Scott A Ludtke

My name is Scott A Ludtke, owner of Liberty Web Marketing. I am a professional web designer, SEO strategist, and expert internet search consultant. I help businesses enhance their placement in local search, and I help clients with reputation management to remove negative search results. I have been studying internet search methods and statistics since 2007 and currently implement proven techniques to help clients achieve online success! Want to learn more about Scott A Ludtke? Visit his other profile scottaludtke.brandyourself.com to learn more about his expertise and how he can help your search results. Please feel free to read some of my musings below.

Local Businesses Need Mobile-Friendly Websites or Face Google Penalty!

Mobile Friendly Web Development

 

On April 21st, 2015 Google is rolling out an algorithm that will penalize websites that are not mobile friendly. Essentially, if your business website is not responsive, or doesn’t otherwise have a mobile friendly version, your website is going to lose page rank position in mobile search results.

If you’re saying to yourself, “who cares about mobile search,” it’s probably a good time for you to invest five to ten minutes of your busy day to read what follows. The plain truth is that the success of your business is in imminent danger of losing valuable customers.

You won’t want to pass this information up, so grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and read this very critical truth about why mobile search matters to you and everyone. Remember, mobile search is going to drastically change on April 21, 2015.

 

A little Google History

  • In April of 2005 Google Maps came to mobile phones, offering driving directions and local information to mobile devices.
  • In June of 2005 Google released Mobile Web Search for viewing search results on mobile phones.
  • In July of 2008 Google released their first downloadable iPhone app. The App debuted with the launch of the Apple 3G iPhone and enabled users to experience faster mobile searching on iPhones.

 

What Exactly Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?

I’m certain that practically everyone has had the unfortunate experience of viewing a web page on their smart phone or tablet that was not compatible with their device. The text and graphics were tiny, forcing you to use your fingers to “zoom in” on the website content and drag it left and right. It’s annoying, right?

The term “mobile” or “responsive” means that when a website is viewed in a smartphone or tablet, the layout of the website adapts to the browser’s viewport size, making it easy to view and read the website content. Essentially the website resizes horizontally, and text and graphics adapt to a comfortable viewing size. Users merely have to scroll up or down to view the website content.

The first implementation of an adaptive viewport website width was demonstrated by Cameron Adams in 2004. In early 2009 CSS3 media queries were almost ready for full implementation across all devices. A media query allows web developers to target not only certain device classes, but to actually inspect the physical characteristics of the device rendering the website. By 2011 “responsive web design” was capable of being implemented by web developers around the world.

In December 2012, Pete Cashmore at Mashable penned a very insightful article stressing the necessity of implementing mobile friendly design, and dubbing 2013 the year of responsive web design. Forbes has also shared great articles on the necessity of prioritizing mobile friendly design into your website.

 

How to Survive Google’s Mobile-Friendly Website Algorithm

You need to have a mobile responsive website to survive this algorithm.

Liberty Web Marketing offers responsive design solutions that comply with Google’s requirements. Our responsive web development offers businesses an effective solution for visitors on all device types.

 

Mobile website vs Responsive – What’s the Difference?

A mobile version of your website is a “mini-me” version of your main website that utilizes a different domain than the main website. In other words there are two versions of a website on two different domains.

A responsive website is a single website that adapts to the size of the device being used to view it by utilizing a single domain.

In the above-referenced article at Forbes, Contributor Susan Gunelius interviewed Jody Resnick, President of Trighton Interactive. Resnick made it very clear that having a mobile version of your website is not enough anymore. Resnick explained:

“With a responsive website, businesses can be in front of consumers at every step of their online journey. People, who search for a business’ site, begin reading content and viewing videos from their desktop computers at work, and then look for the same business on their smartphones during lunch are able to continue their research into products and services uninterrupted.

“In contrast, if the business has a traditional website and a mobile site, someone investigating products and services online can become frustrated by the lack of complete content on the mobile site or the inability to navigate through the full site on her smartphone. She might give up the search altogether,” Resnick warned.

“Responsive websites provide continuity between different viewing contexts, remaining completely agnostic to the type of device used and the size of the screen it has. What this means is that the same website will present an optimized layout regardless of which device it finds itself being loaded in.”

 

Responsive Design is Best for Organic Ranking

Responsive websites are easier for consumers to find than traditional or mobile sites because they come up higher in search engines’ rankings. In fact, Google recommends responsive web design because having a single URL for desktop and mobile sites makes it easier for Google [and other search engines] to discover content, and for Google’s algorithms to assign indexing properties to content.

For the past four years Liberty Web Marketing has been successfully designing and promoting their responsive design and Local Search optimization services in an effort to help Waukesha and other area businesses rank well in local search results. We’re honored to say that we’ve helped many businesses achieve a successful online presence that generates leads and new customers.

Ironically, local search ranking was successful for our clients, even if the business website was not mobile friendly. Although we stress to clients the importance of having a mobile responsive website, some businesses either lack the necessary budget to adapt to responsive design, or they fail to see the necessity of investing in a mobile-friendly web presence.

The “free pass” of ranking well in local search with websites that are not mobile-friendly will soon come to an end, and business owners really need to understand the impact this will have on their business.

Over the past few years there has been a significant evolution in the way that people surf the internet. The mobile device (Smartphone and Tablet) is now the dominant form of telecommunications technology. Both smartphone and tablet dissemination has been the trend towards true, seamless digital experience across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

In 2012, the global Internet usage from mobile devices was 12x the amount of data that was used for the entire internet in the year 2000 (1. Cisco Visual Network Index)

Perhaps you’ve passed on making this necessary upgrade and have survived so far.

This is all about to change, and fast!

We can help! Call 262-993-1562 or contact us online.


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Hackers! Just hearing that word makes any WordPress website developer or site administrator cringe. If you’re wondering how to block hackers from your WordPress site with an effective method, you’ve come to the right place.

Lets face it. WordPress is a very popular website platform, and like anything that gains Internet-related notoriety, it ultimately becomes a target to hackers. I just don’t get why these individuals invest so much time trying to infiltrate and destroy other people’s property? I only know that I sleep better knowing that my website is protected from their antics!

Discovering WordPress Hackers

Before I get into the technique of blocking hackers, I thought I would briefly explain how I discovered that my website was under attack.

It all started when I saw a lot of traffic to my website. I logged in to my Google Analytics account and took a look at the source and frequency of visitor traffic to my website. Operating as a US based business, I have little need for visitors from anywhere but the United States. I had visitors from Brazil, Russia, United Kingdom, and China, just to name a few.

Global WordPress Hacker Location Sources

These foreign visitors were spending a great deal of time on my site and I wasn’t quite sure what they were up to. I needed to find out just what they were up to.

One Technique of Blocking WordPress Hackers

After experimenting with several security plugins and monitoring what visitors were up to, I realized that a large majority of traffic was going to the default WordPress login URL. Hmmm, trying to log in were they? By the way, good luck with that!  I never use the default “admin” username, I changed the user “nicename” in phpMyAdmin, and the password is very, very strong! Anyhow, I fixed that potential issue by changing my login URL to a custom one. But that didn’t stop them from trying to hack the login or otherwise mess with my website.

Blocking Hackers by IP Address

What I was really after was a means to block the relentless hackers from other parts of the world from being able to visit my website altogether! After many trials and errors I finally settled for the “All-In-One Security” plugin, and began monitoring 404 Not Found errors. In relevant part the plugin shows me the source of the 404 error and the visitor’s IP address.

Blocking hackers from your WordPress site

I take the IP address and run it through IP Geek to see where it is from. Once I determine that the visitor is NOT wanted, I simply use the plugin to “blacklist” the IP.

This should be enough of a deterrant to keep them away for a while – until they attain a new IP, that is.

I’ve blocked literally hundreds of IP’s from all over the globe.

Hey hackers! Get a clue – you’re not welcome here!!

Feel free to ask questions or details, or to give your two cents worth in the comments below


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2015-3 Google+ Local for Businesses and Organizations in Waukesha and Milwaukee WIA while back, last October as a matter of fact, I wrote a post that explained some of the basic details on how to put your Waukesha business on the map. That post primarily focused on search statistics and the continuing trend towards increased mobile usage by people who surf the web. These numbers are very important when it comes to the success or failure of your business’s online presence.

It dawned on me that these statistics and the principles surrounding maps and Geo relevance are relative – meaning that this information doesn’t just pertain to Waukesha businesses. These principles apply to businesses in Milwaukee, Chicago, and across the globe. Don’t let the title of this post lead you into thinking that if your business is located anywhere but Waukesha that this information does not apply to you. It applies to practically every business on the planet!

I admit that I originally planned to follow up with this second post much sooner, but ironically our local search services has me pretty busy helping several local and other businesses to achieve online success. Obviously, blogging about local search tips for businesses falls second to client needs, so four months later I’m finally getting back to this very important tutorial of sorts. Before I move ahead too quickly I want to briefly elaborate on exactly what local search is.

 

What is Local Search?

To put it in simple words:

“Local Search is the use of specialized Internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically targeted searches against a structured database of local business listings.” ~Source: Wikipedia

The operative term in this definition is “local business listings.” I say this because business directories are the primary sources that search engines harvest business information from to grade and display in their respective local search results.

As the example search illustration (below) shows, when you use your smartphone, tablet, or PC to search Google to find a business or restaurant, or to get directions to some place or event, “local search” algorithms target your geographical location and serve up local business results based on your current location.

Local Search Result for Dining in Waukesha

“Click” image for search results near your location

The Importance of Business “NAP” Data

Business information in local business listings is comprised of three primary elements, otherwise referred to as “NAP” Data. The NAP acronym stands for: Name, Address, Phone Number.

Although there are literally hundreds and thousands of business listing directories, only a few “select business directories” are used by search engines to gather local business information. These select directories have demonstrated credibility, authenticity, and trust. Some of the obvious ones are Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Other trusted directories include Acxiom, Localeze, and Infogroup, to name a few.

As you may have gathered so far, it is very important to have your business listed in the “select” business directories if you want your business to show up in the top local search results. However, there’s a bit more to listing your business in these directories than simply submitting business information to them.

Generally there are two ways to submit your business information to the large NAP aggregators.

  1. By subscribing to a third party vendor (Usually very expensive), or
  2. Having it done by a Local Search service provider, such as Liberty Web Marketing.

Having your business rank in the top pack of local search results can mean the difference between your business being a success or failure.

Consistency is Key!

Having impeccable consistency in NAP data across directory aggregators is the key to success in local search. Achieving this is a lot easier said than done, however. Getting your business in the top seven pack takes considerable work that is better left to experts that know what they are doing.

 

Can I Submit My own Business NAP Data to Directories?

Of course the answer to this question is yes. Many small business owners want to save a few bucks and they attempt to do this on their own.  Unfortunately many mistakes are made, and it takes weeks, months, and even as long as one year to correct mistakes.

It’s important to understand that getting everything “perfectly correct” the first time you submit your business NAP Data to aggregators is critical! One simple mistake like using “street” in one directory, and “st” in another, can mean the difference in ranking in the seven pack or not.

Before submitting your business NAP data to directories,  it is very important to research your business information across various NAP aggregators to make certain that you use the correct NAP information from the onset. Abbreviations, proper categorization, and location are a few key things to stratgize. It’s also important to make certain that your business pin marker is located correctly across all major map providers.

Conclusion:

Getting your business listed in quality, select business directories with consistent NAP data will substantially put your business at an advantage in local search.

In our next segment on local search I will go through some of the ways you check check your business’ NAP data for consistency, and also whether there are any duplicate listings hampering your local search presence.

If you’re interested in improving the local search presence of your business in Waukesha, trust the experts at Liberty Web Marketing! Call 262-993-1562 for a free consultation.

 


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