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SSL and the Importance of Internet Security

SSL and the Importance of Internet Security

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The safety of personal data is the most important topic in society right now. With new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) coming into force next month, there is an increasing need to keep websites secure. With SSL Certification you can ensure the safety of your customer’s personal data.

At First Digital Media, it means a lot to us that all our client’s websites are safe. That is why we are providing SSL certification for websites with us. For more information, call us on 0845 094 1830.

What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information sent to the server. This makes it incredibly difficult for potential thieves to steal data. The new security feature impacts on companies that are business to consumer (B2C).

SSL uses an internet communication protocol known as HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data between a customer and website. We’re all used to seeing a HTTP at the start of an address bar, but SSL changes this.

HTTPS is widely used by websites and can be easily spotted by a green padlock at the start of your website address in the search bar.

The Importance of SSL Certification

Having SSL Certification in place is important because it helps to keep customer’s data safe. Customers are savvier when it comes to their internet security, making sure that websites are safe before entering their data. Google have publicly supported the use of SSL, bringing in changes to search engines.

Chrome Security Product Manager Emily Schechter has said:

“For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

Future rankings of websites will be affected if they do not have SSL.  The search engine plan to mark websites without the certification as insecure by July 2018. This will be easy to see in the top corner of a search bar on any website. If there is no green padlock, then the safety of a website cannot be guaranteed.

SSL certification keeps your website up-to-date with security protocols.

SSL and the New GDPR Guidelines

Many businesses, large and small, have been bringing new browser security in to protect their client’s personal data. The new GDPR guidelines require businesses in the European Union to report any data breaches to their country’s regulatory body with 72 hours. It is important that appropriate security measures are put into place by a business to protect personal data. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) are the main regulatory body for the UK and any breach should be reported to them.

SSL Certification is a step you can take towards protecting personal data. The security system encrypts any data that is inputted into your website by a customer. This includes contact forms and requests for information. Protecting this data is important as thieves can use it to target individuals. It is important that steps are taken to protect the following types of personal data:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • ID
  • IP addresses
  • Cookie data
  • RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tags
  • Health and genetic
  • Biometric
  • Racial and ethnic
  • Political opinions
  • Sexual orientation

Access to any of these can give scammers enough to personally target people. SSL helps to prevent data such as this getting into the wrong hands.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about SSL Certification and the importance of website security, then do not hesitate to contact our team. You can call us today on 0845 094 1830 or fill in our online contact form.

Is Your WordPress Website Loading Speed Slow?

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One of the biggest problems with websites nowadays is its appearance and speed. With studies showing that slower websites rank poorly, you really need to speed up your site pronto!

You might be thinking that you know your website is slow but as you are a marketer you don’t know how to develop sites; you could be struggling to find a fix. First Digital Media are here to let you in on a few simple tricks that can boost your site speed without having to send it back to the developers.

Always back up your WordPress website before installing any plugins and making changes to the site.

Speed Is More Important Than You Think

We all know how annoying it is when you are waiting for a site to load and quite often we are only too eager to leave the site before it is even finished loading. Earlier this year Google stated how important site speed really is saying that “marketers who are able to deliver fast, frictionless experiences will reap the benefits”.

The faster the site, the lower the bounce rate is and it is a low bounce rate that you ideally want for your own website.

Image Optimisers

There is no doubt about it that your images on site will be the biggest element of your site speed being slower than normal. If you have amazing images that span across all pages and are responsive to tablet, phone and desktop size, they are going to be of a certain size and will take much longer to load.

However, this does not mean that you have to suddenly have poor quality images on your site just because of how long they take to load. There are simple plugins that can be added to your site to reduce their loading speed and to compress their size.

WordPress Cache Installation

This is one of the simplest tasks to do with your WordPress website. By installing a cache plugin, you are able to drastically improve your page speed time and most of the time the plugins are free which is an even better perk.

This works by caching certain larger elements of your website so that when the site has to load, a lot of it is already stored ready to show on your site right away. “No matter what, faster is better and less is more”, Google.

Optimised Homepage

Your home page is the first page that most of your audience will view, so if it is slow, you could be losing custom without even doing anything wrong! There are a few really easy steps you can take to improve the speed of your homepage including:

  • Rather than showing full posts, show excerpts and entice your customers to travel further through your site
  • Reduce the number of posts on the homepage
  • Remove sharing widgets that are unnecessary on the homepage
  • Check over all plugins and remove those that are no longer needed/broken
  • Keep your homepage minimal in terms of content, no one wants to read paragraph after paragraph when they just landed on your site

Get in Touch

If you are having trouble with optimising your site, get in touch with First Digital media today and call us on 0845 094 1830.

Monitor Social Media Success with These Metrics

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Are you struggling to follow your social media success? First Digital Media have the solution right here!

Monitoring social media success doesn’t have to be difficult and can be done by both professionals and yourself. Following metrics, like those stated below, can be easily done but the hardest part is knowing how to use the data and how to act on it quickly.

First Digital Media are social media marketing experts for all kinds of industries and when it comes to monitoring metrics, we certainly know a thing or two. Acting on data and figures is what we do best and we have put together a few simple metrics you can follow yourself from the comfort of your own home.

Followers

Followers on twitter, likes on Facebook and followers on Instagram all come from a fan base that want to follow your business posts and updates. As they are interested in your business, it would be great that you were interested in them and follow the rate in which you are gaining followers and learn how you can improve those figures.

If you are gaining followers on a quick basis then you are doing something right clearly, if you are losing followers or not gaining as many as liked, maybe take a look at the topics of subjects you are posting and look at other methods of sharing with our social media team. With online marketing and social media marketing working closely together, followers are great but you can’t just rely on those figures for business success.

More and more young people are using social media and with the platform taking over TV as a news source, it really pays to get them on board on social.

Shares and Likes

Its quite obvious to watch how popular your content is when customers are sharing and liking your posts or your page but it can be quite hard to figure out what to do with those insights. If you can see that your audience are following your business online and are hungry for more information, you need to be sharing similar content that will entice them to delve further into your business and encourage others at the same time.

These figures can also show you what topics you should not be sharing, i.e. the ones your customers have no interaction with.

Social to Website Traffic

Ultimately, the end goal is to get traffic to your website and then using or buying your services/products. Social media is all well and good at interacting with your customers but your customers are only useful if they are actually doing something within your business.

Use Google Analytics to watch over your website traffic and check where the referrals came from. If the answer is social media, you are doing something right, if it isn’t high on the list, then you need professional social media marketing from First Digital Media.

With a total worldwide users of social media being 7.3 Billion (as of 2015), there are clearly a lot of customers you could be targeting, but what if they never go to your website?

Be The Leader in Your Industry

As well as monitoring your own stats and insight data, it can also be handy to monitor your competitors’ data. If they are the industry leaders, learn what they are doing and implement the methods into your own social media marketing skills.

Seeing what actually resonates with your customers is worthwhile and particularly helpful in getting customers to your website. You can track their movements and their interests to entice them into your business and give them the most information possible that they could ever need.

Listen and watch your customers to make content that interests them and become a leader in your industry.

Get in Touch

Learn more about metrics, social media marketing and Google Analytics with First Digital Media by calling us on 0845 094 1830.

Your Business Online Reputation Is More Important Than You Think

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Find out why your company’s online reputation can often be more important than your business success and with both relying on each other, it pays to understand the importance of it.

As the internet has progressed over the last 20 years, it is important for all businesses to keep up to date with the transformation or face the consequences of being left behind. The one element that has maintained its importance is the fact that your online reputation is important and always will be.

Word of Mouth Recommendations Online

Your online reputation matters just as much as your offline reputation and the use of word of mouth can come into play through other elements. If your website is slow, your contact form doesn’t work and your logo is poor, this can almost work as a stop sign for potential customers trying to use your services in the future.

The new online version of word of mouth recommendations takes place in the form of reviews and customer feedback. As a potential customer, they will be on the lookout for signs of great customer service or poor services, to determine whether they will continue with your business or not. Just like word of mouth on the street, if your business has bad press online or poor customer reviews, you are showing future customers the weaknesses of your business.

You could be losing 90% of potential customers if you have bad reviews online, so do something about it pronto!

Use Your Online Tools

Managing your online reputation is very important to not only control the image of your business but also the future of your success. With a bad history and poor customer reviews, it can be more damaging than you ever imagined.

Using social media, engaging content, great website design and communication with your customers will encourage great reviews and therefore a great online image.

Managing Your Reputation

According to an infographic from Social Media Today, about 25% of a company’s market revenue comes from its online reputation and image that is portrayed. “Even if you don’t necessarily have an established online presence yourself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have an online reputation”, Experian.

If you have spent years building up your business reputation, why would you let one bad customer experience ruin your hard work? With consumers trusting a business with reviews 12 times more than one without, it really pays to have real-time reviews rather than just product descriptions.

One example of a great online reputation is the huge giant Amazon. With consistency, vision and customer appeal, Amazon has targeted their customers with real reviews, product descriptions from the users and the trust that most consumers are looking for. “Amazon earned the highest overall ranking on the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) study, which surveys 18,000 Americans to measure the reputations of the 60 most visible companies in the country”, Fast Company.

Tips to Boost Online Reputation

Here are some quick tips to follow from First Digital Media on how you can control, boost and manage your online business reputation.

  • Make emotional appeal
  • Follow financial performance
  • Improve products and services
  • Be social
  • Have clear vision and leadership
  • Boost your workplace environment
  • Customer feedback needs to be a focus

Your business needs to be portrayed as reliable, trustworthy and successful in order to gain the reputation you deserve online. Don’t rely on offline word of mouth anymore and get the online boost your business needs from First Digital Media.

Get in Touch

If you are concerned about your business reputation and want professional assistance with boosting your online reputation, then give us a call on 0845 094 1830.

E-commerce Is So Much More Than Online Shopping

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The majority of internet users will have come across or used an e-commerce site at some point in time but little did you know, they are about to take over the world (almost)!

E-commerce sites have shown a steady growth in numbers over the years and now, in 2017, they are seen as one of the hardest websites to compete with. With an ever-growing market and more and more competition out there, it was about time that e-commerce sites upped their game and upped their game they certainly did!

Retail Online

Although there was a major scare in the retail industry that online retail would outrun high street stores, this is not the case. As it stands at the moment, there is only a small 8% of all retail sales carried out online in the UK, clearly showing room for e-commerce to storm forwards and develop.

With major contenders like John Lewis expecting online sales to account for almost half of their yearly intake, is e-commerce still just an up and coming phenomenon to think about, or is it already the king of retail?

E-Commerce Let Downs

Although a lot of the hype surrounding an e-commerce site at the moment is positive, there are some let downs that can affect how a site performs and how the customer interacts. With a massive 39% of users shutting off a website because it takes too long to load, it really pays to pay attention to your e-commerce site.

Never let it stand alone online, with so much competition it is about time you did something about your e-commerce site.

First Digital Media are aware of the e-commerce challenges and focus our attentions on mapping the customer journey throughout the site. With a major 61% of marketing teams mapping the journey also, we see ourselves as innovative leaders in the world of online, covering all bases in e-commerce and not just making it look great like other agencies do.

Case Study

The team here are always looking out for new and upcoming designs, websites and e-commerce sites to check out what is new on the market. We recently took the time to look at an industry giant online, ASOS, and found some great information we wanted to share with you.

As one of the biggest e-commerce sites out there with an avid following of loyal customers, clearly ASOS are doing something right. One element we noticed they were doing right was covering all bases and platforms, not just desktop. With conversion rates on the increase across all platforms, especially tablets and smartphones, it pays to make your e-commerce site responsive.

With speedy shopping features, loyalty rewards and everything their customers want, ASOS really hit the mark and will forever continue to grow in the online world if they keep doing what they’re doing.

First Digital Media

Our team pays close attention to various elements throughout your e-commerce, not just the front cover your customers get to experience. We look at:

  • Site searches and navigation options
  • Product pages and their content
  • Checkout process and shopping bag facility
  • So much more

Top Tip- make sure your product pages have video content, with video on the rise, your customers need to and want to see exactly what your product entails, rather than a flat photo of an object.

Get in Touch

To arrange a consultation regarding your e-commerce site and to find out more about First Digital Media, call us on 0845 094 1830.