Friday, May 29, 2015

Keeping Your Website Safe From Malware

If your business depends on its website in any way, keeping it secure should be a top priority. While it sounds like obvious advice, many business owners and webmasters do not take even the simplest of steps to ensure their site’s safety. If this sounds like you, here is your warning!

With a few of Tandem Interactive’s easy tweaks, you can take preventative steps to secure your website:

1.     Logins and passwords. It is really common for websites to have an “Admin” login. Do not be one of these sites! Hackers know this is true, and if they have your login, they have won half the battle. You should also steer clear of logins that are simply your business’ name. When it comes to passwords, avoid using your business’ name or consecutive numbers. Incorporate random words, numbers and symbols.

If your CMS allows it, you should also limit login attempts. This will prevent a hacker from having unlimited “chances” at guessing your login and password combination. And it is also important to protect your login information. Only make logins for those who absolutely need it, and do not give out the information to just anyone who asks.

2.     Update everything. When using a CMS, you may have several plugins, extensions, applications and themes. It is important to keep these updated. When you do not take this precaution, you are pretty much inviting hackers in. Updates repair security issues, so take advantage of the bandages they provide. You should also ensure your website is running on the latest version of your CMS.

Before you install any plugins, extensions or applications, make sure you really need them.  Since they can cause vulnerabilities, you only want to install something if it is really necessary.

3.     Work with those you can trust. When you work with an internet marketing company, web developer, or programmer, make sure you trust them. If you were not referred, ask for former or current clients you can talk to. Your website is an investment that likely cost a lot of time and money; do not give just anyone access to your baby.

The same goes for your hosting provider. It is important to choose a reputable company, because they will have strong security measures in place. And if something does go wrong, you want a company with a responsive and helpful customer service team that will try their best to rectify the problem.

4.     Back it up. Back up your website’s files and database! If you do not do this, and you do not have a web developer, it is likely not happening. This small step can be the difference between your entire site being wiped out or not. Ask your hosting provider about site backups, and keep a recent backup on a local drive just in case.

5.     Monitor your web property. While it is important to check on your site and make sure everything is running smoothly, you need to put in just a bit more effort. That is because malware can be added to your site, and everything can look a-okay on the front-end (scary, we know!). Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) makes monitoring your website’s health pretty simple. The “Security Issues” section of Search Console will keep you up-to-date if it detects any malware, hacking or security issues. You just need to make sure to connect your web property to Search Console and keep an eye on the email address it is connected with. It also does not hurt to login from time to time. The same goes for Google Analytics. Monitor your traffic, and look into any irregular spikes.

While managing a website can be stressful, there are a few simple steps you can take to safeguard it from a security attack. Because trust us, there is nothing more stressful than trying to put the pieces of your site back together. Once your site is secure, contact Tandem Interactive for any of your site’s organic, paid search, or local needs!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Search Analytics for Your Apps

Let’s be honest – apps rule the world right now. Everyone has an app for something and everyone has their favorite apps for certain things. The majority of the time, you can find millennials on their phones, and if they are not texting – guess what – they are using their favorite app; which is most likely Facebook or Instagram. However, even apps that are not the most popular are still used if they are a necessity; like a mobile banking app, and even that handy gas station app that tells you where the cheapest gas station is around you. 

For businesses who have a mobile app and webmasters who participate in App Indexing, we dedicate this post to you. Google’s new Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) is said to be easier to use for non-webmasters and has recently been updated with new reports that show developers how their app content is performing in search results. 

The Requirements:

1. You have to have an Android app
2. Go to your Search Console and enter your app name; for example: 
3. Have an associated app to a site in your Search Console
4. Submit the XML feed

Now, you can use the Search Analytics report to see top queries and the most trafficked app pages. But, hold onto your seats because it gets better – you can also use filters to sort by clicks, impressions, and click-through rate.

Another feature is the beta version of Fetch As Google for Apps. This feature allows developers and businesses to be able to see how Google sees the content within their Android app; how Google renders the app’s URI scheme. 

Not sure what URI scheme is? Well, we all know what content is and how your business ranks based off of many factors, one being content. Internet space is inhabited by many points of content and the most common form of URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is a webpage address. The URI to your app is the mechanism used to access the resource, and it will tell the specific computer that the resource is housed in, as well as the specific name of the resource on the computer. So, in order for Google to be able to interpret your app’s specific URI scheme, they have created the beta version of Fetch As Google for Apps, allowing developers to understand how Google understands and treats app content in terms of search results, and every business with an app wants to know how their app content helps them rank. 

Below is a photo of how your app may look to Google:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Shopping Campaigns: A Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Your Product Feed

For those of you in the retail space, if you are not participating in Google’s Merchant Center for Google Shopping, your customers are not finding you!

Google Merchant Center is a tool that allows you to integrate your business’ inventory through a product feed and into Google’s search results, by using Google’s Shopping feature. You may ask, “What is this ‘Google Shopping’ you speak of Brittni?” – Google Shopping is a feature in the SERPs that will give consumers a selection of products they could be looking for, based on the relativity of their search query.

The benefit to advertising on the Google Shopping Network is it allows your ads to attract more potential customers. If a consumer is using the Google search bar for “best running shoes”, Product Listing Ads - often referred to as PLAs - are the fastest and best way of showing your product to the right consumer. PLAs link your inventory’s product feed to the search results and show the most relevant items to the searcher.

After you have opened a merchant account, it is important to link your Google AdWords account and Google Merchant Center, so that your products are shown as PLAs. Once you have completed these preliminary steps, it is important to ensure that your product feed is optimized to enhance its performance. This can be done by taking the raw feed from your website’s catalog and optimizing it before creating the feed.

Some ways you can enrich your data feed is by:

1.       Seizing all opportunities to include information. Opportunities become limited when you do not complete all of the feature options. All feature options should be filled out for every product.
2.       Avoid vague titles. All titles for products should be in the following order of importance:
a.       Brand/Age/Gender/SKU/Size/Color
b.      Example: John Hardy Men’s Classic Chain 10.5mm Silver Bracelet
3.       Use/include GTIN numbers when possible.

You can also use search query reports, trends, and keyword research to help optimize your product feed even further. If your product is a pair of blue sneakers with white dots, the term ‘white dots’ may not be what your audience is looking for. Try performing tests to optimize your products, with keywords that your audience would use to describe your product; such as: ‘Polka Dots’, as opposed to ‘White Dots’.

It is important to know that your product feed title does NOT need to match the landing page title for the product. This is a common misconception and could result in less sales and less overall traffic.

If you are new to Google Shopping campaigns and would like to learn more about PLAs, contact Tandem Interactive for assistance.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mobile Advertising Tips Straight From the Mothership

Every click will potentially cost you a user conversion.

Greetings from Google’s New York Headquarters! Tandem Interactive is on-site learning directly from the source. As a Google Partner, Tandem is able to bring exclusive PPC tips to you. Tandem Interactive does not only deliver Google approved PPC practices, we also push to share new and exciting information with all digital marketers.

Today’s Google spring training was kicked off by mobile advertising master mind Matt Delre, who engaged us with a personal experience of his recent life-changing purchase - a minivan.

As Delre took on parental duties, he embarked on a long and tedious research for the safest family car on his mobile device. Like many consumers, Delre took advantage of his mobile device by comparing minivans in one dealership to another dealership’s inventory.

This process proved to be a nightmare for Delre, can you guess why?

Making sure that your site is mobile friendly, will improve your consumer’s mobile experience, potentially leading to a conversion.
The following information is from Pew Research Center’s recent study and displays why mobile advertising is the new frontier.

Sure, digital marketers have been shouting “mobile is coming, mobile is coming” for a while now, but 2015 is the year that we will finally be able to see mobile’s marketing potential, implementing mobile PPC tactics that will turn the tides for you and your client.

According to Delre, mobile devices are 67% likely to convert. So why the hesitation?

Start enhancing your mobile PPC campaign today, by implementing the following suggestions from Delre and get mobile advertising right!

Mobile Advertising Optimization Check List:
  •   Make sure that your homepage is easy to use. Site usability is the first, and most important step in optimizing your PPC campaign; whether you are targeting desktops, tablets, or mobile devices.
  •  A mobile device’s small screen limit your user’s visibility; in order to drive conversions, position the site’s call-to-action to front and center.
      • Example: Progressive

  • Make searching through your site easy, with optimal accessibility.
      • Example: This can be done by implementing a visible search box, such as an open-box site search.

  •  If your search bar is visible, ensure that the site’s search results are quality search results. The ultimate goal is to direct the consumer to their target on their initial search. Improve your search results by implementing effective filters.
      • Example: Nike

  • Allow your users the ability to purchase as a guest. By eliminating the number of forms and clicks your consumer has to fill out, you increase the chances that potential consumers will actually convert.

Consumers who use their mobile devices tend to use them frequently, and their devices are the center of their lives. Like these consumers, smartphones will soon be the center of your digital advertising tactics too!