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3 Ways Website Security Affects SEO

People love data and SEO makes it easy to present data. SEO is the best Digital Marketing. SEO helps to increase sales. DO seo to optimize website ranking , Have you ever heard of a little thing called cyberattackers? Those little stinkers become smarter by the second, and it’s now more important than ever before to ensure your website security is top-notch.

Over the past few years, cyberattacks have soared—whether you’re a small organization or a large-scale enterprise like eBay, no one seems to be safe. But the risks of website security go beyond data breaches, it also affects your search engine optimization (SEO).

HTTPS Isn’t Just a “Nice-to-Have”

Have you ever noticed that some websites begin with “https://” and others begin with “http://”? So what’s the difference, and why is that one letter so important?

That one letter can be the difference between a data breach and smooth sailing. “https://”, otherwise known as an SSL certificate, quite literally means that the website you are surfing is encrypted and secure. Nothing says “run for the hills” quite like a warning message from your browser when you land on a website.

Website Updates Shouldn’t Go on the Backburner

You’ve learned about SSL certificates. Now comes the question, “Why is website security important for SEO?”

According to Google Search Central, although the primary purpose of an SSL certificate is to store information, it also benefits SEO. When crawlers scan your website, they have begun to rank websites with SSL certificates higher than those without.

Not all bots are created equal! Some bots, such as Google bots, are there to scan through content and tell a user if the article showing up on search engine result pages (SERPs) matches their search keyword. Other bots, such as malicious bots, are designed to come in and destroy your site. Keeping your network safe 24/7 isn’t unattainable, you just need to ensure you have the proper software in place to protect you from attacks.

A Foolproof Way to See Where You Stand

There are numerous tools on the internet to test out your website security and your SEO. Some of our favorite tools to use here at SmartBug are one’s you may recognize. And, If you don’t, it’s time to get familiar with them! They’ll be insanely helpful in the long run.

SEMrush

For those of you who have used it, what’s not to love about SEMrush? For those of you that haven’t, give it a try, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed. This incredible tool allows you to run an entire site audit, discover traffic analysis, research organic and paid keywords, see where you stand among your competition and so much more. Knowing all of the insights this tool provides puts you one step closer to success.

HubSpot’s Website Grader Tool

When it comes to having an overall understanding of how your website performs, HubSpot’s free website grader tool checks all of the boxes.

Not only is it straightforward and easy to use, it also explains each of the factors it dives into and gives you quick adjustments on what to fix. One thing to note, though: This free tool only evaluates the homepage of your website.

Things to know before hiring an SEO expert

I am glad for this question because there are some key items this CEO should consider. Let me give some suggestions.

Hiring an SEO expert to help get your website in front of your potential customers is a smart investment for a small business. Hiring an SEO expert can be a challenge for owners, especially those without digital marketing experience. Before you interview prospective SEO specialists, do some homework to gain a baseline understanding of SEO so you can ask the right questions and hire the right expert for your business.

A website is a critical sales and marketing tool for just about every business. It is a hub for product information, a conversion point for capturing leads, the holding place for marketing materials and company news, and many times serves as your potential customer’s first impression of your business.

MORE FROM DEAN SWANSON:

However, before any prospect can interact with your website, they first have to find your website. This discoverability is the culmination of a strong SEO, or search engine optimization, strategy and an SEO expert behind the scenes.

Most business owners are digital marketing novices, making it hard to know what you’re really buying when you hire an SEO expert.

If you’re like most business owners, you understand the role of an SEO expert from a high level but aren’t as familiar with the full scope of what’s involved or the time required. This makes it a lot harder to confidently hire the right SEO expert and forces owners to take these professionals at their word.

Before you hire an SEO expert, make sure you have a basic understanding of what it takes to properly optimize a website and what to expect from a reputable professional.

Google values quality content: Expect to create a lot of It. An effective SEO strategy is rooted in good, quality content. When you hire an SEO expert, expect there to be a lot of discussion about writing blogs or creating new web pages for your website and adding this new content on a regular basis.

The key here is “quality” content. If an SEO expert suggests adding pages or blogs to your site that don’t help your customers in some way, repeat content already on the site or are written simply to jam in keywords, you can actually do more harm than good to your site’s search ranking. Google wants to see content that’s helpful to the visitor and will reward quality content with higher search rankings.

Learn more about the importance of web content and blog writing for SEO as well as its other benefits by reading this SCORE article, “10 Reasons to Keep an Active Business Blog.”

Optimizing a website is as much art as science. No two websites are alike, and neither are their SEO strategies. When you work with an SEO professional, expect to work closely with them as they consistently reassess what part of the SEO strategy is showing to be most effective. Your SEO consultant will likely run tests against keywords and not every aspect of the strategy will always work. Optimizing your website with the right keywords, text links, headline structures and all of the SEO elements that factor into a high ranking Google search result is an educated game of trial and error. Once your SEO consultant finds the right SEO approach, however, your traffic and conversion results should speak for themselves.

SEO is a long-term commitment: An SEO expert who promises to come in and have your website at the top of Google’s rankings within a few months presents a huge red flag. Effectively optimizing your website takes time and consistent effort. Google prioritizes websites that have proven themselves valuable to web visitors over a period of time. Trying to cheat the system and get a high ranking without putting in the work is not how the game is played.

Unfortunately, with any specialized profession, there will always be the one “expert” who tries to cut corners while promising the world. When it comes to SEO, your best bet is to do your research and gain a rudimentary understanding of SEO so you can ask the right questions when you sit down with a potential SEO consultant one on one.

Invest in an SEO expert who wants to get to know your company and your customers and work with you to build your online presence and overall business. Avoid self-proclaimed experts who promise a silver bullet.

Before you hire an SEO expert, ask your colleagues, peers and mentors who they trust to manage their website’s SEO. This is the best place to start your search. A trusted business owner or mentor who has worked directly with web and SEO firms in the past, like a SCORE mentor, can help you find a professional SEO expert to grow your business.

Dean Swanson is a volunteer Certified SCORE Mentor and former SCORE chapter chairman, district director and regional vice president for the North West Region.

Top 11 SEO Trends To Drive More Traffic In 2021

Let’s get straight to the point.

You’re here to learn about SEO trends for 2021.

And we’re here to get you just that.

In this blog post we’re listing some of the most important SEO trends that you should be following to rank in Google search results.

If you’re really serious about climbing the SERP, follow all of these ten tips:

1. Focus On Search Intent

Search intent has become a hot topic in the SEO world. It’s probably one of the most logical and result-oriented SEO trends experts have come across.

Even though it’s not a new concept, the shift towards user intent has increased over the years. It’s a simple strategy though – know your audience better, understand their behavior and intention while using the web.

Once you know who your audience are, what their intentions are, how they’re behaving on the web, you’ll be able to get their attention, and hence rank higher on search results.

2. Mobile Friendliness

Mobile friendliness is going to have a major impact on your search engine. Given how the majority of web users access websites via their mobile device, it makes perfect sense if you align your SEO strategies for mobile-first segment.

To make sure your website is mobile-friendly, you can take Google’s free mobile-friendly test. You should design the whole website (menu, CTA’s, ads, and all other content) by keeping the mobile users in mind.

3. Core Web Vitals

Core web vitals will now be known as a key ranking factor. In May 2020, Google announced these new metrics that focus on measuring the user experience such as page loading, interactivity, and visual stability.

All these three metrics determine the overall experience of a user when they visit a website. They focus on how fast a web page loads, how stable the page is while loading, and how soon it gets interactive.

In other words, google is favoring websites that are providing better user experience to their visitors. Hence, if you want to get higher SERP rankings, make sure to provide the best of the on-page experience to visitors.

4. Voice Search

Since Google assistant, Alexa, and Apple’s Siri are getting smarter than ever, webmasters should now focus on voice search optimization as well. To optimize for voice search, you should consider keywords and phrases that are used on a regular basis.

Hence, make sure to identify such keywords. Google recommends identifying longer phrases because voice search works better with longer, more natural sounding phrases.

5. Featured Snippets

Featured snippets were first rolled in 2017, and since then, they’ve gained prominence in Google. These snippets show a chunk of information, often shown as a brief bullet-point content, Q&As, and as a how-to guide. There are also rich snippets, star-based review, images, and product prices that can be shown through these snippets.

According to SEO experts, scoring a featured snippet for your blog posts is a great way of climbing to the first page of search results. Furthermore, snippets can also help you steal significant traffic from your competitors.

6. Long-Form Content

According to SEO experts, long reads of 3000 words or more get three times for traffic. The long-form content also helps one achieve more backlinks as compared to articles of average length.

So, from this year onwards, you should focus on creating long-form content. But that doesn’t mean your content should be less on quality. Put simply, Google is focusing on both quantity and quality. So, if you want to be on the good books, make sure you check both these.

7. Image Optimization

Image search is evolving, and Google is repeatedly insisting on the proper optimization and marking of images, so it makes sense that image optimization is part of their long-term plan.

Hence, if the images on your site are not optimized, make sure you do it now. Best practice is using relevant, high-quality images, and ensuring that they are customized with alt-text. Many web owners are still not labelling their images with relevant keywords, and hence the crawlers don’t classify the images.

Another important practice for image optimization is adding images to the site map. When you add images to site maps, they are easier to crawl.

8. Data and Analytics

Analytics and reporting give you a great insight on audience’s behavior. Using data science, you can create targeted messages, campaign, and better serve your audience. Analytics can further help you check page loading times, identify URLs getting crawled, response errors, and identify referral sources.

So, if you want to remain ahead in rankings, make sure to add data and analytics as an important part of your SEO strategy.

9. Video Marketing

Considering how people prefer watching a video over reading long web pages, Google is favoring video marketing. So, if you haven’t included this video content in your SEO strategy, it’s high time to get started.

It’s best to start with optimizing each video with keywords and proper description. But make sure that you don’t fluff the description with keywords.

10. High-Quality, Skimmable Content

Quality is something Google will never compromise with. But there’s another important metric you need to check – Skimmable content. When you’re creating, make sure it’s attention grabbing and it’s easy to read.

If a web page is of 3000 words, there’s a hard chance someone will read it thoroughly. Visitors click open an article to find a solution, and they want to do it quickly. So, the best way is to give the solution to them through shorter paragraphs, quality content, and Skimmable content.

11. Publish Research Content

People love data. When you hook them up with survey data, statistics, on an industry study, they’ll surely link and share your content. So, publish research content with relevant statistics. You might think that it requires a lot more work than posting an article or case study. But if done right, the extra effort is totally worth it.

SEO is getting more complex and advanced than before. The days of simple keywords optimization are long gone. With these SEO trends, you need to think of everything from image optimization to data science.

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