4 Common SEO Misconceptions


Search engine optimization is a relatively new concept, so we have noticed a lot of people don’t quite understand how it works. There have always been a lot of common SEO misconceptions and there has never been more than now in 2019. Not only do many people have little knowledge of SEO, there are a lot of so called “gurus” out there peddling information that isn’t all that accurate. There are more misconceptions floating around about SEO than we can count. So we want to tackle a few of the largest ones we see pretty often. There are still probably hundreds we won’t cover, but if you have any specific question about any SEO misconceptions, we would love to clear them up for you! Just comment on this post or send us a message on our contact form, we would love to hear from you. When it comes to the most common responses we hear about SEO, let’s jump into the 4 most common:

Unrealistic Goals
If you have a website that has only existed for a few days and you want to get to the first rank for “Roofing Company” by next week… Well, that will never happen no matter what your friends over at Fiver say. Everyone’s goal is to be the first result on Google, but the simple fact is that most people lack the budget to actually get there. Overzealous requirements are one of the most common SEO misconceptions. Don’t let this discourage you, there are a lot of ways to rank for keywords and receive traffic without ranking for a huge keyword in your niche. As your authority builds up over time you can target more and more competitive keywords while you grow. We do this by going after what are called long tail keywords, these are phrases that are very specific but get less search volume then their more general counterparts. So look at your goals a whole different way and focus on metrics like website visitors and conversions instead of your location in the search results. You need to consider the amount of time it will take to rank in your area, the more competition, the harder it will be to rank. So many people are obsessed with instant results but those will only be accomplished in the very short term with spammy tactics and once google realizes what you are doing your website will be heavily penalized. Have realistic goals, your business will do much better and your wallet will be heavier!

Page Spot Guarantees
Anyone who guarantees you a specific spot on search rankings is kidding themselves. There is no truly accurate way to predict where you will end up even after optimization. The page spot guarantee is a relic of the spammers of a decade ago that would get you to a rank and them dump you after running away with your money. You simply cannot predict page spot with one hundred percent accuracy unless you are doing something that is against Google’s terms of service, which is more likely to get you banned. We can often estimate page spots based on metrics like how authoritative a domain is, but even that is not an exact science. Google has over 200+ factors that play into where you end up in the search results and their algorithm is always improving. If an SEO company guarantees you an exact spot in the rankings, consider working with someone else!

One and Done SEO
SEO is not something you can do once and never do again; it is a continuing process! Being competitive in SEO means spending money every month to maintain and improve your ranking in search engines. If your website gets too stagnant without constant upkeep, content, and social engagement you will end up slowly losing your ranking in search results. One of the common SEO misconceptions is that you can do SEO once and be done. Constant monthly updates are a huge part of keeping your website fresh for search engines. The most common way to keep your content fresh is through blog posts. Maintaining the top rank in competitive keywords takes a lot of work in maintenance, so be ready to work with someone for the long haul. Don’t just assume you can rest on your laurels once the up front work is complete. Luckily, if you are ranking well the extra income from that search traffic will be paying your monthly SEO cost no problem!

Content Marketing and SEO Have to Be Different
A lot of SEOs get uppity when you tell them content marketing and SEO are inherently linked. But Google seems to think they are, so let’s get off that high horse for a minute and explore why. Content has become an essential part of creating a website that is the best possible experience for your users. Google has a cited purpose of providing the best user experience possible, if your site is built off of nothing but optimization, you are missing the point. Deep and informative content is good for your user, so search engines will always prioritize it. If you need some help writing SEO content you can check out or post written for Cherry Hill SEO. Content Marketing and SEO are now entirely linked, don’t skimp out on your content, use it to improve your SEO!

Common SEO Misconceptions Conclusion
The search engine optimization community is riddled with these Common SEO Misconceptions. Spreading improper information is a real problem in the SEO community and we’ve been working since day one to shed some light on the more egregious offenders. Avoiding these common misconceptions will help your website do great in the search engine results. We want to see you taking on the misinformation head on. Base all of your SEO on data analytics and proven methods if you want to see the best results for your website. Hopefully we have made an impact with our continuing education campaign here at Caveni! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask us any questions you might have and avoid those Common SEO Misconceptions.

Enhancing Customer Experience In Web Design

What is one thing about a website that leaves a lasting impression on the customer’s mind?
The sharp use of animations? The beautiful color scheme? Or the use of unique fonts?
What if I told you that it’s none of the above, but at the same time, it’s all of the above?

The only thing that will leave a lasting impression on a customer’s mind is the overall experience they have on the website. And that experience includes all of the options I referred to and many others.

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of customer experience design, we are going to take a brief look at what exactly is customer experience on a website.

Before We Begin: What Is Customer Experience?
You might be thinking that there’s no need for this point, but really, hear me out.
CX is the entire experience the consumer might have with a brand. From finding out about it to making the purchase, each step builds up that experience and any mistake can sour that easily.

When it comes to a website, the scene is not that different. From discovering the site to interacting with it, all of it is going to form experience and eventually, an idea about the brand.

So, why is it important to aim for a customer experience website design? Because at the end of the day it is crucial for business growth. And if this reason is not enough to convince,  here are more reasons why business owners should think about improving CX using website design.

All The Reasons Why CX Needs To Be Improved
When starting the web design project you might be thinking that following best practices, design trends, and design psychology laws will be enough. All of this will be more than enough to improve user experience on the website. But is that really it?

From my experience in the industry, I can definitely assure you that you need more. Just paying attention to the trends and best practices will not get that kind of success that you are aiming for. There is a direct relation between web service design and customer experience, and this relationship needs to be taken advantage of.

Here are some reasons why you need to enhance customer experience design. Take notes, because this is going to be important.

1. Staggering Increase In Conversions
It is an important yet headache-inducing factor for every business owner. Just getting traffic is never enough, you have to ensure that those visitors turn into a customer as well. However, this transformation is not easy, unless you go for a customer-centric approach.

People out there want to work with someone who understands their needs and provides the experiences and services that fit their needs. And in such a scenario where conversion rates are directly related to the customer experience on the website, it becomes necessary to improve the web design efficiency. So hire such a customer experience design agency who knows how to ensure conversion through design.

Cost Reduction Always Feels Good
How many times did you have to redesign the website?

It’s a no brainer that the design of a site is necessary to impress and convert the customers. However, there are times when the design might fail to do so, and that means redesigning the whole site. And of course, redesigns are not cheap.

Using customer experience design tools and approach, you can actually reduce the cost of the web design project. Once you understand the customer base a lot better you have a better chance at nailing that web design on the first try. This reduces the time needed for research and guesswork on why the site is not working.

3. The Unbreaking Relationship Between Crisis Management And Brand Reputation
Businesses face disaster on a daily basis, and how they deal with those, can make or break their reputation in the market.

Depending on what kind of service is being provided, every organization has to deal with major issues. And how the consumers approach the businesses about these issues makes all the difference.

For a not so customer friendly brand, the customers are going to be outraged and take the issue on a public platform. This gets attention not only from the public but the competitors as well. Needless to say, this will only make things look a lot worse than it might be.

But if the approach is more customer-friendly, consumers will approach the business, in a more private way. They would use the helpline, or chatbot integrated on the website. Remember that at the end of the day it’s not a matter of customer experience vs service design. A customer-friendly approach increases their trust on the website and the business and that makes consumers more likely to be lenient in case of a crisis.

4. Retain The Loyal Ones
There’s no doubt that retaining old clients is a crucial thing for businesses. It is because retention takes a lot less energy and resources than getting new clients. And that’s why an experience-based approach is necessary for the design project.

When you offer exceptional services than other competitors in the market, the consumers are going to come back to you again and again without fail. And being able to build and maintain good relationships with the consumers is going to be the key to business success and growth in the future.

After the reasons, let’s look at some ways of enhancing consumer experience on the site. Remember that while some of these ways are tried and tested, the effects might still be different based on the type of website. So do the research before applying any of these on the website.

Improving Customer Experience With Web Design: A Crash Course
Is following the best practices going to be the only way to enhance the customer experience on the website?

The answer is no. Just the best practices are never sufficient, and that’s why I’ve compiled a list of focus points you should be paying attention to while devising customer experience design strategy.

A. Design Something That Reflects The Brand
Designing for the brand is a significant part of every web design project, and we all know that. But it is essential for user experience design as well.

The brand of a business is what it stands for in the market. The message a brand sends out to the market sets up the customer expectations, and you have to deliver an experience based on that expectation.

And that’s why this way of improving the consumer experience through web design is fairly easy. Because you have control to define the brand through web design and set the expectation. The process will become a lot more flexible with this small trick, not to mention gain you more recognition in the market.

So to begin with, look into ways to create a unique brand identity. Here are some tips to get started-

  1. What makes the organization unique compared to the competitors?
  2. Is there any unifying aspect within all the services provided by, if there is, can it be used to create a brand personality?
  3. How do consumers are going to perceive the brand: serious, tech-savvy, friendly, young (choose any)

Once the mind is made up, comes the time to look into the market expectations of it. Suppose a brand has chosen to present themselves as tech-savvy, young, and funny to the customers. In that case, they have to ensure that the design of the website conveys these characteristics perfectly. From the color scheme to the content, every design element needs to deliver on the experience set by the brand identity of your company.

B. Reinvent The Navigation On The Website
A lot has been said and written about the navigation of a website, but there’s no harm in discussing this part about the CX design program again.

The navigational flow of the website determines how the customer’s journey through the website is going to be like. It needs to be easy and smooth, helping the customers find the right element without a lot of fuss. One of the best ways for any web designer to improve the navigation of the website is to put the major navigation menu right near the top of the website.

It will not only help the consumers to find what they are looking for right from the start but help in navigating the website a lot faster. Remember that they don’t have hours to spend on the website for only one thing. So ensure that the navigation on the website is designed to perfection.

C. Put Emphasis On The Customer Reviews
In the benefits section, we have talked about WOM marketing. This just happens to be an extension of that.
Before we talk about why it is important to put more emphasis on reviews, let’s look at a few statistics.

  1. 82% of customers always look at the customer reviews, among which 52% said that they check the review before engaging with the business every time.
  2. 97% of the people who read reviews always check how the business responded to that.

Therefore, reviews are really valuable. Before engaging with the business, the visitors on the website will look for the reviews section. And if there are none, consumers might be a little reluctant to engage.

Providing the consumers a way to leave reviews about the experience and later read on others reviews will develop a level of trust crucial for a better experience. It will create a transparency that will help the consumers to better trust the website later on, even if there are any problems with the services.

So dedicate an entire page or just a section, just ensure that there is a place to review the services and express client opinion on how it can be improved. Additionally, reply to those reviews and take those reviews into account and solve the problems clients might be facing.

D. Fast Loading Websites For The Win
Speed is key when it comes to the success of the website, everyone will tell you that. The speed with which the website loads is directly relative to the usability levels and the kind of experience the users will have.

Customers today want fast service. And that’s why restructuring the site for faster loading time is crucial. Compress the images, and videos on the site. There are many additional ways to improve the site speed, so consult with a customer experience web design company based in New York or any other city before the design process. Remember that the faster the site loads, the better user experience on the site will be.

E. Content Optimization To Match The Public Demand
The content makes the website, and you probably know that. But the website content needs to be well optimized to make it a success.

Depending on the age group, profession, and the basic intellect of the target audience, the customer experience design strategy needs to contain the content optimization stage. A middle-class working man would not enjoy a scholarly article on how to fix a vacuum cleaner. And just like that, a Harvard professor wants better quality content when researching his next paper.

A large part of the customer journey is made up of the content on the pages. The images, language, videos, and fonts used on the website makes or breaks the experience of the users. So if you want to improve the experience, optimize the content accordingly.

E. Develop A Website For Everyone
Web accessibility is an important part of customer experience design principles. However, it is not just about making the site responsive, there’s more to it.

Web accessibility is all about making the site unrestricted to the users despite any disabilities and differences. Following the common practices to increase accessibility on the site will make for better customer experience on the website.

Here are a few points you should be following to make the site really accessible to everyone, therefore improving customer experience through design-

  1. Responsive design is going to be important if you want to reach users of various gadgets. Users today are interested in accessing the online world on the go, so ensure that the website can scale to any kind of screen size.
  2. Not everyone is operating with high internet speed. In such a case, the website needs to be cached properly to make it accessible and fast. Consult with the developer before going into the design process.
  3. There are many differently-abled consumers who would be trying to access the website. Designing the sites and structuring the content keeping their special needs in mind will be crucial in order to really make the website accessible to all and every possible user.

Web accessibility is a matter of inclusivity. In this age and time, discrimination is not something the users tolerate easily. So it’ll be wise to make sure that your website is accessible to everyone out there.

F. Forms And Checkout Simplified

Nobody likes it when it takes an hour to fill up a form on a site, or check out from an eCommerce site. Taking too long to finish a process will destroy the good experience the site might’ve provided till now. So what to do?

Well, for starters, make the forms on the website shorter. The customers really don’t need to put in birth time just to subscribe to the weekly newsletter. So cut out all the useless fields from the form, and include only the most important ones.

As for check out on eCommerce sites, breaking it down into smaller steps is going to be better. Let the users save preferences for easy access. This way the overall experience on the site will improve without any extra effort.

Wrapping Up: The Matter Of Customer Experience And Web Design
More often than not we will get lost in terms like “web design best practices” “agile development” “design psychology” and many others. However, what needs to be remembered is that the design at the end of the day needs to be customer-centric and has to fulfill the basic needs of the customers without any hassle. Customers at the end of the day only care for those companies that care for them.

Have any more questions about improving user encounters with the site? Want to know how we work? Well, if you do, then feel free to contact us. We can help with any web design and development challenges.

Have a Sense of Humor?

Tickle the funny bones

“Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are – Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” 

Take a page from the book of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore and you would know what humor is even in the face of Voldy. Now, there’s that smile on your face that site designers look for!

However, there is a slight hurdle – 

  1. Identifying humor and sarcasm, for example: “There is no need to call me Sir, Professor.”
  2. Looking for the humor that is best suited for the occasion and not going loud on it. Like – “The idea of a teenage Dumbledore was simply odd, like trying to imagine a stupid Hermione or a friendly Blast-Ended Skrewt.”

With COVID-19 on the loose, and quarantine turning into a persistent headache, businesses are leaving no stone unturned to capture the market of the trade genre. This includes revamping their sites keeping user experience at the pivotal point. This is where the humor angle comes into play. 

Trades are banking on everything to fetch a –

  • Grin,
  • Laughter,
  • Smirk,
  • Smile,
  • Chuckle,
  • Snigger, or
  • Chortle

With such a prospect, a user’s engagement can be stretched for an extended period, and hence, all tricks are being pulled out of the sleeves of experts. 

So to say, ‘humor’ never went out of business. Starting the old, silent comedy movies, to the latest ones, they offer viewers with the much-needed touch of escapism in the hardcore journey of life. A majority of the time nowadays is spent looking at screens – laptops/desktops/phones. The blatant and mundane sites thus need an element that will provide a touch of humanity, and set up a string with the user’s mind and the brand in question. What better a bridge than humor?! 

1. The Sense & Epoch of Humor for Clients

Humor has a said impact on the mind and body of humans. As per research, laughter is an integral part of mental and physical well-being. Among its listed benefits are –

  • Relaxing the body
  • Triggering the release of endorphin
  • Burning calories
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Safeguarding the cardio health

And then, rumor has it that laughter is even potent enough to extend one’s life span. Then again, on behalf of the websites, humor elements offer a positive user experience. And, subsequently, this leads to a strengthened relationship between the brand and the user.

Now, it’s time to take a look at the humorous angle to website designing and look into all about its what, why, where, how, when to, and when not to.

2. Think Hilarity for Your Site

UX design is all about consumer behavior and psychology. Catering to the clients is the prime focus of the digital world. Also, all businesses are left with the only option – setting a digital footprint to capture targeted clients. Consequently, site owners are willing to take up and imbibe all the trending elements into their website that will boost the web traffic. 

With the humor-effect, there are chances of boosted interest and spiked energy levels on behalf of the clients. But the art of imbibing humor to bait the clients in and increase the conversion rate lies on a thin line – knowing when, how, why, where to implement the laughter-angle. A toe on the line, and you will be creating a major mishap of disrespecting your clients or hitting on the sarcastic nerve, rather than the humor one. 

There are a few questions to ask yourself that will get you the blueprint to a successful humor-kissed site. Check them out and jot down the answers that best caters to the genre of your trade!

3. Questions to Ponder Upon

Remember the times when Asterix, Tintin, Superman comics were your favorite parters-in-crime? This was long before Kindles came into the scenario. So what was it that got us hooked? It was content properly broken apart by graphics. Humor elements have a similar approach. Large blocks of serious content, appropriately parsed by humor-based content or graphics. That will get you through even if your site is under construction and hence slow-loading. 

Intrigued? Follow on for the questions that will help design such a site –

Q1: Why to?

Since everything is about data and statistics these days, here is one that will get your attention. Approximated 94% of individuals fail to trust trades that offer worse user experience and site designing. 

Motivated enough to revamp your site as per customer preference? Now, it’s time for 

“Ok, Google! Why do I need to add humor to my website for 2020?”

Here are a few pointers on it –

  • Since users do not merely use the product but experience it, it is crucial that emotions are present in the merchandise. 
  • This makes merchandise memorable enough with a unique angle.
  • It makes clients more tolerable of minor flaws that exist in the product.
  • The clients view the product, and hence, the product more positively.
  • There are chances of spiked interest among clients.

Humor, overall, provides a personality to the product or service. This establishes a connection with the user and makes the sales quotient, pretty easy. 

Q2: What type of?

The context of humor is essential considering that this increases the chances of understanding which type of humor would have the required effect on the user. Here is a glimpse at the various types of humor that will help design a site –Exaggerate

  • Compare
  • Surprise
  • Pun
  • Personify
  • Silly

Adopt the humor type that is best suited for your users. For this, you would need to know the humor-tolerance of your targeted audience. Take a cue from this and offer them with the humor that suits their preference. 

Q3: How to?

So, now you are accustomed to the why and what of humor is website designing. Now it’s time to know the ‘how’ of the aspect. This will get your site among the ones that will be held as samples for your predecessors/competitors!

a. Know the audience

As mentioned before, researching the target audience is your primary goal. Supplying humor that befits their preference is a mandate. Using a language/lingo that they are accustomed to makes sure that your audience enjoys the humor and that is the ultimate goal. Take into consideration the following types of humor themes and think upon which is suitable for you –

  • Subjective humor
  • Cultural humor 
  • Know when to use the humor

Humor injects personality to any site and also in the relation between the band in question and the clients. However, humor needs to be used properly and only in relevant places. Improper usage of humor may create certain hurdles that include –

  • Become distracting
  • Be out of line
  • Fail to accomplish crucial tasks 

Make sure that your brand has enough humor. Like the one here –

b. Go all out with the ‘About Us’ page

The ‘About Us’ page is the introduction of your tea to the current or new clients. Visualization of the team that works is essential for clients and this is your scope to pull in the humor-elements. This will change the way potential clients will view your brands. Use it to form a grand first impression.

c. The 404 screen

The 404 page is one that fetches maximum frustration among users. Meet this frustration with humor-induced animations that would make a smile crop upon their faces. You can provide a link to some other page on your site that would meet the needs o visitors. 

Clients would experience mitigated frustrations over the error page and navigate to the directed page while thinking about the humor element provided. Look at the one here –

d. Truth + Comedy = Goes a long way

Absurdity and humor are not the same. The former is not a preferable aspect among clients who would not prefer exaggeration of the morsels of truth. Comedy blended with truth is the ultimate solution to get a great web design. 

e. Loading screen

An estimated 47% of clients require an app or a website to load within or under 2 seconds. That, coupled with a reduced attention span makes it essential to have a light-weight site that loads at the earliest opportunity. In case of slow-loading sites, higher bounce rates are confirmed. How to meet this? Easy – use a loopy animation on the loading site.

f. Say ‘no’ to cliches

Thinking outside the box is the only step in the f=digital world. Mimicking will get you nowhere. Putting a spin on traditional elements will set you on a path that will be unexpected, and clients will enjoy this unique touch of the website. 

g. Storytelling + Humor = Perfect Combo

Storytelling has been in the digital realm for a long time. As proven, this ensures that clients remember the product or service for long. However, this has already been adopted by all businesses already, irrespective of the genre of their trade. 

The innovative latest leverage would be the addition of humor to this storytelling. The benefit of this is that individuals tend to remember funny details conveniently. Look at this 404 page below and you would know –

h. Test designs with real-users

Hitting the right note with humor is a challenging thing. Even when assured that your audience will take the humor well, that the last step in the process would need to be testing. And this does not just mean your team, but your actual users. Take the feedback and implement the changes to get an airtight website that ensures boosted web traffic.

Q4: When to?

It is essential that you know when to use humor in your sites. This would mean that you are not walking in blind with the website designing. Here is a list of areas where you can use humor. Check them out and plan for the humor element that you can bank upon –

Chatbots – Chatbots are popular amidst the digital civilization. Chatbots are designed with the aim to provide human-like interactions. This requires adding a personality to the chatbot that is achieved by adding humor to it.

Introduction with a product – You have only one shot at creating the first impression of a product or service. Use the shot well by bringing in the element of delight or humor. The simplest of humor elements can make the first interaction of the product and the client an unforgettable journey. 

Conveying important information – Often, important messages come with complex jargon that makes any read cumbersome for clients. A way to meet this would be introducing humor that would lighten the mood and ensure that the important information is better understood and retained in the mind of the targeted audience. 

5 Things Not To Do On Your Website

our website is the front line soldier of your entire digital marketing battle plan, if your website isn’t up to the task, all of your efforts on other platforms will have been putting in all that effort for nothing.  Platforms like social media, physical marketing, and email marketing require a great website to be effective. Treating your website as the tip of the spear is the way we always start when giving our clients a new strategy for their marketing. You can’t really begin many of the steps required without first having an effective website to base the rest of your marketing from. But, how do you know when your website is performing as well as it could? There is always the idea that you could check and optimize your website or work on things like optimizing your webpage speed, you could even find ways to make better content.  Every article out there has some insight into what you should be doing on your website and why you should be doing it for your company. We are here to give you the exact opposite. There are a lot of mistakes commonly touted by gurus who have never built a website and who have no grasp on the analytics and A/B testing required for larger clients. These are things we’ve seen that will severely harm your website and user experience. Let’s dive in and go over what not to do on your website:

Pop Ups & Chat Widgets
Pop ups and chat widgets are one of the worst additions you can make to a website. Pop ups are fairly self-explanatory if you’ve ever used the internet. User annoyance plays a significant role in whether they remain on your website to purchase or whether they leave to look for an alternative. As much as you dislike pop ups on other websites, that is how much your users dislike them on your website. In fact, we have seen a stark difference in conversion rates between websites with pop ups and websites without them, to the point that there is almost never any benefits to adding pop ups. Our advice is to avoid pop ups like the plague as a general rule. Our second least favorite website element are the chat widgets that are all over the web, they do not work. Live chat was a novel feature for a few years, but has since become a bastion of spam and intrusiveness. One of the most popular chat widgets is the Facebook version, which has people raving for some reason. Your chat widget is an inherently bad addition to your website, especially if it gives your users unsolicited notifications. The earlier Facebook example is known for slowing down website speed, decreasing conversions, and causing you to be penalized by Google. The worst offenders in when it comes to live chat are those that take actions without user input and constantly pester your user to open it. This drives home that concept of user annoyance, if you annoy your user they won’t purchase your product. The more you annoy them, over the course of their browsing, the less likely they are to become a customer. Treat your users to good information and a professional website, gimmicks like pop ups and chat widgets will not help your conversions.

Small Content and Difficult to Read Text
Small text and small content can make your website more difficult to use for your potential customers. Read our article on WCAG Compliance, you may eventually even be legally liable for a difficult to use website. Small content elements make it more difficult for you to get the information about your company to the customer which will again harm your conversion rates. Imagine trying to get the information on this blog if the text was closer together or smaller. It may already be hard for some people to read without even taking those elements into account. You will never be penalized for stretching out your web page a bit for those extra few points of font size. Don’t be too concerned with having too much text, your users will thank you for making their lives easier!

All Pictures Without Text
You need text to make your website work, powerful, informative, dense content is the backbone of any good website. If you need help creating content take a look at our article for NJ SEO. Otherwise, just consider some of the important facts about the benefits that content gives your website. Your users are far more likely to convert with content rich pages that have a lot of text in them. Many websites are severely lacking in deep content. Your users will find you far more trustworthy if they know you are actively trying to help them instead of sell to them. It not only increases conversions rates, it will also majorly help your ranking in search engine. Position in search engines is one of the largest success factors for any business. So without the ability for search engines to find out exactly what you do, you will not achieve the success you would with content-dense pages. If you are very design savvy and can change alt-text, descriptions, and captions on your images you may be able to add in enough content specifically for google to fix it. However, your user experience will still not be as good as someone with more rich content. There are certain exemptions to this rule (photographers). But, as a whole your pages should be a good mix of both text, images, and design elements.

Thin Content, Doorway Pages, and Useless Elements
Thin content is a very personal vendetta for the team at Caveni, our greatest love in life is long, dense and informative content. There is a reason we always encourage all of our customers to write and write until they can’t write anymore. Great content is amazing in that it just works. The primary reason content is great is that search engines prioritize denser informative content over thin content that doesn’t really provide the customer with any good information. One of the worst types of thin content are doorway pages. Doorway pages are very similar but they are normally duplicate content found on other pages rehashed with just a few words to target a different audience. A great example of doorway content would be if you had a page for red shirts, green shirts, and blue shirts; but the only words changed on each page was the color of shirt. This just doesn’t work, those pages will never be indexed and will make Google and other search engines penalize your website. When it comes to content, taking the longer, harder road, or writing good content will always give your users a better experience overall. Go out there and start writing!

No Contact Form on the Website
Make sure your customers can contact you, don’t expect them to just email you, call you, or show up to your door. Make it convenient for them get in touch and more people will reach out. You will find that the easier it is for your customers to get directly to you, the easier it will be to make a sale. The best way to do this is to get a contact form where your customers can contact you from. There are alternatives like scheduling systems, but the easiest way for you to capture those customers is to have a contact form. Make sure that it is easy for them to go to and get into contact with you! You would be surprised by how many people fail to have a contact form. A lot of people do not want to call you, or can’t at the moment they are browsing your website. A contact form alleviates a lot of those issues and will make it so you can still capture those customers.

Conclusions
Avoid the web design death sentence by making sure your website is as easy to use as possible. Your potential customers will thank you for making their experience so streamlined, and your wallet will feel heavier for it. There has been a constant stream of website designers, developers, marketers, and sales people with their eyes on websites since they became a necessity for doing business. We have methods and standards now that reflect the massive amount of data we have been able to gather and digest about users habits. Adhering to the standard practices of web design will ensure that your website provides a successful platform to facilitate the growth of your business. We hope that these tips have been helpful for you!

The Only WordPress Security Guide You Need

Website security is a major concern for us and we work mostly with WordPress security so we will try to focus on that. We have seen so many websites have downtime of multiple months just because of a small lapse in security. We understand that it can often be expensive to pay for monthly security, but it is incredibly necessary as your website begins to gain more and more traffic. We have a few great WordPress security tips that will help you secure your WordPress website and make sure that you don’t lose all of your hard work to hackers and scammers. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to lay out the easiest ways to keep your WordPress website secure and also give you a run down of the attacks we see most frequently. There are a few simple steps that you can take to help you set up and check security and set yourself up to be safe out there on the internet. But, let’s start with what sort of vulnerabilities your website might have!

Common WordPress Intrusions
There are a few different types of intrusions that we see very often. These include SQL injection attacks, nulled plugins, XSS attacks, Brute force attacks, DDoS Attacks, and vulnerable themes. Let’s run through each and give a brief overview of what the attack entails and how it happens. The simplest form of an attack comes in the form of nulled themes or plugins, a nulled theme or plugin is a website element that hasn’t been updated or downloaded from an unreliable source. Oftentimes these plugins or themes will have a vulnerability or a built in virus of some kind. The vulnerability will then be exploited by whomever put the backdoor in the apps. This can be more commonly referred to as a general malware attack. SQL injection is when malicious code is added by user input, XSS is when code is added by JavaScript to the user output. Brute force and DDoS attacks both rely on a machine based volumetric attack style that we will break down in further detail:

SQL Injection
SQL injection attacks are quite common on WordPress and only lose to DDoS as the most common. SQL is a programming language many website databases are written into, this means that an SQL injection attack will involve an non secured input form that could be anything from a comment section to your contact form on the website. An SQL injection will involve typing in database commands to gain access to your administrative accounts. SQL is very easy to defend against and we will cover which during the firewall section, but the simple answer is to just sanitize user input. The best way to sanitize user input on a WordPress website is to add a firewall plugin. But of course you can do so with custom code yourself if you have the ability.

Brute Force Attacks
Brute Force Attacks are some of the least advanced as well as the most advanced. Brute force attacks require powerful computers or multiple networked computers to attempt a huge number of combinations on a website’s passwords. These are very easy to defend against, but can be extremely destructive if you don’t protect your site. There are quite a few steps you can take to prevent brute force attacks, and they are much the same as for other attacks. However, there are some additional fixes for brute force attacks that help protect you further.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
Cross-Site Scripting otherwise referred to as XSS injection is the process by which malicious JavaScript code is injected into outbound user information. This can be particularly hard to notice once it actually occurs. Luckily the same way sanitizing inbound user input prevents SQL injection attacks, sanitizing user output will prevent XSS attacks. It works in much the same way as an SQl injection attack in that code is injected to execute a non-native script that normally contains a significant amount of malicious code. This is normally added to a website or web application that is normally upstanding, but has a vulnerability that is able to be exploited by the hacker to place the malicious code snippet. The website is essentially used as a tool to install whatever code the hackers wishes to infect the user with ranging from advertisements to even worse malware.

What XSS Means For Your Users
Many site owners will think that a serious XSS vulnerability is more of a problem for the users than the website. But, being compromised will means that your users can be pulled from you pager and the potential hacker will be able to inject code into the website your users see and show them sweeping changes. Hackers could redesign your entire website if they wanted to. Which, is obviously severely detrimental to any website, especially a business website. So since we’ve gotten the severity of XSS vulnerabilities clarified we can go into more detail.

How Dangerous Can XSS Attacks Be?
It’s fairly common that XSS issues are ranked as a lower priority than may of the other forms of vulnerabilities that may be found on your website. However, there is still a very real and pervasive threat that can be expected from any exploits of said XSS website vulnerabilities. Most of the time Java is very tightly controlled for the user and is unable to do much to users files aside from appearing in the browser.

Where the real issue arises is when the java is used as an avenue for the malicious actor to then add code which points to something more directly harmful to the users. Much the same as malware infections this could be to spam them with ads that may end up causing them to get a virus. While the virus won’t actually be from your website, they will certainly believe that you are the one that has given them the virus in question. The arbitrary nature of XSS attackers is what makes them so dangerous to your users you may not spot the first person putting advertisements to make the quick dollar but when that vulnerability graduates to full scale malware attacks, then you had better hope you can fix it fast!

DDoS Attacks
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is the most common type of attack perpetrated against both users and websites. They essentially boil down to a user or multiple users making a request of the website in huge numbers in a very short time. The most frequent effect of this type of attack is a website will go down because the web-server simply can not fulfill all the requests. Luckily, this type of attack is easily mitigated by both a firewall software and a google content delivery network (CDN).

How DDoS Attacks Work?
When in the midst of a DDos attack a server, website, or network will be sent requests for data relevant to the network by these devices will make a massive amount of requests in a very short duration to the tune of three million per second in advanced attacks. Most servers can not handle the volume and will either go down or expose certain section of their website to severe vulnerabilities. Of course, there is no uniformity to DDoS attack, as there are a wide width of potential attack that can potentially be made against your website.

Volumetric DDoS
The most common type of DDoS attack and the most easily done by lower tier hacker the volumetric DDoS attack uses slaved systems from either computers with viruses or large server farms to achieve the denial of service needs. These can sometimes be referred to as connection flood attacks and are frequently the types of attacks you will deal with for your website.

OSI Layered Attacks
These are more specifically infected system with a built in program that can generate to the tune of 5-15 terabytes per second of request data to your web-server. A huge number that only the most hardy of websites are built to deal with. Any large website can frequently expect an attack of this nature almost daily. It’s common for this type of attack to be used as a precursor to some kind of electronic theft.

Old WordPress and PHP versions
Old WordPress and PHP versions are another major cause of intrusions but for the most part these will almost fall under the same vein as malware. Since there will be some major issues in the code that can be easily exploited to install malware onto the site with an older PHP or WordPress version. The intrusions generally present on older versions of WordPress or PHP tend to be adware or spyware, which will show malicious advertisements or track your users respectively. The best way to avoid these intrusions is to keep your website as up to date as possible and frequently backup your site.

Creating Better Passwords
Your password is the front line of defense for your website. There is no security system that will protect you from your own easy to guess passwords. The worst password are in some way related to public information about yourself or include common dictionary words. The most secure passwords are random strings of words and numbers in entirely random order. Just that one simple change will save you a lot of grief and prevent your website from being brute forced or having some random person login and wreak havoc.

Using an Authenticator
Authenticators are great since they will keep your site safe from a lot of low level attacks that are the most common on the web. Authenticators are at their core a secondary form of confirmation of identity and can take many forms. The most common is google authenticator or SMS authenticators. You can download one of the many plugins which serve as effective authenticator methods. Use whichever is your preference and watch the value of your security skyrocket. While we don’t have a list of the best plugins you can find a few here.

WordPress Security Conclusion
Now that you are familiar with the world of XSS, DDoS, and beyond you can begin taking steps to secure your WordPress website and prevent any further destruction. Investing in your security is always a good investment. Don’t lose all of your hard work just because you are trying to save a few bucks on the side. Invest the time and money into creating a security plan that will defend your website effectively. You will save an immense amount of time and headache by just having everything up to date and defended. So get that firewall up, authenticate those passwords, and watch out for potential security risks. As always, your friends here at Caveni are happy to help you come up with a plan to keep your website defended, so if you need more help, don’t be afraid to contact us.