Green Stream Blog
Earlier this year, I wrote a post about setting up the Google Search Console. It’s a pretty simple thing to do that takes around 10 minutes to complete. Having this configured properly can help your search rankings as well as give you helpful information on improving your standing in Google. That’s all good and useful to any website owner, but one of the biggest, most important benefits is Security Notifications.
Kinda like a smoke detector for your website, the security notifications are Google’s way of letting you know of any issues or potential issues on your site. Things like malware, spam, and hacked content are a reality of the online world and even the best site security will eventually suffer a vulnerability. When that happens, the Google Search Console will send you a notification email letting you know what is has detected. This is one of those messages you don’t ever want to see, but it’s way better to see it this way than the dreaded Red Warning Screen (pictured to the right). When you receive a notification, it’ll have a brief description of what they have found, what it could mean if unchecked, and some links to tools or articles that may help. The message on the console itself will look similar to the one below.
Scary, yes, but again, you’d much rather see this message than have your site be completely covered over by the Red Malware warning and inaccessible to all visitors. When you receive one of these notifications, it’s important to act right away. Google will give you a little bit of time (depending on the severity of the compromise) to get it fixed, but don’t wait too long. This is a full-on “drop everything” type scenario where minutes or hours could be the difference between a smooth fix and a multi-week ball of stress for you and your business.
If you do get one of these warnings and have no idea what to do, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’d be happy to take a look and give you some guidance. If you’re really scared and don’t want to figure it out for yourself, check out the service offered by Sucuri. For $299 they will clean your site quickly and keep it cleaned and free of malware for 1 year. I have used their service before and it is great. It stinks to spend that money, but once you figure in your time dealing with any fix you perform, that $299 gets justified very quickly.
Online Reviews Matter. That is a fact that doesn’t require a lot of convincing, but knowing why they’re important and in what way people use them can be really helpful when you are building your online branding. I have assembled 4 such statistics that each support a different aspect of online reviews.
There are always companies out there looking to take advantage of you to get control of your domain names or websites. I wrote about one of the most common letters people receive here. That scam leads you to believe that you need to renew your domain. The problem is, you may have registered your domain with GoDaddy. These people will take that domain, transfer it to their account and then charge you a bunch more than GoDaddy or other more legitimate companies. On top of that, it’s also possible that you relinquish ownership of the domain itself. That is the real worry because they can then hold your domain hostage and require you to pay fees to get control.
Whether you already have a great website or not, setting goals for your online marketing efforts is possibly the most important yet most overlooked element to your online marketing. You might have the best, most efficient website or the least efficient website, but you’d be hard-pressed to prove either way without having setup some goals to help you track all your efforts.
Knowing that you need goals isn’t where many people get stuck, it’s knowing what goals to set. For some businesses, like online stores, goal setting is fairly straight-forward. You can just look at how many sales you need to get or how much you want people spending on average and set goals from there. For the vast majority of us who aren’t selling something online or promoting something that directly links to a sale, setting those goals gets a lot harder to come up with.
Ranking on Google is one of the most common goals I hear for a website. It’s pretty much the way people will find your business online, and if you’re not on the first page for the products & services you provide, you may not be picking up any good leads. A local business, like many of those we work with, have the added complexity of people looking for them in a given geographic area.