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Protecting your Magento Ecommerce website: A basic guide

The era of online shopping has been at a steady growth, with more and more people preferring the convenience of shopping from the comforts of their own room or when they’re on the go. However it’s popularity also means an increase in finances – a field day for hackers looking for their next potential victim. Their latest method of attack is malvertising legitimate websites which people assume to be safe and secure. This is achieved through extra lines of malicious HTML code added by hackers to redirect payment from the company or sending credit card details to noxious third parties. As the owner of a Magento Ecommerce Website, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to ensure that your website is not susceptible to malicious hacking, not only for your customer’s protection, but for yours as well. Here are a few tips to help you out:

Magento site

Create a Unique Admin Path

Having a predictable admin access path such as yoursite.com/store/admin can make your Magento Website easily accessible to malicious parties. Instead, use a series of impossible-to-guess letters and numbers such as yoursite.com/store/Hg84Xt

 

Use an external third party payment option on your Magento Ecommerce website

Rather than letting customers enter their payment details directly onto your magento websites, outsource this step to trusted and highly secure services such as PayPal or Google Wallet. Even if hackers manage to compromise your site, they wouldn’t be able to steal your customers’ credit card details.

 

Never use your Magento Admin password for anything else

Your Magento password should only solely be used for that one specific account. A common method utilised by hackers to gain access to your commonly used password and use it to break into your Magento site. Ensure this doesn’t happen to you and come up with a unique passcode to bump up your level of security.

 

Avoid saving your password on your computer

It’s a common habit to let your computer save your login details for convenience’s sake, but doing so may be helping the hackers out there more than yourself. As an added defensive security measure, never allow your browser or password manager save your passwords for two different reasons. First, some of these password storage services are cloud based to allow easy accessibility from any computer you’re logged into; however this also means your sensitive data is being stored and waiting to be found. Secondly, you run the risk of allowing anyone access to confidential information in the chance your laptop or computer be stolen and hacked.

 

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-step login requirements guarantee that only trusted and selected devices and users can access your Magento backend. In other words, not only would you need to know the unique login details, but also require a randomly generated security code to be sent to your mobile or smartphone app. This makes it incredibly difficult for hackers to login to your Magento backend as it increases the amount of information they would need. So not only would they need to know your unique login page and secure username and password, but they would also require to have your smartphone in their possession.

 

 

Use a private and secure email address

Sophisticated hackers use social media to work out who’s in charge of the eCommerce site they’re interested in gaining control over. LinkedIn is a popular weapon for this method by searching up “eCommerce” and the company name. A number of people list their email address used for their workspace, which is then hacked into – often at times security measures aren’t a priority for email accounts, which only works in favour for the hackers themselves. Once successful, they can simply ask for a password reset and change both login details, gaining total control over your Magento Ecommerce website. To prevent this from happening, use a unique email account that is never to be shared outside the company used strictly for your admin username login.

 

Update your passwords before and after working with third party developers.

Outsourcing work to outside magento developers to help improve your Magento store is sometimes necessary. As a preventative measure to stop hackers from their end accessing sensitive information, make sure to change your admin and password before and after working together.

 

Disable Directory Indexing

By preventing malicious hosts from viewing all the files in a folder on your website, it prevents them from knowing what files exist in certain folders, making it increasingly difficult to find the weak hot spots in your Magento Ecommerce website. In order to utilise this security step, all you need to do is add “Options – Indexes” to your .htaccess file and hitting the return key.

 

Only use trusted and official Magento Extensions

It only takes one dodgy and vulnerable extension to provide a gateway to having complete access and control over your Magento Commerce site for any hacker. Thus, it’s highly recommended that you only use well tested extensions that have a proven legitimacy behind it. Also make it a habit to update your existing extensions when new versions are released, as usually these updates fix any security breaches.

 

Invest in a VPS or dedicated hosting

When you’re just starting your Magento store, it’s almost a force of habit to look for the cheapest shared hosting as a way to save finances. However even the most secure Magento store can be compromised by malevolent attacks on the other sites from your shared server. A good web hosting company would provide a web application firewall to interject MYSQL injection. Web application firewalls such as NAXSI inspect incoming HTTP traffic and scan them against malicious pattern rules and block them, thus preventing them from reaching the application running behind the web server. For quality security and maximum control over server resources, Virtual Private Services (VPS), Dedicated Server hosting or Cloud Hosting for your Magento Ecommerce website is most recommendable.

Acidgreen is an award winning digital agency and the leaders in developing the best Magento site stores in Australia, including giving you the best advice for online security. For more information on how to get started with acidgreen, contact us today.

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Art of Attraction – Top SEO Magento tips

When interested in a certain product, a buyer’s first instinct when he or she is unaware of where to buy is to turn to search engines. More often than not, the buyer would stick to the first few search results and settle for whatever content those websites have to offer – it’s a very rare circumstance that they will continue past the first page. Because of this, businesses, especially newly established franchises, can find it difficult to gain traffic from search engine results as they are required to compete with companies who are paying for their place on the search ranks.

magento seo

Search engine optimisation (SEO) an Internet marketing strategy and is the process of affecting website visibility in a search engine’s unpaid results; this is often referred to as natural or earned results. Generally speaking, the earlier and more frequently a site appears the more visitors and exposure it will gain. SEO takes into consideration on how the search engines work, what people search for and the popular terms and keywords that are preferred by the target audience. These keywords are they used in websites, usually in the form of blog posts and high quality content in order to attract more search engine traffic and garner a heavier audience. In essence, it’s a fundamental component to running an online business and more or less an important form of marketing online.

Read below for 10 important tips to use with SEO Magento to improve your ranking and attraction for your eCommerce website.

1. Descriptive title pages and meta description

Having descriptive titles and descriptions can result in a higher click through rate to your website as it specifically tells your audience what your website/page is all about (which is why we recommend using the magento seo feature for your magento website or store). A customer who is hastily looking for a product or service will be more attracted to search result that can specifically let them know what they will expect without the need of clicking through. Furthermore, when your page title includes keywords related to your product, the chances of your website appearing higher on the results page increases significantly

2. Product reviews 

Customers are more likely to be influenced by other fellow customers than your own opinion about your own company. Product reviews contribute to traffic of your online store and can shine a positive light on your company and products, enticing new customers and increase site traffic. It’s advisable that you persuade your current customers to write reviews after making a purchase – providing incentives such as discounts or prize draws can assist with this.

3. Mobile and tablet optimisation 

In this digital age, no company or website can afford to not have a mobile-friendly website. With more and more people using smartphones and tablets as their primary electronic device for everyday needs including shopping and payments, it’s imperative that your website is adaptable for their screen. A poorly optimised site for a mobile platform can do a great deal of harm to the traffic performance of online stores in search engine results.

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4. Image optimisation 

Take the time to optimise your product images, both for search engines and the visually impaired. Appropriately label your image with a specific keyword that is unique to the image instead of a generic filename. Search engines use these file names when determining rankings so its useful to start making this into a habit. Not only does it help with ranking results, but it caters to the visually impaired – having a detail description of the product image will help the customer with all the information they need and the likelihood of them walking away with a purchase increases.

5. Add a blog to your Magento store 

Successful companies usually offer customers more than just the obvious products and services. By providing your audience with relevant advice and blogposts, it encourages interaction and content sharing and increases a positive attitude towards your company. By keeping your Magento website frequently updated with interesting and high quality content, it can quickly generate traffic and receive a valuable SEO boost.

6. Backlinking strategy 

Much like references on a resume or essay, providing backlinks on your content will help you establish a good repertoire with the search engine when its determining your position. Back-linking – or having your website available on other sites – can help boost your site’s rank. This can include getting links by publishing press releases, articles, off-site blog posts, social media posts as well as links from industry related sites willing to help you out.

7. Use social media to your advantage

Don’t underestimate the power of the “Share” button. By opening up social media accounts that are relevant to your specific audience, you allow your content to be much more accessible and shareable to your fellow customers, giving them a chance to interact with your company. If your content is widely talked about, search engines take this into consideration and can result in a positive ranking boost. Publish blog posts on new products, relevant industry advice and important events happening within your company are a good start to creating content that will receive a positive customer buzz.

seo magento

8. Set up RSS feeds 

Encourage your customers to be kept in the loop by setting up multiple RSS feeds. Updates can include newly published blog posts, new products or regular sale periods or specials. This can get your users talking and sharing your content to their peers and social media audiences, which will only benefit your ranking further.

 

9. Clean up your mess

Attempted SEO in the past and realised after this article you’ve been doing it all wrong? Take the time now to go through your pages and content and fix up all the errors – although you may have impacted your search ranking negatively, theres still time to start pumping out new content that will allow your company to climb the SEO ladder.

 

Foe more information about SEO, specifically about magento search engine optimization, please contact us today.

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The Importance of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Aiming to get a customer to purchase a product has been the overall crux of commerce marketing strategies – they are designed to gain and retain customer attention and demand, in hope to convert first time buyers into long-term loyal customers.

However customer acquisition is proving to be more and more difficult as acquisition costs via Google and social media increases and the new generation develop preferential taste to companies who rely heavily on mobile devices. A more cost effective and efficient method of reeling in successful repeat customers is obtaining and correctly interpreting Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) data.

magento retail

The Customer Lifetime Value is a crucial factor in determining the best approach for your marketing strategy for your company. In essence, it is an educated prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. When studied carefully, it reveals customer behaviour from their first purchase and how they fluctuate over time with any consecutive purchases. This data contains invaluable patterns that will heavily assist with important decisions your company has to make, especially when it comes to marketing strategies.

CLV is determined by the following factors:

  1. How much a customer spends in a given order
  2. How many orders a customer makes

Evidently, the higher your CLV is, the better outcome for your company since it increases competitive value through:

  • Outbidding competitive ad spend
  • The ability to provide service customers at a premium level
  • Affording to invest more or upgrade products and services

Companies that correctly interpret the information in the study will have a competitive advantage over the brands who continue to prioritise conversation rates over customer relationships.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE STATISTICS

Most of the time, customers who purchase for the first time are only fulfilling an impending need rather than being interesting in a continuous consumer-customer relationship. According to data from RJMetrics, new customers spend on average $154 in the first year with 69% of this spent in the first month – 32% of this number is likely to make a secondary purchase. This initial number helps determine those who are more likely to be a recurring customer, thus revealing to companies who they should be targeting to secure loyal buyers.

 

 The Loyal Buyers

The top 10% of company clients are worth 6x more than the $154 average, with the 1% worth 18x more – this figure displays that a single customer in the top percentile will bring more billings than the lower 50% combined. Ideally, your company should spend more time identifying and recreating the marketing campaigns that attract this demographic as they have more worth than hundreds of lower value customers.

magento retail

 

USING THE STATISTICS

By properly predicting the lifetime value of a customer, it gives you an instrumental insight in their future behaviour and buying patterns, allowing you optimise your strategies to cater for whatever statistics may present. This is done through looking at these three key facts:

  1. The majority of customer’s 365-day (1 year) CLV) is reduced within the first 30 days as a customer
  2. The most intense buying behaviour is within these 30 days.
  3. Customers that outspend their peers at 30 days have a likelihood to continue doing so and fall into the loyal customer category.

A good retailer who exposes him or herself to thoroughly research techniques and a strong understanding of their data won’t need to wait the full year to know which marketing campaigns, products or promotions are bringing in the best customers. Instead, they look at the first 30 days of a customer’s buying behaviour and cross referencing the numbers with pre existing regular buyers. In addition, the following can also be studied to further the accuracy of these predictions:

  • Product category – the way your products are managed and organised can have a major influence on the likelihood of your customers finding themselves at the checkout page.
  • Acquisition – Customer Acquisition Costs (ACA) is the cost associated in convincing a customer to buy a product or service and a vital business metric. By calculating this correctly, it aids your company decide how much of your resources can be profitably spent – basically it helps you determine how much dollar signs your customer is worth.

Customer Lifetime Value

  • Number of items ordered – A customer who purchases multiple items have a greater chance of being a recurring customer verses a patron buying the one off item; most likely they were simply fulfilling a need than being interested in becoming a regular.
  • Days between orders – Much like the point above, a regular pattern of purchase behaviour sends very strong signals of them developing into a loyal customer.

 

IMPROVING YOUR STATISTICS

Two ways of improving your company’s rank is by focusing on the following:

  1. Acquiring high value customers
  2. Increasing the value of your customers

As stated earlier, most of the customer’s buying behaviour is found within the first 30 days. Only 32% of customers actually order a second time over the course of the first year, with this likelihood increasing exponentially with each additional purchase.

If this information were to be utilised in a smart manner, retailers would then have an invaluable playbook on how to turn first-time buyers into recurring loyalty members, increasing their overall CLV and thus increasing your company billings. Looking closely at campaigns that encourage their consumer activity (e.g. discounts, loyalty rewards etc) are a sure fire way of achieving CLV success.

However the right campaigns being targeted at the right customer is not the only way to keep a constant flow of loyalty members. Your customer retention starts right at the first point of contact, which is your website. By strategically designing your online retail environment to give a premium user experience, this positive impression could affect the likelihood of them making a transaction. Price setting thresholds and attracting shipping deals are also enticing to customers and may encourage recurring purchases.

magento retail

For more information on how to improve your online retail presence and increase your overall CLV, talk to us today – we specialise in magento ecommerce solutions.

Acidgreen is an award winning digital marketing agency and is one of the first Magento Partners in Australia. With a team of certified Magento developers, we ensure our clients that we provide them with a fully optimized magento website that is both efficient and durable for all your online commerce needs.