Here's some information to assist in your jumpstart...

1. Sitebuilder

myrtle beach small business websites

You've probably considered using a sitebuilder to build your site. Perhaps you've seen those fun commercials with top actors promoting them, but you've also heard bad things about them. Things like, you can't have your own domain name, they don't come with email, and they don't rank at the search engines. Well all those rumors are true if you're going to a sitebuilder company for a sitebuilder software. That's because that's all they were built for and that's all they offer, unless you want to add outsourced options and pay a premium. Instead you want a full featured company that also offers a sitebuilder package, and one with robust features.

Introducing Ultimate Sitebuilder from Surfside Web. Our sitebuilder package comes with domain name, 20GB of SSD web space, 100GB bandwidth, lightning fast load speed, professional email @yourdomain.com, security, reliability, media storage and a lot more. Ultimate Sitebuilder also has all of the needed on-page SEO elements available so you can optimize and submit your site to start climbing at the search engines. All this for as low as $14 per month, depending on year(s) chosen at checkout.

Choose from many beautiful hand crafted layouts and motifs to kick start your creative processes.

However there are two things required to build with a sitebuilder and those are time and creativity. While ours is more robust than our competitors, sitebuilders almost always have some limitations. These are typically the page formatting and the ability to add more features. This brings us to our next option ...


2. Managed WordPress Website Hosting

myrtle beach wordpress meetup and workshop

You've probably heard of the Internet software giant WordPress and you heard it was great for blogging. Well yes that is where it all started. However, WordPress has grown so much since it's inception and we've been there for over 15 years of it's evolution. WordPress is now a fully functional framework for building great websites. So much so that Google and WordPress have teamed up to use the WordPress framework to build Googles new Newsroom platform. WordPress is so versatile that over 30% of the entire Internet is now built on it. That's right. Nearly 1/3 of all the sites you visit, have WordPress underneath whether obvious or not.

With such a huge following there are literally hundreds of thousands of themes built for it that can have you up and running in just about an hour. But we do NOT advise just throwing up a WP website on just any provider. To properly run WordPress for your small business websites you need Managed WordPress Hosting.  Our managed wordpress hosting packages are only 14.99 per month.

Sign-Up for Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress means that the provider manages the following:

  1. Server platform is optimized to run WordPress without limitations that cause bugs in WordPress' operations.
  2. Server has an easy installer for installing the WordPress software and required data backend. (less than a minute)
  3. Managed hosting provider has the know how and expertise in using, running and modifying WordPress.
  4. Server is built to be 100% secure so that WordPress can not be exploited.
  5. Full backups of entire site and the WordPress software are performed daily.
  6. Site backups are kept on machine and within the cloud for easy recovery.
  7. Hosting provider supports WordPress at it's fullest capabilities.
  8. Hosting provider offers assistance in learning how to use the WordPress software.
  9. Super fast speeds under 1.7 seconds when optimized.
  10. Hosting provider has 24/7/365 support for WordPress issues.

Surfside Web's own GM Wil Hatfield, is also the co-organizer of the Myrtle Beach WordPress Meetup held every 3 weeks to assist customers, and the Myrtle Beach community at large, in learning how to use and optimize the WordPress software. We also go further than the rest in that we will assist the customer in the installation of WordPress, themes, theme sample data and lite configurations. We even do free site migrations from other web hosts. A great way to jump start your new WordPress business website.

So lets recap that cost analysis; Annual Hosting $179.88, a Theme from ThemeForest.com $60, professional install and support $0, class to learn WordPress $0, full time tech support $0 ... for a professional wordpress business website total of $239.88. Yea you!

MORE AT THEMEFOREST.COM

However, you might not have the time or the patience to build your own website. Really ask yourself, how much is your time worth? Which brings us to our next recommendation ...


When you hire us as your web design and branding specialists you get ...

3. Custom Myrtle Beach Web Design

Custom Myrtle Beach Web Design

You're probably asking yourself, "Can I afford custom Myrtle Beach web design?" The word "Custom" doesn't really have to cost an arm and a leg.  As a matter of fact you will find that our custom brand and theme development costs 30% less than it does to hire other so called design agencies to buy a $60 theme and throw your info into it. I guess you are paying them extra to learn how to manipulate the theme to look like the site you want. Since we build ours from scratch we simply tell the theme what we want it to do, and it does it.

Because we use the bottom up approach adding only the required features and coding there are a couple great outcomes.

  1. You won't need to upgrade it constantly as the CMS behind it changes. It's simplified so that software changes have little effect on it.
  2. If there is a need for a change to the theming we are right here to make adjustments with ease. You don't have to try to hunt down your designer, only to find out with reluctance it wasn't their theme, then to hunt down the actual author only to find out it's no longer supported.
  3. IT'S FAST! While online bought themes are over bloated with unused features and bad coding they load in about 4-15 seconds, ours average about 1.7 seconds. Google loves page speed and it shows in our customer SEO rankings.

If you have even bigger ideas you just let us know and we can build that too. As a full service development firm we can build whatever custom software you need. Databases, extensions, plugins, added features, you name it. We can assist you with that and do so affordably.

So feel free to draw those pictures on napkins and decide what you want. Take them to our competition and get a price for development of your custom branding and theme. Then pick your jaw up and give us a call. After your free sit down and consultation you will find we are the MOST capable and MOST affordable web development team on the Grand Strand.

We're often asked, is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) worth the investment? The answer is often, "No."  Now before you run screaming from the room, let me explain.  SEO ranking has huge benefits, but only if it is done properly.   There are many parts to a comprehensive organic SEO plan. Here are just a few.

  • On-Page SEO:  Building your site, or content management system theming, so that it has the potential to rank well at the search engines. There are many on-page factors that should have been considered by your website designers, such as text usage and it's above the fold placement, emphasis on key terms, headers and word counts.  Test your site with a free site audit.
  • Page Speed: Believe it or not the time it takes your page to load is a very important factor. Indexers like GoogleBot value their time so if your page takes twice as long to load as your competition, they will put less importance to it's indexing and ranking. Sites should load within 2 machine time seconds. Sites taking more will rank lower, every time. So make sure you have powerful SEO Web Hosting to improve ranking.   Test your site with WebPageTest, or Google Page Speed.
  • Security: Quite simply, is your site communication encrypted, and is the site itself free of malware and viruses.  Google will detect these vulnerabilities and remove you from the index all together so that their search engine users don't infect their computers. Test your site SSL and Security.
  • Fresh Content: Search engines get bored if they don't have new pages to eat up.  Write new content for your site and inner link it to relevant pages throughout your site.  Search engine like to see several internal linkages, and 1-2 external linkages if they are done properly. Otherwise you just pass your link juice off to the sites linked to reducing your page score.
  • Quality Backlinks:  Whatever you do, don't respond to those emails offering you backlinks for under $50. There is no such thing as quality backlinks for that cheap. This is normally done by a $20 piece of software. At least they met their return on investment right?  No, back-linking needs to be done from content relevant sites with a high page rank score and it has to be done the correct way.  Google knows what sites to expect spam to come from, and they WILL penalize you for those negative spammy backlinks.
  • Patience: When we only had a few million sites on the Internet, indexing was speedy and done quickly. However, that isn't the online world we live in anymore.  Step 1, follow the above steps. Step 2, you wait patiently. Keep building content and keep pushing for your search engine indexing. Make sure that your sitemaps are submitted, then re-submitted every 30 days.  You can expect to invest about 10 hours a month on a good SEO service and plan, and you can expect to only see gradual results.  You will not often see a page jump to #1 within 60 days unless you have no competition. Remember your competitors are paying an SEO to improve their ranking placements too.  Track your ranking and improve on those key phrases that aren't moving up at all after 60 days. Then patiently wait for the rank brains to hit you with their algorithms.

So I hope the answer now makes a little more sense. If you have not taken care in providing at least these few top requirements for SEO, then yes you are wasting your money.  I'm taking the time to write this article today, because we see a LOT of Myrtle Beach SEO customers wasting their money spending several thousands annually and not even ranking on the first page.  In critiquing these sites I notice there is no SSL encryption, time to first byte load times of over 3.5 seconds, lack of page rendering for up to 5 seconds, and bad on-page SEO probably due to the designers not even designing for it.

Fase Web Hosting Performance Test

 

Fixes to Help Get Your Money's Worth

  1. Improve page speed through secure and SEO friendly web hosting.  This will reduce your page load time and ensure you are not on a hosting provider that is blocked by Google/Bing/Yahoo policies.  Expect to shave 1 second from page load times.
  2. On-page SEO provided with all web design quotes. What's the sense in having a site if nobody can find it, right? Expect better rankings over time.
  3. Site Butler site maintenance and optimization service.  Optimization of your website, plugins, speed, and much more.  Hosting customers that also subscribe to Site Butler service also receive free CDN setup for World Wide load time optimizations even in remote areas.
  4. Ongoing SEO packages include all the necessities illustrated above, rank tracking reports, and all optimizations listed here.  $249/mo compared to our competitor pricing of $499-$799 monthly.  Local SEO is included with this package.  Even we aren't the cheapest, but ask yourself, how much is your time worth?

Website Security Web Hosting Test
Improved Page Speed Hosting Test


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

CDN web hosting myrtle beach, sc

Global in Reach, and We Mean It!

While Surfside Web has offices in Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach, we are a global provider of quality web hosting services operating from 3 load bearing data centers throughout the United States. We have now taken our new global content delivery network (CDN) online and will be rolling this out to all customers on Gold packages of $14.99/mo and above.

Our Content Delivery Network can make your website load faster (over 200% faster) and having the capability to deliver your content faster, over shorter distances, makes for better performance. It also improves SEO and security too, but we've had that covered for decades already.

Upgrade today from your economy packages for merely $5 more a month and receive our new CDN web hosting offerings which is included with Gold and Platinum packages only. Simply login to the Customer Care Center find your hosting package and click Upgrade.

CDN Network Information

With over 29 edge pop servers strategically located around the globe, your content will reach its destination 200% faster within the US, 400% faster in Europe, and also more securely thanks to our new CDN. The network’s latency is only 10ms from most of the United States, which means it will significantly optimize the Internet user experience.

The CDN is a very good choice for anyone who targets the European, Asian and Australian consumers. With its 12 edge locations in the Europe, Asia/Pacific and Australian regions it will guarantee very low round trip speed for consumers searching for Travel and Tourism in Myrtle Beach, real estate companies and those planning their vacation stays here.  This is why we must remain the top pick for web hosting in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area here.

Edge locations are points of presence, that are owned and operated by the CDN provider, while Peer locations are gateways between the CDN provider's internal network and the Internet, and are only one hop away from the Edge servers. We maintain upstreams to offer 10 Gigabit backbone with over 1 Tbps of transit and peering capacity.

Surfside Web Network Capabilities

Surfside Web operates a fully-redundant network with uplinks (Level 3, Cogent, HE) and guarantees 100% network uptime guarantee, 100% security and now a 200% speed increase with 1.4 - 3.5 second load speeds around the globe. The company's core equipment is hosted in 3 N+3 Worldclass Datacenters in Orlando, Dallas and Sacramento. The strategic locations and the redundant networks operated by us ensure the lowest possible latency to any point in North America and now Europe thanks to the new CDN development.

Added Security Stacks (6 Layers)

Aside from each Managed Web Hosting servers' firewall, WAF, and filters we will now offer another 6 layers of security through the CDN before the web hosting server itself is accessed. We shop our own competition and believe this could very well make us the most hardened and secure provider of web hosting in the country.

We hope you enjoy these new offerings. We thank you for your business and will continue to improve network operations, easily maintaining our 100% guarantees.


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

Remarketing Retargeting Myrtle Beach, SC

Remarketing Plays an Important Role in Search Engine Marketing Strategies for 2018

There have been many changes to search engine marketing tactics over the last few years, but one of the most impactful improvements in marketing has been remarketing.

Remarketing is often referred to as retargeting. The two terms are used interchangeably in the search engine marketing world. In a nutshell, remarketing is the process of using scripts on specific websites - namely, yours! - to continue to influence visitors who have come and gone from your website and are now visiting other sites.

Undoubtedly, you’ve been searching for a product on Amazon.com and then saw an ad for that exact product on Facebook just moments later? That’s remarketing.

What’s Remarketing All About?

Remarketing, at first, seems a bit tricky, but it’s quite simple by design: use information gathered from a user to influence buying opportunities. A generally accepted rule of business is that patrons need to see or come into contact with your product sometimes as many as seven times before they will decide to buy your product!

Rather than have to sprinkle billboards all over town, take out newspaper ads in local prints, and stand at booths at regional conferences to spread to the word about your business, you can use remarketing to drive traffic back to your website with ease.

Depending on the type of business you run, remarketing can really help you reign in traditional advertising costs and make the most of your marketing dollars.

How Can you Integrate Remarketing into Your Advertising Campaigns?

What’s interesting about remarketing is that it can be included as part of your ad campaigns online to influence your website’s visitors continually. When coupled with Pay-per-click advertising (PPC), Cost-per-click (CPC), or Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), remarketing can enhance and improve your return on investment by ensuring that your ads don’t get lost in the shuffle.

Working with an experienced search engine marketing team means that your dollar goes further and you aren’t left wondering how your website, products, and services are performing. Understanding how PPC, CPC, and remarketing work together is an essential part of the overall marketing process and it can enhance your efforts ten-fold when it’s done correctly.

What are the Benefits of Remarketing?

There are many benefits to remarketing in 2018 as part of your overall search engine marketing strategies. One advantage includes the increased level of exposure that your brand and product line will get. Because remarketing can be specified to a single product, based on information gathered from a user’s visit to your site, you can pick and choose how you want to re-promote your products and services making it easier to convert more visitors into paying customers.

Another benefit of adding remarketing to your overall marketing strategy is that you increase your rates of conversion. With exposure comes an opportunity to make a sale. And since we don’t actually know how many times someone needs to be exposed to a new product in order to convert to a deal, the more exposure you have, the better.

Remarketing can also help you improve your bottom line and budget. For example, PCC and CPC campaigns are very affordable, and businesses of all sizes can usually afford even a small PCP or CPC campaign. Platforms like Facebook are famous for providing low-cost advertising to consumers without breaking the bank. Remarketing can add another level of advertising without a high investment. Of course, the more money you put into your advertising and marketing campaign, the more effective it will be, but if you are short on funds and need to make the most of your advertising dollars, it’s best to work with an experienced team to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Other benefits of remarketing include the ability to target specific types of users and visitors to your site. For example, you can choose particular demographics to retarget. This can provide invaluable information for new businesses who haven’t quite nailed down their target demographic. While many companies start out with an “ideal client,” markets change, and demographics can shift as the business gets off the ground. Remarketing allows you to conduct tests to see which potential consumers are responding to your product.

Is Remarketing Right for your Business?

In short, every business would benefit from more advertising. It’s the kind of thing that never hurts a company. Remarketing can significantly improve your business's success by helping recapture abandoned shopping carts, remind patrons of your products and services, and keep your brand top of mind in a world that is set on light speed all the time. Because of the barrier to entry related to remarketing, and the low costs of getting started, remarketing is an excellent option for any online business owner looking to increase traffic, improve conversion, and create brand awareness for their company.

The only caveat to search engine remarketing or retargeting is the difficulty in meeting the requirements of the search engines and platforms offering it.  For instance Google requires you have at least 100 visitors a month for search, 1000 visitors per month for display network, and others like LinkedIn require your site tag trigger at least 300 times before your custom lists can be retargeted. This is often difficult for new sites, but top search engine marketing companies like Surfside Web know how to increase the traffic to meet those requirements within 30 days.

Want to learn more about remarketing? Contact Surfside Web today to get started.


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

Business revenues, travel and tourism are expected to double thru 2018-2020.
What part will you play? Will you grow, or will your competitors?

Myrtle Beach visitors need to know you exist and all about the great services you have to offer. These days 80% of them are using the web to find what they need. A few use travel guides, but not many as the information is out of date.

Your website and other online marketing are essential in getting your message across. Your site being found is an even more important factor. Try these 5 options for improving your traffic and you'll see growth of 22% or more.

engage customers with visual web design in myrtle beach, sc

Improve Visitor Visuals

Create or revamp your website design so that it is responsive for all devices and user interactive. Show visitors what they can expect from your business or service before they ever get there. Draw them in with great visuals and they'll certainly pay you a visit or call.

When your site visitors find a low impact and outdated web design they will assume that this is the kind of business you run on a regular basis. Your site is key to your reputation and your ability to convert visitors, to customers. You've got 20 seconds to make a great impression online, make it a good one. [learn more]

search engine optimization in myrtle beach, sc

Help Them Find You

Optimizing your site to be found at the search engines sure isn't an easy task, but it is a necessary one. The days are gone when people used phonebooks and even seniors have turned to the web to find you. Travel and tourism guides are a great supplement, but they certainly don't replace online marketing by far.

You will want to employ a good balance of Search Engine Marketing which includes Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn ads and more. Not to mention the most integral part of your online marketing campaign and that's proper SEO and backlinking through syndication. [learn more]

social media marketing in myrtle beach, sc

Post on Social Media

Tell your story on social media and maintain constant daily contact with your audience. This allows you to make friends all around the world. When they visit the Grand Strand they will be sure to come visit you.

Tie your website and your social activity together. Turn your social friends into website visitors and visa versa. The greatest part of this is your opportunity to lock on to your traffic and use remarketing and retargeting to push your product or service in front of them no matter where they go. You'll quickly become the authority of your industry and increase leads 3x over. [learn more]

mobile app design development myrtle beach, sc

Put a Leash on Visitors

Build a mobile app for your company and visitors can carry you around in their pocket. The possible applications for a mobile app in the Myrtle Beach travel and tourism industry are endless. Push notifications letting them know about nearby amenities, room availability, coupons for restaurants, services and more. They can browse their way around the Grand Strand and safely get back to you with geo-mapping.

Even if you aren't in the travel industry here you can still build out great marketing opportunities. Tie your website to the cell phone in the consumers' pocket. Connect your mobile app directly to your website so that your website changes go out to your mobile app immediately. Once they install your app the possibilities just keep converting leads to sales. [learn more]

e-commerce design development myrtle beach, sc

Keep Them Year Round

Be sure not to miss out on re-connecting your visitors with your product or merchandise year round. Build an eCommerce storefront and keep your visitors engaged with your product catalog. What a great way to replace those gifts that got lost with their luggage. [learn more]

To learn more about how to grow your business here in the Grand Strand please call our office at any time ..... (843) 438-4099 ext. 3

A Web Design and Internet Marketing company located right here in the Grand Strand, Surfside Web is dedicated to providing complete web and Internet marketing solutions creatively tailored for your business. Whether you need a new device friendly web design, a highly functional web based application, SEO, CRM, CMS, hosting or email with a 100% uptime guarantee, we will engineer the most effective and impactful marketing and communication tool for your company. No project too big or too small and all at a price you can afford.


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

PHP 7.2 was officially released as of November 30, and it is tested and available immediately on all Surfside Web hosting servers. The release has new features, functions, and improvements that allow you to write better code.

What Does PHP 7.2 Mean for WordPress Site Owners?

According to the official WordPress Stats page, only 17% of WordPress users have upgraded to PHP 7, only 7.2% use 7.1 and only 0.6% are using PHP 7.2 like us. You can see that a large majority of users, over 40%, are still running on PHP 5.6. Even scarier is that over 34% of users are using unsupported and vulnerable PHP versions.

Upgrading your WordPress to 7.2 seems pretty safe to date. We would suggest going through your plugins though and verify that they have been updated. If you click on the details link for the plugin and see the words, "this plugin has not been tested with the last few versions of WordPress", you may want to look into upgrading that plugin. You can go to the original website to see if maybe there is an update available, or you can create a Support Ticket with us and we can look at the code base to see if there are any incompatibilities first.

PHP 7 Web Hosting Stats

As of January 2018, WordPress.org actually bumped up their official recommendation to PHP 7.2, MariaDB 10.0 or better and Apache with SSL security. We recommend this too and that's what you can expect from Surfside Web hosting servers optimized for applications like WordPress and Woocommerce.

Speaking of MySQL vs MariaDB; MariaDB shows a 10% increase in speed, 5-7% reduction in CPU utilization, with a 10% improvement in write latency over it's predecessor. This overall performance increase justifies our change to MariaDB in the summer of last year. It also explains the WordPress web hosting recommendation.

The combination of PHP 7.2 and MariaDB 10.1 overall shows a HUGE improvement in technology for 2018. Benchmarks have been performed between the various platforms using WordPress and the results are extraordinary showing a 225% speed improvement over PHP 5.6 systems at 604 requests per second.

How to implement PHP 7.2 in Your Surfside Web Hosting?

Login to your hosting control panel. Scroll down to the Software menu group. Click on "Select PHP Version". There you will see your current PHP version as seen in the image here to the right. Select 7.2 from the pull down and click the "Set as current" button. That's it! If you need to adjust the libraries you have the access for that there too. Clicking on the "Switch to PHP options" link will show you your default options where you can access your memory, download size, etc. Enjoy!

After changing PHP version immediately check your website, running though things page by page. Remember to login to the admin panel for your software because there can be issues there not seen on the front end. Normally if there is going to be an issue like an obsolete library or something, you will know on your first visit. If you have issues simply switch your version back to the version you were running and check your error_log files for the conflict reported.

 

Changes that can be seen in PHP 7.2?

Version 5.6 will continue to be the installed default, and will remain so probably until the end of 2018. Change is not required, only encouraged. There are many changes from 5.6 to 7.2. Mostly they are simple programming code changes. There is a lot of backwards compatibility in place so much of it won't even be noticed. However, many functions have deprecated and will be removed in PHP 8, but that's not going to be an issue for awhile.

The great news is that there are many new features and changes that improve performance and the ability of your applications. Several of the features added were done so in order that PHP can compete with the common features of Java and C+. So if you are writing new applications we suggest you go over the migration guides below and start working with PHP 7.2. You'll see some great improvements right away.

5.6 to 7.0 Migration Guide - http://php.net/manual/en/migration70.php
7.0 to 7.1 Migration Guide - http://php.net/manual/en/migration71.php
7.1 to 7.2 Migration Guide - http://php.net/manual/en/migration72.php


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

As Google continues to up its game and keep the Internet on its toes, there’s some important information that needs to be verified and dispelled when it comes to the search engine’s changes. The Myrtle Beach SEO experts at Surfside Web have broken these down for you here.

Fred Ranking Algorithm Update

SEO Expert Fred Follows PandaSEO expert, Wil Hatfield reminds us of the March 2017 Google update saying, "Google's Fred algorithm update did hit low-valued content sites aimed at revenue generation rather than the goal of providing users with a rich experience. Many of the old black hat tricks, and some grey hat as well, did endure penalties in ranking. It's important to forecast the changes that the Search Engine minds at the top will consider over the coming year. Sticking to good quality content is most important at Google. Three words... Panda panda panda."

Google Panda, first released in February 2011, was aimed at reducing the amount of low-quality content on the search engine’s results pages. It reflected the way new search results would be ranked and it impacted how “discoverable” websites were after that. In short Panda dictates to use quality content and let your visitors know what the page is about and when doing so do it "above the fold".  Fred is the next level of that and it’s taking the black hat tactics by storm.

Managing the Google Fred Update

It is reported that some websites experienced up to 90% drops in traffic when the update hit the internet in March 2017. Whether business owners realized it or not, they were at fault of aggressive monetization tactics that were part of the crackdown by Google. If you found yourself part of this crowd, you should review some of these aspects of your website, and then seek the help of a professional SEO expert to update your approach to be in line with the new expectations from Google.

Website owners need to reduce the number of ads on their sites, as well as the location of the ads that remain. If there is an abundance of poorly placed advertisements, your website might be at risk of losing rankings; actually, we are sure of it. Finally, one of the most important things you can do is update the content on your site regularly so that it continues to be seen as valuable and contributory. Keep it fresh and keep your SEO on point.

Google's HTTPS in 2017

While first introduced in August 2014, the HTTPS change has come to full fruition in 2017. Sites not using “Encrypt All Things” will lose ranking to those that do.

Encrypting all the things means that websites that are deemed unsafe may be removed from top rankings. It’s part of Google’s mission to make the Internet safer. And if you aren’t paying attention to your encryption, you might be inadvertently putting your web visitors in danger.

Parisa Tabriz, who manages Google Chrome’s security engineering team, tweeted that Google's intention is to “call out” HTTP for what it is: “UNSAFE.”

"It's important that we, as a full service web services company, keep up with the trends and offer our customers what they need for SEO success. That's why our eSilver package comes will full HTTPS capability to take advantage of this Google algorithm change, wrapped into a simple web hosting cost of only $19.99 a month. A price point lower than all local non-encrypted hosting providers." -Wil Hatfield Surfside Web CEO

In making the move toward more security online, Google has deemed SSL as one of the most important factors in a website’s ranking. When the switch first took place, it was of lesser importance; however, it is about to become almost mandatory for any website to be ranked properly on Google. Research currently points to a direct correlation between SSL presence and higher rankings on the search engine. The bottom line? It’s safer for everyone when SSL is in place. Visitors to your website want to know their information and transactions are secure.

Google Chrome now has built-in features that alert users to the security of a website: when you review the address bar in the web browser, there will be an indication that the website is secure before the current web address in the URL bar.

Project Owl Update Not an Issue for Most

"We've seen so-called experts chanting wildly about an Owl update that is supposed to have significant impact on your content ranking. This is not the case. Owl has been around for awhile and is a tool used by Google to display authoritative results and brand information. This Owl update is simply an addition to filter out Fake News and Fake Brand information, giving them little to no ranking for their misleading content." -Wil Hatfield

Regarding the Owl updates Google themselves state simply... "We've adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content, so that issues similar to the Holocaust denial results that we saw back in December are less likely to appear," writes Ben Gomes, Google’s executive in charge of search.

Owl Algorithm SEO Experts

Wil Hatfield goes on to say, "My concern grows for customers who are being enticed into expensive services to counter the effects of algorithm changes that have nothing to do with their content. Quality content is key in all of Google's updates. Any expert SEO company should know the difference between a content ranking algorithm and a featured snippet change."

There will be some alleged SEO experts in Myrtle Beach trying to take advantage of business owners who themselves don’t know the difference between a “content ranking algorithm and a featured snippet change”, as Hatfield points out above. The risk becomes two fold for Myrtle Beach business owners: the risk of losing out on valuable rankings if they decide to go it alone, and the risk of being taken for a ride if they decide to seek help from unqualified professionals.  "Ask to see their results," Hatfield continues, "and contact those domain owners to check their claims."

What’s Next?

As Google works to improve the Internet’s security and authoritative nature, we are bound to see more changes in the future. The rapid fire rate at which Google is evolving is difficult for the average Joe to keep up with, but an SEO expert understands what is in the pipeline and can manage those changes effectively for clients. While it can feel like rocket science to people, experts live and breathe what’s happening with Google and can make that navigation process much simpler for business owners, bloggers, and anyone else wishing they had a better presence, online.


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

With more and more consumers visiting websites on their mobile phones and tablets, businesses are having to update their websites for responsible web design. Because most people don’t sit at their desktop or laptop computers to surf the web anymore, websites have had to undergo some changes so that the content is readable on a mobile device or tablet. This is why the majority of the online businesses here in the Myrtle Beach area, are working to develop their website with responsive web design.

responsive web design myrtle beach

Responsive Web Design

A website on the internet can become responsive to mobile devices because of the coding that has gone on behind the scenes. Responsive web design essentially means that websites have the ability to change size and design layout based on which device a website is being viewed. A programmer has to code a different set of instructions to view the website on a mobile device, and a different site of instructions for viewing the website on a desktop, tablet or laptop.

Responsive Web Design in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Your website needs to be responsive. Here’s how we can help make your website more accessible to your customers:

1. Flexibility

Because your website will be able to be viewed across all mobile and desktop devices, it will be able to be viewed as it was intended: anytime, anywhere. Working with the proper frameworks, we’ll ensure your content and pictures are balanced and present fluidly on a device screen.

2. Improved User Experience

Conversation rates go down when customers have to navigate a non-responsive webpage on a mobile device. You will be able to count on your customers seeing exactly what you need them to see to help you make the sale. Users can access your site whenever they need to; they do not need to zoom in or out, and their screen will house your web page without issue.

RWD will help you to turn your visitors into loyal customers:
- They can access your site at any time they like
- There will be no need to zoom the screen in order to read clearly
- The screen will fit so superbly that they will not have to scroll sideways

3. Cost Effective

Taking a non-responsive website and turning it into a responsive website is a one-time-job. We can work with your existing frameworks to incorporate responsive web design into your website. If you have multiple websites, we are happy to take on those projects as well. As a responsive website design company in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we can fulfill all of your web design needs.   Or even help you to sell your products with an responsive eCommerce storefront.

4. Recommendation by Google

Ensuring your website gets found on Google is a priority for all business owners. If you neglect to transition your website from non-responsive to responsive, Google may not be able to rank your page as effectively as it would if your website was responsive. In fact, Google rates your page in terms of responsive web design and that can impact your search-ability, overall. It is important to work with a highly skilled developer to ensure your website is responsive and meets the latest requirements from Google. We can help you with that.

Bottom line

Whether you agree with the need for responsive web design or not, the internet will weed your website out if you don’t upgrade your site. Stop wasting time and valuable resources trying to direct traffic to a website that is outdated. You want to be found and appear recent and relevant to your clients and customers. Working with Responsive Web Design will ensure that your website provides you the best opportunity to reach and sell to your customers with maximum exposure.  Contact us today!


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

ecommerce product photography for online storeWith a constant race in the business world for attaining success, new and profound means have been coming up repeatedly to reach out to potential customers and earn big exposure. The most successful attempt in this aspect has been the social media marketing platforms. Almost all of these platforms have built-in analytical tools, so business organizations can easily check their products' success and likability, which makes them an extensively used and highly reliable asset. Another is search engine optimization and local listings SEO.

The following reveal what are some of the most trending and dependable ways for business promoting in 2017:

  • Visual content – it’s a known fact that visual and graphical content gets more attention, whether it is Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Thus, the ever growing trend is to extensively create “featured images” for the posts. Remember however, excess of everything is bad.
  • Organize and experiment with your content – nobody likes to read haphazardly written and unorganized content. Try focusing on the quality and features of the products you’re selling and bring out the uniqueness of your services. This, done right, will do wonders for your business!
  • Timing is the key – many of the organizations overlook this simple fact, but sharing content at specific time periods is of key importance. Sharing content at the “peak time” of media platforms, when their servers are the busiest and your content is most susceptible to be seen is an art which you must learn.
  • Be interactive – the "newest" trend is to stay interactive with the audience. Try to build up a loyal customer base by constantly interacting with the people, taking their views, throwing out questionnaires, asking for feedback, etc. In all things, be “social” with your customers!
  • Enhance your brand advocates – getting a few likes and shares does little good if you’re planning to do something big for 2017. It is important that you expose your services far and wide so that more and more people know about them. The key here is to join leverage communities and showcasing your products there.

The other way round this is paying for exposure. This involves making payments for advertising for reaching out to audience far and wide.

  • SEO – for broadening your brands value and fame, you need search engine optimization to better optimize its result on various search engines. The most apt and trending way to do this is to make use of the best SEO agency in Myrtle Beach, that will enhance your website’s position in the search engine results.

Thus, for promoting content and gaining customers, social media marketing is the most reliable and powerful tool available. So, if you’re an entrepreneur, the “next big thing” for you is to promote your services on the internet and maximize your service’s potential. Success will just be a step away!


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.

ecommerce product photography for online storeYou can produce professional-looking product photos without having to hire a professional product photographer. By following simple instructions from online video tutorials, you can create rich product images for very little cost. These days building and managing your eCommerce Storefront doesn't have to cost the do-it-yourself e-commerce web designer an arm and a leg.  However, if you aren't the DIY type and you're ready to invest in your product's future we suggest you request a quote from Surfside Web a premier provider of online eCommerce storefronts. We serve the Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach areas, not to mention the rest of Horry County and the Grand Strand.

Here is a list of online video tutorials for product photography. There are general tutorials that walk through a shoot from setup to post, as well as specific tutorials on lighting, do-it-yourself elements, tricks, and problem solving.

How to Photograph Wine Bottles on White Background

In the tutorial by Robert Grant of LearnMyShot.com, follow the photographer through an assignment to shoot seven wine bottles on a white background. This is a great example of how to develop multi-source lighting to create a rich image.

Easy Product Photography

This tutorial is an episode of “Digital Photography: One on One,” hosted by Mark Wallace. The show provides answers to questions from its photographer fan base. This episode demonstrates how easy and inexpensive it is to use a light tent to get great product pictures.

Kerry Walks Through a Typical Product Shot

Kerry Garrison from Camera Dojo walks through a typical product shot, using his everyday setup. He demonstrates how to adjust white balance and how to set up the camera.

Product Photography Tutorial Using Tabletop Continuous Lighting

This product photography tutorial is by Gavin Hoey, using the tabletop continuous light kit from Smick.co.uk. It shows how to take pictures on white and black backgrounds using a homemade lighting table.

Product Photography Tutorial Jewelry and Small Items

Gavin Hoey shows how a simple setup can be effective and repeatable for small product photography – specifically jewelry. He uses the small 50 cm light cube tabletop kit and a reflective white tile background.

Product Photography: Planning, Setup, Shoot, Post Processing, to Publishing

This tutorial takes you through a complete product shoot workflow, from planning to publishing. It demonstrates how to set up the scene and light the product, how to edit in Lightroom, how to clean it up in Photoshop, and how to publish online.

DIY Photo Studio Produce Lighting

Create your own photographic studio for product photography. Build a simple setup with two sawhorses, a laminated top, sticks in cans, acetate screen, foam core, clamps, and inexpensive can lights. With these simple tools, learn to diffuse, reflect, and control light for a great image.

DIY Lightbox for Product Photography

This tutorial shows how to build a DIY lightbox for product photography. Build an inexpensive lightbox out of a box, white t-shirts, and poster paper.

Photography Lighting Techniques: Product Photography Lighting

Learn how to light products from professional photographer Mark Bowers. This tutorial shows how to shoot a dark object on a dark background, filling in shadows with a reflector and defining the edges with a separate light.

Prophotolife.com’s Tabletop Studio Photography Done with Mirrors

This tutorial is an episode from a series by Prophotolife.com. It demonstrates tabletop photography, using only one light and mirrors to shoot product photography. Learn about ideal DIY tools, such as silver poster board and mirrors.

Photographing Shiny Metal and Reflections

Here is another tutorial from Prophotolife.com. It covers photographing shiny metal and the laws of reflection. Learn how to angle light, eliminate glare, and control your reflections to bring detail to a reflective object.

Lightning Tips for Product Photography

This tutorial, by commercial photographer Dan’L Terry, introduces key light, the primary illuminating light in product photography. It also experiments with multi-source lighting.

How to Create Amazing Photos with Water and a Bottle

Here is another tutorial by Gavin Hoey. It demonstrates how to create a dynamic image with water and a bottle. Learn a simple photography trick to bring liquid to life, along with setting your camera and utilizing a flashgun.

Small Product Problem Solving

This tutorial explores problem solving for small product photography. By photographing a watch, it tackles how to highlight the metal frame while preventing glare from the crystal face. Examine possible solutions in pre-production and post-production.

Photograph a Rolex Watch, Product Photography Lighting Techniques

In this tutorial by Fstoppers, Lee Morris attempts to shoot a Rolex watch ad using studio lights and reflectors. After the shoot, Lee shows how he used Photoshop to complete the final image.


comprehensive organic seo content writer

Jennifer S. - Surfside Web Writer   Jennifer has been writing content since 2005 and some of her specialties include social media marketing, search engine optimization and technical writing.