SEO: 5 Things You Need to Know

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Our clients and prospects ask a lot of great questions!

Since these questions come up all the time, we thought we’d share them with you, too!

Here are the top 5 questions over the last couple of months.

Question #1: Do I Need HTTPS? 

First, let’s define HTTPS. According to Google:

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connection to your website, regardless of the content on the site.”

In July 2016, Dr. Peter J. Meyers wrote that about 30% of page-one Google search engine results (SERPs) used HTTPS.

As of April 2017, more than 50% of page one SERPs were HTTPS. It is projected that this number could be as large as 65% by December 2017.

HTTPS % of Page One SERPs

This increase is a result of the increasing adoption of HTTPS, not a Google algorithm update. What you can see, however, is that more and more of Google’s results are those with HTTPS.

At the end of the day, it matters not, who wants or requires it… you can see that the majority Google’s page one results are HTTPS.

Will Google update their algorithm and enforce the requirement of HTTPS? Well, according to Gary Illyes on 4/21/2017, they’ve decided against it.

What can you glean from this?

  • They’ve clearly discussed it
  • They’ve likely only postponed it, not taken it off the table
  • If it’s like so many other decisions, it’ll come around again

Given that more than 50% of page one SERPs have HTTPS, given the rate of adoption is moving rapidly, given that your customers expect high-security and security is important enough to be a deciding factor when they make their purchase, you should probably be making plans to adopt it yourself.


So, do you need HTTPS? In a word, No.

Should you make plans to adopt HTTPS in the near future? In a word, Yes.

Question #2: What percentage of clicks (on Google) go to Ads? 

A: The answer to this question is a little surprising. It seems that searchers do their best to avoid Ads. used data collected from Jumpshot in October 2016 to answer this question.

Only about 2.6% of user clicks are on Google Ads. Interesting!

What else can we deduce from this data? This may mean that:

  • Searchers prefer to use search results rather than ads to get the information they are seeking
  • Ads must be developed very well if they are going to perform
  • Having a sound search engine optimization strategy is critical to showing up on page one of Google’s search engine results and Ads are an important part of your overall strategy


Question #3: How many words does a searcher use in their search queries? 

A: The average query is about 3 words. However, desktop users have a slightly greater share of search queries that contain 6 words or more. It appears that mobile users attempt to be more brief in their searches.

Question #4: Do searchers use more questions or phrases when they search? 

A: Interestingly, only about 8% of search queries are phrased as questions. Most of them using the 5 “Ws” – who, what, when, where, why and of course how.

Question #5: Exactly how important are images and image optimization in my content or website? 

A: Images are very important to your content. Even more important for certain industry websites and content.

Let me start by sharing a few facts.

  • One third of Google searches are for images
  • Twelve and one-half percent of search engine results are image pack results.

You can use stock images you license for use and rank well

Google is interested in serving up images in a search when they are high-relevant to the searcher. Rand Fishkin of says that generally, the following optimization techniques Google might use are:

  • Image file name
  • The alt attribute
  • Surrounding text content
  • Page title
  • Page URL it is hosted on
  • Image engagement and popularity
  • Image dimensions – they mostly serve “normal” dimensions
  • Image size
  • Image is embedded on multiple websites and pages
  • Page ranking often influences image ranking

Search Engine Optimization is complex and ever-evolving. Getting it right matters a lot!

We write a lot of articles and publish how-to materials for the do-it-yourselfer. Search Engine Optimization is not really for the do-it-yourselfer. Because of its complexity and comprehensive nature and because there are more than 600 Google algorithm updates per year, there is simply no way to do this well if it is not your full-time job.

Our experts spend time daily researching and understanding what is required today to get great results tomorrow.

If you are ready to get your website or campaign on page one of the search engine results, give us a call or contact us via email.

Not sure? Take a look at our case studies and client results. We are really, really good at getting top level rankings.

We’ll perform a FREE comprehensive website and SEO analysis of your website so you can see exactly how your site is performing, potential gaps in optimization tactics and where your strategy could use some love.

Get Your FREE Website and SEO Analysis Today

Using data-driven analyses and research, we will conduct a thorough performance audit of your:

  • Brand Performance
  • Inbound Marketing Strategy
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Competition
  • Website
  • Social Signals
  • Domain Ranking and Rating

We’ll provide you with a professional report and the detailed recommendations you need to maximize your marketing goals.

We will work with you to identify and understand your opportunities.

Let’s get started today!

Jillian Vanarsdall
Jillian Vanarsdall
Founder of Blue Iris Marketing. An inbound marketing agency assisting businesses, from start-ups to high-growth firms, to phenomenally tell their unique story in a noisy digital world. Our services include inbound marketing, Wordpress web design and development, SEO, and social media.

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