Could the Godaddy SEO Tool really work?

We’ve worked on hundreds of websites over the years, and every week we hear from someone we served in the past. This week we received a call requesting information on SEO services for a new domain a client had setup on Godaddy website builder. They were going to first try Godaddy’s SEO service and get back to us after giving that a chance. I thought it was worth providing some insight into what you’re really buying with a service that’s about $3 per month.

The Godaddy seo tool really only offers 3 things

  1. Submission – This is a service that is a free tool from the major search engines, and there is no reason to pay a monthly fee for it, hence the low price.
  2. PayPerClick – If you aren’t familiar with this, we’d be glad to discuss, but for their pricing they cannot have any significant budget at play for you
  3. Analysis – They will give you a report telling you what you need to do, but you will still have to do it. You can generate a similar report with a free tool online.

I would also note that the website builder tool produces a fairly poorly coded website, something that negatively impact search rankings.

While there is nothing wrong with trying out an affordable tool, website owners should not assume that this will serve as a solution for building a website that can earn and maintain top organic rankings in Google. You will need to invest time into expanding the content on your site to lay the groundwork to compete effectively for valuable keywords.

 

1 Minute fix for WordPress XML-RPC Pingback Vulnerability to Quadratic Attack

At 3PRIME, we are stewards for quite a few hosting customers, many of whom love wordpress. As such, we support that platform so that we may support the efforts of our disparate clientele.

By now everyone has heard of XML Quadratic Blowup Attack vulnerability in wordpress.

The WordPress Core Team has done there due diligence and have submitted a patch for the vulnerability. You can implement it readily by updating your wordpress runtime to the latest greatest version (or the latest greatest patch build of your current installation). If you haven’t already, you should absolutely update your installation the next chance you get.

XML-RPC is a Problem

Something that bears mentioning here is the WordPress XML-RPC itself.

Unless you are using a plugin that requires using this now nearly ancient form of site access and control, XML-RPC is otherwise extra baggage that you need not carry around.

Given the utter lack of usage of XML-RPC throughout our client sites, the best fix for the current vulnerability, a great preventative measure against similar attack vectors, is to simply disable XML-RPC altogether.

In our case, we did this server-wide. Setting up a directive for Apache couldn’t be easier.

In your configuration file (httpd.conf or, preferably, a pre-VirtualHost Include file), simply include the following snippet:

Apache – Disable xmlrpc.php

For the Nginx crowd out there, you can use the following:

Nginx – Disable xmlrpc.php

If your site (or your clients’ sites) are not coupled to WordPress XML-RPC, disabling XML-RPC altogether is a great way to reduce one attack vector that is often overlooked, exposed, and effectively exploited.

3PManagedHosting vs. Shared Hosting: We Are Way Faster

This is the age of the split-second Internet decision, and attention spans are shrinking into  nothingness. Your website needs to impress the visitor at a glance, and it’s hard to do when it takes so long to load that your prospective customer says “Ah, screw it” and backs out to Google to see if your competitor functions faster.

This is why hosting is about so much more than cost. Many smaller business sites take advantage of “shared hosting,” where many sites are hosted on one server and isolated on different partitions. Price-wise, shared hosting is rock bottom – you will be able to host your site for a few bucks per month. However, this option gives you a bare-bones minimum of customer support, and when it comes to speed, shared hosting can be a logjam of frustration.

Managed hosting is a good balance between cost and attention. With 3P Managed Hosting, you get personalized service and troubleshooting for a modest increase in cost; just as important, your site loading times are going to be vastly improved.

To illustrate the point, we ran a comparison between two of our clients: Client S, which uses shared hosting, and Client L, whose site is housed on 3P Managed Hosting. We used the website WhichLoadsFaster.com to run several tests on the main pages and several inner pages of the two clients’ websites. These tests were run on Jul 26 2013, from 1:30-2:00 PM.

First, we compared loading times on the two main site pages. Loading time in milliseconds on the left refers to Client S; on the right, Client L.

Test 1:
Client L loads 2.2 × faster
3223 ms / 1439 ms

Test 2:
Client L loads 55% faster
2509 ms / 1618 ms

Test 3:
Client L loads 2.5 × faster
3715 ms / 1465 ms

I think we’re seeing a trend here.

Next, we compared 3 inner page loading times. For rough parity, we compared the “About Us,” “Contact Us” pages and one product or service page. For each site, WhichLoadsFaster.com loads the three pages one after the other and totals the time it takes for all three. Here are the results, again Client S is on the left and Client L is on the right:

Test 1:
Client L loads 99% faster
9807 ms / 4933 ms

Test 2:
Client L loads 2.0 × faster
10863 ms / 5383 ms

Test 3:
Client L loads 76% faster
9627 ms / 5456 ms

Parallel loading vs sequential loading (meaning, whether the speed tester loads both websites at once or one after the other, so they don’t have a chance to interfere with each other) makes no difference – 3P Managed Hosting knocks the socks off shared hosting every time.

Remember that a typical visitor who is looking to buy something is not just going load a single page – they will navigate around the website before making a commitment. A slow site doesn’t just cause a single moment of frustration, but does it with every mouse click. If you want to present a favorable impression to your potential customers, having a website that loads quickly and allows a visitor to navigate without frustration is one of the most important things you can do – and 3P Managed Hosting is here to help.

Understanding Google Conversions Concepts

Conversion tracking can be very valuable, but requires planning to execute properly. To properly set it up, you need to define specifically what constitutes a “conversion” meaning what action would a website visitor have to have taken that would indicate that they took a concrete step in the buying process.

google analytics goal conversionConsidering a general “brochure” or non-ecommerce website, here are examples of a customer that converts:

Submits a Contact or Quote Request form
Submits an Appointment or Reservation Form
Visits a Specific page
Signs up for Newsletter

What is key is that for each of these “actions” there must be a unique URL, a Thank You page, for each, where we can place “conversion code”, or at least define that URL as only being visited upon a successful conversion. This means that if that code is loaded, that specific conversion just happened, and can be tracked.

There are 2 ways that this can be setup:

  1. Goal Conversion in Google Analytics
    Once we define the steps that would have to happen for the conversion to have taken place, we define each URL that would apply as a “funnel” in Google analytics. As long as the regular analytics code is on all pages of the website, you don’t need extra coding, you just need to be sure that you have unique URLs for each step in the process.
  2. Adwords Conversion
    To set this up, we’d install google conversion code from adwords on each of the “thank you” pages for each action. Then in adwords, we can see which keywords are converting.

The first step is to clear any roadblocks, like making thank you pages, and define specific URLs that constitute a conversion funnel, or path a visitor takes through a website on the way to being a successful conversion.

What is Not Provided in Google Analytics Keyword Report?

Here’s a question about the organic search report in Google Analytics we get occasionally:

Do you know of any reason why in Google Analytics we cannot see a search term that is gaining us clicks? For example, I was looking at April 1-9 and the number 1 search term for our business website is “not provided”. Just curious as to what this means.

“Not Provided” refers to a visitor whose privacy settings prevent their information from being recorded by Google analytics. The primary type of visitor who falls into this category is someone who is logged into their google/gmail account.

The SEO Mailbag

We receive a lot of questions at our site, and we’re happy to answer them–it allows us to get in touch with potential customers and also, at the very least, provide people with some good advice.

Recently, we received a question from Carrie B. about an issue that I’m sure many of us have wondered about at one time or another.

The Question:
Subject: Mobile Development
I want to create an increase in my income situation, can you please help?

Answer:
3PRIME provides services to help businesses increase their visibility and the ability of customers who go to their web properties to become customers. To figure out where we would recommend you make investments, here are several questions, and you can give me a call to review them.

  • What is your website domain?
  • Why do you think your customers would be better served with a mobile optimized website?
  • How do customers find you?
  • Are there particular keywords that potential customers might use to find your products/services?

Have a similar question to this one? Well don’t hesitate to contact us.

Spam domain renewal – Domain Notification – This is your Final Notice of Domain Listing

I have received half a dozen of these in the last week. The emails are unsolicited offers to “renew” your domain with the phrase” Final notice” in the subject to get people to open it. The top looks like this:
domain renewal spam email letter-top

Then we have the “Scare Line”

scare-line

And Finally, the false savings:
false domain savings

$75 for one year? This company and most of our clients are registered with GoDaddy, which has their own methods of boosting sales, but charges a fair price of around $12 per year for domain registration. Savings will not be found in this offer or ones like it!

Other info about this spam domain renewal email

The messages come from “codero.com” and also mentions “sesubmission.com“. It’s a shady tactic but perfectly legal. As they say in the fine print at the bottom:

Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. … There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration.

Need great advice on an on-call basis? You need 3PRIME in your corner! We offer fair billing and never misrepresent what we do. Check out our testimonials and contact us today!

3PRIME Adds Blog to PartnersPestControl.com

While it may seem like “Bug season” is over in Connecticut, there are still plenty of homeowners across the country who are receiving unwanted visits from creepy crawlers. And of course there are bugs which can make their home in yours during the winter, like bed bugs and other pests. If you’re running into any of these issues then it’d be a good idea to visit the Partner’s Pest Control Blog.

Their blog will provide information, tips and guides about the pests invading your home and your lawn. It will also feature many of the pest control products that they utilize everyday.

Managing Multiple Google Places Locations

Does your business have multiple locations? One of our favorite clients, Eagle Rivet Roof Service Corporation, has 4, 2 in Connecticut, one in Florida and one in Massachusetts.

One of our initiatives this year was to expand their local marketing. We recently got the MA roofing contractor page approved by Google and are proceeding with promotion. The Florida roofing contractor page has been online for a few months and we have gotten to #20 for “coral springs roofer“.

If you need Google Places promotion, please contact us today!

What is Constant Contact

Constant Contact acts as a list manager for 3 major purposes:

  • Sending email to recipients
  • Conducting surveys
  • Marketing events managed via email

They charge based on the number of unique email addresses they store for you, and you can send unlimited emails to those users. They handle unsubscribes and provide code to enable you to encourage website visitors to signup through your website.

For list management, you can add recipients manually or by uploading organized lists of email address with or without other contact info using a spreadsheet (CSV).

They’re support is pretty strong, if occasionally heavy handed. To maintain their high degree of successfully inboxing your emails, they will suspend accounts that have high numbers of spam reports (if a recipient marks your message as spam) as this affects the reputation of their email servers.

For email marketing, they provide a number of email and newsletter templates that can be managed pretty easily. Usually when we send a new email, we’ll copy the previous one, modify the text or HTML and then send. Sometimes it is to a new list, i.e. followup for new customers only, or it might be sent to all lists and all recipients. Some customers highly segment their lists, others just have a few major groupings.

We generally administer the accounts but clients can certainly use it themselves. The dashboard is entirely web based and their phone support is available during business hours.

They offer a free trial for 60 days, after which their pricing is as follows (as of 9/17/11)

Constant Contact Pricing Matrix

Email addresses Monthly
0-500                                     $15
501-2,500                            $30
2,501-5,000                        $50
5,001-10,000                     $75
10,001-25,000                  $150
25,000+                               Call for pricing