Month: October 2017

Quick Guide to Webpage Optimisation

Quick Guide to Webpage Optimisation

A Quick Guide to Webpage Optimisation
SEO includes many steps, processes and a lot of hard work for any project to succeed. One of the most important steps is that on page optimisation. What does this consist of?

Here is a summary of the various steps that should be considered when optimsing your web pages:

Page Titles – Make sure that your site’s page titles say something other than just your company name or “welcome.” Ideally, they need to lead off with your targeted phrase for that page and then follow with your company name.

Text-Based Navigation – Search engines cannot read images. If your site’s navigation system is done with images (lots are), you will need a text-based navigation system that the search engines can follow to ensure that all the important service and product-related sub-pages of your site are indexed by the search engines.

Prominence of Targeted Keyword Phrases – It is not enough to have your keyword phrase(s) somewhere on the web page, the placement and prominence given to them also affects your search engine placement. For example, leading off the site’s first paragraph with your keyword phrase gives it more weight than burying it half way down the page in the middle of a paragraph. Also, using larger font sizes and bolding the text can emphasize its importance and positively affect the page’s ranking for that phrase.

Site Map – Developing a site map that includes a well-organized list of links to all the important pages of your site and includes a text link to the site map on your home page is the ideal way to make sure that all the site’s pages are indexed by the search engines when they visit the subject site. Google’s Webmaster Tools is ideal for this purpose.

ALT and META data – These are tags not seen by the site’s users; they are embedded in the site’s code. ALT tags refer to the text that describes an image — words that you see pop up as you mouse over some images. In optimizing your company’s name, an ALT tag placed behind the image of your company’s logo is ideal. Meta tags are lines of code included in the uppermost section of your site’s code. They communicate the page’s subject matter and relevancy to the search engines. Further, the short description of your site included in some search results is pulled from the meta description tag of the home page and should, therefore, be used to the site’s advantage.

Clean up the Code – Navigation rollover scripts, other JavaScript-based code, and all CSS scripts should be taken out of the code of each page and put into external files to which each page of the site is referenced. Doing this has several advantages, but one of the most compelling is that your site’s keywords and content all move up, up, up in the code, communicating their importance to the search engines and boosting your site’s relevancy ratings. In other words, this can boost your search engine rankings by improving the code to text ratio of the page. This is a simple and relatively inexpensive thing to do, depending on the total number of pages in your site.

Making your Website more Trust Worthy

Making your Website more Trust Worthy

Making your Website more Trust Worthy
As we have been shouting for some time now to clients, Trust is an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm! Reputable websites that can be trusted get better rankings than websites of dubious origin. Google does not want to show low quality websites in the search results. For that reason, it is important that you can convince Google that your business is for real and that your website can be trusted.

trustworthy-website

1. A Good Domain Name
Try to get a domain name to match your business. Old domains with a spam free history usually get better rankings than brand new domains. If you can buy such a domain name, your business might benefit from it if the domain was used for similar businesses before. Use the official top level domain of your country. Also, order your domain with a renewal period of two or more years to show search engines that the domain is supporting a long term project or business.

2. A Trustworthy Website
As most of us know, a trustworthy website will include easy to find contact information. Dubious websites do not have any contact info at all or they hide it. Make your contact information easy to find. List your full address on your website. This is often a sure way to identify a spammy website. The more information about your company can be found on your website, the more likely it is that it will be considered a real business. Your website should also include a privacy policy, terms and conditions (if applicable) and both should be easy to find.

3. Trustworthy links
This is one of those cases where less can mean more. Links from reputable websites are by far the best way to show search engines that your website can be trusted. Google will trust your site if it has links from other reputable websites. Low quality links will damage your rankings, links from high quality sites will have a positive influence on the Google rankings of your site.

A few good links are much better than hundreds of spammy links!

If Google trusts your website then it will be much easier to get high rankings. Of course, your website still needs optimized web page content and good links.

Internet Security – Getting the Basics Right

Internet Security – Getting the Basics Right

Internet Security – Getting the Basics Right
Taking some simple actions and practising safe behaviours will reduce the risk of online threats to your business.

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

Russian Agents Breached Kaspersky Software

Russian Agents Breached Kaspersky Software

Russian Agents Breached Kaspersky Software
Israeli spies looked on as Russian hackers breached Kaspersky cyber-security software two years ago, US media report. The Russians were allegedly attempting to gather data on US intelligence programs, according to the New York Times and Washington Post. Israeli agents made the discovery after breaching the software themselves.

Kaspersky has said it was neither involved in nor aware of the situation and denies collusion with authorities.

Last month, the US government decided to stop using the Russian firm’s software on its computers.

The Israelis are said to have notified the US, which led to the ban on Kaspersky programs.

The New York Times said that the situation had been described by “multiple people who have been briefed on the matter”. Classified documents are reported to have been stolen from the home computer of a US National Security Agency (NSA) employee who installed Kaspersky’s antivirus software.

The NSA, the White House and the Israeli embassy in Washington have not commented on the matter.

The New York Times said that the Russian embassy had not responded to a request for comment.

Kaspersky has published a statement saying that it was not involved in and does not have knowledge of the situation. “As the integrity of our products is fundamental to our business, Kaspersky Lab patches any vulnerabilities it identifies or that are reported to the company,” the statement said. “Kaspersky Lab reiterates its willingness to work alongside US authorities to address any concerns they may have about its products as well as its systems, and respectfully requests any relevant, verifiable information that would enable the company to begin an investigation at the earliest opportunity.”

The firm added that it has never helped, nor would help, governments in matters of cyber-espionage.

Approaches from Unethical SEO Companies

Approaches from Unethical SEO Companies

Approaches from Unethical SEO Companies
Recently a few of our clients have contacted us to report some approaches made to them by ‘SEO Companies’ in the UK, who reportedly claimed to represent – directly – Google and Yahoo. During the conversations the clients were left in little doubt that the SEO companies involved represented Google or Yahoo and had preferential influence re the potential results.

This isn’t the first time these cowboys have tried this approach and it won’t be the last!

The clients who contacted me to report these approaches told me they were being offered a direct working relationship with Google UK or Yahoo UK. Not an SEO company offering their services to promote the clients website to Google and Yahoo.

Many businesses, when approached by aggressive sales people with monthly targets to achieve, will believe almost anything they are told. In the case of the ‘Google’ approach we were contacted about, the company used a domain that also implied they were part of Google’s UK company.

These SEO firms also claimed guaranteed rankings, as well as their ‘special relationship’ with Google. This is simply untrue. In many cases, where these ‘guarantees’ are made, they are for obscure phrases which have little competition and offer no benefit to the business.

Let’s be clear, no one can guarantee results in the search engines.

While professional and ethical (white hat SEO) SEO companies can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEO’s continue to give the industry a bad name through their overly aggressive sales pitch, untruths and often ‘black-hat’ marketing techniques in their attempts to manipulate search engine results in questionable ways.

Remember, practices that violate search engine guidelines may result in losing popularity or even getting banned from their index.

If a company is comfortable telling you untruths to get your business, then it also follows that they would not be averse to using black hat SEO techniques in their everyday practices. Be careful which SEO company you appoint to look after you online business!