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Your website security is important to you as well as your visitors. In today’s world of cyber-security, adding an SSL Certificate to your website can help protect you, protect your visitors, build trust, and as a little bonus – give you a little SEO rankings bump.

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypts data to allow secure connections from a web server to a browser. The SSL helps to keep prying eyes from seeing the conversation between you and the website you would be doing business with. In the past, an SSL was commonly needed to protect credit card information, social security numbers, bank accounts, and any other personal sensitive information. It is always expected that any online store, bank, job application, or doctor’s online patient forms have the well-known green lock displayed next the website URL.

But there is nothing sensitive on my website. Why do I need an SSL?

There are added benefits to an SSL Certificate, as they are becoming more popular in today’s web. Customer experience is vital to any company. By adding an SSL to your website, are you building immediate trust with your potential clients. The moment someone visits a website that is proudly displaying the secure lock next to their URL, the visitor can see that you not only take your site and your security seriously, but you also value theirs.

Google recognizes the need for more vigilant cyber security and have started giving increased SEO rankings to those that are utilizing the tool. Google SEO standards are another can of worms, and this one step may not launch you from page 7 to #1, but using this tool that improves your site security and gives you a little boost in SEO is an easy win-win situation.

Here at Webfoot, we utilize the SSL certificate for many reasons, and we encourage everyone to do the same. We will soon require all clients hosting with Webfoot to have an SSL on their website.

It would be wrong to suggest that ‘responsive web design’ is a buzz term because it has now been around for two years and ever since Google made a huge shift towards mobile and tablet usage. However, there are still various websites that just do not incorporate this into its design and that, in this day and age, is a major sin.

Now, just for those few that may still be unaware as to what this means, it’s basically design that can be viewed on any device and the design will fit their screen. This was a huge change when it came out because prior to that, people with access to the Internet via their phones were left with having to scroll all over the page simply because things just wouldn’t fit.

That has all changed now, and there are a number of reasons as to why this approach has to be adopted by you for your very own website.

It Helps Your SEO.

Anything that is beneficial to your SEO attempts has to be adopted by you especially when you consider that Google changed things so that your website would be downgraded in search results via tablets and smartphones.

If your site uses this responsive web design, then your organic search traffic should increase as you will surpass those websites that are competition to you but where they have not adopted this approach at this time. Considering the difference that just a few places can make to the traffic you receive, this is something that is well worth thinking about.

It Increases Your Market.

Another reason is that it is going to increase your market as you are no longer excluding people simply because of the device that they are using.

Who would stay on a website via their smartphone when all they see are a jumble of words and images that just don’t make sense. There is no chance that they will stay there on your website and attempt to scroll around when there are various websites offering the same thing and a more pleasant viewing experience.

Considering that it’s getting to the point where the majority of traffic is going to be from tablets or smartphones, then ignoring it reduces your market and can you afford to do that?

It Boosts Sharing.

At the same time, the fact that your website becomes accessible to anybody, no matter the viewing device, is going to increase the chances of your content being shared since nobody is excluded. Also, using this design is going to save you money in the long-term. There’s no longer any need to have one website for laptops and another one for mobile devices as it’s all built into the same thing.

This then means that your completed site can be live in a shorter period of time as there is only the one set of rules, images, and content to deal with.

It Improves Usability.

Usability is one of the main things that is going to either make or break your website because if it’s not good enough, then people will go elsewhere.

This is something that responsive web design excels at simply because it takes everybody into consideration and provides them with the exact same experience no matter their device. Exclusion is the complete opposite of usability and that’s something worth keeping in mind when you are thinking about the design aspect.

Just think about your own feelings when you go to a website with your smartphone, as there’s a pretty good chance you have done this, and how you react when things are just not working out the way you thought.

What do you do?

The chances are you become fed up and click off onto another website, so why would you not then make sure that your own website is not doing the same thing for other people?

It’s not even as if it costs you a huge sum of money to have this design incorporated. It’s all second nature since it was introduced two years ago and it’s largely just assumed that this has to be included in the design brief.

Responsive web design was, at one point, seen as a potential passing fad, but it is certainly here to stay. If your website does not have this kind of design, then it’s about time you put in the effort and got things changed. You will reap the rewards of doing so in next to no time and this alone will have made it all worth your while.

Webfoot is proud to announce that it has launched its newly redesigned website. 

How long has it been since you last made changes to your website or even added new content? The ever changing search algorithms know. Do you know if you do not change content, design, or the structure of your website on a continual schedule you become less relevant to the search engines and in turn you are found less often when paying customers are looking for your particular services or products. Our website at Webfoot is no different so we have just completed our new website redesign with all the current and latest enhancements.

Is It Time For You To Redesign?

To stay current and keep a fresh look your site should be changed or redesigned every 12 to 24 months. This may sound rather often but to keep pace with the ever changing web it is important to stay relevant and noticed by the search engines. Is your site mobile friendly? Do you know that the SEO algorithms used by Google and others change a few times a year? Are the latest security updates applied to your site? To keep up with the always changing requirements for a successful website is a full time job. Are you working full time on your site? Today’s business world is online and your website is impacting your business. It is up to you whether that impact is helping or hurting. If it has been some time since you last updated or redesigned your site call now and trust the proven experts at Webfoot Designs to get your website back in business.

Does SEO Work Instantly?

Does SEO work instantly? This is a question that those with a limited amount of knowledge on the subject tend to ask as well as those that are having a website designed and have heard about this wonderful thing called Search Engine Optimization.

But here’s the thing.

A number of people are being misled in that they are being made to believe that brand new SEO campaigns are going to result in instantaneous results. However, this is not true.

People also make the mistake of believing that just because their website has appeared somewhere on Google that it means SEO is working. Instead, it basically means that Google has sent their spider to the website and indexed it. This is something that is completely different, but those companies that are providing SEO in a shady manner and are best to be avoided.

So, How Long Does it Take?

The answer to this question is like the proverbial ‘how long is a piece of string?’ because if you spend some time conducting research into this, then you will see that people do differ with their opinions. However, if you are willing to keep to the rules, and not everybody does, then in order to rank high up for various keywords can take somewhere in the region of six months.

Now, we know that six months sounds like an eternity, but there is a very good reason for that as we will now explain.

Why it Takes so Long.

There are several things that contribute to the length of time that it takes SEO to show some kind of returns for the work that is carried out. First, you need to grow various aspects of it slowly and in a more organic fashion. This was certainly not always the case in the past, but Google then clamped down on those individuals that sought to break the rules.

Also, if your website is brand new with no history, then it takes even longer to then build up those all important backlinks and the various other aspects that are attributed to a successful SEO campaign. This is because the work that is carried out has nothing to build upon. It has to start from scratch and involves pretty much baby steps to get the absolute core of the campaign correctly established.

If you are involved in things such as keyword stuffing or throwing a huge number of pointless backlinks to your website, then this is going to get you nowhere. Sure, Google might at first rank you higher up than you expected, but that is not something that will last.

In other words, it takes so long because Google have designed their algorithms in such a way that you need to play the long game. You need to be prepared to work at slowly building those quality links and adding more and more content that is seen as being beneficial to your website and those that visit. If you suddenly appear on their radar with a brand new domain and yet you have the same number of links as an established site, then the alarm bells are going to be going off.

So Can You Speed it Up?

We understand that there will be people out there that are frustrated and annoyed at the idea of it taking months for results to be noticed, but you have to remember this one thing. The results that you see after say six months are going to pale into insignificance to the results that you will have in 12 months if you keep the campaign going.

This is because it is an organic thing and because it is organic then you can try to do several things, within the rules, to speed it up.

For this, you can make sure that your campaign covers all of the different aspects of SEO. This means making sure that you have your keywords contained in quality content, meta tags, alt tags, build those quality backlinks, social signals, the list goes on. It makes sense that if you use the different aspects of SEO that actually count for something and do so on a regular basis, then you will grow faster than you otherwise would.

So what’s the point in all of this?

The point is to try and steer you away from those companies or individuals that claim they can achieve these amazing things in a few days when it comes to SEO. They will try to charge you a fortune for this as they attempt to sweep you up in this tidal wave of enthusiasm and the belief that your website is going to become famous overnight.

Don’t fall for it. Patience is indeed a virtue and when the potential future of your website is at risk then surely it is in your best interests to ignore those false promises and look at the long term?

What is the first thing that you see when you land on a website? The answer is their header image and yet it is surprising how many owners of websites kind of forget about the important role that this one image can have in the potential success of their site.

Think of it from this point of view.

If you are walking along a street and are going past shops, what do you see? Well, you will see their shop sign and their shop window.

Now, move this thought across to the Internet. There, the domain name is basically the shop sign and the front page is the shop window. However, as the header image is the first part that you see, then this is the spot that not only has to look good, but it also needs to grab their attention or they will walk on by.

So how do you get the image that is going to be perfect for your header?

Getting Their Attention.

An image has the ability to really compliment the content. An image can be used to really help tell the story or put across a particular feeling about the site, but only if it is done correctly.

Now, this is one spot where size does not always matter as the dimensions will depend on the layout of the rest of the home page and also the look that the designer is trying to achieve. However, there are a number of things that need to be done no matter the size of the image in order to really get their attention when they land on your website.

1. Add some text.

People love to see some text on the header image. It tells them even more information than just the image itself, but you need to make sure that it does relate whether it be a welcome message or just even repeating your name.

2. Be aware of the color of the text.

One thing that is sure to annoy those individuals that land on your website and make them click off is when the color of the text is wrong and nobody can really read it. You would be surprised how often this happens as people can pay little attention to the colors in the image and where the text itself is landing. You might be able to read 80%, but that 20% can be enough to irritate people and they will go no further.

3. Adding a background to text.

Here is another option that is used by some designers and that is using the header image as an overall background for a page with the text then sitting in a block on top of it. This in itself can be a great way of doing things as it creates a sense of uniformity and some will then take it further by adopting this background on each and every page.

Of course, this is going to mean that you need to use an image that is not only relevant to your website and what it is that you do, but also is not going to be overpowering and detract attention from the content. This can be achieved by just reducing the opacity or making it black and white although other options are available.

The Difference it Makes.

When an individual lands on your website, you have very little time to convince them that they have come to the correct place and to then do whatever it is that you want them to do. If the first thing that they see is weak, outdated, pointless or anything else, then you are not making that good first impression.

However, if you can amaze them and provide them with enough information to make them scroll down, then it gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself to them.

Furthermore, a quality header image makes you seem more professional. It makes you appear as if you actually care about your website enough to have spent the time getting this first part correct. When you then tie this in with getting the correct text with the right contrast and color, then you just need to make sure that the rest of your website is up to the standard that they now expect.

What our advice is regarding the header image is to spend some time checking out what other people on their website for inspiration. Look at the sizes, how dominant the image is, what they typically show and how it relates to what they do. All of this will help you to better understand what should be on your own website and reduce the chances of you falling at the first hurdle.

Research and making sure that things are correct are key. Remember, the potential success of your entire website can rest on this.

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