Is web security a part of your SEO strategy? It should be. A recent GoDaddy study revealed that 73.9% of hacked sites are hacked for motivations related to SEO. Hackers might do things like add links to content, add new web pages or show different sites to Google. As a result, rankings can drop and the site can be blacklisted.
With so much at stake, why do so many web owners focus on SEO first and web security second? The same GoDaddy study showed that only 50% of publishers monitor for potential hacks. Web security affects everyone, including your customers. Let’s explore some of the ways to make your website more secure and boost SEO in the process.
Switch to a Secure Connection (HTTPS)
By now, you should have switched from HTTP to HTTPS. Google has officially confirmed that it boosts rankings for HTTPS sites. In 2017, popular browsers also started labeling HTTP sits with “not secure.” You don’t want a website that delivers this message to your users. You’ll lose traffic and potentially harm your business’ reputation.
Install Comment Spam Protection
Google will penalize your site if you get a lot of spam and don’t have protection for it. The reason why you get this penalty is not because you’re a spammer but because your users are. It’s your job to clean up the spam comments and prevent bots and people from leaving them in the future.
Install the Latest Security
Having a secure site is a great start, but it’s not enough. You need to have the latest security software and updates installed to prevent hacking and malware. I recommend using software with a firewall. If you run a WordPress site, you can also use a plugin to monitor and scan for potential hacks. People who are behaving suspiciously can also be blocked.
Choose a Responsible Hosting Company
Stay away from free hostings. Do your homework and choose a hosting company that has a great reputation and great customer feedback. This article from CNET has solid advice to follow when choosing a hosting provider. It explains why it’s important to look for the three S’s – speed, support and security.
Use Strong Passwords
It goes without saying that securing your site requires the use of strong passwords. You may be tempted to keep your passwords simple or consistent, but avoid this. Choose long, nonsense phrases that include numbers, symbols, uppercase letters and lowercase letters. Use a password manager for suggestions and storage.
Take the steps to secure your website today – not tomorrow. Making security a part of your SEO strategy ensures that you stay ahead of potential threats and protect your site from mayhem.