Changes in Google Keywords

Last year’s changes are still rattling the world of SEO professionals.  As of last September all Google Searches became “secure” and result in a “not provided” response from Google.  Despite initial claims by Google that it would only affect a small percentage of overall analytics data for organic search, the reality is some sites were seeing well over 50 percent “(not provided)”, particularly in sectors like technology where there is a higher likelihood that a visitor would be logged into their Google account as well.

Fast forward a year and now 95% of keywords being reported as “(not provided)”, with that remaining 5 percent coming from non-Google searches. So why did Google do this and what does this mean in the long term for SEO professionals trying to decipher the analytics.

The “why” portion of this question, , , it  can be answered by Search Engine Watch Group online. “There has been plenty of speculation, running wildly from “the NSA told them to” to “they did it to force people to buy more AdWords ads!” Tin foil hats aside, neither of those options make a good case for why Google made the secure search change.” In reality Google has been moving toward steps to protect everyone’s privacy and to prevent eavesdropping by government agencies for years.

What are some current workarounds to battle against the Google encryption.

  • Look at Non-Google Keywords- Look at your non-Google search engine referral traffic. While Bing doesn’t send a significant portion of traffic for a site will looking at overall search, you still can get an idea of what keywords are bringing traffic, particularly for sites that have significant amount traffic.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools- If you’ve gone this long without using Google Webmaster Tools, you will definitely want to sign up for it now. You can still get keyword data in Google Webmaster Tools, by clicking on Search Traffic > Search Queries, and yes, it does include search data from encrypted searches.
  • Analyze On-Site Searches- You should capture all the on-site searches that visitors are doing on your site, so you can also get a better idea of exactly the keywords they are for.
  • Look at Historical Data – But without the keyword data, you’ll be stuck kind of guessing at the potential keywords that are bringing in people to a page on your site.

Whether we like it or not, Google’s encrypted search is here to stay. We will continue our efforts to find new ways to work around the analytic problem.  Read More

Shared vs Virtual Hosting

A successful web site depends on a good Web host, but it’s just as important to select the right kind of hosting account depending on the level of service and responsiveness your business needs.  All hosting is NOT created equal.  Is your business willing to share space on a server with other sites or do you need a server of your own? Know the answer before you start shopping.

Shared hosting is Web hosting in which the service provider serves pages for multiple Web sites, each having its own Internet domain name, from a single Web server. A good analogy for a shared host is an apartment building.  Everyone has their own space in an apartment building but there is usually a lot of noise and traffic.  Apartment living (shared hosting) tends to cost less such but is slower and ore crowded.

Virtual hosting is a method for hosting multiple domain names (with separate handling of each name) on a single server (or pool of servers). This allows one server to share its resources, such as memory and processor cycles, without requiring all services provided to use the same host name. The analogy for this type of hosting is no longer a busy apartment building but a single family dwelling.  It may cost more but their will be less noise and less traffic.

A static site or marginally static may not need as much updating thus the increased traffic on a shared host may be fine.  If your company runs multiple databases the virtual host may be a better choice since slowing down will be detrimental to both the user and the search.  Think carefully about your choice between “apartment living” and “single family home” living.



Instagram for Business

With the ever-growing inventory of social media, how can your company sift through the list and find the platforms that will most benefit your business.  Buffer Social and Koozai Marketing online report recent statistics about the importance of choosing the right social media for your company.  Many companies default to Facebook and Twitter and call it a day.  Unfortunately this may be leaving out a high ranking media called Instagram.  Let’s look at the benefits of Instagram for business and how more and more companies are turning to this social media to build brand awareness and communicate with their fans, followers and customers visually.

  • The Statistics:  Instagram has 200 million active users and provides a huge asset for visual content.  Instagram is one of the top 10 most popular smartphone apps.
  • Increased Engagement– Instagram content generates 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter.
  • Builds Trust and Personality – Instagram helps build trust since customers can share in your day-to-day experiences. It shows off the personality of your business in a casual and fun way.
  • Increase in Traffic – Although you can’t add clickable links to every Instagram update you publish, Instagram can be a powerful source of traffic.
  • The Competitive Advantage – There is still far less competition on Instagram than on Facebook or Twitter. Only 2% of small businesses are currently embracing Instagram, giving them an advantage over their competitors.
  • Reaching Target Market – If you want to reach and connect with the under 30 crowd you should definitely create an Instagram account.

Getting Started – Easily create your Instagram account by downloading the Instagram App for your phone.  Once installed, click on the icon and sign up using your email or Facebook profile.  Fill out the important bio information and you are all set.  Read More about setting up your account and posting pictures for your business.



Fixed Footers – Website Design

When designing a website, it is natural to want to concentrate your design efforts on the homepage and the header. This is where the visitor concentrates most of their attention so it seems like the right place to start.  Unfortunately, the footer often becomes an afterthought – relegated to the conventional dumping ground for copyright information, legal disclaimers and addresses and contact information.  The footer of a website is as important as the header, if not more so. Why? Because the footer is the last port of call for many visitors. The point at which they’ll sign up for service, want to read another article or simply require your contact details. Designing a well-thought-out footer is key to leaving your visitors not just with contact information but a call to action or even just a glimpse into your style and brand. Here are some ideas of ways to use your fixed footer help your brand awareness and showcase important key components of your business.

  • A second menu bar- Make navigation easy by providing a second menu bar so your visitors will not need to scroll to the top each time they want to venture further into your site.
  • Use fun and relevant images to aide in branding your company.
  • Use the footer to display coupons that can be scanned or printed.
  • Display the conventional location, hours of operation, and Google maps at the bottom of the site to aid readers.  Do it in a unique manner with images instead of just bullets.
  • Give off beat statistics or quirky facts about your company.
  • Give latest news or articles related to your industry.
  • Display comments or customer testimonials that show off your business.