HTTPS – Google loves it, but for informational websites, moving to HTTPS adds to your costs. Expect to pay $129 to $229 for a SSL or secure socket layer certificate to be able to have your website use HTTPS in the browser bar.
For me at this time, I am not moving to HTTPS and it is mainly due to the additional cost. I do not have e-commerce on my website and I only use a contact form for prospects, so do not feel that I must have this extra security. But, Google loves the security and encryption that HTTPS affords for websites. At some point in time, the use of HTTPS on your website may be a ranking factor for organic results, but for now, it is not.
E-Commerce Sites MUST be HTTPS
If your website has e-commerce, you take payments or log users into a secure area, you really need to be using HTTPS at this point in time, no exception.
New Websites Should Embrace HTTPS
Any new websites we design are all in HTTPS. At this time I do not feel that existing informational websites should move to HTTPS, but that day may be coming soon.
To find out more about how we can help you, I invite you to visit our website to browse our service offerings and read more content on topics that will help your business grow.
Google AdWords is specifically using advanced machine learning via artificial intelligence in its automated bidding algorithms. Target CPA (Cost per Acquisition) bidding, Maximize Conversions, and Maximum Clicks are just samples of new bidding algorithms that can be used in AdWords accounts.
Each algorithm has a place and function based on a client’s need and metrics of success. However, I have found that in some cases using these machine learning driven algorithms that cost per click increases as does cost per conversion.
The value of an account manager in this automated environment is to provide the needed checks and balances to assure that your profitability goals are being met in AdWords.
As Google integrates more machine learning applications in Google AdWords for suggestions, bidding, and account management, it now becomes even more important to have a business-minded AdWords experienced expert overseeing your account to achieve the best results at the lowest cost for your budget.
Machine learning, it is the new buzz in our industry. Machine learning is using computers via artificial intelligence to predict actions. Machine learning can be used for Smart Bidding in Google AdWords and can even predict performance of activity based on your keywords and budget.
With products like Universal App Campaigns and Smart Bidding, it’s now possible to use this data to help deliver millions of ads customized for your customers, and set the right bid for each of those ads–in real time.
If you are using the new Beta AdWords interface, the Opportunities tab recommendations are personalized suggestions for your account based on machine learning.
Even if you’re not using these AdWords innovations [listed above], you’re still seeing the benefits of machine learning. Google uses information about search queries, historical ad performance and other contextual signals combined with machine learning, to predict whether or not someone will click on your ad. This predicted click-through rate helps determine the selection, ranking and pricing of your ads–meaning machine learning is already working to show the right ads to the right customers.
This means that even if you were not aware that you were embracing machine learning, Google AdWords has embraced it for you, to make account management easier and to provide more insights and analytics to assist you in better managing your ad account.
Here are some ways that Google is leveraging machine learning for your benefit in AdWords.
Smart bidding and bidding to increase conversions
Ad rotation, ad creation, and optimization
Opportunities and account suggestions
Google AdWords is embracing machine learning in many account management areas. Not only will they will making keyword, bid, and budget suggestions, but now AdWords will even be self-creating ad text for your programs to supplement your own created ads.
To leverage all that AdWords offers for your businesses benefit, I invite you to visit our website to find out more about how McCord Web Services can help you with your AdWords management needs.
Plan ahead, bringing a new website online does mean that you will drop organic placement. It happens! Sometimes with redirects, after 4 to 6 weeks a website will pop back up in organic placement, but sometimes, the site stays down and does not regain the placement that the original site had.
It is a reality and one that you should honestly prepare for when you launch a new website. It may be smart to build your new website at a new domain, so you do not lose your organic placement of your old site. If that is not an approach you would like to take, know that you will drop and plan a pay per click budget to drive traffic to your new website and get started quickly with blogging and content creation to try to build inbound links and help your site regain position.
Many businesses will own multiple domains and it may make sense to use one of your domains and leave your legacy website alone. Especially if you have thousands of blog posts and thousands of inbound links.
If your site is relatively small and has under 150 inbound links, your placement is not so strong that you cannot overwrite the URLs on your site and damage your organic placement.
Be careful and thoughtful about the changes you want to make beforehand so you are prepared in case your site does fall significantly in the organic results.
Don’t damage your existing SEO when you launch a new website. Once you have changed page URLs, all inbound links pointing to your website (that helped you garner your old website’s placement) will be broken and the SEO juice gone.
I recommend taking time to do an .htaccess file redirect in the root of your server; list your old URLs and then redirect to the new page that is the best match. If you have a very large blog, consider leaving the old blog up and then starting a new blog site on the server, having multiple incidents of WordPress so you do not lose thousands on inbound links if you have been a very active blogger.
This is of particular importance when you are moving from a PHP or HTML site to WordPress as the format of your website links will be different.
For many well-placed websites, setting up a new domain and leaving the old site untouched may be the best solution. In fact, if the old site is well placed organically you can point your pages to your new website (not with a domain forward, but rather with links in the footer and content). This may pass some of your SEO capital to your new site to help it get established.
When you want a new site and build one, but do not come up with a plan to address your historical inbound links, you break what you had and literally have to start all over again building SEO placement. Don’t damage your existing SEO out of ignorance.
Overwriting your existing website with new URLs without a well-thought out process can really damage your online placement and may be very hard to recover from, so move thoughtfully and carefully.
I will open with a quick case study to illustrate my point on how important page speed is to Google. We did a SEO site evaluation for a client on his new website. The site looked nice and appeared very professional, but on running the site through the Google Page Speed Tool, the desktop score came back with a 24 out of a score of 100 and the mobile score came back with a score of 51 out of 100. Google rated both of these scores in the “red” zone.
Why is being in the yellow zone (70’s) or green zone (90’s) important?
Google AdWords uses scanning tools and will actively disapprove ads where they consider the page speed experience low. I have seen advertisers with red page speeds have ads disapproved. The only way to improve your page speed is a site redesign or difficult overhaul of an existing site. Google evaluates the domain, not just the landing page. So, Google AdWords considers a quick loading site an important Quality Score indicator.
Google has just released notice that in July 2018 they will be using website page speed as a ranking indicator for their organic index. As the Google organic index is now based solely on the mobile version of your website since early last year and Google no longer has a desktop index AND a mobile index, page speed of your mobile site is even more important to garnering organic placement.
This particular issue of page speed and the use of the mobile index to rank sites is also why AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages, a Google initiative to speed up the Web, is so very important to embrace on any new website design.
In conclusion, page speed is crucial for organic performance for websites and one of the most important factors you should consider as you choose your WordPress theme or website backbone.
Check back next week for more information on website redesigns selections.