SEO Marketing Blog for Small Business and for SMEs.
Keeping your small business or SME afloat is a tricky proposition. Lucky for you, SEO North Sydney is here to help keep the sharks at bay!
SEO North Sydney are extremely happy to launch a new web design in Melbourne, Victoria, for shippingcontainersmelbourne.com.au, a local container company that specialises in the sales and hire of shipping containers across Victoria. A clean, measured design was the order of the day for this web build, blending the client's light blue logo with a lot of white space in order to offer visitors an effortless experience where website navigation and usability are prioritised above the more flashy websites favoured by some of their competitors.
SEO North Sydney built the website, wrote all copy therein, and were hire to run the client's local Melbourne SEO campaign.
Web Design Brisbane
SEO North Sydney are proud to announce the launch of a new website in Brisbane for shippingcontainersbrisbane.com.au, a respected local Brisbane shipping container company! A slick and stylish design, utilising a dark colour pallet to emphasise their stylish branding, this new website delivers on both functionality and style.
SEO Copywriting Brisbane | SEO Brisbane
SEO North Sydney not only designed the site, but were hired to write every single word of copy on the site and run the client's on-going local Brisbane SEO campaign.
Website design has evolved a lot since internet pioneer, Tim Berners-Lee, published the World's 1st Website in August 1991. Back then, the internet didn't exist in the way you and I think about it today. So it's a pretty safe bet to assume that the words 'Design' and 'User Experience' were not exactly at the forefront of Tim's thinking when he was looking to publish this gorgeous piece of HTML wonderment:
Website Loading Speed - What Your Web Designers Won't Tell You
Similarly, if someone had mentioned the words 'Loading Speed' to Tim back in 1991, there's a better than even chance he'd have thought it was more likely the sequel to the 1990 movie 'Point Break', than something to do with that new fangled web page he'd just published on the 'internet'!
But, dear readers, let me tell you that loading speed and the user experience is where all the SEO action is in 2016...
Turn Your Website into a Lamborghini
As any competent webmaster, system admin or SEO guru will bear witness, making a website load faster can yield huge dividends, in multiple ways, on multiple levels for small business owners. When implemented correctly, it can significantly impact where your small business website appears in the Google search index.
Unfortunately for most small business owners, website loading speed is pretty much the last thing their web designers take into consideration when building a website for them. Consequently, though your small business website may look (to the untrained eye) like a Lamborghini on the net when its published. You'll be shocked to know that you're actually cruising around town with a 2 litre Ford Focus engine under the hood...
Why Your Website is Built the Wrong Way
Right about now you're probably pulling your hair out and gnashing your teeth when you think about how slow your website is running. Because chances are you've finally realised that this issue may not only be the root cause of your horrible rankings in Google search, but also largely responsible for the fact that you can't convert the measly amount of organic search traffic you actually do get, into sales. However I'm sorry to break this to you, but the fact that your website is unable to get out of second gear is more than likely YOUR fault, not your web design company.
Now wait up, wait up, before you accuse me of defending other people's sub-par web-building practices, let me explain what I mean!
There are three reasons why web designers build sites the wrong way:
To point 1: it's true that there are a large amount of website designers out there who learned to build websites in what might be termed, 'the old school of web design', and who are simply not cognisant of Google's many, many, many updates on the subject of how to build a website so it loads faster (or how important page load speed and mobile compatibility actually are).
To point 2: it's also true that there are a percentage of web designers out there who know how websites SHOULD be built so far as Google is concerned. But who really just don't care. Because - not to put too fine a point on in - you haven't paid them enough to give a damn. Which segues very nicely...
To point 3: remember when you were haggling with your web designer over price? And how you screwed him down a few thousand and felt good about it; safe in the knowledge that you were getting the exact same product, just for a much cheaper price? Well unfortunately for you, even though it may LOOK (from the front end) like you got the same product, I can assure you that is NOT the same product so far as Google is concerned. And therein lies the problem.
How to Build Websites Correctly
I don't want to turn this blog into a sales pitch, but I can't help feeling that it would be remiss of me not to point out that the very reason SEO North Sydney rock the Casbah when it comes to website design (and building kick-a*se websites generally), is that we are a SPECIALIST SEO COMPANY WHO ALSO BUILD WEBSITES; and not a web-design company who also do a bit of SEO on the side, but who in actuality have little or no knowledge of the 10,000 sub-ranking factors that go into getting a website onto the first page of a Google search.
Website Design Examples
To give you an idea of the sort of websites we build, I've listed a few of our recent web designs below:
Shipping Containers (#1 in Google search for 'Shipping Containers').
Private Investigator (#1 in Google search for 'Private Investigator Sydney').
North Shore Mechanic (#1 in Google search for 'Mechanic North Shore').
iLasik Surgery (#1 and #3 in Google search for 'iLasik Surgery Sydney).
Getting websites on the first page of Google is what we do. It's our bread and butter. So naturally we're industry leaders on how a website needs to be built to help it rank in Google, because we're the guys small business owners call on when their website isn't working properly, or else needs a complete overhaul. And because so many websites are built the wrong way, we are constantly called on to put out other people's fires. As iconic fire-fighter Red Adair is famously quoted as saying: "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur".
Web Design - How to Seperate the Wheat from the Chaff
Ultimately your web designer's job is to build you a nice looking website that works. In other words, they get hired to build you a website that looks pretty and functions. Their remit is to build you a website, and that's it. End of story. The fact that it's build in a way that severely limits it's success in Google search, is irreverent to them. Because that's not what you paid them for. What you paid them for is to build you a website that looks nice and functions as it's supposed to. And that's exactly what they delivered. And all that they delivered.
And therein lies the problem, because this budget focused methodology is great for your web design company (as their coders bill less hours), but AWFUL for Google, due to the way the website is constructed and coded. With SEO North Sydney, we code the website in a way that adheres to Google Best Practice. This is a much more labour intensive process, but ensures that when the website is launched, it not only looks amazing, but it gains instant love from Google, due to the way the Googlebot is able to crawl and index the site.
SEO North Sydney's remit is to build small business owners and SME's websites that will automatically rank in Google, due to the code that underlies the website build itself. Where standard web design companies build web sites 'from the front to the back', SEO North Sydney build websites 'from the back to the front'. After all, our clients are paying us to get them on the first page of Google. So why would we design a website in a way that is going to significantly hinder our ability to deliver all the Google first pages we've guaranteed the small business owner in the contract?
We wouldn't. And we don't. When we take on a website build we do so safe in the knowledge that the finished product will not only look amazing and function brilliantly, but that it also ticks all the coding requirements that Google need to correctly index, catalogue and load the site quickly.
Which brings us rather neatly back to the issue of page load speed.
Higher Bounce Rate - Lower Conversions
Even if we think about this from a common web user's perspective, it would not be difficult to envisage why a faster loading website would be more beneficial. As a web user yourself, what would you normally do when a site is taking a long time to load? Would you hang around waiting for it to come up or would you just click-away?
In case you're not familiar with the term bounce rate – which happens to be a very important parameter related to the performance of a web site – it is commonly defined as the percentage of visitors who reach a website and then just leave (or 'bounce out'), without interacting with the site in any way.
The findings of a Kissmetrix study (citing gomez.com and akamai.com as sources) reveals that:
And a Strangeloop study brings the point home even more strongly:
Website Loading Speed – Why it's More Important Than Ever
As if losing visitors and revenue via their website is not harmful enough to small business owners, slow loading sites also get fewer visitors to begin with. This is because Google utilise loading speed and mobile compatibility as major search engine ranking factors. Thus, the slower a website is to load, the lower its SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position), and the smaller amount of organic search traffic it receives.
As any web marketer or SEO professional worth his salt would tell you, web traffic derived from organic search results is the best converting traffic a website can get. But with over 200 major ranking factors, and 10,000 sub-ranking factors deciding who goes where in Google's search engine results, it's become increasingly difficult for small business owners to get their websites on the first page of Google (where all the action is). Website loading speed however, is what we might call 'low hanging fruit' so far as SEO is concerned. And once the website's code is re-written to better mirror Google Best Practice specifications, a significant (and almost instantaneous) bump in your website's rankings in Google search, is common.
Which brings us to the question of:
How to Measure the Loading Speed of a Website
There are three widely recognised online services that measure the many different parameters related to the loading speed of websites.
Probably the oldest of these services is the Pingdom Website Speed Test:
Pingdom Website Speed Test
Click the link below to check out the Pingdom Website Speed Test:
Google PageSpeed Insights Test
The second one is none other than Google itself, by way of a service called 'Google PageSpeed Insights:
Check out the Google PageSpeed Insights at the link below:
GMetrix Website Speed Test
The third and final one is a company called, GTmetrix:
Here is the link to the GTmertix website:
Websites: the Need for Speed
As you'll notice, all three sites show how quickly (or slowly!) your website loads, while also provide various guidelines in terms of what actually needs fixing. Implementing these fixes are obviously extremely technical in nature, and very easy to get wrong, so it is always recommended to leave the changes to the experts:
Why Your Hosting Can Make or Break Your Website
In addition to implementing the recommendations provided by the site speed measuring services above, one method that SEO North Sydney always look into, that often delivers excellent speed page loading improvements, is via upgrading the website's hosting account. Something that can be especially beneficial if a site is hosted in an inexpensive or shared hosting environment.
There are many options to implement this, but the best possible way to upgrade from a shared hosting environment is to go to what is known as a VPS (or Virtual Private Server). While a basic VPS account would typically cost a lot more than a shared account, the difference in speed is often significant, so it makes the extra monthly hosting cost, well worth your while.
If your site is already on a VPS (or on a superior host like a dedicated server), the loading speed can still be improved by tuning various server configuration parameters such as the MySQL configuration (if your site uses a MySQL database in the backend, as most sites do today), Operating System level caching etc. But again, this is delving into some serious tech, so best left to experts like SEO North Sydney.
Conclusion: Speed Up Your Website and Win!
As the owner or marketer of a small business website you are no doubt all too aware that slow websites lose and fast site win in the race to be #1 in Google. And with Google putting more and more relevance on how fast your website loads, and how well it works in the mobile environment, now is definitely the time to turbo-charge your website to win the race.
Click here for a whole heap of brilliant Web Design examples. And here for Search Engine Optimisation information to guarantee your website gets on the 1st page of Google.
Brian M Logan is an on-line marketing, SEO and copywriting expert with over 15 years' experience in the web and over 20 years' experience with the written word.