Thumbnail for video explaining how to check website for malware

Is Your Website Infected with Malware? Free Tools to Help You Check.

And You Don’t Even Need to Be “Techy” to Use Them!

Scroll down to watch the video (audio transcript is below that)

Do you know that “bad actors” on the internet will try to infect your site with malware and spam in ways so subtle that you don’t even know they’ve done it? And often they aren’t after your secrets, they just need your website to help them blast spam emails, practice negative SEO, or host hundreds of advertising pages you don’t even know about.

In they process they can hog your website resources and earn you or other websites a bad reputation with Google. For that reasons you need to be able to quickly check your website for unwelcome intruders. Of course there are lots of more technical tools for doing this (if your site is running WordPress our favorite tool for checking and protecting is Wordfence).

In this video we take a look at a number of other tools that require no technical expertise to use, and we find that they are not all created equal.

By the way, if you discover that malware is infecting your website, you will need technical help, so be prepared. But whatever you do, don’t ignore this issue. It’s one of the first things we do when we’re doing an SEO Audit.

Audio Transcript

Hi, everyone. I’m Ross with Horizon Web Marketing, and I’m here with another SEO Audit How-To. So, we’ve been working our way through the SEO audit checklist that we use internally when we do an SEO audit on a site and giving you little tips on how you can clear items from your audit checklist. Let’s take a look at the checklist. As we scroll down under the technical factor section of the checklist, you’ll see that one of the sections is security issues, and I’ve done another video that talks about how we can clear these two items. Is the site using https, and is that being served consistently?

detail image of seo audit checklist with the security issues highlighted

Today, we’re going to talk about this question, is the domain clean of hidden malicious code? Now, you may think that your domain is as clean as a whistle, but on the other hand, the people that are out there planting malicious code on websites often do a pretty good job of not letting you know that they’re around. And don’t be going according to the assumption that every time someone hacks into your website, they want to steal something from you. Often they’re hacking into your website so they can do things like blast out spammy emails or put up advertising pages that you don’t know about using your domain, and now also they might use your domain for something called negative SEO, where they plant a whole bunch of really lousy links to other websites to try to take them down, and you’re just the unwitting host of this.

So, here’s how we go about checking a site, and before I do that I’m going to show you this article here and I’ll put a link to this article. It’s a pretty good one, “11 Awesome Tools for Website Malware Scanning.” So I went through there, and I actually saw some tools that I didn’t know about before. They’ve got a list of some. Now, many of these tools are ones you have to install on the backend of your site. What we’re going to focus on today, with the exception of Google Search Console, we’re going to show you tools where you don’t have to have login privileges in order to check out a site.

So, if you do have, when it comes to your own site that you own, probably the first place you’re going to go is to Google Search Console. Now, if you’re not familiar with Google Search Console, you need to change that, and we’ve got some videos that show you how to get set up with it.

When you’re within Google Search Console, on the left you’ll see that there’s a choice called Security Issues, and when we click on that, if Google has picked up on any malware, any malicious code on your site, they’re going to give you a notification here. So typically, they’ll push a notification to you if you have your email entered into Google Search Console, but as a matter of course for sites that we maintain, we make it a practice to check this at least once a month, make sure that Google hasn’t picked up on something that we’ve missed. However, this is a cursory check. It doesn’t catch a lot of stuff. I have had it catch security breaches before, but I don’t think it always does that.

The security issues screen in Google Search Console

Now, some of the checkers that are listed on that page that I showed you are not that great at catching code, so what I did is I decided to go to a website that I know has malware infection because I’ve been following this website for years because they’re a host for what we call negative SEO and have actually been used to launch attacks on at least one of my clients. So, I’m going to go to this website, and here it is. It’s called coopercomputers.com. It’s still up and online. You can see that it’s like an abandoned site. If you dig down into this domain, you’ll see pages like this where basically the pages have been hacked, and then all sorts of images have been placed. And if you dig down into the code, you can find all sorts of shady stuff going on. So, I decided to take this and do a little test on some of the malware checkers that are listed in the article I showed you.

The first one that I went to is this one here called virustotal.com. I ran that site through it, came back pretty clean. This is basically a meta check, so it goes and it goes through a lot of different checks. Notice it shows Quttera’s listing this as suspicious. Quttera is another one of the sites that we’re going to take a look at.

Web Inspector, another one here we go to, and boy, it looks like it’s pretty clean so far. And then I’ve gone to Rescan.Pro, which is another resource. We’ve scanned the site and once again, looking good. Alright. Now we’re going to go to the site that we always use when we do a check like this on a client’s website or on a prospect that we’re looking, for example, for a link partnership arrangement. We’re going to go to Sucuri, and a lot of developers know Sucuri. They really know their stuff pretty well. Plugged in the website. Notice, not so clean. “Warning: malware detected. Critical Security Risk. Known Spam detected. Your site is hacked and needs immediate attention. Malicious code was detected on your site.” Notice down here, “Malware detected by the scan and injected spam detected.” So, obviously this site is not as clean as some of these tools would have made it out to be.

picture of results page of check on coopercomputers

Our Go-To Web-Hosted Site Check Is Sucuri

Now, I have plugged this same homepage of this site into Sucuri, and it’s come back clean, even with this tool. As a matter of fact, just last week I was doing a demo where I plugged this computer in. Sucuri came back and said that the homepage was clean, so I had to go and put an internal page into the checker in order to discover the code. The moral of that is when you’re doing a check on your site, don’t stop at the homepage. Pick a couple of internal pages and run them through a couple of different checkers.

Now here, Google has their own what they call a Safe Browsing Report. Notice Cooper Computers came back clean with Google’s own report. But, Sucuri is not the only one. There is Quttera. Remember they were mentioned. It says, “Potentially suspicious content detected on this website.” And you scroll down here and it’ll tell you that it has potentially malicious files that it found on this site.

Also, Siteguarding here, another tool, actually gave me an extremely good readout on this site although it’s a little bit on the technical side. It says, “The website is infected.” Now, this is the one that was probably the most surprising to me because they actually identified the infection as “Spam SEO Linking Anomaly,” which goes along with the negative SEO. That’s a subject for another time, but basically the bottom line is they were able to pick up on the infection at Siteguarding. I think I have one more example here. Nope. No more examples.

So, there we’ve just walked through a few tools. I would say if you’re in doubt, I would typically recommend Sucuri as my first bet go-to site. But as I’ve shown you, these tools are not entirely perfect, and they don’t claim to be. There’s only so much that a tool can do running a scan, but this will give you a good start in checking whether your website is infected.

So, I hope this has been useful to you. Let me know if you have any comments, suggestions for this video or for any others, and definitely subscribe with the big red button. Next to it there’s a little bell icon. Make sure you click on that too because that’s the only way you’ll actually get notifications pushed to you from Google.

I also drop a few more resources and links down in the description, so be sure that you click on the ‘Show More’ button underneath the description to see everything that’s available with this video. And definitely come back and check out our other videos when you have a minute. I’ll see you next time.

Bringing SEO In-House, Avoid these 7 Mistakes Companies Make

Companies often have bad experiences with SEO (search engine optimization) agencies and decide the solution is to bring SEO in-house. That can be a good choice, or a very bad one, depending on whether the company avoids the most common mistakes of bringing SEO in-house. In this video we explain the most common 7 mistakes that companies make (audio transcript follows the video).

Audio Transcript

Ross: Hi, I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing and the Horizon Web Marketing Academy. This is going to be a bite-size SEO video. I’ll try to keep it painlessly short.

I’m going to talk real quickly about in-house corporate SEO. A lot of companies are bringing SEP in-house or they already have SEO employees or departments that are dealing with SEO. That often can work really well or sometimes it can turn into a nightmare.

What I put together here is seven don’t do its, that’s in-house corporate SEO types of mistakes that can torpedo an SEO program. Let’s move through them really quickly.

Number one: delegate to the busy person. I know there’s a saying that, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”. No, not so much. If you take a person who’s already got a full work load and you tell them, “Hey, by the way, do some SEO here,” it’s not going to happen. Your effort’s going to fail.

That leads us, also, to number two, what I call “Foolish optimism” and it’s sort of in this same vein. It’s sort of, also, this type of attitude that, “Well, we can get SEO done with a few minutes here and a few minutes there.” Unfortunately, SEO now is a time-intensive practice. It’s also pretty broad. There’s a lot of different components to it. For a larger company, let’s say if you have 10, 20, 30 million dollars more in revenue well inept the boards, it’s really the type of the project that is going to need even more than one person. You’re going to need a team if you’re going to bring it in-house because it’s going to take a team to get everything done. So being optimistic is great but being foolishly optimistic about how much you can get done with hardly any time investment, is a huge mistake.

Now let’s talk about number three: no authority, no respect. This is the Rodney Dangerfield point. Namely, if you set up an SEO department or you put in place an SEO staff member and they don’t have authority or respect from the other departments, particularly from the web developers, they’re not going to make much progress because here’s how it goes. They go to the web guys and they say, “Hey, we need to make this change because od x, y, z.” The web developers will say, “Oh yeah, right, that’s just SEO. We’re not going to worry about that until when we get to it” and “when we get to it” means “never.” If you have a situation where your SEOs are not getting the respect that they need, the effort’s going to fail, as well.

Next item, number four and this kind of is all part of a culture, the executive team not on board, isn’t really invested, or doesn’t really believe int he success or even in the mission of the SEO team or the SEO person. If that’s the case, if the executive team is only giving grudging permission for this to move forward and they don’t really understand the value it brings to the organization, you need to work on changing that before you start hiring SEO people or start training SEO people in-house.

Now let’s go on to number five, ignorant manager. I’m not saying this as an insult. Maybe you’re one of those, all right? Ignorance is nothing wrong with that, just means you haven’t learned about something, right? Well, a manager who, let’s say, is a financial person, human resources person, maybe hard-core marketer and who is expected to then supervise and manage an SEO team or an SEO individual is going to have a very hard time because, for one thing, they won’t really know if the person is qualified, doing the right job. It is fairly detailed and there are a lot of things you can be doing that are wrong. So the person who’s managing them doesn’t need to be an expert but they do need to know something about SEO. That’s another reason in-house SEO efforts often fail.

Let’s take it down to number six, unrealistic or nonexistent goals. So if an SEO team is just told to make things better, what’s going to happen? Like in any other business department, nothing really much is going to happen or the wrong thing is going to happen. But what about those goals being realistic? First of all, there need to be existing goals. They need to be specific. They need to be realistic and they need to match the business mission as well as what SEOs can accomplish. That leads back into point number five. If you’re the manager and you don’t know anything about SEO, it’s going to be really hard doing a good job with number six.

Now let’s talk about the last one and that is whether you delegate SEO to a person or a team in-house or you bring on new people, the lack of skills and training is one of the biggest mistakes that companies make. Here’s how this normally works out. You’ve got, I don’t know, Barbara in marketing and she just finished a project and Barbara maybe has a pretty empty schedule so somebody has the bright idea, “Let’s have Barbara do SEO for us.” You call in Barbara, “Hey, Barbara. Do you know about SEO?” “Well, I’ve heard of it before.” “Why don’t you educate yourself on SEO a little bit and then you can do SEO for us.” What happens, well, YouTube videos, You to me courses, blog posts, in other words, just a hodge-podge of bits and pieces of information that aren’t really coherent. It’s going to lead to a poor effort at best. Sometimes it can lead to doing outright damage.

So, if SEO is going to be important which it is for most companies, the training needs to be in place. And when you come to hire a person, sometimes it’s hard to evaluate their skills, especially if we go back up here to the ignorant manager point. Sometimes it’s best to hire or delegate based on character and train for skills. There is a way to get in-house corporate training and one of those ways is to hire us to do it. You knew this was leading up to some sort of a pitch but I won’t make it a hard pitch, just a soft pitch. That is, if you’d like to contact us, we do private in-house corporate training, minimum of three employees or more. We also do workshops that you can send your employees to to get them trained. So keep that in mind, look for the links below and I’ll see you next time. Oh wait, also, subscribe, right? Hit the subscribe button. It’s something you could say. All right. Talk to you next time.

Corporate In-House SEO Training? 7 Questions Answered

SEO Training for Teams

We offer SEO training for companies who want their employees trained in house. But there are always a lot of questions. In this 7-minute video lead SEO trainer Ross Barefoot answers the most 7 common questions about in-house corporate SEO training (an audio transcript follows the video, if you’re one of those brave souls who would prefer to read)

Audio Transcript

Ross: If you have questions about in house customized corporate SEO training, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll be answering the top seven corporate SEO training questions right after this.

Hi, I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing. You may know that we don’t just do SEO consulting. We also produce SEO training videos, SEO training workshops. We even have a division of our company called the Horizon Web Marketing Academy, which is a partner of the Search Engine Academy. You may not know, though, that we also do in house corporate SEO training where we come to you and train your team. I’ve done another video where I talk about the common mistakes that companies make when they bring their SEO in house. One of those mistakes is to put people into roles without the proper training. People who do SEO with appropriate knowledge and skills can actually do more harm to your website and to your web marketing than good. You may have questions around this subject, and in fact, that’s the point of this video. I’m going to answer the most common questions that we have about our corporate SEO training. Let’s get started right now.

Number one question is always what’s the minimum or maximum number of trainees. Well, there’s really no minimum per se, but we do have a minimum price, so where it starts to usually make financial sense for a company is if you have at least three people to train. Now, SEO trainers have taught groups as large as 20 people successfully, but often the best number of employees is around five to ten. That’s a good sized team.

What about curriculum and customization? You probably know web marketing and search engine optimization any more are broad, demanding fields so you may legitimately wonder, “Well, what does the training include?” For corporate SEO training, that can vary a lot because the biggest single advantage of dedicated training is that we customize it to your company’s situation. Now, you can go to our website, and I’ll give you a link in the description here where we list the curriculum for our typical five day workshop. You can take a look at which subjects to give you an idea of the types of subjects that we do training on, but again, our corporate SEO training is designed specifically for your company and your team.

So the next question is typically, “Well what does the company need to provide for us to come in and train?” Well, first of all, remember that bit about customization? For us to create a program to suit your business, we usually are going to ask you for some access to at least your website analytics. That’s because part of our corporate training effort is to assess where your program stands right now so that we can make sure and address your key needs. In addition to some access, there’s the more obvious stuff. We need your company to provide a training room large enough to accommodate the group, and it does need to be an area where the group can focus without any unnecessary interruption. Now, some companies will opt for a virtual training space away from the main office to make sure their employees get the best experience. Also, it’s best if each of your employees has a laptop or a workstation ready. Remember this is a workshop type of training, so we’d like students to be able to follow along on their machines and even implement where it’s appropriate to what they’re learning.

So question number four is usually, “Well, how long is the class, either in terms of hours or days?” Typically a class starts at about 9:00, goes to 5:00 with an hour or so off for lunch and a couple of breaks. It can also last any number of days depending on the level of customization and what your needs really are, but typically we do in house training programs in two, three, or five day segments.

Question number five is, “Well, what if we have different types of employees needing different types of training?” This often is a really tough problem. For example, I’m preparing to conduct a training in just a couple of weeks for a company that has a team of web developers that need to get a handle on technical SEO, but they also have content creators that need to know SEO so that they can create and pursue content strategies that align with SEO goals. Well, here again, the advantage is in the customization. Now, often we will teach the fundamentals of search to employees that have different job assignments because a holistic understanding of how search works and what works with search engine optimization can get the whole team playing on the same game so to speak. But then we can structure a program where training is split and focused differently for different job roles.

Question number six, we’re usually asked, “Well, who actually does the training and the customization?” Well, as it so happens, I’m the lead SEO trainer and the chief SEO strategist at Horizon Web Marketing, and I usually lead the in house corporate SEO training. I also usually am the person that will get on the phone and work with you to craft a workable program. Now, as you can imagine, this does limit the number of corporate SEO training clients we can accept each year, but we’re committed to keeping our program small enough to ensure the type of quality instruction our clients expect.

Now, the big question, “Well, how much does all of this cost?” Usually you’re going to have to consider budgeting anywhere in the range of one to three thousand dollars per employee for in house training. Because our training varies so much from company to company and situation to situation, we can’t really come up with a price that we can just plug into a page or even a video like this, but we can give you a very specific and a very competitive price as soon as we have a conversation and learn more about your needs, so call us at 702-836-3278 to have that conversation. Select option one when you call in.

Well, I hope that answers some of your questions, and in the answers you see how a powerful, customized in house corporate SEO training program can help your company. Now, if you want to save time on that phone call, go to HorizonWebMarketing.com, Train My Team, and fill out our secure, no obligation quote request form, which will get us started. Again, my name is Ross Barefoot, I’m with Horizon Web Marketing and Horizon Web Marketing Academy, and I look forward to training your team.

 

 

Video thumbnail How to Set the Preferred Domain in Google Search Console

How to Set the Preferred Domain in Google Search Console

SEO How-to Video: Make Sure to Set the Right Version of Your Website in Search Console

There are at least two versions of your website, and it’s important you tell Google which version of your site is the “preferred” one. In this video I will walk you through the “why it’s important” and also “how to get it right.”

(If you prefer reading to watching, the text version of the video is below)

Audio Transcript

Did you know that Google sees different versions of your website? That’s the case even if you never intended to create different versions of your website. Did you also know that it’s extremely important to know which version of your website you’re looking at or working with when you’re using Google’s search console.

Well, that’s the subject of our video today in business basic SEO, so stick with us and I’ll be right back.

Hi, I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing and the Horizon Web Marketing Academy where we help business people understand SEO. Now today we’re going to be talking more about the search console, this is a free tool that Google offers to web masters, business owners, anyone who’s working in digital marketing or SEO and who wants to do better with Google.

Now, search consoles are a very valuable tool as a matter of fact in our consulting business, we work with it all the time. In our training academy we teach about using it all the time. Let me explain a little bit what I’m talking about when I say that there are different versions of your website. I’m going to jump over to a website that’s sort of an under developed website. It’s very plain looking, but it will serve the purpose for us.

Now, this website is called artisansofcolorado.com, and you’ll notice up in the address bar, up here for search. Notice the details of how that’s represented, h-t-t-p-s www.artisansofcolorado.com. Now that website also could be reached if I typed in, for example just artisansofcolorado.com. If I type that in it’s actually going to go to the same website, but Google actually views those as two different variations of the same website. As a matter of fact, it’s technically possible for you to have completely different content on the www version of your website, than you have on the non www version of your website.

It goes beyond that, this particular website is running over what we call a secure protocol, and Google has been pushing most site owners to run over a secure protocol. That’s always shown with http and then an S, after the http. So, in essence for any website that’s running securely, there are four different ways to reach that website. Http://artisansofcolorado.com, http://www.artisansofcolorado.com. Https://artisansofcolorado, and https://www

Screen capture of the various versions of artisansofcolorado.com that can appear in Google Search Console

Now, the interesting thing about this is when you’re working with your website, and Google search console each of those variations really should be setup as if you had four different websites. We’re going to switch over now to Google search console, and I’m going to just show you a little bit about how you do this, and how you indicate to Google which one is what we call your preferred domain when it comes to working with Google search console.

Now first of all, adding a website to Google search console and getting setup with Google search console is a little bit more involved and we do have a video that walks you through that process. So, if you have never added your site to Google search console before, I’m going to put a link on screen. I’m also going to put a link down in the notes for this particular video and you’ll be able to link over to that. I’d recommend you stop at this point, go over, learn how you add and verify a website in Google search console. Then come back and conclude with this.

So, what I’m going to do right now is I’m going to use this red button up in the top right, add a property and I’m going to use https//artisansofcolorado.com, and what Google will do is it will add this, it will ask me to verify it.

screenshot of Add a Property button in Search Console

Now, because I don’t want to bog down this video, I’m going to go ahead and complete these steps and then I’ll come back into the video when I’m done, and then we’ll move forward from there. So, here we are back at the search console and I’ve taken a moment and added and verified four different websites, but you and I both know this is really one website.

To Google however they’re going to treat it as four. I have the http version of artisans of Colorado without the www, and I have it with the www, and then I have the same thing for the https version. Both different variants of the site. Google does recognize that these sites are probably supposed to be tied together, but they still recommend that you set which one of these in the settings of search console is your preferred domain. Which one should be dominant? So, how do we determine which of those is which? I’m going to suggest that the easiest way to do it particularly if you’re non technical is to let the internet make the decision for you.

So, go to a browser, and then notice how I’ve typed in just the domain name, now the domain name is whatever word is to the left, followed by whatever is to the right of the period. So, in this case it’s just straight out artisansofcolorado.com and I don’t add in www. I don’t put in http, I just put in the domain name and I hit enter. Notice how the address bar in the top has changed, https and www have been added. So, this indicates to me that this website is setup in such a way that it should default to that particular variant. Let’s return to search console and here’s how we tell Google that, that should be our preferred domain.

screenshot of the settings gear icon in Search ConsoleWe’ll click on this one here, the www version, and then we’ll click on the gear at the top right, and we’ll select site settings. Often when you first set this up, Google will choose one of those as the default. In this case, if it comes up set as don’t set a preferred domain, you’re going to now change that setting and we will here. We’re going to select the radio button. Remember we want to be with the www, we’ll click save. Now, I’m going to show you something interesting about this. Google of course tells us that it views these as four different websites in effect, but once I’ve made this change if I go to any of these other variants. Let me take this one here, and I click on settings.

screenshot of the site settings in GSCNo, it’s changed it for this one as well. So, in other words this does indicate that Google recognizes, as I said earlier that these are supposed to be part of a matched group. Basically we have done what we need to do. Now, the last thing that I need to tell you is, when you come back to search console as data has started to accumulate here, you will not see the same data in each of these various websites. So, the account that you go to for your most consistent, most complete information is going to be the one that you set here and proceeded by your default protocol in the http versus https. That defines what we call protocol.

So, typically when we come back and we want to manage this site, submit site maps to Google search console or see things like for example crawl errors and so forth. We want to focus on that particular property. Now, there is a way where we can further tie all of these websites together and it’s something called the set, but I’m going to leave that for another video. So, for now I’m going to just let you go and set your preferred domain if you haven’t already done so. Of course if you haven’t added your websites to Google search console, then go and look at the other video that I’ve referenced in the description. Then go and add those sites to Google search console. That’s one of the first steps that you do when you’re optimizing a site for search.

I hope this bit of business basic SEO has been helpful to you. If you like tips like this, and they are useful to you, make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel down below. Also, go ahead and leave us a comment if you’d like to see videos that we don’t have within our channel. In the mean time, thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

Mobile Friendly and the Busy CEO: C-Suite SEO Tip #2

The Culture Goes Mobile: Is Your Business Ready for That?

How does a half hour on the phone with Apple customer service tie into the way Google treats your website? In this video I explore an anecdote to illustrate why ignoring the mobile trend in website marketing is tempting but dangerous (a transcript appears below the embedded video).

If you would like an assessment of your website’s mobile friendliness, contact us today.

Video Transcript

Yesterday I had a really frustrating experience with Apple customer service. When I was done with that frustrating experience, I realized that I needed to reach out to top level managers and CEOs and business owners and give them fair warning that they could end up having a very unpleasant surprise in the very near future with Google. If those things don’t seem to line up, stick around. I’ll put the pieces together in just a few seconds.

Hi. I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing. First, I’m going to tell you a little bit about this frustrating experience that I had with Apple customer service. Like many of you out there, I have a teenage daughter, and a teenage daughter who spends a lot of time on her iPhone. She’s a really responsible girl, so I let her use my Apple sign-in ID. The other day, she downloaded an app that came with a subscription. She had no intention of buying it, but she just wanted to see what it was like. There was a trial period. She deleted the app, and I said, “Well, I need to do due diligence. Let’s log in to Apple and see if there’s going to be any consequences to this. Is there anything that we need to cancel?”

Of course, what do I do? Troglodyte that I am, I go to my desktop computer, I go to the Apple website. You see it right here. Of course, you got a way to sign in. I’m signed in right now. Once I sign in, I navigate on over to my account. Within my account, I check the status of any orders. No orders showing there. I can’t find anything about subscriptions, so I figure, “Hey, I’m good. Right?” What do you think happens? Of course, two days later, boom, I got a $50 charge on my credit card.

I get on with Apple chat customer service. Long story short, after 30 minutes, I finally was able to get the subscription canceled. In the meantime, while I’m chatting with this lady who’s trying to help me, she’s directing me to articles like this one, “View, change, or cancel your subscriptions”. I’m sending her screen captures of the place where I’m at. By the way, she wasn’t even looking at my screen captures, so bad for customer service in that respect. Finally figured out that the only way to cancel the subscription was on the iPhone. There was a workaround if I would have had iTunes installed, but I didn’t. There’s just simply no way though the web browser interface to get this simple job done of canceling a subscription.

Alright. Why am I going into all of this? Because it illustrates a point. The point it illustrates is how strongly the culture, users, and major companies are moving towards a mobile-centric world. I don’t like it anymore than you do, at least I hope you don’t like it, if you’re like me, but that’s the way it is nowadays. You know who’s paying attention to this? Google. That’s why Google is writing like on their official Webmaster Central Blog recently, they did an article on how they are moving to a mobile-first index and how eventually they may even move to a mobile-only index. Not going to try and explain what mobile-first index or even what index is, I’m just going to tell you the impact.

The impact on your business website is if your website does not run smoothly, look good, load quickly on a mobile device, it’s going to start hurting you in Google search results, and most likely Bing as well, although most people only really care about Google nowadays. Basically, the ante has been upped. You need to make sure that your business website, if you need visibility in search, and who doesn’t, has to be ready on mobile. You might be saying to yourself, “Well, we got web developers and we hired this company that does our website and everything.” Maybe you haven’t even checked it out.

That factors back into why I’m talking to top level business executives. If you’re, for example, a CEO, you’ve got a really busy schedule. It’s entirely understandable if you’ve never actually pulled out a phone and taken a look at your company’s website on the phone. I’m going to tell you that you need to engage with this and not just delegate it away. Here’s a couple of examples of why.

I’m going to go to a website, or I’m going to show you here a large company website. This company is $87 million in annual revenue estimated. Look at their page over here on the right. You can see their page on a mobile device. This tool here that I’m showing you is Google’s own mobile friendly test. Notice what Google concludes, “This page is not mobile friendly.” This factors back into what I was telling you about Google. If the page is not mobile friendly, it’s not going to be well situated for a mobile-first world, the world that Google is preparing for.

Let me give you another example here so you can see this is not an isolated incident. Here’s a $106 million business. On mobile, their website doesn’t even render correctly. I doubt if the CEO or if the top level senior management people in this company even know that this is the case. You also might be thinking, “Hey, our clientele is always going to be looking at our website on a desktop computer, so it doesn’t really matter”, but it does because Google says, “Page is not mobile friendly.” Google is basically saying, “Page is very possibly not going to do well for search in the future.”

screenshot of a large company website that is not mobile friendly

Here’s my final example to show you really quickly, and that is … Let me see if I can find it here. Here is probably the most egregious example that I have. A $410 million company, half a billion dollars almost in annual revenue, and their website does not render correctly on a mobile device.

The purpose of this video is not to give you a how-to of how to check out your website. I have done a video that shows you how you, without any technical skills, can check out your own company’s website in order to see, “Hey, are we measuring up? Is our website mobile friendly?” I’ll put a link to that video in the description for this video, but no, the purpose of this is to give you my “dad” lecture, like I did with my oldest son when I said, “Hey, listen. If you drop out of high school, you’re going to regret it.” He did drop out of high school, and yeah, he does regret it. The point is if you don’t check this out, if you don’t engage with this issue, you’re likely to regret it when you find that you’re losing ground in Google search results.

If you need any help on this, at Horizon Web Marketing, we do consulting and we also do seo training, either for you or for your staff, around all sorts of digital marketing issues, including issues like this. What impact does this type of thing have on your placement in search results? That’s part of what we do for SEO, or search engine optimization. Definitely if you like videos in plain business English, subscribe down below. Also in the comments, let me know what you’d like to learn more about so that you can be more effective in managing your company’s digital marketing presence, or making sure that other people and companies do a good job of that. Until next time, my name is Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing and Horizon Web Marketing Academy. Thank you very much for your time.