Google recently announced it has started to use HTTPS as a ranking signal in order to “make the Internet safer more broadly.” HTTPS is a language code that secures the information being passed back and forth between web servers and clients.
Many websites are accessed by HTTP, which means that these websites are talking to your browser using the regular 'unsecure' language. In other words, it is possible for someone to "eavesdrop" on your computer's conversation with these websites that are served via HTTP. This is why you would never want to enter personal or financial information into a website unless you notice that the web address begins with https://.
First off, what is a top-level domain (TLD) or generic top-level domain (gTLD)? These are website suffixes such as .com, .net, .org. These top-level domains are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). We are all familiar with the few suffixes we see every day, but there are hundreds more out there, and new suffixes being applied for all the time.
When you are searching for a domain for your business or blog, you will want to use your company name and/or most relevant key terms in your domain name. But what if your ideal name has already been registered with the .com suffix? Will choosing a .net or .guru TLD hinder you within Google’s search results?
Eureka! Since the upsurge and continued enhancement of content management systems like Joomla! and WordPress, individuals and businesses are now more than ever in a position to create and maintain their own websites. This is great news for small and medium size business owners who can gain access to the important tools of the online marketplace to enhance their business without the need for specialized coders or programmers. But hold onto your chair for just a minute before you decide to jump in without the assistance of a web design company! Maintaining your own website is often a lot more complicated and time consuming than most people initially assume.
Let’s face it, in this day and age, in order for your business to have a successful online presence you must be engaged in multiple social media channels. But managing all of your social media accounts for your business can be daunting as well as time consuming. Who has time to log into Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, etc. multiple times a day to interact and engage with your followers while creating posts for all of these accounts? You can’t be online 24/7!
Before you start pulling hair out or pull all-nighters, enter the world of social media dashboards.
Everyone has been waiting in rapt anticipation, in some cases paralyzing fear, to learn of the fallout of Google’s April 21st rollout of their mobile friendly algorithm changes. So has all the buzz been warranted? In many cases, absolutely.
In a few studies we looked at, the results are not surprising. Mobile friendly websites kept moving up in the search engine results pages (SERPs), while websites that have not been made mobile friendly are slowing dropping. Some industries seem to be getting hit harder than others. According to some sources, many law firm websites have not updated to being mobile friendly and are therefore dropping in the rankings, possibly more so than some other industries as a whole.
Google has recently announced significant changes to its search algorithm for the ranking of mobile search results. This change will take effect on April 21, 2015. Whether your website has certain mobile friendly elements will now hold more weight in Google’s search engine algorithm. How much will mobile rankings be impacted?
During a March 2015 Search Marketing Expo in Munich Google said that this 4/21/15 change will be bigger than the Panda and Penguin updates (1). As the number of people using mobile devices to access the internet continues to grow, this update is designed to help users discover more mobile-friendly content.
As a business owner, keeping your website investment and online data safe is a top priority. However, this can sometimes prove to be a difficult task. One does not have to look too far in order to see examples of devastating security breaches (eg. the Heartbleed bug, Target credit card data leak). In fact, according to the online security firm Sophos Labs1, approximately 30,000 new websites per day are identified as distributing spam or malicious code. Most of these are small business websites that have been hacked and turned into malware distribution zombies. But fear not as there are some basic steps all website owners can take in order to keep their site and online data safe and help prevent becoming a hacking statistic.
For most businesses having a smooth running website that performs well in search engines is imperative. A well running website not only helps current customers find you but will generate new business and often sets the first impression a potential client will get of your business. Your business website is a directory, information resource, advertising department and sales team wrapped up in one and is available to current and prospective customers 24/7/365. Here are 5 simple things you can do to keep your all-important website running smoothly.
As a business and website owner you are most likely inundated with companies trying to sell SEO (search engine optimization) services via email and telemarketing. In this post we dissect the two sets of users who are trying to find your business online and summarize the importance of SEO for each case, helping you decide what is right for your business website.
There are two distinct sets of user groups who use search engines like Google to find out more about you and your business. As a business owner it’s important that your website places well in Google for searches performed by both user groups in order to retain current clients and to capture new business leads and sales.
This past week Tree Top Web Design proudly sponsored the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary’s 27th Annual Youth Scholarship Golf Tournament. Corresponding to one of warmest days of the year our staff was setup at Delaveaga Golf Course on hole number 5 to greet this year’s 100 tournament participants. Besides helping cool golfers down with ice cold refreshments we were also providing free website audit reports.
We humans spend a lot of time contemplating the purpose of all kinds of things but, as a business owner contemplating a new or redesigned website, the purpose of your website is the first and most important decision you can make.
Research shows that users are easily frustrated when they can’t quickly figure out how to complete task or find information on a website. While many elements go into making a website work, it all must begin with a Purpose. If the purpose of your website is unclear in your mind it will be unclear to your designer and ultimately unclear to your customer.
How often should you contact your clients to remind them of your goods or services? This is debatable but Oscar Wilde summed it up the best when he said...
“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
Today, email marketing and email newsletters provide one of the best and least expensive means of staying in touch with your current and potential clients.
As a small business owner you know that your website is an important tool for communicating with your current and potential clients and that is why you have invested in making sure your website looks great, is functional and easy to use. This is a great first step in maximizing your use of the web to help your small business grow BUT there is a very important next step that is often times overlooked by small business owners.
In the first blog segment on generating content for your website we offered a few simple tips for written content. In this segment we will discuss getting great visual content.
Websites are a visual medium and a picture truly does say a thousand words. Whether those are good words that actually say what you want to say about your business is another story!
You have just made the decision to take a digital leap and bring your business online, but how do you represent your product or service clearly and effectively within a website?
In the next two blogs we will offer a few tips on how to generate website content for your new or existing business.