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Digital Marketing, Website Design & Internet Security News for August 5, 2019 (Marine Marketing – Digital Focus, Hotels Rock the Tourism Marketing, Content Market what Helps – What Doesn’t, Court Document Forgery to Remove Bad Reviews, Online Sales Improve Customer Loyalty, More Government Website Hacks, Phishing Email Attacks $700,000!)


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Mobile and voice search makes your “maps” local listing more important than ever before. “Hey Google, where do I find __(your business service/hotel & resort/medical practice/product here)___”.  Will they find you? We can help you rank.

Best Marine Marketing and Top Trends of the Year

Every industry has started to take more focus on their online presence. Connecting via website and maps marketing.  Knowing that mobile search is a priority with Google and how much Google Maps is now used for getting people to your place of business, local marketing simply cannot be ignored.

“Quite a few top marketing companies showed that they are making major investments in their websites and emphasizing improvements. Entrants addressed everything from mobile integration to the inclusion of blogs; more sophisticated personalization and customization, including the addition of artificial intelligence; enhanced site design and smoother navigation; and improved deployment of strategies for search engine optimization, including a much deeper dive into analytics and reporting.”

Article by Wanda Kenton Smith


Redondo Beach launches new marketing initiative drawing visitors to hotels

15 Hotels formed the nonprofit group Redondo Beach Tourism in this California city. They created this group “to market the city. That group earlier this month launched a digital media blitz worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to showcase the best the city has to offer.”  We love how the hoteliers took the ‘bull by the horn’ to focus on generating tourism for their city. Making your city appeal online via photos and video on social media, ranking for tourism to your general state search results, and really putting in the effort to showcase your city – that’s how you increase tourism in this digital age. Kudos to them!

They used their money to focus their marketing efforts on digital marketing. Cities need to focus their tourism marketing efforts via digital marketing. Highlighting the benefits and hidden treasures. Increase hotel stays, restaurant revenue and more.

Article by David Rosenfeld



Keeping up with the latest search engine optimization strategy is a daily task.  We thrive on it and pass that passion onto our clients to create growth and scale their businesses.

Content: The Indisputable Backbone Of Your Website SEO Strategy

Content for SEO is text, video, audio and graphics. Alex, CEO of a content creation company, explains the value in the text content. Why it should be paired with technical search engine optimization strategies (we do both -smile-) in his article featured on Forbes.com.

“The industry secret? High-quality content. Search engines have an incentive to rank websites that gives users what they want in the form of engaging, informative content. Paired with technical SEO, great content is the undeniable backbone of any traffic-generating SEO strategy.”

Article by Alex Valencia


SEO: That Blob of Text May Not Be Helping

Ecommerce websites have started to add nearly full articles below the products on their shop pages.  Is it really helping? Or is it a short-term result with potential long-term problems?

“Adding this sort of extra copy ‘is really common, for example, on ecommerce sites on category pages,’ Mueller said. ‘From our point of view, that’s something that generally doesn’t work that well because it confuses us fairly easily.’”

Article by Armando Roggio


CBS News investigation finds fraudulent court orders used to change Google search results

We had heard a year or so ago about companies hiring people to write fake reviews to then take the ‘hired reviewer’ to court to get them removed. Once the judge awards the removal, they then use that judgement to get all similar negative reviews removed. It’s a blatant misuse of our legal system. Now, here’s a new take that’s completely illegal.

“One of the only ways to get Google to permanently remove a link from its search results is with a court order from a judge. CBS News sorted through thousands of these court orders and spotted small businesses from all across America trying to clean up their reputations. But we also spotted a problem: Dozens of the court documents were fakes.”

Folks, don’t try to scam the system. If you get negative reviews, respond to it politely and professionally. Then request reviews from clients, customers, guests and patients who love your business.

Article by Jim Axelrod, Andy Bast



Having a great user experience in website design is what matters most for getting the sale and generating leads.  We are now in a ‘connection economy’, how are you connecting with your prospects, customers, and guests through your website?

How Ecommerce Website Design Can Improve Customer Loyalty

There are a lot of brick and mortar businesses who are closing their doors because they simply didn’t keep up with the change in consumer buying habits. We believe every real world shop (big and small) needs to have an online presence. Shopify’s State of Commerce report gives the stats to state the same.

“Shopify’s first State of Commerce report showed that online stores currently represent over 80% of sales, which means there are plenty of opportunities for ecommerce businesses to make a killing.

Thanks to the report, we now know more than ever about how online shoppers are interacting with ecommerce websites. While all that information is helpful for improving sales, there’s one important aspect of running an ecommerce business that can’t be overlooked: building an online store that’s so well designed your customers will want to return to it for follow-up purchases.”

Article by Conor Cawley



Hackers aren’t attacking just to extort money. It isn’t about you or your business. It’s about your resources! Hackers will hit smaller sites that are out-of-date by a simple code search through Google. If your site is one of them found, they already know the fast easy access to inject code into your site to get what they want – your server, your mail server and your site to download and send out malware, ransomware, and malicious website takeover. Your website security is too important to ignore.

How to tell if you were affected by the Capital One breach

The first thing our founder, Beth Varian, did when she heard the Capital One breach news was she went in and changed the passwords for her account. You cannot ‘get back’ your information in a breach. But you should still go into your credit card, bank account and any investment account monthly to change your password. Despite the large number of accounts, Capital One is showing considerably lower numbers of accounts affected by the breach.

“Capital One has issued guidelines on how to determine if your credit card account was affected by the data breach involving more than 100 million people and steps you can take to shore up security.”

Article by Thomas Franck


Con artists push fake Equifax settlement websites. How to tell phony from real — and figure out if you’re eligible for cash

Phishing emails (emails that appear to be from a legitimate corporation with fraudulent links to obtain access to your accounts) are at an all-time high. Hackers around the world are now organized as businesses. They are working in teams in 8+ hour shifts to get your money, your resources, and to email out to your contact list the same. Rule number one, stop clicking links in emails without first looking at the sender’s email address. If it looks “phishy’ it probably is.

“The Federal Trade Commission warns that con artists have put up fake websites to look like the official Equifax settlement website, hoping to lure some of the estimated 147 million potential claimants who may be eligible for up to $425 million in compensation from the settlement.”

Article by Kate Gibson


Lafayette, St. Landry school districts shut down internet temporarily for cybersecurity

Louisiana school took the internet down for the school districts as a precaution. We think that was wise of them. They are working proactively. We’d like to see a lot more cities, schools, hospitals, and counties do the same.

“There have been malware attacks in four school systems — Sabine, Morehouse, Tangipahoa and Ouachita parishes — and the state is in contact with parish school systems and governments across the state to assess further areas that may be at risk, according to a release from the Governor’s Office.”

Article by Leigh Guidry


Randolph County government website taken over by hacker

50 other counties and local government sites were hit with the same hack. Randolph County was one of them.

A county in North Carolina was down due to a hacker attack.  “For nearly seven hours Tuesday morning, the Randolph County website showed a picture of a masked man, holding up a sign saying “Join the Revolution” and sharing anti-government beliefs.”

Article by Hayley Fixler


Dennis Horton: Data security must be a priority for all

We couldn’t agree more. Clicking links in emails without verifying that it is legitimate, can be costly.

“Even though, as individuals, there is nothing we can do to prevent these breaches, they remain an ever-present danger and we are constantly at risk of having our personal information compromised; so, we must all make data security a priority.”

Article by Dennis Horton / Director of the Rockford Regional Office Better Business Bureau


Los Angeles police: personal data of thousands of officers stolen in breach

In addition to dealing with water attacks in the USA, the police now have their personal data stolen in Los Angeles, CA police department.

“The personal information of 2,500 Los Angeles police department officers and 17,500 people who had applied to join the force were exposed in a data breach, the department announced on Monday.”


County website under attack

A Florida county website was hacked twice. This county used an open source (code available for all to see; no encryption) CMS (content management system) that is used on Microsoft servers. Like WordPress, if you don’t secure the site, update it regularly and have security monitoring, it’s easy to shut a website down, hack it with malware, and get to a site’s server resource. Every website needs a website security program.

“‘Our county website was hacked on Wednesday the 24th,’ said Putnam County’s IT Director Joe Burkhart during a meeting held in the Commissioner Office on Tuesday, July 30. ‘That was just a YouTube video on a separate page. Nobody would even know there was a hack unless it was the dark web sort of thing.’

“‘Then, on Friday [July 26] we got hacked again,’ Mr. Burkhart continued. ‘The county’s website and the recycling website both got hacked with a not-so-good picture…They actually replaced the indexed page with their own page.’”


Scammers trick City of Naples out of $700,000 in spear phishing cyber attack

Now that’s one expensive phishing email!

Florida’s City of Naples in a phishing attack cost them $700,000.  Expensive cost of not checking the sender’s email address.

“The funds were paid to a fake bank account the attacker provided while posing as a representative from the Wright Construction Group, which was doing infrastructure work on Eighth Street South in downtown Naples, according to a news release.”

Article by Lisa Conley


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