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So far Ant Parker has created 345 blog entries.

5 Reasons Why You Should Employ an SEO Expert

At Footprint Web Design, we understand the value of SEO. However, there remains a degree of scepticism regarding its effectiveness for all businesses.

Whether you are running a multi-national company or a small locally based business, if you have a website (you really should!), SEO is crucial if you would like to make the most of it.

In our blog today we are going to take a closer look at 5 reasons you should turn to an SEO expert to push your website forward.

No. 1 – SEO is the key to drawing people to your website

With a huge number of people turning to the internet when looking for products and services, you will miss out on a huge number of potential customers without an optimised website.5 Reasons Why You Should Employ an SEO Expert

No. 2 – SEO experts understand which steps to follow

There are many different theories relating to what can contribute towards a successful SEO campaign. Only through extensive experience will someone be able to tap into the right target areas without wasting time on areas which are unlikely to work.

No. 3 – SEO experts offer the best value for money

SEO should always be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. As such, an experienced SEO company will know precisely how to make your investment work for you.

Whether this involves exploring Social Media channels, optimising your website or a combination of the two, all angles will be explored.

No. 4 – SEO experts will allow you to focus on your areas of strength

There are barely enough hours in the day as it is. Do you want to add another responsibility onto your workload? Leaving the management of your website to an expert will allow you to focus upon your own business.

No. 5 – Stay up-to-date with Google’s changes.

SEO is a constantly evolving process. Without someone dedicated to keep up to date with Google’s changes, it will be next to impossible to implement an effective SEO strategy.

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design today.

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By | June 8th, 2017|SEO|Comments Off on 5 Reasons Why You Should Employ an SEO Expert

How Engaging Is Your Blog?

There are a variety of reasons why people may choose to add a blog to their website. Some people like to interact with their customers, some use it to provide information relating to products and services, some use it for SEO purposes. The key to making sure your blog is successful is trying to make it engaging.

Below are a couple of ways to give things a nudge in the right direction.

Tip No. 1 – Choose Snappy Titles and Headings

Headings are important for readability as they set the tone for the whole article. If are using your blog for SEO purposes however, they take on even more importance.How Engaging Is Your Blog?

Google uses article headings to help understand the main topics of a long post and therefore the addition of headings will help to improve your chances of achieving a ranking on Google’s search engine for your post.

Tip No. 2 – Don’t Skip The Basics

When it comes to writing, the basics are good! Punctuation and structure may sound like the absolute basic of basics, it is amazing how many people still believe that it is ok to add huge blocks of text which are not broken up into relevant paragraphs and instead expect readers to fight their way through it!

Using paragraphs and punctuation can ensure that your content is far easier on the eye and much easier to read.

Tip No. 3 – Don’t Write Too Much!

Whilst it is widely believed that Google likes lengthy articles, the same cannot be said for humans! Rather than aiming for a re-writing of War and Peace, we believe that golden number for any online article should be a minimum of 300 words.

This should give you plenty of scope to get your point across without the concerns that the reader may lose interest.

Please Note – Typically, we try to aim for between 300 and 700 words and include any target keywords between 3 and 6 times.

Contact Us

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By | June 1st, 2017|Blogging|Comments Off on How Engaging Is Your Blog?

How To Guard Against Malware Attacks

Cyber attacks such as Malware and the recently highlighted ‘Ransomware’ attacks are becoming all too common.

To help combat against the constant threat posed by cyber hackers and online criminals we have created a list of tips to help improve your online security.

No. 1 – Be Careful What You Open

The majority of ransomware attacks continue to spread via the use of phishing emails. These e-mails often contain attachments which look like invoices or tax rebates. Opening these attachments will allow the virus to infect your computer.

It’s important that you never open attachments unless you are certain that you know what they contain. Many viruses are spread via attachments that look like invoices and tax rebates so please be ultra cautious.

Top Tip – As strange as this may seem, many fake e-mails, web pages and attachments often include bad spelling (“PayePal” instead of “PayPal” for example). They also have a different look from the standard templates used by reputable companies. These should both act as a red flag.

Looking at the e-mail address that the e-mail as been sent from can often be another tip that something is not right. If you are unsure, forward the e-mail to the company that the e-mail purports to be from and ask them if the e-mail is valid.

No. 2 – Update Windows Regularly

Computer viruses such as Malware and Ransomware rely on exploiting loopholes in outdated software to infect computers. Therefore it is absolutely essential that you ensure all Windows updates are implemented at the earliest possible opportunity.

If you are currently using Windows 10, the operating system should be automatically set to update itself. However, if you are using an older version, the default setting may well be for manual updates.  If you use an older OS, you can find instructions on how to switch on automatic updates here.

No. 3 – Online Chat – What To Be Aware Of

Cybercriminals often use online chats, forums and apps to try and spread Malware. These often take the form of emergency messages.

As a general rule, Microsoft says, ‘Don’t click on a link on a webpage, in an email, or in a chat message unless you absolutely trust the page or sender.

No. 4 – Update Your Browser & Block Pop-Ups

Malware will try to exploit any weakness it can find to infect your computer. Blocking pop-ups and updating your internet browser regularly can significantly reduce the risk of being infected.

Top Tip – Whilst commonly used browsers such as Firefox and Chrome will update themselves automatically, it is still important to restart your browser every so often to make sure any recently installed updates are utilised.

No. 5 – Don’t Download Pirated Versions Music, Games or Films

We’re sure that none of you download illegal versions of anything but just in case you know someone that does, pirate website sites offering free music, games or films are often infested with malware!

Our advice is – don’t do it!

No. 6 – Back Up Your Files

Our final tip is not a preventative measure and is instead a damage limitation exercise.

Should your PC become infected it is essential that you have taken regular back-ups to ensure that the damage is not too severe.

Free online services such Google Drive and Dropbox offer the ideal way of backing up photos and data whereas removable hard drive (which you must not keep plugged into your computer all the time!) allow you to back-up and restore files quickly.

If you are a Windows 10 user, Microsoft has drawn up a guide for how to back up your machine and it can be found here.

Contact Us

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By | May 16th, 2017|Security|Comments Off on How To Guard Against Malware Attacks

Ransomware – Have You Been Attacked & What You Can Do To Protect Your Computer

In view of last week’s events which highlighted the constant risk posed by hackers and cyber-attacks (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39899646), we thought that now was a great time to offer a few tips to help guard against this ever-present risk.

However, before we offer our own tips on tightening your online security, we would like to address the specific threat from the ‘Ransomware’ which crippled many systems last Friday and would like to direct anyone who feels the could potentially have been compromised to read the information from United Hosting below.

“We strongly advise our customers to apply the following security update, released by Microsoft on March 14th this year: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396 , if not having done so already.

Overview of risk

Microsoft have announced a vulnerability in Microsoft Server Message Block 1.0 (SMBv1) server today. This service (SMB) is utilised to present shares, printers and more on a Microsoft Domain network.

This vulnerability exposes core Active directory components to Remote Code Execution from unauthenticated attackers. They would be able to execute any code they wished to potentially gain access to the entire network. The patches Microsoft have provided should be tested installed as a matter of urgency.

Specific Security reports of the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) are below –

Vulnerability title CVE number
Windows SMB Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2017-0143
Windows SMB Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2017-0144
Windows SMB Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2017-0145
Windows SMB Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2017-0146
Windows SMB Remote Code Execution Vulnerability CVE-2017-0148

The released patches target the SMBv1 service and the way it handles the particular requests that can be used to exploit it.”

How does the virus spread?

One of the key questions regarding this attack is how did it manage to spread so quickly?

There are 3 primary methods of entry for Malware to a computer. These are:

  • Opening attachments or clicking on links in phishing emails
  • Downloading legitimate-looking
  • Visiting a malicious site (particularly if you are using outdated software, browsers etc)

Please Note – If an infected computer is hooked up to a network, the virus can then spread to other connected computers.

Is It Possible To Protect My Computer From The Ransomware Virus?

Many of the users who were affected were still using outdated versions of Windows such as Windows XP which was no longer receiving security updates from Microsoft.

If you are using an older version of Windows, we would recommend upgrading your operating system ASAP.

Microsoft’s current operating system is Windows 10. Two slightly older versions, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7, are also still available.

Am I Safe If I Have a More Recent Version of Windows Installed?

Even if you have a more recent version of Windows on your PC, we strongly recommend downloading all of the most recent updates and security software to increase your ability to guard against these threats.

The security patch that Microsoft released in March, named MS17-010, can be found online.

Windows 10, 8.1 and 8 all include Microsoft’s Windows Defender antivirus software as standard and this can be effective against many types of malware and ransomware. If you are still using Windows 7, downloading Microsoft’s free Windows Security Essentials software can be beneficial.

What to do if your computer is infected?

The National Crime Agency (NCA) encourages victims not to pay any ransom and to contact Action Fraud.

Further information and support can be found on the NCSC website.

They also recommend the following steps:

  • Run Windows Update
  • Make sure your antivirus product is up to date and run a scan – if you don’t have one install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor
  • If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up – you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data somewhere else.

Contact Us

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By | May 16th, 2017|Security|Comments Off on Ransomware – Have You Been Attacked & What You Can Do To Protect Your Computer

The Top 2 Reasons You May Want To Consider Upgrading Your Website To HTTPS

It always pays to leave no stone unturned when it comes to SEO. Whilst there are a huge number of factors taken into account by Google when it comes to determining their website rankings, exploring all options can only help.

There is a groundswell of opinion stating that upgrading your website to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) could prove to be crucial if you are battling rivals for prime keyword positions.

What Are the Benefits of HTTPS?

We’re all used to seeing ‘HTTP’ at the beginning of a URL but was about extra ‘S’? Essentially the S stands for “SSL”, which in turn stands for Secure Sockets Layer.The Top 2 Reasons You May Want To Consider Upgrading Your Website To HTTPS

This extremely useful technology helps to encrypt the connection to a website, providing that extra layer of security making it more difficult for hackers to intercept important data. This can include passwords and payment details.

Below are 2 additional reasons why increasing the security of the site could benefit your business.

Can Be a Key SEO Ranking Factor

When two similar sites have similar SEO values, the inclusion of an SSL certificate could be enough to nudge your website above your competitor.

Whilst no-one knows precisely what Google’s algorithms look for, it is widely believe that it is Google’s goal to offer the best possible user experience. Increased online safety would certainly fall under this umbrella and therefore having a secure site (HTTPS) can help you rank higher on Google.

Mobile Search Boosts

Are you serious about being found online? You can no longer ignore mobile search optimisation. Because many modern browsers and phone applications require HTTPS in order to perform correctly, failure to add this to your website could leave you lagging behind your rivals.

Contact Us

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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By | May 15th, 2017|Security|Comments Off on The Top 2 Reasons You May Want To Consider Upgrading Your Website To HTTPS
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