5 Tips to Protect Your Website from Hackers
If you own a webpage, nothing can be more depressing than the knowledge that a platform you spent eons developing has crumbled right before you thanks to the efforts of a hacker.
To avoid becoming a casualty of this, it’s a good practice to ensure that you take time to shield your website using our 5 point action plan. As we delve into the various ways to protect the data on your website, we’ll also share actionable intel on how to conduct checks to see just how secure your website is.
Having a data back-up system in place is a good idea. Even then, protection is always a better alternative. Let’s dive right into the content.
1. Install Security Plugins
Right after you update every other component of your website, you need to take things up a notch by installing security plugins to lower the chances of your website getting hacked.
If your website runs on WordPress, you can review security plugins like Bulletproof Security and iThemes Security which do an impressive job of shielding the content on your page from leaking out. They are able to do so by masking any security vulnerabilities from hackers and thereby foiling any ill motives.
On the other hand, if your website runs on some other HTML page or CMS-managed platform, you can take a quick review at SiteLock. Over the years, SiteLock has become known as a great security tool for sealing loopholes and providing tracking tools for everything from vulnerability identification to malware detection. It’s regarded as a prized asset among those who are keen on ensuring that there are no data leaks from their webpages.
2. Make use of HTTPS
As someone who’d frequently on the web, you may already be on the lookout for that green https browser bar every time you check out a website. If not, that’s what you should be focusing on.
HTTPS websites are usually an indicator that all is clear for you to conduct financial transactions on such platforms.
Recently, Google Chrome released a new security update which alerts visitors about pages lacking installed SSL certificates. This SSL certificate is of the essence in securing the transfer of personal and financial information over the web.
It’s also worth noting that search engines are aggressively pushing the campaign for a safer internet where information exchange can occur without inhibitions. If you’re looking to be in good books with them and rank higher in search results, it’s best to make the change and implement the new security protocols necessary for your site to become HTTPS approved.
The extra level of encryption offered by an SSL certificate is a great investment for your business since you’ll be able to reap the long term benefits.
3. Update Your Website Platform and Software
By updating your plugins, apps, scripts, and content management system on the regular, you’ll be taking the next step in protecting your website from hackers and malicious individuals.
Doing this is necessary because most of these tools are open-source software solutions which means that their code is accessible by all and sundry. Hackers who are intent on bringing your brand down can easily pore over this code and exploit all the security vulnerabilities they can spot and seize control of the website.
If you’re running a WordPress website, you can check the dashboard every time you log in for a peek at whether there’s a notification about an available update.
4. Secure Your Passwords
As alluring as having a universal password is, it’s not the best way to go about website security. The most popular password in the world today is 123456, if you have something along those lines, then it’s best to act quickly and implement a change today.
You need to take some time in figuring out the most unique, secure password that will be easy for you to recall. Incorporating special characters, numbers, and letters is a great way to go about it.
Importantly, you need to keep clear of obvious targets like birthdays, and pet names. This is because these are usually the first things hackers typically inquire about as they prepare to launch an attack.
A single point of weakness is all it takes for all the cards to come tumbling down. As such, you need to take necessary precautions.
5. Use Parameterised Queries
SQL injections are among the most popular website hacks in the world. These attacks arise when you have a web form that allows visitors to your webpage to feed you information.
If the parameters in the field of entry are too open, it’s very possible that a hacker will be able to key in the code and gain access to your database. To avert scenarios like data loss, it’s necessary to shield your site from this.
By using parameterised queries, you can inhibit the playroom for hackers to exploit and plant their code into your system.
Table of Contents
Google Ads vs. SEO: Which Is Better For Your Business?
SEO and Google Ads are the core components of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) today. They are also among the most important tools when it comes to digital marketing campaigns. While they have huge similarities and differences, their applications have always pitted the online marketers into an unending debate on which is better. Therefore, which is better for your business? In this post, we demystify SEO and Google Ads to establish how they operate and establish the better option for you.
What exactly is Google Ads?
This is an advertising platform run by Google. It allows marketers to place their ads on Google Search Result Product to visitors. As an advertiser, the marketer has the option to pay every time that a visitor clicks his adverts placed on websites that participate in Google Ads program. This is referred as PPC (Pay-Per-Click). Consider Google Ads model like a big auction where advertisers are competing for limited advertising space.
Google Economic Impact Report Indicates that businesses that use Google Ads make an average of $2 for every $1 they use on Google Ads. This figure is likely to be a lot higher if you outsource your google ads management to a PPC agency. Another study done by Search Engine Watch found that 72% of marketers who use Google Ads plan to increase their spending on PPC because of positive results. This means that the potential of Google Ads is very high when implemented correctly. However, get it wrong and you’ll literally be throwing money down the drain.
Main pros of using Google Ads
- The ads appear on the top and bottom of Google search results. This means that you do not have to worry about ranking like in SEO.
- Google Ads makes it easier to calculate ROI. Many marketers even have the opportunity to plan for respective PPC budgets.
- Google Ads allow marketers to advertise on Google sites as well as others that use Google Adsense.
- The results from Google Ads are more prompt compared to those of SEO.
Disadvantages of using Google Ads
- The traffic from Google Ads is paid for based on clicks from visitors.
- The moment you stop using Google Ads, the traffic drops promptly.
- Setting a Google Ads campaign that generates results is very complicated.
- Segmenting your marketing campaign is very difficult when using Google Ads.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a marketing method that mainly focuses on getting content that is relevant to search engines. The main objective of SEO is helping your business to get better ranking on natural and organic search results. If you implement SEO optimization appropriately, it helps to grow links and customer engagement.
According to Pole Position Marketing, bigger companies are likely to implement SEO strategies compared to the small ones. In 2014 and 2015, Pole Position Marketing found that about 30% of businesses with 10 or fewer employees are likely to implement an SEO strategy. However, this percentage goes up to 45% for businesses with more than 11 employees.
Pros of using Google Ads
- SEO delivers a progressive flow of free and highly targeted traffic. This is different from Google Ads that requires users to pay for every click or 1000 impressions.
- SEO provides the business greater exposure especially to the audiences looking for solutions.
- Search Engine Optimization traffic provides a bigger opportunity for conversion.
- SEO helps users to spur business growth through developing a brand community.
- SEO continues driving traffic even after stopping to post content.
- It is the best platform to raise your brand authority in the industry.
Cons of using SEO in your business
- Getting results from SEO takes a lot of time.
- You have to wait for long before realizing ROI (Return on Investment).
- While Google Ads might be seen to take more because payment is calculated based on clicks or impressions, SEO is equally expensive, especially in competitive niches.
- You do not have a guarantee for ranking on the first pages.
- The marketer does not have control of SEO and also risks getting penalized for not following changing search engine rules.
The final take
To establish whether to use Google Ads or SEO, you need to review the business goals and targets carefully. If you only have a small budget or the business is at start-up, consider starting with SEO and using Google Ads after reaching a certain level of growth to use both. Here, the secret is not to look at SEO and Google Ads as contrasting marketing strategies. Rather, you should marry them to enjoy the benefits that come from each. If you simply go with one option, the chances are that you will miss high traffic and other benefits that come from the other. Once you have decided to use Google Ads, SEO or both, ensure to set targets and review them progressively over time.
Table of Contents
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the canon that will fire your enterprise to success. That is right. Your current clients, the target audience, influencers and everyone else is on social media. 75% of male internet users and 83% of female internet users are on Facebook. 81% of the millennials check their Twitter accounts daily while 6 in 10 online adults are on Instagram.
What these figures mean is that all that your business needs to grow is leverage or appropriate social media marketing strategy. Reach the target audience, understand what clients want, and professionally answer their issues.
Why social media for your brand marketing?
Well, you might say that your business is already on social media because you run an account there. But this is not all. You need to understand the social media dynamics, use all the available tools, and learn about the competitors in order to outdo them in their game. Digital marketers agree that social media is only opening up. Therefore, be part of this great train that is helping enterprises to grow rapidly. When social media marketing is implemented appropriately, here are the main benefits to anticipate.
Greater brand awareness
Notably, social media is one of the most cost-effective online marketing tactics. When a good social media strategy is implemented, your brand gets greater recognition because it will get engaged in a broad range of audience of clients.
To get started on social media and start interacting with clients, you need to set up brand profiles. Then, ask the employees, sponsors, clients, and business partners to visit, like the page and start sharing it. By getting more people to interact with the business content, you will raise brand awareness and embark on a journey to grow its reputation.
To get more from social media marketing, you should consider investing ample time to study and know what the target clients want. Here, you also need to create content that can help visitors relate to the business more. Let us take an example of a business in the fitness industry. You need to create content that helps answer questions such as the best strategies to lose weight, great fitness strategies for the elderly, special recipes, and related content. The bottom-line is to understand the target audience and bridging the information gap.
Social media helps to generate higher inbound traffic
If your enterprise is not using social media marketing, the inbound traffic will only come from usual clients. Those who are already cognizant of your brand are already searching for related keywords that your enterprise is ranked for. This means that it will ultimately become more difficult to reach new clients outside the common customer base.
Social media profiles add to the brand marketing mix that acts as the gateway to the website, blog and email marketing. Therefore, social media will act as a melting point to net different clients to your brand. By forming groups, following competitors, and guiding discussion about your industry or brand, social media offers the opportunity to showcase what the brand has and funnel traffic to the main site. To draw more traffic, use social media to shout about the latest offers, new info, coupons, and membership specials.
A great way to promote business ranking on social media
One of the main reasons for posting content to social media profile is driving traffic. It is also a unique way to raise ranking on social media. Though social media does not have a direct influence on search engine ranking, more than 58% of digital marketers indicate that posting great content on social media is directly correlated to better ranking on search engines. But how does it happen?
Today, everyone uses Google to search for information. In many cases, people searching on Google only open what is on the first page. If a business is featured on subsequent pages, people will rarely open it. But Google search algorithm has advanced so much and is interested in getting what delivers better UX to the front page of search pages. The algorithm follows carefully even what takes place on social media.
To get better ranking, make sure to craft high-quality content and integrate the keywords with specific targeted keywords. Content like case studies, blogs, articles, reviews, business info, employee reports, business location, and others will grow the brand community. In addition, it will often get featured by influencers. The search engine algorithm will not take long to figure out that the important content belongs to you and place it on top of SERPs.
Raised conversion rates
Now that the social media marketing strategy has won the brand’s extra visibility, the business has more opportunities for conversion. For every post, video, image, or comment, all followers will become part of the traffic that could ultimately convert to sales.
As a marketer, the content and interaction should only be a first step in the long journey to driving sales. The next thing should be developing partnership and demonstrating why they should buy from you. Most social media marketers indicate that developing a relationship with clients on social media have a positive impact on direct sales.
The final take
Social media is the ideal tool and a force that your enterprise requires to grow traffic, enhance engagement, and drive conversions. It will further help to increase customer satisfaction, improved brand loyalty, enhance enterprise loyalty, and lower cost of marketing.
Table of Contents
Why Now Is a Great Time to Start Investing In Digital Marketing
Are you using digital marketing in your enterprise? If the answer is no or unsure, know that you are lagging behind. The marketing niche is adrift. Traditional brick-and-mortar models no longer bring results. They are expensive, lengthy and unreliable.
Starting from 2017, marketing professionals are referring to the session as post-digital marketing period. In their study, Smart Insights found that most businesses already have some form of digital marketing.
About 34% have already integrated digital marketing into their marketing strategies while 17% do not have a digital strategy though they use several channels for online marketing.
Brands no longer broadcast their ads on television and sit back waiting for clients to come. Rather, they use digital marketing campaigns that help build communities around their enterprises to strengthen their image, sustain high sales and grow over time. In this post, we take a comprehensive look at digital marketing to demonstrate why now is the best time to start investing in digital marketing.
What exactly is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is an umbrella term used to refer to online marketing efforts through channels such as emails, social media, search engines, and websites to reach and connect with the target audience. Good digital marketing strategies involve understanding
where your target clients are and reaching them using the best strategies. Some great digital marketing strategies include;
- Affiliate marketing: This is a strategy that involves using industry leaders who command a lot of following to drive higher traffic and sales. Affiliate marketing brings the market leaders who command respect and use their endorsement to help drive sales. The experts review your items, post related posts, and direct clients to come and buy. You are charged a commission for every client who comes and converts. In one of the 2015 IBM Digital Experience Survey, about 56% of marketers believe that personalized content promoters yield higher engagement.
- Mobile marketing: In 2016, Google found that over 50% of the searches on its network were made from mobile devices. This prompted the search engine giant to encourage enterprises to optimize their sites, posts, and design for mobile viewing. By using mobile-optimized marketing methods such as mobile apps and mobile sites, you are sure of reaching more than the target audience.
- Content marketing: In digital marketing, content is king. This strategy involves crafting content for blogs, posting as a guest post in other websites, generating web-based content, and social media posts to help educate, connect, and persuade clients to buy from you. The process involves comprehensive niche study to determine what the target clients want, issues affecting them, and solutions. About 70% of online marketers lack a clear content marketing strategy according to Altimeter.
Digital marketing puts your enterprise on wheels and sets it in motion
Even as digital marketing takes root and its benefits become evident, many businesses still opt to go the traditional way. However, it comes as a rude shock when the target clients find alternatives that are more reliable, direct and satisfying. Here are some great reasons why you need to put more investment to digital marketing.
- Digital marketing such as SEO helps to increase reach, traffic, and conversions. Unlike the conventional marketing where the limits and bottlenecks are very many, digital marketing increases reach to drive traffic and sales. You can take content to all social media platforms and search engines to drive traffic.
- The strategies help marketers to understand the target audience better. Whether you prefer social media marketing, email marketing, or affiliate marketing, the strategies place the target audience and marketer in the same room. Your audience can reach you directly using emails or mobile apps to get clarification, raise concerns and even give feedback.
- The best way to follow, gauge and implement changes in your marketing strategy. If you release an ad on television, it is very difficult to tell if the results actually came from the message sent to clients. However, it is very easy to follow back digital strategies and establish which strategy yielded results. For example, you can set the UTM parameters of the website’s product URLs to follow specific campaigns. It is also easy to know which referrals from affiliate marketing that actually converted. This means that you only pay for the methods that bring results.
- Investing in digital marketing helps to build and strengthen the brand community. With digital marketing, the target is not to simply make sales. The strategies are always long-term. Marketers combine these strategies to ensure that clients stay around for longer to strengthen the community. They own the brand, help to demonstrate products effectiveness and keep the conversation about your enterprise alive on other platforms.
The final take
To succeed in the current highly competitive marketing environment, investing in digital marketing is not an option. It is the best way to fire an enterprise and keep the fire for faster growth burning. When implemented appropriately, digital marketing guarantees the highest return on investment.