Google & Website Security

Google & Website Security
Because of website hacking and personal data theft in recent years, most Internet users are aware that their sensitive information is at risk every time they surf the web. And yet, although the personal data of their visitors and customers is at risk, many businesses still aren’t making website security a priority. Enter Google.

The folks over at Google are known for paving the way for Internet behavior. Last month, they took a monumental step forward in helping protect people from getting their personal data hacked. The update they released to their popular Chrome browser now warns users if a website is not secure – right inside that user’s browser. While this change is meant to help protect users’ personal data, it’s also a big kick in the pants for businesses to get moving on making their websites more secure.

Google’s Chrome update
On October 17, 2017, Google’s latest Chrome update (version 62) began flagging websites and webpages that contain a form but don’t have a basic security feature called SSL. SSL, which stands for “Secure Sockets Layer,” is the standard technology that ensures all the data that passes between a web server and a browser – passwords, credit card information, and other personal data – stays private and ensures protection against hackers. In Chrome, sites lacking SSL are now marked with the warning “Not Secure” in eye-catching red, right inside the URL bar!

What’s the impact on businesses?
Because Chrome has 47% of market share, this change is likely noticed by millions of people using Chrome. And get this: 82% of respondents to a recent consumer survey said they would leave a site that is not secure, according to HubSpot Research.

In other words, if your business’ website isn’t secured with SSL, then more than 8 out of 10 Chrome users said they would leave your website.

What’s more, Google has publically stated that SSL is now a ranking signal in Google’s search algorithm. This means that a website with SSL enabled may outrank another site without SSL.

Social media and SEO: It’s complicated

Social media and SEO: It’s complicated

In the past, Google have made contradictory statements regarding the role of social media in their ranking algorithm. On the one hand, they have stated that social media pages are indexed in the same manner as other web pages, and that social links therefore count as links. But on the other, they have stated that social metrics do not constitute direct ranking factors. Over at Microsoft, the guys behind Bing have said that they too consider the authority of social media profiles (e.g. Twitter profile metrics) and mentions across numerous social platforms in their search engine. Can we 100% say that social metrics have a direct impact on search engine rankings? Probably not. However, if we look at the potential of social media’s influence on search engine rankings the story is different.

The leading online SEO journal, Search Engine Watch, have published a comprehensive article on Social Media an SEO, from where this psosting is taken. The authors view is that we should not be worried about whether links from social media platforms are valued in the same way as a link from a high quality and highly relevant website. Instead we should look at the benefits of utilizing social media to help boost ranking signals that we know search engines care about. We should also bear in mind the impact of social media on the landscape of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Focusing on any one particular ‘SEO metric’ is as old school as MySpace. SEO has evolved into far more than just keywords and links. Great SEO acts as a core function to any holistic, integrated digital marketing campaign. We should consign the days of marketing departments operating independently to the history books and focus on the often significant benefits of integrated campaigns. Having said that, there are a few SEO metric-specific boosters that social media can provide.

Will social metrics ever be a direct ranking factor?
From our research, it is clear that there are some pretty large problems associated with search engines using social metrics as a direct ranking factor. These include limited access for robots to crawl the platforms and therefore understand social authority, and the prevalence of fake profiles or ‘bought likes’ which are likely to be viewed in the same light as paid links. In short, there is currently too much provision for manipulation of these metrics for search engines to bank on them. Will this change in the future?

Considering that Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies in the world, vying for the attention of us all, we don’t see them joining hands, opening their doors and singing Kumbaya around a campfire together any time soon.

Social media has its own benefits
Whether or not Google or Bing count social metrics as direct ranking factors is somewhat of a moot point. Social media and SEO should be working together, sharing content or utilizing engagement metrics as data for future content creation.

Lest we forget, businesses can benefit from revenue generated directly from social media regardless of its influence on search rankings. Social media campaigns should be focused primarily on generating their own success, with SEO considerations as a secondary (but still important) consideration.

Internet Security – Getting the Basics Right

Internet Security – Getting the Basics Right
As we approach the Xmas period then the need to adopt safe online behaviour becomes even more important. So we felt that it might be a good idea to re-publish the following on Cyber Security… Taking some simple actions and practising safe behaviours will reduce the risk of online threats to your business.

cybersecurity

Download software updates
Download software and app updates as soon as they appear. They contain vital security upgrades that keep your devices and business information safe.
Visit www.cyberstreetwise.com/software-updates for further advice on updates.

Use strong passwords
Use strong passwords made up of at least three random words. Using lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols will make your passwords even stronger.
Visit www.cyberstreetwise.com/passwords for further advice on passwords.

Delete suspicious emails
Delete suspicious emails as they may contain fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses.
Visit www.cyberstreetwise.com/common-scams for further advice on suspicious emails.

Use anti-virus software
Your computers, tablets and smartphones can easily become infected by small pieces of software known as viruses or malware. Install internet security software like anti-virus on all your devices to help prevent infection.

Visit www.cyberstreetwise.com/security-software for further advice on security software.

Train your staff (& family members)
Make your staff aware of cyber security threats and how to deal with them. The Government offers free online training courses tailored for you and your staff which take around 60 minutes to complete.
Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/sme to find out more and take the course.

For further simple tips on how to protect your business, visit www.cyberstreetwise.com

Promoting I Want a Door.COM

Promoting I Want a Door.COM

The leading composite door supplier in the North East, I Want a Door.COM, are now working with Direct Submit to promote their range of uPVC and composite doors across the Internet.  Part of the Sekura Window Centre, has its modern manufacturing plant facility in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bridging the gap between traditional wooden doors and modern uPVC doors, their extensive range of Composite Doors offers entrance doors that are the focal point to your home, helping create the perfect first impression.

I Want a Door.COM provides a range of strong, secure and energy efficient made to measure composite doors. Cut out the salesmen and their commissions; buy your composite door direct from the North East’s leading composite door manufacturer. To find out more information, call 0191 2862122 today.

Direct Submit will be working with the client to help promote the business on the Internet, helping raise the companies profile and potential for business online. If you would like to know more about the SEO services available from Direct Submit then call 0845 2722350 or visit the Direct Submit website today.

Quality Traffic to your Website with Google Adwords

Quality Traffic to your Website with Google Adwords

Google Adwords is one of the most versatile ways to drive traffic to your website. Google get 3.5 billion searches per day, meaning that people are constantly searching the web for products and services. 40,000 Google search queries are processed per second. Some of these queries are informational, but many are related to products or services. Right now, hundreds of people are searching for a website like yours. Google AdWords helps you target these searchers, and puts your website in front of these potential customers.

Google have made it incredibly straightforward to advertise with them. You can advertise through the Google AdWords interface.

Why use Google AdWords? There are a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the more important reasons.

1. Precisely Target Interested Customers

When you create a TV or newspaper advert, you are targeting masses of people. For example, if you advertise lawn mowers in a local newspaper, you will have a variety of people reading your ad, from teenagers to elderly people to businesspeople. Most of your audience probably don’t require a lawn mower at that point in time.

However, with Google AdWords, you can precisely target customers who are interested in lawn mowers only. When someone searches for “lawn mower shop Manchester”, you can place your ad directly on Google’s search results. Since this person is highly interested in purchasing a lawn mower, they are more likely to click your ad. As a result, they are more likely to convert, either by purchasing a lawn mower or through some other conversion. Instead of spending huge amounts on newspaper ads (directed at the masses), you can spend the same on interested customers, who are very likely to purchase.

This means that with a small amount of investment, you can get highly interested people coming to your website. These people have shown interest in your product by conducting a search into Google, and this means you’ll get more conversions and more purchases.

2. Instant Results

This is a no-brainer. With SEO, you have to wait up to six months to start seeing your website receive lots of traffic. While this may be a long-term investment, it does take time. While you are waiting for your website to rise in the SERPs, you can invest in some short-term PPC/Google AdWords advertising. With as little as £20, you can start receiving interested customers to your website. These customers will arrive at your site in as little as a few hours, and you can generate some quick business.

Since PPC is a relatively inexpensive method to gain customers, you can experiment with pricing and keywords. The results are quick; you don’t need to wait months. That said, SEO should definitely be a part of your long-term internet marketing strategy, but PPC can have quick results too.

3. Get Exact Predictions and Data

With Google AdWords, you can choose which keywords you’d like to target. Then, you can get predictions on how many clicks you’ll get.

This gives you exact data and it’ll help you forecast how much traffic you expect to receive. If we compare this to newspaper ads or radio ads, they don’t give any detailed metrics on what you can expect. They may highlight certain demographics or ages, but they aren’t measured with the accurate specificity of Google AdWords. With PPC, you can get accurate metrics on what to expect. Since so many businesses use Google AdWords each year, Google have amassed exponential amounts of data and research on what keywords convert best. All this data is neatly compiled into the AdWords Keyword Planner, and you can easily access it.

You can input the amount of money you’d like to spend per day, eg: £10. With that £10, the tool will state how many clicks you’ll get for that £10 for your chosen keywords. You can then toggle around with the keywords, and choose cheaper or more expensive keywords. This gives you unlimited freedom, because the keywords have been tried and tested, and Google’s long experience in PPC advertising helps you hone in on the most profitable keywords/search queries to target.

Final Thoughts

Google AdWords can be a versatile source of advertising for you. It will allow you to get exact predictions on your expected traffic, it’s easy to use, and it’ll quickly bring targeted customers to your website. If you feel that traditional advertising isn’t working for you, or you want an easy way to get targeted customers to your website, Google AdWords is the perfect choice for you.

Direct Submit Pay per Click & SEO Services
Direct Submit are an established Search Engine Marketing and Internet Marketing company. With over 95% of our business coming direct from client referral, we provide a cost effective and highly efficient service. We offer a client focused service, and always speak to our clients in a language they understand, helping them understand the Internet and how a successful Internet Marketing Campaign can benefit their business.

To speak to one of our Internet Marketing Consultants for advice on making your Web Marketing project a success, call us now on 0845 272 2350 or email us on mail@directsubmit.co.uk. We look forward to your call.

RAMs App Risk Assessment Software

Promoting Risk Assessment Software

Direct Submit are pleased to announce they are now promoting Faction Health and Safety, a UK company who offer a unique piece of software developed by industry leading health and safety experts, which helps streamline health and Safety within your company, allowing you to save time, resource and stress when you require Risk Assessments, Method statements and COSHH assessments. 

The software, RAMs App, enables your business to create your Health and Safety documents onsite, or part complete on site by entering the project details, select the hazards associated with the task and the environment and then save the project file. You can then complete the risk assessment process in an alternative location if you wish. The completed branded document can be downloaded and saved on your computer/laptop or emailed directly to your client straight from the device.  

RAMs App provides a highly cost effective solution for individuals, small business or large corporates. To find out more information, call 0800 066 2957 today and find out how RAMs App can help simplify your risk assessment process. 

Direct Submit will be working with the client to help promote the business on the Internet, helping raise the companies profile and potential for business online. If you would like to know more about the SEO services available from Direct Submit then call 0845 2722350 or visit the Direct Submit website today.

 

 

Four Pillars of Effective SEO

Four Pillars of Effective SEO
SEO can be complicated, in many cases, overcomplicated. How many ranking factors are involved in generating strong organic search results? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Two hundred? A quick search for “SEO ranking factors” will give you all of these answers and myriad others. There is a lot of information out there. And the reality is, while there are likely hundreds of variables working together to determine final placement, much of what is suggested is guesswork. And certainly, not all ranking factors are relevant to every business. Point being, it is easy to get lost down an algorithmic rabbit hole. It’s information overload out there, and you can spend all your time on a research hamster wheel and achieve very little.

In a recent article published by the online SEO journal Search Engine Land, the posting describes a way to simplify things and outline the four main areas you should be focusing on with your SEO.

 

The four pillars of SEO

The four key areas of SEO that site owners need to consider are:
1.technical SEO: How well your content can be crawled and indexed.
2.content: Having the most relevant and best answers to a prospect’s question.
3.on-site SEO: The optimization of your content and HTML.
4.off-site SEO: Building authority to ensure Google stacks the deck in your favour.

Of course, these four areas have some complexity and overlap, but understanding your strengths and weaknesses in relation to them is key to focusing your efforts.

Technical SEO:

•crawl. Can a search engine explore your site?
•index. Is it clear which pages the search engine should index and return?
•mobile. Does your site adapt for mobile users?
•speed. Fast page load times are a crucial factor in keeping your visitors happy.
•tech. Are you using search engine-friendly tech or CMS for your website?
•hierarchy. How is your content structured on your website?

Onsite Optimization:

•keyword research. Understand the language of your target audience.
•descriptive URLs. Ensure each URL is simple and descriptive.
•page titles. Use keywords naturally within the page title.
•meta descriptions. Craft meta descriptions like they were ad copy to drive clicks.
•content optimization. Sensibly use keywords and variations in your page copy.
•good user experience (UX). Ensure your site is a joy to use and navigate.
•strong calls to action. Make it easy for your users to know what to do next.
•structured data markup. Tap into the latest SERP features to improve click-through rates.

Content:

•Service content. What you do and where you do it.
•Credibility content. Why a prospect should engage with your business.
•Marketing content. Content that helps position you as an expert and puts your business in front of prospects earlier in the buying cycle.

Off Site Authority Building:

Eventually, all SEO rivers run to this one spot: authority building. Building your authority, in large part, involves link building. Links are still a crucial component to developing strong organic rankings; however, links can be the hardest part of SEO to get right.

To read the complete posting, visit the Search Engine Land page.

A Guide to Improving your Rankings on Amazon

A Guide to Improving your Rankings on Amazon
Did you know that 55% of online shoppers turn to Amazon to begin product searches? “Amazon has become the reference point for shoppers,” Jason Seeba, head of marketing for BloomReach told Bloomberg Tech. “Shoppers will go to Amazon first to find a product and check prices.” If you are looking for a launching pad for your products that your target audience likes and finds useful, Amazon is it. To get the most from your listings on Amazon, however, you will need to employ some SEO tactics to showcase your products and business.

Knowing the intricacies of how Amazon displays products can be very beneficial to getting your products seen. Search Engine Watch recently posted a guide which includes data on how to maximize your Amazon SEO efforts of which there are a few foundational ranking factors to put into action. Knowing exactly what to focus on when listing your products will get your products in front of more consumers.

Amazon uses data to determine what a user sees after a search query. This data can be:

> Product Pricing
> Search Terms (keywords)
> Range of Selection (colour, models, etc.)
> Product Availability (stock)
> Sales History
> Customer Reviews (star ratings and comments)
> Click volume

There are two main categories the above factors fall into, Performance Factors and Relevance Factors. Performance factors are interesting, because these are what signals Amazon to rank products based on how much money they will make by doing so. Relevance factors are the relevancy the product has after a user search.

The title you choose for your product listings are in fact one of the most important relevance factors. It is where you will place your most valuable keywords, as well as a few other description related search terms to help users find your products on page one and above the fold.

A few essentials to include in your title are:
> Product Brand
> Description
> Line of the Product
> Colour
> Material
> Size or Dimensions
> Quantity

Amazon, like Google, does advocate against keyword stuffing, but valuable keywords should be placed in your product title. A good title will influence users to click on your listing. Giving consumers a very clear idea of what the product is will secure a higher CTR. However, a title jam packed with just keywords may have the opposite effect, causing users to shy away from your listing. Keep it clear and concise for the best results.

To read the complete Search Engine Watch guide to Improving your Rankings on Amazon visit their online SEO blog today.

Ransomware Strikes Ukraine & Russia

‘Bad Rabbit’ Ransomware Strikes Ukraine & Russia
A new strain of ransomware nicknamed “Bad Rabbit” has been found spreading in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere. The malware has affected systems at three Russian websites, an airport in Ukraine and an underground railway in the capital city, Kiev.

The cyber-police chief in Ukraine confirmed to the Reuters news agency that Bad Rabbit was the ransomware in question. It bears similarities to the WannaCry and Petya outbreaks earlier this year. However, it is not yet known how far this new malware will be able to spread.

“In some of the companies, the work has been completely paralysed – servers and workstations are encrypted,” head of Russian cyber-security firm Group-IB, Ilya Sachkov, told the TASS news agency.

Two of the affected sites are Interfax and Fontanka.ru.

Meanwhile, US officials said they had “received multiple reports of Bad Rabbit ransomware infections in many countries around the world”.

The US computer emergency readiness team said it “discourages individuals and organisations from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee that access will be restored”.

“According to our data, most of the victims targeted by these attacks are located in Russia,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky at Kaspersky Lab. “We have also seen similar but fewer attacks in Ukraine, Turkey and Germany.”

Bad Rabbit encrypts the contents of a computer and asks for a payment – in this case 0.05 bitcoins, or about $280 (£213).

Cyber-security firms, including Russia-based Kaspersky, have said they are monitoring the attack.

The malware is still undetected by the majority of anti-virus programs, according to analysis by virus checking site Virus Total.

One security firm, Eset, has said that the malware was distributed via a bogus Adobe Flash update. Researcher Kevin Beaumont has posted a screenshot that shows Bad Rabbit creating tasks in Windows named after the dragons Drogon and Rhaegal in TV series Game of Thrones.

The outbreak bears similarities to the WannaCry and Petya ransomware outbreaks that spread around the world causing widespread disruption earlier this year.

Google Enters Mobile Payment Market

Google Enters Mobile Payment Market
Google has announced a mobile payment service, called Google Payment, which is designed to facilitate an easier check out experience for online purchases. This allows users to pay with any card in their Google account, whether it’s a credit card or debit card. Using Google Payment allows customers to breeze through checkouts by instantly providing merchants with both payment and shipping information, so there is no typing required on the users’ end.

Merchants may be pleased to know Google Pay doesn’t charge any transaction fees. Google has created a developer doc with more information about how to get started with Google Payment.

Google has partnered with a selection of popular payment providers, with more to come in the future. Google Payment currently supports Adyen, Braintree, Vantiv, and Stripe. If your transactions are processed by any of the listed payment providers then you can start using Google Payment immediately.