Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

Website Security

Google is Giving Priority to Secure Websites

Google is pushing to make the internet more secure, and they want websites to use a secure protocol. You’ve probably seen “https” at the beginning of some website addresses in your browser. That “s” at the end means “secure”. It means data sent to and from the site is encrypted.

Google is already giving some search priority to secure sites that have the “https” in the address. Starting this summer, they’re also updating Chrome to display “Not Secure” on all sites without the “https”.

In the future, we can expect them to give more search priority to secure sites and lower priority to sites without security.

Is this important?

Yes in most cases.

If your site’s search placement is important, this is important. If your site is mostly a brochure site found by direct links or information in other marketing material, it’s not as important.

Sites hosted by Pacesetter Media can be secured for a first-time charge of $55 and $35 per year after the first year. (More advanced security and encryption is available, but most need only the basics.)

The charges for securing sites hosted elsewhere depend on the hosting services.

This will likely become more and more important as Google continues to encourage businesses to encrypt their websites.

That’s the quick of it. As always, call or e-mail if you have questions.

Phone: (813) 685-9206

Google My Business

Google has a free business listing that some folks don’t know about. It’s particularly helpful for anybody with a public location (office or retail) and serves a geographic area (a small town or region). Every business should get a listing; it’s free and it can show up on Google when somebody searches for your company. It’s also where customers can leave reviews.

 “Mandatory” for Retail and Restaurants

Figuratively speaking, this listing is “mandatory” for any retail business: restaurants, stores, salons, auto repair. That’s my opinion. Other businesses should set up a listing, too, but for retail, it’s even more important. Think of it this way: your competitors are already listed.

Here’s what it looks like when the public sees it.

Google My Business Public Listing

See it live: https://www.google.com/search?q=pacesetter+media

Multiple Locations – Businesses with multiple locations can add each location and manage groups of locations.

There are a few steps like verifying your location by either a phone call or postcard mailing. And you need to enter information like address and description. Adding pictures or video is a nice touch, too.

Find More Info Here: https://www.google.com/business/

Google used to have a service called “Google Places” which has been changed to Google My Business. If you once had a Places listing, it’s been converted.

Bing Places

Bing has a similar listing service. You can find more information here.

https://www.bingplaces.com/

Writing for tags and tags

The Key to Optimized Content: Heading and Paragraph Tags

In my recent post “How Important is Written Content on a Website?“,  I said that Google encourages well-organized content using the heading and paragraph tags. It’s worth filling in some detail.

HTML Tags

Web pages are made of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) tags mostly hidden from visitors. When you write content for the web, you should understand two important tags: heading tags and paragraph tags.  Even if you only write content and don’t create web pages, these tags are important offering several advantages.

  • Accessibility
    Screen readers use headline structure a lot. Unorganized headlines break accessibility.
  • Consistent Appearance Throughout Your Site
    When heading and paragraph tags are used, text styles can easily apply to all pages. It keeps the appearance of your text consistent throughout your site.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    Search engines use heading tags as a guide to the content of the page.
  • Usability
    When your words are organized and have a consistent appearance, it’s easier for visitors to scan your pages and find information.
  • Site-Wide Updates with Cascading Style Sheets
    CSS is the current standard for designing and updating the appearance of web sites. It makes for faster page load, site-wide consistency and easy updates.

Writing for Heading and Paragraph Tags

Heading tags (<h1>, <h2> up to <h6>) begin sections and subsections of written content. They are usually displayed as headlines.

Paragraph tags (<p>) create areas of regular text, you know, paragraphs. They are usually displayed as blocks of smaller text below headlines.

Use One Top-Level Heading per Page

For Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the top-level heading tag (<h1>) is most important. Search engines give more weight to this headline.

You should have only one top-level heading per page. This is not a strict rule, but it’s a good rule of thumb for the content of a page.

Subsections Should Use Heading 2-6

After the first headline, other heading tags mark subsections of a page. They are sub-topics of the main headline for the page.

Include Keywords in Headings

Include a few important keywords  in your headlines. Search engines give a little more weight to text in heading tags.

Keyword
Any word or phrase your customers use when searching for your company, product or service on a search engine.

Headlines for People

Aside from SEO, headlines are important in any advertising copy.

Most people scan web pages and read the headlines. Some read more, but almost everybody reads the top headlines.

Here’s what advertising legend David Ogilvy said about headlines.

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

—David Ogilvy

Headlines are important for visitors, not just search engines. They should be compelling, intriguing or useful to your target audiences.

Paragraphs

Under any headline, paragraphs provide information relevant to the headline.

Organize Content in an Outline

If possible, organize page content in an outline like this. (The indentation below is included to better show the subsections. It’s not meant for regular use on websites.)

Top Level Headline (Formatted with <h1>)

Paragraphs, pictures and video related to the main subject of the page.

Second Level Headline (formatted with <h2>)

Paragraphs, pictures and video related to this headline, which is a sub-topic of the main subject of the page.

Third Level Headline (formatted with <h3>)

Paragraphs, pictures and video related  to this headline, which is a sub-topic of the second level headline.

Third Level Headline (formatted with <h3>)

Paragraphs, pictures and video related to this headline, which is a sub-topic of the second level headline.

Second Level Headline (formatted with <h2>)

Paragraphs, pictures and video related to this headline, which is a sub-topic of the main subject of the page.

Third Level Headline (formatted with <h3>)

Paragraphs, pictures and video related to this headline, which is a sub-topic of the second level headline.

You can use headings 1 to 6, nesting each subsection within higher level sections.

This outline format is not super critical, but for all the reasons listed above, it’s a good practice.