When people visit your website, Google may be warning them that your site is insecure, leaving them likely to leave for fear of compromising their device or losing data.
Is this happening to your site?
The reason Google can flag your website is to do with their pledge to make the internet more secure. They first announced this in 2007 and have rolled out changes since then. If a visitor is using Google’s Chrome browser, it will highlight certain sites as ‘not secure’ and this is likely to negatively affect the way those visitors interact with your site.
You may have already noticed this as you browse the web, but as more and more websites secure themselves, those that do not start to stand out, and not in a good way.
If your site is showing as ‘not secure’ in a Chrome browser, it’s to do with the security of the connection between the web server and the visitor’s web browser. If this is not encrypted, it means that the information passed between the two could be viewed in some way. Given the fears about losing data, this is bad enough on an information site, but when it comes to transactional sites where users input data such as phone numbers and credit cards, the ‘not secure’ sign becomes a serious red flag.
Test if Your Site Is Secure?
Testing is simple. Does your site load with ‘https://’ at the front, or just ‘http://’? Do you see a little grey padlock on the left of the URL? If the answer is yes, you can relax. If you notice there’s no padlock, or even the ‘not secure’ sign itself, you need to make some basic changes to secure your site and reassure your visitors.
Secure Your Site Now
Secured sites use an SSL certificate to force a website to load through the ‘https://’ version rather than the unsecured version. Once the SSL certificate is installed and configured on your website, the warning will disappear and visitors will see the padlock right away.
At Easy Website Design, we build sites that are secure and SEO compliant, and so we install and configure SSL certificates on all our projects. This means visitors can view and interact with these sites with complete confidence, and our clients get the best value out of our work.
We can also install and configure SSL certificates to secure existing sites so whether you’re starting a new website from scratch and want a responsive, modern site built on the pillars of SEO, or just want to improve the security of your site, we can help. Contact us today on 0333 332 6396 for a free consultation.
Giving back to the community and creating a business with a conscience is extremely important to us here at Easy Internet.
Therefore we’re delighted to announce that our Founder and Managing Director, Mark Esho, has combined forces with a number of influential black colleagues and friends to form the East Midlands Black Business Network.
The EMBBN was created by Mark Esho, David McFarlane, Brian Simmons, Ashiedu Joel and Sandra Pollock out of a desire for change.
It’s no secret that there’s still a huge discrepancy when it comes to black people in business and those who are occupying managerial positions.
The EMBBN aims to challenge this by promoting black enterprise within the East Midlands region and by providing a safe space for mentoring and support.
They also hope to build prosperous business relationships between the black community and inspire and motivate the next generation of black entrepreneurs along the way.
The EMBBN is open to anyone who identifies themselves as being black or of African heritage. This exciting new initiative was launched at the Institute of Directors East Midlands Director of the Year Award 2019, where Mark won the Best Director award in the Leicestershire category.
With EMBBN’s help, we hope more inspiring black entrepreneurs will be scooping up awards all around the region – and beyond!
As individuals, we can achieve great things but together we can achieve so much more.
What is User Experience (UX)?
Simply put, UX is the experience of a user navigating through your website, usually to get information or complete an action.
Many factors affect UX and need to be considered if you wish to assess your own website’s UX. Is your site organised in a comprehensive manner? Is the navigation easy to access? Are the contents and categories easy to understand and engaging? Sites with poor UX will have a confusing and difficult to navigate structure. Users will be unsure of how to get the information they need and get ‘lost’ within different categories and sections, resulting in a frustrating and fruitless ordeal.
Usability, that is the degree to which something is able or fit to be used, plays a vital role in UX, describing how technically fit for purpose your site is. UX goes much further into the overall experience and how it is perceived by the user. As such, the terms should not be used interchangeably though there is a large area of overlap.
Does UX Affect SEO?
SEO is the process of optimising your website to rank as well as possible in search engine results. This includes showing search engines that your site is valuable and useful for users.
UX targets the way your site visitors interact with your website, and it influences SEO in two key ways. Firstly, search engines like Google assess website on many factors that will affect UX, such as site structure, readability, quality of content, ease of access for information. Secondly, Google takes user behaviour on your website as evidence of the quality of your site. A site with poor UX will frustrate visitors and cause them to leave your site quickly and go back to the search engine results page. This indicates to Google that the website is not useful for that particular query and it will start ranking it lower.
In this way, UX and SEO go in a circle of SEO bringing visitors to the website, UX dictating how they behave on the website, and this impacting the SEO which impacts how many visitors it can bring to the site.
Before you start switching up your navigation and changing your website theme, you need to understand how visitors are currently interacting with your site. The best way to do this is through Google Analytics and if you do not already have a free Google Analytics account, we would highly recommend signing up now.
Google Analytics provides an overview of who is visiting your site and two behaviour metrics relevant to UX: bounce rate and session duration.
Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors who land on your site and leave without interacting with any other pages or elements. They metaphorically ‘bounce’ back out. This is a powerful indication of UX, as in general the higher the bounce rate, the fewer visitors are engaging with your site.
Session duration provides information on how much time a visitor spent on your site. The longer they spent, the more interesting they found the content, and the better you can rate your UX.
Improving UX and SEO
Now that you understand how UX and SEO go hand in hand and the metrics you can use to get feedback on them, you can use this information to make changes to your website. Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Using Clear and Appropriate Headings
Headings might not be something you think about, especially if your site is a few years old, but when a new user lands on your site, proper headings signpost your users to find the information that they need. Search engines also depend on headings to understand what a site is about, to better know what queries to rank it for. Would your headings make sense to someone who has never visited your website before?
2. Improve Site Navigation
In most cases you want visitors to browse through more than one page of your website (not least to reduce your bounce rate!) so it’s important that your navigation is organised in a clear and logical manner. Navigation is often an afterthought to web design but it is worth drafting a few options before deciding, as there are different ways to organise the information on your website.
Make sure you have a navigation menu on each page of your website for visitors who do not enter through the homepage. Ensure that navigation paths are kept short and include a search bar so if a user is unsure on the navigation, they have the option to search directly.
Over 50% of global online traffic comes through mobile devices, so don’t neglect the mobile experience and test your mobile navigation too.
3. Speed Up Your Site
The speed that your website loads on mobile and desktop devices are a ranking factor for search engines. Slower load speeds also increase the bounce rate as visitors become frustrated with the wait and leave. In these ways, a slow page speed negatively affects your SEO in a direct way, however, it also has an effect on the overall UX.
It can be difficult to judge the load speed since it will vary from device to device, and can be affected by location, cached pages etc. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, a free tool that will tell you your speed for desktop and mobile, and how it would be rated by Google.