Most business owners are just becoming aware of the importance a quick loading website has on your online presence, yet many don’t know just how vital it is. We hear the question all the time: “How much money am I losing due to slow website speed?” The answer, unfortunately, is much more than you think.
Just think of it this way: how do you feel when you visit a poorly-performing website? Are you willing to wait around while a slow site loads? Are you less than impressed when elements fail to appear? If you are, you’re not alone. According to recent surveys, nearly 90% of customers say they are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. More than 75% of people reported leaving a slow-loading website for a competitor’s site.
To improve the user’s browser experience, Google has reportedly made site speed a factor when it comes to ranking websites. This means that a slow website may no longer show up at all for those valuable keywords that your business relies on.
So, is there a way to calculate how much business you could be losing due to a slow website? To find the cost, use this formula:
(Monthly Traffic * Est. Visitor Loss) * Conversion Rate = Est. Conversion Loss
Let’s say, for example, you convert 5% of your traffic, your traffic is 10,000, and you’re losing 10% of your visitors:
(10,000 * 0.10) * 0.05 = 50
If 20% of your website conversions become cases and the average case is worth $10,000, then:
(Conversions * Case Rate) * Average Case Value = Est. Speed Cost
(50 * 0.20) * 10,000 = $100,000
Cost due to slow website = $100,000 per month
So, now that you know how much money you might be losing due to slow site speed, how do find out what’s causing it, and more importantly, how do you fix it? First, make sure that the company that manages and hosts your site performs a site speed test to identify any issues that might be slowing it down.
Your provider will likely run a basic site speed and maybe more detailed load time tests. We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the most important reasons your site is loading slowly.
When a browser makes a request to download your site, it must load every JS/CSS file before the site can be shown, or be rendered. For this reason, it’s recommended to combine external CSS files when possible. Switching to inline JS and CSS can also help some websites. However, many have seen the best results deferring JS until the rest of the webpage is viewable.
A CDN allows you to host your website on a network of physically spread out servers, diminishing the time it takes for distant visitors to load your site. By using just one main server for all your traffic, you are adding unnecessary load time to your website.
You can also load some of your websites code, like jQuery, on a CDN just like you would with other media. Popular solutions like Cloudflare will work for the majority of websites.
Your database holds all the information needed for your site to work. The files in your database can vary from logs to plugins or theme files and folders that can accumulate over time. This excess, or “overhead,” can cause database queries to increase load time. If the overhead goes unoptimized too long, your visitors could start experiencing server time-out errors.
Server maintenance is an important factor to keeping your site at top speed. This is something your website managing/hosting company should do regularly, as it only takes access to the phpMyAdmin tool to start optimizing your tables.
As cameras continue to get better, image and video files will continue to get larger. Hosting high resolution images and video on your site can make it look more clean-cut, but it could also be slowing down your site. Luckily there are many ways you can optimize your images via compression.
Some plugins for your site help you compress images that are delaying your load speed. There’s also free online tools like TinyJPG that accomplish the same thing. Compressing video files is more complicated and not recommended. For this reason, hosting them externally on sites like Vimeo or YouTube are commonly the most efficient solutions.
If you’re ready to get your site up to speed, contact The Search Engine Guys today. Our web designers have the expertise to boost your site’s speed so you can retain more of your income. Contact us at (512) 394-7234 or online to get off to the races.
If you could pay Google “X” dollars per month to put your website in that highly-competitive first spot for every search, you would do it. The value of that top-ranked spot, not the amount of work that goes into getting there, is what matters to your business. That being said, there is no one we know at Google that we can pay to get you to the top spot. At the end of the day, all that matters are the results you get from your SEO provider, and we have to work our butts off to move you up the organic search rankings.
Every one of our clients wants to know exactly what they are paying us for on a monthly basis, and our answer will always be “whatever it takes to improve your rankings.” We know if we were at the other end of the call we would say that answer is b.s. However, it is not. There was a time that just filling in meta information could put a webpage at the top. Then tons of links with exact match anchor text, then lots of useless content, then interlinking all your clients, etc, etc, etc. Google changes all the time, so what we need to do to move sites changes all the time as well.
You evaluate your SEO company on your positions and if your “quality” traffic trends up. If you are not getting more cases, you need to work with your digital marketing company to see if you are getting the types of leads you want. You should have working relationship that allows you to promote/SEO the right practice areas to drive the right leads.
The last piece of the puzzle is the uncomfortable piece. Sometimes, it is our clients’ intake departments and processes that are failing. If we work together, we can actually monitor client intake for you, and will help you if necessary. We recently went out to a client’s office to help them with intake. The firm’s close percentage improved by 15% after our weeklong, intensive training. To us, this is what true partners (not vendors like the soda machine filler) do for each other. We do whatever it takes to help our clients succeed. We are your partner in every part of the equation.
SEO companies have specialized experienced helping businesses rank on search engines. SEO experts know what it takes to help bring your website more organic traffic through search engines. An SEO company employs specialists in different areas of search engine optimization, providing a range of services, including developing a customized SEO strategy, auditing your site, and implementing the methods that will help your company reach its goals.
Natural search engine optimization requires time to build sustained traffic-producing outcomes. Once your website has reached the top of Google’s results, you can expect more consistent traffic – and visitors who stay on your site longer – as long as your SEO efforts are maintained.
By targeting the correct keywords on your website and providing value once a visitor lands on it, you can expect quality conversions and a significant amount of inquiries from your target market. The amount of inquiries is directly correlated to how highly your website ranks. An average web user will not go past the first five listings on a search engine results page. This shows how important it is to be in those top spots for your market, and why having an SEO provider gives you an edge over the competition.
SEO is important because of the quality, not just quantity, of your visitors. It helps people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer find you. You want to convey a greater sense of trust for your website and your company – SEO helps you do just that.
When you hire an SEO company, you’re paying them to improve your site by analyzing rankings, tracking conversions, and testing organic/paid traffic. After gathering the data, the SEO experts will refine and retarget their strategy for the best results.
The bottom line is that increased rankings contribute to more traffic, which then leads to more conversions/customers, which ultimately brings in more revenue for your company. Remember that SEO can take some time, but in the long run it will be worth it, as your return on investment will skyrocket.
If you are skeptical to try it out, ask one of the top five ranked companies on Google and see if they feel like the money they are paying for SEO is working or not.
Ready to get started with SEO? Call The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234 or reach out to us online to get in touch with a member of our team.
Pay-per-click marketing is difficult to master. It can either boost your company’s profitability or drain its resources (if the campaigns are not optimized correctly). There are also so many variables to consider, like how much to spend on search versus display, and whether your PPC is focused on e-commerce or lead generation. To avoid losing money on PPC, it is worthwhile to take a careful look at how you are spending your PPC budget and what you can do to improve it.
The first question to answer in figuring out the best PPC budget for your company is what do you need to generate more quality leads? To determine this, consider the essential elements of leads:
Starting with these questions can help you paint an accurate picture of what your site’s activity currently looks like. Before you can envision a goal and create a path to get there, you need to know where your beginning point is.
Once you gather this necessary information, you can distinguish your leads in terms of profitability and define your target lead. Some factors to consider in deciding what your target lead is includes the following:
These are more difficult questions to answer but taking the time to do so will pay off as you enter the answers into formulas designed to make the most of your PPC budget. For example, you need to calculate how many new clients you need each month, what your close rate percentage is, and how much your cost per lead is. Using these numbers, you can figure out what your PPC lead goal should be and how much you need to spend to reach it. Let’s break that down into five steps with an example:
Fine-tuning your company’s PPC budget is an excellent way to ensure that your company is in a fiscally responsible position, as well as to analyze its marketing strengths and weaknesses. Rather than just looking at how many leads you’re generating, for example, you can break down the quality of those leads and hopefully discover ways to improve not only the quantity but also the quality of the leads. Some of the considerations that can help you do that include the following:
After analyzing these factors, you’re in a much stronger position to create an optimal PPC budget that gives you the most marketing power for every dollar you spend. The investment you make in smarter marketing practices will pay off as your site becomes more productive in attracting and retaining users. Additionally, your site will generate more quality leads, and your conversion rates will increase as you analyze and then adjust the way you spend money on PPC. You will also have peace of mind knowing that your PPC budget is being spent wisely.
You have probably visited a company’s website and never completely understand what the business offered or what they were selling. A company can spend a significant amount of time developing a well-designed website or writing tons of content, but you may not understand what it is they do. Far too often, the company has overlooked a crucial component – the message that they need to communicate.
Improving your company’s messaging can make all the difference between getting leads for your business or scaring off visitors. It takes time for a business to develop content, however, it is not effective if it neglects to clearly showcase what you’re offering. Communicating what you do and what separates you from your competitors is something that you must get right from the get-go to attract new business, or it may cost you potential revenue.
Your website must solve a problem and create value for potential clients. You have a short window of time to convince visitors to your site that the service or product you offer is what they are looking for or need. If the audience can’t understand your message or understand the website content, they will leave in matter of seconds and move on to another business.
Communicating your company’s message isn’t always easy. Most business owners make the mistake of believing that visitors to their site view the business the same way they do. Remember that visitors don’t know your business inside-and-out, and you need to showcase what you do in the clearest way possible.
There are three relevant questions to ask about your website’s messaging, which include:
It’s important to communicate the value your business creates for your market. Although this may sound obvious, sometimes this is overlooked. You need to think about how you would pitch your business to a total stranger in an elevator. When you meet someone for the first time and describe your business, do you use similar words as your company’s home page? It may be wise to ask people who are not familiar with your business to read your homepage and then ask them to explain what your business is about.
While it may not be easy to describe your business in a brief elevator pitch, you can ask this question to narrow down the focus of your business content and to help visitors see the value your business creates.
Working in a competitive world brings challenges. Regardless of how unique or unusual our product or service is, there may already a similar product or service that is offered elsewhere. If you are unable to communicate on your website how your business is different from your competitors, potential clientele may assume your business offers nothing different and lose interest. You need to highlight the strengths of your services or products on your website homepage and make it stand out.
It is also important to refresh content on a regular basis. Adding new content that includes the latest information about your company and your brand is important attracting more customers and drawing in more business. Remember that the content on your site is also a reflection of your brand and its principles.
Not only should the message on your website communicate the value the business creates and what makes you stand out, messaging also plays a crucial role in establishing credibility for your business and turning visitors into clients.
Some websites lure visitors with clever messaging, but they fail to deliver on their promises. Your message must set the right expectations and convince potential clients that you will deliver the products and services as stated on your business site.
By effectively communicating what your business offers, how you differ from the competition, and setting and delivering on expectations, you can demonstrate your company’s value to visitors and boost business based upon the message and content listed on your website.
The more content you have, the better the website, but don’t forget that the focus is on quality above quantity. Your business content and messaging can only be useful if your audience finds the information on your web site insightful and valuable in the long run.
Working with a digital marketing agency can increase the speed and return on your digital advertising investment. An agency most likely has the resources and experience to achieve better results than either an in-house team or the up-and-down world of freelancers that come with widely varying skills and ability.
However, while most agencies will be quick to assure you that they have the capabilities to meet your digital marketing needs, you don’t want to be oversold. Choosing the right agency can reduce costs and lead to faster and more pronounced growth, while choosing the wrong agency for you can mean the wrong fit, a lack of results, and can be costly.
To choose the right agency for you, it is a good idea to ask some specific questions to see how they align with your expectations:
You can tell a lot about how well a business understands your digital marketing needs when they describe how they’ll meet those needs.
This slightly less-common question (compared to the standard “how can you help me?”) requires the agency to tell you how they work and how they’ll handle your campaigns. You can also tell how experienced and knowledgeable they are about your specific needs by how well they can describe their process to you.
Here, you get more directly into the experience of the agency. While many will claim to be able to meet your expectations, not everyone will have experience in your particular field.
Ask to see examples of their previous work for clients that are similar to your business and your marketing needs. If they can’t produce them, they may not have as much experience or expertise as they claim.
You may be tempted to go with an agency that is unproven in your field, in the hopes that they’ll bring a fresh perspective or new skills to your campaigns. That decision is up to you – and could pay off with the right agency. For other business owners, trusting your campaign to an experienced firm that can show results in your field lessens the risk that you’ll spend money to get little or no return.
Perhaps experience isn’t as important to you as the skillset available at the agency. In that case, you’ll discover a great deal from how they market themselves. You might ask to see how they’ve handled their own campaigns to get a glimpse of the creativity they will show your campaign.
This isn’t the most important factor, however. Many successful agencies do little for their own brands, largely because they are focused mainly on their own clients’ success.
Agencies can be either too reluctant or too eager to answer this question, and that’s telling in both cases. If they aren’t willing to pin down precisely what success looks like within a reasonable span of time, that may indicate they lack the capabilities to deliver.
On the other hand, a time frame that seems too short with results that sound too optimistic should also make you reconsider.
Look for a reliable, scientific means of proving positive results and a time frame that gives enough time (but not too much) to start seeing those results. Digital marketing should take half a year or more to start seeing improvements, depending on your industry and area of focus. Make sure you have a way to measure the success of the agency with some data at some point during the working relationship.
Cost is always a significant concern any time you are investing in your business. Before settling on your digital marketing agency, make sure you set some hard numbers, and there’s an understanding of just how much you are willing to invest to meet the results you expect.
Once you’ve received the right answers to these questions from a digital marketing agency, you’ll be in a much more comfortable position to select the team that is right for you. It’ll be easier to decide on the agency with the capabilities to meet your expectations and to deliver the results you are looking for.
Spending money to advertise on Google is not cheap, so it’s a smart question for any business to ask how effective paid search marketing is in 2018. Have browsing habits evolved? Do people still click on ads?
In a 2017 study of Google users, 60% of participants responded that they will click on any result that is relevant to their search, regardless of whether it is an ad or organic result. Only 24% of participants responded that they would actively avoid clicking on ads. This means that 3 out of 4 people will still click on your ad if it is relevant to what they are looking for.
Because these potential clients are already looking for your product or service, it’s merely a matter of a click and an action (phone call, internet purchase, email, contact form, etc.) on their part to convert that into a sale or a potential sale.
Inbound marketing strategies like paid search advertising tend to generate a more significant return on investment (ROI) than outbound marketing strategies (email campaigns, scattershot social media advertising, postcards, flyers, etc.) because your audience is specifically looking for your services.
It is important to hire an experienced and reputable internet marketing firm as a resource to handle your online marketing efforts, including creating and managing your paid search campaigns. It is entirely possible to spend (and lose) quite a bit of money if you do not set up and manage the campaigns the right way. By hiring a firm that has experience in running successful campaigns, you can rest easier knowing that your money is being spent the right way.
If you are considering hiring a firm to help you take advantage of the more than 160 billion searches per month on Google, there are a few questions that you will want to ask your rep, including:
Once you have discussed their experience and plans for your particular campaign, you can be comfortable in handing the keys to your paid search advertising over to professionals who do this on a daily basis. As always, make sure to select a firm that you trust, and someone who you know will be looking to maximize your return on investment.