Google’s Website Ranking – Are you FAST enough?

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 Written by Published in Projects

 

Last month, we discussed how important HTTPs are for your website. We covered how having a verified, secured website can impact your ranking on Google and on the warning messages that visitors may receive from their browsers if visiting a page that does not have an SSL.  Another important change announced with Google’s 2018 ranking factors focuses on a website’s speed when it loads on both desktop AND mobile.

Now, why does Google care you may wonder?  More than 50 percent of users access the web via their mobile device1.  If a page loads slowly, a visitor will become frustrated, back out to Google, and search again.  Google tracks that activity and assesses the rank of the site lower because users spent so little time there. Google wants satisfied customers and, in Google’s terms, satisfied customers find answers quickly because Google provided quality search results.

Google, of course, has the tools to analyze a site’s speed and mobile-friendliness based on site analysis alone, and we’ll share some of the tools developers use.  You can test your website’s mobile speed by visiting these two resources - https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/ (this will tell you your load speed, your estimated visitor loss, and how you compare in your industry) and https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ (this site will tell you what is impacting your speed and gives tip on what’s working, what’s not, and gives a checklist on how to resolve some of your issues.)

If your site comes up as “poor” or “very slow”, you can talk to your web designer on the best ways to increase your speed and make your site more mobile-friendly.  Want to test whether your website is mobile-friendly?  Use this tool from Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

Unsure of how to interpret the results, don’t have a web designer, or are you ready for a more dynamic site that is mobile-friendly?  Our team can help.  Contact us for a consultation today.

1 https://www.statista.com/statistics/277125/share-of-website-traffic-coming-from-mobile-devices/

Are You Asking This Important Question?

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 Written by Published in Projects

how to determine your marketing budget

What is your annual marketing budget? No, that’s not the important question, the important question is this “How did you hear about us?”, and here’s why – unless you are quantifying your marketing efforts, you will never know what drives people to your business and where your marketing dollars are making an impact.

If someone orders a sales item that you’ve spent money to advertise on your social media, paid to update your website or had signs designed and printed for your windows, how do you know what caught their eye and created a sales success for your company unless you dig down and ask the question?

Does the question seem awkward to ask?  Practice it and after just a handful of people, it will be part of your natural rapport. Plus, it opens communication with your customers and you’ll get to know them better.  Customers remember where they feel appreciated and heard, and it can be a deciding factor in your getting repeat business.

Make this part of your entire staff’s training.  Create an easy-to-use, trackable system to record the data. Update the tracking system when you make a change.  When you make a change, pointedly ask the question to your patron, e.g. “did you see our ad on the website, too?”, “what did you think of our new sign outside?”, “did you use our app/read our newsletter?”  It’s ok to ask.  It’s ok to drill down.  It’s how you get feedback and it’s how you improve your company.

Do You Need A Secure Website

If your business or website can be found via Google, you’ll want to read this next part: Free SSL certificate offers can do more harm than good.  We’ve been receiving a lot of questions from companies who are receiving email offers and robocalls about ways to make their website HTTPS secure.  We’ll talk about why being certified secure is important in a moment, but first, here are the issues with the offers you may be receiving:

  • They may be a bait-and-switch program.  A salesperson may offer a “free trial” only to begin charging you an exorbitant amount of money down the road.
  • “Free offers” sometimes translate to the option of issuing a self-signed SSL.  Self-signed SSL’s are certificates that an organization may certify for themselves rather than a certificate issued and verified by a trusted Certificate Authority.  While self-signed SSL’s are free of charge so they are appealing, they come with many downfalls, mainly that they will pop up security alert warnings to your site traffic.  This may scare off your visitors, and ultimately it can cost you your customers’ trust and impact your brand reputation.
  • Fake SSL’s exist.  Fake SSL’s means that your web visitors’ information is not properly encrypted and can be intercepted without detection.  It’s important to get your SSL certificate from a reputable and trusted resource.
  • Improperly applied SSL’s can disrupt your site and how it functions, both externally and internally. What seems like a simple security addition may break your email client, or worse.

SSL certificates can deeply impact your company.  Google has been pushing for companies to switch from an HTTP to an HTTPS site since 2014.  The goal is to encrypt sites so that both the company and the user’s data are protected.  This is a very good thing, however, doing so incorrectly can cause headaches, even loss of business and have legal ramifications.

You’ll notice on browsers, like Chrome, that if your site does not have an HTTPS it will be flagged as “Not Secure”. You’ll also notice that if you do a Google search, your company will not have a green lock next to the result.  Not having the green lock can do a couple things:

  • You may drop down in Google’s ranking
  • You may be harder to find in search results
  • You may notice a deep dip in website traffic
  • Customers will hesitate to visit a site that is not SSL-secure, especially if they are entering information such as their credit card number or social security number.

If you are ready to switch from an HTTP to an HTTPs, it is vital to have your site assessed so that nothing is broken by the changeover.  Each and every client is different, which is why A Media Marketing offers a free consultation to determine what is the safest and best practice to upgrade/update a website’s SSL-certificate.  If you’re ready to get your green flag and improve your website’s encryption, schedule your review today. Contact Us Now

 

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