[Case Study] How Phedratech Improved Some Of The Clients’ Websites Rankings In Google By Just Adding “Area Pages”

[Case Study] How Phedratech Improved Some Of The Clients’ Websites Rankings In Google By Just Adding “Area Pages”

Area Page- What is it?

An area page is a landing page comprising of distinctive and creative content about a particular place or city that your business works for. Area pages exist mainly to raise a company’s web presence by appearing on search engine results pages for relevant area page searches. It’s an independent page to be found on a website, which aims a specific geographical marketplace.

Probing into the significance of Area Pages

Area pages assist in improving your rankings in Google spontaneously. Your prospect visitors normally search for service plus a city, and even if they don’t write a city, Google will bring the results based on the locality that they’re probing from. If you want your business to be found in places other than the one you are located in, then the area pages are very crucial.

Basically, area pages are merely extra content, and more content equals more stream of traffic. But if the page is done well, it can enhance a whole new market to your customer. If your company show off positive appraisals on Yelp, Facebook, and Google+, you can also use area pages to blow into a rival company’s business.

Probing into the significance of Area Pages

Do Area Pages Really take part in enhancing the website ranking?

Let us take you to our work, just to make you understand that Area pages really matters. We would like to reveal some of our secrets to prove whether area pages add to the ranking of the websites or not. We have developed cargo websites for sending cargo from the UK to Pakistan, India and South Africa. The services provided by us were quite efficient but initially, lack area pages.

Our Services to the Cargo Clients

The websites we have developed regarding cargo has now been one of the first three sites on the Google search. Nifty. Huh? But it’s not an easy job. For most cases, it takes years to achieve this progress. Let’s get into it.

Our Services to the Cargo Clients

Elaboration of steps taken to manage the sit

The first question under which we started our work was that what types of topics would our target audience search that we’d want our business to get found for?

Initially, this was not a matter of area pages, we just focussed on the keywords research which would be applicable to the whole site. The difficult part in the research was to find out which keywords will be able in bringing the organic traffic. We cited the best keywords for the services we provide but didn’t concentrate on the service area pages.

We tried to add maximum information about the services we offer such as air cargo, sea cargo etc. Then we added the business partners to make an effective impact on the customers. Although, the content we added was fairly weighty having proficient involvement of keywords.

Addition of Service Area Pages

The effectiveness and attraction of organic traffic was still a goal to be achieved and we then added the service area pages. We are offering cargo services from the whole UK to Pakistan then we added service area pages of major cities using the keywords like cargo to Pakistan from London, Cargo to Pakistan from Birmingham, Cargo to Pakistan from Hertfordshire, such as these keywords was missed in the initial keyword research.

The added Content to Service Area Pages

Content being an integral component of the site was the first to look for the thing in the area pages. What we look for is the use of keywords in the title and the Meta description. A few line content was added to the service area pages and three images of a specific area with keywords added to alt tags were all in all structured for a service area page.

The added Content to Service Area Pages

The Outcome of adding service area pages

The results we got from adding service area pages were stunning. In just 45 days the client site started to rank in the top three results for all area related keywords. The overall traffic increased up to 38% and the conversion rate also got improved.

The increased Click through rates

The Click Through Rate (CTR) measures how people who see an ad end up clicking on it. The main things that have an impact on the CTR included the quality of the imagery, ad positioning, and keywords. The increased click-through rates eventually increased PPC score due to ad relevancy resulting in less spend in PPC. The audience targeting was the major factor in the success of the PPC campaign.

With that being said, we implemented some proven methods of increasing CTR fast. First off, we dial in our audience targeting. It’s by far the biggest shaping factor to increase CTR and whole profitability. On the off chance, we have targeted the wrong audience, it would have left us with a terrible CTR and expensive conversions.

Next, we adjusted our display ad creative. We kept testing it until we found the one that drives the most clicks. Finally, after implementing these tips, and we have boosted the chances of landing more clicks and conversions.

In conclusion, we can say that area pages occupy their own significance in a website. They not only have a positive impact on the visitors but also assist in an increase in the website ranking of our clients. This strategy ranked our client’s website as one of the first three results of the Google search. Same tactics are adopted for similar clients that are of ATOZINDIA and CARGOTOAFRICA.

About The Author:

This article has been written by Abbie Ella. She has been working in Digital marketing and is responsible for drawing up long term marketing strategies for websites. Currently, she is working for Phedratech Online Solutions and has had a chance of working in many different niches.


Website Optimization Tips to Improve Performance in 2019

Website Optimization Tips to Improve Performance in 2019

Do you have a business website? Are you running an online business? Well then, is it ranked on Google? If not, then that’s why you aren’t generating enough traffic. Failure to getting our sites ranked is a pretty common problem seen in this world. Therefore, as a B2C and B2B digital marketing expert, I have come up with a short guide coming from my vast experience with international B2B marketplace to provide you with website optimization tips that can increase your chances of getting ranked.

The strategy used to optimize a website is known as SEO (search engine optimization). SEO friendly sites are always more likely of getting a better rank. However, due to Google’s constant rollout of algorithm updates, you still have to be on your feet to make the necessary alterations. Yet, after going through all the updates and predictions for the year to come, I’ve come up with essential power tips to help you optimize your business website.

1. Make Sure your Site is Mobile-Ready

In March 2018, Google announced that websites that are mobile-friendly would experience an increase in the crawl rate of their website. This was called the mobile-first indexing update. This update was expected as in 2019; it is probable that around 63.4% of the world’s mobile users will access the internet through their cellphones.

After looking at the following researches, it would be a foolish step to ignore optimizing your website for mobile. Other than that, you also have to make sure that all your content is viewable in all types of screen sizes. This means that you have to focus on your image size and page layout. Remember, if you want your site to land up anywhere on the first page of Google, mobile optimization is crucial.

2. Create Exceptional Content

The algorithm updates of Google in 2018 revealed clearly how much this search engine is focusing on the quality and authority of the content available on a website. Google has dedicated its search engine for its users. That means, if you’re publishing average content just to keep your blog active then that isn’t going to work.

If you really want to optimize your content so that it ranks, the first thing you should focus on is the topic. Try writing something on a viral or trending topic to get a good push up the ranking. Otherwise, even if you choose a general theme, your title and introduction are two crucial elements that will prove the authority of your blog.

Many content writers may know how to write, but due to a lack of SEO knowledge, they merely miss the keyword factor. Keywords are what you’ll probably be ranked on. If your content doesn’t have a good keyword density, then even Google’s crawlers won’t be able to give you a rank where you’d wish to be. Keywords are words or phrases that people type in Google searches. There are many online tools that you can use to initiate keyword research. For example, if you use the Google Keyword Planner, you’ll be able to know the number of monthly searches, competition, and even get a slight idea of how much it’ll cost you to run a paid ad on a specific keyword.

Therefore, next time you are about to publish content on your site, make sure it’s high on quality and keyword optimized for better outcomes.

3. Voice Search Is Here, and It’ll Grow!

It’s true that voice search will grow in popularity as years come. Apart from that, you can see many people using Siri and Alexa for their searches and commands. Google, also accepts voice command searches which means that they are working on improving this technology. According to research, by 2020 30% of all the searches will be made without a screen. This research shows that more people will eventually start using voice command, and you better start working on this.

One of the biggest SEO optimization tips for you to know is that all these updates and innovations are focused on to provide the best results on the go to users. Here are a few things you should add on your to-do list if you plan on optimizing your site for voice search.

· Use Conversational Search Queries

Instead of going for the one or two-word keywords, you should focus on conversational phrases. The best way to come up with such keywords is by asking yourself how you’d search for a specific topic in voice search.

· Utilize FAQ Pages

It can get a bit tricky to use conversational phrases as keywords on most of the pages of your site. Especially if you are running an e-commerce business. Therefore, you should have an educational FAQ center to target all these long-tail voice search keywords.

· Focus on Mobile-Friendliness

As I mentioned above, mobile optimization is a crucial element in getting a better rank. However, when we talk about voice search, it’s pretty apparent that the majority will be made through mobile devices. – Another great reason to work on mobile optimization thoroughly for your website.

4. Improve Your UI and UX

UX (user experience) is determined by the quality of your web pages, content, and even speed. If you want to enhance the UX of your site, you have to understand your users, their values, their needs, their limitations, and their abilities. Instead of going for a high-end website that is technical, simple is always better. In addition, here are a few key factors to focus on that were highlighted by an expert by creating the User Experience Honeycomb.

· Valuable

Everything available on your site has to be valuable enough that your users can use it somewhere else.

· Credible

You have to work on making your content credible. Trust is what’ll bring a reader back and encourage them to share on social platforms.

· Accessible

According to The World Bank, around 15% of the world’s population faces some sort of disability. Keeping this figure in your mind, you have to make your site accessible for such people as well.

· Findable

If users can’t find what they need on your site, then you’ve failed to create a good site for your visitors. Work on your sitemap and make sure that the navigation of your site is at its best.

· Desirable

In order to make your content and web pages, you have to increase the number of images, and banners on your site. Your design elements can target the emotions of your target audience.

· Usable

Your site should always be user-friendly. Technical sites are always ignored by users.

· Useful

All the content available on your site should be authentic. In addition, it should answer questions of your users as well as be highly informative.

Once you’re done with enhancing your website’s UX, you should work on the UI. The UI (user interface) design will have a substantial influence on the quality and usability of your site. The crucial elements that bring together this concept are visual design, interaction, and information architecture. Here are the best practices for maintaining an adequate UI of your site.

  • Maintain a simple interface
  • Tactically use texture and color
  • Be purposeful in page layout
  • Generate uniformity and use common UI elements
  • Don’t forget the defaults
  • Create a neat and tidy page layout

Wrapping Up

By knowing the current online marketing trends and SEO strategies that are expected to work in the coming year, you’ll definitely be ahead of your competition. Thought these strategies would take time and effort, you have to work hard on them as your website optimization strongly relies on them. Hopefully, the website optimization tips and trends mentioned above pretty much gave you an idea of what to look out for. So don’t waste any more time and start optimizing to get ranked and boost your organic traffic, which will enhance your lead generations and ROI.

About The Author:

Beatrice McGraw is a digital marketing expert who works for ExportHub – An Online B2B Marketplace specialized in connecting Chinese suppliers. She just loves to share her knowledge with the world in the form of blogs, videos and various other types of content. In her free time, she is an active gamer and a techwiz who adores researching innovative solutions that emerge in the digital world.


 

How Will Google Analytics Help To Define SEO Strategy?

How Will Google Analytics Help To Define SEO Strategy?

We all know that Google analytics is the most powerful tool. It has given so many reports for different reports. Yes, definitely this reports helps you to optimize your website. Nowadays SEO is the most important thing in digital marketing. This reports also help to define marketing strategy and SEO strategy for your business.

Website improvement (SEO) is a hotly debated issue that is continually developing. In the least complex shape, SEO is the procedure for getting found in web indexes, for example, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. With any SEO methodology, checking and adjusting are key components. Google Analytics is an extraordinary device to screen SEO activities and in addition help with building up an SEO procedure.

Why Google Analytics?

It gives profitable experiences that can assist you in shaping the achievement methodology of your business. For this, you have to know the subtle elements of what individuals do when they visit your site, to what extent they remain and what all pages do they visit on your site.

Google analytics is a very effective tool which gives you a lot of reports with different features. Nowadays, all businesses are online and to analyze its outcome you have to use analytics tools. It’s free to use, gives accurate data, you can create customized reports as per your business.

There are several reports you have to look for SEO purpose. All this ways are given as below. Go through this reports to success your SEO efforts.

Most Viewed pages

This report will help you to see which page on your site is most visited. You can know about the pages which are less visited and you can make some changes accordingly. You can review that pages and change its content, images, designs etc as per your requirement.

You can also know that sessions, bounce rate, avg session duration for a particular page. For SEO purpose you can optimize the particular page.  To see most viewed pages in analytics, Go to behavior section -> overview -> In that see the full report.

Search Terms and Keywords

In analytics, you know the search queries that user typed in search engines and reach your site. This keyword and search queries are the most important. You can add this search queries in the content of your site. Through this report, you can know what the user is thinking about your site. You can read your user’s mind with this report. You can know your website or organization name in many different forms.

Search Terms and Keywords

In analytics, you can see this report in this way. Go to Acquisition -> Google ads -> Search Queries. You can deep analyze the report by applying the secondary filters.

Referral Paths

This report will show you from which path the user comes to your site. You can know the URLs which refer your site. From the referral URL, you can also get the idea to optimize your landing page. So, this is an area of improvement from an SEO perspective.

To see this report in analytics go to acquisition -> All traffic ->Referrals. You can apply secondary reports. For example, your referral traffic comes from your blog OR any other blog that you posted on another site, you can do changes on that blog to get more referral traffic.

Referral Paths

If you want traffic from a blog then you have added more value to your content. You can also define content marketing strategy from this referral reports. So, this way you can use referral paths for your marketing campaigns.

Landing Page & Exit Page

Landing page shows you on which web page user entered your site. In some page of your site has a good amount of conversion rate and in some pages you get visitors but they are not converted in customers. So, you can improve this landing pages.

Landing Page & Exit Page

In the exit page report, you will see the report of the page where the user left your site. The list of URLs where user exit from your site, this list will help you to improve that pages where most of the user will leave your site.

In analytics go to Behaviour -> Site content -> Landing Page/Exit Page. You can compare the previous month/year report and do better analysis.

Site Speed

A site’s speed influences its pursuit positioning since website speed influences client encounter – a pivotal factor Google thinks about when positioning a site page. You can utilize the Site Speed include in Google Analytics to see which website pages need to enhance their pages speed. In analytics, you can see this report in Behaviour -> Site speed -> speed Suggestions.

The Speed Suggestions area offers recommendations on how you can enhance your site speed. To produce the proposals, tap on the cells under the PageSpeed Suggestions section and Google Analytics will take you to PageSpeed Insights – a Google-powered tool which prescribes ways you enhance your site speed.

Channel Grouping for Better Targeting

It’s critical to know where your customer is coming from. But with google analytics, you can know this. Analytics enables you to see a portion of the default channels at first, however, they can be easily customized in order to view detailed categories.

Channel Grouping for Better Targeting

You can also see source and medium where your users are coming. From, this you can optimize your campaigns. Analytics gives a lot of data related to the user, their location, devices, browser, which technology they are using and many more. So, you can make SEO strategy by improving this.

You can know traffic source where your most of customer comes to your site. And these channels are most important to define the marketing strategy for your business. You can see this reports in Acquisition -> All traffic -> Channels.

In Conclusion:

There are lots of factors from where you can make a decision for an SEO perspective. This article is not about Guide of google analytics. Here I mentioned actionable steps to improve your website with the help of google analytics. All your SEO success depends on your analysis and the actions you take. If you have so e-commerce store then google analytics is a must. Nowadays competition in e-commerce business is increased day by day. So, need regular analysis of your site and update your site as per latest custom option features.

Analytics data brings you a lot of value for your SEO strategy. I hope this article will help you to get SEO success for your business. I like to reply to your comments and suggestion. Happy Reading..!

About The Author:

Hiral is working in digital marketing and content writing. She writes on topics like startups, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, digital marketing. She helps businesses to grow digitally with a new horizon. In free time she likes to explore new places and talk with different people.


8 SEO Tips for WordPress Sites

8 SEO Tips for WordPress Sites

You’ve devoted valuable time and creative energy into building a beautiful website. But while attractive, eye-catching designs and quality media are important; this alone will not make your site show up on popular search engines. For this, you need effective SEO. Fortunately, SEO on WordPress is relatively easy to learn and implement. With a little work and planning, you can optimize your site to show up on Google and other popular search engines. Check out the following eight tips to maximize the effectiveness of SEO on your WordPress site.

1. Provide Content Which Is Unique, Engaging, and Useful

Review any source and they all will tell you that providing quality, engaging content is the best way to optimize SEO for your website.

Content

In short, provide content people want to read. The content should be helpful, unique, informative, and engaging. When people do a search, they are most likely looking for information. Provide that information in an easy to understand and engaging way, and you will be far ahead of your competition.

Content should be consistently and regularly updated. One of the best ways to gain priority in Google’s SERPs is to consistently post quality content.

When posting content, make sure your first few paragraphs clearly explain what will be discussed in the article. This is important since Google gives added weight to the first few paragraphs of your post when indexing your page.

2. Set Your Permalinks

Set Your Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs of your website pages. They are what users type into the address bar in order to go directly to your specific page. WordPress provides a default permalink, but it is best to change this name to something which describes your page or post. For example, you might choose to name the permalink the same name as the title of your post, provided the title isn’t excessively long or convoluted.

3. Create a Google XML Sitemap

Create a Google XML Sitemap

If you want your web pages to be indexed by Google, you must provide a sitemap. Fortunately, creating one is easy. The WordPress plugin, XML Sitemaps will create a sitemap which will allow your website to be indexed by top search engines including Google.

4. Don’t Forget About Your Media

Don’t Forget About Your Media

While creating a great looking site with eye-catching media is important, optimizing your media for SEO is equally important. When you upload an image to your site, don’t just use the default name assigned. You can change the image title, alt text, and image description, as well as add an image caption. Remember that search engines don’t see your images the way our eyes do and only evaluate your text, especially the alt text. So name your media with a descriptive title and accurately describe it with quality keywords. This will give you a competitive advantage over the many content creators who skip over media optimization in SEO.

5. Make Your Content Shareable

Make Your Content Shareable

One of the best ways to get more traffic to your site is to make your content easily shareable. Put sharing buttons on your pages in order to make sharing on social media easy. A post shared by someone on social media is likely to be read by their friends, who in turn may also share your content with their friends.

6. Utilize Available SEO Plugins

Utilize Available SEO Plugins

There are many SEO related plugins available for WordPress websites, too many to mention in this short article. Regardless of the SEO task, there is likely a plugin available to assist you. Plugins can help you with everything from writing Meta titles and descriptions, to creating sitemaps and providing important analytical information about your readers. Plugins make your life easier so make sure to use them to their full advantage. My favorite is Yoast SEO.

7. Use Google Analytics

Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is probably the single most important analytical tool at your disposal. Best of all, it is totally free. Google Analytics is especially helpful in seeing how well your site is reaching your target audience. This is a tool you can’t afford to be without.

8. Provide Relevant Interlinks to Posts on Your Site

When possible, make sure your posts contain links to similar content on your site.  Just make sure the links are relevant to the post’s primary topic. A link to a relevant article or page can help drive traffic to your site, as well as provide more quality information to your readers.

Conclusion

Keep in mind that even the best website will not be found without effective SEO. Follow the tips above and you will be well on your way to having your website show up and get found on the most popular search engines.

About The Author:

MattMatt Ramage has been building and marketing websites for over 20 years. He loves helping businesses improve their user experience and searchability on the Internet. His agency, Emarketed, is located in Los Angeles, California but his team is global.

 

 


 

Guide to Radical eCommerce SEO

Guide to Radical eCommerce SEO

Image source: e-commerceseomarketing.com

Maximizing the visibility for an e-commerce business is the sole role of SEO for selling products or services online.  In this maser guide, we will learn everything required to optimize your e-commerce website from keyword search to technical SEO.

The strategy that an e-commerce solution company follows is to make sure that the right content is positioned at the right time for the right person to look at. Keeping this in mind, in this post I am sharing the strategies which will help you expand your e-commerce website traffic and turn the visitors into customers. So, let’s dive in.

Keyword Research:

Set your SEO in motion by keyword research because this is the most basic step. By expanding your search engine ranking for as many suitable keywords as possible, you are raising the probability of your website being noticed and visited. Even the site architecture, URLs etc have to take the keywords into account and hence finding the right keywords for your website is a big deal.

Amazon is one of the biggest e-commerce sites, try entering a keyword in Amazon’s search that describes your own product. The Amazon suggested keywords will be the most targeted one. Likewise, you can try on other big sites also. Apart from this, you can also try using tools like Keyword Tool Dominator, to find the right keywords.

Start by finding the best-suited keywords for your product and then put them in the right categories and sub-categories. Amazon is a great place to find category page keywords. They have neatly designed their departments and subcategories:

KEYWORD RESEARCH

Image source: backlinko

Hence take a look at your competitors and how they have categorized their products and services and the keywords that they use to describe their categories. There’s even Google Keyword Planner to help with keyword research but it’s not very good for keyword generation.

Website Design:

The way in which your e-commerce website is designed and organized is an important factor for SEO. E-commerce websites tend to have more pages and hence it’s important to design it, simply so that the search engines and the user can find the right pages. Follow the following two promising guidelines for site architecture:

  • Keep the architecture simple and scalable.
  • Make sure that every web page is not more than 3 clicks away from the home page of your website.

Let us take two cases to understand how the authority matters for product and category pages. The following case an architecture which is neither simple nor scalable:

While the other case has an architecture which is simple and even scalable:

Looking at the two cases we can clearly make out that the second case has a better chance of keeping the buyer engaged because of the simple architecture. Buyers tend to drop interest if they are made to click 10-20 times to reach the buying page.

The On-page SEO:

Once your site design is ready, you can start with the category and product page optimizations. A person searching for “buy sweatshirt online for 9-year-old kids” is keener to buy rather than a person searching for “kid’s sweatshirts”. Use the primary keywords in your page’s title tag but don’t stop at that. You can add ‘modifiers’ also.

Add modifiers like “buy”, “cheap”, “deals” etc to your title tag to get listed in the more long tail searches. Like if your target keyword for category page is “sports tracksuit”, you can add words that people are likely to use “sports tracksuits in the sale” etc. Similarly, there are quite a few keywords that act like magnets and force the buyer to click, like:

  • X% off
  • Guarantee
  • Shipping Free
  • Easy Return
  • Sale

On similar lines, add right phrases in the description tag to tempt the buyer to purchase. You can add phrases like ‘Free Shipping’, ‘All items on X% sale’, ‘Best deal offers’ etc. Here is an example of an amended description tag for a product:

ON-PAGE SEO

Image source: backlinko

Here are the three paramount strategies most endorsed for on-page SEO:

  1. Write a description in 1000+ words: It is found that descriptions with longer content tend to rank high on Google because Google wants to understand what your page is all about. Apart from this, the buyers can also understand better about the product, they are about to buy.
  2. Scatter the keywords: Now that your description is detailed and complete, it is time to add your target keywords 4-5 times. This is simply to make sure that your keyword is mentioned on the page and Google understands what your page is about. But this is not at all related to keyword stuffing.
  3. LSI Keywords: Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are those words which are closely related to your main target keywords. Like let say your main keywords is ‘frying pan’, then terms closely related to it can be ‘granite coated’, ‘nonstick’, ‘recipe’, ‘with a lid’, ‘nonstick set’ etc. Enter your target keywords on Google Keyword Planner to find what matching keywords it suggests for your ad. Now stuff these to your product or category description.

Technical SEO:

Practically all e-commerce websites tend to have 5000+ pages and this increases the betting odds of technical SEO issues. Technical SEO is at times a “tiebreaker” for the Google’s first page. Hence it is important that you audit your website often for technical SEO issues.

Use site auditing tools like Raven, SEMRuch, and DeepCrawl etc to perform an audit of your website. It can help you determine broken links, links of no use, content issues etc. If a page is not visited at all and is rather costing you money from your pocket, it’s better to delete or hide it.

Other options for fixing are to no-index such pages or club all such pages into a single ‘super’ page. You can also use e-commerce CMS tools to find which pages have generated revenue and which haven’t and then put those in the ‘maybe delete’ list. Such analysis and fixing can help in boosting the website performance and get on the Google’s first page.

Apt Content:

Content marketing is another way to boost your traffic and sales. Narrow down on what your target customers look for online like food, books etc; learn about the keywords that they use most on the web (in comments, etc) for activities other than shopping and create an appealing content blog around those keywords. Maintain a consistency in publishing posts on the blog.

APT CONTENT

Image source: backlinko.com

Like the popular cookware e-commerce site, Williams-Sonoma.com has an amazing blog featuring recipes, cooking tips etc; their blog has a Page Authority of 66. If you don’t have the resources, you can hire SEO services in India or anywhere across the globe to do the right content marketing for your e-commerce business.

Take Away:

Look for opportunities to build more pages, optimize keywords and create appropriate categories and sub-categories. With a well-designed website and least technical SEO issues, you can definitely increase the traffic and sales of your e-commerce business.

Also, make sure that you are doing the right content marketing for your e-commerce business.

About The Author:

Hasel Smith is an enthusiast writer, working as a content writer for Vipra Business. She works closely to demand and provide Blogs and Articles on services giving by Vipra Business The company basically is an IT firm and e-commerce solution company Providing SEO Services India, Mobile App Development, E-commerce Development, Web Development, and Design. She has been lucky enough to work as a reporter and writer for a Web Online Portal, which has helped her to enhance writing skill. Vipra Business is known for proving cheap SEO service and Digital Marketing services to their clients.


 

How to Protect Your Website Against Bad Bots

How to Protect Your Website Against Bad Bots

Bots are programs that have been coded to imitate a person’s behavior on the computer or to automate a task. While there are plenty of bots that are “good” and can be helpful for websites to use, there are “bad” bots that can be used by hackers or other less-than-ethical internet users. Bots like Click Bots (can fraudulently click on ads, which reports skewed data to advertisers), Download Bots (which skews engagement data for download numbers), or Imposter Bots (which attempt to bypass the security measures online) are all “bad” bots that you should protect your website against. So, how do you go about it?

How Can Htaccess Help?

CMS users use plugins to protect their sites against bad bots, but a much more effective and efficient way to protect your website is with a .htaccess file. By using a .htaccess file, you can control the traffic to your site at the server level. This takes away the need to load a site asset like JavaScript or CSS, and you don’t have to load PHP or the database. Basically, the entire process is simplified and streamlined.

First, copy the below code and past it into your .htaccess file. What this does is acts as a control panel for your website to block any bad bots that might try and come your way.

# BLOCK BAD BOTS

<IfModule mod_setenvif.c>

                SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent (archive.org|binlar|casper|checkpriv|choppy|clshttp|cmsworld|diavol|dotbot|extract|feedfinder|flicky|g00g1e|harvest|heritrix|httrack|kmccrew|loader|miner|nikto|nutch|planetwork|postrank|purebot|pycurl|python|seekerspider|siclab|skygrid|sqlmap|sucker|turnit|vikspider|winhttp|xxxyy|youda|zmeu|zune) badbot

                SetEnvIfNoCase User-Agent (BadBotUserAgentString) badbot

          # Apache < 2.3

                <IfModule !mod_authz_core.c>

                                Order Allow,Deny

                                Allow from all

                                Deny from env=badbot

                </IfModule>

         # Apache >= 2.3

                <IfModule mod_authz_core.c>

                                <RequireAll>

                                                Require all Granted

                                                Require not env badbot

                                </RequireAll>

                </IfModule>

</IfModule>

This first highlighted section blocks some of the more infamous bad boots by using their user-agents.

block bad bots

However, the next section is what actually does the heavy-lifting of the blocking.

block bad bots

For this code to work you don’t need to do any editing; all you have to do is save and upload the file and you’re all set to go!

The Technique in Action

First, let’s trying accessing your website through a legitimate source, like Googlebot.

Go to this request maker tool, in the Base URL section type your website address, set the “Request Type” to GET, then click on Add Extra Headers button. The Header Field Name option with two boxes will appear, for the first box type Content-Type and for the second box type the Googlebot user-agent, which is Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)

Then, click on the Output Result Headers? Box, verify that you are not a Robot then click submit.

codepunker

You will get a 200 Ok response from the headers, which the website is open to good bots, such as the GoogleBot that we tested it with.

Now let’s do the same process with one of the bad bots that we blocked using the htaccess code to ensure that it works.

Step 1: Go back to your FTP client and copy a bad bot (we will use Python for this example).

FTP client

Step 2: Following the same process as before but now replace the user-agent for Googlebot with Python. As you can see by the code “403 Forbidden,” the request for the bad bot has been blocked.

403 Forbidden

The Bottom Line

 By using this technique, you can add as many “bad bots” with user-agent strings into the code in order to effectively block them all. At the end of the day, while plugins may seem more convenient, using the htaccess file is the most effective way to protect your website.

Have any questions or comments? Have you used htaccess before or do you prefer using plugins to block bad bots? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About The Author:

Emin is a website designer at Amberd Web Design, based in Los Angeles, CA. On his free time, he enjoys writing tutorials and how-to guides to help others.