Non-Keyword Related Things That Hurt SEO

A graphic of a smartphone and laptop with with analytics on their screens.

For many non-search engine marketing professionals, they’re often told keywords are the most important component of SEO. But over recent years, having a website that offers a positive user experience has been proven to be more important than relevant keywords. There are many things that impact positive user experience and below are twelve things that hurt SEO.

The Site Isn’t ADA Compliant

ADA stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act. The act was established in 1990 and it prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the Internet. 

For a website to be ADA compliant, people with disabilities must be able to read and understand the content on the site. This means a transcript for audio-only media and closed captions on videos. Website ADA compliance also includes page contrast, the placing of descriptive text behind images, and organizing the site in a way that is easy for screen readers to access the content in a logical way. A site that isn’t ADA compliant hurts SEO because the site isn’t accessible to everyone.

If you want to learn more about ADA compliance, be sure to check out the seminar we are presenting in October at the Enterprise Center.

There’s No Blog Or Blog Posts

A blog is another thing that provides sites with a positive user experience and by not having one can it can hurt SEO. 

Blogs provide  positive user experience because they help build brand trust. Regular blog posts give sites fresh content, and by not utilizing one, it can give users the impression your site hasn’t been updated in a long time. 

Another way blogs improve SEO is you’re able to rank for long-tail keywords. Longer, more specific keywords are good for businesses that are small and have big name brands as competitors. Half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer.

Thirdly, a quality blog gives sites more reasons to link back to your site.

No Social Media Posts

Just like with blogging, by not being active with social media you are hurting your SEO. An active and engaged social media presence sends search engines the signal you have good authority. Additionally, social sharing drives traffic to your website and social media profiles rank in search engines.

Slow Page Speed

With positive user experience in mind, slow page speed greatly hurts SEO. In today’s instant gratification world, people are impatient and want information fast. A slow page speed also means search engines can’t crawl as many pages.

Technical Errors

Technical errors like broken links and missing pages hurt SEO. You don’t want people coming to your site only to find the thing they need is broken.  You can use Google Search Console to see if there are any technical issues with your site.

No SSL Certificate  

Naturally, Google prefers sending users to trusted sites. Standing for secure sockets layer, an SSL certificate creates higher consumer confidence and encrypts form data. You can tell your site has an SSL certificate by looking up at your address box and seeing if you have ‘https’ in your URL. Last year, Google started labeling HTTP sites as “not secure.”

Spam Comments

Spam comments are something every blog deals with, and unfortunately it can hurt SEO. Spam comments hurt SEO because Google considers where your site links to as a strong indication of what kind of site you are. The comments discredit you and impact your site’s authority. Be sure to always monitor your comments so you can avoid looking spammy. And remember, it’s your site and you can decide whether those comments appear. 

Poor Spelling & Grammar

You know how you can tell you’ve received a spam email by its poor spelling and grammar alone, well search engines are also wary of sites with these mistakes. According to Search Engine Land, sites with higher ranked pages tend to have less spelling mistakes and grammatical errors than lower ranked sites.

Too Many Page Links

Pages with too many links are not user-friendly. When you have too many links, you give Google the impression your content isn’t valuable and you’re trying to stir users to somewhere else. Always make sure your links are relevant and are not going to distract users from the content on the original page.

Duplicate Content

Google loves original content and sees duplicate content as a shortcut. When updating your site or adding new pages, double check that a significant amount of content is not anywhere else on your site. If you have some duplicate content on your website because it is useful for users, put ‘no index’ or ‘no follow’ on those pages so that they don’t hurt your SEO.

At Sperling Interactive, all of our work is aimed at creating positive user experiences. Whether we built your website or not, we can optimize your site for search engines and provide positive user experiences. To learn more about the work we do, give us a call at (978) 304-1730.

How To Optimize Your Landing Page

I spoke to a colleague recently that works for a corporate company as a loan originator. They mentioned having a landing page through their company and were looking for ways to better optimize their page, both from a conversion perspective and an SEO perspective. In today’s blog post, we’ll be breaking down what a landing page is, what  landing page optimization is, and how to optimize your landing page for both conversions and SEO.

What Is A Landing Page?

Sometimes referred to as a capture page, destination page, or a static page, a landing page is a standalone page web users are brought to after clicking on a search result, online ad, or the link in an eblast, newsletter, or social media post. Landing pages educate, encourage, and attract. Lead generation is the most common goal of a landing page.

Below are screenshots of landing pages we’ve created.

The landing page for Destination Salem's free travel guides.

The Cape Cod landing page for SunPower by BlueSel.

 

The contact section from BlueSel's landing page.

 

A landing page for the nonprofit, Bridgewell.

 

The section of Bridgwell's landing page that describes their services.

 

The 'Request More Information' section from Bridgewell's landing page.

 

The landing page for Be Better Now.

 

The testimonial and special offer from the Be Better Now landing page.  

What Is Landing Page Optimization? 

Landing page optimization is the process of enhancing or improving each element on your landing page to increase conversions and improve SEO. The biggest reason why landing pages fail is they don’t meet their audience’s needs. Unintuitive design, non-descriptive or misleading headlines, unrecognizable calls-to-action are all contributing factors. 

To work effectively, landing pages need to be curated for a specific audience and have a clear call-to-action. In today’s digital world, landing pages are often the first exchange people have with a business. They most often offer users something in return for their contact information, and we highly recommend businesses apply that to theirs to offer value. These offers are usually ebooks, subscription to the organization’s newsletter, or a free trial of a product.

If a landing page is meant to be read or convert, a good bounce rate is 60%-80%. If your goal is to drive traffic or have the user visit multiple web pages, a healthy bounce rate would be between 30%-60%.

Optimized landing pages can improve the overall ranking of the website they are on and can give more insights to Google on what your organization is about.

How To Optimize Landing Pages For Conversions 

Use Your Data

As we said before, the biggest reason why landing pages flop is they fail to meet their target audience’s needs. Design your landing pages based on the information you already have about your audience. Be sure to use the information you have of your audience from your website. It’s important to note that you make the most improvements to your landing pages by pushing them live and then making tweaks as insights and data come in about your audience.

Limit the Number of Calls-To-Actions 

You don’t want to overwhelm web users. Stick with one call-to-action and keep your text limited. People only read 20% of the content on a webpage so long sentences and paragraphs don’t work well. Just have the bare necessities.

Have Consistency

You need to make sure the messaging, design, and tone matches the search result, ad, social media post, or newsletter that brings visitors to the landing page. You want your page to match the expectations the visitor had based on their previous interaction.

Write A Catchy Headline

The amount of time it takes you to create a landing page is the amount of time it  should take you to think about the headline. Your headline is just as important, if not more important, than your landing page itself. Because no one’s going to click to your page if there’s no incentive to leave the page they are on. 

Keep The Most Important Information Above The Fold

The term ‘above the fold’ comes from the newspaper world. Digital folds are the points at which the user must scroll to gain more information.

Put In Testimonials

Testimonials help build trust. They are proof people love your business and they can also let visitors determine if they are the right fit to work with you.

How To Optimize Landing Pages For SEO

Have A Custom URL

A custom URL containing certain keywords can make the page more alluring for search engines. Make sure the main keyword for your page is in your URL.

Determine Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the words that you want search engines to rank your page for. You can do a Google search or use Search Console to determine the best keyword for your landing page.

Strategically Place Your Keywords

Once you determine your keywords, you’re going to want to place them strategically on your landing page. The areas you should consider are title tags, meta description, and your copy.

Have A Fast Page

Page speed has never been more important. We see fast page speed as one of the six pillars that makes up SEO. People will X out of your landing page fast if the page load is slow.

Don’t Do Once & Forget


SEO requires ongoing work. Check out this blog post we published back in May to learn why. As such, you want to make sure you use Google Analytics and Google Search Console once a month to see how your landing page is performing and how it can be better optimized. These two tools can inform you what people are searching for to find your landing page, how long users stay on the page, and if there are any technical issues with the page that need fixing.

At Sperling Interactive, we are masters at crafting optimized landing pages for conversions and SEO. We’d be happy to perform an audit of your landing page and give you feedback on how to improve it. We can also create a landing page for you and run a campaign around it. Give us a call at (978) 304-1730 to learn more about us and how we can serve you.