You might not be wearing flip flops yet, but early spring is the time to think about the dog days of summer as far as digital marketing is concerned. Beyond the Twentieth Century realm of summer-themed gifts and billboards, below are four digital strategies for your business to consider as the days lengthen and the temperatures rise.

1. SSL Potential Penalties

Last year, we were all made aware of the update requiring SSL certificates for websites with logins or payment portals. Google has since made an additional push that will affect all websites after July 2018.

You might be asking, “What is a SSL Certificate?” Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol that creates a secure connection between a client and the server over which to send information. And Google’s Chrome browser is about to mark non-HTTPS sites as “not secure” and require users to take the “risk” by going through to the site. This will greatly affect the trust users have with your website and web traffic overall.

Google will identify all insecure sites in the Chrome browser beginning mid-summer. Google’s been encouraging webmasters to make the change to non-secure websites for years and its campaign has proved successful. Here are some statistics to underscore that claim (according to Google):

  • More than 68% of Chrome traffic on Android and Windows is now protected
  • More than 78% of Chrome traffic on Chrome OS and Mac is now protected
  • 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default

In order to protect your web presence and relationship with both search engines and users, you must install an SSL certificate on all of your domains — especially those dealing with sensitive topics.

2. Shopify Integration
Connecting your Shopify store with your business’ social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram in particular) can help improve quality and increase convenience and efficiency of workflow. Some aspects of the integration will make marketing your store easier, saving you time and energy. You’ll also increase engagement, build customer trust, boost sales and increase profit. These are powerful benefits that E-commerce businesses can’t afford to ignore.

3. Mobile Indexing (SEO)

For nearly two years, Google has been discussing the transition to a mobile-first index. It’s finally happening. Google’s mobile-first search index rolled out to a handful of sites in December.

This means that Google will be using mobile websites to build their online index and rank a site’s pages, as opposed to desktop websites as they have traditionally done. According to a study released by StatCounter, more than 55 percent of all traffic comes from a mobile device, a number that will continue to grow year-after-year. Google knows more and more users are on the web on their smartphones, so it’s adjusting it’s core algorithm to build a search network catered to them.

While this doesn’t mean the imminent death of desktop — 45 percent of traffic is not nothing — this change does mean that in order to continue to generate traffic on the web, your site needs to be ready.

4. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP for email)

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a technique web developers are now using to make pages load faster than ever before. This is critical, as mobile traffic continues to grow and surpass desktop traffic overall. Capturing the attention of mobile users means having pages that load fast and AMP is the solution to do just that.

Google has announced that AMP will now be able to directly influence email marketing as well. By being able to send users to relevant, fast-loading content right there in their browser, it opens up the door to be able to generate leads and capture a consumers’ attention without having the send the user elsewhere.

Google notes the following benefits for incorporating AMP experiences into Gmail:

  • Content that is kept up-to-date in real-time
  • The ability for recipients to browse and interact with content
  • Users getting more done in less time without having to leave email

If your brand leverages email marketing campaigns, you’ll want to be sure that you adopt this new strategy to your approach. Who doesn’t love reaching consumers faster?

So, apply some sunscreen, put on those flip flops and take note of these important summer digital marketing trends. Got questions? Rebel Interactive Group is the marketing agency with answers.

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