This summer is shaping up to be an exciting and tumultuous season in the world of digital marketing. New security measures and web indexing processes can either leave your business soaring high, or all washed up. Here’s what you need to know this season:
Effective this July, Google will require your website to have an SSL certificate. This means that unless your site has HTTPS encryption, Google will mark your site as “not secure” and will prominently highlight this in its URL bar for all your visitors to see.
It’s easy to tell if your website is on a secure server. Simply open your site with Google Chrome, and look at the address bar. If it says secure and shows a padlock icon, then your site is protected.
If your site isn’t encrypted, then you’re going to have some issues. This “not secure” disclaimer has far-reaching consequences for any businesses. An unprotected site will see a massive drop in traffic and an overall disruption to its purposefulness by deterring visitors from staying on the site or even visiting it at all. Clearly, this can have adverse effects on the commerce and revenue for businesses with an unsecured website.
SSL stands for secure sockets layer, and it is the technology used to create an encrypted link between a web browser and a server. It’s the protocol that ensures your data, such as credit card information, logins and passwords, and other personal information is secure and protected from hackers and internet thieves.
Having an SSL certificate means your site is secure and has the “HTTPS” distinction in the address bar, as opposed to an unsecured site that would only show “HTTP.” Without HTTPS, a third party can potentially see your sensitive information as it travels from your browser to the server and back. With SSL encryption, this data is unreadable by anything or anyone except for the server being sent the information. This protection also ensures that no data is stolen from your domain.
Having an SSL certificate and an HTTPS secure site is about more than securing data. For starters, protected websites will rank higher on Google searches. This can be a huge advantage and a beneficial byproduct of keeping your site secure.
A site protected with HTTPS can also show your visitors that your site is trustworthy. This can give them the confidence to stay on your site longer, and in turn, give them the assurance to share their information with you.
Building this trust with your customers is imperative to boost your business’ credibility, relevance, and authority, and to create a safer experience for users. All this results in more traffic, a higher number of conversions, and more revenue for your business.
Google states that close to 70% of all websites seen on Google Chrome are now secure, and that over 80 of the top 100 most visited websites on the web now use HTTPS by default. So clearly, you want to install an SSL certificate and upgrade your website from HTTP to HTTPS as quickly as possible to avoid any negative impact on your site or your business.
Migrating your site over to secure can pose some difficulty and a few complications. That’s why it may be best to let professionals handle the transfer. Among other requirements, the process includes verifying domain name owners, purchasing and installing a certificate, and finally updating your website to use HTTPS encryption to protect sensitive transactions.
It truly feels like a new internet is upon us. This can be witnessed not only in the new security measures and protocols that are being implemented, but also by the ways in which websites are being indexed and ranked. Known as “mobile first indexing,” it will change the way your website gets seen, and here’s how it can affect your business:
For over three years now, mobile has overtaken desktop as the most popular way to conduct a web search. As a result, Google has made a website’s suitability for mobile users a crucial element of how it indexes and ranks them for content. This approach of “mobile first indexing” will soon dictate many factors regarding your site’s traffic, ranking, and overall performance, and even impact your business’ revenue.
Essentially, mobile first indexing means that the mobile version will be considered the primary version of your website. So if your site doesn’t have a responsive layout, has a slow loading speed, or poorly-designed content and navigation, then your rankings are likely to suffer unless you optimize your site ahead of the shift.
Studies show that most consumers will leave a web page if it takes more than a couple of seconds to load. Knowing that this will affect your site’s rankings after the mobile first switch presents the perfect opportunity to check the speed of your site. Higher speed means a higher ranking; plus, it helps to get users engaged in more extended sessions and reduce your site’s bounce rate.
Aside from increasing speed, there are a few other measures you can take to optimize your site for the upcoming switch to mobile first indexing. Emphasizing user experience should be prioritized, which can include an investigation and inspection of your site’s current condition.
Navigation ability is one huge factor that can impact the usability of a site. The freedom to maneuver freely is crucial to user experience, as is clarity, such as making contact information and other critical data readily available and easily accessible.
After you inspect and analyze your mobile site based on speed and navigation, it’s time to design your content to create the best user experience possible. This means the judicious use of drop-down menus, having easy-to-read content, and avoiding using Flash, as most phones do not support it.
Another way to optimize your mobile site is to make it “tap friendly,” which means making text size appropriate and leaving ample space between tap points to create a smooth and user-friendly interface. You also want your site to be responsive and adapt to the multitude of screen sizes of phones and tablets.
These are just a few of the most recent developments in digital marketing. However, in this industry new developments are always right around the corner.
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