Google SEO HTPPS Ranking Boost Is Misleading

I guess it’s OK to get excited about the new ranking boost some web site owners can get by switching their web sites from HTTP to HTTPS.

But I’m not impressed.

Just like other updates or changes, people make a big deal out a small thing. They suddenly act like it’s the most influential factor with search engine rankings. It isn’t – far from it.

I would have a tough time telling clients they need to mess with their established web site URLs and redirect them to take advantage of the https option. Maybe I will pursue it in a rare instance.

The fact is that web sites still need to improve what’s lacking elsewhere like good content, including long pieces. Web site owners also need quality inbound links, effective SEO page titles and much more.

Learn more here:

Essentially, it’s supposed to reward web sites for using HTTPS instead of HTTP because site security will be a signal that is rewarded – like when a site uses Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Part of what’s going on is that sites may need or benefit from a dedicated IP address.

Anyone going with the option should seriously weigh the implications and costs of making the changes. With 301 redirects, expect a traffic drop for several weeks. I’d rather build traffic rather than risk losing some visitors.

SEO Guide: Learn When Search Engine Optimization Is a Waste of Money

seo-waste-money-roiPeople sure have strange notions about how search engine optimization (SEO)  is supposed to play out in their businesses.

The truth is, SEO can be costly with nothing to show for your expense.

Get my free guide, “Are You Wasting Your Money on SEO?” to learn what you should consider before dishing out precious cash for a strategy that may not pay off.

Get the guide today.

If you’re planning to attend Content Marketing World, you should add on my half-day, pre-conference SEO workshop: “Planning, Refining and Measuring SEO for Content Marketing.” I will explain how to shape and a measure search engine optimization in light of content marketing.

Register for Content Marketing World (mention MurrayCMW and get $100 off of the conference fee):

Obviously SEO is still a viable option for businesses – from the small business owner forced to wear many hats to large corporations. SEO doesn’t make sense in some cases. At a minimum, it should be delayed while marketers put more thought into how they expect to approach SEO.

The SEO guide looks at 10 key considerations, including:

- Misconceptions about how SEO is or isn’t integrated in web development
- Unrealistic keyword phrase preferences
- How to look at SEO in view of other successful online marketing efforts
- Why SEO isn’t a one-time exercise
- Sizing up the SEO talent
- Understanding the project scope

The Content Marketing World SEO workshop will include:

- Hands on, custom coaching for attendees’ unique SEO challenges
- Specific guidance on how to integrate SEO with a content marketing strategy that is focused on ROI
- How to leverage web analytics with both SEO and content marketing
- Keyword selection factors
- Link building tactics
- Additional tips, tools and resources

Search engine optimization can be an effective way to support a brand, generate leads and boost sales – in the right hands and with the right attitude. It’s not dead as some marketers have proclaimed and it’s not a piece of cake, which people sometimes suggest by saying SEO is not “rocket science.”

With planning and diligence, SEO can be worth the effort. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a waste of money. The new guide and the Content Marketing World workshop will help marketers and their companies with their strategic decisions.

New Social Media Marketing Study Makes Me Wave Caution Flag

I really like Social Media Examiner. Founder Michael Stelzner and his team create tons of outstanding content. Weighed carefully, the insights can be invaluable for any professional working in social media.

The problem is that social media is only one of many tools that small businesses can use to generate more leads and sales. Nurturing an e-mail database is a must. Creating and updating a reasonable web site is essential. You can always dive into paid search, SEO and link building as well. Where are you hunting for that next customer online?

Social Media Examiner just released the “2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” a comprehensive resource with 50 pages of analysis and charts based on a study of 2,800 marketers.

Get the social media study.

But I think it’s a good time to wave the caution flag because marketers and small business owners can get caught up with the excitement of social media without thinking through whether it’s a good fit given their resources and priorities.

It doesn’t mean I have a problem with the study. I don’t. I love studies because they provide a picture. Combine a few of them and the picture gets a little fuzzy. But generally, you can get a feel for legitimate trends.

For example, according to the latest study, 92% of marketers say social media is important to their business. That’s great. I just wonder what kind of commitment they’re making (or the owners are making) to social media. By commitment, I mean time and money. Are they really engaging with others or just sharing promotional information? Do the businesses really have a social media strategy?

Measurement appears to be a big issue for marketers. In fact, only 37% of marketers say the are able to measure the ROI of their social media activities.


Here are some best practices and tools that can help:
How to Measure Social Media ROI
Social Media ROI: 11 FREE Tools for Measuring Social Media Success

My point is that you shouldn’t just create posts and tweets. They don’t all need to have a call to action — some can be good public relations. But why not occasionally drive people to a new service, industry guide or other offering? Your social media profiles, posts and tweets should direct people to your web site. Once they see it, what’s supposed to happen next? Is it easy to call your business? Do you have notable calls to actions on your web site pages?

Social media can be effective. Are you embracing it or just spinning your wheels?

Why Small Business Owners Fail with SEO Strategy

web-design-seoI used to say that small business owners and other executives fail with an SEO strategy because they ignore it or it really never makes it on the priority plate.

But that’s only part of the story.

They try and fall short because of the overused Field of Dreams scenario.

I just spoke with an owner – a very smart guy who designed a great fashion product. The problem is that he doesn’t know much about marketing. He trusted some folks who did his SEO.

They assumed with their SEO strategy that it’s a one-time exercise. It isn’t. They have keywords in some of the ideal places. So what? What if they’re the wrong words? They had no plan to test different scenarios. Complicating matters is the scarce content. You have to love the images – hard to miss. But how will the site excel without content?

It’s a niche business. So guess what? He’s on the second page of Google for some keyword phrases because of the provisional effort. But then you just walk away and hope? He literally told me that’s what happened. They built the web site and expected the natural traffic to follow.

I offered to give him ideas, practical steps to take to get on the first page of Google. Hopefully he’ll take me up on the offer.

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