Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Join us on LinkedIn Circle us on Google+
 

Search Marketing

The Whiteclick SEO blog aims to keep you up to date with the latest in the search engine optimisation and marketing industry and the company.

Why Social Media Is A Waste Of Money If You Don’t Have A Proper SEO Strategy

Giles White - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Social media for your business can be a waste of money... If you don’t use it properly.

To use it properly you need to have an actual plan in mind regarding how you are going to use it to benefit your business and its growth. Social media is now looked at by Google but not in how you probably imagine it is.

If you are producing great content and then sharing it through social media, and other people feel the need to share it through social media because it is just that amazing then Google will pick this up. Google will see that this content is helpful for users and it will place it higher up in the search engines.

Here in this lies a crucial point that you need to understand, you need to use social media in conjunction with a proper SEO strategy.

You know that the game has changed, the rules are now a little different when it comes to dominating the search engines. There are so many variables that impact on this so you need to make sure that your SEO strategy is clear and you are making full use of all the tools at your disposal properly.

That includes social media.

A lot of people seem to be using social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter as nothing more than tools to inflate their egos. It turns into a competition for likes, tweets, follower, and what not. Whilst that might make you feel good it isn’t doing much good for your business or your SEO strategy.

Using Social Media As Part Of Your SEO Strategy

Let’s divert attention away from the ego boosting benefits of social media for a moment and look at how you can use it properly in conjunction with your SEO strategy.

Instead of using social media to accrue meaningless likes start looking at it as a tool by which you can provide actual value to your customers. You need to have clear goals in mind as to what you want to achieve using social media for your business. Let’s look at what some goals may be:

  • Create awareness
  • Building a brand
  • Attracting new customers
  • Establishing loyal followers
  • Marketing your services
  • Networking with others in complimentary industries

There are a whole range of goals that you could have in mind for social media as part of SEO. You need to be clear on what it is you want out of social media as part of your SEO strategy though.

Rather than just posting meaningless tweets or status updates, do so with a goal in mind. What are you trying to achieve with this status update or tweet? You need to provide real world value to your users when you use social media.

The more value you provide then the more likely it is your status or tweet will be shared. When conducting business you shouldn’t have some dilly dally approach to it and the same goes for using social media.

It is a powerful tool at your disposal if you bother to use it properly. Start thinking about how you can use it in conjunction with an SEO strategy and then watch the climb in search engine rankings.

The Importance of Social Media for SEO

Giles White - Monday, August 19, 2013

SEO has changed. No longer does a solid SEO campaign revolve purely around keywords and link building. The times have changed and your SEO campaign needs to change with it. The primary cause of this change to a solid SEO campaign was the Penguin and Panda updates by Google. Now there is a new dimension to any good SEO campaign that every SEO strategist needs to consider.

That new dimension is social media.

Social media’s importance cannot be underestimated. Now it is more important than ever to any good SEO campaign and every SEO strategist needs to be factoring this in to their campaign.

If you have a business or a blog of any kind and you are implementing an SEO strategy then you now need to be making the most of social media. Social media is now one of the best ways to drive traffic to a website. It has exploded in popularity. Everyone seems to be using either Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and other platforms.

The updates to Google’s algorithm initiated by the Penguin and Panda updates now mean that social media has grown in its importance. Google is now paying attention to social media when factoring in search engine results.

The Penguin and Panda updates have placed a greater emphasis on user experience. Now you may be wondering how this relates to SEO and social media. Well, social media relates to user experience.

If readers find the content on a website so amazing that they can’t help but share it through social media then Google will pick this up. In fact, by not using social media in your SEO campaign you are missing out tons of traffic. Traffic that could result in more sales if you are a business.

How You Can Make The Most of Social Media For SEO

You don’t have to miss out on this goldmine of traffic though. You also still need to be doing all the usual tactics for SEO; link building strategies, relevant keywords, great content. The importance and rise of social media for SEO doesn’t mean that you should neglect the other aspects of an SEO campaign.

What you need to be doing is using the usual tactics for SEO along with implementing a social media strategy for your campaign.

First thing that you need to do is make sure that you have pages set up on each of the social media outlets so you can maximise your exposure to readers. After you have created pages for each of these outlets you need to make sure that you have installed social media icons on your website.

They need to be clearly visible for readers to see when they get to your website. You need to have the icons in the sidebar, footer, or wherever visitors who come to your site will see them.

Once you’ve done all of that you need to actually start using them. If you are on Facebook start posting status updates, start connecting with people in related fields. Start posting tweets if you are on Twitter.

Ideally, you should be on all the social media platforms and you should be using all of them regularly. The most important thing to remember is that social media is a huge factor in search engine rankings now. The more exposure you get through social media then the better your search engine rankings will be.

Its importance in ranking highly cannot be underestimated and everyone who is serious about climbing higher in the search engines needs to be using social media.

The changing landscape of SEO

Giles White - Monday, August 05, 2013
The Changing Landscape of SEO

The landscape of SEO has changed numerously over the years. Gone are the days when you could simply write great content, put some keywords in, and get a ton of link sub-missions. That is the strategy of days gone by. What changed all this was Google’s Panda update.

Introducing Panda

Things have now changed and they’ve changed primarily because of Google’s Panda up-date. Contrary to the belief of some, the Panda update isn’t the death of SEO. It’s simply the evolution of SEO. Once upon a time you could write great content, put the right keywords in, get some links and you’d rank high in Google.

Now, you must do more, you must be smarter, and you need to start thinking about things like social media. The Panda update means that there now needs to be greater emphasis on the users. This means writing great content that people will think is more than just great, they will think it’s amazing. So amazing that they will want to share it through various social media outlets. So amazing that it provides them with a great ex-perience. So amazing that users cant help but naturally link back to your content.

This change to the SEO landscape means that you need to focus on a number of things and the user experience it provides to ensure your website will still rank high. Those three things to focus on that measure user experience are website design, content, and usage metrics.

Design - this hasn’t changed all that much. Many of us have know that a great website design and simple user interface will help rank higher in Google. This means that your website needs to be clearly laid out, no clutter, and simple to navigate. All these things affect user experience. Content - your content needs to focus on providing a great experience for their users. It needs to be so great that they want to share it through various social media outlets, it needs to have that WOW factor about it. It is no longer enough to just write great, useful content with automated links, and the right keywords. You need to write amazing con-tent that is shared on social media and naturally linked to by users because your content is amazing. Google is now punishing content with automated links and stuffed keywords so don’t do that. Google has become smarter so now we must become smarter and evolve with the changing dynamic of SEO.

Usage metrics - this is what Google analyses to determine how high your website should rank in Google and how great an experience you provide to your users. They look at things like time spent on site, time spent browsing, whether or not users are local or global, etc. These things are used to basically determine the likeability factor of your website. If people like your website, your content provides a great experience, then they will stay longer on your site and Google will see this and therefore place you higher in their rankings. You need to have Google Analytics installed so that you can see some of these metrics in action for yourself.

The Panda update has caused the landscape of SEO to change but it certainly isn’t the death of SEO. To summarise, it simply means you must place greater emphasis on user experience than ever before. You do that by writing amazing content that gets people talking about it and naturally linking to it. It’s time to adapt to the changing landscape and be smarter with your SEO campaign in order to reap the rewar

15 reasons to think twice about banner ads

Giles White - Saturday, March 23, 2013
Have you ever met someone who said they found banner ads useful? I thought not. With many years under my belt in the magazine publishing industry I understand the origin of the banner ad legacy but it's become a symbol of all that’s wrong with online advertising. Banner ads are like party gatecrashers - they are not invited, no one wants them there and they ruin the experience for everyone else. So why do they continue to proliferate the Internet despite being mostly ignored by readers?

15 facts about banners to make you wonder if there’s got to be a better way

1. Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)
2. That’s 1 trillion more than 2009. (ComScore)
3. The typical Internet user is served 1,707 banner ads per month. (Comscore)
4. Click-through rates are .1 percent. (DoubleClick)
5. The 468 x 60 banner has a .04 percent click rate. (DoubleClick)
6. Users can’t view an estimated 31 percent of ad impressions (ComScore)
7. The display advertising Lumascape has 318 logos. (Luma Partners)
8. 8 percent of Internet users account for 85 percent of clicks. (ComScore)
9. Up to 50 percent of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)
10. Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)
11. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. (Solve Media)
12. 15 percent of people trust banner ads completely or somewhat, compared to 29 percent for TV ads. (eMarketer)
13. 34 percent don’t trust banner ads at all or much, compared to 26 percent for magazine ads. (eMarketer)
14. 25-34-year olds see 2,094 banner ads per month. (ComScore)
15. 445 different advertisers delivered more than a billion banner ads in 2012. (ComScore) 

Surely, after 18 years of suffering, it's time to put the long-suffering, creatively devoid, out-dated magazine-style banner ad out of its misery?

How to gain an edge in pre-christmas Online Retail

Giles White - Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I’ve been analysing online retail trends and wanted to share some insights and key trends... 

Let’s start with the obvious. A long-held shopping tradition sees retailers thrive in the lead-up to and aftermath of Christmas, with bricks and mortar stores experiencing massive spikes in foot traffic and sales. 

·         What about online?

·         How do consumers behave online during November, December and January?

·         What should retailers be doing to cash in on this behaviour?

Looking at the data from the past two years, there is obvious growth in visitor numbers to the category in November, December and January – with a clear spike in December.

 In December 2011, for example, there were half a billion visits to sites in the category. With an Internet population of 19 million in Australia, this equates to about 26 visits per person – almost one a day. The increase in visitation to online shopping sites during this period represents a huge opportunity for retailers.

We are predicting that 2012 will see 25 million more visitations to online shopping sites over the holiday period compared to last year.

So how do marketers best leverage these great opportunities? As search, email and social are the top three drivers to the Shopping and Classifieds category over the holiday season,

 Driver #1: Search

Search is the strongest driver to the Shopping and Classifieds category. It is a key tool in attracting people that want to buy to your website; and is valuable in giving consumers the confidence that they will be able to find what they are looking for on your site. As such, marketers should ensure that their websites are better geared for SEO, and that a carefully calculated pay-per-click plan is in place for the holiday period.

Key search tips:

• Take into account that Sundays are the peak visitation days in the two months leading up to Christmas, with a slight drop in traffic in the third week of December.

Boxing Day represents a huge peak in search traffic, with the time spent per visit increasing by almost 30 per cent on this day, as consumers seek value on big ticket items like electrical goods.

• Strong baseline activity: Don’t just plan for the peaks. You should have a strong baseline SEO/PPC strategy in place to capture the overall rise in traffic during the holiday season.

• Incorporate smartphone and tablet ‘friendly’ search methods - ensuring that your campaign incorporates mobile and/or tablet executions could lead to major sales this year.

• Make your campaigns ’Pinteresting’ - Pinterest is one of the hottest names in social media right now perhaps the hottest. And it’s looking to be particularly effective for some retailers, as it provides opportunities to entice consumers with beautiful product images. Retailers running a rich media campaign can use Pinterest to enable users to scroll through holiday products, choose their favourite items, pin those directly to their own boards, and of course follow the retailer’s Pinterest boards.

What about social?

While a recent Experian whitepaper showed that social networks are on the up and up – with Australians typically spending 14.5 hours per month on Facebook and co. – the holiday season is not the best time for marketers to capitalise on this phenomenon.

Over the holiday period, social network usage declines across the board. Along with this decline in overall usage comes a shift in how people are using social networks – the focus is on sharing photos, connecting with friends and sending holiday messages. In short, over Christmas, social networks are used for socialising.

Given that social doesn’t play as significant a role in driving traffic to the shopping and classified category in the holiday season as search and email, marketers should review their spend in this period accordingly. Overall get started now.

The holiday season is nearly upon us, and most marketers will have already done much of the hard work in developing campaigns around driving more traffic to online stores and boosting conversion rates. A lot of campaigns can take months to prepare, so if you’re not ready early, chances are that you will miss out.

So, what should you do? Contact Whiteclick and let's start planning your Christmas search engine marketing now!

5 ancient proverbs used to boost website enquiries by 76 percent

Justin Daniel - Monday, January 30, 2012

Great companies use these approaches to boost enquiries and we often use them on clients’ websites with equally impressive results. Can these strategies inspired by ancient wisdom work for you too?

1. Out of sight, out of mind.

A corporate consulting company approached us to see if we could increase their web enquiries. After a quick glance we noticed it was difficult to find information on contacting the business (note: a tiny link to the contact page was buried in the bottom right corner of every page). So we added an eye-catching—but not ugly—link to the contact form in in the top right corner of every page. The result? Their enquiries went through the roof—almost doubling with an increase of 76%. Here’s a Google Analytics screenshot showing the result.

I’m not suggesting you should go crazy and turn your website into a dog’s breakfast—you would be surprised at what some people do to pretty looking sites in a misguided attempt to make more sales. Simply make your contact details noticeable by adjusting the font-size, colour or position. This small-yet-simple adjustment can show tremendous results when put into action.

Always have a clear call to action.

2. Everyone loves a free lunch.

Dr. Robert Cialdini of ‘Influence’ fame once followed around Hare Krishnas while they bugged people for money in airport terminals and discovered something amazing. He noticed the money collectors received a larger amount of donations after imposing a free gift flower on the unsuspecting victims. Dr. Cialdini had discovered the psychological power of reciprocation.

Heres the kicker—Dr. Cialdini started to wonder where the steady supply of flowers were coming from, so he followed them until he observed a diligent Hare Krishna collecting disposed gift flowers out of the trash can!

You can offer free-delivery, a 30-minute workshop or even a free test drive. Every business is different. Chances are there’s something inexpensive you can bundle into an irresistible offer that costs your customer nothing. Not only will it increase conversions, it will create such a positive experience for your customer they will readily buy from you again.

Use free offers to get your foot in the door.

3. Applause waits on success.  

Let's face it—social proof sells. If you've consulted Fortune-500 companies, spoken at industry conferences, or have recommendations from prestigious organisations, it's time to cast modesty aside and show your prospects you know what you’re doing.

This is as simple as displaying any of your certifications on your web site, citing publications that have mentioned you and quoting recommendations from corporate bigwigs. Creating trust is essential for instilling confidence in your new clients and a bit of artful name dropping often has a positive effect on conversions.

Display your recommendations and qualifications.

4. Call a spade a spade.

How many business web sites have you visited with text like this…

"We create synergistic relationships between vendors and partners to improve communication processes resulting in improved efficiencies..."

Complete nonsense. The father of modern advertising David Ogilvy famously said, 'you cannot bore people into buying.' This has never been more relevant when it comes to capturing the attention of Internet users suffering from chronic ADD. 

Think you’re different because you’re in the B2B world? Think again. Ogilvy built his one-man show into a multi-million dollar empire targeting corporate clients by writing compelling ad campaigns.

The lion’s share of web sites are written in gobbledygook customers don't understand nor have the patience to read. Make it easy to understand. Even better, make it interesting. If you’re not doing this already—you will be astonished by the results. 

Speak in language your customers understand.

5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Another psychological experiment had two groups of adults seated in two different rooms. The first group were offered some cookies. The second were offered the same cookies but told they were only allowed one each and would not be offered any more. Both groups were asked to rate the cookies. Both found the cookies tasted the same, but here is where it gets interesting... The second group rated the cookies in scarce supply as being much more desirable and valuable.

Scarcity is a powerful motivating force in life and purchasing decisions—and remarkably effective in increasing conversions. Time limited offers, limited places—all tried and true methods for boosting online (and offline) enquiries. If you don’t have the scarcity principle built into your web site you are missing out on easy opportunities to win more sales.

Use scarcity to encourage sales.

Conclusion

There you have it—five dead simple tactics that cost little time, effort and money that can increase your web enquiries. Yes, you must have a decent amount of traffic for these techniques to be successful (hint: we can help you with this). On the flip side, if you already have a fair amount of traffic, the results can be extraordinary.

What results have you had with techniques like these?


12 Digital Marketing New Years resolutions for 2012

Jessica Graham - Monday, January 09, 2012

1. Do: Share links pointing to content on your website!

It's concerning how many businesses share links over social networks that direct potential visitors to other sites instead of their own! Your primary social media objective should always be to engage with your target audience, lure them back to your website using great content, and then convert to leads or sales.

2. Do: Finally get around to setting up your business blog

Speaking of great content - a blog is one of the most effective pages to drive traffic to your site! Companies which blog have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links. For non-SEO nerds, in English this means that investing time and money into a business blog will:

  • Establish your brand as a market leader and influencer
  • Impact positively on your optimisation efforts and increase your search rankings
3. Do: Optimise your blog posts with keywords/phrases

Closely aligning your blogging efforts with your SEO strategy to incorporate keywords and phrases will maximise your content 'life' and visibility in search results.

4. Do: Post blogs regularly

Commit to generating 1 to 2 articles a month at minimum. There is nothing worse than visiting a business blog page only to find that their latest article dates back to the time when Nokia's 3310 was still the most widely used mobile phone device!

5. Do: Analyse what content engages best with your audience

Take notice of what is working. Assess your most popular blogs by views per month; your social media updates that garner the most 'likes', 'comments' or 'shares' etc. Use this data as a guide for future posts. It seems like common sense but you'd be surprised at how many businesses fail to identify what makes their audience tick.

6: Do: Set measurable Social Media goals

A big trend for 2012 embraces higher levels of social media monitoring and metrics - but how can you measure your digital marketing success unless you first set goals that are realistic and achievable? Here are a few simple ones to start with:

  • I want to increase my Facebook Fan base to x amount of followers by x date
  • I want to increase my Twitter followers to x amount of followers by x date etc.
  • I want to post x amount of blog articles a month

7: Don't: Ignore Google+

A huge development in 2011 was the emergence of Google's answer to Facebook: Google+. Early membership numbers broke every record in the book, and in late November the search heavyweight announced the provision of Business Pages for brands. While Google was quick to deny any relational effects to SEO and PPC, early data suggests otherwise. Don't be left behind, build your business presence on this network now.

8. Don't: Be tempted to cut costs by attempting DIY pay-per-click

While DIY PPC management may provide initial budget relief in an economic downturn, it often ends up costing much more than you save. The keyword selection process is far more involved than just knowing what your customers are searching for. Targeting the wrong keywords drains advertising spend without providing any ROI. It's a no brainer: Employ an expert to make sure that you're getting the best keywords at the lowest possible price point.

9. Don't: Forget the power of customer testimonials

It is estimated that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales (online and offline) will be affected by consumers who use the Internet to research products before purchasing. Social Media is the new 'word of mouth'. Populate your product/services LinkedIn page so happy customers can endorse you, and encourage influencers to write online reviews or recommend your brand on Facebook.

10. Don't: Be oblivious to what is being said about your business online

Use free web services such as socialmention.com and wotnews.com or even by conducting a simple name search on Twitter to find out how your brand is perceived by the public. Appease customers with complaints and nurture brand ambassadors. Social media is not just for promotions, it is also an invaluable market research tool.

11. Don't: Lose potential business by having an outdated, user un-friendly website

Your website is often the first experience a potential customer has with your company brand. Just like in a job interview, you need to make those first impressions count! Does your homepage load up quickly? Is your content optimized for search? Do you provide eCommerce facilities for users to buy your products online? Or is 'Lets do the time warp again' ringing in your visitors ears when they view your page design?!

12. Don't: Optimise your website for mobile and tablet devices at your own peril!

Sales of iPhones, Androids, iPads and other tablet devices are on the rise and expected to outstrip laptops and traditional computers as the home hardware of choice by 2015. Don't give potential customers an excuse to buy from your competitors - make sure your website can be viewed and utilized in any format.

What are your digital marketing resolutions for 2012?

The 5 Unbreakable Laws for Making Websites That Create Sales

Justin Daniel - Thursday, October 20, 2011

After many years guiding businesses on how to retool their web sites into effective marketing machines, we've uncovered 5 unbreakable laws for building web sites that sell. Read on to gain precious insights for multiplying the return on your marketing dollar. 

1. Do looks really matter? 76% of web site visitors judge the credibility of a business from the appearance of the web site alone—not the content. Many people know professional looking designs increase credibility in the eyes of your web site visitors, but few consider the damage shoddy advertising does to a business. Your web site must look professional otherwise you literally risk damaging your brand.

2. Drive targeted traffic to your business. It's no secret the vast majority of customers now use online search to find local businesses. Many businesses have realised there is little or no benefit in building a web site that no one visits and are getting better and better at finding customers online. Target these customers with online marketing, or somebody else will.

3. Engage your web site visitors. Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said, 'You cannot bore people into buying' and his advice still rings true today. Consumers have never been so informed, discerning and impatient.

Looking for a powerful way to motivate customers to pick up the phone and call your business? The easiest way is to do a bit of online market research and post a compelling offer unlike anything offered by your competitors and post it on your web site. This is a deceptively simple—yet staggeringly effective—way to differentiate your brand from the competition.

4. Make it easy for your customers. The customer of the 21st century is overwhelmed with information and easily frustrated. Usability and clear information design are vital for a successful business web site. Does your home page look like a christmas-tree by cramming everything but the kitchen sink into one page? Or does it present a simple selection of options-just enough for your web site visitors to know how to easily get to the information they're looking for?

Make it easy for your customers…. Or they will go elsewhere.

5. Use your best resource for more sales. Your existing client base have already developed trust and familiarity with your business and will readily buy from you again. And a well constructed web site is the most economical and effective tool to communicate with your customers. Mailing lists, blogs and social media sites all rely upon your web site as the nerve centre for communicating with your customers and new prospects. Have you been using your web site to re-engage your customers?

Are there more approaches than these to make web sites that sell? Sure. But this is the best place to start.

Remember —a well built web site is an investment, not an expense. Poorly constructed web sites almost always come with high maintenance fees and are inevitably scrapped and replaced by better ones as a business grows.

You wouldn't trust just anyone to be the face of your business-and the first time a person visits a business web site is the very first sales meeting that takes place between the customer and your brand. Invest wisely.

Online Retailer Expo – How we integrated Social Media Marketing into our Stand Strategy

Jessica Graham - Thursday, October 06, 2011

A bright eyed and excited constituent of the Whiteclick team invaded Sydney's convention centre, ready to man our first ever booth at the Online Retailer Exhibition with a secret weapon up our sleeves - enter caricaturist extraordinaire and honorary Whiteclick staffer for the week, Kumar! 

The idea: Passers by were enticed onto the Whiteclick stand with the offer of a free caricature, to be uploaded to our Facebook fan page. Delegates could then visit the page, tag their own caricature and share with friends.

The hook : The person with the most 'liked' caricature would win a luxurious night away at one of Sydney's leading hotels.

What's in it for us? A way to differentiate Whiteclick from neighboring stands giving out bags, brochures and other 'collectibles' that inevitably get thrown away post conference; not to mention a talking point to start some great conversations with potential new clients. Cool idea huh?!

Did it work? So far we have increased the 'likes' to our Facebook fan page by almost 50%, not to mention more than 17,000 post views which (as you can see by the graphs below) is a phenomenal response!

Final Thoughts : In all our conversations with delegates at the stand, something that became apparent was that there is often a missing element (moving away from all hype that surrounds Social Media Marketing) - its not the amount of likes or followers you have…. It's actually what you DO with them that counts!

So you have 12,000 Facebook fans, but what do you do now? How can you convert these fans into potential new clients/customers?

Bookmark our blog, or become a fan on our Facebook page to be kept up to date on our next posts which will outline how to be successful when marketing via social media.

In the meantime - what are some examples of social media marketing campaigns you feel were the best? What about the worst? Have you attempted to generate users to your fan page with a promotion or marketing campaign? Were you successful?

5 Tips to Improve Your Website Security

Pranil Singh - Friday, September 30, 2011

Website Security

Website security is an often-overlooked part of developing a site. Everyone says 'yes, we provide the utmost in web security', but what do they actually do? What questions can you ask your web design company to make sure they're actually doing it? And what steps can you take to help protect your site? Read on....

Open source software is much more prevalent in the market these days. We use it ourselves. CMS's like Wordpress, Drupal and Magento are now common bits of software that people know about. These are great tools, however you must keep them updated. While we love open source, it does mean that the code is available to anyone. And that means those with not-so-good intentions can try and find security holes to exploit. The open source community is pretty good with this - there are always updates available and it's highly recommended you keep your software up-to-date!

There's another really common scenario with open source software. And that's the install folder/files! You must remove these once the software is installed. Otherwise anyone can come along and reinstall it. And if you don't back up your site regularly, this can have a devastating effect. So don't just rename the install files - make sure you remove them completely.

So, you've got your software up-to-date, and have removed the install files/folder. What's next? How about your login and passwords? I hope you're not using the default admin:admin or admin:admin123. That would be a bad idea. Go and check this. Now. And if it's default, change it. Heck, why don't you change it regardless!

Ok now we're going to get a bit more technical. You'll most likely have heard of SSL. What's this? It stands for 'Secure Sockets Layer'. That probably still doesn't mean anything to you. Well, to put it simply, it's a security protocol that ensures that data sent using the Internet is encrypted. You'll often see secure web sites displayed with a nice little padlock in your browser.

So when you're using a web site with an SSL certificate, any data that's transmitted between your computer and the web site server is secure (read:encrypted). This means that no-gooders that are 'listening' to this to and fro traffic can't see what's being sent. Which is a really good idea when you're sending private information. Like credit card details. So, if you're web site sends and receives private information, it's a good idea to use SSL.

There's a bunch of different providers of SSL certificates out there; Verisign, RapidSSL and Comodo to name a few. And of course, if that's all a bit confusing, get in touch and we'll talk you through it.

Next up, do you have an online store? Take payments? I hope you're using a secure payment gateway. If not, maybe you're storing credit card information. Please, please tell me you're using SSL. And if you are, you do know this is just a start right?

SSL doesn't completely protect your web site. It does protect the data being transmitted to and from your site. But that's not the information your site holds!

The majority of online stores use a database. And if that database holds credit card information, it makes them it a very desirable target for scammers or hackers. Don't think it won't happen to you.

What's the moral of this story? Only store credit card details if you absolutely must. If you can use a third party payment gateway (Paypal, eWay etc etc...) it does remove the burden somewhat. And if decide to store the info regardless, encrypt it. Plaintext passwords with credit card details are just a recipe for disaster.

Right, I hope this article has shed some light on web site security for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It's just a few simple (and not so simple!) steps you can take to help. If it all seems a bit overwhelming, drop us a line, we'd be happy to help. Adios!


FREE CONSULTATION

For a FREE initial consultation with Whiteclick give us a call today.





Talk to our team or arrange a meeting.

CALL US!

02 8212 5425