Want your home care website to rank better, generate more leads and attract more qualified candidates? Then this series of posts on SEO is a must-read! In our first installment, we explained how responsive design and AMP technology make both Google and your site visitors happy.

Today, we’ll explain three more factors which dramatically impact your home care website’s SEO and overall effectiveness as a marketing engine.

Part 2: Speed, Security and UX Matter.

Is your home care website fast?

Here are some facts about website speed that will surprise you about the behavior of your fellow humans.

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Now consider this…

  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.

If the customer is always right, then most of us have a lot of work to do. Building a fast website starts with a solid framework. You can always optimize an old site to make it faster, but that’s like putting a turbo on an old Civic. The fastest cars (Ferrari and Lamborghini) are built from the ground up with performance in mind. To get the most out of your website, consider the following:

  • Do you have fast web hosting?
  • Do you have proper caching implemented?
  • Did you minify JavaScript and CSS files?
  • Do you utilize a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?
  • Are your images properly compressed?
  • Does the website use clean code with lightweight plugins?

Is your website secure with SSL?

In 2014, Google encouraged webmasters to use SSL encryption on their websites to improve data security. Google’s initiative to create a secure web prompted them to provide slight boosts to SSL compliant websites within the search results. In 2016, Google told webmasters that unencrypted sites would soon be marked as “unsafe” by displaying a red “x” over a padlock in the Chrome browser. Although this has not officially been rolled out yet, it’s on Google’s timeline. Many consider this to be a form of shaming for unencrypted websites, but the truth of the matter is, HTTP is not secure, and HTTPS is secure. If you are not utilizing SSL encryption, you’re two years late to the party, and this should be at the top of your list for 2017.

Is it built with user experience in mind?

The ultimate goal of your website should be to drive new business. This means conversions should be the main priority. Each page should be designed with user intent in mind. For example, ask yourself, “If a user looking for home care services lands on this page, will they find what they are looking for?” If the answer is no, you have two choices:

  • Fix the page, so the answer is yes.
  • Optimize the page using different terms that are more relevant to the page’s content.

With user engagement slowly becoming a core part of Google’s algorithm, gone are the days of keyword stuffing to rank. Your website must offer value to the user and answer their query. It’s that simple. Of course, keyword optimization is still a large part of whether a page can “stick” for a query. But more weight should be given to the following items:

  • Encouraging users to stay on your website
  • Encouraging users to visit more pages on your site
  • Encourage users to contact you

Keep in mind that Google will not be a paying customer. It’s the humans that find you through Google will want to do business with you!

Up Next: What’s your plan (your content plan, that is)?

In our final post, we’ll complete our SEO checklist with two essential ways to stay at the top of search-engine rankings.