Snippets and self-help topics

Your online local business presence, and quality content

The term 'local search' is defined by Wikipedia as '.. the use of specialized Internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a structured database of local business listings'. Most recent statistics in 2015 show that 80% of all Internet users own a smartphone, 30-36% of all Internet activity is via mobile devices, and 53% of that Internet activity searches for local content. Nearly 61% of those mobile searches result in a phone call. But on top of this it's shown that nearly 75% of all searches will leave a website if page load time takes longer than 3-5 seconds.

Basically what these stats are saying is that your web presence should be structured and worded to provide benefits of your products and services for local searchers, with plenty of information relating to your location and offerings. Your prime emphasis should now be to provide products & services at a local and regional level. As importantly your up-to-date web pages should be fast to load, be minimal in size, and appear correctly on all screen sizes i.e. if your website requires mobile device searchers to zoom in & out and scroll around to read your content, then a redesign is urgently called for. A modern 'responsive' site design will provide this mobile device-friendly outcome. Gumtree Computer Services have been building pages using solely responsive design for a while now.

2015 saw the coming of age for 'quality content' on web pages. No longer do keywords by themselves rank; your web presence must convey authoritative and trusted, textual content that can be found by both search engines and humans alike. Packing keywords in metatags no longer holds sway and indeed these lists are wasting your precious page load times.

Refs - Mediative, LocalSEOcompanies.com, Smart Insights

SSL Certificates, and website security

In recent months Google and the mysterious world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) have been hinting at improving website security by suggesting that websites upgrade with SSL Certificates.

Nearly all internet users have encountered them before - when you shop online via an eCommerce site, or access your bank account, the web address bar will have a green lock next to it and "http://" will change to "https://". This is high level SSL security at work. It creates a highly encrypted tunnel through the internet between the web server and your computer that's safe from hackers (and governments!).

https url

Unfortunately SSL Certificates aren't free (if you find one then it's probably too good to be true) but not only will it make your website highly secure, Google and the main search engines will love you for it. Indeed a secure website is now one of the more influential factors for search engine ranking. The implication is that in time every website will need to upgrade its security, regardless of whether it handles sensitive data or not, and proof that the website business owner takes security seriously.

You'll notice that Google Chrome is beginning to throw up aspam-checking pages for some sites. Other web browsers will begin to follow suit.

As a customer of Gumtree Computer Services you will be given the option to either include an SSL Certificate in your new web design, or upgrade your current website with a certificate. It's not a necessity yet if you're not dealing with sensitive data but over time the "implications" will grow and from an SEO perspective it will make a lot of sense. Leasing an SSL Certificate for your website will become an additional annual cost for running your best advertising tool.

Note that, although cheaper, "shared" SSL Certificates work differently in that your secure web address is not your full domain name and will appear convoluted. A dedicated SSL Certificate, customised for your website is more straightforward and looks professional.

With so many dangerous scams and hacks going on it's becoming more of a necessity to ensures that all your website traffic is genuine. The current major threat to the world wide web is ransomware, but more on that subject very soon.