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Your Website Was Hacked And You Didn’t Even Know

October 13th, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

hackYou visit your website and it all looks fine, yet your rankings have plummeted and you don’t know why. You notice a ton of traffic from strange places and your bounce rate has soared to new heights. You’ve been hacked.

Even the most sophisticated sites on the Internet and data centers, such as Target, banks and others are getting hacked – I’m sure you’ve read about them in the news. And Adobe and Snapchat were recently in the news after being hacked.

Recently, one of my client’s sites was hacked. Everything looked fine; we had just updated the programs and added a respected security plugin to the website the week before. I was examining the schema code through Google’s Webmaster site to make sure the schema was populating correctly throughout the blog when I noticed the numbers going from a reasonable amount that mirrored the number of blog posts, to a number that reached nearly 7,000.

Drilling down I found that there were nearly 7,000 new pages added to the site in just a matter of days. There were no other indications that the site had been hacked.

The site had not been breached through the admin panel so I ran some tests to evaluate the server (not one of ours) and found that the operating system was out of date and the file structure was set up with out some basic security measures.

The truth is, unless you or someone on your behalf is tracking your analytics and reviewing your Webmaster account regularly, you may be host to some nasty stuff and not even know it.

How does this even happen? Read more…

Top 10 Marketing Priorities

October 5th, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

choicesLately I’ve been faced with several clients asking the same question or seeking advice as to where to start with their marketing. There is a general sense of being overwhelmed with options and marketing tactics that all seem to scream ‘do me now’.

Limited budgets and staff establishes that doing everything now is not an option, and so how does one decide what to do first or what is a logical progression? And while I would love nothing more than to provide a 1-2-3 guide that could be universal, it just isn’t possible. This coupled with an insatiable drive to be successful leads to an exasperated state of impatience to see results, often drives owners and marketing managers to engage in shotgun marketing tactics. Read more…

Numbers And The Stories They Tell

September 1st, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

data analysis cartoon1Every business owner that I know is focused on numbers. They either feed off of them daily or procrastinate exploring them. Regardless of a business owner’s relationship to numbers, you can be sure that their business data influences their mood on any given day.

In business, it is always about the numbers. But which numbers should you be looking at?

I get exposed to a lot of data in my line of work. Not just the data for Bumblebee, but more so the data for my clients. I see web traffic analytics data, lead tracking data, social post analytics, email campaign data, sales data, and so on.

I also learned something about numbers a long time ago – we really don’t speak the same language.

I was never good at math in school and I won’t even discuss my performance in the college statistics class I took my sophomore year. And in my early days of selling, I would break into a sweat when my boss would ask “what’s the GP on that project?” And I won’t even describe my mental condition when told “I need your projected sales for next quarter.”

What I learned about my relationship with numbers was that I always had a kind of gut feeling about them. While I couldn’t do the math and calculations with any style or grace, I always had a good sense about them. What I also learned about numbers is that we aren’t always paying attention to the numbers that matter when it comes to improving outcomes, and that is what I want to explore through this post. Read more…

Is It Time To Redesign Your Website?

August 24th, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

Bad PlanningYou might have the nagging sensation that your website is overdue for a refresh or possibly even a complete do-over; yet you procrastinate.

Memories of the pain and suffering you experienced the last time or possibly even the last few times; the last thing you want to do is repeat that experience.

I can’t say that I blame you, but you really shouldn’t use that as an excuse to not do what is best to grow your company. Have heart and read through as I have some suggestions to help you, but first, let’s see if you need to undergo a refresh or redesign.


I’m Using Social Networks And It’s A Waste of Time

July 22nd, 2014 by Mardy Sitzer

I still hear that social media is a waste of time from attendees in a workshop, students in a business class, at business-networking events, and sometimes at a chance meeting.

There are still large groups of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs that have yet to try social media. Or, they have tried social media and found it to be a total waste of their time.

Well, I love a challenge so I will often ask them about which social networks they joined and what they did with them. The answers are relatively the same each time.

‘Well, we set up the profiles and posted things about the company, product or service.’ They might have even set up a coupon or campaign of some sort. Yet, nothing materialized. I even hear what a waste of time blogging is, and again, when asked to describe their efforts it goes like this – ‘we set up a blog and hired someone to write posts using our keywords.’

I have no doubt that these efforts failed to earn any results. In support of the further complaints of social media being a waste of time, the point is that no time was really spent and no real effort invested, and as the old profits of yore said, ‘you reap what you sow’.

Here’s what went wrong: Read more…

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