Errors, they may your heart beat faster and stomach clench especially when they impact your website. But, not all errors that are reported in plugins such as Yoast or even WordFence are real errors.
For example, today the Yoast SEO plugin flagged my site as not having a home page that was visible to search engines. But on additional testing and review of files; both the robots.txt and .htaccess file there was not issue. Additionally, on testing in the Google fetch feature in the Google Search Console – no errors were triggered. The Google bot was fully allowed even though Yoast said it was not.
Sometimes errors you see are false positives. But, that does not mean you can simply mark them as ignored or disregard them all together.
All website errors should be reviewed and corrected if found to be true. Don’t guess, make sure that you do not have a problem each time one is brought to your attention.
High Bounce Rate – Continued from Monday April 3, 2017.
Dealing with a high bounce rate on your website? Here are my recommendations for what to do to try to solve the problem.
First, don’t get spun up. Not every page needs to have a low bounce rate of 40% to 65%. I have found that blog posts and informational articles, which may be driving traffic to your website, may also have a high bounce rate.
If this is the case, I recommend the following actions:
Put the page to work for you. Feature your newsletter subscription link, video links, and even AdSense advertising ads on those high traffic, yet high bounce rate pages. Understand that they are doorways into your site and work to market your own site on these pages with banners, icons, and interactivity like video embeds.
Second, if you have content and service pages that are really meaningful to your business and they have a bounce rate in the high 70%’s, I would tag them for a content review.
If this is the case, I recommend the following actions:
Review your meta tags, you may be getting traffic that is not targeted to your page content. Review your meta title and meta description tags. Do they make sense based on the content of the page? Should they be updated to be more reflective of what the reader will find when they click in?
Review your page content with a careful eye for detail. Are you supplying content that is engaging or just supplying information. Do you have a call to action on the page, do you have links to your contact form, are you using an app like Drift to get the person online chatting with you, are you addressing a pain point and supplying solutions with related information on other pages drawing the reader in farther to your content?
Are you driving untargeted Google AdWords traffic to your page and paying for a click where what you are offering on your page does not match keywords that are being triggered? As AdWords experts find out more about our programs to solve this issue.
Bounce rate is determined to be high if it is over 75%, however there can be acceptable reasons for a high bounce rate, but a high bounce rate does require careful review.
What is the Bounce Rate?
The bounce rate is recorded for you in Google Analytics by page in the Behavior section > Site Content section, and as a site average on the overview page.
Several years ago the average and target bounce rate for a good website was 46.9%. Now with more users on mobile devices, the bounce rate has skyrocketed.
Google states that this drastic change to bounce rate is due in part to the fact that mobile users may start a search on your site and move to a desktop to finish up a review or purchase. Page views have also decreased in this same time period from over 3 or so pages viewed per session to now about 1.5 pages per session – all driven by mobile activity.
Identifying a High Bounce Rate
To address a website’s high bounce rate, knowledge is power. First, it is important to understand what causes a high bounce rate.
You’ll get a high bounce rate if the page content does not engage the reader. This is a good flag to review your page and consider additions, video, additional links to other information.
You’ll get a high bounce rate if the content is not what the reader was looking for. This is a good flag to review your content, your meta tags, and your paid advertising.
You’ll get a high bounce rate if you supplied the content the reader wanted and they had no need to go further. It is not uncommon to see how bounce rates on articles and blog posts.
What Should You Do Next?
You’ll want to look at the pages that have a high bounce rate score and identify if changes should be done to the content. Check out my Wednesday post this week for the continuation of this article.
Want to move up in organic (unpaid) website placement? Want to drop your ad spend in AdWords? You can if you stop doing these three things.
Taking no action on website reporting and analytics
It is great to evaluate your website, and every business owner should have an eye on Google Analytics and an organic placement reporting program, but you kill your ability to move up if you don’t take action from the data.
Not regularly blogging or building website content
You cannot move forward and improve your website placement if you are not building keyword effective content. If you are tired of your current placement, think you spend too much on AdWords, it is important to be doing something about the issue and the resolution would be content building.
Not getting the expert or consulting help you need
There is no reason to say, I cannot understand the reports, I cannot improve my organic placement. Paid consultants are expert help to plan a roadmap for your strategy and in many cases can even enact and monitor the plan. Many consultants like myself allow you to decide the hours of time you want to invest in services. If you ask me to help and you have candidly expressed your budget needs or issues, I am happy to create a plan that allows you to focus on things that really help move your site forward first and prioritize what you should do when you have the time or money.
Don’t just gripe or think things cannot change, get busy with a plan and professional help to turn things around and work towards the long term goal of organic placement improvement.
I invite you to visit my website to find out more about the web visibility services we provide at McCord Web Services. I think you will find us easy to work with and extremely knowledgeable.
Just this last week Google announced that it’s mobile search index would become its primary index and that it would be spinning off its tablet and desktop index into a separate index. Additionally Google stated that it would not be updating the desktop and tablet index with the same frequency as that of the mobile index.
For some, this statement did not register as important, but for those in my industry, this was very important news.
Business owners must take heed when Google makes statements like this. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you have an old website that looks like your desktop on the small screen of mobile devices, and you are not using a workaround like DudaMobile, you may be in trouble. What kind of trouble? You may drop placement organically, pages you add may not be indexed frequently, and Google may even not show your website in the mobile index. With mobile searches driving over 60% of the traffic on Google.com that’s a big drop for you.
Google is focused on speed for mobile, are you?
The next big hurdle if your site is mobile friendly is to try to speed up the delivery of your pages. Google is boosting the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) initiatives to deliver AMP’ed up content to mobile devices nearly instantaneously. Be prepared for keeping an eye on this. Google has mentioned that it likes AMP pages and has tested even saying it may provide better placement for pages and sites that are AMP’ed.
For now the key is to assure that your site can be considered by Google as mobile-friendly and mobile-fast.
We have options when it comes to mobile, from a DudaMobile script “Bandaid” to a new mobile responsive site or WordPress site with mobile responsive theme. Just ask us for help!
With organic results being pushed down below the fold, with the shrinking space on mobile screens leaving nearly no room after ads, how can you get your website to show for organic or unpaid searches?
It is simple, use videos posted on YouTube which Google will preferentially index and show over videos posted with Flash or other video applications embedded back on your website.
The key take away on this is that YouTube is a Google property. Google loves to promote and link to content in its own network as ads can be shown and therefore it pads its own pockets. Plus Google likes and understands that users want video and so shows them mixed in with the organic results very frequently. We are a visual world!
Your YouTube video that you do to explain, illustrate, or showcase a product may be the way that new customers will find your business and enter your website.
Videos you post to YouTube do not need to be works of art, but solve a problem, talk to a need, and do not even need to be long. Just grab your smartphone and start recording. You can receive value from 20 to 30 second videos or how to videos.
I like to post these types of videos to YouTube plus archive them via the embed code back on my own website, getting double duty of new fresh content and ways for clients to view – on my site or full screen over at YouTube.
I think that for businesses struggling to get organic placement in the new no-ad-sidebar Google world that video will play a strong part in getting future traffic.