3 Ways You Need to Update Your Website in 2017

With every new year comes change. Whether it be personal change, political change or professional change, there’s always something new and a reason to stay up to date, especially in the online world.

In 2017, three major changes have occurred for those with websites, blogs, products and more. Learn how to stay up-to-date and avoid getting penalized or left behind this year below…

Remove Pop-Ups

As of January 10, 2017, Google is cracking down on mobile sites with pop-ups. Because the pop-ups are viewed as interfering with the user experience and potentially hindering accessibility, mobile search results will not rank as highly for mobile sites with pop-ups, opt-ins or anything that blocks content for users viewing your site via mobile.

My personal advice as a strategist would be to remove obtrusive pop-ups completely. Mainly because they are generally annoying to users, and the goal with a website is to entice your audience (aka users), not inconvenience them. However, technically, you’ll only need to remove pop-ups from your mobile presence to avoid Google’s wrath.

Instead, I’d recommend having a bar across the top of your site or header where people are able to opt-in and take advantage of what you’re promoting that way.

Add an SSL Certificate

This means is your site should read “https” instead of “http.” Http is considered a less secure connection while https is considered secure. Having an https site is especially important for your users on Chrome, considering at the end of January 2017, Chrome began marking sites with http as not secure.

Adding an SSL Certificate is fairly easy. Many hosts provide them or at least provide the option to purchase them. If you’ve purchased your domain through Namecheap (my favorite), you can also purchase an SSL Certificate and follow their step-by-step article on activating it.

Use NoFollow Links where Needed (and Disclose!)

It sometimes baffles me how many marketers, bloggers, website owners, etc. don’t know this rule: “Search engine guidelines require machine-readable disclosure of paid links in the same way that consumers online and offline appreciate disclosure of paid relationships” via Google’s policies.

In other words, if you’re being paid or offered a product in return for promotion, review, etc., mark the link(s) used for it as nofollow. In WordPress, there’s a nofollow option you can click to mark your link.

To add nofollow manually, simply view your post in “text” or html view, and your link should generally look like this:

<a href=”https://www.homemadeexperience.com”>Title Words</a>

To add in nofollow, add rel=”nofollow” like this:

<a href=”https://www.homemadeexperience.com” rel=”nofollow”>Title Words</a>

It’s also important to remember to disclose at the beginning of your post that you received a product or partnered with a company for the post you’re writing. It is the law to add a disclosure on your web page and social posts for anything you received product or compensation for! For more on that, check out FTC guidelines here.

What ways are you keeping your website up-to-date this year?

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