Marketing Blog

Shared Hosting and IP-Based Spam Lists


Shared hosting is inexpensive for small companies starting out on the web, but it has its risks and downsides. Getting blacklisted can be very bad for Read more

A Friday Story, and Blocking Spam


Have you heard the Friday Story? It's about what happens when you consistently give something for free - and every business owner needs to think about it. We talk about blocking spam Read more

Article Keyword Research - Going Where The Traffic Is


Do your Article Keyword Research before you start writing blog posts, and your website traffic will improve fast. It's fast, easy, and it pays Read more

WordPress - Disable Comments


If you find yourself frustrated by spam and searching for wordpress disable comments or turn off comments wordpress, we're happy to help. The Quick Answer To How To Disable Comments In WordPress Log in and go to Settings, Discussion. Uncheck "Allow people Read more

Content Getting Copied? Get Tynt


Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. However, if you work hard at creating great original web content, it can be annoying to find that it's being duplicated on other websites. But what if you could turn Read more

How to Get Unlimited Article Ideas


Discover a handy list of ways to get article ideas, and one almost-magic technique for getting a relevant list of article ideas your prospective readers will Read more

Shared Hosting and IP-Based Spam Lists

Posted on by kievve in Website Traffic Building Leave a comment

Inexpensive shared hosting is wonderful when you’re starting out, if you find the right hosting company. Unfortunately, it also increases your risk of having your site show up on a ban list for malware, even if that malware isn’t actually on your site.

Having visitors warned that your site may host malicious software is NOT a good way to get more traffic…

Why Shared Hosting Increases The Chance Of Your Website Being Blacklisted

Here’s what happens. When you buy shared hosting, your website files are on a portion of a server that is also shared with many other websites. If those other websites aren’t diligent about website maintenance or updates, or use poor security hygiene such as weak passwords, they can get infected with malware AND you can be associated by proximity. This becomes worse if your shared hosting company crams too many

How To Find Your Website’s IP Address

Your website is associated with an IP address. If you don’t know what that address is, you can use a free web tool to find out. Just go to https://www.ultratools.com/tools/ipWhoisLookup and enter your domain name, and the IP address associated with your domain name comes up.

Unfortunately, with shared hosting, that same IP address can be associated with many other sites. Just one or two sloppily maintained or insecure websites can put you in a “bad neighborhood” when it comes to getting blacklisted for malware or spam.

How To Find Out If Your Website Is Blacklisted

Today I used the new GravityScan tool to check on some of my sites. Sure enough, one of my oldest sites (not this one!) was showing that it had been blacklisted by three sites.

Shared Hosting Blacklist Examples

While one was a false positive, and no longer showed my site as a problem, the other two weren’t so happy. It is possible to get warnings that aren’t serious… the free GravityScan tool is provided by a company that sells malware removal, after all. However, it’s a really useful scan, and tells you what to do next when you get a spam warning that your website has been blacklisted:

Spam Warning

You don’t want to necessarily call and give them money yet. See the click “here” link? Go to the site that is reporting the issue and check both your domain name and IP address there. Putting in your site name isn’t enough – you need to check whether EITHER the name (such as outcomemarketing.com) or the IP associated with that name are blacklisted. I mentioned above how to find your website’s IP address.

When I looked at my site’s IP on http://www.abuseat.org, I got details about the problem, and clear instructions that it was beyond my power to fix. I needed to call the hosting company to get them to clean up the offending neighbor site. I’ve obscured the offending site, but here’s the relevant part of the very detailed report I received:

“If you do not recognize the hostname www.xxxxxxx-xxxx.com as belonging to you, it means that some other account on this shared hosting site has been compromised, and there is NOTHING you (or we) can do to fix the infection. Only the administrator of this machine or the owner of www.xxxxxxx-xxxx.com can fix it.”

What To Do If You Are Blacklisted Because Of Shared Hosting

I called my hosting company, and they were surprised that I could give them the exact name of the offending site on my shared hosting, but promised to clear up the issue within 24 hours.

I also ran a check of my WordPress site with the free WordFence malware scan to make sure I hadn’t picked up anything contagious from my unsavoury neighbor. Unfortunately, shared hosting puts you at a bit more risk of catching malware. It’s important to be vigilant about website updates such as WordPress versions, themes and plugins when on shared hosting.

Why Is My Website Traffic Down?

Then I remember that one of my clients had mentioned that her traffic was down, rather inexplicably. She thought it was a new plugin she’d added, but I didn’t think so, so I did a GravityScan run on her site. Sure enough… She’s on the same three blacklists. Although she’s on a different server, she’s on the same shared hosting company, so I wasn’t really surprised.

Upgrading Web Hosting

Since her business is growing quickly, I think it’s time for her to get on a semi-dedicated server or managed WordPress plan. It’s a little more expensive, but when the loss of a single client can cost you hundreds of dollars, it pays for itself quickly. Shared hosting can be okay in some cases for a new business just starting out, but when the revenues start to roll in, it’s time to upgrade.

Be aware that managed WordPress can limit your options in terms of the plugins and even themes you use, and is generally for one site only. However, everything is normally kept up to date for you, which can save you on maintenance costs. If you’re looking to host more than one site, semi-shared hosting could be a better choice for you. There’s still a small risk of a “bad neighbor”, but because these plans cost a little more, they tend to attract more professional businesses who take site updates seriously.

Website speed is also a huge factor in getting traffic and conversions – and inexpensive entry-level shared hosting can be pretty slow. No amount of speed-tuning a website makes up for a server that takes too long to respond at all.

My client needs to find a hosting company that is diligent about PHP updates (the one we’re on is notorious for running out-of-date software on their servers). GravityScan also told me that the hosting company we’re using is running PHP 5.4.19 software that has 77 known vulnerabilities… and is not even supported any more. WordPress offically recommends you use a web host that provides PHP 7 or higher. HTTPS support is also recommended, but how to specifically choose a hosting company is a topic for another day.


A Friday Story, and Blocking Spam

Posted on by Karilee in Small Business Marketing Leave a comment

Blocking SpamOne of my clients contacted me because the website I built her has recently been overwhelmed with spam comments. While this isn’t entirely a bad problem to have, as it indicates that your site is getting found, it’s certainly annoying and time-consuming until you find an effective way of blocking spam. Read more


Article Keyword Research – Going Where The Traffic Is

Posted on by Karilee in Website Traffic Building 7 Comments

Recently I was doing article keyword research and I spotted an almost perfect long tail keyword in my niche. It’s related to an annoying problem everyone who runs a WordPress website or does web design encounters – comment spam.

What caught my eye was 1900 searches per month in the US, and 5400 globally. And, importantly, zero competition. Yep, not one article out there actually focused on this keyword phrase.

Article Keyword Research

You see, I’d just been looking at my Google Analytics, figuring out where traffic was coming from. I was focusing particularly on keywords, and the lesson was clear that people are looking for what they want, not what I think they want! Some of my greatest sources of traffic were obscure (but relevant) keywords with little or no competition.

The Easiest Way to Improve Your Website Traffic For Free

In short, as I was reminded of a very fundamental rule of web development: Do your article keyword research before you chose what to write about!

I Began With A Wildcard Topic Search

The first step in article keyword research is to come up with an idea to test. As I mentioned in How to Get Unlimited Article Ideas, I really like the Keyword Researcher tool. If you want to try it out, be sure to use Google Chrome, as it doesn’t run in other browsers.

I searched for How to * in wordpress. The asterisk is a wildcard, and the tool substitutes for the wildcard to create a list of long tail keyword phrases that have been searched for. I had about 145 results. Since Keyword Researcher doesn’t give me traffic numbers, it was time to move to another tool.

Then I Checked Traffic and Competition

Article Keyword Research Pays OffStep two in my article keyword research was to check these keywords for traffic and competition in the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. By the way, you can only check up to 100 phrases at a time, unless you create an Adwords account and log in.

I noticed that there were a bunch of related long tail keywords, and they had some of the best numbers… although they were still very low, ranging from 16 to 360 local searches per month. Obviously there was demand for information on this topic, and the competition numbers were low.

  • how to disable comments in wordpress
  • how to delete all comments in wordpress
  • how to get rid of comment box in wordpress
  • how to hide comments in wordpress
  • how to disable comments on a page in wordpress
  • how to block comments in wordpress

 

However, when I looked beyond my Search Terms and into the Keyword Ideas adwords generated, I noticed the “wordpress disable comments” phrase you can see in the image above. Now those traffic numbers are excellent, with no competition! I decided to use some of the other related keyword phrases in the article, as well.

Finally, I Wrote my Article

Of course I used proper SEO copywriting techniques to ensure that my writing effort won’t be wasted. A few weeks after I publish it, I can be confident of regular traffic. In fact, if I rank #1 for the keyword phrase, which I expect to, I should get about 42% of the traffic… that’s an extra 798 US visitors per month (2268 globally), that I can assist, and who will learn that I’m accurate, helpful, and knowledgeable about WordPress.

I”m not suggesting that you’ll want to do article keyword research for everything you write, but if even half your blog posts and articles were created this way, many more people would benefit from your writing. And, of course, if the articles are on your website, you’ll see improved traffic.

What’s A Blog Post or Article Worth?

Is Article Keyword Research Really Worth $2400 Per Post?

Well, if you write useful, timeless content that appeals to your target audience, it can be worth quite a bit over the lifetime of your business website. Steve Pavlina wrote an article back in 2006, estimating the lifetime value of each article he writes on his personal growth website at $2400. Does that help you feel a bit more motivated about article keyword research?


WordPress – Disable Comments

Posted on by Karilee in WordPress Tips 5 Comments

If you find yourself frustrated by spam and searching for wordpress disable comments or turn off comments wordpress, we’re happy to help.

The Quick Answer To How To Disable Comments In WordPress

Log in and go to Settings, Discussion.

Uncheck “Allow people to post comments on new articles”. It’s the third checkbox on the page. See the image below. Read more


Content Getting Copied? Get Tynt

Posted on by Karilee in Search Engine Optimization 3 Comments

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. However, if you work hard at creating great original web content, it can be annoying to find that it’s being duplicated on other websites. But what if you could turn having your content copied into a benefit? Enter Tynt.

Tynt Gives Your Website Valuable Links When Your Content Is Copied

Tynt provides the ability to track when your web content is being copied, and most importantly, to add a link to any content that is copied, whether into an e-mail  social media site like Facebook, or another website. If your website has Tynt installed, anyone who copies content from it will create this link automatically. Read more


How to Get Unlimited Article Ideas

Posted on by Karilee in Website Traffic Building 2 Comments

If you’ve ever struggled when planning what to write about on your website, here’s how to generate unlimited article ideas.

Every savvy business today knows that producing relevant, original content for their website or blog helps bring in more traffic – and if you’ve done your job right, more traffic means more leads, which means more business and Income. Today, we’re going to rediscover some traditional ways to get article ideas, and, if you read to the end, one almost-magic technique for getting a relevant list of article ideas just right for your prospective readers.

Where Do You Get Article Ideas?

It actually surprises me that folks get caught on this one, but I’ve realized that getting article ideas is a real challenge for many businesses. There’s no shortage of conventional article ideas tips out there, and many of them are good sources of article writing ideas. You may have seen all these before, but keep reading for more powerful methods, including the almost-magical “article idea generator” we all hope to find. Read more


How To Say No

Posted on by Karilee in Weekly Marketing Tips 1 Comment

Saying No Is Discouraged - Learn How To Say NoThere are several predictable challenges that it seems almost every entrepreneur goes through, and one of those is learning how to say no.

Some other classics include not having enough cash flow to support us as our businesses launch; being overly optimistic in predicting revenues; failing to set up a systemic customer acquisition strategy; doing our bookkeeping in a shoebox; not taking the time to set up an adequate customer relationship management database; failing to delegate work that can be done by others… Read more



Webmaster Tools You Can Use – Part 2

Posted on by Karilee in Website Creation 4 Comments

Part 1 of Webmaster Tools You Can Use introduced you to four great free Firefox Extensions that I use to make my job of building great websites for businesses easier. Here are four more from my personal webmaster tools experience, all free and all wonderful time and frustration savers.

Webmaster Tools I Recommend, Continued

MeasureIt

MeasureIt is the perfect webmaster tool for those moments when you really want to know how wide an image is, or how much room you have in a sidebar. I use it almost every day. Just click the ruler button, drag over the element you want to measure, and get its size in pixels, instantly. What could be easier? Read more


Add A Privacy Policy To Your Website

Posted on by Karilee in Website Creation 3 Comments

privacy policyThere are several reasons to take the time to add a Privacy Policy and and Terms of Service to your website.

Cover Your Ass-ets

Of course there’s the legal coverage they give you – in particular, your Terms of Service can protect you from future litigation. Read more


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