Since I last wrote about the privacy updates that are mandated by the EU to cover website traffic on American websites by EU nationals, much has happened.
Several clients have shared their thoughts with us on why the sudden change. Some are listed below.
“I do feel lucky about not getting caught, but also want to be safe.”
“I’ve just had a lawyer call me and I feel like I need immediate action on the privacy updates as I don’t want to end up in court on a new matter.”
As for me, my perspective is that it is not expensive or hard to do the implementation to be in compliance with the GDPR. I am risk adverse and feel that eventually the US will institute some controls so we will be ahead of the game by changing our own websites now.
Google says that as your site load speed increases from 1 to 7 seconds, your bounce rate increases 113%. Missed opportunities; bounced prospects means missed sales.
I tested my own website against a number of other sites on the Google Test My Site tool and here’s what I found.
My site www.mccordweb.com – 3 second load, excellent rating, low loss of visitors. My site is a responsive design in PHP and only uses WordPress for the blog.
Fulfillment company legacy HTML website that is over 8 years old, but the owner is not ready to do an update yet. 7 second load time, fair rating, 26% estimated visitor loss.
Pest control company legacy PHP website that is over 10 years old, but the owner is not ready to do a site update yet. 6 second load time. fair rating, 24% estimated visitor loss.
Medical business redone responsive WordPress website, but the owner was not speed-focused. 7 second load time. fair rating, 26% estimated visitor loss.
GPS technology business newly redone responsive WordPress website with a very glitzy look, but the designer was not speed-focused. 10 second load time. poor rating, 29% estimated visitor loss.
What I have found is that the WordPress sites with the slide show on the home page are not testing well for speed. The PHP based websites that do not have a slide show cover and are more text focused and utilize created AMP pages are testing as speedy.
Need help with your website? Check us out to see how we can help you get a speedy rating and not risk visitor loss.
Google sent me an interesting tool this past week and I wanted to share it with you. You can view and use the mobile impact tool online https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/mobile/. This tool allows you to measure the speed and monetary impact from the speed of your clocked website with just a few additional insights about your average sale, website traffic, and conversion rate online.
Not only is Google getting serious about letting website owners know that page speed on mobile device impacts sales, but they provide the tool to help you understand that even improving your site by a second can improve your sales results; and now you can see that in monetary terms.
This focus on mobile impacts not just e-commerce stores, but informational websites. Although the key focus and significant impact is to those that make their living selling products on the web.
Don’t tear your hair out, although Google says speed is important, the do provide additional details.
“Google today announced a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search. The company is calling it the “Speed Update,” and it will only impact a small percentage of queries, Google reiterated to us. Only pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users” will be impacted by this update, the company says.”
My recommendation is that if you are selling online – start your focus on speed. And if you are really in the service or consulting business, know that speed is important and should be a strong focus when you do a website redesign.
HTTPS – Google loves it, but for informational websites, moving to HTTPS adds to your costs. Expect to pay $129 to $229 for a SSL or secure socket layer certificate to be able to have your website use HTTPS in the browser bar.
For me at this time, I am not moving to HTTPS and it is mainly due to the additional cost. I do not have e-commerce on my website and I only use a contact form for prospects, so do not feel that I must have this extra security. But, Google loves the security and encryption that HTTPS affords for websites. At some point in time, the use of HTTPS on your website may be a ranking factor for organic results, but for now, it is not.
E-Commerce Sites MUST be HTTPS
If your website has e-commerce, you take payments or log users into a secure area, you really need to be using HTTPS at this point in time, no exception.
New Websites Should Embrace HTTPS
Any new websites we design are all in HTTPS. At this time I do not feel that existing informational websites should move to HTTPS, but that day may be coming soon.
To find out more about how we can help you, I invite you to visit our website to browse our service offerings and read more content on topics that will help your business grow.
Plan ahead, bringing a new website online does mean that you will drop organic placement. It happens! Sometimes with redirects, after 4 to 6 weeks a website will pop back up in organic placement, but sometimes, the site stays down and does not regain the placement that the original site had.
It is a reality and one that you should honestly prepare for when you launch a new website. It may be smart to build your new website at a new domain, so you do not lose your organic placement of your old site. If that is not an approach you would like to take, know that you will drop and plan a pay per click budget to drive traffic to your new website and get started quickly with blogging and content creation to try to build inbound links and help your site regain position.
Many businesses will own multiple domains and it may make sense to use one of your domains and leave your legacy website alone. Especially if you have thousands of blog posts and thousands of inbound links.
If your site is relatively small and has under 150 inbound links, your placement is not so strong that you cannot overwrite the URLs on your site and damage your organic placement.
Be careful and thoughtful about the changes you want to make beforehand so you are prepared in case your site does fall significantly in the organic results.
Don’t damage your existing SEO when you launch a new website. Once you have changed page URLs, all inbound links pointing to your website (that helped you garner your old website’s placement) will be broken and the SEO juice gone.
I recommend taking time to do an .htaccess file redirect in the root of your server; list your old URLs and then redirect to the new page that is the best match. If you have a very large blog, consider leaving the old blog up and then starting a new blog site on the server, having multiple incidents of WordPress so you do not lose thousands on inbound links if you have been a very active blogger.
This is of particular importance when you are moving from a PHP or HTML site to WordPress as the format of your website links will be different.
For many well-placed websites, setting up a new domain and leaving the old site untouched may be the best solution. In fact, if the old site is well placed organically you can point your pages to your new website (not with a domain forward, but rather with links in the footer and content). This may pass some of your SEO capital to your new site to help it get established.
When you want a new site and build one, but do not come up with a plan to address your historical inbound links, you break what you had and literally have to start all over again building SEO placement. Don’t damage your existing SEO out of ignorance.
Overwriting your existing website with new URLs without a well-thought out process can really damage your online placement and may be very hard to recover from, so move thoughtfully and carefully.