For the past few years, a website’s Google ranking factor has been based in part on overall user experience. There are many elements to this experience, including user-friendliness, page load speed, secure hosting, and mobile responsiveness. Since these are more advanced technical processes and are often challenging to modify, they can present issues from an SEO standpoint. However, to be competitive in today’s digital marketplace, these elements should be addressed.
Secure (SSL) Hosting
To begin, it’s recommended that your website is moved to a secure SSL hosting platform. In October 2017, Google’s algorithm began favoring SSL websites, as compared to non-SSL sites. Additionally, most browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Edge have amplified their on-screen warnings to those attempting to visit a non-SSL hosted website. We would encourage you to reach out to your web host or design firm to implement secure hosting. If this is not an option, for whatever reason, here are a few other ideas:
1) Transfer Web Hosting Services: If you do not have this ability, TMD Marketing & Advertising can take over the hosting responsibilities and employ SSL. Please note that only static sites like PHP and HTML, and/or WordPress sites can be supported in this fashion. Our SSL hosting is offered from $29/mo, which includes annual renewal of the security certificate.
2) Site Redesign: In cases with an inferior site build or challenges with moving the site, we suggest that you redesign. The combination of fresh design and secure hosting with SSL may significantly improve conversions and search engine rankings.
3) Caution: When people are unable or unwilling to alter their hosting platform, their SEO rankings will be affected, and more challenging to capture. You may still enjoy some SEO success, but not as substantial as you would have with SSL hosting.
Page Load Speed
For most websites, page load speed is only a small ranking factor. However, for very slow sites, it can be a major factor. To combat this potential penalty, solutions like minimizing code, reducing file sizes, and caching pages can be implemented.
In some cases, access to these resources is limited, and a slow website may also be caused by a slow web host. To determine the speed of a website, Google has created a test, which can be accessed here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. We suggest testing with this tool, and if results are poor, we encourage you to contact your webmaster to improve page load speeds. In the cases when webmasters are unwilling or unable to assist in this capacity, reach out to TMD Marketing & Advertising and see if we can help. If this is a possibility, please note that it comes at an additional fee.
Our team is also able to determine whether the issues stem from the web host or the website itself. If we find problems with the hosting, we advise moving to a quicker host. However, unless you are completely certain that it would result in a significant speed improvement, don’t attempt to move your web hosting.
Aesthetics, mobile responsiveness, user-friendliness
Generally speaking, these issues cannot be resolved without a full website redesign. For an outdated website, a redesign can boost visibility to search engines and also potentially improve sales conversions. A more active and productive website allows you to recover costs in the majority of cases.
Reach out to us if you have questions 801-896-0495