Do You Need a Webmaster?

Hands with red fraWebmaster on-demand services may be a great fit for your needs.me reaches out from big heap of crumpled papers
Webmaster on-demand services may be a great fit for your needs.

Are you the type that buys a website, pays for hosting and then thinks you are done? Do you update your website or just think about it?

Your website should be a work in progress. It should not be a set it up and forget it kind of thing. Consider your website like a plant, for search engines to notice it, it needs regular care and feeding.

At least once a month your webmaster should look at your website traffic, check security if you are using a WordPress website, and look to build additional content to keep your site fresh.

But, do you need someone on your payroll to be your webmaster? Most likely not, unless your are running a large ecommerce operation. Here’s where webmaster on-demand services may be a perfect fit for you, and we offer them with no long term contracts or commitments.

Although we may not be the best technology match for every website, for many we are. Find out more about our webmaster services and give us a call to see if we can help you too.

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What Do Hackers Want with Your WordPress Blog?

Expect the unexpected.
Illustration depicting a roadsign with an ‘expect the unexpected’ concept. Sky background.

The question is always the same, “Why does a hacker want to get into my blog?” The answer is always the same – to drive traffic. But, that traffic is not to your site, but rather to drive traffic to a site they are being paid to promote.

The traffic is either direct or indirect. Direct traffic is where a hacker breaks into your WordPress site and then overwrites your website with their own site or landing pages pointing to their own site, I just saw one today for a webmaster prospect that was taken over by pornography sellers.

Indirect traffic is more sneaky. Here the hackers break in to WordPress and hope that you won’t know. Then they leave self-replicating scripts in various locations of WordPress and even tunnel into your own website. They use these scripts to create “ghost” pages that only search engines can see that are filled with links and keywords all pointing to sites they are hoping to boost in the organic search results.

In many cases if you find what you think is the spam directory (usually they hide it) and you delete it, the replicating scripts simply recreate everything you’ve deleted. You’ve got to do a very thorough  wipe of the server and site files to get rid of this type of hack permanently.

Many business owners ask, “Why me? I’m not Amazon and don’t even have tons of traffic!” Here’s where the hackers are playing a numbers game. The more sites that point to the site they are promoting, the better off they are initially.

Typically sites that these hackers are promoting are trying to garner organic placement temporarily to serve malware installations. Once the search engines figure out which sites they are they shut them down, but by then many people are now infected and the hackers then go on to the next site.

The best way to protect yourself from these kinds of issues is to keep WordPress updated and as secure as possible with plugins that monitor files and then check your WordPress application at least once a week.

If you need help with monitoring WordPress, please check out our webmaster services.

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Google Positions Itself as a Venue Unto Itself

Need help getting your site visible on the Web?
Need help getting your site visible on the Web?

Here’s just another release from Google that points out again that the Big G’s plans for the future include boosting their own brand and creating stickiness of their own site; all at the expense of organic listings.

Here’s a short detail, “Google Posts are a new element to the search engine that is currently in the experimental phase. The feature allows businesses and people alike to develop content to be posted directly on Google. The content then appears highly ranked in the SERPs in a carousel format. ” Full article is found at SiteProNews.

The key takeaway on this announcement is that by providing the information that you want and need, you will soon have no reason to ever even leave the Google search page or a Google owned property. All the better for Google, as this allows them to serve you ads while you are digesting quality content and finding the relevant information you need without even leaving their site.

Think about your shopping experience on Amazon, do you need to shop elsewhere for anything at this point? Amazon sells it all. Both Facebook and Google are now in a race to become “Amazons” in their own way. This strategy is making it difficult for small businesses to only count on being found in the organic results as a way to grow their business exposure as both platforms work to greedily keep readers all to themselves.

If you need a boost in visibility and are concerned about the shrinking landscape of organic results, it’s time to get on Google AdWords. Find out about our Quick Start services.

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Get Google Calendar’s Goals to Organize Your Life

Get active and let Google Calendar book the time in your schedule for you.
Get active and let Google Calendar book the time in your schedule for you.

Do you use Google Calendar? Want to squeeze more out of each day? Google will now schedule time for you to squeeze more out of each day when you set up a Google Calendar Goal.

This is a new enhancement to the Google Calendar app. If you already have Google Calendar installed, use these quick steps to check it out for yourself.

If not, go to https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar and download the app to get started.

Get Started!

  1. Open the app and then click the big red circle with a + at the bottom right.  Choose the blue “goal”.
  2. Let Google know what you want to have as your goal – exercise time, building a skill, time for family and friends, me time,  or simply stay organized.
  3. Based on the activity, you will see different questions. I selected stay organized and my menu is plan the day, clean, do chores, custom. Each step has different questions to fine tune what Google will do and how frequently it will add a note on your calendar.
  4. When you are done click the checkmark at the top right of the last page. Google will then flag time in your calendar based on your criteria. And, Google will remind you to stay on task to accomplish your own goal.

If you are having trouble finding time to do something regularly, it’s a good idea to allow Google to scan your calendar, add the item, and then remind you that you need to do it. You can mark the goal done or defer it as needed when your reminder pops up.

Using goals in Google Calendar is just another great way that Google Calendar can make your life easier and for you to live smarter.

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Where Should You Spend You Money for Online Activities

You can recoveIf your business isn't in recovery yet, where can you trim money?r from a hack.
If your business isn’t in recovery yet, where can you trim money?

If your business is pulling back where can you realistically chop in your marketing plan and not get hurt?

Chop Away

Social Media – if you are paying to update Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you could easily take a break to save money.

Blogging – try not to kill all your writing as the SEO juice you get from well-written blog posts helps you in the long run, but maybe consider moving from three days a week to two or from two days a week to one.  Try to still keep the momentum up but maybe lower the word count or frequency.

Chop Not!

Google AdWords – don’t touch it unless you absolutely have to. AdWords is hands down the best way to generate new leads and start cash pumping back into your business.

e-newsletters – they build loyalty and repeat business. Newsletters are especially important to businesses that have annual renewals for service plans like pest control firms and HVAC firms.  If you chop this, your name is not kept in front of your customers and come time to renew, they may not see the value of renewing; which will hurt your sales even further.

Need some practical sense to make the most of the budget you do have or to get AdWords to work harder for you? We’re the firm to call and chat with first especially if you are looking for honest advice you can trust with no sales pressure.

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Get on Google+ Guide

Google Partner Badge
McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

I consider activity on Google+ important for business owners. The real SEO and search benefits are however not achieved by updating your Google+ Business page, but rather your Google+ personal page.

So, how can you connect with others to start building your Google+ empire and improved rankings for your company website in the organic listings?

Start by making sure the content you write is on target, on topic, and engaging. I use my Google+ page for business and not personal use. Consider doing the same for now.

Work to actively add users to circles and respond when someone adds you to one of their circles. Click +1 and leave comments on posts you find interesting. You’ve simply got to spend some time.

Consider starting a hangout. Well I am still thinking about that one, but have participated in several others and they can be fun. I have just not initiated one.

I personally find that for placement Google+ will be very important. As Google does not allow any automated or scheduled updates to be passed to your Google+ page, you will find the community of business people, legitimate, real and engaging.

Personally, I use Facebook for personal interaction on my locked down private page and Google+ as my face on social networks for business.

If you are using Google+ for your business outreach efforts, make sure to check out our Google+ writing services. They are very cost effective.

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