Windows 7 Reaches End Of Life Next Year – What This Means And What Should You Do?

 

Microsoft Announces Windows 7 End Of Life  – What Does This Mean?

 

Once a new Operating System is released, Microsoft waits a few years before it retires their old system in order to streamline their security and software updates. After 10 years of support, this is now true of Windows 7.

When Microsoft announces End of Life for an operating system, that means that they will no longer release software updates, security updates, and software upgrades to their system.  Starting January 14, 2020, all computers on Windows 7 will no longer receive updates pushed from Microsoft that keep your computer safe and secure.

 

What Does This Mean for Me?

If you are still on Windows 7 after January 14th 2020:

  • Your Computer will be more vulnerable to viruses and malware
  • Microsoft Customer Service will no longer be able to help with technical support for your computer
  • Some programs may slowly stop working on your computer due to software updates to comply with windows 10
  • Windows Explorer support will discontinue on Windows 7 devices as well
  • Businesses running on Windows 7 may be susceptible to viruses that can cause data loss

 

What Should I Do With My Windows 7 Computer?

Your best bet to keep getting security updates and make sure your computer is as bug-free as possible is to move over to Windows 10.  You will need to purchase a license for this (or ask your computer technician to help you with this) and update your computer to Windows 10.

Not all computers can be upgraded to Windows 10. Microsoft listed their requirements on their website: 

Required Processor1 GHz or faster compatible processor
Required memory1GB RAM for 32-bit; 2GB for 64-bit (One Click suggests minimum of 8 GB RAM and to always use 64 bit)
Required hard disk spaceUp to 20GB available hard disk space
Required video card800 x 600 screen resolution or higher. DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver
Required connectivityInternet access (fees may apply)
Other system requirementsMicrosoft account required for some features. Watching DVDs requires separate playback software.
Additional system requirementsYou must accept the enclosed License Terms, also at microsoft.com/useterms

Activation required • Single license • 32 & 64-bits on USB 3.0 media included

 

If your computer does not meet those requirements, you may need to upgrade your computer, or buy a new one that can work with Windows 10.

If you need more time for your business to complete the Windows 10 migration, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users can purchase Extended Security updates until January 2023.  You can learn more about this on their FAQ’s page here

 

Need help upgrading your computer or business to Windows 10? We can help! Contact us or call 414-800-1002 and see what we can do for you!

SEO is More Human Than You Think

Search engine optimization sounds technical, but it’s more human-oriented than we think. Humans are on the other end of every search phrase, so it makes sense that the best strategy is to write engaging content. Google has stated this fact numerous times over the years in different ways. As long as you write good content and don’t use black hat SEO techniques, you don’t need to worry about being burned by an algorithm update.

Content is King

Original, valuable content is one of the most important aspects of your website and SEO. Google’s goal is to display high-quality, relevant web pages in the top 10 search results. These webpages should answer the question searchers have when they entered the search term. The hundreds of ranking factors that Google looks at indicate the quality of the page in some way. Google’s algorithm updates are about ensuring the best content ranks high in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

You can strategize high-quality content by paying writers to create content for your website and either brushing up on your grammar or having any content you post to go through an editor first. Keeping content free of errors helps establish your website as an authority. It should also be engaging to create loyal readers.

Social Proof Matters

Social proof is a phenomenon in which people give more credibility to behavior, the more they see other people doing it. If you’re trying to choose between two new businesses, you will feel more comfortable choosing the one that has a greater number of positive customer reviews. Customer reviews, likes, and retweets are indicators of social proof online.

Positive reviews contribute to organic search performance. Search engines perceive customer reviews as a sign of trustworthiness and authority. Google reviews are especially important in Google rankings for local businesses because Google displays important information like customer ratings about the top three businesses it lists in the SERPs. You can encourage customers to leave reviews by responding to current reviews, asking them to write reviews, and adding your business to multiple review sites.

User Experience is Key

Metrics like bounce rate and page load times, which affect user experience, are part of ranking algorithms. Search engines understand that people get frustrated easily with long page load times. Webpages are expected to load instantly with today’s technology. Users will often hit the back button if the page takes too long to load. This can increase your bounce rate, which is the percentage of users who leave your website after seeing one page.

The average bounce rate varies among industries. In general, bounce rates of 60 percent and below are normal. 90 percent and above is when you may want to consider there is something chasing people off of your website. Design pages with user experience in mind by making all pages on your website mobile-friendly and quick to load. Use ads sparingly as well. Pages cluttered with ads deter readers.

A Personal Touch

Google delivers personalized search results based on each person’s browsing history. This increases the importance of appealing to your target audience. Write content for your website with the target audience in mind. Don’t focus too much on the SEO beyond using the keyword at least once and naturally within the content.

SEO techniques like header tags and meta descriptions also matter, but content is written for humans. Incorporate pictures into your content to improve their readability, and keep paragraphs short. Also understand that because of personalized search results, not everyone will necessarily see the same SERPs for the same search term. The goal is to reach people who are interested in your content.

SEO is becoming more and more human as Google refines its algorithm and technology evolves. Webpages load faster, so users have higher demands. Mobile search traffic has also overtaken desktop traffic, resulting in a necessity for mobile-friendly design. Google’s SERPs is even personalized now based on what sites an individual frequently visits, their search history and other data that Google gathers on them. Businesses must focus on providing high-quality content, and use SEO to support that content.

Do I Need A Website For My Business? Yes – And Here Are 5 Reasons Why

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

 

1. People Use The Internet Heavily To Find Information

Did you know that on average, Americans spend over 22 hours surfing the internet per week? And 92% of these internet users use their cell phone to go online! If your website is not one of the billions of sites people can peruse on a daily basis, you are missing out on a large part of the market!

 

2. If You Do Not Have A Website, Your Business Will Likely Be Passed Up

In the age of information technology, people want information quickly.

Let’s say you do not have a website, but you do have a google maps listing. People are able to call your business for more information. Having a listing on google maps is a great start, but what if someone finds you outside of business hours? They want to know about a service you offer or a product you have but they will have to wait until tomorrow. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t want to wait to get the answer they are looking for, so your business will likely be passed up in favor of a competitor with a website.

In addition to missing out on after-hours customers, research by YP and LSA found that 30% of consumers will immediately decide not to go with a particular business if it does not have a website. You may run the risk of being viewed as a business that no longer exists or one that isn’t established if you do not have a website.

 

3. You’re More Likely to Be Found on Google if You Have A Website

Google search results are heavily reliant on a website or domain associated with a business. According to MOZ, most ranking factors include having a domain with website and associated keywords. This means even though you may have a facebook or google maps listing, creating a website will make it substantially easier to rank on search engines.

 

4. A Website Is Your 24/7 Salesperson

You need to sleep, but your website doesn’t! A website can capture leads you otherwise would not be able to reach due to its constant presence online. A well-optimized website can convert up to 5-10% of your visitors – and you won’t have to lift a finger to get these clients once the design and funnels are worked out!

The best part of this salesperson? Websites are much more affordable than they used to be due to advances in web technology which significantly reduces your cost per lead.

 

5. A Website Is The Best Way To Control Your Brand

With other platforms such as social media or google maps, you have limited control of what is said and the information displayed about your business. With your website, you can control all of the content and information people see – including showing customer testimonials. You can use your website to target specific markets and target your ideal client base. In other words, Facebook, Google Maps & LinkedIn are not enough – you need your own website to control your brand. 

By controlling your content, you are also able to add content that answers most commonly asked questions about your services. This will save you a lot of time on sales calls!

 

Not totally convinced yet? Talk to our team and learn more about what a website can do for you!