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.
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.
We are different and truly focused on quality and content when it comes to social media writing.
We use only American writers.
We use only college educated, mature professional writers.
We hand select the background information for our team of 10 writers.
We decide what keywords will be used in your hashtags when used.
We have four social media installers, who load the content in our writer’s portal and schedule your updates.
We have an master’s graduate proofread all your content after it has been installed in our writer’s portal before being published.
But our service does not stop there…
The day your update is to appear, we verify that it has published and republish it if the time was missed.
We will typically touch an update we write (even Twitter) 8 times from start to finish/publish. If you are looking for quality content, turn key operation, and an attention to detail from your social media writers and managers, we invite you to review our programs for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
Once you use AMP on WordPress, and if you want to use AMP pages on your regular HTML site, you’ll need to do a little research. There are lots of sites and information from Google on how to set up and how to validate your new AMP pages.
This is what I have learned in the process of working on my own website pages.
The original and new AMP page need to be pointed to each other. The AMP page points to the original page using a canonical reference telling Google that the non-AMP page is the original. The non-AMP page then points to the AMP page so that Google can discover it using a special meta tag amp reference.
There are specialized AMP image references and specialized CSS references. Additionally, Google will require that the viewport be set in the page head section to validate the page.
It is not complicated to set up these static AMP pages, but it is complicated to get them to validate. That being said, the future for Google is all about AMP and mobile. With a little effort you can make your blog and website more attractive for Google to index (and cache) in this new “Mobile First” world.
I’ve found that validation of AMP is still quirky and questionable even with these plugins, meaning you will still see errors in the Google Search Console when you implement this, but the technology is getting better over time.
AMP pages will be striped down versions and nearly only text or in some cases, typically when you hard code them, use images that are responsive based on device.
Google is even testing AdWords and AMP as a beta right now and taking names for early implementation.
Placing organically is all about building quality content on a regular schedule. My clients understand the value of content, but some do not understand the value of building out content on a schedule.
The sites that we’ve had the very best success with in moving up in organic placement have been those that embrace the following scheduled strategies.
Blogging a minimum of twice a week
We post on either Monday and Wednesday at 3:00 am or Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00 am. By having something written and posted the same day and time, you can build a following and search engine spiders when they visit will always find something new and come back more frequently.
Newsletters one a week or once a month
We recommend for most clients a once a month newsletter and usually for it to go out on the same day each month. If a client will decide on topics early, we have enough time to order, finesse, and schedule a newsletter proof, and finished version all sent out without rushing for a deadline.
Website content one new page once a month
Although for many clients we are creating and building out pages more frequently than once a month, it makes sense for you to think about having your website be a work in progress, not a once built it is done project. Many of our clients have invested in having us create a site architecture and content plan. Then we simply choose together what we will build out that month based on a review of what is happening in Google Analytics in regards to traffic and pages per session.
Now the hard part, helping the client to stay on schedule…
I am persistent in regards to follow-up once we know a client really wants to be on schedule but may just be busy. I personally keep a task panel open of all responses I need from clients so I know does this client still need to approve content for 1/3/17, does this other client need to approve a January newsletter topic?
As I get too close to a deadline to assure I have time to create content or newsletter, I will send an email with a priority notice in the subject line like – “need a response on newsletter topic by Friday 12/23”. I have also found that some clients will respond best to a text and others to a phone call.
Many of our clients will say they really appreciate our helping them to stay on schedule. They are just busy and forget we have a deadline to make things happen for them. But the benefits of regular content creation are huge, more search activity, greater visibility, and a better website visitor experience.