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HTTP VS. HTTPS

Simply put, HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) allows communication between different systems.  For example, it is how data from a web server is transferred to your browser to view web pages. Without the "S", the data is not encrypted and it can be intercepted by hackers or other 3rd parties to steal information being passed between the two systems.  The fix is enabling a secure version of HTTP called HTTPS.  The "S" stands for secure.  To implement HTTPS, an SSL certificate can be put into place on your site encrypting the connection between the web server and the web browser. 

 

Top 2 Reasons Why the "S" Makes All the Difference

 1. Google Likes It.

It has been quite some time since Google announced that HTTPS would become a ranking signal.  

Webmaster Central Blog - Wednesday, August 06, 2014 For now it's only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.1

The time when Google will strengthen the ranking signal has come.   It has now become increasingly important for all sites, including smaller B2B sites to adopt HTTPS.  As a website owner, you are always striving to get to the top of the google results page.  That's where the hits are, right?.  Well, if you have Https enabled, Google may give you a little bump.  Let's say that you and a competitor rank exactly the same for a certain keyword.  You are tied in the competition for the top spot in the SERP.  What's the tiebreaker; the determining factor in who gets the prized spot?  Well, if one of you is secure and the other is not, the one who is secure will get the bump.  You can never forget that Google is always looking for the site that offers the most benefit to the user.  Not only in finding the most relevant result to your search but also the website that offers the most protection for the user and their data.

It's also important to note that SSL is required for AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP, the technology that allows mobile pages to load instantaneously, is a major player in the optimization of mobile sites. And because Google's algorithms now primarily use the mobile version of a site's content to rank pages from that site HTTPS will have a direct effect on ranking.  Are you still with me?

Obviously, this is going to be of real value to users accessing your site through a mobile device.  Google will notice and they will reward you for your efforts in making the best user experience possible.  SSL+AMP+Mobile-first indexing= Happy Google.

 

2. Your Visitors Will Trust You More

With more and more hacking incidents where user data is being stolen, there has been much emphasis in the media regarding privacy and protection of data.  The general public is now more savvy and aware when it comes to companies offering them security.  People know what to look for and they now value companies who are seeming to care about their data.  They are paying attention to which sites display the padlock in the corner of the browser bar and which are labeled "Not Secure". It is simple to see how HTTPS can keep you from losing revenue. And, it's not only true for e-commerce sites. Your visitors are also less likely to abandon your site's contact form for fear of the non-secure" warnings. Studies show that the use of security seals can improve lead generation by over 40%.2

The bottom line is that if you want to retain your customers, you need to show them you care.  The cost of putting a SSL certificate in place is minimal in terms of time and money although it is recommended that you have an experienced web developer install it and subsequently configure your website.   Don't worry if you experience a short term decrease in rankings, once your site is reindexed by Google, your search ranking should return to their previous levels or even better.

 

1. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html
2. https://www.bluefountainmedia.com/blog/verisign-seal-increase-conversions/

You've spent lots of time and money trying to create a beautiful, user-friendly website that will lure people in and make them want to buy yet Google still isn't serving you up to the masses. Why?

It can be frustrating trying to sift through the reasons why you aren't showing up in Google search results. And, if you aren't familiar with SEO best practices and Google algorithms, you can be completely lost in a sea of terminology and concepts you don't understand while trying to research your problem

So, let's chat about 7 possible reasons why Google could be leaving you out.

But before we start, let's make sure you are being realistic about your timeframe for getting the results you are looking for. It can take around 90 days before you start seeing movement in the SERPs after your site is launched. You have to be crawled and indexed and Google has to determine that you are trustworthy.  It takes time.

 

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Site is Not Showing Up In Google Results

1. Google has not indexed your website yet.

If your site is new, it could be that Google simply has not indexed yet. There is a quick way to find out. Perform a Google search like this - site:yoursite.com (do not use www. or the //)

If you can see your website in the search results, you're good to go there. If not, then you will need to take a few steps to ensure the Google finds you. The best solution - add your site to Google Search Console and submit your sitemap. (Don't have a Search Console account?  Setting one up is easy, here's how - https://www.google.com/webmasters/)This will let Google know you're there and ready to be found. Don't worry if this process takes a few weeks. Your site will need to be crawled prior to indexing and this can take a minute.

2. Your website isn’t optimized for search engine crawling.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is such an important player when it comes to being found on the web. What is SEO? it is the process of refining your website to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. There are rules and nuances and best practices and frankly, it can be totally overwhelming. SEO can be challenging and take lots of time to master although, there are many resources out there for steps that even a novice can take to get you on the road to an effectively optimized site. I will dive into that topic a bit more later in this blog series.

3. Your website isn't mobile friendly.

This is a biggie folks! Mobile has surpassed desktop in usage. In response, Google is shifting to mobile first indexing making it imperative that your site be responsive to mobile devices meaning design and development should respond to the user's behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. This lets Google know that you are interested in helping their largest group of users find you. You can use Google's own Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to find out if your site is responsive (link)

4. Your keyword market is very competitive.

Search engines help millions of users find specific content among the billions of pages of available information every day. If you are not targeting the proper keywords, your site can get lost among the competition. You need to be specific in what you want to rank for. For example, if you sell custom fishing rods, try to rank for "custom fishing rods for sale in Richmond" Target a smaller audience. You are more likely to rank higher for your location. Or try finding a niche market within your industry. How about "custom fly fishing rods for sale"? If your competition is larger than you and older than you, this approach will likely have to be used in combination with some of the other things talked about in this post but keyword research is a definite need when determining how you will focus the efforts of your on-page optimization using targeted keywords.

5. Not enough quality content.

The bottom line here is that Google wants info. They want to see that you are offering your visitors plenty of information and images and they are updated on the regular. Content that is rich in keywords and offers your visitors the chance to learn and engage is what Google will reward you for. If you have barely there gobledy gook that offers no benefit, Google will see right through it and you will never get anywhere. A great way to add content and keep things fresh... a blog! And beware, keyword stuffing and duplicating content are big no-nos. You will be penalized if Google sees this in your site. So, take the time, create a strategy, and write quality content unique to each page.

6. No backlinks

A backlink is created when one website links to another. Backlinks show trustworthiness. Linking, both internal and external, show Google that you offer your visitors more value than just whats on the page they landed on. When Google crawls your page, they will follow the links on that page as well.  The quantity and quality of those links are some of the criteria that are used by Google to determine your rank. 

7. Your website has been penalized and removed from Google.

This doesn't happen often and typically not with a new site, but it can happen. Here are some reasons direct from Google.

"Google may temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and search results if it believes it is obligated to do so by law if the sites do not meet Google's quality guidelines, or for other reasons, such as if the sites detract from users' ability to locate relevant information. We cannot comment on the individual reasons a page may be removed. However, certain actions such as cloaking, writing text in such a way that it can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in removal from our index. "

If you find that this is the case, you have the opportunity to make changes to your site so that it meets guidelines and be resubmitted for consideration.

 

Learning about SEO is a critical part of making sure your online presence is the best it can be.  Optimization techniques need consistent monitoring and tweaking in order for them to be effective. With 77% of Americans going online each day, its imperative that you make SEO strategies part of your online marketing plan. 

 

1. https://moz.com/learn/seo/backlinks

2. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/40052?hl=en

3. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/14/about-a-quarter-of-americans-report-going-online-almost-constantly/ft_18-03-15_constantusers_roughlythree/

 

Do you have any questions or concerns about the optimization of your website?  Leave a comment or question below!

The writing was on the wall last year that Google and other search engines were putting more and more emphasis on the mobile responsiveness of web sites.  This is important for more informational sites such as our own Allegro site but it is critical for those companies that sell products directly over the web. If your rankings are reduced, your customers may likely find someone else to buy from instead of you.

As of this spring, Google changed their search algorithms to provide greater weight to responsive web design. Fortunately , they also then provided helpful tools to test your site such as their Mobile Friendly Test. Initially Google stated that this would only impact the ranking of mobile sites and not the more typical "desktop" sites but the true impact was quickly felt.  Within the first week of implementation, pages on mobile sites were getting a huge spike in their presence on search engine results versus "desktop" sites using the same keywords.

The morale of the story is to make sure you pay attention to your Google tools and analytics. Make sure this new paradigm in search ranking doesn't leave you behind.

SugarCRM made an announcement during the first week of September about their integration with Google's new "Conversion Import" feature.  This integration will enable customers that use Google AdWords to drive traffic to their site an improved ability to connect online and offline conversion rates.

You can read more about Google's Conversion import as well as see SugarCRM's initial press release on the topic.

Tagged in: AdWords Google SugarCRM