Is Security Important When It Comes to SEO?

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SEO efforts are a major part of any successful online enterprise. Yet the increase in the number of online scams, hacks and general criminal activity makes cybersecurity a must in virtually every space.

That’s because breaches to a single device that accesses your website (or loss of access to an account through phishing) could compromise page rankings in a way not easy to recover from. Yet everyday companies and website administrators skirt by, hoping that minimal cybersecurity efforts will be enough.

Unfortunately, minimal efforts are not enough. Security is a necessary part of any SEO effort, partially because at times it accomplishes the same end and partially because protecting gains is an absolute must.

Here’s why protecting your SEO efforts is vital:

Breaches and Hacks Undermine SEO

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As you know, the job of SEO is to get visitors to find your page before others. This is done by combining high-quality content with targeted keywords to create pages users would be more likely to visit.

Google’s web crawlers routinely target pages to “rate” them based on how recent and relevant their content is. But nothing kills page relevance like your website getting infected with malware or holding malicious scripting (such as that found in XSS attacks). These scripts are designed to steal information or infect victims with malware and Google (rightfully) wants to protect users from that.

Worse yet, many of these pages are automatically flagged with “infected by malware,” which is something visible to the majority of users before even clicking your page’s site. Therefore, efforts need to be made to maintain a website’s safety and legitimacy. Otherwise, its page rankings will plummet.

Unsecure Devices Are a Source of Breaches

What some companies don’t know is that the rise in the number of independent devices has changed the cybersecurity playing field. Just protecting office equipment or servers isn’t enough anymore.

Employee devices (or just your own) also need protecting because they’re almost certain to interface with the system sooner or later. Some companies even have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy that allows the use of personal devices to get work done. This is especially true of companies that use remote workers.

Companies, organizations and individuals that want to stay ahead of the curve should consider offering security services to anyone working for them. That means buying corporate anti-virus software and also investing in Virtual Private Network (VPN) subscriptions. These will protect individual devices; VPNs are especially important for mobiles because of the risk unsecured WiFi networks present. VPNs solve the issue by securing individual connections to remote, encrypted servers.

Besides Page Rank, Data Breaches Are Costly

Even supposing a hack doesn’t result in a loss in page rank, there are other financial costs associated with a breach. In the past year, incidents that resulted in stolen or modified data added millions of dollars’ worth of cost to businesses, with a single lost file costing over $100.

As most security incidents involve hundreds, if not thousands of files, the costs can quickly become staggering. Breaches can occur at any level, with SEO activities being no exception. That lost account with inside access may be able to procure files that could lead to legal action down the line.

Therefore, integrating security into SEO efforts is no less important than in other tasks. It scarcely makes sense to secure emails and individual terminals without also locking down text and code to ensure nothing is a risk point.

Make Security Your Priority

The interconnectivity of web pages makes security unavoidable. The very same bots and tools that help raise your SEO rank are also utilized by cybercriminals to perform SQL injections and other types of coding tricks that can lead your site to disaster.

Interestingly enough, spam comments are a source both of decreased SEO optimization and of security woes. Those not properly blocked will make your page’s content seem less relevant to the Google web crawlers while also contributing to security risks to your visitors. In a sense, the solution to one problem is also the solution to another.

Therefore, don’t go cheap on security. Keep it at the top of your company’s priorities and always ensure you’ve done what’s necessary to keep hackers and scammers out of your pockets.

With that said, tell us your plan to make it happen. We’re interested to hear how you’ll keep security and SEO interlinked.

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Tips to build an eCommerce website

Building an eCommerce website

Building an eCommerce website is considerably different in comparison to other websites. You have to think about the ‘store’ aspect of the website among other things. However, there is a lot that you can learn from the latest trends for websites as well as the practices employed by websites that are successful online shops. Below are some crucial tips to build a great eCommerce website:

1. Choose a simple design

The design of the site is crucial to its success. Choose colors that reflect your brand and a design that is simple yet functional. Ecommerce website design is all about functionality. Choosing the right colors and placement of content, advertisements and links all have to be done with your users’ convenience in mind. The idea is to not overwhelm a potential customer with graphics and animations while letting them find what they need fast.

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2. Make searching easier

As an example eBay offers you the opportunity to refine your search by adding filters to find what you need among thousands of options. While a small business may not need something so elaborate, you may need to take the necessary measures to allow people to find products they need with ease and convenience.

3. Easy navigation

Make navigation as easy as possible within your website. Consider offering a breadcrumb navigation process to allow customers to make changes on their previous steps as they proceed to check out. The last thing a shopper would want is a slow and messy checkout process. With a streamlined navigation process, it will be much easier for them to make their purchases and encourage them to revisit your website more.

4. Be transparent with your charges

Another thing a shopper would dislike is to find hidden charges from shopping at your website. It is best to show whatever charges involved with each purchase so that customers are well aware of the amount they are spending before they authorize it.Hidden charges will only cause you to lose the customer forever along with any referrals.

5. Choose the right payment options

People have different preferences over online payment options. Unless your website is equipped to handle at least a few of the most popular choices, your customers are more likely to get discouraged from making a purchase. In addition, make sure that the gateways are chosen for their reputation as well as popularity. The last thing you would want is a checkout process ending with an ill-reputed payment gateway which could lead to abandoned shopping carts and a bad reputation.

7 Tips for Writing Your Home Page

More people will see your website than will ever see your office. Since the first page most of your visitors will see is your home page, it’s also the most important page. Your home page has only 3 to 5 seconds to capture people attention before they will bounce to another site. Your page must have the right amount of text with the right graphics to grab the visitor’s attention. They are searching for products or service websites because they have a need or a want. Help them find the information quickly and easily to determine if you can provide them a solution.

Homepage design tips ideas

Here are some tips for ensuring your home page is effective:

1. Keep it concise.

People don’t read websites. They quickly scan to determine if the information they want might be available. Provide the most important information first without a lot of facts and details. Make your content concise and focused. Provide links to inner pages for in-depth coverage.

2. Use keywords.

Use the right keywords that people use to search for related products or service. Content is still king for search engines determining what sites to rank on the first page of Google. Using the right keywords and providing fresh content is vital.

3. Write copy from the reader’s viewpoint.

Visitors don’t care about you. They care about themselves. You are important because you can help them solve their problem. Count how many times you start a paragraph with “I” or “we.” If it is more than one it’s too many.

4. Easy to Use.

Your visitors should be able to instantly determine where to click on your site to locate the information they want. Hyperlinks should be easy to find. Use good descriptive phrases for labeling buttons.

5. Personalize.

Online videos and logos that show awards, memberships etc. allow people to know how you can help.

6. Use headlines and bulletins.

Long paragraphs of text turn readers off. Provide informative headlines to guide visitors and the search engines to the most important keywords. Bullets break up long-winded paragraphs and guide the reader. Bullets allow people to quickly scan information to find the information they need. Hypertext links can be added to allow visitors to find more in depth information.

7. Proofread your copy.

Errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation detract from your professionalism. Proofread your work, and ask others to do it too. An extra set of eyes may catch mistakes you miss.

Developing Long Lasting SEO Takes Time

Good things come to those who wait

Patience is a virtue in search engine optimization. Placing paid sponsored ads in the Pay per Click (PPC) area via Google AdWords can achieve almost immediate results but SEO does not produce immediate results. You won’t get your return on investment a week after SEO starts. However the long term benefits of SEO often out weight the almost instantaneous results of PPC. This is one reason that the two often work well together in a campaign.

Optimizing your site for your targeted key phrases won’t get you to Page 1 overnight. You won’t find all your keywords rankings in the top 10 on Google in 19 days (despite some claims you read), nor will you get significant traffic improvement after an hour of SEO consultations. SEO is like boiling water: you don’t get a hard boil the moment you turn on the burner… you have to wait for it.

Boiling water on the burner

The process of optimizing a site can take months or even over a year, depending on how competitive your area of practice and your geographic target. SEO is an ongoing process with growing measures of return. The return in SEO is good, but you’ve got to be willing to invest the time to let it happen.

Developing a Proper Base Takes Time

Hours of research, developing the proper site architecture, and making the site user friendly must all be completed prior to the actual optimization of specific pages. Keyword research, research on your specific product or service and your specific targeted geography, competition research, and more, must be completed before any optimization can begin.

Every website has different construction, design, layout, history, and speaks differently. No two sites are the same; therefore no research is the same. Some elements of the research can be applied, but you can’t just take what works for someone else and apply it to your site. You don’t get ahead by cloning a competitor; you get ahead by outsmarting a competitor.

There Are No Magic Bullets in SEO

Many businesses have quality websites. To get the search engines to rank you higher than other businesses competing in your same product or services, it is important to do all the little things right. There is no one thing you can do that will send you to the top of the rankings. You must do a series of small things right over time. Overall website construction including “Site maps”, help both search engines and visitors quickly and easily get to the information that is important on your site.

Up against a similar site, these things can help you keep visitors engaged with your content and prevent them from jumping off to a competitor. It’s often the small things that can make the biggest difference. Providing unique content offers value to visitors, videos give people an understanding of you, your personality and FAQ that address real issues are some of the examples that separate you from the rest.

Even the design and navigation of the site play a major role. The easier it is for visitors to find their way around your site the easier it is for the search engines to crawl and index all your web pages.