Site Security and SEO. Why it matters to you, Google and potential clients

What is website security and why is it important for SEO Strategy and Trust Building?

As technology advances we are seeing more and more about cyber security. It makes sense right? In the age of information and technology, there are so many more ways that we (and our clients) show up online. The last 12 months alone have demonstrated the impact on brand and reputation when businesses suffer security breaches. By now we are aware we must treat client data carefully right? But did you know that your site security across your whole website itself impacts your SEO results long before you even make a sale? ⁣

Remember that search engines like Google are increasingly focusing on user experience! So if you have been neglecting your updates and letting spam comments take over it could be completely counteracting any and all effort that you put into optimising your website for traffic!

Why Site Security Matters for Your SEO Strategy

So, what actually happens if you neglect your site security? First up, you make yourself vulnerable to hackers. Weak websites are more likely to be hacked risking losing your website, sales data and more. But you can also experience what is called ‘SEO spam’ where hackers will use the website vulnerabilities to insert spammy links and keywords onto your site and send your traffic over to their spammy, fake or malicious website. This might be a dodgy sales site, a duplicate of your own with their sales details or a site loaded with malicious content including viruses. ⁣

Poor website security will also see you lose Domain Authority and be penalised by search engines with Google in particular dropping you in the search results. You may even find that your user’s desktop security software blocks your website or flashes big red warning banners when users go to click on your link. Not a good look. You are likely to find that trust in your brand is damaged as a result and your potential viewer scrolls right past your search result. ⁣

Even if you do not process sales on your website where you risk credit card details being compromised there are still significant consequences if you have poor website security. Thankfully it is NOT too late to do something about it!

How to Improve Your Website Security and Improve Your SEO Rankings

Start by checking out if your website has any major security alerts your audience is seeing. Look at your website from a range of devices to check for any warnings. If anything pings then it’s likely time to call in reinforcements and fix that pronto. ⁣

If everything looks ok then it is time to move forward with a Website Security for SEO plan!

Next, do a basic audit of your website. Do you have:

    • An SSL certificate and https// prefix on your site⁣
    • Onsite security installed like iThemes or Wordfence (for WordPress sites)⁣
    • Regular site backups⁣
    • Up-to-date plugins and themes⁣
    • Delete any spammy blog comments and turn on comment approval⁣⁣

How are things looking? Not too shabby? Or a bit neglected? Many businesses avoid their security because it feels a little overwhelming. Start with the basics and start actioning these edits one at a time. You can do this! Remember to take a backup of your site before you start any major changes or plugin updates. I recommend setting up a rolling backup where there are always 2 versions just in case the most recent backup is corrupted. ⁣

Be mindful of protecting your website from here on. Starting with being careful to only approve legitimate comments on your website and ensuring you are creating quality backlinks on reputable sites. I encourage you to also make a practice of using strong passwords, malware and antivirus software yourself. Implementing these changes will help protect not only your website but your cyber security in general.

What SEO Steps to Focus on Next

Building trust with your audience is hugely important. Your SEO strategy needs to include 1) knowing what your ideal client is searching for so you know what keywords to use and content to create to turn up in the search results, 2) understanding how to set up your website to be user-friendly on any device 3) how to create a rich user experience that adds value, builds trust and hopefully converts to sales. There are so many moving parts here and it is not something most of us leave school understanding. ⁣

So be gentle with yourself. It is ok not to have the perfect plan and to start by chewing off 1 task at a time. But commit to learning more about SEO and how to optimise your website to bring traffic directly to you. I would LOVE to help you with this! We can book in to do an SEO Health Check on your website, you can sign up for my workshops and mentoring (next round starting 24th July 2023), or we can book your website for a complete SEO overhaul where my team and I can implement the changes for you. The world needs what you have – let’s make sure they can find you and see a website that builds trust!