Archiv für den Monat: Oktober 2019

Why website security affects SEO rankings (and what you can do about it)

installing an SSL certificate for website security SEO rankings

A few years ago I started a website and to my delight, the SEO efforts I was making to grow it were yielding results. However, one day I checked my rankings, and got the shock of my life. It had fallen, and badly.

I was doing my SEO right and I felt that was enough, but I didn’t know there was more. I hadn’t paid attention to my website security, and I didn’t even know that it mattered when it comes to Google and its ranking factors. Also, there were other security concerns I wasn’t paying attention to. As far as I was concerned back then, it didn’t matter since I had good content.

Obviously I was wrong, and I now know that if you really want to rank higher and increasing your site’s search traffic, then you need to understand that there is more to it than just building links and churning out more content. Understanding Google’s algorithm and it’s ranking factors are crucial.

Currently, Google has over 200 ranking factors they consider when they want to determine where to rank a site. And as expected, one of them is about how protected your site is. According to them, website security is a top priority, and they make a lot of investments all geared towards enduring that all their services, including Gmail and Google Drive, use top-notch security and other privacy tools by default all in a bid to make the internet a safer place generally.

Unfortunately, I was uninformed about these factors until my rankings started dropping. Below are four things you can do to protect your site.

Four steps to get started on website security

1. Get security plug-ins installed

On average, a typical small business website gets attacked 44 times each day, and software “bots” attack these sites more than 150 million times every week. And this is for both WordPress sites and even for non-WordPress websites.

Malware security breaches can lead to hackers stealing your data, data loss, or it could even make you lose access to your website. And in some cases, it can deface your website and that will not just spoil your brand reputation, it will also affect your SEO rankings.

To prevent that from happening, enhance your website security with WordPress plugins. These plugins will not just block off the brute force and malware attacks, they will harden WordPress security for your site, thus addressing the security vulnerabilities for each platform and countering all other hack attempts that could pose a threat to your website.

2. Use very strong passwords

As much as it is very tempting to use a password you can easily remember, don’t. Surprisingly, the most common password for most people is still 123456. You can’t afford to take such risks.

Make the effort to generate a secure password. The rule is to mix up letters, numbers, and special characters, and to make it long. And this is not just for you. Ensure that all those who have access to your website are held to the same high standard that you hold yourself.

3. Ensure your website is constantly updated

As much as using a content management system (CMS) comes with a lot of benefits, it also has attendant risks attached. According to this Sucuri report, the presence of vulnerabilities in CMS’s extensible components is the highest cause of website infections. This is because the codes used in these tools are easily accessible owing to the fact that they are usually created as open-source software programs. That means hackers can access them too.

To protect your website, make sure your plugins, CMS, and apps are all updated regularly.

4. Install an SSL certificate

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If you pay attention, you will notice that some URLs begin with “https://” while others start with “http://”. You may have likely noticed that when you needed to make an online payment. The big question is what does the “s” mean and where did it come from?

To explain it in very simple terms, that extra “s” is a way of showing that the connection you have with that website is encrypted and secure. That means that any data you input on that website is safe. That little “s” represents a technology known as SSL.

But why is website security important for SEO ranking?

Following Google’s Chrome update in 2017, sites that have “FORMS” but have no SSL certificate are marked as insecure. The SSL certificate, “Secure Sockets Layer” is the technology that encrypts the link between a browser and a web server, protects the site from hackers, and also makes sure that all the data that gets passed between a browser and a web server remains private.

why is website security important for SEO rankings, example with http vs https

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A normal website comes with a locked key in the URL bar, but sites without SSL certificates, on the other hand, have the tag “Not Secure”. This applies to any website that has any form.

According to research carried out by Hubspot, 82% of those that responded to a consumer survey stated that they would leave a website that is not secure. And since Google chrome already holds about 67% out of the whole market share, that is a lot of traffic to lose.

research, how many users would consider browsing on a website that is not secure

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Technically, the major benefit of having Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) instead of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is that it gives users a more secure connection that they can use to share personal data with you. This adds an additional layer of security which becomes important especially if you are accepting any form of payment on your site.

To move from HTTP to HTTPS you have to get an SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer certificate) installed on your website.

why does an SSL certificate work for website securityImage source

Once you get your SSL certificate installed successfully on a web server and configured, Google Chrome will show a green light. It will then act as a padlock by providing a secure connection between the browser and the webserver. For you, what this means is that even if a hacker is able to intercept your data, it will be impossible for them to decrypt it.

Security may have a minor direct effect on your website ranking, but it affects your website in so many indirect ways. It may mean paying a little price, but in the end, the effort is worth it.

Segun Onibalusi is the Founder and CEO at SEO POW, an organic link building agency. He can be found on Twitter @iamsegun_oni.

The post Why website security affects SEO rankings (and what you can do about it) appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Pre-made calendar with over 300 holidays to help plan editorial content

holiday planner social media

A carefully planned content marketing strategy contains several key ingredients including an understanding of who you’re creating content for (e.g., your persona or personas), how your content will help them, and some key performance indicators to measure success.

However, even the most thoughtful and well-planned content strategy can run into roadblocks without a detailed editorial plan. The editorial plan should include what categories and topics you plan to write about, how you intend to amplify your content (e.g., social media, email, etc.) and—the most important bit of all—a list of relevant, highly engaging ideas that incorporates a balance of evergreen and time-sensitive content.

Event-specific content can be challenging to create with any consistency, but with some planning and foresight, it is possible to plan out your editorial calendar in advance. One way to do this is to align some of your topics with seasonal holidays, observance days, and themes.

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A holiday for every week, month and season

At CommonMind, we’ve compiled a holiday planner specifically aimed at social media content planning. It contains more than 300 holidays bucketed in three categories as follows:

  • 2019/2020 U.S. National Holidays: This calendar contains all the top favorites like Christmas, New Year’s Day and Tax Day (that last one is somebody’s favorite, I’m sure).
  • Educational Calendar/Events: This includes key dates such as Global Family Day and National Science Fiction Day which are observed globally.
  • A Food-themed Calendar: Technically, these aren’t holidays, but they’re fun to observe and perfect for helping fill your editorial calendar, particularly if you are in the food and beverage industry (though this isn’t a requirement).

Since a long list of every conceivable holiday can seem a bit daunting to wrap your brain around, we’ve also created an embedded Google calendar that can be viewed in weekly or monthly increments or printed.

holiday planner for social media example calendar

November 2019 Holiday Calendar – Source: CommonMind

Holiday planning isn’t just for retailers

When people think of the holiday season, it tends to mean the period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (although it’s been creeping up in the calendar to incorporate Halloween as well). But holiday content planning isn’t just for retailers or companies whose business ebbs and flows depending on the season. Here are a few examples of how some lesser-known holidays and observed days can inspire great content.

World Vegan Day (November 2, 2019): This is relevant to a variety of businesses in the health and wellness industry. Here are a few examples:

  • A nutritionist could write a piece about how to create a nutrient-rich vegan diet.
  • A healthcare provider could create a list of physical signs for vegans to be aware of that indicate they’re not getting enough of a specific vitamin or mineral.
  • A fitness expert (or gym) could write about how to ensure vegans have enough energy for various types of workouts.

World Kindness Day (November 13, 2019)

  • A marketing agency could write about an ad campaign or case study which features kindness as the main theme.
  • A veterinary clinic could write about how kindness helps both pets and their owners live happy, more fulfilling lives.
  • Any number of businesses can write about kindness as their approach to doing business such as through employee wellness and medical programs, community service and involvement, or promoting an internal culture of kindness.

National Hot Cocoa Day (December 13, 2019)

  • This is a cocoa-manufacturer’s dream holiday and the perfect day to promote their cocoa products with a blog post as well as via social media.
  • Food-related organizations (coffee shops, restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, etc.) could create an event around this day (e.g., drop in for a free cup of cocoa!) and promote it via their blog and social media accounts.
  • Retailers can cash in on the height of shopping season by offering free cocoa in stores, coupons that fall on this day, and stories that humanize the company which can be featured on the blog (e.g., feature an employee cocoa-related story).

As you can see, becoming familiar with nonstandard holidays as well as observance days can help spur creative ideas for content that’s relevant to a variety of businesses and industries (you don’t have to sell cocoa to take advantage of National Hot Cocoa Day).

Our Google Holiday Calendar is a great way to familiarize yourself with upcoming holidays and can be imported into your own calendar for easy reference. Since this may be overwhelming, you can also peruse the long list of holidays to begin brainstorming and filling out your editorial calendar for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.

Happy content planning!

Jacqueline Dooley is Director of Digital Strategy for CommonMind.

The post Pre-made calendar with over 300 holidays to help plan editorial content appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can't Resist

Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can't ResistAdmit it. On Halloween night, the fierce competitor within you sprinted from home to home to claim as much sugary bounty as your pillowcase could carry. But the loyalist and purist in you was on the hunt for a specific candy treat. A treat that put all the rest to shame; a treat that always hit the sweet spot.


For me, that coveted treat was: the Almond Joy. Sweetened coconut. Crunchy almonds. Smooth milk chocolate. Devilishly delicious, but ghoulishly elusive amongst a sea of KitKat- and Snickers-purchasing households. (Here’s to you, organic reach on Facebook.)

As marketers, we all have our favorites. From tactical techniques that sweeten our marketing mix to the integration of marketing elements to tantalize our audience’s taste buds, the TopRank Marketing team weighs in on both fun- and king-size marketing treats they can’t resist.

Our Favorite Marketing Sweet Treats

Josh NiteJosh Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager

My favorite candy is black licorice. Black licorice doesn’t appeal to everyone. That’s a quality I like in candy—and in marketing, too. It’s easy to make something bland and sweet that everyone tolerates—like, say, Necco Wafers—but that’s not how you get raving fans. I’ve never met anyone passionate about Necco Wafers. Conversely, I’ve never met anyone who „kind of liked“ black licorice. You love it or you hate it.

Good marketing takes a bold stand, with personality and purpose. It draws in a target audience and excludes the rest. Love or hate black licorice, it’s a perfect reminder that great marketing doesn’t aspire to blandness.

Elizabeth Williams

Senior Account Manager

Baby Ruth: My favorite part about Baby Ruth bars is they’ve got a little bit of everything—nuts, nougat, caramel, all with a chocolate coating. And, flavors all work so well together! To work well, good marketing must parallel Baby Ruths: A diverse yet integrated mix so that we can reach our audiences whenever and wherever they are and with a consistent message that resonates with their needs.

Nick NelsonNick Nelson

Senior Content Strategist

Skittles. These bite-sized bursts of fruity flavor remind me of social media marketing. The bright colors reflect the vibrant imagery that stands out on feeds, and the many different flavors and colors represent the diversity of voices and viewpoints you can find across various networks.

Annie LeumanAnnie Leuman

Content Strategist

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Two incredible ingredients in their own right, come together to make an irresistible combo—kind of like SEO and content. Content is the peanut buttery center, and it’s wrapped in the perfect amount of chocolate to delight it’s consumers‘ senses (and leave us all asking for more).

Ashley Zeckman

Senior Director of Digital Strategy

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Starbursts. There are so many different delicious flavor varieties—from tropical to classic to my all-time personal favorite: All Reds. Much like the industry experts and influencers we partner with, the different flavor profiles add punch and pizzazz to the content palette.

Tiffani AllenTiffani Allen

Associate Director of Search & Analytics

Twix. To borrow from Saturday Night Live’s Stefon: This candy has everything. Chocolate. Caramel. Cookies. A clever marketing strategy. Everything, people.

The combination of three complementary, yet distinctly different flavors reminds me of a well-integrated digital marketing mix of search, content, and influence. While each discipline on its own is delicious, it’s the mix of all three that produces a truly crave-worthy treat.

Lane EllisLane Ellis

Social Media and Content Marketing Manager

From the 1850s until the 1920s my great-great-uncle Henry H. Ellis, and later his son, ran a confectionery and bakery making homemade candies. The business started first in Janesville, WI and then from 1867 on, moved to Cheyenne, WY, so I suppose my fondness for sweets runs in my family.

I love marzipan and adore chocolate, so as a child over Halloween, when a particularly generous and creative woman placed a wrapped chocolate-covered marzipan candy in my sugary goodie bag, I was overjoyed.

Decades later, the two mingling flavors are still a favorite, and remind me of a type of marketing nirvana in which two already excellent practices meld together to form something truly rare and beautiful, akin to when a favorite professional comedian takes over the social media channels of a company you’re a longtime fan of.

Witch Way to the Candy?

Sorry. Bad pun. Moving on … Regardless of where your loyalties lie in the marketing sweets realm, perhaps the nuggets above will encourage you to reach into the candy bowl for a new variety.

What marketing sweet is at the top of your trick or treating list? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Trick or Treat: The Spellbinding Marketing Sweets the TopRank Team Can’t Resist appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


CWS Marken-Rebranding

Mehr Bilder…

Wie gestaltet man ein Corporate Design für eine Marke, die gerade in die Zukunft aufbricht – aber gleichzeitig eine 100jährige Historie mitbringt? Die Antwort: Indem man sich vom klassischen Logo verabschiedet.

Es sind Zeiten des Wandels bei CWS. Gerade erst hat sich das Unternehmen komplett neu positioniert und neue Geschäftsfelder geschaffen. In Zukunft wird CWS sich weniger auf Produkte und mehr auf Services konzentrieren.

Bei einer so grundlegenden strategischen Neuausrichtung müssen auch etablierte Unternehmensstrukturen in Frage gestellt und neu definiert werden. Deshalb hat Blackspace in einem ersten Schritt die Markenarchitektur überarbeitet – und sie klarer und einfacher gestaltet: Die unterschiedlichen Marken des Unternehmens sind jetzt in sechs Lösungsbereichen zusammengefasst, die wiederum alle unter einer Dachmarke auftreten.

Ein weiterer wesentlicher Punkt war die Überarbeitung des Namings. Blackspace hat die Buchstaben „CWS“ mit neuer Bedeutung aufgeladen und in einem Claim aufgelöst, der klar den Purpose und Nutzen der Marke formuliert: Clean. Well. Safe“.

Um ein Corporate Design zu schaffen, das der zukunftsgerichteten Denkweise des Unternehmens entspricht, hat sich Blackspace gegen ein klassisches Logo und Corporate Design entschieden. Stattdessen haben die Designer ein Gestaltungsprinzip geschaffen, das unendlich skalierbar, anpassungsfähig und jederzeit wiedererkennbar ist: ein „Liquid Logo“, das in der Lage ist, all die Facetten von Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden widerzuspiegeln, für die CWS steht.


Creative Director
Alexander Gialouris

Art Director
Christoph Hoidn

Senior Designer
Carmen Vierbacher


5 Top B2B Brands Mastering Facebook Engagement

Colorful pallet of crushed pigment powders image.

Colorful pallet of crushed pigment powders image.

With more than 2.4 billion users worldwide, Facebook has long been a popular platform for brands both B2B and direct-to-consumer looking to creatively and effectively showcase their products and services.

Facebook has released scores of new features over the past several years that have not only helped it remain among the most-used social media platforms — despite facing well-publicized challenges over the past several years — but also increasingly to become a destination for professional business users, and users looking for a social experience markedly different from LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

With Facebook having launched so many new tools for brands to maximize their engagement on the platform, let’s take a look at how five large primarily B2B companies are creatively connecting with audiences through pages, groups, communities, and several other methods Facebook provides.

#1 — Canva

Canva Image

Since arriving on the Web graphic-design scene in 2012, Canva has seen its numerous creative tools adopted by more professionals every year, with company valuations hitting $2.5 billion in 2019.

With its recently-launches Canva Enterprise design platform targeting brands by offering features including digital asset management and multi-channel campaign management, Canva counts among its B2B clients Pfizer, RE/MAX, and others.

As a firm catering to creative professionals, it’s no surprise that Canva artistically uses its Facebook presence to engage with its community of some 1.3 million page followers, using entertaining video, informative image-rich posts, and coverage of events such as its recent Canva for Enterprise launch New York Times Square billboard.

Canva Example 1

Canva regularly asks relevant questions of its Facebook community and actively responds positively in emoji-rich comments, such as a recent color and hue-related post which inquired “How are hue feeling?”

Canva Example 2

Canva hosts several Facebook groups including a Canva Teachers Community, a Canva Design Circle, and a Canva Nonprofits Community, utilizes Facebook Events to promote its real-life events such as its recent “Design School After Hours: Branding your Business” workshop, and actively engages with Facebook fans in its page’s community section.

#2 — Airbnb


Airbnb has skillfully utilized its Facebook presence to build a sizable following of more than 16 million fans, and with initiatives such as its Airbnb for Work program targeting business — used by companies including Salesforce and PayPal — the firm is a fine example of how B2B audiences can be engaged and nurtured on Facebook.

Native video posts centered around relevant holidays, such as Airbnb’s recent “Welcome to Cisco. Population: 1” initiative — part of its “spooky stays” program — encourage Facebook fans to share and take part.

Airbnb Example

#3 — Mailchimp


For email marketing and automation firm Mailchimp, Facebook serves as an important social media platform to communicate with and inform clients and potential partners.

Sharing marketing advice, studies, reports, contests and more, Mailchimp’s Facebook page thrives by helping both established B2B firms and new businesses with actionable insight delivered in entertaining and visually enticing stories.

Facebook also serves as a platform for sharing news from Mailchimp’s many initiatives, including its original podcasts such as “The Jump with Shirley Manson.”

Mailchimp Example

#4 — Boeing


Boeing uses its sizable Facebook following to share behind-the-scenes video glimpses into the firm and its many programs around the world, such as a recent „Have you ever wondered?“ look at how it goes about capturing the oftentimes breathtaking aerial footage it features on the page.

Boeing Example

Boeing also regularly encourages its Facebook fans to take part in a variety of corporate social responsibility efforts, such as a recent two-way conversation program for Disability Awareness Month.

Boeing Example 2

#5 — 3M


3M* cleverly uses a variety of video, image-rich, live-streaming, and other types of Facebook posts to actively share news and information about its many global programs, such as a recent „3M Young Scientist Challenge“ call for votes.

3M Example 1

At TopRank Marketing we are B2B influencer marketing specialists, and have recently worked to feature influencers in our client 3M’s Champions of Science series of podcasts.

Recent industry experts appearing on Champions of Science have included geophysicist Mika McKinnon, Professor Stephen Curry, Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London, Dr. Suze Kundu, Materials Chemist and Science Presenter, Chris Gammell, Principal, Analog Life, LLC, and Matt Hartings, Associate Professor of Chemistry at American University.

3M Example 2

Using podcasting can be a great way to improve customer experience game, and we’ve published several in-depth looks at how B2B marketers can promote podcasts, and have also gathered together an industry-leading list of top marketing-related podcasts, which you can find here:

Finally, 3M was the only firm in our list which automatically opens a Facebook chat window to instantly begin communications if desired.

Delivering a Solid & Sustainable Facebook Strategy

It’s clear from the varied examples we’ve looked at here cleverly implemented by Canva, Airbnb, Mailchimp, Boeing, and 3M that there are numerous methods for successfully building a solid and sustainable Facebook brand strategy.

* 3M is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 5 Top B2B Brands Mastering Facebook Engagement appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.