Is your website still not using HTTPS?

Whether you think that your site doesn’t need HTTPS, you don’t know how to make the change or you just don’t think this is a priority right now, this latest update from Google should push you to action…

Starting January 2017, Chrome 56 will label HTTP pages with password or credit card form fields as “not secure,” given their particularly sensitive nature.

In other words, the world’s most widely used browser will start warning your visitors that your site is not secure if you’re not using HTTPS. Aside from the security, performance and possibly even the SEO benefits, this Google Chrome update is reason enough to convince you to get HTTPS setup on your website right away.

Not Secure Message from Google Chrome

Source: Google Online Security Blog: Moving towards a more secure web

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Is your eCommerce website powered by the most popular tools in the industry?

If you’re not using WordPress + WooCommerce, then the answer is “No”.

According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce powers 39% of all eCommerce websites on the Internet. I already knew that WordPress has dominant market share, but I was happy to see that more and more online stores and merchants are relying on WooCommerce.

39% of all eCommerce sites are powered by WooCommerce and WordPress — over 1.5 million active stores. Add in the usage of additional eCommerce platforms powered by WordPress and the CMS’s own 17.6 million live sites (over 26% of the entire internet!), and, well… that’s a lot of sites.

With the continued growth and improvement of WooCommerce, it’s really no surprise that this incredible platform is skyrocketing in popularity. Benefits like ownership, scalability, flexibility, simple feature add-ons and ease of setup make WooCommerce the most powerful and versatile option for just about anyone selling anything.

eCommerce Usage Statistics

Source: Why stores running on WordPress are winning

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It’s unfortunate, but it seems like every other business I talk to these days has been burned by an SEO agency or a website company at some point.

I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon either as the barriers for entry are still far too low, allowing unskilled digital agencies and freelancers to pass themselves off as professionals.

Since there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight I thought it was time to give businesses the tools, answers and insights needed to avoid these situations. These tips are all compiled below in my guide on 7 red flags to avoid with an Internet marketing company or website developer. Read it, learn it and use it and you will never be taken advantage of by another “expert” or “guru” in this industry again.

Red Flags to Avoid with an Internet Marketing Company or Website Developer

 

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Have you thought about how artificial intelligence (i.e. robots) might impact your business in the coming months / years?

I hope so, as the rise of artificial intelligence is undeniable in the digital marketing world. In just the past few years, artificial intelligence has already started to make us think about what can and should be delegated to automation controlled by AI.

In this article I will explain how online marketing with artificial intelligence will allow you to drive better results through more quantified and automated strategies. More companies than ever — from Google and Facebook to your aunt’s crafting business — are turning to AI to improve their business and marketing tactics and I hope to help you do so as well.

Online Marketing with Artificial Intelligence

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Have you found it increasingly more difficult to get the right exposure for your local business in Google’s search results?

If you’ve been employing a comprehensive local SEO strategy coupled with an aggressive local advertising campaign, then you’re probably reaping the rewards of establishing a strong local presence on Google. However, if you are not doing either of these things then you can be certain that getting any type of exposure towards the top of Google’s desktop or mobile search results pages is going to be a long, expensive, arduous process.

On this front, Google has obviously realized the impact of mobile and the demand for timely local search results so they are going to make it a bit easier for local businesses to get much better positioning within mobile and map search results.

This news is very positive for all local businesses, especially those that heavily rely on having a strong presence in Google’s map search and mobile search results.

Big Changes Coming to Google AdWords to Benefit Local BusinessesSource: Google makes big changes to its ad products 

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Do you want your website search results to display as prominently and visually appealing as possible?

If you’re not sure how to answer that I am going to go ahead and answer “Absolutely!” for you. The more your website’s search results stand out on a search results page, especially on mobile devices, the more likely it is that users will get to your website.

With Google’s Rich Cards release, your mobile search results now have an opportunity to grab the majority of click throughs. By ensuring that your website properly supports Schema markup you give your website a chance to showcase some very enticing search results.

Although this initial announcement is specific to mobile search results pages it could make its way to desktop search results as well. In other words, optimizing your website’s code to use / support Schema just became a much bigger priority.

Google's Rich Cards

Source: Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Introducing rich cards

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Feeling overwhelmed with the latest technology, trends and tactics that relate to the growth of mobile?

Most companies do, even ones with large teams dedicated to focusing on the company’s mobile strategy.

As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, one thing you need to be making ample time for is the optimization of your website and its content for your mobile users.

In an effort to provide some support, this article will update you on the latest mobile trends (specifically related to publishing), explain how these affect your online marketing strategies and what steps you should take next. Conforming to these trends is quickly becoming a matter of survival, much as having a mobile-friendly site is no longer optional. I hope to leave you armed with the tools to prepare yourself for a publishing renaissance that could lead to a boom in traffic and engagement — or leave you out in the cold.

Mobile Publishing: Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News & Google AMP

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Want to make your content more accessible on the world’s largest social network?

I’m hoping that you’re nodding your head “yes” because you should. With almost 2B people using Facebook, most of those from a mobile device, your content needs to be quick loading and easy to access from the world’s largest social network.

The news below, announced by Facebook, is great news to publishers of all sizes.

With Facebook Instant Articles, Facebook users will have a much smoother, quicker experience accessing content from compatible websites. This is a must-have for any business or publisher looking to broaden the reach and effectiveness of their site’s content.

Facebook Instant Articles Available to All Publishers
Today at F8 we are officially opening the Instant Articles program to all publishers—of any type, any size, anywhere in the world.

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Are you trying to get exposure on the first page of Google’s search results?

I’m guessing you are, as most individuals and companies would / should be. Unfortunately, hitting that first page is going to get a lot more difficult…even if you’re paying for ads.

The news below, announced by Search Engine Land and confirmed by Google, finds Google simplifying their search results pages by removing the right hand sidebar ads (aka gutter ads).

This means that there are now even less opportunities above the fold to get exposure on a search results page. In addition, this makes the top 3 ad spots, any top local search results and any top organic search results even more valuable.

Google Removes Sidebar Ads

Source: Google Removes Right Hand Sidebar Ads – Search Engine Journal

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