Worried about your site getting hacked? Google Webmaster Tools can help

website hack, hackingAfter spending time working on your ideal site with your design agency, the last thing you want is for your site to be taken down as a result of hacking. Worse still, sensitive information or customer data could be leaked, which can be a major blow to any business. The other issue with hacking is the fact that it will result in major traffic loss in the longer term, as it will damage your search engine rankings. Finally, any good brand design agency will tell you that it could also seriously damage your brand as a whole if the issue is not resolved urgently. So what steps can you take to limit security risks?

Verify your site on Google Webmaster Tools

Verifying your site will give you access to the many tools and warning systems available on Webmaster Tools for free. Alert messages will be issued in the event of a threat or malware.

Google alerts

Some search queries are associated with hacking and alerts will ensure that you’ll get a warning if your site is linked to any of those.

Keep software up to date

This is perhaps one of the most important security measures to take. Out of date software can often quickly be circumvented by hackers, so making sure all your software is up to date will help increase your website’s security.

Change passwords often

Changing your passwords regularly, as well as using different passwords for different logins, is a good measure to take. This means that even if one of your passwords gets stolen, you won’t be handing access to everything overnight.

Avoid pirated software

While this is a given, the temptation is often there for free software that might otherwise be expensive. However, pirate software can often contain hidden viruses, which will ultimately make the cost much higher than simply buying the software from a retailer.

Set email forwarding

Google Webmaster Tools enables email forwarding, which allows you to receive all messages directly in your inbox. This is a simple step to take to ensure that you are directly informed of any issues with your site.

Overall, there are many ways to counter and limit the damage hacking can do. Of course, there is never a guarantee a site will be 100% safe, but by using the Google Webmaster toolkit, you can certainly limit threats and be more in control of your website.

Website content: how to create the right landing pages for your customers

website contentGrabbing customers’ attention is the crucial first step to growing your website’s visitors and generating potential sales and business. However, it can often be difficult to know which approach to take when designing landing pages. A number of things need to be considered – what first impression do you want to give, how much information is needed on a landing page, and so on. A website design agency will often approach a landing page by focusing on one of 4 types of content: Entertain, inspire, educate and convince.

Long Vs short content

Focusing on one of the afore mentioned content choices should be the first step, while taking time to make sure that your chosen content fits well with your overall brand. Next, it is important to choose whether the landing page will contain long or short content. Long content may often seem like the obvious choice, as it will contain far more information and could help draw a user further into the site. That said, recent studies found that the average attention span of a user is 8 seconds when browsing a new web page, so sharp, catchy short formats may often be preferable.

Knowing your customers

Your website design and content will work best if it is tailored to appeal to a specific profile of visitors. Identifying your customer base and understanding why they have come to your site is therefore fundamental, and can have wide reaching impacts on almost all creative design services you will need and select. If enterprise is your main customer base, then educational or inspiring content focus is often a good choice. Of course, there are many ways to engage all manner of consumers, but knowing as much as you can about the needs and problems your stakeholders have will make them stay on your site longer.

Testing

Even if your design choices appear airtight on paper, testing will provide the best feedback. Testing your site, and experimenting, will greatly help to zero in on the kind of consumers that you want to attract (and keep). Visitors and specific metrics such as bounce rate for instance will quickly let you know if a design choice is successful or not, and responding quickly to feedback is crucial.