404 errorThree Deadly Web Presence Sins

Nowadays every business trying to make it in the online world has had at least a website and often switches to the best available web presence in order to leverage the best cost per new customers. No postcard, Yellow Page etc. campaign can compete with the low price per new customer a well crafted web presence delivers!

Switching website providers can be scary and can seriously affect the health of your business. Below are three deadly sins you need to pay attention to when switching website providers. Make sure you use the instructions below to test your current web presence. It is simple to do and can save you some headache.

Neglect

WHAT IS IMPORTANT: Your previous web presence is stored with Google and has an impact on your current ranking.
No matter how bad your previous site was, it had good characteristics. There was that one page that all your loyal customers went to, there was that one page that got you visits from around the world, or at least there was that page that people landed on when did they visit your site. It is important to retain those things that made your website special and does not negatively impact your ranking before you even started. Before you start building your new website, make sure your new provider checks the most visited pages on your previous site. This can be done easily by looking at the Google Analytics and Google Webmaster information. Your new website company should have a plan for all major pages that you previously had. They should either forward and/or remove them from Google cache and make sure that no website visitors that previously used your website have a bad experience (the infamous 404 error). If you want to make sure everything was taken care of, you can ask your new website company for a list of forwarded pages. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF NOT TAKEN CARE OF:

404 crawler
Google will look at your web presence as hacked together and not well taken care of. Your webmaster account will show that the health of the web presence is compromised (see image above), the ranking suffers and all the visible work for your current website is damaged by not taken care of the leftovers of the previous one. Just like a tracking phone number in your customers’ phone book, which doesn’t work anymore.

Tracking gone wrong

WHAT IS IMPORTANT: Google NEEDS to associate ONLY the phone number found in the Local+ page with your website
How do you use tracking phone numbers? Most auto repair shops that are getting a new website nowadays also add at least one tracking phone number. Tracking phone numbers can be amazing in helping you to measure how many leads the website is generating, but it can also hurt your long term SEO health. Professional and seasoned  web presence providers know how to prevent Google from indexing your tracking phone number. To make sure your tracking phone numbers are not being indexed on your site, just google “site:yourdomain.com” followed by a space and your tracking phone number.
It needs to look like this

tracking phone search ok

And definitely NOT like this:

trackong phone not ok

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF NOT TAKEN CARE OF:
The damage happens in three steps:

  1. The tracking phone number is visible on Google search for business directories including Facebook, Foursquare etc.
  2. Since Google and Business Directories  cross-populate business entries you might see for a short period of time (2-3 weeks) your Local+ Listing multiple times on Google search with different phone numbers.
  3. Google will notice duplicate listings and might suspend your optimized local listing that has reviews. This will also cause a drop in ranking, since the second local listing has less reviews and less online presence.

 

Missing Effectiveness

WHAT IS IMPORTANT: Create Landing Pages for topics your prospective customers are looking for
Where should visitors land on your site? It is important to have a plan for where potential customers should land. It is impossible to design a homepage that fits all your potential customers, without clogging it with too much text or data. Google will think of it as a keyword stuffing page, visitors are confused and your bounce rate will sky rocket. Nothing good can come from it.There will always be different types of customers that land on your website and each major group should have a slightly different experience. The people that are on your site to learn should be treated differently than the people that are on your site to buy, even if the end goal is the same. The content should be altered to answer the questions that your website visitors are asking and the calls to actions (what you want the website visitor to do) should customized based on that.
WHAT HAPPENS IF NOT TAKEN CARE OF:
Your website is simply ineffective. Bounce rates above 60%,  lots of home page hits, but average duration on your website less than 60 seconds make it an expensive endeavor with dismal results.

 

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