concept which is that ANY behavior aimed to manipulate the natural positioning of your Website pages is in direct violation of Google’s Guidelines and will get your site removed from search results forever. You may want to think, “They cannot tell I bought links”. When Google busts a link farm and some of those links are pointed at your Website they wont hesitate to take you out with them. This is possibly the fastest way to make a bad Website. If you somehow made the choice to buy some links and you dont want your Website to disappear from the search results, hire someone NOW to send out removal requests and disavow(via Google disavow tool) the links you have no control over.
Using Flash and Photos In the Wrong Place
If you decide to use Adobe Flash, make certain it is not taking the place of the content that needs to be there and especially not on the home page, also make sure it is not making your page take more than 2 seconds to load.. The home page needs to be full of relative text about your Website and it should load quickly. Flash cannot be read by search engines so its look like nothing to them other than the page that it is on is taking longer to load (also a bad thing). The same goes for images. Images add a lot to a Website , but never use them for anything you can say with text. Also remember to use the image alt tags, these help people with visual impairments and also the search engine as they can better understand what the image is about. Depending on how a bad design goes, it can either damage your sites performance or get pretty much eliminate it from search results.
Internal duplicate content can be an issue if the category and tag pages are allowed to be indexed. The fix is a little too technical to describe here. Along with this is heading placement and size, often neglected but designers. There are cases where you may want to change the original installation of WordPress also because it comes with its own flaws. WordPress is already a slow loading system because it has to load a pile of files and access the database many times every time someone requests a page. Designers like to make sites pretty and often this takes a lot of images adding to that load time along with plugins that also take time to load. WordPress can be slow enough that user will back up and use the competitors site instead! Anything over 2 seconds in this day and age is unacceptable for a page load and Google will tell you this also. You may be able to solve a long load time by using a caching plugin like WP Fastest Cache . These plugins make solid html pages that can be accesses without the having to wait for WordPress and its database to load. When hiring a designer, look at some of their work that is live on the internet and then go try to find the site by searching for its function. Example: If the site is about dogs, then search for dogs.. If you don’t see their site in the first page or two, its likely having some issues and you may want to consider another design company. One of my old sites can be found anytime, anywhere with the search phrase, “family restaurant madison wi”, go ahead, try it.. This is it’s function; a potential customer doesn’t know the Parkway Family Restaurant exists yet, they only know that they are hungry and are looking for a family style restaurant to eat at. Being cautious now can save a lot of headaches in the future.. Most of the time, if a Website is not built right the first time , it has to be rebuilt costing twice as much as it should have and making you wait even longer for a functional Website.