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April 22, 2019

Chatbots – A Digital Marketing Trend Not to be Ignored

In terms of digital marketing trends, chatbots are ranked exceptionally high. Have you ever visited a website to find – within just a few seconds – that a chat window appears, offering assistance?

This is a chatbot, in its full glory.

This specially-designed technology is made possible by artificial intelligence. To date, approximately 1.5 billion people have interacted with these computer programs. As a result, approximately 80% of all businesses are utilizing these or plan for integration by the year of 2020. It is in your best interests to get onboard now as it will aid in your future success.

woman communicating with chat bot on phone

Chatbot Basics

Chatbots are utilized by various types of businesses for the sole purpose of interacting with various people.

They are programmed in such a manner that they are able to communicate in a highly formal fashion, resolve queries, and provide direction to consumers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

They have the capability of facilitating the reading and the receiving of a vast amount of information.

The response level, the prompt answers, and the familiarity with account and purchasing information make chatbots ideal for any business, in any industry.

Essentially, chatbots are virtual assistants that never have to be paid, never have to take leave, and are not governed by emotion.

Why Are Chatbots Gaining in Popularity?

Chatbot programs are considered to be intuitive, highly engaging, and generally low-key. Most consumers desire live chat responses to emails.

Chatbots succeed in this.

Additionally, the customers that you service will not have to leave the page that they are on with your website to get the answers that they seek. These are quickly gaining in popularity because they are able to answer quickly, they are cost-effective, and once set up – which takes virtually no effort at all – they remain active.

The Benefits

Apart from the fact that each and every single one of your customers will receive a very quick and highly responsive service when they utilize your website, there are several additional benefits associated with the integration of chatbots. These include – but certainly are not limited to – the following:

  1. The customer service experience is dramatically improved when chatbots are utilized. This means that the wait time is reduced, constant around-the-clock service is available, there is no need to have a live representative staffed, and that customers are not transferred from one rep to another rep.
  2. Chatbots have the capability of engaging a customer in the form of outbound marketing. This comes in the routine follow-ups. Additionally, chatbots can provide updates and additional relevant information.
  3. Chatbots are an effective and inexpensive means of connecting with customers, gathering information, and analyzing information that is gathered to boost your metrics.

Conclusion

As you can see from the information contained in this brief guide, chatbots are highly beneficial to your digital marketing plan. These effective tools should not be ignored.

To learn about how to provide a boost to your business in 2019:

Contact Us Today

March 25, 2019

Increase Your Search Engine Rank Fast by Dominating the Voice Search Arena

Voice Search

Voice SearchAnalysts have now predicted that 2019 is THE YEAR for voice searches. According to research, internet users are using voice search assistant programs – such as Siri, Google, and Alexa – to do searches on the World Wide Web, discover businesses in their area, make purchases, obtain news feeds, and more.

Approximately 65% of all people between the ages of 25 and 49 speak directly to the devices that include voice assistant programs at least once each and every single day. This age group accounts for the highest amount of general online searches, too.

If you have a blog, a website, and/or an online business, it is in your best interest to dominate the voice search arena. In doing so, you will find that your SEO rankings instantly increase.

Voice Search Assistant

What Are Voice Search Assistants?

Voice search assistants – such as Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana – is a type of voice-activated software that is capable of learning and performing tasks based on a consumer’s verbal commands on “smart” devices, such as a computer, Kindle, and smartphone.

Due to the integration of artificial intelligence, these programs have the unique ability to both recognize and respond to direct queries. As time progresses, these responses are improving at an alarming rate. As a result, consumers are becoming more and more inclined to using the voice search assistants.

As a result of the higher demand, the future of all electronic devices is sure to place a high emphasis on voice control and expanding the overall capability of the voice search assistants on the market.

Enhancement of the User Experience

We have transitioned into a society with very little patience and a need for immediate results. As a result of these facts, voice search is becoming increasingly popular. The ability to simply speak to a voice search assistant and get an immediate result drastically enhances an internet user’s over all experience.

Because of this, by the year of 2020, it is estimated that at least HALF of ALL online searches will be conducted through a voice search assistant program. What does this mean for people who have blogs, businesses, and/or websites? A LOT!

Now, search engines are placing an exceptional high emphasis on voice searches and are ranking sites that cater to these searches much higher than those that do not.

Analytics Chart

How to Dominate to Boost SEO

People talk differently than they type. People type differently than they talk. This is just a fact. If you have a website, blog, and/or an online business, you have to make sure it is optimized for both the written word and the spoken word.

This is the first and most important move that you can make to ensure first page results across all major search engines. Next, you have to understand that when a person uses voice search, they expect faster results.

Finally, internet users expect and want to have access to as much information as possible.

With that being said, use the following strategies to dominate the voice search arena and instantly boost your rankings:

  1. First, you must make certain that your website is responsive; that is, it works well across all types of devices – be it a desktop computer, an internet reading device, or a smartphone.
  2. Next, make certain that your website loads very quickly. You can achieve this by optimizing images, compressing the files you include on your site, and using a caching system to improve the speed of each of your pages.
  3. Third, write how people talk. In most instances, a person will ASK questions when using voice search. This means you should include “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, and “how” questions into your site’s content. Also, voice searches will include more long-tail keywords than traditional typed inquiries.
  4. Next, you should include a snippet that outlines a summary of the content that you have on each of your pages.
  5. Be sure to consider the fact that many are searching for information pertaining to their general area. For this reason, you should use phrases such as “close to me”, “near me”, “locally”.

We Can Help

Generally speaking, it is easy to dominate the voice search arena; however, steps must be taken now to succeed. This is where we here at Brick Road Media come in – we can help you!

If you are ready to instantly boost your rankings and get to the front of the line across all major search engines, visit us today to get your FREE report!

Simply click here: brickroadmedia.com

February 25, 2019

How to Seize the “Micro-Moments” by Google

micro moments

According to extensive research, most Google searches are being conducted by internet users on mobile devices than on traditional computers. There are multitudes of smart devices now readily available on the market. These are electronic in nature, connect to other types of devices or various types of networks through wireless protocols, and have the capability to operate in an interactive and an autonomous manner. Examples include smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, phablets, smart speakers, and smart bands. As a result of the increasingly high level of popularity associated with these devices, Google has branded a new, technological-based unit of time. This is called the “micro-moment”. If you have a website or blog that utilizes content, it is critical that you learn how to seize the “micro-moments”. Continue reading to learn more.

micro moments

What is a “Micro-Moment”?

A “micro-moment” refers to those periods in each of our lives when we discover that we have a need. This could include a problem that we need to solve, a product that we have a need to purchase, or as simple as something as an answer to a question that we have.

When we pick up our smartphone or other mobile smart device to find a solution to that need that we have identified, this is referred to as a “micro-moment”.

As a society, we are all actively engaged and on the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As one who is marketing online, it is in your best interest to learn how to seize these “micro-moments” that internet users have around the clock.

In doing so, you will experience exceptionally high levels of success.

The Steps to Seizing Micro-Moments Among Internet Users

When utilizing content to promote your business, your products, and/or your services online, it is imperative that you follow the steps outlined below in order to seize those newfound Google “micro-moments”:

  1. When creating content, consider your customer before headlines, keywords, and word count. Who are you in line with servicing? When will your customers need what you have to offer? By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your customer, you will have the ability to create content that is geared towards them and their needs. In turn, this will allow your content to show up at the “right place in the right time”.
  2. Next, avoid advertising schemes when creating your content. Instead, focus on the placement of information that helps your customers solve the problems that you are able to help with. No one wants to be “sold”; however, everyone wants and needs “help”.
  3. The ultimate goal of all content is to attract customers, convert those customers, close the sale, and ensure satisfaction. When creating content designed for micro-moments, you need to do all of this very quickly. First, gain an understanding of the problem. Identify that problem in your content and provide a quick solution. This makes for actionable and highly-profitable content.

Create the “I Want To” Moments

Now that you understand what “micro-moments” are, it is time to create the “I want to” moments through your content. These include the “I want to know”, “I want to go”, “I want to buy”, and “I want to do”. You must anticipate the questions that your target audience will have, incorporate SEO best practices, create content that provides a quick and concise answer, and link to your site.

If you need help with this, we here at Brick Road Media are here to help. Simply contact us today and have your micro-moments ready quickly: https://brickroadmedia.com/contact-us/

January 28, 2019

Top SEO Trends in 2019 That Every Website Owner Needs to Know About

As a website owner, it's important to stay on top of the “latest and greatest”, in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). One of the most productive means of doing this is analyzing that which took place in the previous year, as well as current emerging trends.

For the purpose and intent of this article, we are going to base our information on Google and their amazingly powerful search engine. This popular search engine is unique from others in how it ranks the search results that stem from user inquiries.

The SEO trends you will be introduced to in this guide will help you with your website’s rank within Google’s search engine. If you are ready for an influx of website traffic and an instantaneous boost to your online business, continue reading.

Google Traffic Report

SEO Trend #1: The “Brain” Behind the Artificial Intelligence Learning System

Artificial intelligence is emerging as a leader in assisting Google in ranking websites. Their AI system has a “brain”, too! “RankBrain”, to be exact.

This is a specially-designed learning system that helps the Google search engine to quickly sort results.

This is made possible by measuring how internet users interact with the websites that they choose to go on within search results. This system measures how long internet users stay on your website’s page and the percentage that click on your website.

To become a big mover and shaker in 2019, learn as much as you are able to about RankBrain and customize your website so that you get massive signals from RankBrain.

According to Google, the signals that come from this artificial intelligence system carry a lot of weight in how high a website ranks in their search engine.

SEO Trend #2: Professionally-Written Content

One of the rank factors with RankBrain is referred to as “Dwell Time”. In short, this refers to the amount of time that an internet user spends on your website. In order to increase this, you must have professionally-written content posted on your pages.

SEO content creators know how to properly compose content that includes strategically-placed keywords, content that is designed for mobile users, and content geared towards voice searches.

If you are not comfortable with writing your own content, you will be pleased to know that there are several writers on the market that specialize in search engine optimization.

If you require written content for your website, contact us here at Brick Road Media for more information.

Google Voice Microphone icon for search

SEO Trend #3: Ensure Voice Search Compatibility

While traditional searches are still quite popular, voice search is quickly gaining momentum. This is likely to take off in 2019 as more handheld and mobile devices hit the market. Out of every five adults, two use voice searches on a daily basis.

You must ensure that the content listed throughout your website is optimized for voice search. This means, when composing content, ensure that you have question and answer format throughout your website.

This will help your search engine rank tremendously. Simply consider the keywords and keyword phrases that people are likely to use when they use the voice search option on their mobile devices.

Optimize for human usage and interaction, not just to appeal to the actual algorithms that search engines utilize.

SEO Trend #4: Place Larger Content on Your Website

Google likes to rank content pieces that are exceptionally long as these are usually more in-depth than shorter articles.

You may compose long blogs or even integrate some type of “ultimate guide” into your website.

In addition to appearing to be more comprehensive with websites, internet users will spend more time on your site reading your content if it is longer. This is a win-win situation, in terms of search engine optimization.

When composing longer pieces, it is important to break up the content so it is easier for internet users to read and digest. For example, use subheadings, lists, and other methods of breaking the information up.

SEO Trend #5: Evergreen Content That is Highly Authoritative

When it comes to content on your website, you want to ensure that it contains a lot of information, is in-depth, and authoritative.

You also want to make certain that it is “evergreen”. In essence, this simply means that the content is always considered to be relevant and does not become outdated. This makes it easier to find online as it is always there and always contains pertinent information.

If you create evergreen content where you display your expertise – in-depth – you will find that you get more shares on social media, more page views, AND more backlinks!

keywords

SEO Trend #6: Include Keywords That Relate to Your Main Keyword

When creating content on your website, it is important to include keywords that are related – but different – to your main keyword.

These are often referred to as “LSI” keywords.

That stands for “Latent Semantic Indexing”. These keywords are those that are “semantically” related to the primary keyword that you elect to utilize in your content; however, they are not synonyms. They are keywords that have the same context.

For example, if you are writing about drivable cars, your LSI keywords would include “vehicle”, “dealers”, “automobile”, and so on and so forth. There are many LSI keyword generators online that you may use for free.

SEO Trend #7: Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

By this point in the game, your website should be mobile-friendly. If not, it is time to get onboard. This is referred to as “Mobile-first indexing”. Google now counts the mobile version as the “real” website – not the traditional desktop version.

You must opt for this as over 60% of all searches within Google are done from a mobile device. This figure is expected to expand even further throughout 2019 and 2020.

Let Us Help

Are you ready for massive traffic? Do you want to see a boost in your online profits? If so, we can help! We can ensure that you are ready for the search engine optimization trends that are emerging in 2019. For more information, contact us today at: https://brickroadmedia.com/

December 24, 2018

Free Report to Increase Exposure

Increase Your Online Exposure, Capture More Leads, and Create a Larger Customer Base with Our FREE Customized Digital Marketing Report

As a business owner with an online presence, the goal is to ensure value in the products and/or services that you offer and connect those items to the demographically-correct customer base.

While this seems like a relatively simple endeavor, it is one that that could take many of millions of concepts and techniques to achieve.

Your digital interfaces – website, emails, the social media platforms that you elect to utilize, online videos, banners, and other items that are used to entice and excite internet users – utilize a special blend of keywords, direct interaction, and niche-centered content in order to reach your target audience.

By signing up for our free customized digital marketing report, you have the potential to achieve higher levels of success through all of your tomorrows.

traffic and social media graph

What Information is in the Free Report?

The information that we provide you is customized – based on your website.

First, it will show you information pertaining to your traffic.

It is not just traffic that you need, but the right type of traffic; therefore, we also include information on the content that you have on your site. This is what gets your targeted traffic inside your website. In most instances, you will likely need a new content marketing plan. We are capable of providing all of the information on that.

The free report also contains information on your social media campaigns.

Social media is one of our specialties. We can tell you what you need to make it work for you and how to do it! Finally, we will provide information on your conversion rates and overall sales. The goal is to convert all of your visitors to buying customers. We know exactly how to make that happen!

Performance

We here at Brick Road Media have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate your online presence and provide you with steps and strategies to optimize your performance.

We have the capability of determining where you stand among your online competition.

We can then provide you with information on how to excel – even in the most saturated of all markets. We can teach you how to rank high in search engines, boost your social platform marketing, and become a high traffic business that is booming!

If you are seeking to achieve higher levels of success – be it now, in the new year, or for years to come – we are here to help you through the process.

Getting the Free Report

If you are ready to learn how your online business is performing, simply click HERE.

Once on the page, enter in your name, business name, and email address. Then, just click the button.

That is all it takes to get your absolutely free digital marketing report today.

We will thoroughly investigate every component of your site to determine what areas may be improved and provide you with sound strategies for engaging in the process.

If you are ready to achieve the highest levels of success in the virtual world, get your report today!

November 26, 2018

Improve Search Engine Rankings in 2019 with Topic Clusters

topic clusters

If you are in search of a new way to improve your website’s rankings in major search engines in 2019, start utilizing topic clusters.

topic clusters

What is a Topic Cluster?

A topic cluster is a specially-designed strategy that is done in order to optimize the overall virtual architecture of your website, assist search engines in discovering new pages, and to help in the process of improving website rankings.

Generally speaking, the art of creating topic clusters is not new.

Websites such as HubSpot have been creating these clusters for years; however, there is now a new focus on topic clusters due to the fact that it helps provide quality to a content marketing campaign and stresses the overall importance of internal linkage.

How Does a Topic Cluster Work?

Each cluster initiates with a main pillar page. In terms that are understood among today’s website owners and content marketers, this main page acts as a “hub” for a topic. Then, a variety of new content pages are created that relate to the topic on the hub page.

These pages link back to that main page.

Additionally, they link to one another. By performing these linking measures, all of the major search engines view the main page as the “authority”. As time progresses, that page – as well as the content pages connected to it through internal links – start to rank higher among search engines.

How to Create Topic Clusters

Now that you have a basic idea of what a topic cluster is and how it works, it is time to start the process of creating your own topic clusters. The following steps will help in this process:

  1. Identify the Main Topic – You need to consider the products and/or services that your company offers or specializes. Then, create a theme that is relatively broad. Once you create a theme, you are ready for the next step.
  2. Create the Main Page – Now, you are ready to create the main page of your virtual “hub”. You will want to create some type of comprehensive guide or provide informative information about the theme. When creating this page, be sure to incorporate some way to enhance your conversion rate. You may want to offer a free product, include a poll, or offer visitors the opportunity to provide their email address. Be certain to include links to the subtopic pages of your topic cluster – if they have already been prepared and published.
  3. The Subtopic Pages – Next create detailed content associated with the theme and topic of your topic cluster. It is important to narrow down the information contained on these pages and make them more specific.
  4. Time to Link – Once all of your pages are ready, it is time to publish and then take those links and link to all of the other pages within the cluster.

Essentially, topic clusters help you to create linking architectures that increase the page rank of each page on your website.

This is THE best way to optimize your rankings in 2019.

October 22, 2018

Website Optimization – Where to Start?

seo optimization

Website optimization – which is commonly referred to as “search engine optimization” or “SEO” – is a type of marketing discipline that has the primary focus on optimizing a website’s overall visibility in organic based – or “non-paid” – results in search engines, such as Google. Website optimization is an absolute “must” when it comes to achieving success on the World Wide Web. To learn where to start and how to do it, continue reading.

seo optimization

Why Does My Website Need to be Optimized?

A large portion of all web “traffic” is driven by major search engines. The top-rated search engines in today’s world are Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL.

In addition to search engines, other platforms – such as those in social media like Facebook and Twitter – aid in the generation of visits.

It does not matter if you specialize in information, sell certain products, or offer services – it is imperative that your website is optimized in such a way that internet users can be directed to it. In essence, search engines and other platforms act as the “roads” on the information super highway that lead users to the destination that is most appropriate for their needs. This is the ultimate goal of website optimization – ensuring your site is found and visited.

Step #1: Get a Website Audit

The first step that should be taken in order to ensure that your website is properly optimized is to get a website audit. This is a specially-designed inspection that evaluates all aspects of your website in order to determine what needs to be revised in order to attract visitors, engage those visitors on your website, and convert them into paying, loyal customers.

The recommendations are geared towards your overall success and are designed to ensure that you are able to grow your customer base and your profits.

To get up-to-date on all the latest and greatest in search engine optimization strategies for your website, you may obtain a free website audit today contacting us.

Step #2: Pay Attention to the Words and Phrases That You Use

In search engine optimization for websites, search queries are the backbone to success. These are the words and phrases that internet users when searching for items of interest on the internet. These words and phrases are often dubbed “keywords” or “keyword phrases”.

These simple terms and phrases have the ability to make or break your site. You have to be certain that you use those that internet users will type in, as well as those that users may use when using voice searches on their mobile devices.

By integrating both types into your website, you are sure to find that you receive higher amounts of traffic and generate more profits, over time.

Step #3: Create Content for Users, Not Search Engines

One of the main methods to optimizing your website is to generate content that is designed for internet users and not search engines. We realize that this may be a bit confusing – especially since this is all about optimization for ranking your website higher in search engines, but, we will explain. In essence, a search engine is a type of software program that answers questions.

Include content on your website that answers questions for REAL people – not for search engines.

Your website should include valuable content that is considered to be unique, not just duplicate content that is already on the internet. If you create a website that is rich with unique information, you are sure to find that you achieve higher levels of success than you ever thought possible.

Step #4: You Need Sales. Your Website Visitors Do Not

If you have a website, it is likely that you are trying to sell a service or a product. You have to remember that YOU are the one that needs sales to generate profits, NOT your website visitors. Do not create content to “sell”; rather, consider the WHY behind your visitor landing on your page. According to professionals in the industry, people search the internet because they have a need.

They NEED an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or other type of information to assist them in one way or another.

DO NOT push sales.

Instead, offer answers, solutions, and the information that your visitors NEED. If you do this, they will do what YOU want; that is, make a purchase. Optimize all content to ensure it gives answers, provides solutions, and offers value and you will generate profits in return.

Step #5: Get Social

The next step to ensuring website optimization is to get social; that is, take your website on social media platforms. Today, the most popular social media networks and Apps are Facebook, YouTube (Yes, it IS now considered to be a social media network), Instagram, Qzone, Weibo, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Ask.fm, and Tumblr. When you take your website onto these networks and/or Apps, be sure to be engaging, interact with other users, and offer links to relevant content on your website. Social signals carry a high amount of weight when it comes to website optimization. In addition to your website rankings going up, getting social helps you build your brand, increase trust, and build loyalty – all of which are necessary for the success that you want to achieve on the web!

We Can Help!

Here at Brick Road Media, we specialize in helping people just like you in website optimization, creation, and ranking. By visiting us today, you can get a FREE, no-hassle website audit that will pinpoint exactly what needs to be changed or revised on your site.

In addition to this, you can find assistance in getting professionally-written, search engine optimized content for your site, social media integration, and several other tools and services. It is our goal to make each and every single one of our clients successful.

You have nothing to lose, but, everything to gain. Visit us today and achieve the online success that you desire for all of your tomorrows: https://brickroadmedia.com/

August 27, 2018

Rank Higher in 2019 – SEO Concepts and Ranking Factors That Will Bring New Life to Your Website in 2019

As we get closer to the New Year, it is becoming increasingly important to determine which SEO concepts and ranking factors will help your website experience the highest levels of success possible.

google-seo-rank-in-2019Reaching the first page of Google may be a challenging endeavor; however, it is the one that all website owners embark upon. Despite the many mysteries surrounding its algorithm, the immense number of updates released, and the strict guidelines, Google is the search engine giant. Failure to consider the SEO concepts and ranking factors associated with Google when creating your website will result in the overall failure of the website, itself. In this brief guide, you will be introduced to a few of the most important concepts and factors that should be integrated into your site prior to the beginning of 2019 to ensure success.

10 Steps, How To Rank #1 in Google Search Results | Website Optimization 2018

Quality Content with Intent

Google is based on the premise of ensuring an optimal and highly positive experience for its users. If you want your website to succeed, you must create content that is high in quality and intent. In previous years, the use of industry-specific keyword was the ultimate milestone.

Since the release of voice search programs, location-specific programs, and the increased usage of mobile devices, it is now more important than ever to create naturally written content that provides useful information to internet users.

Yes, keywords that are tailored to your niche are still important; however, content with intent holds a higher level of importance.

Creating content with intent related to your niche that provides value to readers will result in the natural integration of keywords that will also increase ranking.

content for mobile users

Mobile-Friendly

In the earliest decades of internet usage, desktop searches ranked as number one. Then, mobile internet accessible devices, such as the laptop, cell phone, and tablet emerged. Wi-Fi hotspots became the “norm”. People everyone took full advantage of the fact that they could now access the internet anywhere, at any time.

In 2016, mobile search took the number one spot. Mobile friendliness is critical to your website’s success in 2019. In fact, 2018 marked the first year Google developed and released a mobile-first strategy for indexing.

Desktop versions of a website are no longer used for the purpose of indexing and ranking your website; instead, the mobile versions of your web pages are what is used.

Interlinking

Interlinking is the process of linking newly created content to previously-created content that is relevant. When posting new content on your website, it is ideal to link that content back to older content that holds a high level of relevancy. This not only increases the amount of time that visitors spend on your website, but it helps the Google search engine and other search engines to determine which content is “relevant”. In turn, this ranks your older content higher, which optimizes the overall ranking of your new content.

If you want to start ranking higher in Google, now is the time. Brick Road Media keeps up on all of the latest trends and can assist you in preparing for success in 2019. If you want your website to reach new levels, increase your profits, and make your way to high rankings Contact Us

Resources:

https://www.business.com/articles/2-new-ranking-factors-from-google/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/spark/marketing-guides/important-google-ranking-factors/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/317943

July 29, 2018

Why Your Site Should Have an SSL Certificate

SSL Security Screen

Google has recently released an algorithm update that not only displays the warning that unsecured sites are “Not Secure” but are penalizing the ranking of websites that do not possess an SSL Certificate. Continue reading this guide on why your site needs this and the benefits you will reap from the integration of an SSL Certificate.

SSL Security Screen

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate is a type of security-based technology that enables the communication between a server and a web browser to be encrypted. This encryption aids in reducing the chance for sensitive information from being illegally accessed by those that do not have permission to that information, such as identity thieves.

Examples of the information protected with an SSL Certificate includes names, email addresses, home addresses, bank account information, credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords.

In simple terms, an SSL Certificate allows the virtual-based conversation between an internet user and a website to remain secure and private. It aids in authenticating the real identity associated with a website and encrypts all of the data transmitted to and from that website.

If you are a website owner, it is imperative that you protect your site and your visitors with an SSL Certificate.

Internet2.jpg
By Fabio Lanari - Internet1.jpg by Rock1997 modified., CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Google Now Places a Special Emphasis on HTTPS

The Google Update, which was released in July of 2018, now places a special emphasis on websites and encourages the use of SSL Certificates to transition those websites from “HTTP” to “HTTPS”. “HTTPS” stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”.

This is a type of communication protocol that is used on the internet that helps in protecting the information that is transmitted between an internet-accessible device and a site.

When a website is using HTTPS, it has three layers of protection that is made possible by Transport Layer Security (TLS). These layers include the following:

  • Encryption
  • Data Integrity
  • Authentication

Why SSL Certificates Are Necessary

As stated previously, SSL Certificates protect sensitive information from getting into the hands of those that would attempt to use that information in an illegal way. In addition to protecting your website and those that visit your website, an SSL Certificate also helps in the following ways:

  • It ensures that the information exchanged between servers is kept highly secure.
  • It builds trust with your website visitors/customers and enhances that trust.
  • It helps in optimizing your website’s conversion rates.
  • It helps in increasing your rankings with Google.

Google Chrome Changes with Update

Prior to July 2018, when you visited a website that did not possess SSL Certificates and was not considered to be “secure”, there was a relatively discrete exclamation point that was immediately to the left of the address of the website.

On the most part, internet users did not notice this; however, if they did click or hover on it, it would inform them that the connection to the website was not a secure one. It would further instruct them not to enter any type of sensitive information on the website.

Since the release of the Google Update, the exclamation mark has not transitioned into the mark and the words, “Not secure”. In the future, “Not secure” will be written in red to draw even more attention to it for website visitors.

Will Website Visitors Know There is an SSL Certificate in Place?

If you transition your website from “HTTP” to “HTTPS” through the use of an SSL Certificate, your visitor will know as there are several different visual-based clues to this. First, a padlock picture will show up to the immediately left of the website address instead of the exclamation mark and the phrase, “Not secure”. Next, the prefix associated with the website address will go from “HTTP” to “HTTPS”.

There will be a trust seal integrated into the website. Furthermore, the address bar will typically display a green coloring, which, generally means “safe” or “go” when it comes to website exploration in the digital world.

What If I Don’t Sell Anything on My Website?

Many people do not sell anything on their website. They may be an affiliate of another website where they direct customers or they may simply have a content-based website. Regardless, your website needs an SSL Certificate. In addition to being listed and ranked higher by Google, the necessity for SSL Certificates is high for websites that engage in the following:

  1. If the website utilizes usernames and passwords
  2. If the site provides the opportunity for users to enter in financial information
  3. If the site requests personal information
  4. There are legal documents associated with the site
  5. If the site obtains email addresses and/or names
  6. If it includes records
  7. If is includes proprietary information

If your website does not have SSL Certificates, contact us today for assistance

CONTACT US

Resources:
https://brickroadmedia.com/google-speed-algorithm-update-in-effect-in-july-2018/
https://brickroadmedia.com/2018-seo-google-trends/
https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

June 25, 2018

Google Speed Algorithm. Update in Effect in July 2018

page speed flickr

Google intends on better serving mobile users by punishing websites that load slowly through their new algorithm that goes into effect in July 2018.

PageSpeed module for Nginx Web Server

Google announced on January 17th, 2018 that they were releasing a new algorithm for website ranking that is designed, specifically, for mobile search. It was identified – at that time – as the “Speed Update”.

While the update is designed to impact a relatively small amount of search queries, Google expressed that website pages that provide users with the slowest of experiences will be detrimentally impacted by this new update.

In order to ensure that your website is “up to speed” and will not be negatively impacted – in terms of ranking – you may use the PageSpeed Insights page provided by Google and/or specially-designed tools like Lighthouse.

These will measure the overall speed of your pages and help you in making improvements to your website that will optimize speeds for visitors that are accessing your website with a mobile device.

In 2010, Google did express the fact that page speed was a factor in ranking websites; however, at that time, it placed an emphasis on searches conducted utilizing desktop computers. Technological advancements in the mobile industry has resulted in more mobile users than users of standard computers.

As a result, that has now changed. Mobile search is taking off. If you want to rank highly, it is imperative that your pages are loading quickly for the mobile traffic to your website.

The pages on your website are graded as “fast”, “slow”, and “average”. Fast grades mean that your pages are the in the top third of the fastest in page loads. Slow means the pages are in the slowest third in terms of page loads. Average grades mean that it is in the middle third of all of the page loads.

Grades are determined by analyzing the median between two distinct values. Those are referred to as “DOM Content Loaded” or “DCL” and “First Contentful Paint” or “FCP”.

Google has stated that there will be pages that cannot be reviewed in PageSpeed Insights because there will not be enough information available to determine page speed.

If this occurs with your website, it is advised that you utilize Lighthouse for evaluation.

There is a bit of good news in all of this. If, by chance, your page loads slowly for mobile users, it may not drop your ranking in a significant manner. If your content is relevant and high in quality, your website may still rank high. Speed is just one ranking signal that is utilized by Google.

It is not the be all, end all.

The purpose and intent of this new algorithm is to improve the user experience for those that use mobile devices to access their internet searches.

We here at Brick Road Media have the capability of helping with relevant, high-quality content and increasing the speed of your pages. For more information,

Contact Us today

 

Resources:
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/01/using-page-speed-in-mobile-search.html
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/01/22/google-speed-update
https://seo-hacker.com/pace-preparing-google-speed-update/

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