Category Archives: Website Consulting

How can Remarketing benefit my business?

Remarketing is a powerful internet marketing technique that allows you to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your site. By presenting your ads to visitors even as they browse other websites, you are gaining brand exposure and becoming more recognizable to your target audience, raising trust and making them more likely to purchase from you. Remarketing also allows you to appeal visitors who didn’t convert, re-engage visitors with abandoned shopping carts or reach customers within a certain time period after they completed a purchase.

Google AdWords allows advertisers to remarket through their platform by creating remarketing lists with a set of rules. You can targeted all website visitors or you can target visitors who came to a specific page on your website or completed a specific action. Then Google will trigger your ads to show to the same visitors on websites across the Google Display Network.

Facebook remarketing works similar to Google AdWords remarketing, but rather than showing your ads across websites within the Display Network, your ads are shown on Facebook. The concept is the same: someone visits your site or interacts with your brand, they’re tagged with a code you implement to track them, and then while they’re scrolling through their Facebook feed your ad pops up to remind them what they’re missing.

Call Link2city today to schedule an evaluation of your current Marketing efforts.

Fake WordPress Plugin Opens Sites to Criminals

A fake WordPress plugin is trending, targeting one of the world’s largest open-source applications in order to allow back-door access to a host of websites.

Dubbed WP-Base-SEO, the plugin is a forgery of a legitimate search engine optimization plugin, called WordPress SEO Tools, according to SiteLock, the firm that originally uncovered the threat. At first glance, the file appears to be legitimate, because it uses native WordPress hook functionality. A closer look, though, reveals its malicious intent in the form of a base64 encoded PHP eval request.

Eval is a PHP function that executes arbitrary PHP code. It is commonly used for malicious purposes and php.net recommends against using it, SiteLock noted. Here, it’s attached as an “action” to the header of the website’s theme. WordPress defines actions as the hooks that the WordPress core launches at specific points during execution, or when specific events occur. Plugins can specify that one or more of its PHP functions are executed at these points, using the Action API. And that means that remote attackers now have back-door access, and can force the site to do their bidding.

“Some versions include an additional hook that runs after each page load as well, which means that anytime the theme is loaded in a browser, the request is initialized,” SiteLock noted. It added that researchers have observed that multiple sites have been infected by the malware, but an internet search of the plugin name revealed no information, suggesting that it may be flying under the radar of other malware scanners.

WordPress site administrators should perform a malware scan, as well as update the WordPress core, all themes and plugins to their latest versions. It is also crucial to use strong passwords and reputable plugins.

If you are unsure of what plugins you have installed, call Link2city today so that we can check your site.

Think about this scenario…

You’re a author about to release your next book which has been advertised on media channels and across the web for weeks in advance. Your Publisher notifies you that your new book is fresh off the press and available for purchase. You’ve been updating your website for a coordinated promotional campaign. You point your browser to your website to double check the information, and instead of seeing your homepage, your screen displays this:

Whether you’re an author, a retailer or a professional practitioner, this is not good. The above warning is having the exact opposite effect you’ve worked so hard to create. The viewer (your prospective customer/client) is like the weary medieval traveler who comes upon a village entrance that is marked by a sign warning of leprosy among the village inhabitants. Regardless of how tired you are, you push on to the next village. And so will your prospects.

Even more nefarious is the ever burgeoning appearance of ransomware, where the hackers demand payment (often under the guise of future protection) to “release” your PC from the infection.

Consequences of Hacked Websites

A hacked website will likely result in one (if not both) of the following consequences:

Your Web Host May Take Action

Your web host may have taken your site offline having received reports from visitors or from warnings from their own internal software that your site has been compromised.

With many shared web hosting accounts, it is common practice for the host to suspend your entire account until all the malicious files are removed. This means hundreds of your (or your clients) sites will be down at the web hosts’ discretion. Having a clean backup of your site is imperative for situations like these.

Your SEO May Take A Hit

Search engines may either remove your site from search results if it is notified that your site has been hacked. In some cases the site may still be listed, but will be flagged with a message saying that “This site may be hacked” or “This site may harm your computer”. When you click through to the website using Chrome, the browser will provide one of the warnings above. User’s using a different browser may receive no warning or a different warning error, which is why the warning is also included in the search results.

In either scenario, your business or enterprise has lost trust with prospective customers. Their immediate search to find another provider may create a new lasting relationship with that new provider all because your website fell victim to a malicious third party activities.

To avoid this, call Link2city today and schedule a free evaluation.

web-845803_640

There are currently more than 1 billion live websites. In the time you’ve taken to read this sentence, four new websites have been created. With the proliferation of websites it’s difficult to stand out among competitors and businesses are increasingly challenged to leave a unique mark in the rapidly evolving Internet landscape. This, in addition to the fact that we’re in the middle of an information overload, makes it easy to lose sight of the basics that make a good website. A website should tell a story and communicate information seamlessly to the end-user, otherwise it runs the risk of turning visitors off completely.

Below are five reasons that your website will never be successful and basic tips companies should keep in their back pocket and utilize in order to prevent their websites from becoming uninteresting and outdated.

1. Lacks Usability

A website can often be the first impression of a company and a confusing website will push potential customers away just as quickly as they landed on it. Users need to be able to find what they are looking for with easy-to-navigate pages and readily accessible information that promotes further exploration. A clean layout with clear headers and information displayed in a user-friendly way encourages repeat visitors to frequent the site and obtain the information effortlessly.

2. Information Overload

A bunch of words staring at potential customers is a surefire way to get them to leave a website. Customers crave information but businesses need to be mindful not to over communicate main points. It’s easy to upload copious amounts of text and images on a website to make sure all of the bases are covered but in many cases it’s too much information that ends up overwhelming the user. Provide key information that customers are looking for and relay it in a way that’s easy for them to digest. Write in short sentence and in bullets when possible. By presenting focused information in a logical way customers can address their questions sufficiently.

3. Poor Website Name

Choosing a website name is one of the toughest parts of the branding process. Finding an available URL that aligns with the company’s image and can be easily optimized for search rankings are essential factors to consider. Previously, a company was only recognizable if it had a .com domain extension but times are changing and with the onset of a number of generic top level domains (gTLDs) – like .business, .brand and .website – companies have the option to choose from a growing pool of extensions that are ideal for the company in the long term. A notable name creates a unique opportunity to align a company, individual or new product website to better reach the target audience.

4. No Call-to-Action

Unfortunately the work doesn’t end once a customer gets to the site and sees a visually-appealing layout with easy-to-use tabs. There has to be a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages customers to go beyond “window shopping” and take the plunge by making a purchase either directly on the website or being able to search locations where the product is available. Service providers can ask customers to contact a representative to learn more or have a virtual assistant available online for questions. Smaller CTAs such as encouraging customers to follow the business on social media or sign up for email newsletters keeps both potential and existing customers up to date on the latest news. Making the site interactive and determining what the end result and call to action needs to be for the company’s business model is crucial.

5. Not Mobile Ready

Mobile growth has surged and more and more customers are accessing websites directly from their smartphones and tablets than ever before. Therefore it’s critical that websites are mobile ready so customers can easily view the content on smaller screens. Customers have a short attention span so information should be easily readable regardless of what device they’re viewing the website on. It’s also important to ensure the website loads quickly on any device so sticking to simple HTML instead of flash may be ideal.

Websites are essential to a company’s success and take a great deal of time and dedication to build and maintain. It’s important that resources are dedicated to ensuring that this platform is constantly up to date and working correctly. Companies that use these tips when creating their websites will be pleased with the uptick in visitor traffic to their page and overall outcome of having a rich Web presence.

Originally published by Karn Jajoo on websitemagazine.com.