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.
Seems simple, just install code and you’ve got a chat app. But not so fast. I am finding out from personal experience that not all chat apps are alike.
I started out with Drift and still have that chat app on my website. What I found as I used the app was it slowed my website to a crawl for load time. I think much of this is the code is installed in the head tag as instructions state, but may be better installed before the ending body tag </body>.
What is happening on my site is the page is taking so long to load and the navigation does not operate until the chat app function appears – I consider this very bad. Drift must have made a code change to the asynchronous code recently as the page load time was not an issue before but started about two weeks ago. As a result I have been actively looking for a website chat app replacement.
I have tried three Tawk.to, MyLiveChat, and now Pure Chat. I am using Pure Chat on my website right now and so far I do like the free version. What I consider important for a website chat app are the following:
Easy to install
Able to configure colors
Has a rock solid mobile app
Does not impact page load speed
So far Tawk.To and My Live Chat were too complicated for my needs and cumbersome to use. Pure Chat has easy set up and I do like the mobile app which is simple to use.
As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.
Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.
Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.
Reviews really do matter.
People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
People actually read what I post about a business.
I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
Reviews are more important than a nice website.
The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!
Here are a few web video tips you may find helpful as you consider if you are ready to expand your video postings on your website.
Google loves it when a site uses YouTube for videos, but customers hate putting web videos on YouTube due to the ad overlays.
I recently ran into an issue where we were putting a video on the home page of a website in a key position that is the very first thing any visitor will see. Once loaded to YouTube and embedded in the website my first reaction was URGH look at those ads mid-stream and at the end of the video that stay up obscuring my clients work.
There are two things that you can do to prevent ads on your videos. 1.) Turn off monetization in your YouTube account so ads do not appear on your videos. 2.) Use a free service like the Basic Vimeo account.
You can watch these videos for nice instructions on how to turn off ads in YouTube. It is a 2 step process. First turn off ads and then go into the info/settings of each video travel to the monetize section and turn off for each video. This video shows you how to turn off the pre-video ad in your channel settings. This is a nice video that explains the second process. What is important to know is that you are in control of the monetization of your own videos. But by default, it looks like if you don’t manually turn monetization off, Google will slap ads all over the start, middle and end of your video.
Alternatively you can use Vimeo. I like the interface and like that you can customize the player. The downside is that Google loves it’s owner properties. I see YouTube videos in the search results all the time, but would be hard pressed to say that I regularly see Vimeo videos in the search results.
The choice is yours which service you’ll use, but for now, I am actually using both.
One, if you have a relatively low ad budget and want to test if pay per click might be a good option to grow your business, Facebook pay per click advertising is a good match.
Two, if you have customer demographics that fit with the older Facebook user, Facebook advertising may be a good fit for your needs. If your audience is in their 20’s and 30’s consider Instagram instead of Facebook.
I have had clients have success advertising products and services on Facebook. Here are some additional considerations if you decide that you would like to try it out.
One, make sure you are monitoring comments. Readers will post comments to your ads and if you are not watching competitors may even post their own links in the comments. You can delete any comments you find offensive or not business enhancing. It is not uncommon for trolls to post negative things on your ads, so it is crucial that you be monitoring ad comments.
Two, I do not typically encourage driving Facebook pay per click traffic to your Facebook page but rather to your website so your message is shaped to put you in the best light.