We Aren’t Getting Enough Website Traffic. Let’s Build a New Site!
Too often do I hear business owners jump to conclusions when they find that their current website is not generating the traffic that they’d expected. It is a common myth that you need to start over and build a new website to get to the top of the search engines in order to drive traffic to your offerings.
What Happens When You Start Over?
Consider the following when you think about ditching your current domain name and starting over. While it may be true that your current website is not performing well, it has built somewhat of an online presence, at least in the search engine index. You’ve secured a nice domain name, built a decent website and given it a shot. Businesses and websites should grow, expand, and increase quality over time. It’s only natural.
Below is a short list of things that you will lose when you start from scratch:
- Your current index in the search engines
- All links that point to your domain name
- Your Page Rank authority
- Your domain name age
Search Engine Index
Although your website may not be performing well in the search engines, it is likely that you have numerous pages in the search index. This means that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and hundreds of other search engines have sent their crawlers out to scan and add your web pages to their database index. This is good. This merely means that the pages that have been indexed are simply under-optimized. Web development optimization includes proper coding, targeted key phrases, usability, design, meta-data, and a bunch of extra techie stuff that makes up a quality web page.
Website Back Link Profile
What is a back link profile? The top search engines want to see other quality websites link back to your website. Consider a link to your website a “vote.” The more votes you have, the more search engine authority your website has.
Back links are reported and measured by domain name. The search engines weigh backlinks by the referring website’s page rank (PR). The higher the PR, the more weight that link to your site has. The page rank scale is from 0-10. Good backlinks are from sites with PR3 or higher. Also note, 10 backlinks from PR6 websites are better than 100 backlinks from PR2 websites (quality over quantity).
Domain Name Age
Really? The age of my domain name is a ranking factor?
Yes. A domain name that was registered years ago shows the search engines that you’ve been around a while and are serious about sticking around. The major search engines are leery about promoting brand new domain names, as they are often up in smoke within a year. Equate it to investing your money in a company that was established this year. It is only logical to reduce your risk by investing in a company that has a long history of success and won’t fold anytime soon.
Spreading Yourself Thin
Business owners who try to build multiple websites to brand their marketing site, blog, newsroom, client application, etc. on multiple domain names are paving a long road to search engine success. This means that you have to build up your domain authority for each site. Ugh. That’s a lot of work.
I recommend choosing a domain name that represents your company as a whole and structuring your website to support multiple areas of information and/or products and services. This way, each time you write a blog article, submit a press release, or obtain a new back link, the page rank of the entire site moves up.
Web Development Optimization
If you have learned anything from my article, you are now considering consolidating all of your web properties under one domain name. But we weren’t ranking well in the search engines when we only had one site.
Correct. Website owners should focus on quality content, website usability, and ensure that their website is free of technical errors.
You might have heard of on-page optimization or technical optimization. This is where your web designer or SEO company will take a look at Google Webmaster Tools and fix any reported errors as well as address multiple on-page factors.
Below is a list of web development optimization areas to focus on:
- Website structure and usability
- Quality content
- Page speed or load time
- Google & Bing webmaster tools verification
- Specify preferred domain name (www version or non-www)
- Configure search engine friendly (SEF) URLs
- Optimized Page Title tags
- Custom meta description and keyword tags
- Optimized H1 & H2 heading tags
- Optimized image ALT tags
- Optimized link Title tags
- Content optimization (length & keyword density)
- HTML & XML Sitemaps
- XML Sitemap submission
- Optimized robots.txt
- Optimized .htaccess
- Google authorship
- Schema.org rich snippets
I’d like to learn about your current website structure.
- Do you have multiple websites?
- Do certain sections of your website lack quality content or contain errors that might be affecting your rankings?
Comments are encouraged, I will respond to each one as quickly as I can.
Matt Morgan is the owner and founder of Optimize Worldwide based in Redding, California. He has a strong background in online marketing and has recently put together a team of industry experts who are passionate about search engine marketing. Optimize Worldwide helps local & nationwide companies rank at the top of Google, Bing & Yahoo! Offline Matt enjoys riding motorcycles, taking advantage of the surrounding recreation, and gardening with his wife.