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.
Do you want to reach more customers? Do you have office in far flung countries? Are you not sure how to go about doing SEO for multiple countries?
Here are my tips for global SEO.
1. Get a separate country specific domain so that you look like a real resident. Make sure in the contact information you list the local office and phone number. You can also reference the US information as well but at the website footer and in the header only the country specific address and phone number should be used.
2. Preferably, for country websites that are not English speakers, the website should be in the country’s native language. However readers will assume that when they call they will be speaking to someone fluent in their own language. If your staffing does not allow for this, then leave the website in English, but use the local address and local phone number.
3. Google will not identify websites in other languages as duplications of your own site penalizing you. Which is good news. However for the English speaking countries, you should use the meta tag for Canonical URL just so Google does assign a penalty.
“You might have avoided setting up a .co.uk counterpart for your .com site for fear of Google deeming this as “duplicate content,” since there’s not much of a language difference. However, Google now supports using the rel=“canonical” link element across different domains. This means you can have similar content on both the .com and .co.uk extensions of your site, and use the canonical link element to indicate the exact URL of the domain preferred for indexing. This will make duplicate content a non-issue. Also, keep in mind that this is not required when using different languages. Google does not consider foreign language translations to be duplicate content. But keep in mind that it is something to consider for multiple locale sites in the same language.” For more great info visit this page.
5. If you decide instead of doing new domains to do subdirectory domains, then make sure a sitemap is done for each subdirectory domain and feed it to the Google Search Console using a different URL in the account. Or for new domains, make sure to implement the Google Search Console, create a site map and select the targeted country in the Google Search Console.
Check back on Wednesday for more tips for Global SEO.
Continued from Monday as to what to do when you only place on Google and Bing for your business name…
Fourth – Connect with local businesses or your Chamber of Commerce
Sounds like a no-brainer, but Google will value links you get from authoritative local sites like your Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau heavier than sites that do not have strong local value.
Fifth – Work to build smart links from authoritative sites
If you are in a specific industry, ask if your trade association will allow you to be a monthly guest blogger. The links back to your website from your bio. block at the end of a blog post on an authority site in your industry that just happen to also contain your own location specific keywords are like gold for you. Your association will be glad to get free, well-written content, and you’ll get SEO juice. If you are not a fabulous writer, pay a ghost blogger to write the piece for you that you can do final editing on. It will be well worth the time, money and effort.
Sixth – Get professional help if you need it
If you do not work on your own website, consider getting professional help to assist with these important placement strategies. With competition for clicks in AdWords you can easily ring up a big bill fast, but you’ve got to have Web visibility to bring home the bacon!