What is Search Engine Optimisation?

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

SEO is a marketing tactic focused on growing visibility in organic, also known as non-paid search engine results. SEO combines both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic and increase awareness in search engines. There are many aspects to SEO; from the words on your page, to the way other sites link to you on the web. Sometimes, SEO is simply a matter of making sure your website is structured in a way that search engines understand.

SEO isn’t just about building search engine-friendly websites. It’s about making your website better for people too. These principles essentially go together.

Why does my website need SEO?

Most web traffic is driven by the major search engines, such as Google. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is a fact, whether your site provides content, services, products or information regarding any of the mentioned.

Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted searches for what people looking for. If search engines cannot find your site, or add your content to their databases, you may miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your website.

Search queries; the words that users type into the search box, carry extraordinary value. Statistics have shown that search engine traffic can make or break an organisation’s success. Targeted traffic to a website can provide publicity, revenue and exposure like no other channel of marketing. If you have the money, investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of marketing and promotion.

Why can’t the search engines figure out my site without SEO?

Search engines are incredibly clever, but they still need help. The major search engines, such as Google, are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return better results to users. However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas the right SEO can bring you thousands of visitors and increased attention; the wrong moves can potentially bury your site deep in the search results, where visibility is minimal.

In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will be able to find it much quicker.

Can I do SEO myself?

Of course! The world of SEO is complex, but most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is widely available online; combine this with a little practice and you are well on your way to becoming an SEO novice!

However, depending on your time commitment, your willingness to learn and the complexity of your website, you may decide you need an expert to take care of things for you.

Do you need some help with your social media? Contact us to see how our team can really help you!

Cyber Crime Terminology - Part Two

Cyber Crime Terminology - Part Two

Are your staff trained on cyber-crime? Do they know what a phishing email looks like? Are they aware of the importance of changing their password regularly?

We have provided some useful hints, tips and terminology, to help you, your staff and organisation stay safe in part two of this blog series. Missed part one? You can read it here! 

Password protection hints and tips:

  • When creating a new password, it is best to use a mixture of lower case & upper-case letters, numbers and unique characters. An example of this would be Hidd8n23!762.
  • Change your password on a regular basis and make sure it is different each time. Try not to re-use old passwords.
  • Never write your passwords down on paper or save them in your mobile device. If that information gets into the wrong hands, accessing your accounts will be easy.
  • While connected to public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information which requires password entry. Public Wi-Fi networks are not always protected, and your data could potentially be at risk.
  • Never provide your password information online or over the telephone. Be aware of suspicious emails which may contain phishing links, trying to access your personal details.

Internet security hints and tips:

  •  Out of date security software – Implementing the latest security software across all your IT hardware is vitally important. Recent statistics reveal that many companies do not use reliable anti-virus software. To keep your systems clean and free of harmful malware, invest in security software and be sure to carry out regular updates.
  • Vulnerable mobile action plan – Companies who neglect to implement a secure mobile action plan risk sensitive data being accessed through devices connected to a corporate network. Ask staff to password protect corporate mobile devices.
  • Zero access prevention – Cyber-criminals are more interested in what’s contained in the hardware rather than the hardware itself. Password protect all business devices to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Unsecure Wi-Fi Networks – Some companies set up their wireless, so it shows the network name to those nearby. It may sound obvious, but ensure your Wi-Fi is secure and encrypted to prevent unauthorised access.
  • No firewall security – Recent statistics reveal that some organisations do not have firewall security. Installing a firewall provides a solid defence against cyber criminals, malware and viruses.
  • Poor data backup schedule – Sadly, few companies back up their data regularly, which can often result in costly data loss. Regularly back up to ensure your data and sensitive information is protected.

Hints and tips on how to avoid a cyber-attack:

  •  Set secure passwords and do not share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, anti-virus and other critical software up to date.
  • Verify the authenticity of requests from companies or individuals by contacting them directly. If you are asked to provide personal information via e-mail, you can contact the company directly to verify this request.
  • Pay attention to the URLs of websites you visit. Malicious websites sometimes use a variation in common spelling or a different domain (for example, .com instead of .net).
  • Turn off the option to automatically download attachments on your e-mails.
  • Be suspicious of unknown links or requests sent through e-mail or text message. Do not click on unknown links, regardless of who the sender appears to be.

If you are a business owner and concerned about cyber crime, please get in touch with us on 0207 294 7599 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Cyber Crime Terminology - Part One

Cyber Crime Terminology - Part One

Are your staff trained on cyber-crime? Do they know what a phishing email looks like? Are they aware of the importance of changing their password regularly?

We have provided some useful hints, tips and terminology, to help you, your staff and organisation stay safe in part one of this blog series:

Terminology:

  • Baiting– A USB drive or another electronic media device is passed to you, which is pre-loaded with malware.
  • Clickjacking– Concealing hyperlinks beneath legitimate clickable content, which when clicked, downloads malware.
  • Doxing– Publicly releasing a person’s information, typically retrieved from social networking sites.
  • Cross-site scripting– When a malicious code is injected into a website.
  • Social Engineering– A strategic use of conversation to extract information from people without giving them the feeling they are being scammed.
  • Pharming– Redirecting users from legitimate websites to fraudulent ones for extracting confidential information.
  • Phishing– An email that looks like it is from a legitimate organisation or person but contains a link or file with malware. Avoid clicking on emails that are in your spam folder.
  • Spoofing– Deceiving computers or users by hiding or faking their identity. Email spoofing utilises a fake email address or simulates a genuine email address.
  • Keystroke logging (Key logger)– Spyware that is used for covertly recording the keys struck on a keyboard. The log file created by the key logger can then be sent to a specified recipient. By examining the key log data, it may be possible to find private information such as usernames and passwords.
  • Malware– A buzz word for intrusive software, including computer viruses, Trojan horses and adware.
  • Adware –Software that automatically downloads or displays advertising banners or pop ups when you are online.
  • Spyware – Software that enables you to obtain information about another computer’s activities by transmitting data using their hard drive.
  • Viruses – Small programs or scripts that can negatively affect the health of your computer. These malicious programs can create files, move files, erase files, consume your computer’s memory and cause your computer not to function correctly.
  • Worms –A type of virus that replicates itself but does not alter any files on your machine. However, worms can still create chaos by multiplying so many times that they take up all your computer’s available memory or hard disk space. If a worm consumes your memory, your computer will run very slowly and possibly even crash.
  • Trojan Horses –Software programs that look like regular programs, such as games and even antivirus programs. Once they are run, these programs can do malicious things to your computer.

See Part Two next week! 

Social Networking Safety

Social Networking Safety

Social networking safety is often overlooked. This can leave you vulnerable to be a target for cyber-criminals and possible reputational damage.

Identity theft is any kind of deception, scam, or crime that results in the loss of personal data, including the loss of user names, passwords, banking information and credit card details. Your phone or tablet that you are carrying around is essentially a small computer, which could suffer from malware, spyware and viruses in the same way.

You can follow these simple steps to ensure your sensitive information and privacy are protected:

  • How much is too much? – It goes without saying, it is obviously a terrible idea to post your personal phone number, credit card information or home address anywhere on the internet. You never know who will be able to see that information, even if you are sharing it with a closed network of friends. Only share information you are happy for people to see.
  • Beware of people attempting to connect with you – Anyone can pretend to be whoever they want on the internet. Online scammers present themselves as honest people with an intention to gain access to your personal information for their own purposes. When in doubt, ignore the request or better still, block the user in question.
  • Respect your organisations social media policies – Your company may have specific rules about what work related events and activities they do and do not want discussed on social media.
  • Optimise your privacy settings – Social media networks are not designed with your privacy in mind and you will always have to make manual adjustments. Go into your privacy settings and see where things are set. Never leave any personal information set to be viewed by the public unless you are happy to do so. If you’re a stickler for privacy, there are many things you can set to only be visible by you, including your posts.
  • Always trust your gut! – Ultimately, you should trust your gut. If you post close to none of your personal information on the internet, you are significantly reducing the risk to your personal security. Remember that you don’t have to make something public if you only want to share it to a small group of individuals. If people want to know something, they can just ask, or you can send them a private message about it.

If you are a business owner and concerned about cyber crime, please get in touch with us on 0207 294 7599 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

5 Reasons to Embrace GDPR!

5 Reasons to Embrace GDPR!

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are coming into force on 25th May 2018 replacing the Data Protection 1998. The GDPR brings data protection into the 21st century reflecting the growth of social media and online businesses. Building on the DPA, GDPR strengthens the existing legal framework and introduces new rights and responsibilities for individuals and organisations and businesses.

If GDPR sounds unappetising for you as a small business owner, let me ask you to consider the following 5 reasons why you should think of the changes to data protection as an opportunity not an administrative burden.

  1. Trust – updating your data protection policy, reviewing why you collect data and then letting your customers know, will build trust with your customers. Their personal information is important to them, let them know that its important to you too.
  2. Re-engaging with your customers – when you review your data collection, you may find opportunities to re-engage with your customers. How about asking them what they want from you – new product or service information, industry news? If you send them what they want to read, they’ll read it!
  3. New ways to connect – when you look at your database, are there different ways to contact your customers? Rather than email, would “lumpy” mail work, perhaps a video rather than text or even an audio newsletter – there are lots of different options.
  4. Protection – GDPR isn’t just about your customers – it’s about protecting your business information too. Review your data security regularly and don’t forget your paper files or account books – that’s precious information as well.
  5. Employees – make sure that your employees are taking data protection in your business seriously. Invest in them with a day’s training so that they understand the importance of keeping your customer information safe.

Hidden Gem Associates has developed a hands-on, practical service which guides businesses and organisations through the changes in data protection.

Let us help you prepare for the GDPR; contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0207 294 7599.