What’s All the Fuss About SSL?

In short, SSL (a secure socket layer) is the best way to show your audience or potential clients that you operate a website that can be trusted but there is also even a little more to it than that now. This is key for a few reasons; One, would you give someone your personal data if you didn’t trust them? Probably not and it’s likely that you want some of your visitor’s details, whether it be their email address for future marketing or even card and bank info for making payments. Two, some browsers flag your site as being ‘Not Secure’ and this is something that users absolutely do take notice of, in fact a HubSpot survey has suggested that over 80 percent of users would leave a ‘Not Secure’ web page all together let alone avoid giving it their details. This means less leads, visitors and potential sales or coverage for your business. Last, but most definitely not least, as of October 2017 Google have got onboard with the need for SSL and when Google make changes you definitely need to pay attention if you want your digital marketing to stay ahead of the game.

Google’s recent changes see their browser Google Chrome cracking down on sites that do not have an SSL certificate on their site. This will mean that any potential customers or users will get warning from Google Chrome telling them that your site is not secure. For the time being, this only applies to sites that directly as for information, so if your site has any kind of form or checkout then it would apply to you directly. This is most definitely a turn off for visitors to your site and SSL is certainly gaining more media coverage and there is an increased awareness from the public about online safety. You might have seen the quirky toy robot add pointing out the need for the ‘green lock symbol’ before they hand over any personal info to ‘dodgy’ sites and this is exactly the kind of awareness that your target audience will take notice of.

In addition, it is very likely that in the near future Google will go one step further and apply the same logic to all sites that do not have SSL. On top of this if Google is telling your potential users that you aren’t safe then that means they don’t trust you either and if they don’t trust you, guess what that means? That’s right, lower rankings in the search engine stakes, so you’ll be dealt a double whammy of negativity around your site which can directly reflect not only on sales but also your brand.

I’m going to assume, that you’ve realised that there are some pretty good reasons to make a fuss about SSL on your site and move away from the warnings into the solutions. So, here are two areas for you to think about so that you can avoid the ‘Not Secure’ trap…

Know why you need SSL: Hopefully the above has helped explain why you need it but here is another way of looking at it to; SSL is a way of encrypting the data you and your customers put on to your site, having an SSL certificate makes it much more difficult for the information to get into the wrong hands.

Decide how you will get SSL: For some of you website whizz’ out there, it may be possible for you to add SSL certificates yourself but in all honestly it’s most likely that you need to talk to your site developer or enlist the help of a web company.

Digital Marketing Trends

Part of ensuring a great quality digital marketing campaign for your business is ensuring that you keep on top of the latest trends in the industry and knowing how to use those trends to ensure you offer your target audience what they want and how they want it. Here’s a taster of what 2017’s top digital marketing trends are…

And now let’s take a look at how you can apply a few of those trends to your strategies in order to boost your business:

1: Video: According to Cisco, in 2017 69% of traffic will be from video posts or marketing so it’s clear to see that this kind of format is engaging users left right and centre. Consider Vlog’s and video articles carefully and if you can fit your topic and content into this format then do. It boosts traffic, taps in to new trends and provides audiences with information in a style that is easy to digest.

2: Privacy: We’ve discussed this in terms of SLL on the site but privacy really is in the forefront of people’s mind in 2017 so ensuring that your site is trusted will really help any strategies that you put into place. If your site doesn’t look trust worthy there is no way you are going to keep your customers on the site long enough to engage them.

3: Reviews: Another one that comes down to trust really, no matter what your product or services, users will feel more comfortable if your site has genuine reviews. So be sure to prioritise customer or user reviews over fancy gimmicks or promotions.

Managing SEO Projects

If you are new to the SEO game then getting a good project plan in place can save you a lot of time, money and hassle further down the line. SEO done badly can have a detrimental effect on your business’ marketing goals, so it is really important that you take the time out before you begin to consider some of the key elements of your SEO strategy. Consider what the goals are (build brand awareness, make more money etc), how you are going to achieve them (what strategies will work), what support or tools you may need (certainly a variety of browsers and techy bits, but you might also consider calling in a consultant at this stage) and what your priorities are (so you know what to tackle first. Once you have an idea of these things then get it all down on paper into an effective project plan so that you don’t end up missing any key elements and having to try to undo any damage later down the line. The key to managing any SEO project is to always keep the main goals in mind, it is so easy to veer off course in a sea of SEO strategies that don’t actually provide the outcomes you want to achieve. To help you with this, you can get great quality project management templates online that might help you gather your thoughts and will certainly help you keep on track.

If you have got a big SEO project or you need to start thinking about how you will manage client projects in the future, here is some advice to get you started.

Your SEO – In-house or Hire an Agency?

When it comes to SEO it is easy to get lost in a see of technical terms and confusion about what is and is not effective in a modern SEO strategy. Pretty much all of us have experience of using Google and we will all have realised that we usually either find what we want on the first page or two or we start to lose interest in the search all together and we aren’t alone in this. This is exactly what most of our potential clients will do too. This makes it easy for us to accept the importance of good rankings and the role that SEO plays in getting us there. It’s a pretty obvious move then to get started on an SEO project for our business but they way that project comes together and is executed is in our hands. How do we get to where we want to be with this project then? Do we go it alone and pull together a DIY SEO project or do we bite the bullet and call in the experts?

For many this isn’t the simplest of questions and there are a number of elements to consider so to get you started, let us take a look at what the key tasks are and get some insight into which approach might work best for you.

Or In-House SEO if you prefer, for this it is unlikely that you will have all the skills to complete every element of SEO in every aspect of your SEO strategy so your first move will be to collect a group of experts who can deliver SEO in each Aspect of the plan. To build this SEO dream team your key players will need to be able to cover; performance during programming, audience and search engine knowledge in relation to content marketing, social media and advertising. The biggest benefit to building this team yourself is that you get to hand pick the talent so you should end up with a team that can work really well together to deliver the project goals which will mean less teething problems and settling in time. The downside, you actually have to find them and this takes time, money and recruitment skills. Your alternative of course, is to simply hire an SEO team in, this team will have already worked together, have tonnes of experience in similar projects to yours and be able to provide evidence of great results in the past. The good news for you is that you only have to recruit one company rather than a number of individuals, saving you time and in turn money.

Now, consider that you’ve decided to build your SEO team in-house, where are the resources to execute your marketing strategy going to come from? Implementing this kind of strategy takes software and tools that it is unlikely that your business has just lying around doing nothing and purchasing or hiring them for this project is likely to hit your budget pretty badly. Pay for an SEO agency to come in and take the reigns then all the software and tools the project requires will come along with them.

An SEO Agency is likely to have other clients to consider and you may have less ownership of the way that the project is executed  but this means less work on your side and it also means that those with most experience in marketing are the ones who take control of the way the project is run. Closely in line with your requirements and goals of course. Another advantage of hiring an SEO agency in for you is also to do with resources but also logistics, having an in-house SEO team takes management and time but you’ll also have to find somewhere to put them all, which again might hit the budget pretty badly.

In short there are a few benefits of having an in-house SEO team delivering your project but when it comes down to it there’s little that compete with having a fully assembled well equipped team of experts to take over the bulk of the project and provide you with SEO results that can help your business really stand out from the crows.