Website Speed, Usability and SEO

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An often overlooked issue online is website speed. In fact, at the time of creating this post, the website you are on is probably having its own speed issues, which I am currently working on. Web page load time has a massive effect on your web business in a couple of major ways. Usability and… Read more »

An often overlooked issue online is website speed. In fact, at the time of creating this post, the website you are on is probably having its own speed issues, which I am currently working on. Web page load time has a massive effect on your web business in a couple of major ways. Usability and SEO.

1. Usability – this is by far the most important thing to be thinking about. Amazon and Google recently did tests on their own websites which showed as much as a 20% loss in revenue from a fraction of a second loss in speed. Website users do not like to wait and are growing more and more impatient as bandwidth progresses. In fact, i would step out and say that speed could have one of the biggest impacts on bounce rate, or the rate at which new visitors to your site do not make it past the first page that they came in on. If that first page was slow to load, they are nervous about all other pages they may go to and will likely to decide to find something else to look at.

2. SEO – A websites load time has been a hot topic in the SEO world for at least 5 years now. I believe I am seeing some of the first actual proof of this over the last 6 months. Don’t┬áthink the effect is yet profound, but it will be. Put your self in the search engines shoes and the only thing that you want is a good user experience for your searcher so they come back and use your search engine again. Usability, which ties together with website load time, will continue to have a larger impact on SEO than it once did.

How do you speed up your website?

1. Code – make sure your code is clean and is not loading too many external scripts. Everything you have on your site (code, images, java scripts, videos) all play into load time. Make sure you need it before just adding it to your website.

2. Hosting – I have used Godaddy for years, but it is a very poor performing host from a speed standpoint. I would recommend SimpleHelix and Rackspace. You need to get a private server and make sure not to overload it!

You can test your websites speed, versus your competition here – It is a free test and requires no registration

New Google Local Search Results – 7 pack gone?

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I just ran into this for the first time today. I really like the new layout of Google Local. It is a less “Force-Fed” version of local results. I really hope that it is the new norm. Especially because my San Diego Dentists directory just went from below the fold to #1. This will have… Read more »

I just ran into this for the first time today. I really like the new layout of Google Local. It is a less “Force-Fed” version of local results. I really hope that it is the new norm. Especially because my San Diego Dentists directory just went from below the fold to #1. This will have a serious impact on rankings.

I would assume, sites that were below the 7-pack will now get double the traffic.

Hotels.com gets an ‘F’ rating on their PPC campaign

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Whoever is running the hotels.com ppc campaign should be fired. It is mine and my wives 10 year anniversary coming up next month so I am thinking we can go to Santa Barbara and have a nice long relaxing weekend. I decide to use my good friends at Google to help me with my quest…. Read more »

Whoever is running the hotels.com ppc campaign should be fired. It is mine and my wives 10 year anniversary coming up next month so I am thinking we can go to Santa Barbara and have a nice long relaxing weekend. I decide to use my good friends at Google to help me with my quest.

Step 1: I type in: Santa Barbara Luxury Hotels. I think this has to be an expensive travel keyword, so there is a high probability that people paying for the ranking probably have some good results to feed me.

Step 2: I am presented with a really good ad from Hotels.com that compels me to click:

Step 3: I am presented with my landing page. I expect some really nice hotels (4 seasons, san ysidro ranch perhaps) but this is what I get: (clicking the image will take you to the landing page)

IF you cannot see the results, basically is is littered with best westerns and other mid-level hotels. Now, I am not trying to be snobby here. I don’t mind a best western for travel, and trust me, I appreciate the $100/night rate. But the second I added the word “Luxury” to my search query, and Hotels.com added “5 star” to their ad copy, the results that I should have been given should have been drastically different.

Hotels.com PPC department, you just lost yourself a really good conversion from me.