How to improve Google search ranking
When small businesses are looking for ways to hold their own and outdo the competition; Google is considering the security of the websites as a factor in how they ranks them in their search index.
Google’s wants to ensure that data online is encrypted and properly concealed.
It is a really easy way for Small to Medium Enterprises to outwit the competition in terms of search rankings.
Google is offering a higher ranking for searches to websites that are prepared to offer users a more secure experience.
If your website is securely hosted and starts with HTTPS – the ‘S’ stands for secure – instead of the usual HTTP, Google may prioritise it above other sites of equal quality that are unencrypted.
Google has been running tests to take into account whether websites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in its search rankings. They explain: “We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. It’s only a very lightweight signal carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content. Over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
Google’s acceleration comes after Edward Snowden’s recent warning which urged professionals to protect their client’s confidentiality by encrypting their communications. The change is easy to implement and the cost is minimal. It may only add up to £5 to your existing monthly bill. The transfer needs to be correctly uploaded by the web host and your website pages have to be properly configured by your web designer.
For businesses they can’t lose. A more secure website reassures their client base that any information they provide online will not be interpreted and fall into the wrong hands – and they get a search boost to boot.
How to go about it…
Switching from unencrypted HTTP to HTTPS involves obtaining a Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS) certificate from a certificate authority. This provides three key layers of protection:
Encryption: While a user surfs the web, nobody can ‘listen’ to conversations, track activities or steal any personal information.
Data integrity: data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer
Authentication: proves that your users communicate with the intended website.
Technology can get messy if you get it wrong so avoid these 5 common mistakes:
1. Make sure your TLS certificate is always valid
2. Check the registered certificate has the correct host name. If you get it wrong, you will have a certificate name mismatch error
3. Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible
4. Only embed HTTPS content on HTTPS pages
5. Make sure the content on your HTTP site and your HTTPS is the same.
Make this a priority and stay on top of the rankings now, as the incentive won’t last for long. It’s only a matter of time before every commercial website on the planet adheres to this, especially when they start losing out to competitors already acting on Google’s recommendation.
How to get your video at the top of the search rankings
With Google now using blended results, showing not only webpages but videos, news results and images, on their first page there is now more of a chance for your video to be viewed.
How to do this…
1. Upload videos straight to YouTube. Although this doesn’t necessarily guarantee first page results, Google will index your video if you upload it to YouTube.
2. Embed the video onto your website. Embedding the videos on your website will help the videos get more views. Google add the amount of views of the video from your website and add them to the amount of views on YouTube.
3. Embed videos on pages with text. To help Google have a better understanding of what your video is about, put either an introduction before the video or put the transcript under the video.
4. Create a video sitemap. You don’t need strict video content to get your video indexed. Google recognises a lot of other formats as video like slide shows, screen capture and PowerPoint presentations that are animated. Google doesn’t see the content of your video, which means they search for another way to determine what your video is about, this is where video SEO comes in. To figure out how to index a video, Google reads a page of content for clues, but because Google can’t use Flash, the content is invisible to its spiders. This means that you need to submit your video to Google using a Video Sitemap found at its Webmaster Tools site.
5. Focus on long-tail keywords. The video title is important. This is what Google is most interested in when it comes to the term being used for a search. In other words, the title and search term need to match your video title. Make sure you fil in the title and description tag as these influence the search rankings. Just like with normal SEO, it’s easier to rank videos for long-term keywords, so focus on them instead of going after generic keywords. Once you figure out the keywords you want to rank for, make sure your video title and description match them as it will be very difficult to rank them if they don’t.
6. Create a YouTube channel. If you don’t already have one, create one. Make sure your channel name is related to your industry. You can even go one step further by including your keywords in the channel name. Not many names will be available, so this will take some time. Don’t forget there is a character limit to the channel name, which seems to be about 30. The fastest way to get a keyword loaded copy is to upload the transcript to YouTube. The procedure is straightforward: just upload it like it was a caption. This is important as all of your keywords are in the transcript, which gets indexed by google. Enter the keyword in the title, description and keyword tag.