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.
Moving to a new web host? Here are my top tips on quickly moving with a minimum of downtime for HTML and PHP (non-database driven) websites.
Know Before You Go
Make sure you know what is going on with your site before you go. What are you using at your old webhost? Email? Script? When you repoint your domain to your new host, anything that you had at your old host is wiped. That means you will have to set up email accounts, any scripts, and any other things you have been using. Make sure before you move, that your webmaster does their due diligence and make sure you are knowledgeable to inform them of what you have and are doing. Typically they can see scripts that run your website, but may not know of your mail server set up.
Use a Web Host that Provides a Temporary Domain
I like Hostway, when I set up a new domain that is owned or pointed elsewhere, Hostway gives me a temporary domain to use. I can load files and even test scripts and make any changes I need to before I move a domain and go live. If you don’t see this option ask, as sometimes it can be turned on for you.
Test, Test, Test
Before launch of any site, I do extensive testing both in my clients area and then in the temporary domain. Try to get all problems resolved before you turn your new site on. It will save having headaches and frustration.
Be Prepared for Propagation
Once you repoint your domain name servers to a new web host, be prepared for propagation. Know that it takes typically 4 to 6 hours for servers to refresh and longer for small internet service providers for your domain at the new web host to be seen consistently and properly. Don’t freak out when you cannot see your site. This takes time and there is nothing you can do to speed the process.
Looking for a webmaster to help you move to a new web host? Contact us and review our webmaster services today.
If you’ve been worrying that your 70%+ bounce rate needed immediate remediation, you need to take a deep breath and dig further.
If your website has in-depth informational content and a blog to build authority for search engines, with the increase in mobile searches, your bounce rate may be higher than a site without this type of content. Equally your website traffic will typically be higher.
So how high is too high for a bounce rate. When the numbers get to 78% to 80%, I would start to really be concerned. But there is more to this equation than just a bounce rate percentage.
Make sure to evaluate your time on page and time on site as part of an overall review. It may be as simple as moving out of the Google Display network with your advertising or adding exclusions to your program to drop your bounce rate fast. You may be driving low cost and low quality traffic to your own site erroneously thus negatively impacting your own bounce rate.
Before you start to tease apart your content take a careful look at your website and the potential causes for a high bounce rate.
Is your user experience good?
Do your pages load quickly?
Do you have an esthetically pleasing website design that is easy to navigate?
Do you have content that matches what you are selling or to build your authority?
Have you reviewed your AdWords traffic? Is it targeted?
Are your ads showing heavily in the content or display network thus driving up impressions?
Is your content thin or scraped from other sites. Uniqueness is important here.
Are you providing thoughtful content that builds a case for the use of your services or just filler?
Bounce rate is definitely a strong indicator of a user’s vote for your website, but a higher than typical number may not necessarily mean that you have a site that needs repair.
However a high bounce rate definitely needs a careful review to assure that you do not have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Before the advent of more than 50% of searches done in the mobile arena, a website wanted to strive for about a 45 to 50% bounce rate. Now with “in the moment” searches done on mobile accounting for more than half of all Google search traffic, the time on a website is dropping fast and bounce rates increasing.
When I do a survey of a number of website we access here is a quick synopsis of bounce rates we are seeing.
e-Commerce Store 73.94%
Home Service Provider 75.48%
Software and Security 65.62%
Architectural Features 95.80%
Home Service Provider 62.26%
Real Estate Services 41.68%
Industrial Product 74.58%
Home Services Provider 75.80%
Aviation Industry 69.44%
Electrical Service 67.32%
Home Services 58.69%
SEO Services 77.63%
Landscape Services 66.29%
Cosmetic Services 72.48%
The site average is 69.74% this is significantly higher than the benchmark of 46.9% that Google Analytics had shared three years ago as a global benchmark. Now it is not uncommon for sites with strong informational content and a blog to have a 70% plus bounce rate.
In fact the sites in our list that have low bounce rates also typically those that have lower traffic and do not have additional informational content on their site. They are mainly brochure-type websites focused on showcasing only their own services and do not typically have a blog.
So what do you do with this new normal of a relatively high bounce rate, and should you be concerned? Please come back to read the rest of this two part series on Wednesday.