Back in 2020, Google unveiled its new Core Web Vitals, a set of specific factors designed to measure the user experience on a web page. As of August 2021, these metrics have become an official Google ranking factor as part of the “page experience” update. Over a year later, Core Web Vitals continue to be an important factor for search engine optimization and must be considered by anyone hoping to rank highly. It is clear that Google plans to continue emphasizing user experience and may even evolve its Core Web Vitals over time, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with these metrics. This blog post will help you understand all three Core Web Vitals and why you should be paying attention to them. The Core Web Vitals Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) This is essentially the average loading time for the main content on a web page. […]
Protect Your Business—and Your Clients—with HTTPS
Last year, we wrote a post on how important it is to have your website HTTPS-protected. Well, we’re back to tell you that it’s more important now than ever before. HTTPS is a vital component of the Internet’s security framework. It protects users, clients, and business owners from fraudsters and scam artists. Ultimately, it’s the foundation for a safe digital space. Want to learn about HTTPS and whether your site has it? Want to know how to enable HTTPS? Then this post is for you. What Is HTTPS? HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is a security protocol designed to protect users navigating the Internet. That’s all you really need to know: It provides additional security measures to a website’s existing structure. But if you want a bit more detail, let’s start with some background info. HTTPS is based on an earlier protocol called HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). You’ve probably […]
What is YMYL? (and How Can You Use it to Boost Your Google Ranking?)
In our last blog post, we explained how to use Google’s E-A-T to rank at the top of the search results page. Today we’re going to introduce another of Google’s key ranking terms: YMYL, or Your Money or Your Life. Google pays extra-close attention to websites that fall under the YMYL category. In this post, we’re going to explore: ● What is a YMYL website? ● Why Google scrutinizes YMYL websites so intensely ● Why your YMYL website might not be ranking well ● How you can give Google—and your clients—what they’re looking for If you have any questions or comments of your own as you’re reading this, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you straight away! First things first, let’s start by explaining the YMYL category. What is a YMYL Website? According to Google’s guidelines, a YMYL website is any site that […]
Why Every Small Business Needs Great Photos for Their Website
In a time when everyone’s glued to their devices, your business’s visual identity will help you stand out from the crowd. The best way to do that? Include some amazing pictures of your work on your website! Pictures allow your potential clients to put a face to the name, making you more personable and trustworthy. They also play a major role in your branding by showing off the great work you do. Just like reviews, pictures serve as proof that you deserve your great reputation. In today’s blog, we’re going to tell you everything you know about taking amazing pictures for your small business! Use Original Photo Content for Your Business Make sure you’re posting and updating your customers on your business from time to time—don’t just use stock photos. Stock photos are the easy options, but they can be perceived as impersonal and don’t really showcase everything you […]
Is Page Speed a Ranking Factor on Google in 2019?
Ever search for a company on Google, only to find yourself waiting, waiting, and still waiting for their website to load? Even in the age of high-speed internet, some websites take forever to load. And guess what? If you think it’s frustrating, Google does too. After all, Google’s number one priority is to create an amazing experience for their users. If your page doesn’t load fast enough, Google users will simply return to the search results page. The result is that Google will view your page as less relevant than your competition. That means lower rankings, and fewer leads. That’s why you need to read on to make sure you’re up to date on page load speed—one of the most important SEO ranking factors! What is Page Load Speed? Page speed, or site speed, refers to the length of time it takes for your website to load on someone’s […]
How Small Business Owners Can Create A Work-Life Balance
When you own a business, it can be hard to stop it from taking over your whole life. Of course, it’ll always be a big part of it, but there should be room left over for relaxation, hobbies and time spent with loved ones. Creating a work-life balance that works for you is necessary for both you and your business flourish. Take control of your life and achieve your business goals by following these four easy steps! 1. Have A Routine and Stick to It As a self-starter, you make your own work hours, but it’s important not to let your work become a 24/7 thing. Remember, a proper balance between work and play make for a happy, healthy entrepreneur. If you find this balance hard to achieve, setting a routine can be extremely beneficial. Know when you’re supposed to be working and when you’re not. After a while, a […]
Google Penalties: What Are They and What Do I Do If I Have One?
Building an online presence with SEO is tough, time-consuming work. It’s what we do every single day for our clients. But it’s rewarding to see web pages on diverse subjects like landscaping, low-voltage electrical installation, and even bricklaying rise in the rankings month after month. If you’ve been handling your SEO for your business’s website, I’m sure you know what I mean. But sometimes? That’s not the picture. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything right, but when you load the first page of the search engine results page (SERP), you’re nowhere to be found. For subject after subject, no matter how compelling the content you write, your site struggles to crack the bottom of the second page. It doesn’t seem to be on the search engine results page at all. What gives? Well, believe it or not, you might have been hit with a Google penalty. A Google Penalty? […]
Trust Issues: What Was Behind the September 27th and October 2018 Algorithm Updates?
Whether you’re managing your own website or someone else’s, the last thing you want is to see your SERP ranking suddenly drop. As SEOs, we work hard for our Google rankings! We expect that with great content, great backlinks, and careful keyword research, we’ll get the rankings we deserve. And normally it’s true. But if one there’s one thing that every SEO knows, it’s that, aside from Google’s own engineers, no one knows how their search algorithm works. Which is why, every time Google updates their algorithm, the internet goes a bit nuts for a while. Some people’s rankings suddenly soar. Others plummet. And everyone’s asking themselves: what the heck happened?! The September 27th and October follow-up updates were no different. People panicked. Tweets were retweeted. Replies were written. Articles were posted. Comment threads exploded. Here at the LinkNow Media office though, everything was calm. Why you ask? We understand […]
Mobile-First: The Time is Now!
How often do you use your smartphone? For the majority of us in North America the answer would be every day. We’re on it for work, entertainment, socializing—we even use our phones to track our meals and health. There isn’t much a phone can’t do in this day and age and search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing are catering to mobile devices more and more. Because of this, it’s important that business owners do the same. While creating mobile-friendly websites was simply a suggestion a few years ago, it has now become a necessity, and that need for mobile is going to continue to grow. Mobile-first is not a new concept by any means. It’s been talked about quite a bit by SEOs and business owners since 2015. However, a recent tweet made February 2018 from the webmaster conference PubCon informed the world that Google plans to move a […]
Google’s 3-Pack is History
Say goodbye to the 3-pack Well, Google has done it again. At SMX Advanced this week, Google announced that they’re making a big change to their local search 3-pack – the box of local search results that comes up when you search for a local business. In the near future, the top result in the local 3-pack will now be a paid ad, matching the trend in other changes Google has made to the search results. More and more, Google is prioritizing delivering paid results over organic results. In many cases, such as any local search conducted on mobile, there are currently no organic results above the fold. With Google’s increased focus on delivering advertising instead of organic search, the local 3-pack was a place where local businesses could really shine. However, the 3-pack will soon be a 2-pack, with the first result being taken up by […]