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March 26, 2009

The Three Essential 'Search Engine Friendly' Components for Every Website

Writing about web page

Recently I have found myself repeatedly making the same three requests of website developers on behalf of clients.

  1. Add verification files or Metatags for Google, Yahoo and MS Live’s webmaster tools accounts.
  2. Add Google Analytics code to every page.
  3. Add a means of adding or generating an XML sitemap to the standards.

Google Webmaster Tools Site Overview PanelThe first allows you to see your site as the search engines see them, Analytics allows you to view your visitor’s behaviour and the sitemap saves the search engines power bill as well as getting your new pages onto the indexes sooner.

I believe that this set of search engine friendly components should be embedded into the dna of every website template empowering the website owners to understand how their sites are working. Often web developers add in other statistics packages but most just get stale. Some bad examples caused me to blog about how Analytics improves while we sleep so developers only have to add this stats package once.

March 11, 2009

The problem with American Visitors. Why do they bounce so much?

Writing about web page

I was checking out the Analytics trends for my new website and found that the bounce rate for UK visitors was a lot lower than the average and that the reverse was true for US visitors. Since the strap-line of my site is PPC Marketing with the UK English voice this was actually good news!

This triggered me to do a quick Analytics survey of a dozen good websites and found most showed a minimum 25% increased bounce rate by US visitors. See one example below. The other English speaking markets, Canada, Austrailia, etc did not show this problem.
Geographic Bounce Rates higher fron the US of A.

The lowest increase measured was for with a 13% increase. Though designed as a regional portal this has long attracted many international visitors.

I have also seen a website that converts better in the US than elsewhere but it had a US English landing page, a 1-800 number and prices in US dollars. For Americans, $US prices can multiply conversion rates by 10 times. Americans are used to everything being laid on a plate for them and having more than enough choice from national suppliers. Even the widest range of, US specific, Japanese cars.


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