Why Your Website Should Have an SSL Certificate

This was posted on May 28th, 2015

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Nowadays, one of the prime concerns of internet users is online security. So much of our business is conducted online that we’re always worried about transmitting information and having things potentially intercepted by hackers.

If you’re running a business and have a website online, your customers and potential customers will be worried about their online security too. If they’re engaging in online transactions with you (be they financial or information based) they’ll naturally be worried about sharing information if they cannot be assured that their information is completely secure.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to show your customers that their information is safe and secure. One of the best ways to do this is with an SSL certificate.

An SSL certificate encrypts and information sent between the visitor’s computer and your website, ensuring that no-one can read the information between the two destinations. One way to tell if a website you’re viewing is secure is to look for the padlock symbol in your address bar or status bar. The website address will also usually start https:// instead of http:///

SSL is not just useful for websites which sell online, but it’s also helpful to ensure that your customers are secure from phishing attacks. Having a secure SSL-encrypted website will give customers the impression that your brand is one which can be trusted, seeing as it takes security so seriously. It will really help to elevate your brand and give you that all important label which is so hard to gain these days: trust.

What’s more, Google tends to prefer sites which take security seriously and will likely give a boost to your search engine rankings if you’re using an SSL certificate to protect your customers and their information. It’s something which most small business websites don’t even consider, so having an SSL certificate can really put you one step ahead of the game and in front of your competitors, too.

As a small business owner in 2015, you know that trust and a competitive edge are very difficult to gain, but an SSL certificate for your website is one of the easiest and most effective ways to gain that trust and competitive edge in the modern online marketplace.

If you want to speak to us about having an SSL certificate integrated into your website, give us a call today and we’ll talk you through the options and see what we can do to help.

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Keep It Simple, Stupid

This was posted on May 25th, 2015

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One of the main maxims of web design for a while now has been KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Put plainly, complicated and cluttered websites will get you nowhere other than a land of confusion. Now more than ever, simple and clean websites are winning out over all others, and there are some very good reasons why.

People’s attention spans on the web are shorter than ever, with people just wanting to find a small piece of information and then get on with their day. With your business, they want to find out if you can do the job, what you charge and how they can get hold of you. They don’t want to see pictures of all your staff or find out how the company was formed 160 years. They want to know the basics and get on with their day.

Websites nowadays will rank far better in Google if they’re simpler, too. Simple websites are usually far better optimised for mobile usage and will therefore rank higher in Google than websites which aren’t optimised for mobile usage. This is a new development which came about with a recent Google update, which has again focused on giving web users simplicity and functionality.

You don’t need to worry about having loads of different pages on your website in order to spread your content — users don’t worry half as much about scrolling these days as so much web browsing is done on mobile devices and a simple flick of the finger will allow them to scroll down the page with ease.

It’s also well worth pointing out that, statistically speaking, simple websites convert much better than complicated websites so if your site is cluttered and not very accessible, you’ll likely be losing business in the process, which isn’t something any business owner wants.

To put it bluntly, if a potential customer can’t find what they want on your website quickly and easily, they’ll disappear off to a competitor’s website. There’s no loyalty on the web and people purely want the quickest and easiest option, so you’ll need to make sure that’s you.

If you want to speak to us about making your website more usable and accessible, why not give us a call? We’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

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Another Google Update on the Way

This was posted on May 21st, 2015

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Just weeks after the long-anticipated Google Mobile update, there’s another algorithm change on the way. This one, codenamed Phantom, is one which will again affect all websites which haven’t kept up to date with the latest web standards.

It seems that a lot of websites are already being affected, with low-quality ‘thin’ content websites such as HubPages, eHow, WikiHow and Answers.com are seeing their Google rankings affected quite badly. It seems that Google is cracking down on how-to websites and repositories which it deems don’t have high-quality, unique content.

It’s always been the case that website owners have been advised to ensure they have high quality content on their websites in order to ensure they’re not falling foul of Google algorithms, but this now seems to be more important than ever. The old propensity to use ‘scraped’ and ‘thin’ content thankfully seems to be dying out, with Google instead focusing on rewarding websites which have unique and genuinely valuable content.

For most website owners, there’ll be nothing to worry about. As long as you’re keeping your website organic and holistic, you’ll always keep ahead of the game. It’s only when you try to game Google that you’re going to lose out sooner or later, so working with a website design company who stick to ethical site building and content generation is the only way to keep well away from being affected by unexpected Google updates.

If you’re worried about how the new Google update could potentially affect your website or business, give us a call and we’ll be happy to have a chat and see how we can help.

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5 Dying Website Trends

This was posted on May 18th, 2015

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Would you believe that we’re already almost halfway through 2015? It doesn’t seem like two weeks ago we were singing Auld Lang Syne, but the fact is that many of us are already preparing for Christmas — especially if you run a small business. Time is moving quickly, and trends online tend to move even quicker, which is why we’ve taken the time to let you know about 5 website trends which are dying out very quickly indeed…

1. Designing for desktops and laptops
It used to be the case that you’d design a website for a specific screen resolution which would allow most people to view your website without any issues. That was fine when most people used desktop computers, but nowadays mobile web browsing accounts for a huge amount of web traffic (almost a majority) so it’s vital that your website is visible on smartphones and tablets.

In fact, Google has recently introduced a major update which gives preference in search results to websites which are optimised for mobile and tablet usage, so it’s in your best interests to ensure your website is fully mobile optimised and accessible across all devices.

2. Lots of simple pages
Nowadays, users don’t mind scrolling half as much as they did a few years back. You don’t need to reach for a mouse to scroll down these days; a simple flick of the finger on a phone screen will scroll for you, so it makes far more sense to keep all your content on as few pages as possible. After all, clicking on a link takes much more effort and is likely to put users off more than scrolling is in 2015.

You no longer need to spread your content and worry about scrolling issues — users these days really don’t mind so much.

3. Squeezing everything onto your site
Potential customers don’t want to know about how J. Arthur Bamford-Fotheringley III formed the company in 1754 after having a vivid dream about industrial slurry. They want to know what you can do for them, how much you charge and how they can get in contact with you.

Simplicity is the key, and you need to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and what they want to know — not the shoes of the business owner and what you want to tell them. This is absolutely vital to online success in 2015, so cut the fluff and give your potential customers what they really want. If you don’t read it on other people’s websites, they won’t read it on yours.

4. Flash and complicated technology
This means Flash in both senses of the word. Complicated technologies lead to a number of potential customers being unable to use your website. If you’re throwing video, Flash apps, plugins and other technologies at users you’ll find that the ones using mobiles or tablets probably can’t see a thing and that other users are being bombarded with plugin update notifications or things happening that they don’t want to happen.

Keep your website simple and cut down on extraneous pieces of technology. That way, you know all your potential customers can view your website with ease.

5. Dodgy stock photography
We all know the ones. The woman on the phone, smiling at the camera. The two suited businessmen shaking hands. The picture of the line graph heading skywards. Stop itIn the age where everyone has a camera in their pocket on their mobile phone and Photoshop is available to and usable by everyone, you can create your own photography.

Not only will it stop your website looking naff, but it’ll also ensure you’re not falling foul of any copyright laws. After all, if you’ve created the image, it’s yours.

If you think you might need some help getting your website up to date for 2015 and beyond, why not give us a call?

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