If you have surfed the Internet long enough, you must have observed that most URLs begin with “http://”. You must have also noticed that some URLs begin with “https://”. So what does this extra “s” signify?
In simple words, the extra “s” signifies that you are connecting to the website in a secure manner and that any data you enter on the site is encrypted to ensure it is shared with the website safely. SSL is the technology behind HTTPS.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer
So why should you use HTTPS on your website? Let’s explore some important reasons why.
HTTPS Helps Keep Intruders Away
As a website owner, you must protect every website you own with HTTPS, especially if you handle sensitive data. HTTPS ensures that intruders can’t tamper with the communication between your site and browsers of your users.
Intruders come in many forms – hackers, malicious attackers and even legitimate companies that are highly intrusive such as hotels/ISPs that may inject adverts. For instance, someone could inject ads on your site that could spoil the user experience and even lead to security flaws. They could even trick users to share sensitive information.
HTTPS Helps Protect Your Users’ Privacy
When your site is unprotected, it is exposed. Any information that your users share on your site could be exploited by intruders.
HTTPS ensures that intruders cannot passively listen to the communication between your site and your visitors. Even if your site does not handle sensitive data, it helps to secure it with HTTPS. Intruders could exploit unprotected HTTP connections to find information about identity and behavior of your visitors.
HTTPS is Good for SEO
Google wants to offer the best experience to searchers. To that end, it has been amending its algorithm constantly. What happens when Google ranks two sites equally for a search query? What would be the tie-breaker here?
Yes, there would be. And it’s HTTPS.
If every other quality signal is equal for two sites, the site with HTTPS might get an extra boost to overtake the other.
Secure in Search Results
If your website handles sensitive data, it is mandatory to secure it with HTTPS. Else, your site would show as unsecure in the results pages. This could have a small yet significant impact on your traffic and conversions.
There you go. If you want to offer users a safe and secure experience while cementing your SEO further, then HTTPS is the way to go. Need help installing SSL on your website? LS25 Web Design can help. Get in touch with us today for more information.
A web host is any company that provides the resources to host your website on. When your visitors type your URL on their web browser, a connection is established with the respective server, and your site shows up.
A great looking website will prove ineffective if your hosting service is ineffective. So it is critical to choose a reliable web hosting service. Here are some signs to look for when choosing a web host.
Guarantees Server Uptime
High server uptime is the first sign of a good web host. A lower uptime can affect your brand reputation and even lower your conversions. So be sure to choose a hosting service that offers an uptime of 99.9%. Your host should provide a legitimate uptime guarantee in the form of a clause in their service contract.
Offers Exceptional Technical Assistance
Your website needs to work 24/7 so this dictates that you should expect exceptional support from your web host. You should be able to get in touch with your service provider when your website is experiencing a technical problem to get it up and ready quickly.
The hosting company should also offer multiple contact points. In addition to standard telephone, chat and email options, an exclusive portal to lodge your complaints would be great.
Offers an Easily Manageable Platform
You should be able to host your content management system easily. If the hosting platform is complicated, you’ll end up paying extra for hired technical assistance. Work on the prospective host’s demo platform to determine how easy it is to use.
Offers Flexible Subscription Options and Reasonable Pricing
Choose a host that offers multiple options for subscription such as a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly and a yearly subscription plan. This way, you’ll be able to try the provider for a trial period before you decide to subscribe further. Also, if they offer any discounts on long-term subscriptions.
Compare pricing and features provided by multiple service providers and eliminate those that you feel are heavily priced for the same features.
A web host should be there for you when you grow, to scale up your website accordingly to meet your needs.
For example, if you are planning to open your online stores soon, your web host should be able to scale your existing platform to meet such needs.
Similarly, if you are planning an aggressive growth strategy, your web host should be able to upgrade simultaneously, say to a dedicated server.
Analyse your needs first to end up with the right provider. Take help of online reviews and customer feedback additionally to increase your chances of success.
On-page SEO is the process of making a website search engine-friendly. On-page SEO, when done right, can improve your site’s rankings while bringing highly targeted traffic to your site. So how do you optimise the pages on your WordPress site? Let’s take a look.
Get the Technical Aspects Right
Your site’s code must be of high quality to ensure a smooth experience for visitors. For example, you need to ensure that you have correctly enabled the page to allow crawlers to index your website. When not coded correctly, your page remains un-indexed, which means you’ll not be visible on search engines.
One of the best ways to get your technical aspects right is to use the Yoast SEO plugin. When configured correctly, Yoast can help you effectively optimise your WordPress website.
Optimise the Page URL
Also known as a permalink, the URL is the address you see in your browser’s address bar. When you use targeted keywords in the URL, search results are more likely to pick up the page. The exact keyword is displayed in bold in search results.
It is also important to include the keyword within the first 3 to 5 words of the permalink. Search engine algorithms, especially Google, are programmed to give more weight to links that have keywords in the said limit.
Optimise Page Title
The title of a webpage tells search engines and visitors what the page is about. By including your keywords in the title, you increase the relevance of your page and improve the chances of search engine visibility.
For best results, include the title as part of the H1 heading as that’s where search engines look to find out if a page is relevant to a given search query. Keep the title within 55 characters so that a major portion of the title shows up in the search engine results.
Include ALT Tags for Images
By including your keyword in the ALT tag, caption and image file name, you increase the chances of your page being fetched for a given search query.
Optimise the Meta Description
Meta Description is the description that appears below the title in the search engine results pages (SERPS). It shouldn’t exceed 155 characters. The meta description helps search engine crawlers in understanding the purpose of a given page.
To be SEO-friendly, your meta description must be unique to the page, use active voice, include a call-to-action, and use the targeted keyword.
Write Great Content
Whether it is Google or readers, everyone wants informative content. Search engine algorithms gauge the relevance of your content – the more relevant the content, the higher the chances of a better ranking.
For best results, incorporate your keyword in the content a few times (around 1 to 3 times), keep the language and structure simple, keep the content easy to read and provide valuable information.
LS25 Web Design can help improve your online presence with our highly effective on-page SEO services. Get in touch today and we can have our SEO experts assist you to achieve the success that you're looking for.
A website is an important investment for every small business. There’s no doubt about that. However, you need a website that’s not only well designed but helps your visitors in making a decision.
Your prospective customers want to ensure you are a reliable and credible business. That’s where customer testimonials come into the picture.
Let’s take a look at some benefits of using customer testimonials on your small business website.
Testimonials Provide Social Proof
Social proof plays a huge role in improving conversions. What is social proof? It’s simply a fancy phrase to say that people are interested in knowing what other people have to say about a product/service/brand.
Say you want to watch the latest movie, but you want to make sure it’s really worth a watch. So you look to Google for reviews about the movie. You might even go through multiple reviews. If most reviews are positive, you feel it’s a good movie, and otherwise, if the reviews are negative.
That’s the kind of impact customer testimonials have on your visitors.
Testimonials Help Improve Brand Credibility
Customer testimonials help improve your brand credibility. When you keep gloating about your product, it may not come out well. Your prospective customers might even not believe you if you keep boasting about yourself.
They really want to know what’s in it for them. They are interested in knowing whether this product/service is good. And they won’t be satisfied if the only good words they hear are those coming from you.
On the other hand, if the praise comes from your real customers, the impact is multifold. Not only will your visitors trust the good word of others (even though they’re strangers), they are more likely to get a good impression about your brand.
Testimonials Improve Conversions
Use testimonials at the right place and you can even improve your conversion rates. For instance, you could include testimonials before your call to action button. This can really prep the user to take action.
There’s no doubt that customer testimonials are an important feature to have on a website. Be sure to follow some best practices for effective results. Use faces, names and location of your customers. Positive feedback is good. However, include testimonials that have specific positive feedback. Ensure that the testimonials are short and to the point.
Looking to build a website for your small business? Get in touch with LS25 Web Design today for a free consultation.
Page speed is an important ranking signal in Google and other search engines. Measured in seconds, website speed refers to the time a website takes to download and display its contents. The page speed has a direct impact on the user experience and conversions. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, most of your visitors will leave your site immediately.
Several factors affect your website’s load speed including the size of your website and media files, the coding and the web host among other things. So whether you are building a new site or redesigning your site, hire a web design agency that can build a fast loading website.
The next step is to choose a reliable and fast web hosting service.
Website Hosting and Page Speed
When you visit a website, you are most likely accessing remote files that are stored on web servers. The speed of the host is critical here; the faster the hosting speed, the faster will your site load. A fast web host can improve your page speed in the following ways.
What Makes a Web Host Fast?
There are many aspects that can affect the efficiency and speed of your web host. Choose a host offering dedicated resources. With a shared hosting plan, you are sharing the resources with several other websites, which can really slow down your website if your host overloads the server with too many sites.
A solid state drive (SSD) helps load the files quicker than standard hard drives. So choose a host that uses SSD drives.
The location of your host also plays a huge role. Ensure that your host is located closer to your target audience. If your target audience is in the UK, then choose a hosting service that has servers located in the UK.
LS25 Web Design Can Help
We are not just a leading web design agency in Leeds, we offer fast and reliable hosting boasting of 99.9% up-time. Get in touch with us today for more information.
Using copyrighted images can land you in legal trouble. Don’t get trapped in a mess from using the wrong images. If you thought you could simply google an image and use it straight on your site, think again. There are far better ways to find royalty free images for your website. Here are some ideas.
Free Stock Image Sites
There are tons of websites offering free stock images. Although they may be a bit generic, they are far better than using copyrighted images. The sites listed below offer images under the Creative Commons Zero license. So these images are free for your use.
Each of these websites has an array of images on a wide range of topics. Simply input your search query and you will see a list of images that meet your search query. What’s more, all these images are high-resolution. And many of these sites regularly add new photos.
So here’s the list of sites offering stock images for free:
Google Image Advanced Search
This is another great way to find royalty free images that you could use without any copyright infringement issues. Here, you leverage Google’s advanced search settings to your advantage.
Suppose you want to find a picture of a baby. Type the search query as you normally would and click enter. You will see the usual results. Now, click on the Settings button right below the search box, and click on the Advanced Search option.
You will be redirected to the advanced search page. This is where you can choose the kind of images you want to search for. Head over to the “usage rights” option right and choose the option that best meets your needs. Once you’ve set your choice, click on the “Advanced Search” button and you will see all images that are free for use.
Even though this is a wonderful way to look for royalty free images, the options are usually quite limited. Moreover, the images are usually low resolution.
So there you go. Those are some amazing ways to find royalty free images. If, however, you are still searching for that right image, you might want to check out paid stock photo websites, or you might want to hire a photographer.
Note: Please remember to read the license terms on any of the websites listed above to be absolutely sure of the usage rights for the images. While you may be able to use the images, there may be restrictions to their use.