Search engine optimization is not for every website. Although search engine optimization can really improve the organic search results for some websites, there are a couple of considerations when search engine optimization should not be considered and maybe a full site redesign may be a better investment of money and time.
When not to do search engine optimization:
If your site is created in a template and the site layout becomes broken when new content is added.
Your site looks funny in browsers other than Chrome and Firefox.
You have a site designed using Flash or tables for your layout.
Your website looks dated or non-professional.
As search engine optimization is not inexpensive, in some cases the money that would have been spent on search engine optimization would be better spent on a new search engine friendly design with built-in optimization features.
Voice search – it’s coming faster than you think, and I am already having clients ask how they can get ready now.
Here is some information to get you started thinking about what you need to do to be ready for voice search.
First what exactly is voice search?
Voice search is where you speak into a computer or smartphone and the device then performs a search for you returning relevant information and reading the most relevant information to you.
So how can you even get ready for something like this?
Make sure you take time to do a content review. Clean up, slim down content, review page titles and page meta tags and slim and trim what you have to be concise.
Use two and three word search phases as the focus of your content. Voice search will not be focused on the long tail phases.
Make sure you have your full address including city and spelled out state and your phone number that is clickable on all your website pages. To place on near me searches you have to have your location spelled out! Search engines will deliver your content for near me searches only when you are in close proximity to the end user.
Work to improve relevancy of your content and start to strip down your pages and break long content into multiple pages so that pages are on one topic, searchable by search engines and deliver answers to questions.
Coming to the Web in July is a change to the Google Chrome browser that will now mark any website that is not using https as insecure. Should you be worried if you are not selling online?
Personally, if you are not selling product online, I would not worry about the site insecure warning. This warning will appear on your site if you have a contact form, but I personally do not feel that your submissions will drop.
In most cases now, my clients and prospects contact me by phone or by chat. I have very few customers who contact me via my email form. Most like the immediacy of a call.
If you are flush with cash, moving to https could be good for you to prevent any insecure site warnings to be ultra safe. Cost for an SSL certificate is about $149 to $199 yearly. You will typically need to have a dedicated IP address which will run $7 to $15 a month and your web host will most likely charge installation fee for the SSL certificate. So, there are moderate costs associated with the move to https.
If you sell online https is mandatory. No consumer will buy and provide their credit card information via http.
So, the bottom-line is that really you have an option if you are not selling online as https and the additional costs are not a requirement to continue to have website traffic. Your site will still appear in the Google search results and other browsers will not trigger a warning.
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.