Lets be honest, Google is the God of the Internet. Fact. Inevitably, all Shopify store owners must accept that you need to abide by the golden rules of Google in order to be seen and rewarded.
Most of you are wondering why Google isn’t giving your ecommerce website any attention? Here are three of the most common reasons why Google hates your site right now.
It’s important to play by the rules when it comes to your website content. Google is watching every move you make and will discipline sites with bad, paid, and broken links.
As many of you may already know, if another site links back to your site it will benefit your search rankings. But, how did that link get there? Is it because your site is full of great content or did you pay someone to put the link there? If you answered yes to the second, stop now. Many companies, including large corporations, have been condemned by Google for buying links. So it’s simple, don’t do it.
Over time, it’s also likely all websites will accumulate some links that no longer work. Other sites close, move, and restructure all the time, which makes the page you originally linked disappear.
Google will prefer a site with no broken links, to one that has five broken links. Broken links should be checked every 2-4 months. Have you recently redesigned your website? Did you delete pages from your old site? Did you change the URL structure of your pages? If you have, then these URL changes will result in 404 errors if they’re not correctly redirected. This will greatly affect SEO and user experience so keep an eye out and fix them as fast as you can.
2. It doesn’t work on mobile
Why does Google hate non-mobile friendly sites? It’s simple, websites that don’t work on mobile provide bad user experiences and Google rewards a good mobile user experience.
Mobile traffic is increasing at a rapid rate. 70% of online sales take place on a mobile device and 66% of time spent online shopping is on mobile devices. If your Shopify store isn’t generating traffic and sales from mobiles now it certainly will very soon.
The best way of ensuring your website is mobile ready is to use a responsive design. In fact, Shopify offers a brilliant selection of responsive designs and themes that are optimized for every possible layout and screen resolution.
You can check how mobile friendly your site is using this test. With 30% of mobile customers abandoning a transaction if the online store is not optimized for mobile, there is nothing more important for you to do this year than to fix your non-mobile friendly website.
Google likes fast pages and wants to show off the websites with the best user experience. If your site is slow and takes forever to load, it is unlikely to rank highly and certainly not above a faster website.
It is reported that over 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. These people are also unlikely to return to these sites or recommend them to a friend. 83% of online users said they expect websites to load in under 3 seconds but the average loading time of the top 500 ecommerce home pages is 10 seconds – shocking!
Do you monitor the speed of your site on a regular basis? If not, you certainly should.
Some of the things you can change to make your website faster are:
- Avoid a character set in the meta tag
- Avoid bad requests
- Avoid landing page redirects
- Combine images using CSS sprites
- Enable gzip compression
- Inline small CSS
- Leverage browser caching
- Minify CSS, HTML, JavaScrpit
- Optimize images
- Avoid bad requests
- Put CSS in the document head
- Serve resources from a consistent URL
- Specify image dimensions
Too much too fast? We got you. Here are two great tools that will do the job for free:
Gtmetrix – it uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to analyse your website’s speed performance. It will then provide actionable changes you can make to fix any issues.
Pingdom Website Speed Test – it offers a cost-effective and reliable website monitoring service. It uses a global network of servers to monitor sites 24/7 and includes statistics for uptime and response time.
Please keep in mind that after Google has punished you for slow loading times it can take at least a month to recover. Even if you fix the issue right away. As I’ve already said, people don’t have spare time these days so try and improve your website’s speed today.
In the end, Google wants your site to be trustworthy and enjoyed by the people using it. Follow these guidlines and be sure to keep your rankings in check. Oh, and don’t forget…Google is God.