Why You Should Move To HTTPS

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.


An Update on the EU’s GDPR for Privacy

An Update on the EU’s GDPR for Privacy
An Update on the EU’s GDPR for Privacy

Since I last wrote about the privacy updates that are mandated by the EU to cover website traffic on American websites by EU nationals, much has happened.

First, clients who thought that they did not want to update their privacy policy or implement cookie approval for website statistic tracking have changed their minds.

Our team has been very busy updating websites to beef up the transparency of the privacy policy, reveal clearly what is being tracked on websites, offering ways to opt out of tracking, and installing cookie approval scripts on websites.

Several clients have shared their thoughts with us on why the sudden change. Some are listed below.

“I do feel lucky about not getting caught, but also want to be safe.”

“I’ve just had a lawyer call me and I feel like I need immediate action on the privacy updates as I don’t want to end up in court on a new matter.”

“I think it is stupid to do, but I am getting inundated with privacy policy updates from everyone that I do business with, that maybe I do need to do something to my website.”

As for me, my perspective is that it is not expensive or hard to do the implementation to be in compliance with the GDPR. I am risk adverse and feel that eventually the US will institute some controls so we will be ahead of the game by changing our own websites now.


Building Web Authority with Blogging

Nancy McCord is in Russia this week and next. This article is reprinted from her published archive.

Web authority is valuable for any business which wants to position themselves as an authority in their field. Building web authority can not only be good for establishing yourself in your clients’ and prospects’ eyes as their resident expert and “go-to” resource, but can be hugely beneficial for improving organic search engine placement.

Web authority is gained on the web from quality content, depth of content on a topic, age of your website, number of pages your website contains, and number of links from outside sources pointing to the content. Web authority is certainly not gained overnight, but many things can be done to your website which will help to immediately create an authority factor.

One of the best ways to build web authority is to blog on your selected business topic. If you don’t want to blog, hire a professional to blog for you, but BLOG! Blogging builds content for your website fast and if the content is good can help to immediately start you on the path to building your authority on a specific topic or narrow range of topics. You’ll get the fastest and best results if you start out blogging five days week, but at the minimum of at least three days a week. If your budget won’t allow you to hire a blog writer indefinitely for blog post five days a week, invest in two months worth of blogging and then cut back to three days a week at the end of two months.

Blogging adds content easily to your website and search engines consider each blog post as if it were a single and new HTML page addition to your website when your blog is filed on your web hosting server under your domain name.

If web authority is important to you stay away from off-site blogging. Use WordPress and have it installed on your own web hosting account using your own domain name in your blog. You can’t get any web authority benefits when you blog at Blogspot or at Typepad for your website.

In our next few post we’ll discuss other opportunities for building authority such as feature articles for syndication and white papers so make sure to come back tomorrow for more information on building your own web authority.


Building Web Authority with Feature Articles or Link Bait Articles

Nancy McCord is in Russia for the next several weeks. This article is a reprint from one of her published articles.

If white papers are not for you as mentioned in our previous post then feature articles or link bait articles may be the best option for you. With these types of articles, you can easily pay a good web content writer to create a 600 to 800 word article for you on topics that dovetail with the services you provide.

Once created, you can register the articles with a variety of article directories for syndication on other websites, in ezines, or on other blogs. The articles will provide a one-way inbound link back to your website and will appear in Google on the article directory site.

For some clients, we recommend the additional installation of an article directory back on their website as a repository for this created content. If your blogger has written these articles, the research and topics will provide additional content creation opportunities. Additionally these articles can be pointed to by links from within your own website and blog either at the article directory or in your online article repository.

By cross linking all you do with specially created content, you help to point search engines to the content that builds your own authority.

Personally I have found that Google does not really factor in the one way inbound links that you get from article directories to improve your organic position with this technique, but Yahoo and MSN will move you up on the search results page with feature articles registered at the various article directories.

Now the very pointed question, if doing articles, which can be costly, doesn’t help you with Google placement why do them, you should do them to create authority for your website. This is one reason why we recommend an article repository back on your own website; so you build credibility in your readers’ eyes as well as for search engines. We know that articles of this nature do not give you an important immediate organic boost, but much of what builds authority and organic placement is not about immediate results but long-term results for readers PLUS search engines.


Building Web Authority with White Papers

Nancy McCord is in Russia for the next several weeks this is a reprint.

Content, style, tone, and message are king on the Web. If you have great content and market your website through a variety of channels you will build web authority as well as website traffic over time. Getting one way inbound links is just one great way to build web authority for your website, but this may take an investment of your own personal time.

White papers are typically researched and documented unique content. Typically one that you or one of your employees has done based on the unique trends of your business or marketplace. It is very difficult for a professional writer to write a whitepaper for you. White papers will usually document data that has been accumulated over months of observation and then savvy analysis that pulls it all together proving a conclusion point. A whitepaper is not a derivative work of data that is available on the web; it should be unique and created about a specific topic.

The time that you invest in researching and writing a whitepaper for your business can turn into a marketing goldmine. At my firm, I will typically write one in-depth whitepaper once a year. I tie a subscription to my monthly newsletter to the whitepaper, meaning that you will need to give me your email address in order to download my free whitepaper. In a short time I have added several hundred names to my e-newsletter subscription list effectively extending my reach. Some white papers I offer free and other websites and web authorities drive traffic to my own website just for this content. One in particular is a paper that I did on how to stop spoofing of your domain name. Internet service providers routinely link victims to my site for our research and commentary on what to do when you are spoofed.

I have found that not only creating white papers on topics that interest me that I would like to learn more about, but by archiving them I am providing very authoritative quality content that not only provides a service to readers, but educates them, is widely discussed on the Web, and adds to my own personal knowledge base. I have never sold access to my white papers but do use them as marketing vehicles and promote them on my website, blog, and e-newsletter.

If you don’t have the time to invest in research and writing of a whitepaper, don’t despair feature articles written by professional writers may be the alternative for you. Check out our post tomorrow for more information on how you can build web authority with this technique written by professional writers.


Building Sales Through Your Web Authority

If you have worked hard to become the authority in your field or industry, now’s the time to use that clout to leverage sales. But exactly how do you do that?

By using your platforms of course! If you have created web authority with your blog, your e-newsletter, or your own website, now is the time to add the marketing push to make it all translate now into sales.

What I routinely will do is to create a timed promotion and then heavily promote what I am offering or selling on my platforms. If you have the ear and readership of your audience, you will not alienate them with a judicious use of self promotion.  I mainly use my monthly e-newsletter for my special promotions and not my blog but you may choose otherwise.

In fact, as you have worked hard to establish yourself as the authority in your field you have shared, tips, strategies, and your intellectual capital. Now’s the time to call in the “chips”. I don’t mean change your message all the sudden and use your platform for a “spamming marketing machine”, but I do mean, making sure that client’s and prospects know what you sell and service, and that you want them to call you when they need help. Done in a non-threatening, non-pushy way, you will find that you are providing a real service to those reading or watching your platforms.

So here’s my little “bug in your ear” on this specific topic. We provide webmaster services if you didn’t know. We don’t need to have designed your website to provide content updates to your website or to tweak it for performance. Webmaster services are a core business for us and we employ two contractors to assist us with updates. Typically updates are completed within 24 to 48 hours and sometimes even on the same day. Although we are not a good technology match for every website, those that we do work on, we are attentive to detail, and provide very affordable fast service. Our minimum billing is only $7 and our hourly rate is $68 per hour rounded up in 6 minute increments. So, if you need a responsive webmaster on your side, think of McCord Web Services! Now that was painless wasn’t it?