SEO is all about increasing the breadth and height of your positions in search engine results pages.

Why does my website say "Not Secure"?

Why Does My Website Say “Not Secure”?

https encryption

To remove the “Not Secure” warning from your website, and replace it with the trusted “green padlock”, you need to install an SSL certificate.

Your website will be flagged as “Not Secure” in a web browser if it does not provide any encryption of the data which passes between the website user and the site.

This data could include things like usernames and passwords, data captured in online forms, comments, credit card details, or any other kind of data, including simply requesting web pages from the site. Read more

WordPress Yoast SEO MySql query

Auditing WordPress Websites for SEO with Yoast and MySQL

Let’s say you run WordPress with the Yoast SEO plugin. As time goes on you add hundreds of posts and pages. Some of these will have strong SEO titles and metas, some less so. It’s impractical to use the WordPress interface to audit them all.

You could use a site audit tool such as Screaming Frog, but this may not identify all content on your site, especially if there are no links to it. But this content could potentially appear in a site search even if not linked.

Here’s a MySQL query which will pull this information straight from your MySQL database so you can export it into an Excel document or CSV file, and hand off to somebody else for auditing.

select p.id, p.post_type, p.post_status, p.post_title, u.display_name as 'author', p.post_modified as 'last_modified', concat('https://www.yoursite.com/', post_name, '/') as 'url',
(select meta_value from wp_postmeta pm where pm.post_id = p.id and pm.meta_key = '_yoast_wpseo_title') as 'seo_title',
(select meta_value from wp_postmeta pm where pm.post_id = p.id and pm.meta_key = '_yoast_wpseo_metadesc') as 'seo_metadesc',
(select meta_value from wp_postmeta pm where pm.post_id = p.id and pm.meta_key = '_yoast_wpseo_focuskw') as 'seo_focus_keyword',
(select meta_value from wp_postmeta pm where pm.post_id = p.id and pm.meta_key = '_yoast_wpseo_content_score') as 'seo_score'
from wp_posts p
inner join wp_users u on p.post_author = u.id
where (post_type = 'page' or post_type = 'post')
and post_status = 'publish'
order by post_type asc, post_modified asc

This only shows published posts (not those in the trash or draft).

This will give you a list of posts and pages, together with their titles, URLs, and Yoast SEO title, meta descriptions, focus keyword and content score.

Enjoy!

Find out about our Search Engine Optimisation and WordPress maintenance services.

5 Things Your Business Should Not Ignore

Business owners – you know that there are a million-and-one things that need doing that are unconnected with what the business actually does. From accounting, to recruiting, to legal compliance, to managing staff and marketing … it goes on and on. It all conspires to eat up your time and drive you slowly crazy. But most of these non-core activities are best left in the hands of specialist professionals. This includes growing and managing your online presence.

Often the online side of business is delegated to employees who have to take time out from their official roles to send out a mailshot or tweet a few things from the company account. This achieves little and could be using up valuable employee time.

Read more

Add HTTPS to Your Website to Help Search Rankings

Browser toolbar with SSL certificate

In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS would be used as a factor in search rankings

At first, webmasters saw little difference in search rankings and at that time only around 7% of page-one Google results used HTTPS. That figure has climbed dramatically in the intervening two years, and now around 30% of top-level Google websites are using HTTPS.

What is HTTPS?
HTTPS secures web traffic as it passes between the user and the web server. The traffic passes through an encryption process, meaning it is less easy to hack. This is particularly important when the user is sending confidential data such as name and address details or credit card data across the web.

How do I get HTTPS on my website?

To secure your website, you need to install an SSL certificate. This is a document that can be read by your web browser which is signed by an authoritative source, and giving a guarantee that the website belongs to who it claims to be, and ensure that traffic is encrypted as it passes through.

You’ll recognise the presence of an SSL certificate because:

  • The URL of the webpage will begin with https:// rather than http://
  • There will be a padlock icon near to the URL in your web browser
  • In some cases the padlock icon will also display the registered owner of the website

Is there more than one type of SSL certificate?

Yes. There are at least three levels of SSL certificate, and they vary widely in price. Here’s a handy reference guide:

Extended Validation (EV) Organisation Validation (OV) Domain Validation (DV)
Encryption Yes Yes Yes
Level of validation Thorough vetting of the organisation Some vetting of the organisation No company vetting
Right for e-commerce sites
Financial sites
Gaming and betting sites
Online banking
Membership sites
Forums
Social networks
Sites which collect customer data via forms
Static informational sites which collect no data
Price High Medium Low

What else needs to be done apart from installing the certificate?

Whilst your main task is to purchase and install the certificate, you’ll also need to do some housekeeping on your website to keep things working correctly and ensure you don’t lose any search engine rankings.

Firstly you’ll need to ensure that any requests on your site that come into the old http:// version of your site are correctly diverted to the new https:// version. How you do this will depend on the way your website is built. As all of your URLs will change, you need to ensure that the diversion is set up correctly otherwise you will lose search rankings. We can advise on how to do this.

Secondly you’ll need to ensure that all images, fonts, videos and other page elements that are contained in your web pages are also served via https://. Otherwise the padlock icon will appear broken or greyed-out. Again, this is a web development task that we can help with.

How much do SSL certificates cost?

The price will vary according to the strength of the certification. For DV certificates, expect to pay between £40 to £50 per year for your certificate. For EV certificates, expect to pay £150 – £200 per year. Installation costs will be also be required. Why not contact us for a quotation on the cost of adding security to your site?

Get SSL Quotation

Is Digital Marketing the New Marketing?

We are now in a fully-fledged digital age. The internet of things is fast becoming reality, mobile phones scan codes on products bought in a shop, and even toddlers are naturals with touch-screen technology. We are at the stage where digital interaction is unavoidable throughout our daily lives – but has it now absorbed the more traditional world of marketing?

Read more

PPC vs SEO – Which is Better?

SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the ongoing process of optimising web pages and content to ensure they closely match what users are searching for, and will therefore be ranked in higher in search engines such as Google.

Online marketing is crucial for any business – especially search engine presence. The two main tools that help businesses get ahead of their online competitors are Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). So often, companies will ask, ‘which is better?’

But it’s the companies that ask, ‘which is better for my business‘ who can really make the most of the online marketing available to them.

Read more

How to Win at Local SEO for Free

How do you get your business to dominate Google local search results, to beat your local competitors on Google?

Read more

How to Dominate Local Search With PPC Marketing

Recently we gave a talk at the Surbiton Business Expo. We spoke about how to make quick, free wins in local SEO strategies to get your website to the top of Google search, and Pay Per Click (or PPC) for local businesses.

Focusing on the small

Let’s look at how focusing on your local target audience can grow the biggest results for your local business online with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.

PPC is form of online advertising where the company who have an advert hosted on a website pay money to the website host each time their advert is clicked. The amount of money per click (or cost per click) varies, depending on the volume of competition for the subject of the ad.

pumpkin

Focussing on smaller, local audiences can be easier than running larger national campaigns

What is Google AdWords?

new google adwords logo

Google AdWords is one of the largest PPC networks, and targets the most popular UK search engine – Google.co.uk – plus partner websites.

AdWords provides placement for ads on Google that link to your website. These ads are chosen to be relevant to the search the user is carrying out.

Here is where the ads can appear on Google:

 

runningshoes

You may also recognise some, if not all, of these logos too. These are just some of the many, many, Google partner sites where AdWords can also appear. Ads on these networks are called display ads.

partners

How does Google AdWords work?

Each time a user searches for something in Google, Google carries out a live auction to determine which businesses’ ads will be shown next to the natural search results.

As the word ‘auction’ suggests, bid price is a very important factor in an ad placement. But as Google aims to best benefit the user and the advertiser, Google needs to take more than price into account. Other factors involved in the auction include:

  • Relevance of the ad’s landing page (that’s the page that you land on if you were to click the ad),
  • Relavance of the ad to the search term used
  • Quality score (that’s a formula that influences the ranking position of an ad)

Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google gives a very clear explanation on how the auction works.

So now we know how it all works, how does this all apply to a local PPC marketing strategy?

How is a local PPC campaign created?

Firstly with AdWords local campaigns, don’t panic. It’s not a global campaign, you are only appealing to your target audience, not the world.

The beauty of a local campaign for a local business is that you will have already done your research into target audience. Use this insight in your local PPC campaign, but go one step further. For example, what time of day is busiest for you? Are you a restaurant owner who gets very busy after 18:00 when you’re inundated with commuters returning from work? If so you could add a bid adjustment to your ad to add 10% to your bid during these times.

Or if you are a shop selling umbrellas near the station, you could up your bid during rainy weather by linking your ad to the Google Weather service.

Perhaps you are only open from 9 till 5 – so you won’t want enquiries outside these hours. No problem, use the built-in scheduling settings to make sure you’re not spending when you’re not available.

It’s these observations that can be used in really effective PPC marketing.

mobile-search-pic

Never exclude a relevant demographic in your search. Just because you are targeting local people, doesn’t mean they will also be around on foot.

The online world is becoming a mobile-first environment, and excluding the mobile user could be a very big mistake. 85% of people look for local information on their smartphone 1. This means even the more traditional services like car mechanics should be looking to advertise online – particularly on mobile.

Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are add-ons that can be applied to your local PPC ads and they are one of the most effective tools to use in a local PPC marketing campaign.

Not only do they provide a better experience for the user who will be looking at your ad, but Google may rank your ad higher if these extensions are used correctly. These come in the form of maps or buttons.

google-pin

The geographical location extension can narrow down the audience to a specific location, be it town/city, county or country. A Google Places page can also be attached to the AdWords campaign to provide a map alongside the ad, leading customers directly to your business.

The call extension is another useful extension. If you truly are a local business targeting a local audience, chances are it won’t cost the customer much to call you. So Google have created a button for it!

This call button saves ad space, rather than filling up your character limit with a business phone number. Better still, it can disappear and reappear at the time that your business is open, which stops people calling an empty office!

How much does AdWords cost?

You’ll probably be wondering how much AdWords might cost you. If so read our article on How Much Should I Bid for a Click?

We hope this introduction to AdWords has been useful. Please feel free to get in touch for a free chat about how AdWords can benefit your business.

1. (Google/Ipsos: Our Mobile Planet UK, Understanding the Mobile Consumer, May 2012)