Google rewards security with ranking boost

Google has announced that it is keen for website owners to use encryption on their websites to improve the security of the coommunication between the site and a visitor’s browser. You can read Google’s full post on the topic on the Webmaster blog.

HTTPS as a ranking signalThis HTTPS technology, which uses security certificates to validate the site,  is already mandatory on e-commerce sites to protect payment transactions.

This move by Google follows research to investigate the correlation between sites using security certificates and the quality of the content they deliver. As they discovered positive results, they have now incorporated the use of HTTPS as a positive but minor signal in their search ranking algorithm.

The immediate impact is that sites already using HTTPS will see a minor boost in their search rankings.

As Google wishes to encourage all websites to move to secure communication, it is likely that this impact on rankings will be increased over time.

There are therefore clear benefits for website owners in both rankings and improved security, however the switch to HTTPS is not without costs. It also requires careful planning and implementation to ensure the migration  does not negatively impact website performance or search visibility.

It will be important to work closely with your chosen web partner when you decide to migrate the site to HTTPS. For its part, Google has committed to publish further guidelines and  information on best practice.

5 Mobile Marketing Trends to Master – Video

Smartphones and tablets have overtaken PCs as the consumers’ device of choice for accessing the Internet.
These newer devices open up new opportunities for companies to increase customer engagement and develop brand loyalty, and so drive sales.

This video identifies five trends to watch and master for maximum impact.

1. Adopt a multi-channel approach to marketing. Don’t just focus on mobile or pc, but be accessible whatever the device used.

2. Attention span of mobile users tends to be shorter, so highly visual content tends to be more effective.

3. Use of mobile-friendly video can encourage engagement.

4. Consumers use mobile devices for social networking, so ensure social marketing is part of your multi-channel strategy.

5. Mobile devices will share their  location, opening up many possibilities for location-based marketing.

Watch the video to learn more about these important mobile marketing trends.

 

If you are interested in making your mobile marketing campaigns more effective, contact WSI Chester today on 01928 787026.

How many mobile users visit your website?

Or to put it another way, do you know if anyone ever looks at your website using a smartphone or tablet?

The short, blatant, and totally unsupported answer is that if you have a website, it is already being viewed on smartphones and tablets. That’s just the way the world works and how business is conducted.

The longer and more in-depth answer is that you can use simple and free tools – like Google Analytics – to verify exactly how many visits your website gets from mobile users. You can even get in-depth data like the exact device and operating system people are using on their devices when visiting your website. It’s all easily accessible through a basic Google Analytics dashboard.

Google Analytics Mobile Data
If all you need to be convinced that going mobile is the best thing for your business is data, then should convince you. There’s no shortage of mobile data out there as social platforms, web analytics tools and email service providers all offer mobile device tracking information. It’s there for the taking, but trust us when we say that whatever your business, you are being viewed on mobile.

For more information about tackling mobile marketing once and for all, contact your local consultants at WSI Chester today.

Don’t Sleep On Your Inbox – Email Marketing Still Matters

Recently, Jason Hirschhorn, a man with serious digital savvy, raised $2.25 million in seed funding to turn his popular email newsletter into a company. That’s right, he built and then pitched a successful business idea based on linking to great content other people created. The vehicle that drives those links (and essentially the business)? Email. Marketing.
Whether you’re actively ignoring email as a marketing channel (because you think it doesn’t work) or it’s just one of those things you “haven’t got around to”, we have a few suggestions. Change your mind and/or find the time. Quickly. It takes time to build lists and concoct the perfect email recipes, but it’s going to pay dividends well into the future, so the sooner you start, the better.
Think about it: we all use email. Most of us use it daily and some of us use it all day long. Email is at the core of our digital experiences. While it might seem like email is old and out of style, that’s only due to the rapid growth and popularity of social media. It’s understandable that the flair and panache of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are more intriguing than tired old email. But at the end of the day, you have to go with what works. And for many businesses, the simplicity of email marketing has become little more than a missed opportunity.
Hirschhorn, somebody who would know, summed email marketing up perfectly when he said: “It’s a great place to get in front of people who are interested in what you have to say. Email is a 40-year-old technology that is not going away for very good reasons — it’s the cockroach of the Internet.”
Embrace The Newsletter
If email isn’t going anywhere and everybody is using it, why aren’t you? It’s a question that deserves an honest answer. “It’s too hard,” “I don’t know how” and “it costs too much,” might have been legitimate answers a few years ago – but now they’re just excuses.
The fact is there are tools and services that allow you to get an email newsletter up and running in no time; and if you really need help with strategy and set-up, we at WSI would be happy to help.
After all, doesn’t remaining connected to potential customers who have asked you to send them information on topics they’re interested in sound like a good, long-term idea?

How to keep your email marketing ‘safe’!

Too many people think email marketing is dead, which is simply not true. There are also a great number of email marketing campaigns that break the rules for all the wrong reasons. Whatever your current stance on email marketing, you should be aware of the rules and best practices. And make no mistake, with the presence of UK legislation and the CAN-SPAM Act in the US , there are consequences for breaking these rules.

With all of these laws and best practices in mind, we understand that email marketing can be tricky. But fear not, our latest digital marketing infographic is here to teach you how to stay on the good side of email marketing. There’s always going to be a temptation to do something easier and more convenient with your email campaigns. That little voice telling you to buy an email list or send a massive, spam like message to non-subscribers. Don’t do it, or at least stop and think before you do because just one wrong email can tarnish your brand’s reputation.

If you’re doing the right kind of email marketing then you’ll know that permission is extremely important. Your subscribers should know that they are on your list specifically because they intentionally signed up to receive your messages. If you’ve gamed people in any way and they’re unsure of why they’re getting your messages, you’re definitely on the wrong side of email marketing. Make sure your opt-in process is super simple, but never pre-check the opt-in box to automatically add people to your list. It’ll do more harm than good in the long run!

In keeping with the theme of permission, being honest and up front with your subscribers is another key to success. Yes, you need to be creative and appealing with your subject lines. But you should never mislead your subscribers with your headlines or about who the email is from. It’s just not worth any gains you think you’re making; as soon as people realize you’re being dishonest with them, you’ll lose their trust forever.

We’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth repeating: your subscribers have asked to receive content from you because they believe you have interesting and relevant things to say. Your job is to give them what they not only want, but also expect. Instead of focusing on selling your readers a product or service (even if that’s what your business is), aim to provide a mix of valuable information and entertainment. As you’ll learn, highlighting value while being interesting is the key to many digital marketing tactics.

That little voice telling you to cut corners with your email marketing will undoubtedly whisper about using as many graphics as you possibly can. And given that the Internet is such a visual environment, this temptation to lean heavily on graphics is understandable. However, if you use experienced designers and keep your designs clean and simple, you can still create visually pleasing email campaigns.

Similar to the way becoming a subscriber shouldn’t be a trick, unsubscribing shouldn’t be a game, either. If a person no longer wants to receive messages from you – regardless of the reason – then they should easily be able to unsubscribe from your list. Don’t hide the unsubscribe button – do the opposite. Making your unsubscribe button present and obvious is a great way to give your customers a choice and build trust over time. If and when people do unsubscribe, make sure there’s an easy way for them to opt back in if they change their minds!

So there you have it – that’s how you stay on the good side of email marketing. Here’s a full infographic summarising all of  the above points:

Email marketing infographic