How to ensure your local Search Engine Marketing campaign is working for your business

 

For local businesses, having a strong presence in local search results is fundamental to those all-important conversions

Just to be clear, a “local business” refers to any business that has either a physical location that offers face-to-face contact with the customer, such as a showroom or shop, or one that offers a face-to-face service within a certain area.

When it comes to local search, it’s simple: if searchers can’t find you on the web, then frankly, you are web invisible. It’s the way of the modern world.

It’s all very well dominating the SERPs for your more general target keywords, but if you fail to rank highly for location-specific terms then you are missing a great opportunity.

When users are searching for a local term, they are far more likely to be looking for a service or product. Hence why the conversions on local search tend to be higher, and why you need to ensure that your local search engine marketing is on target for your business.

Of course all the usual SEO 101 knowledge applies. Offer an unrivaled user experience, nail your on-site optimization, provide exceptional content and build quality links.

Those fundamentals will set you up for ranking well for local search terms, but there are extra steps you must take to differentiate yourself from the competition and really bolster your local SEM strategy.

Local business listings

The first place to start is with local business listings. Ensure that your business is included in all the major directories (Yell, which is the UK’s local directory, Yelp, Thomson Local, etc.), as well as any industry specific ones. Some listings may already exist, and it may just be a case of claiming your business so that you can take ownership of the listing.

We recommend keeping track of all your business listings in one comprehensive spreadsheet to save you repeating or forgetting any entries. It also enables you to be consistent (more on this in the next point) in your information across all listings.

Remove all duplicated entries, as multiple listings for one business or location can become confusing, both to potential customers but also to Google. And we certainly don’t want to be confusing the Big G.

Be thorough but don’t be reckless. Avoid spammy directories as these could have a detrimental effect on your SEO. Deploy a spot of common sense to identify the spammy directories but if you are really unsure then it’s worth checking the spam score via Moz’s Open Site Explorer or via other similar tools.

Google My Business

So this technically falls under business listings, but it’s so important we’ve given Google My Business its own subheading. Arguably the most important business listing because, well, it’s Google. Remember to implement the following:
◾Claim your business via a verification process
◾Include accurate information: contact details, location and opening hours
◾Carefully select a small number of highly relevant categories to represent your business
◾Ensure up-to-date branding, such as in any images of logos or premises
◾Use high quality images to represent the business

Be comprehensive and accurate in the information you provide in order to strengthen your Google My Business profile and improve your chances of being featured in Google’s three-pack.

For further information, have a read of Google’s guidelines on representing your business. Don’t forget to also cover off the equivalent for Bing and Yahoo with Bing Places and Yahoo! Local.

NAP consistency

NAP consistency sounds a like a fancy term but the concept is very simple. NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number, although it is sometimes expanded to NAP+W to include website address too. As mentioned above, it is crucial that your business information appears consistently across the web.

This is particularly important to consider if your business has changed address, contact details or even rebranded. Any mentions of your business will need to be checked and updated to ensure accuracy.

Simply google your business name (do the same with your previous business name if you have undergone a name change) and work your way through the listings. Maintain a spreadsheet of your progress so you can keep track.

Reviews

Reviews can bring both utter joy and absolute misery to any business owner. Unfortunately you cannot simply ignore them, as reviews are indeed used as ranking signals in the eyes of the search engine. This is especially true for your Google My Business reviews.

Not only are reviews important in terms of local rankings, they are also key in terms of click-through rates. According to a recent study by BrightLocal, 74 per cent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

Apart from providing the most incredible customer service you can muster, how else can you seize some control over your reviews? No, this isn’t about getting your mum, brother and great-nan to write a review for your business. It’s about a bit of gentle encouragement and managing a bad customer experience before it reaches the review stage.

It is also important to check the rules and regulations of each review platform, as they all have very different policies on asking customers for reviews and responding to them.

We’ve had several students who have received a negative one-off, anonymous review for their business or website that is either quite clearly spam, or in some cases, a bitter competitor or personal enemy. These situations can get a bit sticky, but sadly there isn’t an awful lot you can do.

Generally people won’t be deterred by one bad review, and the best course of action is to encourage other happy customers to get reviewing. This will push the bad review down and push the average star rating back up.

Many review platforms allow you to reply to reviews. This can be a good opportunity to set the record straight but you have to be careful about it. For this reason, sometimes it is best to get someone who is not as emotionally invested in the business to either write the response or edit it before it gets published. Be professional, remain calm, and kill them with kindness.

Location pages

If you don’t already have location pages on your website, then you could be missing a valuable opportunity to target all the relevant locations. For each key location that your business operates within, create a page dedicated to that location on your website. This is easier if you have a unique physical address in each location, as it is important to include as much location-specific information as possible.

Where there is a physical location, be sure to include an interactive map and images to further enhance the page. If you do not have separate physical addresses, try including testimonials and case studies relevant to each location.

This will help you to avoid duplicating content across your location pages; it’s a fine art to differentiate the copy, but do it right and it can have seriously good effects on your local SEM strategy.

Schema markup

Once you have your location pages set up, the cherry on the cake is schema markup. The whole concept of structured data can sound very daunting to markup newbies, but it’s easier than it sounds. Schema markup simply helps search engines to understand what your website is about.

This is particularly important for local information, as it will help those spiders crawl your location pages and you’ll benefit as a result.

According to a study by Searchmetrics, pages with schema markup rank an average of four positions higher in search results. Now that’s a pretty good incentive. Get your head around schema markup and you’ll have that crucial advantage over your competitors in the local search results.

Ensuring your local search marketing strategy is up to speed shouldn’t be difficult or convoluted. Follow the above steps and obey the usual SEO rules. With some hard work and perseverance, you’ll start dominating those coveted top spots and see your conversions skyrocket in no time.

ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for web design, which includes search engine marketing and social media strategy. Call our campus to receive information about this program or other classes. Call us between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Build highly successful websites today!

Four Top tips for guest blogging. and

Many people still rely on guest blogging as an ongoing part of their link-building strategy.

If you analyze this for a moment, getting links through guest blogging is much easier than getting links through some other channel.

So it’s no wonder that a lot of bloggers and SEO experts still favor this method. The main question is, are these guest post links still safe and viable?

The answer is yes.

It is very possible to build our link portfolio by contributing on authoritative websites. However, there are certain rules that we need to follow in order to avoid any issues with Google.

Guest blogging 101

One of the beautiful things about guest blogging is that it gives us the opportunity to score some great links from high-tier websites.

To be honest, we probably couldn’t have gotten those links with any other method. This is why guest blogging is always worth bearing in mind as a link-building strategy.

But, we need to be very careful when choosing the websites we guest post for.

Although guest blogging can be carried out on a large scale, you should probably avoid it. This method is optimal in small dosages while cooperating with the biggest domains.

Google trusts authoritative domains. If they notice that your links are coming only from reputable sources, they will not impose a penalty. However…

1) Be Careful not to overdo it!

The biggest problem with guest blogging is that people tend to overdo it.

Your articles should be coming from various sources, with different anchors. If your only source of inbound links is from guest articles, Google will notice this pattern and you will soon get into trouble.

Instead, you should choose your battles carefully. You need to diversify your link profile.

If you already decide to do some guest posting, make sure it counts. Otherwise you’ll waste all that time you spent building up relationships and writing your posts – with only a Google penalty to show for it.

2) Focus on quality

This is where most people go wrong.

Google assesses the articles from which you are getting links. If the article is of high quality, your link will also be regarded as a quality one.

This makes sense, right? After all, why would anyone bother creating a great piece only to place crappy links throughout?

So when you put together a guest post, make sure it’s a good one.

After creating their own article, people try to promote it by writing guest posts. These guest posts will usually be of much lower quality and they will have the same regurgitated content which you published on your own blog.

By doing this, not only are you getting a devalued link, but you are also endangering your original piece. Google will flag up the regurgitated versions of your article as possible duplicate content. And because there are any number of similar, low-quality pieces out there online, it may conclude that your article is low-quality as well.

Everything you create has to be unique and to provide value to the reader. When you write a guest post, ask yourself: would I link to this piece?

If the answer is yes, you are in the clear.

3) Add images, links and formatting

As I mentioned, each guest post you make needs to be distinctive. Even if you are employing this strategy on a larger scale, at least make sure that everything you create is a separate entity.

One of the best ways to differentiate articles is by using varied formatting.

Blogs always have use different fonts and that is something you have no control over. But you have the ability to break up paragraphs and add things like bullet points, subheadings, block quotes and more. These increase the readability of your piece, and also make it easier for search engines to crawl it and interpret the content.

Another way to improve the look and layout of your text is to add images and other media.

Do not be shy and don’t wait for the website editor to insert them for you. Instead, be proactive and use your own images. Add a couple of them if necessary. If they make sense and the text looks better because of it, the editor will be more inclined to ask you for additional guest posts.

You can even go the extra mile and write titles and alt text to optimize the images for SEO – the editor will thank you, as it will save them the effort, and it will improve the overall SEO value of your piece.

Lastly, we come to links.

Now, editors usually allow one link in your bio, or one link within the article. Most of them do not like it when an author writes a piece with numerous links pointing to different websites.

However, if the editor allows it, make sure to add some highly relevant links that will make the article even more authoritative.

4) Vary your anchor text

You are trying to rank for a certain keyword. In an attempt to rank, you try to spam the same anchor text over and over.

This strategy is pretty much obsolete. Instead, just as with everything else that we’ve mentioned so far, make sure to diversify things.

Anchor text should vary.

When people place links with purely editorial value, without trying to cynically rank for a specific keyword, they will rarely link with the exact same phrase every time. This is highly unnatural behavior and can get you in trouble.

Instead, make sure to use different phrases. Place links in different sentences, with different anchors. Focus on writing naturally and place your link accordingly.

Conclusion

Guest blogging is NOT dead. As far as we know, there is no Google system or algorithm that will penalize the creation of such articles.

Nevertheless, it is better to be conservative. Like always, it comes down to whether your link profile looks natural. There should be no indication that you are purposely trying to push a keyword (even if you are).

People usually think about guest blogging in terms of links. However, you should observe it from a different perspective. By using this strategy, not only should you get links, you should also get some good exposure.

Your articles should promote your skills as well as your blog.

By placing emphasis on this, you will be able to accomplish much more with guest posts and as a result, links will start coming from various sources without you forcing them.

ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive course for web development, guest blogging and search engine marketing. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach us at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the federal funding.
ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304
Start building successful websites today!

Cyber security, what CMOs need to know

What do CMOs need to know about cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a fundamental consideration for all organizations operating in today’s connected and data-driven world. While all who work across your business – from the IT department, to the PR team and beyond – need to understand the fundamentals of cybersecurity, CMOs have a special responsibility as leaders to ensure they are mitigating risk and are prepared in the event of a possible breach. Here are five things CMOs need to know.

1. Vulnerabilities

In business, CMOs are perhaps some of the best placed when it comes to understanding the global reach of an organization. This is of particular importance when it comes to cybersecurity, as the growing popularity of globally-connected technologies – such as cloud storage and mobile sharing – bring with them increased points of potential vulnerability.

This is a key concern for the CMO, as they are custodians of potentially massive amounts of customer data. Recent security breaches at companies like Yahoo, Deloitte and Equifax have massively damaging implications – both in terms of revenue and brand trust.

CMOs need to be aware of the proliferation of connected technologies across the organization in order to fully understand where possible breaches might happen.

2. Threats

Understanding potential vulnerabilities is one step; acknowledging actual threats is another.

Businesses need to be prepared for increasingly sophisticated and globally organized attackers. Vulnerabilities can give hackers access to confidential business information, as well as lead to theft of personal information of staff and customers.

It is the last threat which is perhaps the most important to be prepared for. The breakdown of trust between organization and customer is the most damaging to business and brand image going forward.

CMOs also need to acknowledge theft of information in the digital realm is not the only threat. Connected IoT devices can also allow hackers to potentially gain access in the physical space such as buildings and vehicles.

3. Prevention

CMOs need to be clear as to how such cybersecurity breaches can be prevented.

They need to collaborate with those across other business departments in ensuring there are clear organization-wide guidelines for security best practice – including keeping apps and software up-to-date, changing passwords regularly and educating team members about phishing scams.

It is essential that CMOs champion these activities within their team, and ensure policies, training and enforcement are up-to-date. Working closely with the local governments is a good way to standardize practices to match those in the wider business community – and to ensure compliance.

For businesses with European connections, GDPR provides a good opportunity to review data best practices.

4. Action

A keen understanding of the above and the most stringent prevention techniques will never make an organization completely immune from cybersecurity breaches.

CMOs can use data and speculation tools to plan action in post-breach scenarios. Again, preparedness for action is key – and collaboration between CMOs and all other business teams are the best way to ensure the correct action takes place if cybersecurity is undermined.

5. Communication

All staff need to understand the importance of cybersecurity – but CMOs can help ensure that knowledge is shared. Collaborations tools help streamline this process by providing channels for any team to communicate.

If a cybersecurity breach has already happened, synergy among C-suite, security, IT and public relations teams is critical. CMOs must have answers to the questions like: What are your best practice communications strategies with customers? Is information about the breach easy to find for worried consumers?

In the event of a cybersecurity breach, businesses need to be clear in their external communications – clarifying exactly what data was exposed and making users aware of worst-case scenarios.

Takeaways

When it comes to cybersecurity, no organization can be 100% protected from breaches. All staff members need to clear on the above five areas, and CMOs have a unique position in being able to lead planning and education within the business to ensure all teams can work quickly and efficiently if the worst happens.

It is the responsibility of the CMO to ensure customers are protected and that they are first to know should such a breach occur. Collaboration and communication is key during such situations – to ensure trust is maintained, information is accessible and order is restored as soon as possible.

ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for cyber security. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.
ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Get trained and certified for cyber security today!

Why should you become an Oracle Certified Associate

As an Oracle Certified Associate, you will cultivate industry-supported skills and credentials that you will be able to transfer to future employment opportunities. With your OCA certification, you will be able to demonstrate and promote the fact that you have the necessary skills to do your job effectively and you are certified by Oracle Corporation the world’s leader in Database Management Systems.

What are the Prerequisites & for OCA

Prior to enrolling for OCA courses the applicants have to know how to use the Microsoft Windows operating system. General knowledge of computer programming and databases will be helpful but not necessarily required.

OCA® Topic Requirements:

SQL Fundamentals I

Program with PL/SQL

SQL Fundamentals I
Oracle routinely publishes new versions of exams, and the passing score across versions may differ.

Oracle Developer/Administrator Certified Associate (OCA)

SQL Fundamental I
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of SQL using Oracle Database 12C database technology, which revolves around the cloud. In this course students learn the concepts of relational databases and the powerful SQL programming language. This course provides the essential SQL skills that allow developers to write queries against single and multiple tables, manipulate data in tables, and create database objects.

The students also learn to use single row functions to customize output, use conversion functions and conditional expressions and use group functions to report aggregated data. Demonstrations and hands-on practice reinforce the fundamental concepts.

In this course, students use Oracle SQL Developer and SQL *Plus as the tool.

Course Objectives:

• Retrieve row and column data from tables with the SELECT statement

• Create reports of sorted and restricted data

• Employ SQL functions to generate and retrieve customized data

• Display data from multiple tables using the ANSI SQL 99 JOIN syntax

• Create reports of aggregated data

•Use the SET operators to create subsets of data

•Run data manipulation statements (DML) to update data in the Oracle Database 12C

•Run data definition language (DDL) statements to create and manage schema objects

• Identify the major structural components of the Oracle Database 12C

Course Topics:

Introduction
•Listing the features of Oracle Database 12C
•Discussing the basic design, theoretical and physical aspects of a relational database
•Describing the development environments for SQL
•Describing Oracle SQL Developer, Describing the data set used by the course

Retrieving Data Using the SQL SELECT Statement

• Listing the capabilities of SQL SELECT statements.

• Generating a report of data from the output of a basic SELECT statement

• Using arithmetic expressions and NULL values in the SELECT statement

• Using Column aliases

• Using concatenation operator, literal character strings, alternative quote operator, and the DISTINCT keyword

• Displaying the table structure using the DESCRIBE command

Restricting and Sorting Data
•Writing queries with a WHERE clause to limit the output retrieved Using the comparison operators and logical operators
•Describing the rules of precedence for comparison and logical operators
•Using character string literals in the WHERE clause
• Writing queries with an ORDER BY clause to sort the output
•Sorting output in descending and ascending order
•Using the Substitution Variables

Using Single-Row Functions to Customize Output
•Differentiating between single row and multiple row functions
•Manipulating strings using character functions
•Manipulating numbers with the ROUND, TRUNC and MOD functions
•Performing arithmetic with date data
•Manipulating dates with the date functions

Using Conversion Functions and Conditional Expressions
•Describing implicit and explicit data type conversion
•Using the TO_CHAR, TO_NUMBER, and TO_DATE conversion functions
•Nesting multiple functions
•Applying the NVL, NULLIF, and COALESCE functions to data
•Using conditional IF THEN ELSE logic in a SELECT statement

Reporting Aggregated Data Using the Group Functions
•Using the aggregation functions in SELECT statements to produce meaningful reports
•Using AVG, SUM, MIN, and MAX function
•Handling Null Values in a group function
•Creating queries that divide the data in groups by using the GROUP BY clause
•Creating queries that exclude groups of date by using the HAVING clause

Displaying Data from Multiple Tables
•Writing SELECT statements to access data from more than one table
•Joining Tables Using SQL:1999 Syntax
•Viewing data that does not meet a join condition by using outer joins
•Joining a table by using a self join
•Creating Cross Joins

Using Sub-queries to Solve Queries
•Using a Subquery to Solve a Problem
•Executing Single-Row Sub-queries
•Using Group Functions in a Sub-query
•Using Multiple-Row Subqueries
•Using the ANY and ALL Operator in Multiple-Row Sub-queries

Using the SET Operators
•Describing the SET operators
•Using a SET operator to combine multiple queries into a single query
•Using UNION, UNION ALL, INTERSECT, and MINUS Operator
•Using the ORDER BY Clause in Set Operations

Manipulating Data
•Adding New Rows to a Table Using the INSERT statement
•Changing Data in a Table Using the UPDATE Statement
•Using DELETE and TRUNCATE Statements
•Saving and discarding changes with the COMMIT and ROLLBACK statements
•Implementing Read Consistency
•Using the FOR UPDATE Clause

Using DDL Statements to Create and Manage Tables
•Categorizing Database Objects
•Creating Tables using the CREATE TABLE Statement Describing the data types
•Describing Constraints
•Creating a table using a subquery
•Altering and Dropping a table

Creating Other Schema Objects
•Creating, modifying, and retrieving data from a view
•Performing Data manipulation language (DML) operations on a view
•Dropping a view
•Creating, using, and modifying a sequence
•Creating and dropping indexes
•Creating and dropping synonyms

ABCO Technology offers a comprehensive program for OCA version 12C. Call our campus today between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach us at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Get certified for Oracle database OCA 12C today!

Equifax Cyber Security breach hearing October 3

Washington DC. The former CEO of Equifax, Richard Smith is testifying before congress today sitting on the hot seat. Members of the congress and senate from both parties are grilling Mr. Smith with respect to the Equifax cyber-attack.

Senator ELIZABETH Warren spent time forcing Mr. Smith to explain why the company hadn’t updated its security software. The senator also wanted to know why the company failed to act after suspicious activity was discovered in consumer sections of their site six months before the cyber breach occurred? Congress was extremely upset about the fact several officers of Equifax sold shares of their stock ahead of the public when facts about the Equifax cyber breach became known to officials of the company six weeks before that news was revealed.

The officers who sold stock in advance of the public release made a nice profit on their sale of securities.
It was just revealed that Richard Smith, Equifax’s former CEO delayed informing the company’s board of directors about the cyber-attack for at least three weeks after he learned of the cyber penetration. Several members of congress emphasize that both the technology and personnel exist to prevent such a cyberattack from occurring.

The technology and personnel exist in the field of cyber security. Intrusion prevention and detection devices are available and ready for installation. Many network professionals are not trained in the proper use of these devices. Cyber security is a field of information technology, which fixes this problem.

Courses including the CompTIA Security +, Cisco CCNA, Cisco Security, Certified Ethical hacker, Certified Information Systems Securities Professional, Linux Fundamentals and a thorough understanding of network servers will go a long way towards training network professionals in the use of cyber security protection devices. Job recruiters are on the lookout for network administrators who possess cyber security skills and certifications.
The work environment is focusing on security because of the events, which have occurred over the past five years.

ABCO Technology offers a powerful Cyber Security program, which will prepare you to compete successfully in the cyber security field. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach us by phone at: (310) 216-3067.
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the federal funding.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE #588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304
Join a field of information technology professionals who are in demand today!

Computer Repair jobs, the Excellent Network entry-level position

We constantly receive this question from new students. They all want to know the best entry-level position in the information technology industry with respect to networking?

The answer or job is in the occupation of computer repair. Let’s look at this concept for a moment.

Computers always break down in some form. Most breakdowns are in the form of computer hardware, software or the operating system in general. Viruses, incompatible software or improper connections are usually the major problems most users will encounter. The key question is whose around to fix these things when stuff goes wrong? The answer is the person who knows how to repair computers and handle operating systems. This magic individual is usually certified as a computer repair technician by a vender neutral certifier known as CompTIA.
CompTIA has a certification known as the CompTIA A+, which will teach students how to repair computers, install printers, configure plus install operating systems, a bit of cyber security and how to configure small networks. The CompTIA A+ is the best certification for any individual who wants to enter the information technology field in the fields of networking or cyber security.

Organizations both large and small will hire a new employee and assign tasks of computer repair. Entering a company as a computer repair specialist often provides opportunities for promotion. Many of our students have been hired as computer repair or desktop support specialists. After several months on the job the new employee is promoted to a higher position within the company.

The average course for CompTIA A+ is usually completed in less than five weeks. Students completing the A+ course will be required to pass two CompTIA certification exams, which consists of hardware and operating systems. Once certified, the door is opened for many employment opportunities.

ABCO Technology offers a complete program for networking, cyber security and information technology. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach our campus at: (310) 216-3067.

Email all questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Join the information technology field today!

CompTIA Network +, a network Server fast track course in Los Angeles.

The CompTIA Network + is an excellent course for computer repair technicians to learn the theory and application behind a network server.

The network server is the larger computer at a company or in the cloud, which distributes programs to individual computers or workstations. Network servers save both time and money because of their ability to send copies or images of programs to individual computers. Since the client server networking model was adopted in the late 1980s, the idea of a network in organizations large and small became practical.

Computer repair technicians who want to advance networking skills can do so by completing the CompTIA Network + certification. The network + is vender neutral like its’ younger brother, the CompTIA A+, which covers computer repair.

The network + course teaches you how to install, implement and configure a network server. The server can be at your physical location or in the cloud. Holders of the Network + also gain a basic knowledge of network security, which is essential in today’s work environment. the Understanding of the basic operation of a server is a powerful step toward advancing your career in the field of network administration.

The CompTIA Network + is a course, which can be completed in as little as four weeks. Students are encouraged to complete lab assignments, practice exams and participate in class discussions.
Companies both large and small look favorably upon candidates who apply for employment holding both a CompTIA A+ and Network + certification.

The knowledge gained from completing the A+ and Network + certification course will open the door for a candidate to become certified for Cisco Certified Network Associate. Obtaining the Cisco certification on top of the Net + and A+ will qualify you for a position as a junior level network administrator.

ABCO Technology offers comprehensive courses in the fields of network and cyber security. The certifications discussed in this article are important steps for both programs. Call our campus today. You can reach us by telephone at: (310) 216-3067 from 9 Am to 6 PM Monday through Friday.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Get certified for network server operation today!

Turning a 404 error page into a possitive marketing experience

Turning a 404 error page into a positive marketing experience for your customers is unlikely to top your list in terms of digital marketing priorities. However, it’s not something you should overlook or try to rush – especially if your site is frequently changing URLs.

404s (…or four zero fours if you’re in the military) are just another marketing tool – if made correctly.
◾What is a 404?
◾Impact of 404s on SEO
◾What are soft 404s?
◾Helping your user
◾Reporting 404s in Google Analytics
◾Making it fun!

What is a 404?

A 404 is the response code that should be provided by your web server when a user attempts to access a URL that no longer exists/never existed or has been moved without any form of redirection. At an HTTP level the code is also followed by the reason phrase of ‘Not Found’.
It’s important to realize that DNS errors are a totally different kettle of fish and occur when the domain has not been registered or where DNS has been misconfigured. There is no web server to provide a response –

If you’re looking to pass time or have a penchant for intellectual self-harm you may enjoy Googling this list of HTTP status codes, where you can discover the mysterious differences between a 301 and a 308…

Impact of 404s on SEO

We can’t all be blessed with the foresight to develop a well-structured and future-proof site architecture first time around. 404s will happen – whether it’s a new site being tweaked post-launch or a full-blown migration with URL changes, directory updates and a brand spanking new favicon! In themselves, 404s aren’t an issue so long as the content has in fact been removed/deleted without an adequate replacement page.

However, if a URL has links from an external site then you should always consider a redirect to the most appropriate page, both to maintain any equity being passed but also to ensure users who click the linker is not immediately confronted with a potentially negative experience on your site.

What are soft 404s?

Soft 404s occur when a non-existent page returns a response code other than 404 (not found) or the lesser known 410 (gone). They also happen when redirects are put in place that aren’t relevant such as lazily sending users to the homepage or where there is a gross content mismatch from the requested URL and the resulting redirect. These are often confusing for both users and search engines, and are reported within Google Search Console.

Helping the user

Creating a custom 404 page has been all the rage for a number of years, as they can provide users with a smile, useful links or something quite fun (more on this later). Most importantly, it’s crucial that you ensure your site’s 404s aren’t the end of the road for your users. Below are some handy tips for how to improve your 404 page.

Consistent branding

Don’t make your 404 page an orphan in terms of design. Ensure you retain any branding so that users are not shocked into thinking they may be on the wrong site altogether.

Explanation

Make sure you provide users with some potential reasons as to why they are seeing the error page. Stating that the page ‘no longer exists’ etc can help users to understand that the lovely yellow raincoat they expected to find hasn’t actually been replaced by a browser-based Pacman game…

Useful links

You should know which are the most popular pages or directories on your site. Ensure your 404 page includes obvious links to these above the fold so that (coupled with a fast site) users will find the disruption to their journey to be minimal.

Search

There’s a strong chance that a user landing on a 404 page will know why they were on your site; whether for jeans, graphic design or HR software, their intent is likely set. Providing them with a quick search box may enable them to get back on track – this can be useful if you offer a very wide range of services that can’t be covered in a few links.

Reporting

Providing users with the ability to report the inconvenience can be a great way for you to action 404s immediately, especially if the button can be linked to the most common next step in a user’s journey. For example: “Report this page and get back to the shop!”
Turn it into a positive

Providing a free giveaway of a downloadable asset (by way of an apology) is a great way to turn an otherwise-disgruntled user into a lead. By providing a clear CTA and small amount of data capture, you can help to chip away at those inbound marketing goals!

Reporting 404s in Google Analytics

Reporting on 404s in Google Analytics couldn’t be easier. While in many cases your CMS will have plugins and modules that provide this service, GA can do it without much bother. The only thing you’ll need is the page title from your 404 page. In the case of Zazzle this is ‘Page not found | Zazzle Media’.

The screenshot below contains all the information needed. Simply navigate to Customization > Custom Reports > Add New within your GA console.

Title: The name of the custom report

Name: Tabs within the report (you only need one in this case)

Type: Set to Explorer

Metric Groups: Enter ‘Site Usage’ and add in Unique Page Views (to track occurrences per page) and Bounce Rate (to measure how effective your custom 404 page is).

Dimension Drilldowns: Page > Full Referrer (to track where the visit came from if external)

Filters: Include > Page Title > Exact > (your 404 page title)

Views: Select whichever views you want this on (default to all if you’re unsure)

Save and return to Customization > Custom Reports, then click the report you just made. You’ll be presented with a list of pages that match your specified criteria. Simply alter your data range to suit and then export and start mapping any redirects required.

You may wish to use Google Search Console for reporting on 404s too. These can be found under Crawl > Crawl Errors. It’s always worth running these URLs through a tool such as Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to confirm that the live URL is still producing a 404. Exporting these errors is limited to ~1000 URLs; as such, you’ll need to Export > Mark as Fixed > Wait 24hrs > Repeat.

Making a fun 404 page

Some of the best 404 pages throw caution to the wind, ignore best practice and either leverage their brand/character to comical effect or simply go all out and create something fun and interactive. Let’s face it, there is no better way to turn a bad situation (or Monday morning) into something positive than with a quick game of Space Invaders!

The below examples are just a few popular brands that have a great ‘404 game’.

Lego

It was always going to be on the cards that Lego would have something quirky up their tiny plastic sleeves, and while the page lacks ongoing links it provides a clear visual representation of the disconnect between the content you expected and what you’re getting.

Kualo

Behind every great website, there’s a great host. Kualo have taken their very cost-focused industry and made a fun and interactive game for users who happen across a 404 page.

Bit.ly

If there’s one site that has its URLs copy and pasted more than any other (and often incorrectly) it’s bit.ly. With over 1.2 billion backlinks from over 1.8 million referring domains I believe there will be a few 404s…don’t you?

Blizzard

Ding! I’ve naturally lost count of how many times it’s given ‘Grats’ – Blizzard’s quirky 404 gives tribute to the commonly-uttered phrase seen in chat boxes across all their games.

Github

It only seems fitting that one of the geekiest corners of the internet be served with an equally geeky 404 page. Github’s page is unique because there is actually a dedicated URL for this design which has over 520 referring domains itself! Not to mention their server error page is equally as cool.

Summary

Hopefully the information detailed in this article has provided you with a great strategy to leverage your 404 page as a content marketing asset or simply to improve the experience for your user. We’d love to see any creative 404 pages you come up with.

ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for web development. If you want to build high successful web pages, which users engage with, contact ABCO Technology. Reach our campus is easy. ABCO can be reached by telephone from 9 AM to 6PM Monday through Friday at (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for federal funding.

ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South Lacienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Learn to build successful webpages today!

Should you convert your website to HTTPS?

Whether you’re a website owner or simple visitor, everyone wants to experience a fast loading website which can carry out sensitive exchanges of information securely.

In 2014, Google announced that it was beginning to use HTTPS as a ranking signal, signaling an increased emphasis on secure connections from the world’s biggest search engine.

Then, last month, the news came that Google’s Chrome browser will begin displaying a “Not Secure” warning message for unencrypted webpages. This message will be displayed in the address bar of websites not running the HTTPS protocol. Imagine a situation where your visitors withdraw from your website after seeing this warning message.

Google does check whether your site uses HTTP or HTTPS protocol. It might not be a crucial factor if you are not truly serious about your website. However, if you are an online business, this is not something to overlook – website visitors demand secure connections to the websites they are interacting with.

If you aren’t very familiar with the technicalities of SEO, working with HTTPS might seem a bit intimidating. However, it isn’t as complex as it seems to be. Also, the good thing is that you do not have to understand the behind-the-scenes work when it comes to implementing HTTPS.

So, is HTTPS important?

Yes, HTTPS is undoubtedly essential, and many websites have already made the shift.

At the time that HTTPS was announced as a ranking signal, it was only a “light” one and affected less than 1% of global searches. But Google warned that this could strengthen over time, and we have already seen with Mobilegeddon how Google can shake things up once it decides to put emphasis on a particular element of the web.

For a website that has an HTTPS protocol, the search bar in the browser will display a lock symbol, and on Google Chrome, the word “secure”. However, if it isn’t on HTTPS, you won’t see the symbol and users may consequently be more wary about what data they enter – especially if soon, they start to receive a warning about the site’s security.

Exhibit A: Search Engine Watch

Benefits of shifting to HTTPS

Makes your site secure

This is the most obvious benefit of shifting to HTTPS. When you are enforcing HTTPS on your site, you are guaranteeing that the information passed between the client and the server can neither be stolen nor intercepted. It is basically a kind of proof that the client’s data wouldn’t be tampered with in any form.

This is great for sites that need the customers to log in and accept payments through credit or debit cards.

Encryption

Okay, so if someone even does manage to intercept it, the data would be completely worthless to them. In case you are wondering why, it is because they obviously wouldn’t have the key to decrypt it. As website owners, you would have the key to do so.

Authentication

You must have heard of middleman attacks. However, with HTTPS, it is close to impossible for anyone to trick your customers and make them think that they are providing their personal information to you, when in reality they are providing this to a scammer. This is where an SSL certificate comes into light.

Good for your site’s SEO

You definitely want your site to rank higher in the search engine results and HTTPS would contribute to doing that. With your site ranking higher, you would have more customers, an increased traffic and an improvement in your overall revenue. It’s not just us saying that – Google said so itself!

Now that you know all of its benefits, let’s look into the steps that you need to follow.

Getting an SSL certificate

SSL is the protocol that HTTPS uses and is something that you need to install. The SSL certificate would have your company name, domain name, address, country, state and your city. Several details including the expiry date of the certificate would also be mentioned here. Now, there are three different kinds of certificates that you can choose from.

Organization Validation and Domain Validation are the kind of certificates that you can get if you have an e-commerce site or a site that collects personal information from users. The third type, Extended Validation Certificates, are for testifying the legal terms of a HTTPS website.

You can purchase these certificates from a lot of websites. The prices differ, so compare them and then make a purchase. Once you have purchased one, get it installed.

Create your site’s URL map and redirect

The ‘S’ in HTTPS makes a huge difference in the URL. HTTP or HTTPS before your domain name are entirely different URLs. This implies that you would have to create copies of each and every page on your site and then redirect them. This redirection would be from your old HTTP page to the new HTTPS page.

It might all sound pretty complicated, but it isn’t in reality. Your URL map can just be a simple spreadsheet. When shifting from WordPress, all of the 301 (permanent) redirects can simply be added to the .htaccess file.

Work on getting at least one page working on the front end

You also have to work on getting your front end on HTTPS. If you’re not confident with the technical side of things, this can seem a little complicated. Therefore it is best to begin with just one page.

If you are an ecommerce site, you can begin with the page that accepts payments. This is the page where customers are sharing their personal banking details and therefore it has to be secure. There are several plugins available that can help you with this, such as WP Force SSL. With such plugins, you can easily force pages to be SSL.

Update internal links, images and other links

There will be several internal links throughout your site and these might redirect to your old HTTP page. If you have been using relative links, you have been lucky. However, if not, you would have to find each of the links and then correct it with the new URL. You would also need to correct links to other resources like stylesheets, images and scripts.

Also, if you use a content delivery network (CDN), you would need to make sure that the CDN supports HTTPS too. These days most CDNs support HTTPS, but not all of them. So, make sure that you check that too.

Re-add your site to Google Search Console

After you have made all the necessary changes, get Google crawling on it as soon as possible. If you don’t do it, your traffic would be affected negatively. But why is re-adding required? Well, it’s because an HTTPS site is considered a completely different and new site.

After that, submit your new sitemap in your new listing and above that, re-submit the old sitemap as Google will notice the 301 redirects and make the necessary updates.

Once you have carried out all of the steps, you may or may not notice a slight positive change in the search rankings. Whatever you do, make sure that the first step of installing an SSL certificate has been done correctly. Alternatively, you can also use plugins like Really Simple SSL, Easy HTTPS Redirection etc. to accomplish the task.

At the end of the day, the decision of switching to HTTPS is solely yours. If you just have a blog with an email newsletter that people can subscribe to, you might not need to make the switch. However, if you are an online business, switching to HTTPS would be a wise decision.

If you see some issues, keep researching and fixing them. Even if you’re not a technical person, it’s easier than you think.
ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for web development. You will learn how to use SSL and many other exciting technologies. If a web development career interests you, contact ABCO Technology. Reaching our campus by telephone is easy. Call us between 9 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday. Call today at: (310) 216-3067.
Please email all questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE #588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Become a web developer today and join a group of people who are in demand!

Why 200,000 Apps won’t work in iOS 11

For a while now, ever since Apple introduced a 64-bit processor with the iPhone 5S in 2013 and started giving gentle warnings that developers should update their apps.

But as far back as January of this year, users started getting a message warning them that the 32-bit apps on their phone wouldn’t work at all when iOS 11 became available. By June, Gizmodo noticed that some 32-bit apps had already disappeared from the App Store, but were still available to download if you had the direct link.

The iPhone 5s has been around for nearly three years, and most well-known apps are compatible with 64-bit processors. So what does this change actually mean?

Well, it turns out that Apple may stop supporting nearly 200,000 apps.

According to Oliver Yes, cofounder of app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, there are 187,000 32-bit apps still on the App Store, which equates to about 8% all iPhone apps (Sensor Tower estimated in March that there are approximately 2.4 million apps on the App Store).

32-bit apps Business Insider

While it’s impossible to make a complete list of all the apps that will no longer be supported, both Sensor Tower and Business Insider have anecdotally noticed a handful of apps that appear to be 32-bit:
• YouTube Capture, a video recording app that got 200,000 downloads last month, according to Sensor Tower
• iSpadez, a card game app
• Neo Nectaris, a military strategy game
• Infinity Blade, a role-playing fighting game

If you’re noticing a pattern among the 32-bit apps, you’re on to something: Sensor Tower found that of the remaining 32-bit apps on the App Store, most of them were games — 38,619 to be specific. Education, entertainment, and lifestyle apps followed.

But if some of your favorite apps are only 32-bit compatible, they won’t immediately disappear when iOS 11 becomes available. According to Sensor Tower, the apps will probably stay in the App Store for a while and continue working on phones that haven’t updated to the new OS. Eventually, though, Apple will probably delete the apps from the App Store altogether.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to check if you have any 32-bit apps on your phone: Go into your settings, open “General,” tap on “About,” then click on “Applications.” That should show you which of your apps are 32-bit — if you don’t have any 32-bit apps, nothing will happen when you click.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ABCO Technology offers a comprehensive set of classes for computer programming. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. Call us today at: (310) 216-3067
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd in STE # 588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304
Become a computer programmer today!