Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

Suzanne McBride

The Cowbell Agency

Is your website under attack (or can it be?)

The average website is Cyber Attacked 44 times per day!

With the recent cyber-attacks fresh on everyone’s minds, now is a good time to think about the security of your website. Hackers are far more sophisticated, automated and organized these days. They root out vulnerabilities in web servers and share them with the expanding hacker universe. What’s worse is that hacked websites can be blacklisted by Google as dangerous and go dark with online searches. To battle this, we offer a couple of services that can help ease your mind.

First, you have an SSL on your site. Perfect! But that’s the minimum that should be done. But what else can be done?

Monthly Website Maintenance:

Cowbell Agency will perform monthly maintenance on your site, such as keeping plugins updated, scan for malware, performance tests, site backups, among other services. Outdated plugins can not only bring your site down, but worse–make it vulnerable for cyber-attacks.  Almost 2/3’s of WordPress website vulnerabilities are caused by out of date or sketchy plugins/themes. Remember, just like you take your car in for maintenance, websites require the same love and attention as your car. 

Security/Firewall Protection

We work with GoDaddy with their Website Security Program. The firewall blocks attacks on the site while the malware scanner searches your site for malicious content and alerts you if any are found.

Contact us if you are interested in a quote or have any questions.

info@cowbellagency.com

Google’s Core Web Vitals Update

Google’s Core Web Vitals Update

Google’s Core Web Vitals Update

Owen Yorio

The Cowbell Agency

This month, Google will be releasing a new update to how they rank pages in SERPs (search engine results pages). Among many other ranking factors, Core Web Vitals will now be included in determining page rank. But what are core web vitals, and how will this change how pages are ranking now? To better understand this update, we should break down what Core Web Vitals are, and the metrics on which we focus.

Core Web Vitals (as determined by Google) are three page speed metrics that can measure user experience on a given website. Those three page speed metrics are: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These three metrics can be attributed to a page’s load speed, user interactivity, and visual stability respectively. Let’s look at each one:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – How long it takes to load a full viewport of a page. This should be below 2.5 seconds.

First Input Delay (FID) – How long before a user on a page can interact with elements on it. This should stay below 100 ms.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – A value attributed to how much elements on a page move while others are loading. This should stay below a factor of 0.1.

What Does This All Mean?

Google has done their research, and has seen that users prefer sites that load faster and are easier to use. Pretty simple, but accommodating these changes can become laborsome. Luckily there are tools to measure these factors like LightHouse and PageSpeed Insights. There is also a new section in Google Search Console dedicated to Core Web Vitals, so site owners can hear back from Google exactly what they think needs to be improved on individual sites.

Overall this change is designed to force site owners to design with the user’s experience in mind, which is a great thing. It is not difficult to find sites that are slow, unresponsive, or just not user friendly. If you’re worried about how your page ranking will be affected with this coming update, email us, or give us a call here at the Cowbell Agency.

Is Your Website at Risk of ADA Ligation?

Is Your Website at Risk of ADA Ligation?

Is Your Website at Risk of ADA Ligation?

Suzanne McBride

The Cowbell Agency

ADA (American Disabilities Act) was signed into law in 1990, and is America’s most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities, including web accessibility.

U.S. courts apply ADA and its accessibility requirements websites.  The Guidelines for web accessibility covers the 4 principles:

  • Perceivable (how one perceives content through sight, sound and touch
  • Operable (the way someone can use the site)
  • Understandable (how easy is it to understand)
  • Robust  (does coding meet standards, etc)

Rise in Litigation:

Since 2017, the number of ADA title III-related lawsuits skyrocketed – with small and medium business being in the center of the storm.

Why are there so many ADA lawsuits?

There are a few reasons why ADA web accessibility has become such a hot legal topic in just the last few years, including the spread in awareness about web accessibility requirements. Experts estimate that approximately 40,000 demand letters were sent in 2018, and 2019 has peaked with over 100,000 demand letters and over 10,000 lawsuits. 

Since it’s almost inevitable that the court would find in favor of the plaintiff, small business owners often feel that they have no choice but to settle out of court. The cost of defending a lawsuit would destroy even a medium-sized business, but the average settlement agreement still comes to $35,000.

Who has to comply with the ADA?

There’s a common misbelief that ADA only applies to very large corporations, but that’s a serious mistake. All types and all sizes of businesses have to comply with ADA legislation, for their customers, and for their employees if there are over 15 employees. That means that ADA affects:

  • Places of entertainment like theaters, movie theaters, and concert halls
  • Restaurants and eateries
  • Small and medium businesses of all types
  • Large enterprises
  • Retail stores
  • Local government offices, employment agencies, and labor unions

Here’s how Cowbell can help:

We can run a no cost audit of your site to see if there are any issues.  If so, we can add the ADA software for a free 7 day trial period, and if you decide to stay with the plan, the cost is $490/year, plus small set up fee.

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine

Olivia McDonald

The Cowbell Agency

Did you know? 

93% of all online interactions start with a search engine.

We’ll wait while you pick your jaw off the floor because that’s a pretty staggering statistic. Now you’re probably wondering what this means for you and your business. Well, it means your SEO game needs to be on point to ensure you are ranking for relevant searches so the right people are finding your business online. Before we get into how Cowbell can help, let’s answer the number one question you probably have right now.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To put it as simply as possible, SEO is the process of increasing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Optimizations can be as simple as applying a focus keyword to each webpage on your website along with SEO titles and meta descriptions, or it can be as complex as fixing technical issues that could be slowing down your website and affecting the user experience.

It’s complicated, y’all.

And you are busy actually running your business so you don’t have the time to fix all the issues on your own. But it’s extremely important that all issues are resolved so we recommend procuring the SEO services of a highly skilled digital marketing agency, such as Cowbell Agency.

Why choose Cowbell Agency?

We offer world-class global and local SEO programs. We would determine which program your company would be best suited for by assessing your needs and the scope of your clientele. From there, we would run a website audit to identify and fix all the issues that negatively impact your site’s search performance, like missing heading tags, duplicate content, broken links, and the list goes on and on. It’s all the things that, believe us, are killing your search performance. 

There are many other aspects that are included in both the local and global SEO programs, but we won’t bore you with all the nerdy details. Just know that you can count on us to provide you with results you can see and believe. Our SEO reports are honest and insightful. You’ll see exactly where you stand every step of the way.

So are you ready?

Contact us today for a free web consultation and let us take your business to new heights. Be seen. Be heard. Be more. With Cowbell.

Statistic source: Forbes, “How To Optimize Your SEO Results Through Content Creation”

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