If you’re visiting our blog in the AM, we’ve got a shocking fact that will wake you up out of your pre-coffee haze:
YOUR WORDPRESS WEBSITE CAN BE HACKED IN 10 SECONDS.
Did that wake you up? Or do you think we’re pulling your leg? If you don’t believe us, believe Softpedia’s Sucuri Hacked Website Report: of all the sites the report investigated, three of the four hacked sites were running WordPress . Despite being the most successful CMS platform for about six years, WordPress is home to the most hacked website (coming in at 78% of all hacked sites in May of 2016 ).
Does this mean you need to totally abandon WordPress? Is it a CMS (content management system) platform worth giving up entirely? We’ll give you some more information on WordPress’ sordid security issues, then some solutions for current or potential WordPress users.
Understanding WordPress Security Flaws
The first thing you need to understand about WordPress is that it runs on open source code. Why? Open source CMS practices come with a lot of pros :
We mention this all to say we understand why people flock towards WordPress -- we totally get it! However, every rose has its thorns.
Because WordPress runs on open source code, that means it’s much more simple and easy to learn and exploit as compared to proprietary CMS options. When someone is familiar with this code, they become able to exploit its security flaws. This is a constant battle in the WordPress community: hackers find backdoors and security holes as fast as code developers can fix them and push updates.
While CMS systems that are proprietary are slower to update their systems, they have total control of their code -- WordPress doesn’t. Essentially, WordPress users get what they pay for. Using a proprietary CMS system means paying more for more security features, while a free WordPress site means potentially suffering security consequences.
Plugins always sound like a good idea in theory, and sometimes that theory is proven correct. However, plugins are problematic on their face because of their third-party ties.
Wordpress works by integration of many different third party plugins within their own platform. None of these plugins were created with a single set of code in mind. That means, that each plugin has a different code format, so creating the website is easy. But managing and maintaining all of this code can be very challenging.
When you use a plugin for WordPress that isn’t officially created by the CMS platform, you’re putting your site’s security in the hands of a third-party entity. If you’re a current WordPress user, take a look at all of your plugins. How many aren’t officially made by WordPress? Tally them up, and the number you come up with is how many third-party businesses you have to rely on for your data security.
Another issue with plugins on WordPress is Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. A hacker gets an Internet user to load webpages with insecure scripts, then these scripts load without the knowledge of the user visiting the site in question. The script then steals data from their browsers. Other issues include SQL injections (a hacker gaining access to your account and creating an admin-level SQL account), file inclusion exploits (WordPress PHP code vulnerabilities) and common WordPress Malware infections .
Finally, many WordPress users don’t update their plugins like they should. Leaving plugins out of date creates security holes that might otherwise be fixed thanks to updating code pushes.
How You Solve These Problems
It’s one thing if you’re an experienced WordPress user who is used to these issues and knows the best practices to protect against them. It’s another if you’re a fledgling user completely ignorant of all of the CMS system’s security flaws. Even then WordPress veterans can find their sites compromised...so what do they do to help prevent these problems?
One solution we offer at Peak Evolve is ongoing WordPress maintenance and upkeep. If you’re a WordPress user that is dedicated to the site, we don’t ask that you give it up.
If you’re looking to drop WordPress entirely or avoid it as your CMS solution, we’re a design agency that can work with you on website creation, evolving technology and advanced alternatives to plugins that don’t contain security flaws.
At the end of the day, you have options. Consider them wisely: is a free, buggy CMS platform worth the risk when your business site or online domain is on the line?
Whether your company is a small start-up or a decades-old business, there are two things you can never afford to waste: money and time.
An effective promotional strategy will help you avoid wasting either of these, while also ensuring the word about your products gets out to the people who need to hear it.
If you're unsure of how to create a good promotional strategy, keep reading. We'll guide you through the process so you can see a great return on investment from your next campaign.
Digital marketing has changed the sales landscape forever.
What used to be a follow-up call is now, more often than not, a follow-up email. A face-to-face with the decision maker has become a face-to-skype-to-face. And sales prospecting? That's evolved as well.
To remain competitive, today's salesforce must adapt to changing technology. They have to learn new skills and embrace an entirely new customer experience.
The one constant in the middle of all this change: people. The human element has not -- as of yet (read: AI) -- been taken over by technology. That's right. Some "old school" ways are still extremely relevant for this "new school" o salesmanship.
The question is how to marry the two.
Follow along as we reflect on some time-tested sales techniques and apply them to sales prospecting in a digital world.
Are your sales dipping? You'll want to consider an inbound marketing agency to help with that.
Many small business owners are working harder and earning less than ever before.
If you feel that way about your business, keep reading.
You'll learn what an inbound marketing agency can do to help increase your online traffic and leads. That will translate into higher revenue, less time working on the business and more time doing what you love.
Isn't that why you started a business, to begin with?
If you're still not sure if an inbound marketing agency is right for you, look for these 10 signs.
1. Your Website Is Just a Brochure
How do you think your website functions? Does it serve as a brochure or are you trying to use it to create potential clients?
If you think your website should just be informational, you're missing out on sales.
The typical customer path looks like this: they search for your product or service, they see a search result that they like. Usually, that search result is among the first three results listed.
Then, they'll go to your website, look around and either call, fill out a contact form or leave.
Here's the thing. A small percentage of people will call or complete contact forms the first time.
You are missing out on a big opportunity to add those people to your contact list and follow up with them.
That's where an inbound agency comes in. They will create the machine to capture that traffic and make it easier for you to follow up with them.
2. You'd Like More Online Leads (And Sales)
How many sales are you currently getting from your website? Would you like more?
Referral based businesses rely on networking to generate sales. Online leads can complement your sales strategy so you can attend fewer meetings without impacting your bottom line.
3. You Don't Know Who You're Marketing Too
Would you be able to answer the question "Who is your ideal client?"
'Everyone' doesn't count as an answer.
Business owners tend to hesitate when picking a target market because they think that they'll miss out on business.
That's not true.
Targeting your marketing efforts will create a laser focus message to reach the people who are likely to buy from you.
An inbound marketing agency will ask you the right questions to draw out your ideal client.
4. You Know Nothing About Analytics
Understanding analytics is the backbone of effective online marketing. Analytics can tell you what tactics are giving you the largest return on investment.
For example, you're running multiple online marketing campaigns, but the campaigns aren't translating into sales. You have no idea why, so you stop the campaigns.
An inbound marketing agency will gather data to help you determine where the breakdown was in the marketing campaign. Making one simple adjustment can turn a campaign around and turn into sales.
5. You Blog... Occasionally
Blogs that have between 21-54 posts see a 30% increase in traffic . If you blog every once in a while or just don't have the time to blog, it would be wise to hand that off to an inbound marketing agency.
When you do blog, it's off-the-cuff and inconsistent. This week, you're blogging about something that isn't relevant to your business. Three weeks later, you get an idea to blog about another irrelevant topic.
To make your blog effective, you need to be consistent, and relevant.
The agency's content writing team can decide what blog posts have the best chance of being found by search engines, which could turn into more traffic for your website.
6. Inbound Marketing Will Save Money
You may already invest in outbound marketing, such as TV ads, cold-calling, and trade shows, all of which are big investments. On average, the cost per lead for outbound marketing is $361.
According to the Content Marketing Insitute, content marketing can generate up to three times as many leads and cost 62% less than outbound marketing.
7. You Don't Have a Follow-up System
On average, 98% of people who visit a website leave. Do you have a system in place to reconnect with them?
Some studies even suggest that it takes about seven marketing touches over a year and a half before a person even buys.
A follow-up system, such as a remarketing campaign, can help you increase your reach conversions.
8. Your Emails Generate a Response Rate of Zero
When you email your list, do you get any responses?
Email marketing is another important component of the follow-up process when used effectively.
If you're not sure if your emails are working or not, it would be a good idea to work with an email marketing team .
9. You Don't Have a Marketing Strategy
"Let's try marketing here, here and here and see what sticks." It's just like throwing spaghetti against the wall. But instead of throwing spaghetti, business owners are throwing marketing dollars.
It sounds ridiculous, but that's what businesses do every single day.
A sound marketing strategy will coordinate your efforts into one plan, determine who your target market is, and craft messages that are designed to generate a response.
That is a much better use of marketing dollars.
10. You Don't Have the Time To Focus on Your Clients
Running a business is challenging. You're responsible for marketing, sales, accounting, and serving your clients.
This is the reason why small business owners are working harder than ever. They're trying to do everything.
When you outsource your marketing to an inbound marketing agency, not only will you receive a return on investment, but you'll be able to invest your time into doing what you do best - serving your clients.
An Inbound Marketing Agency Has Expertise
You may not be an expert in inbound marketing, but you certainly are an expert in what you do.
As a small business owner, you might be tempted to try and do everything yourself. That costs time and money. You spend your valuable time trying to learn everything and money investing in advertising that you may not even be tracking effectively.
Wouldn't it make sense to bring a team of marketing experts on board who live and breathe marketing the same way you live and breathe your work?
Doing so can save you time and increase your revenue.
Contact us today for a complimentary website or SEO analysis.
It isn't easy running a business today. It seems like digital marketing trends are constantly changing, making it easy to understand why online marketing has become an over $100 billion industry .
If you want to have a high-quality and profitable presence, you need to stay on top of the trends shaping the world of online marketing. Here are ten things you need to prepare for in your quest to make a profit.
SEO Still Matters
Search engine optimization has gone from obscurity to prominence. It can be incredibly important to focus on your SEO strategy, and if you're interested in being found you should treat it as a must.
All of this is to say that digital marketing trends come and go. But the need to improve your presence on the major search engines never changes. So make sure you stay aware of everything in the SEO world, from keyword stuffing to bounce rates.
Digital Marketing Trends Must Be Mobile Ready
The number of users on mobile browsers are rising. For the first time, your customers are more likely to be visiting your site from their smartphones than they are on their computers.
This wasn't always the case. Mobile sites used to be too clunky to ever be a viable alternative to desktop content. Today, the tables have turned. That's why you need to focus on building a mobile-ready online presence.
Video Is Essential
Whether it's in content creation or on your landing page, you need to be using video in some capacity.
Customers today are simply more receptive to video than text content. While this doesn't mean you should avoid blog posts, it does mean you need to develop a more balanced strategy.
If you don't want to be on camera, you shouldn't fret. You can still use techniques such as an animated presentation.
You Need To Personalize The Experience
Through a combination of big data and smart SEO, you can customize the experience of visiting your site. This will make your customers feel far more dedicated to your brand, making this one oft he most important digital marketing trends you can follow.
A personalized experience can be created by making sure people searching for more specific keywords reach your site, or it can be done by using location services. Either way, this is a great way to draw in customers.
Pay Per Click Is Essential
Pay Per Click, or PPC advertising is an old dog that can compete against modern digital marketing trends.
There are a number of benefits to this form of marketing. But one of the biggest is versatility: it works anywhere from Facebook to search engines. While it can't be your only form of advertising or digital marketing, you still need to use it.
Social Media Is More Important Than Ever
Chances are, your customers are on social media. Facebook has over three times more monthly users than there are people in the United States. This is mind-blowing.
Staying on top of digital marketing trends involves having a strong social media presence. So make sure you post every day, and also engage your online fans.
Native Advertising Still Works
Native advertising still works, but you need to do it the right way. If you want to engage with people using this method, you need to make sure you're not sponsoring the wrong content.
Don't think of native advertising as a trick. Think of it as sponsoring content to give a gift to your customers: this can make people grateful for your brand and supplement your content strategy.
Have A Strong CTA
The goal of any digital marketing strategy is boosting your conversion rate. Your CTA, or Call-to-Action, is an essential part of this. While most people in advertising know this, they don't understand how frequently the opportunity for improvement comes up on their site.
Treat every button as a call-to-action. Your goal, ultimately, is to get your customers to purchase your product or service. But before you do that, you'll want to bring them through the site.
Building strong CTA buttons and a journey that your customers want to take is the best way to do this. So make sure to take advantage of your pitching ability.
Create High-Quality And Compelling Content
We all know that content is an essential part of SEO and digital marketing strategy. But what people tend to forget is that the quality of their content is incredibly important.
Websites with better content tend to get better search engine rankings. In addition, your high-quality content can make visitors to your site trust you.
To succeed online, you can't do anything halfway. This includes creating content: make sure you're making things that people want to see.
Focus On Influencers
Influencer marketing has become one of the most important digital marketing trends today. If you aren't using it in some capacity, you can be missing out on an entire sea of customers.
The first step is finding influencers relevant to what you do. A big part of this involves considering where to look: if you want to sell fitness products, for instance, Instagram has a lot of influencers who can help you.
Meanwhile, if you're focused on helping business professionals, then there are plenty of influencers on LinkedIn who can get your message out there.
No matter what you do, you need to make influencers an essential part of your digital marketing focus and strategy.
Get Digital Marketing Help
Promoting your product is important. If you're confused by all of the changes in the world of digital marketing, we can help. Our team of experts is focused on providing exhaustive online marketing solutions for an affordable price.
We do everything from mobile content to social media marketing and digital animation. So if you want to get on top of the digital world, contact us.
Mobile apps - there seems to be no way around them, especially if you're a business that wants to remain relevant. But deciding whether to build a mobile app for your company and what type of app to build can be nerve-racking.
If you're not creating an app that appeals to your market, then you've wasted X amount of dollars. And app development can be quite expensive, depending on what you put into it. But if you're able to create one that generates a ton of downloads, it can spell success for your company.
And even just a slice of the 197 billion app downloads predicted for 2017 would make it worth it. The question now isn't a matter of if you should make an app, but whether you should do it yourself or hire a mobile app design company.
Let's review why hiring one is a good idea.
An animated presentation is a perfect compromise for those wanting the benefits of video without having to be on camera.
It's a format that grabs a visitors attention and moves them further into the conversion funnel. It's usually more effective than a text-heavy page or PDF file.
Even Spotify and Pinterest use an animated presentation to explain their services. Presentations present employees and investors with detailed operational information that's also a lot of fun.
Plus, animation is an easy-to-consume way to share content with site visitors.
This article will share just eight of the many benefits of animation. By its end, you'll be ready to make the switch from text-based information to visual sharing.
Are you creating a new website? Are you thinking of redesigning your current one?
In either case, you're probably wondering if you need a web designer. Since there are so many do-it-yourself options out there, is it necessary to hire a professional designer ?
Before you make your decision, consider this fact:
When asked why they mistrusted a website, a startling 94% of users listed reasons related to web design. Only 6% had issues with the website's content.
Simply put, you can have the world's best content on your website. But if it doesn't look good, no one will read it.
Of course, web designers do more than just make a site look good. Read on for seven compelling reasons why you need a web designer for your business site.