Did you know that bots account for up to 61.5% of traffic, according to this study? This bot traffic occurs for a variety of reasons. For example, Google uses bots to spider the internet. There are also spambots, who act maliciously to add advertising links. Regardless, accounting for fake traffic and avoiding spam should be on every inbound marketer’s radar. Here are a few quick tips to protecting your inbound website:
Setup comment moderation
Most blog comment tools allow for you to set up moderation. Meaning blog comments do not show up until they get approved, and someone at your company will receive notification to review the comment before it gets posted.
Concerned about decreased engagement on your blog because users won't see their comments right away? There are popular comment plugins, like Disqus, that require social accounts. While it’s not completely bullet proof for spam, it does help with social engagement!
Protect your forms
If you are using a built-in CMS form tool, talk with your provider about what options you have to protect yourself from form spam if it becomes an issue.
Form tools that come from plugins can usually be modified to include validation. Here are some examples:
- Email fields that look for valid syntax (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Email fields that reject entries from @aol.com or @gmail.com addresses (or prevent competitors from filling out your forms as well)
There are also plugins that help prevent form entries from spam-ridden IP addresses altogether, like project honey pot.
Remove and redirect old pages
It’s important to do some housekeeping on your website. Do you have an old landing page from a conference 3 years ago? Delete the page and create a redirect record, re-pointing that URL address to another relevant page. Also make sure it’s removed from any sitemaps you share with the search engines.
Change passwords regularly & tighten user access
This is pretty simple – change your passwords regularly! Use strong passwords and keep the records on secure websites. Remove user accounts for employees that have left your company or vendors that no longer work with you.
Another tip – don’t give more access than is necessary for contractors or vendors.
Monitor your index, traffic activity for inconsistencies
Be vigilant and look for overall trends in your data. Make sure you have tools set up and configured to monitor traffic sources, downtime and inbound link activity. A few tools we recommend: