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.
What’s the connection between citations and local ranking? Well, first Google uses citations which include your phone number and address for location specific ranking in the organic index.
Because citations are important to place for local searches here are some of my tips to assure that you do everything in your power on your website pages to try to place for location specific searches in your local area.
Make sure you have your full address and phone number in your footer.
Make sure to spell out your state and not use the abbreviation.
Format your phone number either as 540-693-0385 or (540) 693-0385 and do not use . as separators. Google’s preferred use in AdWords is (540) 693-0385 for all instances that they call in phone numbers.
If possible get local links that feature your website URL, business address and phone. I like the Chamber of Commerce for links like this.
Make sure to claim your Google My Business and Bing My Business pages. These are great ways to also add your address and phone number.
Make sure that you review online what your address and location shows. If it is incorrect, make attempts to correct the data.
Most businesses want local placement. Assuring that you are reference properly in citations around the web starts first with assuring that you have the information posted clearly on your own website.
The Web is a very competitive place, but I would like to share with you a case study of a recent customer that highlights if a service is trending, the price is right, and the website is optimized, you can get clients via organic search.
My firm built him a website to showcase video and photos of projects and recent photo shoots. We optimized the site architecture, site content, page URLs and mentored him on keywords to use in his self-written content.
We used location specific keywords to help him place organically by county and state name using a smart use in his content and footer information.
On his side, he priced his services a tad below market average, and worked to offer more value than any other competitors.
As a result of our efforts combined with the client, business is growing and the phone is ringing, all without additional advertising.
The point I would like to make is that if the product is “right”, pricing is “right”, there is a need, then the smart use of keywords, content and location specificity can give free exposure that turns into sales and helps a brand new business get a footing from which to build.
I am an SEO consultant NOT an SEO therapist! What a statement you might think, but more often than not, I am called by prospective clients that think that all they really need is an SEO therapist or SEO answer-man. They think that by getting their questions answered they can continue to do what they are doing and achieve placement in Google.
SEO is a craft and an art. What I would do as part of a program to improve visibility is not something that a do-it-yourselfer would routinely do or for that matter do well.
Want to Improve Organic Placement? Here’s What to Do
Hire a qualified person.
Make sure you have a reporting program to verify strategy.
Don’t go on the cheap.
Make sure you have a content strategy for your blog.
Know your target keywords for your website content.
Nail your keywords in your blog and website content.
Don’t fragment your business into mini 1-3 page websites.
Do regularly build out targeted content.
Don’t go crazy with keyword stuffing, be readable!
Do use AdWords to boost website traffic.
More often then not, I see successful lawyers, entrepreneurs, and successful business people feel that they can easily do their own SEO work. The truth is that a professional with the knowledge to help you garner placement over time and to be honest with you and accountable is worth their weight in gold.
If you are looking for a capable consultant to get you pointed in the right direction, I invite you to visit our website to learn more about our SEO and web visibility services.
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.