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Will Your Website's Rankings Fall in July 2018?

Google on a laptop screenYeah, they might!

Google is finally coming through on their promise to mark websites that aren't forcing SSL (HTTPS) on all pages as "Not Secure" sometime next month. We've been notifying our clients about this a while now and all new websites we launch have every page marked secure.

In addition to that, if your website doesn't load quickly, your rankings will probably tank. This is another algorithm change we're expecting to take effect next month as well.

How quickly should it load? As quickly as possible. Tools like GT Metrix and Pingdom and help identify problems and score your website's speed.

If your website is slow and not forcing SSL/HTTPS on all pages, expect to rank lower in search engine results.

So... Why?

Well, we like to say you have to "think like Google."

If you're Google, you want to give the best results on search. The moment you stop doing this, people will start trying to figure out how to change their default search engine (although Windows users may still be stuck using Bing for search if they haven't made this change - and that's the reason Bing has any traffic at all, actually). Google needs to give the best results all the time and since there are so many websites to rank, they have to look at everything about a website.

Google looks at titles, content, backlinks, domain age, how the page looks, if the content is original, keyword density, and things like that. We also know they look at how a page looks on a mobile device and that's the main index they use now (mobile) - we've seen it in action and most traffic to websites is on mobile devices now, so this makes sense.

Secure websites and websites that load quickly are going to provide the best user experience for people using Google, right?

If you're Google, you only have 10 websites to show on the first page and people generally just click on the top 3. You have to show the best results there, it's that simple.

These requests aren't unreasonable. Not all all. Just do them.

Need Help?

rusty wrench on a tableIf you haven't had us force every page of your website to be secure or you haven't had us work on your website to make it load faster, we're here to help. Simply contact us and we'll get you a quote.

Both of these things are one-time costs for the most part. The SSL certificate is with your hosting, which your host may charge a yearly fee for. Once you optimize a website to load fast, you do need to make sure you keep it loading quickly. This means, you'll need to optimize any new images you upload to your website and not load it down with too many plugins - things like that.

What Else?

If you're not keeping your websites software, themes, and plugins up to date, you need to do that as those updates are important for security and speed. If you're using WordPress, we have a Website Care program to take care of this for you.

To make sure your website ranks higher than your competition, get our SEO evaluation.

Just remember that websites need maintenance and attention or they will fall apart and start to drop in rankings. If your competition is keeping up with their websites and publishing great content, they will start ranking higher than you. They know their website is important to their business.

-Tony

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