SEO

A Guide To SSL Changes – What It Means For Your Website

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In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, it’s crucial that companies keep up to date with Google’s best practices to ensure they continue being competitive in their relevant online markets. With Google being the most powerful and influential company on the net, it’s important for them to keep abreast of all the threats and opportunities that the internet generates. Accordingly, Google releases a multitude of updates every year: new features, bug fixes, and the majority associated with the very secretive Google search ranking algorithm.

What’s important though, is that all online companies that use Google-related services (practically every online organisation), recognise extensive changes that may affect their SEO, performance, and ultimately their bottom-line. The internet is in a constant state of change, so online providers must be flexible and adapt to new Google updates as quickly as possible to make certain they aren’t adversely impacted by these new releases.

The most important Google update that has recently impacted online enterprises pertains to Google Chrome v62, which was released in October this year. The Google Chrome web browser is used by almost 50% of all online users, so it’s quite important that online businesses incorporate the related changes as quickly as possible if they intend to avoid any detrimental consequences.

What has changed in Google Chrome v62?

In the Google Chrome v62 update, Google has reshaped the way in which it marks non-secured (HTTP) pages. If a non-secured (HTTP) page saves security passwords and bank card information (which is stored in a plain text file), they are vulnerable to phishing sites that can essentially steal this information from users that wrongly believe they are giving their personal information to a trustworthy business. The Google Chrome browser will start marking any text input field and web address bar as ‘NOT SECURE’ for HTTP pages.

This change will naturally bear upon millions of websites all over the world. Before the change, many non-secured websites weren’t impaired by phishing attacks simply because they didn’t have a public-facing member login, and utilised PayPal or other offsite payment processors to accept online payments. Now, however, all websites will need to start securing their web pages because users will become frightened of falling victim to malevolent attacks if they enter personal information into fields marked boldly as ‘NOT SECURE’.

How to make web pages secure?

For online businesses that wish to secure their previously non-secured (HTTP) web pages, they need to encrypt the information being imparted between their consumers and their web server by incorporating an SSL certificate. Google are distinctly pushing for a more secure internet than ever before, and they’ve opted for SSL encryption as a vehicle to do this. For website owners who want to enable HTTPS on their web servers, here is a useful guide: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/security/encrypt-in-transit/enable-https?hl=en. The following link is an additional guide on how you can avoid the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning in Google Chrome which is aimed at website developers: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2016/10/avoid-not-secure-warn.

What this means for online businesses?

The recent Google update signifies that HTTPS and SSL encryption will become the norm across all web pages online. Eventually, each online business will have to secure their web pages using SSL encryption whether they like it or not, or users will simply find a competitor that does.

What this also signifies is that not all websites using SSL encryption should be trusted, and there will be a notable increase in phishing sites using HTTPS also. Phishing sites can simply use fraudulent SSL certificates to circumvent the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning by Google Chrome and make their websites appear valid. This will make the differentiation between phishing sites and real websites more difficult than ever. Online companies that use an Extended Validation Certificate (EV SSL) will be the most trusted websites on the net because it will be incredibly difficult for phishing sites to copy the authenticity that EV SSL provides.

Making all websites employ SSL certificates to demonstrate their authenticity will only increase the amount of phishing sites that do the same. At the end of the day, however, SSL encryption will ultimately become compulsory, so if you need any guidance in securing your website with SSL encryption, talk to the digital specialists at Internet Marketing Experts Sunshine Coast by calling 1300 595 013, or visit their website for more information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertssunshinecoast.com.au

 

Why You Should Have A WordPress Site

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So, you’ve got an amazing business idea and you’ve made the decision you’re going to design and publish your own website. Well, as you most probably know, there are many things to take into consideration. The design of the website, the images you’re going to use, the content, the website architecture, the logo designs, the online store – the list goes on. But ultimately, what’s most important when designing a new website is the platform you choose. There’s a range of website platforms available with an array of assorted features, targeting the entire spectrum of developers from starters to experts. You’ll ask for assistance on which platform to use and developers will argue for weeks on end about why one platform is better than the other.

 

It can obviously be confusing to weigh the pro’s and con’s of each website platform and make a decision on which is best for you. So, to save the time and arguments, the basic answer to this question is ‘WordPress’. The following article will offer five convincing arguments as to why WordPress is the best platform to use, whatever your website development skills and abilities.

 

WordPress is simple to use and manage

 

WordPress is remarkably user-friendly so you don’t have to be an expert HTML coder to build a practical and powerful website. The setup process is quick and simple, the tools are intuitive and there’s a built-in updater so you don’t need to be concerned about not utilising all the latest features. There are inbuilt features for blog publishing, RSS feeds, user management, automated backups, revisions and much more. Once installed, you can start making custom configurations without even writing any code!

 

WordPress is incredibly SEO-friendly

 

In the words of Google Engineer Matt Cutts, “WordPress automatically solves a tonne of SEO issues”. SEO is an incredibly important element to any website so having in-built features that seamlessly make your website SEO-friendly is invaluable. WordPress coding is standard compliance, top quality, and produces semantic mark-up which makes your site especially attractive to search engines. There are also a selection of free plugins that you can install which will make your website even more SEO-friendly, but we’ll touch on WordPress’ plugins next.

 

WordPress is FREE and Open Source

 

Yes, you read it correctly; WordPress is free to download, install, and use to construct any type of website you like. WordPress is also open source which means that the source code is attainable for anybody to modify, edit and create different themes and plugins with a range of features and release these to the community. At the moment, there are over 2,600 WordPress themes and over 3,100 different free plugins available for use. Considering that WordPress is a community software, it is maintained by a large group of volunteers who all contribute to the software by writing patches, answering support questions and updating documentation. If you have any problems or issues about anything WordPress related, there are literally thousands of people willing to help.

 

WordPress is mobile friendly

 

Due to the increasing use of smart phones for internet usage, it’s extremely important that your website is optimised for mobile devices. In fact, one of Google’s latest updates requires websites to be optimised for mobile devices or they’ll be penalised in SEO. Thankfully most WordPress themes are developed to be mobile responsive, meaning that whatever device your visitors are using, WordPress websites will systematically alter the appearance of your website to match. WordPress actually allows you to work on both of your mobile website and PC website independently, so you can easily customise both to optimise the user experience.

 

WordPress is secure

 

Nowadays, website security is extremely important so of course WordPress has high security standards. Roughly 25% of websites are developed on WordPress so hackers are continuously searching for ways to compromise them. WordPress is well aware of this so has produced a series of security features which prevents any malicious attacks by publishing regular updates that neutralises these threats. Always remember, it’s also important for you to be using a secure device when accessing your WordPress account, so make sure that you use standard security tools on your device and only download credible plugins from trusted providers.

 

As you can see, WordPress has a range of fantastic features that simply make it the best website platform on the market. Even though there are a lot of other reasons why WordPress is an excellent choice for your website, this article just focuses on five of these: WordPress is very user-friendly, free and open source, significantly SEO compatible, mobile friendly, and secure. What more could you want from a platform to produce a reliable and powerful website? If you have any inquiries about how you can further optimise your website, speak with the team at Internet Marketing Experts Sunshine Coast on 1300 595 013 or visit their website: http://www.internetmarketingexpertssunshinecoast.com.au

 

Top Tips For The Greatest Email Sequences

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Having worked as a sales representative for a number of tech start-ups, I can’t even begin to explain the importance of sending email sequences that sell. Automated emails are fabulous because they dramatically reduce the workload for a sales representative, nonetheless these days, everyone can empathise with discovering a variety of email sequences lurking in their inbox on a daily basis that just pester us because we have to click two buttons to get rid of them!

 

Not enough business owners spend the time and initiative in crafting useful email sequences that actually sell their product. Creating useful email sequences is both a science and an art, and if done properly, can produce terrific results. Having hundreds of potential customers on an email list isn’t going to deliver any income if you can’t sell your product. So, here’s 4 tips on how to create a great email sequence that will convert your leads into sales.

 

Tip 1 – First Impressions Count

 

The age old saying ‘make a good first impression’ is very relevant when it relates to email sequences. By first impressions, I mean the subject lines of your emails. It’s the first thing that recipients will encounter so if it’s not enticing enough, they merely won’t open it. It goes without saying, the subject lines of an email are critical when it comes to conversion rates. Here are a number of statistics which showcases their importance:

 

One-third of email recipients will open an email based completely on the subject line

Almost 70% of email recipients will ascertain if an email is spam based on the subject line

40% of emails are opened on mobile devices first, and the common mobile screen can only fit between four to seven words in the subject line.

 

The trick to impressive subject lines is solving your prospects problems in as few words as possible. For example, good subject lines include, “Common questions about university”, “Common questions about home loans”, etc. Think of your prospects problems and target your subject lines to solve that problem succinctly. You can keep an eye on your subject line performance using HubSpot Sales notification stream (https://www.hubspot.com/products/sales/email-tracking).

 

Tip 2 – Write Well-Crafted Content

 

When a recipient has opened an email, it’s important that you offer a value proposition in the context of their problem straight away. Forget beginning the email with your name and job title; you want to give your recipients a good reason to keep reading the email. So, begin your email with some relevant information they can relate to, like company news or their response to an event via Twitter or an online blog, and then get into the value proposition in the second and third sentences.

 

Your value proposition should be structured like this:.

 

I have an idea about [problem/pain-point] and I’d love to have a minute to talk to you about [solution].

Here’s some preliminary information [link to helpful content] and if you ‘d like to speak more about it, let me know.

I recently worked with another organisation with [positive benefit]. Is this something that would be valuable for [company name]?

 

It’s crucial that you get to the point promptly and keep the content focused on the needs of your prospect.

 

Tip 3 – Dump the tedious ‘Welcome Email’

 

If a prospect has shown interest in your service or products, why waste both of your time with a welcome email that has no benefit or offerings? It’s fundamentally dead-wood and if you’re going to send a welcome email, make sure you provide a catchy subject line and value proposition in the content of the email (refer to tip 1 & 2).

 

Tip 4 – Always Be Helpful

 

The fact of the matter is that even an excellent first email may not get a reaction from the recipient. It’s understandable; people are busy and have prerogatives, so I recommend sending 2 or 3 follow-up emails as part of your email sequence. It’s easy to forget an email that you’re interested in, but a wonderful follow-up email will remind them that you’re here to help them in whatever problem they have. You should make sure that your follow-up emails also include your value propositions, and supplementary information that is helpful to the recipient in solving their problems. Again, HubSpot Sales will monitor which emails are opened and which links are clicked so I strongly advise using this application to assist you with your email sequences.

 

The value of producing effective and actionable email sequences can have a powerful affect on your conversion rates and sales. There are many factors that you ought to consider when producing your email sequences, but this article features the most important factors that lead to success. If you’re having problems converting your leads into sales with your email sequences, it’s certainly worthwhile in seeking advice from digital marketing specialists that can assist you. Speak to the team at Internet Marketing Experts Sunshine Coast today on 1300 595 013 or visit their website: http://www.internetmarketingexpertssunshinecoast.com.au.

 

How To Recover From A Social Media Blunder

There’s no question that social media is a significant aspect of internet marketing strategies for many companies. With more than 1 billion users on Facebook alone creates remarkable opportunities for business in a range of different ways. Clearly, advertising is the largest opportunity for businesses, but there’s also a fantastic opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers on a personal level via various social media platforms. Customers can share all their feedback via a company’s social media account; the good, the bad, and the ugly. So obviously, there’s going to be an abundance of social media blunders when businesses respond to customer’s feedback online.

 

The dilemma here is that anything that you publish on the internet, stays on the internet, so it’s critical that sufficient time is invested in presenting accurate and applicable responses to customers via social media. At the same time though, there’s often going to be some newsworthy controversy. If social media fails aren’t dealt with appropriately, they can seriously damage a brand’s image and can even put a company into crisis mode within a few minutes. So here’s a quick overview of how your company can recover from social media fails with minimal damage to your brand and credibility.

 

Have a sense of humour

 

When innocent social media fails occur, making a joke of the blunder by using some quick wit is one of the best remedies. Most of the time, shedding some humour so everybody has a laugh is the internet version of almost tripping on the sidewalk and turning it into a dance recital. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm rewards posts that encounter high volumes of interactions, including likes, comments and replies, so it’s possible to transform a simple blunder into increased exposure and a bigger target audience, all from a simple mistake!

 

Act immediately

 

Irrespective of the type of social media blunder, the quicker you respond, the better your end result will be. In today’s internet world, controversial news spreads like wildfire, so it’s paramount that you admit your error, sincerely apologise then clearly explain the next steps you will be taking to rectify the situation. Merely ignoring the mistake can have devastating outcomes and the longer it takes you to react, the more momentum your social media fail will be gaining and the more difficult it will be to resolve.

 

Be honest

 

It’s critical that you are honest about your blunder and the steps you’re taking to deal with the problem. There’s no point arguing with your customers if you’re the one who has made the blunder! If you blatantly lie about the length of time it will take for your servers to be back online or the length of time before new stock arrives, it’s only going to hurt your brand and reputation by further frustrating your customers. However, if you are honest, your customers may not be happy but they’ll appreciate the fact that you’re not making another mistake! Nowadays, honesty is refreshing and lies only multiply which can possibly turn your blunder into a disaster.

 

Keep moving forward

 

Social media blunders, even crises, does not define a brand so once you’ve corrected the situation as best you can, keep moving forward with business as normal. As long as you’ve taken a professional approach and you learn from your mistake, acting like it’s water off a duck’s back is much better than dwelling on the situation. You’ll need to put procedures in place to minimise the possibility of such blunders arising again, and this will only strengthen your social media team with more experience. Social media mistakes are like a wake-up call, and in some instances, you may find ways to improve your product’s or brand’s image as a result of your blunder. But whatever you do, don’t shy away from your social media’s initiatives. There’ll always be another company’s social media fail to talk about tomorrow!

 

Social media is a powerful force in today’s society and businesses are making the most on the various opportunities it presents. Being able to connect with your customers on a personal level is spectacular, and you need to be prepared for social media blunders because they will transpire at some point or another. This article discusses some key ways to recover from social media blunders, including using humour, reacting fast, being honest and moving forward with business. If you find yourself in a deep social media crisis and you need assistance before things get out of hand, talk to digital marketing experts who will be able to assist you promptly and efficiently. Contact the team at Internet Marketing Experts Sunshine Coast on 1300 595 013 or visit their website: http://www.internetmarketingexpertssunshinecoast.com.au

 

An SEO Quick Fix Guide You Can Do TODAY

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SEO is considered by many to be a mystical creature with terrific powers. Understanding precisely how SEO works and all the various ways to enhance your website’s SEO score can be particularly difficult and time-consuming. However, it is an essential aspect of any internet marketing plan and will essentially make or break a firm in some sectors. Many industry experts consider SEO to be among the most powerful forms of advertising, so continuously improving your SEO should be a priority if you wish to increase your website visitors and earnings.

 

It’s very difficult to keep up to date with SEO best practices and standards because they change regularly, so it’s advised that you seek expert advice concerning your SEO and internet marketing strategy. At the same time, there are some quick and simple ways that you can strengthen your SEO, even with even a basic level of IT understanding, so here is a quick overview on some helpful ways to improve your SEO today.

 

Content is King

 

When it comes to SEO, content is king. So, make sure you have high-quality, well-written and unique content that is relevant for your target audience. Updating your content routinely is also crucial so don’t leave your content stagnant for years because there’s no need to update it. Introducing a blog into your website is always great for SEO because new content is consistently being added and search engines love spotting new content and will increase your rankings if this happens regularly.

 

Ensure You Have a Flat Website Architecture

 

Your website architecture is effectively the organisation of all the distinct webpages on your website. A significant component of SEO involves how user-friendly your website is, i.e. how easy users can navigate your website to find the info they’re trying to find. It’s imperative that your website architecture is as ‘flat’ as possible because this will make it more user-friendly for visitors and search engines will recognise this and consequently improve your SEO score. Having a ‘flat’ website means that you aren’t burying web pages within web pages. A good general rule is to ensure that your most important web pages are no more than three links from the homepage. If your website isn’t flat, then you can easily fix this by including extra navigation menus or additional internal links.

 

Make sure You Have Accurate Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

 

Meta titles and descriptions are significant components of your website’s content. Each of your web pages will have a meta title and meta description that is utilised by search engines to understand the content of each web page in working out the relevancy to a user’s search. Remember, Google wants each user to have the best experience as possible, so it wants to rank the most relevant websites the highest.

 

Meta titles gives the user a quick insight into the content of each web page to make sure it is relevant. Each meta title should feature a primary and secondary keyword that is relevant for that webpage, along with your brand name. The format looks like this: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name. It should also be no more than 60 characters, or Google will truncate your meta title which looks messy and unprofessional. Having high-quality and relevant meta titles are crucial in optimising your web pages for SEO.

 

Meta descriptions are essentially condensed descriptions of the content of the web page. Whilst meta descriptions don’t directly sway ranking algorithms, they are still critical as search engines will sometimes use the summary in search results snippets when they believe a web page’s meta description accurately represents the content of the web page. Unique and accurate meta descriptions involving keywords will help improve your click-through rates (CTR’s) and website visitors, which will effectively result in increased revenue. Meta descriptions should ordinarily be between 150 and 160 characters in length.

 

Ensure You Have a Clean URL Structure

 

A URL is a ‘Uniform Resource Locator’, or your website address, so it makes sense that your URL structure should be as practical and clean as possible. There should no excessive strings or parameters including key phrases in any of your URL’s. You can probably relate to this if you’ve ever clicked a really long hyperlink. If so, then you’ll probably agree that they look disorganised and unprofessional. If you’ve built your website using WordPress, then it will automatically generate a simple and clean URL structure for you, so you don’t need to bother with it!

 

On the other hand, if you’re utilising another website platform and you already have an established website, it’s best to seek professional advice in relation to changing your URL structure because doing so means that you’ll lose all your links, and thus your SEO value. Digital marketing professionals will be able to change your URL structure and minimise the effect on your SEO score. If you find yourself in this position, then contact the team at Internet Marketing Experts Sunshine Coast on 1300 595 013 or visit their website: http://www.internetmarketingexpertssunshinecoast.com.au