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Basic SEO Best Practices Now Require SSL

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November 21 2017
November 21 2017
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Whether or not SEO is a major part of your marketing strategy (and it should at least be one factor), you need to comply with the basic best practices to ensure that your site is found by people searching for your product/service. This is free traffic, free advertising. Each organic search visitor is like picking up a dollar bill off the ground (or ten). The basics of SEO include:

  • Write fresh, keyword-rich content that appeals to customers in every stage of their buyer's journey.
  • Tag your content with the appropriate meta data (e.g. Headers, Meta Descriptions, Friendly URLS, etc.
  • Promote your content and build back links.
  • And now, make sure your site is secure.

(BTW, If you need help getting up to speed with SEO and other Digital Marketing best practices, schedule a free call with our consulting team to discuss your options.)

Google has been pushing website owners to convert their sites to use SSL certificates for a while (they don't want criminals or governments snooping on your online activity). They've encouraged this by awarding better SEO rankings to websites with SSL, as well as displaying scary warning signs on websites that accept data from visitors without an SSL certificate (a big no-no). They are now beginning to put this warning in more situations, which will scare away visitors from your page and lower your conversion rates.

Fortunately, this is (relatively) easy to resolve if you can follow basic instructions (below). Otherwise if you want us to manage the DNS for you with our $50/yr Premium Domain & DNS management Service (email us to request help) we can set this up for you. Since many website owners will ignore this Chrome update, this is your chance to gain an advantage over competitors. Don't miss this opportunity.

How to Activate SSL (DIY)

The simplest solution is to create a free CloudFlare account, add your domain, and then activate SSL on your domain. Cloudflare is a popular CDN (Content Delivery Network), which means that they cache your website on servers all around the world and then deliver it to your visitors more quickly. This speed will also provide an added SEO ranking boost as well.

  1. Create an account at cloudflare.com and add your domain to their control panel (see their instructions for details).
  2. Make sure your DNS record in Cloudflare, match the DNS records in your Domain Registrar account (where you bought the domain), and then point your DNS to cloudflare (see their instructions for details).
  3. While editing your domain, click the "Crypto" icon (at top of page) and select the SSL setting "Full".
  4. Send an email to our support team requesting that we redirect all non-SSL traffic to SSL (so that all traffic now goes to the secure version of your site).
  5. Update any links you have on social media, to be https://www.yourdomain.com (instead of http).

As of April, 2018, there is no need to use CloudFlare nor any other SSL provider. We automatically enable SSL on all of our customer's websites, and all traffic is directed to the secure version.

FYI, the new 2.0 platform we are building will include SSL (for free) on all sites by default (we hope to have a Beta out in the next 6 months). This is something we've been planning for a while, and definitely the way the industry has been headed for a while.

Tags : SEO, SSL, Security, Ranking


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