“Check my website for errors?“, you ask. What does that have to do with internet marketing or search engine optimization? It is very important because Google looks and observes the errors you have on your website! These errors play a part of the decision search engines use to determine if your website should be in search results. If you are a website owner, this fact is crucial for you to note and correct. So, what should you do?
The two main websites we recommend to check is Google Webmaster Tools and WC3. These websites will actually point out errors for you to fix! You might not even be aware of the errors, but they will count against you. Don’t procrastinate fixing website errors! If possible, fix errors early so you don’t have a lot of work.
There are 3 main website errors I will mention that you should repair:
- 404′s – Many times you might go to someone’s website and land on a 404 web page. Webmasters can create a cute template for 404′s but they are not good to have. Google will look down on them. What are they? They are webpages that can’t be found. Although there is a technical explaination, we won’t go there in this blog post. 404 errors are often returned when pages have been moved or deleted. If it’s a mistake, fix it. If you moved the page, use a 301 (moved permanently response) instead which will be accepted by search engines. If this is too technical for you, contact us (or your webmaster) and make sure you resolve these website errors! Either way, as a user of the web, don’t you dislike landing on one of these website pages?
- Duplicate Content – If you have any duplicate content on your own site or from another website, these errors will count against you. Google views duplicate content as plagerism even if it’s your own work. Make sure your content is unique and if you find duplicate content, correct the errors on your website!
- Meta Tags Errors – Meta tags are important to have on every page you want Google to see, but you also need to make sure they are not too long or too short or these will be considered as errors. Although search engines vary on the exact number of characters, keep an eye on limiting your title tags to 60 characters and your description to a maximum of 160 characters. Once again, Google will notice if you have duplicated any of these meta tags and it will be viewed as errors on your website.