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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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The search results you see after a keyword search in Google or other search engines are not in random order, they are ranked based on a number of criteria. The most important are:

  • How well a given site satisfies your  search criteria,
  • Is the website a good fit for you (based on your previous web browsing and search history)
  • The website has “authority”, i.e. it is a reputable source of information

The practice of optimizing your site for search engines (google, yahoo, bing etc.) has evolved over the years. In a sense, it is a kind of cat and mouse game. There are two sides to this game:

1. Search engines

Search engine providers attempt to hone algorithms that determine the “authority” of particular sites in relation to the topics they address. More authority means higher ranking in the presented search results. SEO algorithms have changed considerably over time. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Increased computing power means more sophistication
  2. The importance of the user experience (i.e. viewers of your website) has grown over time

2. SEO Practitioners

The practice of SEO is in a constant state of flux, as practitioners try to stay current with the latest SEO algorithms (not publicly available), and to adapt each website to the new standards of what constitutes authority. There is some science at work here and some educated guess work.

Paid website Traffic

Most current SEO practices understand how to work with both “organic” searches (unpaid traffic) and paid traffic. You can utilize both techniques independently for a given website. Paid traffic (usually pay per click ads), is a good choice if you are selling a product or service on your site.

Does my Website need to be Smartphone Ready?

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Phone Laptop

The short answer to the question is YES!

The reason is simple. At least a third of your website visits will be via a smartphone. If your site is hard to navigate on a phone, you may lose potential customers.

In the bad old days, it was necessary to have one website for the desktop clients and another one for mobile devices. That is no longer true. By using a responsive website, you can have a single website that delivers content and navigability on all platforms, including smartphones.

If you are using WordPress as your website platform you will find many available responsive themes. With a responsive theme your website will be easily navigable on all formats (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop).

 

 

What is SSL and why do I need it?

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Security

SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an Internet protocol for exchanging information between your web browser and a web server, securely via encryption. For example, if you do online banking you will note when connecting to your bank’s website that at the top of your browser the URL will have a “https://” prefix instead of “http://” . The extra “s” indicates that the transmission of your banking data has been secured by SSL.

As a user of a banking service you do not have to do anything special to ensure your connection is secure. It is the responsibility of the bank to ensure this happens and it happens automatically.

What about my Website?

If you are a website owner, do you need to deploy SSL? A few years ago the answer was simply: if you are not acquiring sensitive information (credit card numbers for example), you do not need SSL for your website. However, things have changed. SSL has become a default for all websites and if you are operating your website for your business you should implement SSL. For most, this is not a trivial task and you will need help to do this.

The bottom line is, yes you need to implement SSL if you are running a business and using your website for promotion. It becomes even more important if you are operating a eCommerce site.