How A Slow Website Can Slow Down Your Business

Posted at February 4, 2016 at 5:39 am by Manoj Kumar

blog-feature-imagesHow much does website speed matter?

Well, to Amazon, it matters to the tune of $1.6 billion.

That’s how much they’d lose if their website slowed down by just one second. Make no mistake, the speed of your website has a direct impact on your business.

Scary isn’t it?

Website speed is major obsession of mine. I believe that load speed is the foundation of any good website, therefore making it the foundation of any good business.

If your site is slow, it’s holding you back.

1. Sales and conversions

Let’s start with the headline figures. Website speed can severely affect your conversion rate. Along with your total sales and revenue.

I started with the example of Amazon, and their potential loss of $1.6 billion per year. Why is this figure so huge?

It comes down to one simple fact:

     – 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

When a website takes over three seconds to load, it’s proven that most people will often abandon it. Which is a direct loss of potential customers along with missed opportunity of sales

If your website gets 2,000 visitors a month, you could lose 800 of them if your site slows down. You can imagine how much that will impact your conversion rate!

We must also consider that Amazon is an established and recognized name. People will generally hold out for a site they’re familiar with. If you’re a small company vying for new customers, you can’t afford to slow down.

2. User experience

Think about how long you typically wait for a website to load. If it takes a while, you start to get frustrated or bored. In other words, you’re having a poor user experience!

Slow sites irritate visitor’s right from the start, and that can impact the rest of their time on your site. It will impact their decision to buy from you now and in the future.

79% of online shoppers say they won’t return to a slow or poor-performing website.

I always say that website load speed is your first chance to provide a fantastic user experience.

It’s all about first impressions, and you only get one shot at it. When a website pops up instantly, you just created your first positive user experience. Right away, your visitor is happy.

Creating a memorable user experience has a simple formula. You give your visitors what they’re looking for, and you do it as fast as possible!

Anything that slows users down, or distracts them leads to a poor user experience. A little-known secret is that UX design is all about removing barriers. So essentially it is important to take away anything that slows your visitors down.

3. SEO

Search engine optimization is a tricky business. No-one truly knows how Google’s algorithm works except the Google nerds in Palo Alto.

But one thing we know for sure is that Google down votes slow loading times. In fact, Google is on a mission to make the whole web fast”.

For a company that focuses on speed and efficiency, do you think they would rank a slow website highly? They don’t, because it’s not what they stand for. People entrust in Google, and ultimately it is their duty to recognize and promote the best websites across all categories with speed being a defining component.

In fairness, speed is not the largest ranking factor (compared to relevancy and site authority). But, it is still a factor, which Google has openly explained.

They don’t worry about a split second here or there, but they will black-mark uber-slow sites.

According to Google, they reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if your server takes longer than two seconds to respond. (FYI, server speed is slightly different to your overall load speed.)

So, if you do have a slow server, Google might not find your latest blog or newest updates.

And that’s a problem for your SEO strategy.

A fast website won’t fix all your SEO problems, but it will make sure your website is crawled and indexed regularly. It will keep your SEO strategy on target, and will ultimately help you move up to the coveted first page of search results.

4. A slow site slams your bounce rate

Stacey recently wrote about how to reduce your bounce rate on the blog. And she aptly pointed out that load speed plays a huge part.

Quite simply, your bounce rate is how many visitors leave your site without clicking on a single link. They left without reading much content or viewing a product.

It typically means they didn’t find what they were looking for, and abandoned your site. Your bounce rate is a key indicator of user experience, i.e. a low bounce rate means your users are generally happy, and exploring your site. A high bounce rate means they’re leaving quickly.

A high bounce rate now also affects your SEO, as well as potential sales and conversions.

We’ve already explained how a slow site could cause 40% of people to click away. That’s a 40% bounce rate before you’ve even started!

5. We expect your site to be fast

I’ve shown you a few heavy statistics already, but the one that hits hardest is this:

–  47% of people expect your site to load within two seconds.

Those are super high expectations! And you don’t get a break when it comes to load speed on a mobile device either. Nearly 90% think a mobile site should load just as fast as a desktop site.

There’s no way around it, you’ve got to meet these expectations. In fact, you’ve got to exceed expectations!

Like I said previously, we’ll often times wait around a little longer for big established sites. But for a small business, it’s all about how quickly you can impress.

You’re now wondering how your website shapes up, aren’t you?

Start by finding out how fast your server responds. Hint: you’re looking for a ‘Google-approved’ 200ms or faster response time. Your server speed is the core foundation of your website, and it’s the first place to start.

Slow Website Facts Info Graphic

Image Source: Hosting Facts

Thanks for reading, we’re here to answer any further questions you have on website load speed.

 

Why WordPress Is the Best Choice for Non-Technical Business Professionals

Posted at January 26, 2016 at 8:04 pm by Stacey Talieres

Why-WordPress-Is-the-Best-Choice-for-Non-Technical-Business-OwnersCascade Style Sheets… server side scripting… security audits… code revision, are these tech terms going right above your head? Does it kind of feel as though your playing Pictionary with your tech team and the picture they’re drawing is being interpreted completely different then originally intended, which ultimately continues until one of you calls it quits?  Does the excessive cost of your web developer keep you up at night? After this long up hill battle you finally conclude that the only way to possibly execute your idea is to learn how to code yourself. Well there happens to be great news it’s called WordPress which essentially is a one stop shop and the best part is you don’t need a degree in programming to use it.  The reason WordPress is so successful is because even with a general understanding of websites and internet related topics you can easily navigate through WordPress and manage  your entire website. Launched in 2003, WordPress has gone on to become one of the most popular platforms for creating and hosting websites. Used by hundreds and thousands of users ranging from, techies, bloggers, to E-commerce businesses WordPress surpasses most other platforms when it comes to building outstanding websites in a matter of no time. Please read on to learn why WordPress is one of the best choices for a wide range of businesses looking to develop a customized website.

User-friendly Backend

The technical term “Backend” may sound a bit overwhelming to someone who is not extremely tech savvy.  However just to reiterate how user friendly WordPress is their backend and content management system is so easy and streamlined it can be installed and customized easily. Essentially if you are familiar with Microsoft Office then WordPress will be right up your alley.

Easy to Learn

The WordPress interface is relatively easy to use. It’s lay out is that of a simple road map which essentially will guide you step by step. The other part is that all the themes or plugins are easy to customize and easy to install with minimal technical knowledge required.

Themes and Plugins

WordPress comes with over a million themes with both free and paid versions readily available. You can select the theme of your choice based upon your business without worrying about coding. With a variety of themes available, you can add in extra features through selecting any of the thousands of plugins available which can be easily implemented into your website. From an online store, SEO, Social Media, payment gateway with no limitations.

Cost Effective and Time Saving

WordPress is an open source project which attracts many because it is extremely cost effective and even with a minimal budget the outcome of your website will not be compromised.  Another key perk is that you can select free themes get them installed quickly and be fully up and running in a matter of no time.

Easy to manage and modify

With an easy to use backend you can edit content, images or make design modifications with ease. It also allows for multiple user accessibility so you can provide access to additional contributors who can easily log in and make their necessary contributions.

Easy Error Fixing

With a ton of support available from the WordPress community, any error you potentially come across, there is a great chance that others have come across that same exact issue. Therefore they should be able to provide you with the proper guidance on how to navigate through that error.

Thriving community

WordPress has a huge community with a loyal and active following so as questions arise, you can always turn to them to seek help! In addition to online forums there are local WordPress Meetups hosted by active members in local areas across the world. If you visit WordPress.org you can locate the nearest Meetup and join in to learn more about what fellow users are learning.  (Best part is that these Meetups are free.)

SEO Optimized

WordPress is SEO optimized and you can easily download an SEO plugin to make your website rank high within specified search results.

WordPress is a fantastic solution for non-technical business professionals as it can help bring several ideas to life on the web, which otherwise would require a technical team of resources. But just like plants need the right kind of environment to thrive, WordPress also needs a good hosting environment. If you are looking for a managed WordPress hosting provider, Interserver is a great option. With a mere $7.99/month, you can benefit from unlimited storage, unlimited transfer and unlimited email with a daily backup of accounts for added security. You also benefit from the most advanced web based firewallAtomic mod_security ruleset for increased site protection from hackers. For added security, Interserver’s managed WordPress hosting isolates each account from one another, permitting one WordPress install per account.

Domain Naming Tips

Posted at January 8, 2016 at 1:18 pm by Stacey Talieres

blog-feature-images
Deciding on a Domain Name is similar to picking a Company Name. You should put a lot of thought and research into choosing the Domain Name, as it is how you will be identified on the internet. Below are some things to consider when choosing a Domain Name.
1. Easy To Type

  1. If a domain name is difficult to type correctly you will loose a good amount of branding and marketing value.
  2. Avoid domain names that are too long.
  3. Avoid domain names that use uncommon or difficult-to-spell words.
  4. Avoid domain names that use slang such as ‘u’ instead of ‘you’. In many cases this can make it harder for customers to find your site.

2. Keep It Short

  1. Short names are easy to type and easy to remember.
  2. Short names look better and are easier to read when displayed on other sites, social networks, newspapers, etc.
  3. Short names have a higher chance of being shared by word-of-mouth successfully.
  4. The longer a domain name is the higher chance your customers will have of mistyping or misspelling it.

3. Use Keywords

  1. Include keywords in your Domain Name that people will be using when searching for your products or services, for example if you are selling Snake Oil Refils you might want to register SnakeOilRefill.com, RefillingSnakeOil.com, or SnakeOilRefills.com.
  2. Try and think of different terms or phrases that best describe your products/services/company and mix-match them until you find a good match.

4. Target Your Area

  1. If your company is local, you might want to include your city or state in your domain name making it easier for local customers to find and remember.

5. Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

  1. Numbers are often misread or clients get confused about using the numerical version (ie 5) or the spelled out version (ie five).
  2. Hyphens are often misunderstood or misread and interpreted either as and underscore or typed as ‘dash’
  3. They do not help with page rankings.
  4. If you need to use these in your Domain Name, register all the different variations of to ensure you wont loose clients due to these common problems.

6. Easy To Remember

  1. Marketing, especially when by word-of-mouth; relies on how easy it is to recall the domain name.
  2. You should be able to guess at the type of website by the Domain Name. (ie AutoTrader, CareerBuilder, WebMD, HotMail)

7. Avoid Copyright Infringement

  1. Go to copyright.gov and do some brief research before deciding on a name to try and avoid copyright infringement.
  2. If you register a domain name that winds up being copyrighted by another company , you could wind up loosing the domain name as well as having a potential legal mess to deal with.

8. Choose the proper TLD (Domain Name Extension)

Many Domain Extensions / TLDs have special meanings or intended uses. You should try and use TLDs where the intended use matchs up with what you want to use the Domain Name for.

Common Domain TLD Uses are:

  1. .com : any commercial entity/organiztion/business.
  2. .net : technical, Internet infrastructure sites.
  3. .org : non-commercial organizations and nonprofits.
  4. .info : informational sites.
  5. .biz : business or commercial use, like e-commerce sites.
  6. .me : blogs, resumes or personal sites.
  7. .pro : professional sites

9. Make the Domain Unique and set it apart with Branding

  1. A unique moniker is a great way to build additional value with your domain name. A “brand” (ie FootLocker or LendingTree) can be more compelling than just a combination of words (ie DiscountShoeStore or LoansOnlineBank)
  2. To protect your brand your should also purchase the same name with various domain extensions as well as common misspellings of your domain name. This will help keep competitors and other unwanted people from stealing any of your traffic or clients.

Why segregating your domains is a good choice

Posted at December 12, 2015 at 9:07 am by Stacey Talieres

Why-segregating-your-domains-is-a-good-choice

Having a website gives you a sense of ownership much like owning your house after you have made the final payment on your mortgage. Like most things in life a website entails hard work and requires time effort and lots of patience.  Most people often begin with one website and depending upon how that goes they often begin to develop a portfolio much like any valued asset. As your portfolio grows the amount of space needed to support it will expand accordingly.  So generally our thought process as humans would be to link our accounts in an effort to ensure efficiency, however in this particular instance this doesn’t hold true. No one is denying that one cPanel account provides a level of convenience however when adding additional domains to one account you run a major security risk. If any of the websites under your single account are compromised it can affect all the domains associated with the account. (Think Domino Effect) This is due to the directory structure of how all your sub-domains and add-on domains reside in the same public directory as sub-directories. They are owned by the same user, which makes it easier for the attacker to gain access to the rest of your domains therefore an attack that could have been an isolated issue has now become a global issue across all your sites. Below we have outlined some key points as to why segregating your domains is the right way to go!

  • Security and the risk of ‘Cross Site Contamination’ (A rogue site can damage the remaining
    websites on the account.)
  •  Resource Utilization.
  •  There is no unique backup solution for add-on domains.
  •  Versatility.

Resource allocation is preconfigured for accounts on shared hosting servers (Interserver uses CloudLinux, which creates a virtual, isolated and secure environment for each individual cPanel account).

This sets a limit per user, preventing accounts from competing with each other over resources, causing performance degradation across the entire server.

CloudLinux also offers a certain amount of flexibility, allowing you to select a PHP version that best suits your website configuration. You can also enable/disable PHP modules on the fly. However, this feature applies to the entire cPanel account, changing PHP settings for all domains under it.

If you intend to host multiple domains, a reseller account may be a better option for you. After all, keeping your domains segregated is a wise choice when it comes to security and flexibility.

cPanel offers a backup solution, which helps you take full or partial backups of your account. It would be a difficult challenge if you only have a cPanel backup for an account which has 25 websites while intending to restore only one domain.

If you are on the hunt for webhosting InterServer is a great option. Established in 1999 as a premier web hosting provider located in Secaucus, New Jersey,  with two 4,000 SF fully secured data centers. We offer 24/7 superior support, InterServer provides a 30 day money back guarantee on shared hosting, along with 99.5% uptime and a 100% power guarantee. We recently launched our price lock guarantee across our website for more information please visit http://www.interserver.net/

How to Enable Sales with Content Marketing

Posted at December 12, 2015 at 8:57 am by Stacey Talieres

How-to-Enable-Sales-with-Content-MarketingWe live in a buyer’s world. Period. Long gone are the days when you could just advertise at many random digital avenues and expect a steady stream of click through rates to your website. Today’s consumers have changed. They tend to block out the advertisements, look beyond the logos, overlook the seemingly innocuous promotions and wouldn’t sign-up for newsletters. They need the information when they want it, in the format that they want it. They have access to mobile and prefer to gather information on their own rather than being force-fed it.

If you are still broadcasting your products or services to the haystack, you may have more luck fitting a camel through the eye of a needle than your target audience finding your products or services. So how do you make your customers notice you? How do your cut through the noise and get the right information to your customers? With the web littered with chock-a-block content, and more getting added every minute, content marketing which doesn’t enable your sales is like bringing more sand to the beach. Earlier it was the sales teams that used to shoulder the sales funnel, but nowadays the sales funnel has transformed more into touchpoints rather than funnel. Today the content needs to create business value which can be created by creating customer values where the customer is at
the centre. Read on to learn how you can create customer-centric content to enable sales.

Determine the goals for your content marketing plan

The first thing which you need to do is determine the goals for which you want to create content. Is it to create awareness, interest, consideration, evaluation, conversion or retention? Determine the goals and then create the content marketing plan accordingly.

Know your content marketing audience

Remember if your content is for everyone, it is for nobody! Your content marketing plan only works when audiences respond. Just knowing your buyers’ persona is not enough, you need to know your audience for each piece of content you are penning. You also need to understand why the content is being written, that is, what is the desired behaviour change you want to see in order for this content initiative to be a success. What is the desired outcome, as in, what is in it for the reader? The content marketer needs to think of all this and more before you can start on the plan.

Determine information your audience seeks

Just because the information you think is important doesn’t make it automatically what your audience may be seeking. You need to first find out what information your audience require and then work on the content accordingly.

Incorporate your brand into your content

You need to be very careful when incorporating your brand into your content as if it sounds like a promotional piece, your readers will disappear faster than a speeding bullet. Incorporate your brand subtly without making it look like a promotional piece.

Talk about your company

The most successful companies are those that have an emotional connect with their audience. Talk about your organization’s initial days and share interesting trivia with your readers to create a connection with them.

Use different content formats for your content marketing and build an editorial calendar so that you have better visibility of your content and its formats.  Make your content interesting and have a strategic approach focused on distributing and promoting the content to drive desirable customer actions.