HTTP is the protocol browsers use to connect to websites.
HTTPS is a secure version of that protocol.
Did you know the ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for secure? Communication sent over a secure protocol is encrypted. Although the communication can still be intercepted, the information that is received by the thief is in a format that can’t be read.
HTTPS serves the dual purpose of protecting the privacy and security of visitors to a website while protecting the integrity of the website itself. It’s common to think that HTTPS is important only for financial transactions, but that’s not the case. Intruders can gather information about visitors to a website that doesn’t use HTTPS technology and use that information for nefarious purposes.
Google has been vocally pushing its goal of making the internet more secure through its advocacy of HTTPS encryption adoption.
Its HTTPS encryption on the web report shows up-to-date progress toward Google’s goal of web-wide adoption of HTTPS usage.
Google Chrome is, by far, the most used browser, with 56.31% of the market share as of January 2018. Chrome’s closest competitor, Safari, holds only 14.44% of market share. It behooves websites to design with the understanding that consumers of their site are most likely viewing them using Chrome.
Now that Chrome users will be able to easily see which sites are not secure, psychologically, people may be less likely to enter personal information into sites that don’t use the HTTPS protocol. This can translate into a decrease in lead data capture for those sites.
Although many resources on the internet are designed to help transition a website from HTTP to HTTPS, it is not a quick and easy change to make. If your business relies on an internet presence, it’s not worth the risk of downtime to take this on without professional help. This is an instance of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Save yourself the headache and lost time by investing in expert assistance.
From past few years, Google is consistently pushing the website owners to improve their mobile site experience. They have launched multiple algorithms, guidelines, and tools for the same purpose.
Recently, at Mobile World Congress, they launched two new tools, a new Mobile Scorecard and a Conversion Impact Calculator.
The mobile scorecard provides data on the chrome user experience so that you can compare the speed of multiple websites on mobile devices.
The mobile scorecard pulls data from chrome to compare the speed of multiple sites on mobile. That’s the same data that Google uses in the Page Speed Insights tool.
Google said that a site should load within 5 seconds on 3g connections and 3 seconds on 4G connection.
The impact calculator gives a rough idea of how much revenue a business is losing because of slow page load speed. It might seem a bit exaggerated but still useful.
Get both tools here and utilize it to the fullest. And if you are in need of mobile website design or redesign services, please don’t hesitate to connect with us.
There are many factors that influence a sites ranking on voice search results. To figure out which factor is most important, Backlinko conducted an extensive analysis. Here are the findings:
This research debunked the myth that Schema is of absolute importance. And also made it clear that page speed is CRUCIAL. All the results that listed well on voice search were almost 2 times faster than traditional pages.
Google’s reliance on domains with high authority for providing voice search results comes from the tendency that they “may” provide higher accuracy as compared to domain’s with less authority. But it is possible that they will come up with a more sophisticated approach for the same in near future.
The research also shed some light on the importance of long-form content. People speak more words that they type, so it’s natural that pages that use comprehensive content will reign supreme in this area.
However, you don’t have to specifically optimize your site’s content for voice search, writing in-depth content will suffice the need.
On a side note, the virtual assistants are on the rise. So the marketers who are willing to offer their clients with latest digital marketing should take these platform seriously.
Google is struggling hard to keep the reviews trustworthy. They are trying to weed out fake reviews and bring genuine reviews, but they have a long journey ahead. As reported in Google My Business forums, recently, a Kentucky law firm allegedly ran a contest on Facebook, offering people zoo tickets in exchange for positive reviews.
This didn’t go down well with other law firms and businesses and they reported the incident to Google. As a result, Google updated their reviews guideline from:
“Don’t offer or accept money, products, or services to write reviews for a business or to write negative reviews about a competitor.”
“In addition to Prohibited Content guidelines, text reviews are subject to the following additional requirements:
Reviews are important and it is almost as effective as a personal recommendation, but be careful how you collect it.
To help you get more reviews for your business, we highly recommend our review widget. It’s a small piece of code which is placed on your website and helps you get positive reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. In addition, it helps to filter out negative reviews too thus ensuring positive experience to website users.
Need more details?
Vero, the new social media app is luring social media users.
What Is Vero?
Vero is a new entertaining app for the social media lovers who are fed-up from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and looking for something new. It has gained a lot of popularity and is nearing, three million registered users. The app allows the users to post and share movies, books, places, photos, links, etc.
What’s Unique About Vero?
The unique thing about the app is, it has no ads & no algorithm. It shows you post in chronological order. Vero aims to provide its users with an uninterrupted experience by making it advertising free. People around the globe are loving this simple approach to social networking.
Who Should Try The App?
You can try Vero, if you want to experience something new. Instagram, Facebook & Twitter use sophisticated algorithms to show you content, whereas, this app simply lets you view content in chronological order.
Initially, Vero announced that the app is free only for the first one million users. But, due to enormous boost in popularity, they decided to extend the “Free Offer”. But eventually, the company wants to charge a subscription fee. The company says, “We made our business model subscription based, making our users our customers, not advertisers.”
Geotargeting is an important part of international SEO and can benefit your search engines rankings, if done correctly. But the concept behind geotargeting is not the easiest to understand, which is why I would like to provide you with some guidance in this article.
I’ve also included detailed step-by-step instructions on how to set up geotargeting in your Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.
So without further ado…
What Is Geotargeting And When Is It Useful?
First of all, I would like to define what geotargeting is and explain why it’s needed to make sure that we are all on the same level.
With the help of geotargeting you can tell search engines which of your domains, subdomains, and subfolders is the most relevant for users in a specific country. An example:
Let’s imagine that you run an eCommerce store for outdoor gear targeted at all the people but only the people living in the United States and your website’s name is awesomeoutdoorgear.com.
Now awesomeoutdoorgear.com is what’s called a ‘generic top-level domain‘, or short gTLD, which means that it’s not specific to any country. If you think about it, it would also make sense to run an eCommerce store for outdoor gear targeted at Canadian residents or people living in the UK and still name it awesomeoutdoorgear.com.
You could even deliver your goods worldwide and keep the same generic top-level domain name.
So how do search engines – first and foremost Google and Bing as they hold the biggest market share – know that your store is only relevant for users from the U.S.?
Because after all, if you don’t ship your sleeping bags to Canada, why should your website show up in google.ca each time a Canadian user searches for ‘buy sleeping bag online‘? For this search query your store is almost 100% irrelevant, so it shouldn’t be listed in the search results.
At the same time it’s all the more important that your store is correctly indexed in the U.S. version of Google (google.com).
This is one situation where you can use geotargeting to your advantage.
Please note: I’ve presented only one example for when geotargeting is useful. Of course there are many more!
ccTLDs, Regional Targeting & Duplicate Content Issues
I’m going to explain how to implement geotargeting for your website(s) in a minute, but before I would like to mention three other important aspects:
‘Country code top-level domains‘ (ccTLDs) such as awesomeoutdoorgear.us and awesomeoutdoorgear.ca are country-specific domains, which means that they are automatically geotargeted to the associated country. This also means that you cannot geotarget them to another country.
So if you think about expanding your business and going international further down the road, either start with a gTLD in combination with subdomains or subfolders from the beginning (more on that soon), or otherwise you’ll have to manage two or more separate country-specific sites.
Right now it’s not possible to geotarget whole regions like the European Union or North America.
If identical or very similar content can be accessed via two or more different URLs, then chances are that you will face a duplicate content issue. Google has stated that it usually doesn’t penalize duplicate content, however, it’s definitely something that you want to avoid in order to not cause any indexation problems.
I mention this because let’s say we have an eCommerce store targeting users in the United States and we want to expand into Canada, you shouldn’t just copy all of the already existing content onto a new site and the only modifications you make is changing the currency and the shipping country. That would be considered content duplication.
In order for geotargeting to work properly you have to change the content itself, for example by creating new product titles and descriptions, or by offering entirely different products.
How To Geotarget Your Website
Okay, so how can you geotarget a website and make it country-specific?
This is a pretty straightforward process, as there’s a geotargeting feature included in your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard.
Your first option is to geotarget a whole domain to a single country, let’s say the United States, if that’s want you want.
But what if you also sell products to users residing in Canada?
The solution here is to either create different subdomains, like us.awesomeoutdoorgear.com and ca.awesomeoutdoorgear.com, and geotarget the first subdomain to the United States and the second to Canada. Or you could create subfolders, such as awesomeoutdoorgear.com/us and awesomeoutdoorgear.com/ca, and set geotargeting for these.
Geotargeting In Google Search Console
The first step for setting geotargeting in your Google Search Console is to claim ownership of the domain that you want to configure, if you haven’t done so yet.
To do that, visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home and log into your Google account. Then click on ‘ADD A PROPERTY‘ in the top right corner and complete the verification process.
If you want to geotarget multiple subdomains or subfolders, then you have to claim each one of them separately.
The next step is to choose the property that you want to configure in your dashboard and click ‘Search Traffic‘ in the sidebar on the left hand side. Then click on ‘International Targeting‘.
The page that comes up contains a tab at the top named ‘Country‘. Switch to the tab and check the box below to be able to choose a country from the dropdown menu.
After you’ve hit ‘Save‘, rinse and repeat the process for all your different properties.
Geotargeting With Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools makes it a lot more convenient for us to geotarget all our different subdomains and subfolders, because you don’t have to claim and verify each of them separately.
You just need to claim your top-level domain once and you are good to go.
On the homepage of your dashboard click on the property that you would like to configure.
Next click on ‘Configure My Site‘ in the left sidebar and choose ‘Geotargeting‘ from the dropdown menu.
The new page lets you choose between domain, subdomain, and subfolder at the top. You also need to enter your URL and choose a country accordingly.
To save your settings, click ‘SUBMIT‘ and, again, repeat the process for your different subdomains and directories, if need be.
Google has rolled out the beta version of the new and improved search console and SEO’s are more than happy, to say the least. The most promising new feature is the access to 16-month-old historical data. It enables year over year comparison which is great from every aspect.
Google has built the new search console from the scratch and not all features are available yet. They are still working on it, and they will keep on adding useful features from the old search console to the new. So as of now, most of the tools you will click on will have a coming soon message.
However, you do have access to the performance tool which is easy to understand with filtering options like: By device, country, impressions, CTR and more.
The Index coverage report is the perfect blend of old index status & crawl reports errors. It enables you to see how well Google is indexing your site as well to identify and fix any issues.
The new search console will also help you validate newly fixed AMP URLs. The updated AMP status report will provide details into the specific Errors.
As of now, the above-mentioned tools and features are the biggest highlights of the new search console. But it’s still in the beta mode and many tools and features are yet to come, so stay tuned.
We will keep you updated on new features as and when they go live.
Google was testing a new video feature in early January that allowed business owners and customers to add videos, related to the business. Allyson Wright from Google My Business advertiser community announced that they have fully rolled out the video feature and now all the business owners can add videos to their listing. These videos will be visible on Google Maps and local search results.
Some important points to consider:
The process to add videos is same as photos. Go to your GMB dashboard, click photos on the left and instead of adding photos, add the link to the videos.
It’s 2018 and if your web page takes more than 10 seconds to load, then you are far behind! Nobody likes to wait for minutes just for your page to load — they will simply hit the back button. According to a study, 53% of the users will abandon the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load! So it came as no surprise when Google announced that site speed will be a ranking factor within the mobile search results from July 2018.
However, Google assured that only a small percentage of the sites will be affected by it since the majority of the site loads faster than 10 seconds. Also, there will be exceptions to websites which provide relevant and high-quality content to users. Those websites can still rank well in the search engine result pages because the intent of the search query is still a strong factor.
If you are not sure about your site’s speed, you can use the Google’s “Test My Site” tool. This tool uses a standard 3G connection to replicate what most people are using to surf the web using mobiles. It not only tells you about your site speed but also gives suggestions on how you can improve.
What About AMP?
Google’s announcement stated that it “applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page”, which means AMP gets no special advantage except that by its very nature it will pass all of these speed standards with flying colors. However, that doesn’t mean that you get an automatic pass if you’re using AMP because you need to be sure that everything is set up properly.
If you need any help with mobile optimization, we can assist. Just reach out to us and we will be able assist you further.
Re-marketing is good but only if done in a balanced manner. Many advertisers overdo it and as a result, annoy the users. Although Google can’t tell advertisers to stop targeting a particular user, they may give the power to the users to block re-marketing ads coming from a specific advertiser.
Recently, YouTube has announced that it will demonetize all the small channels on the platform, as per the site’s new eligibility criteria channels need to have more than 1,000 subscribers, with at least 4,000 hours of watching within the past 12 months.
The decision came after Logan Paul’s ‘suicide video’ incident. According to the company, the decision of demonetizing the small channels is taken in order to, “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.”
The channels that fail to meet these criteria will no longer be able to monetize and will lose access to tools and features associated with the YouTube partner program by next month. If any channel fails to meet the criteria but, later if they manage to pass it, will be automatically re-evaluated in the new criteria. All the new channels joining the platform will have to, manually apply for evaluation.
Though many are criticizing YouTube’s new policy and terming it as “favoritism” for big channels or “penalty” for small channels, it is not a bad decision.
Google started rolling out Questions and Answers (Q&A) feature for local search in the
beginning of August. As with all the testing, it was initially available, exclusively for
Android users via the Google Maps App, but eventually, they made it available to
everyone searching from a mobile device using either Safari or Chrome browsers.
The main motto behind introducing the Q&A into local search is to get the most
updated and relevant data about businesses and places. Q&A is always been one of the
best sources to get fresh content. Amazon has already tested it and employing it the
way it should be.
Click here to see what it looks like on mobile device.
Millions of people each year fall victim to tech support scams. A pop-up shows up on your computer screen asking you to call a number to find out more about your infected computer. You call the number and give them your personal information, only to find out you are on the bad end of a scam. This and other tactics trick people to give up personal information in response to a nonexistent threat.
Scammers work hard to get you on the phone to convince you there is a serious safety issue with your computer. They often will pretend to be a well-known company and use a lot of technical terms to make them sound legitimate.
After the scammers have you convinced, they will ask you to give them remote access to your computer. This gives them complete and total access to your personal information. They will also go so far as to ask for your credit card information to pay for their services. By the time you realize what’s happened you’ve already fallen to the tech support scam.
When you get an unexpected call claiming to be tech support or some other company claiming you have a virus on your computer, hang up the phone. Don’t trust your caller ID, as some scammers can make it seem as though their call is coming from a legitimate company.
Ignore any pop-ups claiming you need to call your security software company. If someone contacts you to tell you that your computer’s safety is compromised, call the security company directly instead of the number provided on the pop-up screen.
If you have fallen victim to one of these scams, change any passwords you may have shared with them. Call your credit card company to reverse any payments it made, and cancel the credit card to avoid further theft.
One of the most important elements of a successful business is a website, and with that, a landing page. A well-designed landing page promotes awareness of your business and can help you gain clients, cultivate current client relationships and recruit new clients.
Now, within a website there should be a landing page or two which is the most significant page of your business website. The landing page is the first page of your website that viewers see.
If viewers don’t see what they need or want on the webpage, they probably won’t purchase a product or service from your company. Or worse, they will spread the word among friends and co-workers about the terrible website they visited. To prevent this, keep the following ideas in mind when developing new web pages for your company’s website.
Your landing page will lead to the success of your business if you follow the above guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this type of web page, please do not hesitate to contact us at 847-220-9541.
Today people are Googling for answers more than ever. What are the chances that some of those who are searching will land on your web page?
It depends on what you put on there!
Here is a summary of the 8 types of content that work best for search engine optimization.
Creating blogs is the perfect medium to create awareness and make your voice heard, and its the easiest method for your website to work best for SEO. It’s fast, cheap and a reliable way of communication. Blogs are of numerous types. Be it fashion, beauty, food, health or entertainment, you name it and its all bound to be there. It’s like who needs a newspaper when you have the same thing on blog posts online.
As the old statement goes, seeing is believing. Pictures speak a thousand words. Searching for the hottest fashion trends, choosing the best buy from online stores or simply downloading wallpaper for your desktop all require searchers to look at photos and visual galleries before making a decision. After all, the impact a picture creates in your mind will last for a while. Alt tags can be added to any image and will be visible to viewers if the image does not load properly. Alt tags work best for SEO because it’s searchable in Google’s image tab.
For all those in search of a quick read, this is definitely for you. Short articles are a great way for searchers to spend time reading quality material, fiction or nonfiction stories or just passages meant to leave an impact on the reader’s mind.
Long form articles are another great way for readers to gain access to some of the best storytelling on the web from a sea of numerous publishers. Examples include in-depth interviews, long-form journalism, long form blog posts and even nonfiction stories.
Online tools have made life so much easier. With the click of a button, you can make purchases, sell items and even get a hold of prices of things like property. It’s a fast and convenient way of spending less time pondering over decisions that can now be done in minutes.
This may come as no surprise to anyone out there. YouTube is the best example as well as other embedded videos on search pages. Be it learning tutorials for all things, video clips for important events or just an occasion that would like to be remembered, videos say it all in a short period of time, and work best for SEO when searching for interactive content.
The hottest news of the hour like the US Presidential election campaign statistics or the FIFA World Cup winning team goals can all be obtained through search engines within seconds. Who needs to switch on the TV when all a searcher needs to do is type the preferred element in the search bar?
Sometimes while searching through a web page, you end up looking at things that you never initially intended to search for. This is because a certain site led you to another site that sparked up your interest. This is what comprehensive category leaders are all about.
Be it professional or scientific interests, quick answers to simple questions or just a broad overlook at a certain topic, a searcher’s intent can vary to various degrees. This top 8 list for the SEO content material is a definitive guide for all those searching for content that ranks the highest amongst search engines today.
Social Media is an essential part of any modern business, and is general a daily part of life. Whether it’s direct marketing, human resources, or interacting with your consumers, having a visible, professional, and appealing social media profile across several platforms is absolutely essential in the modern market.
Avoiding the following mistakes can help you really make the most of your online social media presence, and attain the most benefits for your business.
The first thing to remember about social media compared to other platforms is that this is a two way street of communication. While you didn’t need to respond to customers when you held ads or made announcements on TV, radio, or billboard, you need to respond to comments and questions in order to seem trustworthy, reliable, and as if you really care about the client. The last thing you want your client to feel is ignored; you can use social media to help them feel valued.
There is no questioning the fact that having high quality written copy is absolutely essential in marketing your business, and this is as true on social media as it is on any other platform. If your spelling and grammar is sloppy on social media, which is where you are likely to receive the most views and reach the widest audience, then your business will also look sloppy and incompetent. If you can’t properly post something on social media, then why should a consumer trust you with their custom?
There are many ways to ensure perfect content, and one of the most efficient is to hire qualified editors or a company that can get this done for you. More automated services are also available if your priority is to find someone fast and efficiently, such as Big Assignments, where you can select the service you want, and it will then be assigned to a professional. There are also services such as blog and social media content writing services offered by eBizUniverse that help with this. Any of these resources can ensure flawless content for social media marketing.
While hashtags definitely have a time and place, and can be a huge benefit, using too many looks a little desperate, and also a lot like spam. Pick a couple of relevant hashtags and stick with them.
There are some great online editing tools that can help make your marketing content stand out from the crowd. First, you should make sure that the writing is as strong as possible. For a non-professional, it can be hard to pick out exactly what isn’t right with a piece of text, however smart tools such as the Hemingway App can pick up common flaws and offer suggestions on how to improve. Plus, as writing posted online is most effective when it is over 300 words, you can easily monitor this with Easy Word Count.
Before you even start writing, you may want to review some basic guides or even videos explaining what makes strong copy, and plenty of these are available with Academized, and if there is still something you’re unsure of, there’s a great community of writers ready to offer support at Paper Fellows. One of the most important factors in any piece of writing is the title, which needs to be catchy and appealing to stand out online, and it’s easy to get ideas and make sure you’re title will attract traffic with Headline Analyzer.
Posting once in a blue moon will not help to drive traffic and build a following; however posting all day everyday will also be unappealing to your audience. Watch traffic patterns and post regularly, at the times you’re most likely to receive a response, but not so much that you are overloading your followers. A couple of times a day is normally ideal.
It’s bad for SEO, and it’s bad for your reputation if you re-use content without giving the proper credit. Be original, or be honest about your sources.
While it would be nice to ignore, or even refute any complaints, you will gain the best public perception by providing a polite response to negative comments, and promising to look into and rectify any issues.
While it might be tempting to share your content across every single form of social media, it is largely unnecessary, and too hard to manage. Instead, focus your energy on cultivating a well-rounded profile on the main sites your audience uses, often this means Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
All of your social media posts should have a strategy of some sort – they should be connected and all revolve around a common goal. To achieve this goal, you really need to have a plan regarding your content – not just post randomly in an effort to stay updated.
There are so many advantages to using social media, and avoiding these common mistakes can help your business unlock the most benefits possible.