Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My Website?
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 06 April 2017 09:09 am
Webtivity Designs recommends that ALL webmasters or site owners upgrade their websites with an SSL certificate.
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology.
SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information.
This increased protection has not gone unnoticed by search engines. Starting in 2015 Google has slowly but surely increased the importance of having an SSL certificate to its search rankings. We fully expect the rest of the big three, Yahoo and Bing, to follow Google’s lead.
This is outlined on the Google Webmaster Blog.
This is a rare but incredible break in normal Google practices of never commenting on search ranking factors. They did not stop there with their pursuit of a more secure user experience. Recently the Google Chrome browser began showing a “Not Secure” warning on any webpage without an SSL that collects user data.
Where can you get an SSL Certificate? Webtivity currently offers SSL Certificates as well as installation and maintenance for a nominal fee. Certificates must be renewed every year to remain valid. We can provide a free estimate on the cost of the whole process.
If you do not go through us GoDaddy also offers SSL Certificates. Please note however that they do not offer installation or renewal services, just a certificate.
A key requirement of an SSL Certificate is a dedicated IP. This means a website has its own IP address. Typing in the URL of the website or its IP address would bring you to the same website. This has the added benefit of speeding up the loading time of your website further positively influencing SEO rankings.
Webtivity is here to guide you through this process regardless of which provider you use. We highly recommend that ALL of our clients upgrade their websites to this security level. This goes double for current SEO clients.
Please feel free to send any questions or concerns our way via email or phone call at: (941) 753-7574
The post Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My Website? appeared first on .
Read more »
What Does the Not Secure Warning Mean?
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 24 March 2017 01:28 pm
There are many variations of Not Secure going around the Internet right now. “Not secure” is the warning you will see in the URL or address bar while using the Chrome Browser on certain pages. See below for an example.
When did this start?
This change came into effect on January 31st, 2017 with the release of Chrome Version 56.
What Pages Are Affected?
Website pages with password or credit card form fields will trigger this “not secure” warning. For example a non-HTTPs or unsecured WordPress login page will look like this:
Some people may question the efficacy of this move in light of the fear it may instill in some unfamiliar users. For example for those of us who use the SmarterMail email server to manage our emails we now see:
Now imagine if you were not familiar with the Internet. Does that look like a safe place to login to you? This abrupt move by not just Google but Firefox as well has lofty goals but mark my words there will be growing pains.
What browsers are affected?
The browsers with the Not Secured Warning thus far include Firefox and Google Chrome. Firefox’s not secure warning started with Firefox 52. It’s warning looks a bit different than Chrome’s however:
What is the goal?
The ultimate goal of both Chrome and Firefox, as well as some other browsers which I’m sure are to follow, is to secure the entire Internet over SSL. Regular HTTP has been shown to be vulnerable to “middle men” attacks. The monitoring, interception, and sometimes even injection of information before it can reach its destination.
It’s easy to see how this might be a concern for pages that contain sensitive information such as credit card or password information.
As it stands about a third of all web traffic is routed through SSLs or HTTPs and that number only keeps growing.
What can I do?
Get in touch with the consummate SEO professionals at Webtivity for more information on how to attain an SSL Certificate to ensure that your website visitors do not run into this menacing issue!
The post What Does the Not Secure Warning Mean? appeared first on .
Read more »
Posted by Meredith Bardsley on 13 March 2017 04:16 pm
Below is an email recently received by a client. The client contacted us to see if it was legitimate before clicking on any links. It was a good thing she did! This email was not from us and turned out to be a phishing email attempting to steal information or download malicious software on her computer.
From: E-mail Administrator [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2017 12:51 PM
Subject: [Norton AntiSpam]Your E-mail Account closure Notification
Dear Email Client,
You have exhausted the space 5GB Bandwidth of your email account and for this reason some of your incoming mails with files is placed pending.
Kindly Click on the link below to complete the upgrade on your account in order to Receive your pending mails and enjoy full features and efficient e-mail service delivery.
Click Here TO UPGRADE and add more Bandwidth to your mailbox.
Once the information provided matches the records on our database, your account will function normal again.
Email Service Team
What makes this email suspicious?
Unfortunately with the convenience of the internet comes criminals and risk. Identity thieves have become very clever and good at impersonating companies we trust. Here are some tips:
The post Phishing Email appeared first on .
Read more »
5 Ways to Handle Online Reviews to Win Customers
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 10 March 2017 12:04 pm
Why do online reviews matter?
You already know that online reviews are feedback left by past customers on websites, but why should you even pay attention to them? There are hundreds of reasons why online reviews make a powerful online marketing tool. Most important of all is customer relationship management. Client satisfaction is the cornerstone of the success of any business venture regardless of its size.
Before online reviews there were testimonials, an affidavit of a business’s quality of service. In today’s fast paced internet world most people (91%) regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Online reviews have become the new word-of-mouth communication tool for customers among each other.
Search engines that cater to these very same customers have noticed how much emphasis users place on reviews. Therefore, they have enacted algorithm changes to the way they present search results to favor better reviewed websites. Online reviews are invaluable to Search Engine Optimization, especially to small businesses.
Top 5 best online review websites
If you are a small local business, like Webtivity!, you don’t have a huge amount of resources to begin with. Let your friendly local web design marketing company make mastering your online reviews game a whole lot easier. Here is a list of the top five online review websites you should be focusing most of your efforts on:
How can I ask customers to leave online reviews?
You understand how important online reviews are to your local business’s success, but how do you get or encourage clients to leave those reviews? There are several ways to encourage clients to leave reviews.
The easiest approach is after a sale is made or a service is provided. This is when the customer has your business fresh in their minds; they understand the benefit your business has provided so they are more likely to make the effort to leave a review. Strike while the iron is hot so to speak.
To acquire reviews indirectly, businesses have employed feedback cards, QR codes, emails, and even phone calls to encourage clients to leave reviews. When suggesting to a client to leave a review, remember to focus on one or two of the major sites we previously mentioned where you need reviews the most.
How do I track online reviews?
Now that your business has started receiving reviews how do you keep track of all the various review sites? There are various solutions out there but they cost money. If you currently have a search engine optimization partner managing your digital marketing efforts, give Webtivity a look (hint shameless plug).
If you are more of the do-it-yourself kind of person, look into setting up a Google Alert on your branded name. For example for us that would be “Webtivity Marketing and Designs”. You’ll be notified any time your business is mentioned online.
Another nifty online tool for review management is Social Mention. They will track a variety of social media platforms for mentions of your branded name as mentioned above. It is free and it allows you to set up email alerts for specific keywords.
It bears mentioning that none of these tools beat regular manual checking of your listings on the review sites we mentioned earlier.
How do I handle negative reviews?
Just like positive reviews, you should strive to respond to each and every negative review. There are several guidelines you should follow however to ensure you do not make an already bad situation worse. You will only serve to alienate the customer and anyone else who reads that review.
Do not write anything argumentative or even defensive. Instead seek to resolve the customer’s issue as fast and as directly as possible. Reach out with a message offering to help solve the difficulty this client had with your product or service.
If the issue is resolved, ask the client to update their review, most happy clients will. If they do not respond your response should act as a great signal to potential customers that you care about client satisfaction.
Finally, bury negative reviews with positive ones. Redouble your efforts to acquire more reviews to balance out the negative reviews. Most clients looking for reviews will only pay attention to the final business review standing.
3 biggest mistakes small businesses make with online reviews
If I leave you with one thing…
Engage, engage, and engage. Please do not disregard the online review marketplace as a non-issue in your marketing efforts. Make sure your business is taking advantage of this free source of direct client to business engagement opportunity.
If you are ready to make the first step give us a call at (941) 753-7574 or schedule a quick conversation with Tim!
For more facts about online reviews check out this awesome infrographic from our friends over at invespcro:
Infographic by- Invesp
The post 5 Ways to Handle Online Reviews to Win Customers appeared first on .
Read more »
Posted by Meredith Bardsley on 24 February 2017 11:56 am
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received Facebook friend requests from people I don’t know or from people that have no mutual friends with me. Or the number of times that I’ve been friend requested by people I’m already friends with. They’ve been hacked!
There are many easy ways to be safe online, in any capacity whether it’s social media, online purchasing, and even just email.
The post Internet Safety appeared first on .
Read more »