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    Anchorage Alaska's Crucible Designs
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    Small Business, Local Business, Successful Business Websites

    Keeping up with the competition

    It takes a lot of work to keep up with the latest news and best-practices in Design, SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, and Social Media management. It's my job to do the research so you don't have to.

    The information in this blog is based on hours and hours of market research, expert advice, and data driven studies. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not keeping up-to-date with latest breaking news to make your website better.

    All the posts in this blog are dedicated to making sure that you have actionable tools to improve the SERPs, traffic and conversions on your site. I keep promising that I'll build your website while you build your business. You can do the work yourself or contact me for help. Let's make sure you stay ahead of your competition!


    Read All Our Blog Articles


    Time to Secure Your Website


    Google Chrome has announced that they will be marking all http websites as non-secure this July. 
    'For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.'
    65% of internet traffic is done on Chrome so this warning isn't something that most websites can ignore. 
    Whether or not site security is a ranking factor, this warning will affect your bounce rate. You can't convert a website visitor if they see the warning and move off to another website.
    What Needs To Be Done?
    All websites need to be protected with a security certificate, it's the 's' in 'https'. Usually your hosting company will help your apply for and install a certificate on your website.
    Next comes the finicky bit. All internal links on your site need to point to the https version of the site. This includes images, files, pages, scripts, and documents. Wherever possible, I use automated tools to speed up the process. My software can mimic Google's spiders to make sure we don't miss anything. If you are doing it by hand take your time, view each page source and use a ctrl+f search for 'http://' . Change each instance to 'https://' if it points to your own website.
    Once you are sure the website is secure and every page will have the green lock symbol, submit the updated sitemap to Google and update the preferences in Google's Search Console. 

    Local Search in 2018 SMX Advanced Highlights


    With the huge changes in how Google displays local search results you may be left wondering if your website still matters. On desktop and on mobile the results are now geared to giving the searcher all the information they want in a quick and simple format.

    Search results on mobile can pull data from your website (if you've optimized for local). More often the results will be details from your Google MyBusiness account, Google Maps listing, your Google Posts, and Google Reviews.

    There are new pitfalls with the new emphasis on Google's own properties.

    • If searchers are using the contact information links from the knowledge box results you need to be responding and fast. Google does track that data. Google's position is that a serious business cares enough to answer questions in a timely manner.
    • Reviews are a ranking signal bad reviews can move you down in the SERPs. Manage reviews by monitoring, answering and reporting fake reviews. (Note: Google looks at other review sites as well as their own.)
    • Google posts expire. You can't write a bunch today and expect them to be relevant forever.

    Only 2 out of 5 local searches on mobile result in a click through to a website. If you aren't actively managing your Google tools you are missing out on traffic and business.

    But yes, your website does still matter. Your website is one of the fastest ways to tell Google the information that will get the position zero results and a knowledge box before your competition. Schema code isn't new but it is increasing in importance on your website tells the search engines exactly what your site and your pages are about. (I'll be covering this topic in greater depth on other posts.)



    If you want or need help leveraging Google tools or making sure your website is sending the necessary signals. Give me a call.


    Technical SEO SMX 2018 News


    The most important technical SEO news this year is actually technical. I'll be condensing specific information and solutions for specific clients. I'll be coming back to Alaska with new tools, ideas and spreadsheets. If you have questions or need more information - you know how to get hold of me


    Keynote news from SMX Advanced



    Fabrice Canel, Principal Program Manager, Bing @bing @facan

    Bing is counting on the evolution of Search, multi-perspective answers offering different opinions in an intelligent model.

    • Search is becoming more conversational. Try searching for "stress management". You will get a conversational reponse. "What do you want to know". Bing is continuing to work on a natural question/response experience.

    • Search is becoming more visual. Carousels with images  and descriptions are popular formats for search results. The more information your page provides the more likely you will be in these premium spaces.

    SEO is evolving too. Bing's webmaster guidelines reflect those changes. https://aka.ms/webmasterguidelines

    AI helps Bing solve Search but they are reaching out to the SEO/webmaster communities to share logs and actively work together to continue to build a better search engine.

    The breaking news from Bing: Bing announced JSON-LD schema.org support (yay!) and enhanced AMP suppport via Bing AMP viewer rolling out this summer


    Ilya Grigorik, Web Performance Engineer, Google

    Ultimately it's always about the user experience for Google. If your site isn't optimized for your user it isn't optimized for Google. The Mobile-First update is being rolled out and speed / UX is still the most important factor.

    While Google isn't breaking any news this morning, they are sharing some valuable tools. Use real world data to understand how your users and visitors are actually relating to your site. Google Chrome is collecting this data and offering Google Reports API for developers to work with. See: Chrome User Experience Report. New tools on PageSpeed Insights should make it clear what your pages need. Keep the user in mind and you'll see that you haven't really optimized your site if it is still too big and bloated.



    Does My Site Need A Privacy Policy


    Privacy PolicyWhile most of you won't have to do anything about the internet's latest hoo-ha, this is a good time to talk about your website's privacy policy.

    How much of a privacy policy does your website need? It used to be sufficient for a small website to declare: "We don't collect, save or share your personal data with anyone!" or "We respect your privacy and protect your data with our secure site."

    If your site is very small and your audience smaller, you can still get away with it.

    Site Tracking is data collection

    There is nothing inherently evil with tracking what a visitor does on your site and how they interact with your content. It's not much different than a clerk in the grocery store asking if you've found everything you need.

    Collecting data can tell you what pages are viewed in what order, who views what pages and how long they take viewing it.

    You'll need to collect data if you have ads on your page, your advertisers need to know how their investment is paying off.

    Most websites use Google Analytics to track traffic. Their terms of service specifically require a privacy policy.

    "You will not and will not assist or permit any third party to, pass information to Google that Google could use or recognize as personally identifiable information. You will have and abide by an appropriate Privacy Policy and will comply with all applicable laws, policies, and regulations relating to the collection of information from Visitors. You must post a Privacy Policy and that Privacy Policy must provide notice of Your use of cookies that are used to collect data. You must disclose the use of Google Analytics, and how it collects and processes data. This can be done by displaying a prominent link to the site "How Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps", (located at www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners/, or any other URL Google may provide from time to time). You will use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that a Visitor is provided with clear and comprehensive information about, and consents to, the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on the Visitor’s device where such activity occurs in connection with the Service and where providing such information and obtaining such consent is required by law."

    What needs to go into your privacy policy?

    The more you collect, the more you need to disclose.

    • What you collect
    • From whom
    • Do you use cookies to collect data
    • How long you keep the data
    • What you do with the data
    • Who you share it with.
    • How often you will update the policy

    Creating your policy

    Looking at existing website policies is one way to develop your Privacy Policy - as long as those sites are policies were well drafted.

    If your site is complicated, particularly user intensive, or focused on an international audience you may want to contact a lawyer who specializes in the subject.

    There are also online generators with varying costs. Digital.com recently reviewed the top 12 Privacy Policy Generators. One probably meets your needs. https://digital.com/blog/best-privacy-policy-generators/

    Publishing and updating your Privacy Policy

    If the privacy policy is a simple sentence, post it on the bottom of your page near your copyright information. If it's more, create a page and link from the bottom navigation.

    Keep it up to date and don't forget that it's on the site. Make sure it's crawlable (don't block from robots). Make sure you've linked prominently if on a page that is overtly collecting data like your store or any forms.

    Include the link on your newsletter near your unsubscribe / disclosure statements.

    If you make it clear that any data collected is used to make your customer's experience better you will be just fine. Your customers will appreciate the notice.


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