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ARTICLES2019-11-18T17:39:22+00:00

Stepping Up Your Website Security

With online security being more important than ever before, the addition of an HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) certificate to a website will help to secure the connection to the website for your visitors.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connections to your website, regardless of the content on the site.

Browsers nearly always provide an indication of whether the website you are browsing is secure or not. Just take a look at the address bar in the browser to see what we mean. Is the lock in the top left-hand corner locked or unlocked? Does it say secure or not secure? The answer to these questions will tell you whether an HTTPS certificate is in place.

Taking A Closer Look

Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:

  1. Encryption—encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
  2. Data integrity—data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  3. Authentication—proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

Online Security

How Does It Help Though?

Everyone has the right to visit a legal website without worrying about what will happen to their details should a transaction take place.

Google has identified a number of reasons why the switch to HTTPS is beneficial for web users and webmasters alike. These include the fact that data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:

  1. Encryption. Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.
  2. Data integrity. Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  3. Authentication. Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

Are There Any SEO Benefits?

Previously, Google announced that HTTPS would be added to their ranking algorithm. Whilst very unlikely to be the difference between a page 10 ranking and a page 1 ranking, building trust with customers is a key part of any SEO campaign and therefore should definitely be considered.

With the majority of browsers making it clear if a website is ‘not secure’, without the inclusion of an HTTPS for your website, you are running the risk of scaring away visitors.

Contact Us

Would like to find out more about making the switch to an HTTPS connection by adding an SSL certificate to your website? Give the Footprint Web Design team a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By |December 4th, 2019|Security|

The Pros and Cons of Online Reviews

Recent history has seen the popularity and impact of online reviews increase significantly. Whether business owners like it or not, potential customers often use the reviews of a service or product as a key tool in their decision-making process.

Whether people are looking for a restaurant for an evening meal, a hotel for their holiday, a plumber to fix a broken pipe or anything in between, online reviews have quickly become an integral part of promoting your business online.

There are of course two sides to everything and to provide you with a full picture of the pros and cons of online reviews, we have drawn up a list of potential positive and negative impacts.

A 5 Star Review

The Positive Impact of Online Reviews

Positive reviews can result in:

  • Increased conversion rates (customers spending more money!!)
  • Creating increased trust with your clients
  • Free advertising (great reviews on external sites can be key in drawing in new customers)
  • Improved results on search engines (regular reviews are strongly believed to play a role in ranking algorithms)
  • Increased feedback (the ability to leave reviews can be key in opening lines of communication with your customers)

The Negative Impact of Reviews on Businesses

On the flip side, receiving negative reviews can result in:

  • An impact on the perceived reputation of your business
  • Damage to trust levels (Too many negative reviews or no reviews at all can impact the trustworthiness of a business)
  • Increased costs (some 3rd party review sites will charge to use their services)
  • Reviews being left which may not be accurate (3rd party review sites offer complete freedom on the reviews that can be left)
  • Without a drip-feed of reviews, old reviews can seem out of date

Please Note – It is essential to remember that regardless of the platform, you will always have the option to reply to any review. Positive or negative, responses are strongly encouraged. However, taking the high ground in response to a negative review is also strongly encouraged!

If you would like more information relating to online reviews and how they can impact your business, please contact Footprint Web Design today.

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By |November 22nd, 2019|Uncategorized|

What Are The Key Factors Shaping Local SEO?

Local SEO is important. It has been for many years and will be for many more. If your business focuses on a local area, tapping into this can be the difference between the success and failure of your website.

However, it is essential to remember that achieving high ranking local search results requires the implementation of specific SEO strategies.

Changes in Google’s ranking algorithms are frequent and the past few months have seen the following

  • Reduction in number of page 1 maps rankings available
  • The increased importance of reputation management
  • GMB dashboard updates
  • Increased need for a citation profile

This all pulls together to ensure that effective local SEO requires a varied approach and should be left to the professionals!3 Factors That Are Shaping Local SEO

Local Search Is Harder Than Before

With fewer slots up for grabs in the first page Google Maps listings, it used to be fairly simple to achieve a first-page ranking. However, as these numbers were reduced, finding additional ways to optimise both your website and your Google Maps listing has become harder and more important than ever before.

It was not too long ago that simply claiming and optimising your businesses ‘Google My Business’ listing would likely be enough to obtain a high ranking but with the drop from seven slots to three slots, local businesses are facing much stiffer competition.

Your Locations Is Still Hugely Important

Google knows precisely where the person making an online search is based at the moment they make their search. It is this location that impacts the specific results that show up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Google is now beginning to take this further by narrowing down the radius of the displayed results to ensure that locally-based businesses (and therefore more relevant businesses) obtain higher rankings.

This is good news for businesses that are located away from the centre of a town/city as this is helping to level the playing field with businesses who have a prime location.

Your Reputation Is Still Crucial

This is not exactly a newsflash! There can be no doubt whatsoever that businesses have been trading off their reputations for many years. The consumers’ addition of reviews to your website, your Google Maps listing, your Social Media accounts and your directory listings can play a critical role in helping to shine a light on the level of service that your customers can expect to receive.

Please Note – Not only do these reviews play a pivotal role in the way your business is viewed, but they are also a key signal to Google whether your business is trustworthy – or not.

Contact Us

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By |November 15th, 2019|Local SEO|
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