Page Load Time Optimization….

As of 2010 Google is starting to apply a fair amount of weight to page load time. Google is making this a factor for a simple reason, if your page takes forever to load people aren’t going to wait and ultimately will close your site and move on to the next one.

Here are some things you can do to speed up your site:

-Combine all external Javascript (this may not be possible for some, but combine as much as possible).

-Specify image dimensions on all images. This way the browser doesn’t have to figure it out.

-Validate your website so crawlers don’t get confused with css/html errors.

-Don’t make references to external files/images

-Download the Firebug Firefox extension and install the Page Speed app. This will tell you everything you need to know about how to make your pages load faster.

I would recommend starting with the home page and then working your way back to your most important pages (use Google Analytics and look at the top content report. Work your way down from there).

While optimizing your pages load time won’t be responsible for getting you on the first page, it’s one of many things that will help. It’s also great for your users who are on slower connections.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO isn’t just doing one thing right, it’s doing a bunch of things right that makes the difference. Incorporating a beautiful website design and a good SEO campaign will take your website to the next level.

Analyzing Your Website Traffic to Understand User Experience

Looking at your website traffic is something you should do on a regular basis so you can better understand how your visitors navigate through your site and why they do the things that they do. Things such as average page views, bounce rate, average time spent on site and top content are all things that should give insight on what your users like and what they don’t like. Since you are likely the owner or manager of the website you are running, you will never truly be able to simulate a user experience on your own simply because you know alot more about your product than your customers do. Below are a few things at when analyzing your traffic:

Bounce Rate:

Bounce rate is the % of times a user enters and leave on the same page. Depending on your industry and the nature of your website, this % will vary. Obviously the lower the better but to really understand why they are bouncing take a look at the average time spent on each page. Are they reading your information, getting what they need and then leaving (spending 2 minutes or more on your website), or are they coming and leaving fairly quickly? If they leave quickly than you need to most likely re-arrange things in a fashion that the user will see what they came for and get more information. If the user comes, stays for a little while and then leaves without requesting more information, than you need to either give them a little less information or give them reasons to navigate through the rest of your site a little. Soft sells or calls to action is high trafficked spots on your website will help. Using key areas in your website real estate to try and get the user to do something rather than using these spots for information purposes. Ask them to join your email list to get free information regarding what they came to your site for.

Average Page Views:

If you have a low average page views number than your content probably needs to be re written or moved around. Try possibly taking a survey of some sort seeing what your current customers are most interested in about your service, or why they use you or your product. Take this information and structure it in a way that the users can navigate through your site and not get all the information they need on one page but enough to keep them interested throughout the whole site. As you see this improve, start implementing calls to action in certain spots as well.

Search Engine Traffic vs Direct Traffic:

This is a little more advanced but one way to try and increase conversion is showing different content based on the source of the traffic. People who are coming directly to your site usually (not always) were referred by someone or have a little more information than usual about your product or service. Possibly think about making the conversion funnel for these visitors a little shorter as they probably don’t need as much information, they just need a little nudge to contact you. Search engine traffic is usually visitors that know what they need or want, just looking for a person to buy it from. Present yourself in a fashion that will showcase your product, it’s features and how it will solve your customer’s problem and then give them a call to action on why they should contact you, buy the product or get more information.

There are ways to detect this in your code and doing it safely. Don’t redirect them to certain pages as if done incorrectly Google may flag you for cloaking. Simply make your page dynamic in a way that you can display information that is more beneficial to the user based on the information you have gathered about the source and other details.

Link Building & It’s Importance in SEO

Link building (especially on Google) is probably the most important aspect of SEO right now. As Google moves towards making links a big part of their algorithm, link building becomes more and more important as a daily SEO activity. The days of ranking well on Google for having just a well on page optimized website are over. Everybody knows that content is king, title tags are important, proper use of header tags is good and link anchor text always helps, but now the shift is to in bound links. Quality, relevant, 1 way in bound links from high page rank sites with good anchor text is the one thing that can take your average ranking site right to the top of the first page.

Quality Links:

Links of the same relevancy that aren’t spammy. The higher the page rank the better. The fewer the links on the page that is linking to you the better. This is because for every site that a page links to, it’s passing on a little piece of its page rank to each of those sites. The more site that are linked to, the less page rank each site will get because of sharing with the other sites.

Rate at Which Links are Acquired:

Don’t do all your link building in one day, or even one week, Spread it out! Unless you are writing exceptional content on a daily basis and people are linking to it because it’s highly informative and completely original, don’t build links at a rapid pace. Then again, don’t build slowly, but google knows if you are building to fast and won’t give you as much credit or possibly penalize you if you get carried away.

Method of Acquiring Links:

Directory submission is always a topic in SEO. When I submit sites to directories, I check a couple things before I submit. Things such as page rank, type of sites they allow and the overall feeling I get when I look at the directory. If the directory has a zero page rank value and has adult or spammy sites in their directory a usually won’t submit. I do this for two reasons, if the web directory has no page rank, google may or may not trust the directory and all the sites in it. Usually if google assigns a page rank > 1 to something there is usually a certain standard of content or information. This isn’t always the case, but a good starting point. Also, if there are spammy sites or adult sites in the directory I usually won’t submit as this may look to google as a bad thing.

Next there is article submissions which really I think only works correctly when you write good article that are informative and not copied. Finally theirs blogging or high quality content creating on your actual site, which I think is the best way. This way may take the longest to see the fruits of your labor (unless you are promoting your content through viral methods) but it sure does pay off. The kind of links is one way in bound links from pages that have relevant content to yours, high page rank and the anchor text is similar to the keywords or phrases you are targeting. Preferably these in bound links would appear in paragraphs or text that is related to your topic as well.

For Search Engine Optimization or other web design services, you can contact me directly.

Using IP Address Geo Location Technology with SEO

Using IP address Geo location is one way to possibly look at in improving your conversion rates through on page optimization. As things become more and more complex on the internet and users are given multiple ways to buy a particular product or service, you should give your best shot at converting EVERY user that comes to your website. By using IP address geo location, you can display content based on the users location. This method won’t double your conversion rate, but it will be a nice little to test to see if your product or service is more marketable if presented to users by their location.

Using the geographical data:

-Use the geographical data to produce a call to action or geographical based sale or deal.

-Funnel this user to an optimizated landing page for there location. Perform split testing to see if your users are attracted to there location (city, state or zip).

Don’t redirect users on your home page based on there location, Google may think you are cloaking and flag you, put you in there supplemental index or even ban you if they think it’s a malicious act. Simply change content or calls to action only!

How this applies to SEO:

The whole goal of SEO is really to get more traffic and convert that traffic. Anything that includes producing more online sales or conversions boils down to optimizing your website so that users buy your product or service or at least contact you about it. If you are able to taylor your website to each individual and display things in a way that it would apply to there location, situation or emotion you would. You need to take as much given information about your user and use it to your advantage. This also includes refering pages, referring search engines, keywords etc…

Thanks

Nick Julia

Phoenix Web Design CompanyPhoenix Website DesignScottsdale Website Design

Is a Keyword Dense Domain Name Important in SEO?

When launching your SEO campaign, if you have the choice of the domain then buying a keyword dense domain is important but not going to prevent you from being #1 if you dont have it.

For example, search the 1 word search phrase “foreclosure” and see what domain shows up first.

Foreclosure.com

Now, that’s not showing #1 just because of the domain name, but it’s sure is helping. Now, to show you that it isn’t the be all end all to have your desired keywords in your domain name, search the phrase “Arizona Website Design.”

PrimeView.com

When it comes to purchasing your domain, if you can get a keyword dense one than that is 1 step forward in the right direction. SEO isn’t just one good thing to get you to the top, it’s a combination of a bunch of small things to make 1 good big thing. Obviously some aspects are more important than others, but usually not 1 single thing will get you to the top.

Thanks