Ever since Google announced having a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certification was a ranking signal back in 2014, more and more organizations have prioritized migrating from http to https. If you haven’t yet, we recommend doing so soon. But how exactly do you ensure getting a SSL will boost your SEO? Follow our tips to learn how to secure your site without sacrificing SEO.
1) Make Sure Google Can Index Your New Site
Moving from HTTP to HTTPS will change your URL (from HTTP to HTTPs, naturally). Thus, you will need to add the HTTPS property to your Google Search Console. However, Search Console treats HTTP and HTTPS as separate properties; they are not shared among the pages that make up your website. If you are using both HTTP to HTTPS protocols on your web pages, you will need to have a separate Search Console property for each one. We talk more about this later, but if you are looking for more insight here are a couple great resources from Google:
For more information on what is meant by a site move, see this helpful page:
For more information on site moves and URL changes, get answers here:
2) Purchase An SSL Certificate
You are going to want to get your certificate from a reliable certificate authority (CA). Your best bet is to start with domain registrar, who should be able to get you the certificate your site will need. You will also need to decide what kind of certificate you will need. For example:
- A single certification for a single secure origin (e.g. www.example.com).
- A multi-domain certificate for multiple well-known secure origins (e.g. www.example.com, cdn.example.com, example.com.uk).
- A wildcard certificate for a secure origin with many dynamic subdomains (e.g. a.example.com, b.example.com, c.example.com, and so on).
3) Setup Server-Side 301 Redirects
Redirect your users and search queries to your new HTTPS pages and resources with server-side 301 HTTP redirects. If you need help, we can do this for you.
4) Make Sure To Update All Links To Your Site’s Resources
5) Update Your Google Search Console
You will need to add your site as a new property to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools). Create a new account for your site and verify your property in Google Search Console as needed.
6) Update Your Google Analytics Account
Go to the settings section of Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/) and update the listed protocol to HTTPS. Then relink the Analytics to your new Webmaster Tools account.
7) Update Other Tracking Modes Accordingly
Update any other code you are using to track SEO and site performance accordingly. This includes such tools and social media as Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Also, make sure any logos, business cards, badges, and links contained in sites and accounts you operate have the proper URL.
8) Test And Verify That Your HTTPS Pages Can Be Indexed By Google
You want your new site to be found and indexed by Google as quickly as possible. With that in mind, avoid the following 3 mistakes:
- Do not block access to your HTTPS pages by using robots.txt files. This will prevent Google from crawling your site and indexing the information contained within.
- Do not include metadata noindex tags in your HTTPS pages. This will also prevent Google from indexing your site, making it nigh-impossible to be located by search engines.
- Use Fetch as Google (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/googlebot-fetch) in order to test Googlebot can access your page(s).
Need help with any aspect of migrating from HTTP to HTTPS? Get in Touch
If this seems overwhelming or you simply don’t have time to do this on your own, we’re here to help. Drop us a note today.
As you know, the digital marketing world is a big, fast-moving place. It seems that every channel evolves every day. So one of the biggest parts of any digital marketer’s job is to keep up with headlines in their area.
At North Studio, a number of people work on SEO, but it is mostly my specialized area of knowledge, so it’s my job to keep up with trends, best practices and updates by Google.
Recently, Google has released major updates to their antispam algorithms. However, the biggest headline was the update to the Penguin algorithm.
You know that saying, "life imitates art"? Don't believe it? Walk into the average business office at 9am on a Monday morning. That's not an episode of The Walking Dead in there; it's just your coworkers.
So before running for the zombie preparedness kit, try running to the nearest Starbucks instead. That being said, just because we're not expecting World War Z any time soon doesn't mean we can't apply practical lessons we have learned from watching our favourite scary movies to our daily lives.
The SERP (or "search engine results page") is the Holy Grail of all SEO and SEM professionals. (Well, the first page is.) And deciphering how ordinary people read and analyze these pages is golden information for anyone who's concerned about his or her business' rank on the Google results page.
I really like eye-tracking studies; they've informed a lot about how I write my content–and how I teach others to write content as well. So whenever a new one's out, I take a close look, because it could potentially change the way I do my job. (more…)
Generating sales leads online for B2B products and services can seem counter intuitive at first. After all, those business deals tend to rely on personal relationships developed over years of networking and sales prospecting. In fact, I know a few B2B salespeople who tend to avoid doing any of their networking online. They claim, “not enough time,” “not efficient,” “not how I work.” That is, until I explain the top 5 factors influencing B2B sales lead generation.
Once sales leaders understand the connection between these critical B2B marketing factors and revenue, ears perk up. Funny how that works.
Of course, if you’re among those looking for tips to improve your online B2B sales lead generation and conversion efforts, learn from B2B companies that don’t plan for and invest in an online presence. They’re missing out on our increasingly global marketplace, where potential leads can’t visit your office but can still get to know you through virtual means.
To differentiate and close more online leads, keep reading. Here are Stikky Media’s top 5 factors influencing B2B sales lead generation if you want to convert more qualified visitors into leads.
We can’t say it often enough: your website is the virtual equivalent of a first impression. If it’s old, badly designed or simply inexistent, you’ll miss out on quite a lot of potential leads just because visitors will be turned off.
An archaic-looking website jumps out right away, and so do amateur ones. With today’s wide variety of looks and styles, as well as advanced technical possibilities, websites don’t have to be boring. They still need to be usable, but the possibilities are rather close to endless (see some beautiful websites).
What does your website need to be attractive to leads? In short, you need:
- A clear value proposition
- Social proof
- Good “About us” page
- Contact info
- A blog (you’ll see why it matters for B2B leads below)
All of this should be packaged in a visually pleasing website that still follows web usability best practices.
2. Portfolio or case studies
The second most important element to convice potential clients is a good portfolio page or, if you’re not in the creative field, at least a few case studies.
These are really important because they show how your past and current clients have found success with your product or service. If there’s no proof of your company’s ability to serve what it promises, it’s not likely that you’ll develop any kind of trust with visitors and leads.
For example, our projects is a great source of information for our potential clients. There they can find examples of websites in similar fields and categories as their business, and they can check out our work to see if it fits their style and needs.
Case studies are a bit different. They go in more depth about the process, solution and results of using your product or services. They work especially well for complex products and services; they also help a lot for companies with long sales cycles.
Content is a rather vague and general term when it comes to the internet; basically everything on there is content. For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll consider content the helpful information found on your website. What “helpful” means depends on who your target audience is.
To determine your level of expertise and your involvement in the field, a potential lead will look through your website for evidence of helpful, informational content that teaches him or her about your product or service, your field of work, etc. This can be developed in several forms:
- Blog posts, white papers, ebooks
- Slideshare presentations
Again, companies with longer sales cycles will find that using a variety of content types will help leads move along the cycle faster. Share some relevant content to hook them up, follow up with some great lead nurturing emails, and voilà! a lead that your sales team can close in no time.
4. Expertise of employees
When you deal with a business, you ultimately deal with its whole team, whether you spoke to them in the sales process or not. So it’s good to know that the people who are going to build your product or provide the services you need know what they’re doing.
Bios on team pages can help with that, but do you know what’s more effective? Blog posts.
Every member of your team (or at least a representative of every department) should contribute to your company’s blog. As a potential lead looks at your website and your blog, he or she will see that your employees know what they’re talking about and provide helpful advice.
If that doesn’t contribute to visitor trust, I don’t know what does!
5. Presence on social media
Last but not least, having a presence on social media is among the top 5 factors influencing b2b sales lead generation. A potential lead will also take a look at what you’re saying on social media. There are way too many examples of companies losing bundles of customers because of a mistake on social media (talk with our experts about our online reputation management services, if it should happen to you).
A carefully planned social media presence that still lets individuality and human-ness shine through is the best way to convince site visitors that there’s a human behind every interaction. (Nobody likes robots THAT much.) They’ll have a look at how you interact with followers, how fast you answer to mentions, questions and inquiries, and check out the content you share.
As in the factor above, make sure that your social media presence contributes to your reputation for expertise and helpfulness.
Putting it all together
All these factors will make a difference in how many online B2B sales leads you get. Having a strong digital strategy will help you figure out how to put these pieces together to increase your leads, conversions and sales.
Need Help Implementing the Top 5 Factors Influencing B2B Sales Lead Generation?
Want more details about how you can make your website more effective? Contact the digital marketing experts at Stikky Media to help you convert more online visitors into sales.
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