Google Analytics How To: CTAs & CTRs

A Google Analytics Walk-Through: Easily Tracking User Behavior [CTAs & CTRs]

tracking CTR & CTAs in Analytics

A Google Analytics Walk Through

Google Analytics often seems too difficult, but it doesn’t have to be if you know exactly where to click.

In this post, I am going to take you on a Google Analytics walk-through to show you how to easily track user behavior [Call-To-Actions and Click-Through-Rates] to determine how to improve your website.

Most small businesses never do this.

They simply install Google Analytics and then do little else.  They will then occasionally visit their Google Analytics page and look at the total amount of traffic their website is getting.

Why do people not dig deeper with Google Analytics?  Because it’s seem so dispiritingly complicated.

Well, not so today.

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Richard CummingsA Google Analytics Walk-Through: Easily Tracking User Behavior [CTAs & CTRs]

Google & RankBrain: A Simple Example of How to “Time Manage” The SERPs in 2018

google-rankbrain-publish-contentDid you know that if you don’t update your web content, you may be penalized by Google’s new algorithm, RankBrain?

Let’s examine how this can happen and what you can do to prevent it!

Have you ever modified your Google search to only show web content created in the past year, past month, or past week?

Of course you have, and I have, and many others do as well.

I do it because I research many technical issues.  And often, an article written in 2015 does not serve my purposes in 2018.

But this is not just about technology searches.  It’s about nearly every search.  Searchers want the latest information!  We want now!

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Richard CummingsGoogle & RankBrain: A Simple Example of How to “Time Manage” The SERPs in 2018
Upgrade WordPress to HTTPS/SSL

The Easy HTTPS/SSL WordPress Upgrade [2018 Edition]

Upgrade WordPress to HTTPS/SSLHave you still not upgraded your WordPress website to HTTPS/SSL in 2018?  Well, the time is now.

I am going to give you the exact instructions on how to upgrade your WordPress website to SSL in under 3 hours.

“But wait,” you ask.  “I’ve heard that a WordPress HTTPS conversion takes tons of research and planning.”

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Richard CummingsThe Easy HTTPS/SSL WordPress Upgrade [2018 Edition]

9 Startling Mobile Marketing Stats You Must Know in 2018

actionable-mobile-marketing-statistics-1Statistics tell a story and the latest mobile marketing statistics tell this story:

You have to optimize everything you do online for mobile!

Whatever, I’m gettin’ by just fine without it. Can people just stop shouting about mobile this and mobile that?”“.

Not until you listen — sometimes you just need cold hard facts to spur you to action.

So here are 9 startling mobile marketing statistics you must know (and act on!) in 2018, each introduced with a corresponding Tweet.
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Richard Cummings9 Startling Mobile Marketing Stats You Must Know in 2018
local search marketing seo

Google Places SEO: 8 Proven Ways to Dominate Google Local in 2018

local search marketing seoDo you want to dominate your Google local places search results in 2018? Then follow the 8 SEO steps listed below and you will beat your local competition!

Many businesses, especially small businesses, think that achieving first-page organic search results (as opposed to paid-for AdWords type results) is a near impossibility.

But the truth is, for local businesses, success in the organic results is now more achievable than ever. With a little SEO ingenuity and knowledge of how Google places SEO works, you’ll always have the upper hand on the competition.

Businesses simply need to understand how the local search results work and that is what I am going to explain in this article:

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Richard CummingsGoogle Places SEO: 8 Proven Ways to Dominate Google Local in 2018
online buying habits

Who Buys Online in 2018?

online buying habits

Who Buys Online?

Who buys products online in 2018?

This is a question that is too infrequently asked by people who try to sell online.

If you have a product that you are trying to sell online, it makes sense to first determine if your targeted audience is one who actually buys products online.

First, you absolutely need to find out if your product caters to those who buy online.

Secondly, to be an effective online advertiser, you need to know your advertising audience exactly! This will save you money and drastically improve the amount of people who actually buy your product.

But, how do you find this out?

In an article entitled “The surprising facts about who shops online and on mobile“, Cooper Smith attempted to find out the answer to this very question.

This topic was further researched in-depth in an article entitled The 19 Ecommerce Trends + 147 Online Shopping Stats Fueling Sales Growth in 2018 by Tracey Wallace.

The conclusions in these articles may surprise you.
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Richard CummingsWho Buys Online in 2018?
Submit Post to Google WebMaster Tools

How Do I Get My Web Content Indexed Immediately in Google [2018 Updates]?

Submit Post to Google WebMaster Tools

Question: I often publish time-sensitive web content that I would like to have indexed immediately. Because I am a new site, Google does not often pick up on it right away. Is there a way that I can have my web content indexed immediately? Thanks for your help. Candice, Denver, Colorado

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Richard CummingsHow Do I Get My Web Content Indexed Immediately in Google [2018 Updates]?

A Secure (HTTPS) Website in 2018: 10 Facts & Myths (and lots of great resources)

In this article, I have placed all the HTTPS/SSL tidbits into a pot and distilled them into these “10 Facts & Myths” about creating secure websites.

What inspired me to do this?

Recent conversations with both peers and client have taught me two things about creating secure (HTTPS) websites:

  1. Many companies still haven’t moved their websites to HTTPS (Learn how to do an HTTPS/SSL WordPress upgrade quickly).
  2. There are a great many misconceptions about the benefits and drawbacks of moving to a secure website.

Also, for more information about these HTTPS fact and myths, be sure to see the resources section below where I present the best articles that I have found on the process and ramifications of creating a secure website.

#1 – Fact: Google sees a secure website as a different website.

A client called me last month and said: “I got our SSL certificate from Hostgator and decided to switch our site over to HTTPS tomorrow.”

“Wait,” I said. “Have you made plans to redirect your pages, images, and all else so that Google knows about this?”

“Oh,” responded the client, “I didn’t know that I needed to do anything like that.”

Many people are unaware of the ramifications of switching their environment to HTTPS — Google see it as an entirely different site. This is ok…if you do it right. See Myth # 6 below.

#2 – Fact: Makes your website appear more professional and trustworthy.

When you visit a secure website, you will see an icon in your browser bar indicating that a website is secure (often with the company name) and when it is not secure, as you see in the photo below. Many visitors feel that this increases the professional look of a site and they certainly feel that their information is more secure. If you’re considering the move to a secure website, both of these facts may be a consideration.

secure unsecure https website messages

#3 – Fact: A Secure HTTPS website encrypts all traffic.

Most people do not know this but with some basic networking tools you can “sniff” out the information being passed between a non-HTTPS website and a client. Here’s a simple video that explains how to do it:

As you see suggested in the video, HTTPS encrypts all traffic to prevent this sniffing.

#4 – Fact: An HTTPS enabled website allows you to see Bing keyword data.

Bing has officially enabled HTTPS for all logged in users. Thus, if you have an HTTPS website, you will be able to see the Bing keyword data of these logged in users. The problem is…not too many people use Bing as a logged in user so this reason alone does not really make a compelling case for switching to a secure environment.

#5 – Myth: A secure website allows you to see Google keyword data.

google provides not keyword data with HTTPSUnlike with Bing, the ability to see Google keyword data would make a valuable case for switching to HTTPS. When Google switched all searches to HTTPS, many in the SEO community were over the moon thinking that they could now see keyword data from the big “G” if they switched their sites to HTTPS. Sadly, this is not the case. Google does not allow you to see keyword data even if you have an HTTPS site. Why not? Well, Google does a re-direct which eliminates keyword data before they take you to the destination site.

#6 – Myth: Setting up a secure website is a snap.

As explained in fact #1 above, many people mistakenly feel that moving their website to HTTPS is a snap. This is not the case. Moving your website to HTTPS takes time and planning. In the article listed below entitled “Moving your website to https / SSL: tips & tricks”, Joost de Valk lists many things you need to be aware of including: “All of your internal links should start to use https, not just to pages, but for images, JavaScript, CSS, etc. This means going through your theme with a fine comb and cleaning all of those up.”

#7 – Myth: It will destroy all of the SEO work that you have done.

While it is true that your HTTPS website will be seen as a different website by Google, your long-term rankings will be maintained if you do everything right.

Interestingly, articles on making the switch to HTTPS that are dated (say before 2012) list many potential problems and heavily advise against switching to HTTPS. However, articles that have been written more recently do not come with as much caution suggesting that Google is now dealing with these HTTPS conversions more efficiently.

#8 – Fact: You may lose rankings for a short time during the conversion.

Because converting to HTTPS is like moving to a whole new website name in the eyes of Google, you may see a temporary drop in your search rankings while the “Google Dance” is being performed. However, provided that you did your conversion to HTTPS correctly with canonical URLs and/or redirects, your rankings should rebound quickly.

#9 – Myth: Converting to HTTPS will slow down your website.

secure-website-https-slowThis is one of the primary concerns of most web administrators. It is known that HTTPS requires slightly more overhead than HTTP because it has to encrypt all of the information before sending it along. So then, why isn’t this a fact rather than a myth? Because, when setup correctly, some people have actually realized faster speeds with HTTPS. In his article “Moving your website to https / SSL: tips & tricks” (see below), Joost de Valk, after implementing a Google protocol called SPDY, writes: ” It makes your website faster and funnily enough that means that your fully SSLed site could actually be faster for those people who visit your site with modern browsers than your plain http site.”

#10 – Fact: In the future, HTTPS will allow you to rank better.

https SEO futureThis may be a contentious fact but I’m keeping it in the fact column nonetheless. Sometimes, you have to go with intuition…and what Matt Cutts says. In reading an abundance of articles on this topic, one thing is clear: The user experience is better with HTTPS. Users feel more secure and, in fact, are more secure in the way that their data is being transmitted. We all know that Google favors a better user experience. Then, on top of that, we learn that “Matt Cutts said at SMX West that he would personally love to make it (an HTTPS website) part of the ranking algorithm.” We all know that when Matt Cutts says something, we see it factored into the future algorithm. When will it happen? That is anybody’s guess but I would say that within one to two years that an HTTPS website will give you a boost in the SERPs.

Creating a Secure Website: Summary

Well, that’s it for the “10 Facts & Myths” about securing your website. Be sure to view the great articles that I have listed below on this topic. And, as always, you are invited to add your two cents in the comments section below.

Secure (HTTPS) Websites: Great Articles and Resources From Around the Web

Should we move to an all HTTPS web? Great article by Joost de Valk about HTTPS, keyword data, and the future of HTTPS. You will also enjoy Moving your website to https / SSL: tips & tricks which is essentially a post-mortem on the Yoast conversion to HTTPs and offers many valuable tricks that you may not have otherwise considered.

We Analyzed the HTTPS Settings of 10,000 Domains and How It Affects Their SEO – Here’s What We Learned: Christoph Engelhardt writes an informative data-driven post about the current state of HTTPS implementation and found that over 90% of domains had a sub-optimal HTTPS implementation.

SSL Web Sites Don’t Get Ranking Boost In Google : Barry Schwartz at SEO Roundtable shares his thoughts on switching to HTTPS and provides key considerations before converting to a secure site. He offers further commentary in an article entitled Google: Want To Switch To HTTPS? Go Ahead!

SEO Aspects of Moving from http to https: In this article circa 2012, you will notice that the author points out the negatives of converting to a secure website and suggests you may want to consider long and hard before doing so.

Changing complete website from http to https: This is a Google forum which provides a case study in which a user saw his SERP rankings disappear (but then reappear a day later) after converting to HTTPS.

Impact of migrating whole site from HTTP to HTTPS: In this case study, an “SEO expert” informs a client that he must start from scratch after the HTTPS migration. Thankfully, someone informs the poster of the correct steps to take so that their transition can go smoothly.

Understanding Always On SSL and SEO: Jimmy Edge at Symantec talks about the many benefits to visitors by having a full SSL-enabled website. the road to SSL: Nick Craver of Stack Overflow often gets asked by users why they do not yet have an SSL connection. He points out that it is simply not a matter of flipping a switch. Moving to a fully secure website takes time, planning, and effort.

If you have any other great resources that you would like us to reference below, send them along.

Richard CummingsA Secure (HTTPS) Website in 2018: 10 Facts & Myths (and lots of great resources)

The Two Free Duplicate Content Checkers That You Need [2018 Edition]

duplicate-contentBecause Google frowns on duplicate content, you need access to quick, easy-to-use duplicate content checker software for your website to avoid any SEO penalties.

Most of you know that duplicate content on your site is a “no-no” in the eyes of Google. In all likelihood, the big G will penalize you for duplicate content.

However, duplicate content on your website is not the only problem. What if other websites have copied your content? And, even worse, what if they outrank you in the search engines for content that you created?

So you need to be able check for duplicate content in two scenarios: (1) Duplicate content on your site. And (2), duplicate content copied from your site.

Below, I will tell you how to check for duplicate content on your website and how to check for content that people have copied from your website.

To accomplish this, we’ll use the two free online duplicate content checkers that you need in 2018.

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Richard CummingsThe Two Free Duplicate Content Checkers That You Need [2018 Edition]

Quality Web Content and THE BIG LIE!


The Truth About Quality Web Content

I often hear “authorities” on the Internet exclaim: “Just create quality web content and visitors will come!”

This is the biggest lie perpetuated by those who are already an authority and deceives beginners into thinking that quality web content is enough.

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Richard CummingsQuality Web Content and THE BIG LIE!