ICYMI: The Best of the Blog in January 2017

Hitting the ground running this new year, Google continues to move the goal posts, and I feel one of the most important changes (from January) is the https protocol, and what impact not having this will have on your website. I’ve been seeing notifications to clients via the Google Search Console on this subject already, so do read Why and how to switch from http to https. The new version of the internet’s most popular browser, Chrome, is already putting up a message saying ‘Not Secure’ if it comes across an ‘http’ web page asking for passwords or credit card information. In subsequent steps in the months or years to follow, the message will apparently show on all ‘http’ web pages, regardless of content.

In You’re in the Google results. But with what pages? I’ve outlined a few tactics for getting those important terms to ensure that the page we do want is being indexed by Google, then try to improve that page’s relevance to the search term. The first part is easy – just go to google.co.uk and enter the URL of the page as the search. For the second part, we need to start making the page relevant!

Of course, it’s not good if people searching for you end up with an Error 404 page (it happens). Do you know what your 404 page looks like? Does it say: don’t worry, you’re at the right site, let’s get you to the right page? Or does it say: nothing to see here, why don’t you just go back to wherever you came from and click on another result? It’s a no-brainer really – the most important thing is to keep that valuable visitor on your site with the minimum of inconvenience. Help them out.

Here’s a question – exactly how do you view your website and its worth? In How much are you paying your website I took the opportunity to remind you that “your website can work really hard for you. It can make sales presentations around the clock, to people who might not want to meet you (yet) or who might be expensive to meet. It can answer questions from prospects and customers. And it can quietly supply product information which in the past you’d have needed to employ someone to mail out. But don’t expect it to do this well, for free.”

Finally, if you’re still mulling over your online marketing plans, I suggest that you consider video, with the growing exposure online these can deliver a great ROI – do revisit Make 2017 the year of more video.

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