I’ve worked with many contractors over the years, helping them with everything from new home improvement websites to local search engine optimization (SEO) for their home improvement company’s. In all that time I have seen quite a few Google rules come and go. Some are game changers and some you would have never heard of unless you are in the web industry. The newest is a game changer and will have a negative impact on your home improvement company if you don’t comply.
Google would like to ensure a safer web experience for everyone; especially their users. This makes sense, right? After all, with all the recent data breaches and consumer privacy constantly under attack, you would want Google to make this priority one, right? Of course you do, and so do your potential home improvement clients. The problem for Google is how to do that. One of the ways Google ensures a safe user experience is now requiring all websites to have an SSL Certificate.
What is an SSL Certificate for my home improvement website?
Look, there is really no need for you to know the technical mumbo jumbo unless you really want to sacrifice some brain cells. If so, you can go to this article about SSL Certificates to learn all the mumbo jumbo you want. But, be warned that reading it may cause drowsiness.
In the meantime, let me make it simple.
Have you ever been to a website and in the address bar just to the left of the websites address you see a green“Secure | https://” ? That is a properly installed and confirmed SSL Certificate. It tells the user by displaying the secure https that the site they are on is safe and secure and they can fill out forms and interact with the website without worry.
This is what is displayed when a proper SSL Certificate is installed on a website:
This is what is displayed when there is a missing or improperly installed SSL Certificate:
Why does it matter to my home improvement business?
There are several reasons:
- Google said so
- If you don’t have one you will no longer show up in the local search results
- Your potential customers, if they do happen to find your website, may very well abandon it for a safer user experience
- It is the new standard and will start to affect functionality on your website if you are using third party technology
- It is the right thing to do to help prevent hacking on the web
- Google said so
Of all the reasons above, numbers 1 and 6 should be all that really matters to you. Look, Google wants it. And, if you do not provide it, Google will not return your website in their search results. Remember Google provides a service and if you don’t comply with their rules they do not have to do business with you and they won’t.
My website doesn’t have one. What can I do right now to fix it?
Simple. Get an SSL Certificate.
There are lots of ways to do this on your own. Most SSL certificates are free. You can go to a site like Let’s Encrypt to get a free one. Once you have it you have to call your hosting and domain provider and ask them what their process for installing is. Generally, the process involves login in to your host and change or add some files to the root of your website. After installing the SSL Certificate you will have to get in to your website and be sure that all the links on your website including, images, videos, logos, forms and links to other websites all start with https.
As a home improvement contractor doing business in a local market you know how important it is to show up in the local search results. The good news is that once you have the SSL Certificate installed on your home improvement website you will be in compliance with Google and you will be eligible to be included the local search returns again. The even better part – you will be way ahead of your competition.
I know you don’t have time to worry about this stuff. I know you also may be intimidated by the prospect of doing something to the root files of your website and, with good reason. I also know that you must do this. This is not an optional thing and it is not something that will happen on its own. You have to take action on this now. The longer you wait the longer it will take to recover your positioning in the search results.
The good news is we can help you. All you would have to do is fill out a form, talk to us for a few minutes and we will do the rest for you. We do this stuff all the time and have the knowledge and expertise to get it done quickly, correctly and affordably. The value to you could be immeasurable.
If you would like for us to take care of it for you and get your home improvement website back on Google’s local search, get in touch with me to start the process.