- Describe what is SEO and why is important to have a “search engine friendly” website.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the art and science of getting pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google. A search engine-friendly website is important as search engines can’t see and understand web pages the same way humans can, SEO helps figure out what each page is about and how it may be useful for users.
- Describe what is a web crawler (web spider or robot) and what is its function in search engines.A Web Crawler gathers pages from web and indexes them in a methodical and systematic way to support search engine queries. If you are using Google, for example, the crawlers would go through each of the pages indexed in their database and fetch those pages to Google’s servers.
- What are meta-tags?Meta-tags are text that describe a page’s content, they don’t appear on the page itself but in the page’s code.
- Which are the role of the following attributes in SEO:
- Keyword Attribute – Series of keywords you deem relevant to the page in question.
- Descriptions Attribute – Provides concise summaries of webpages.
- Page Title – Text that you see at the top of the browser.
- Domain Name – Human-readable Internet addresses of websites. Made up of a top-level domain (TLD), domain name (IP address), and an optional subdomain.
- Describe what Spamdexing isThe practice of deceptively modifying web pages to increae the chance of them being placed higher or closer to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page is assigned dishonestly.
- What are natural or organic search results?Search engine results not sponsored or paid for.
- Briefly describe the following search engine marketing methods:
- Pay Per Click (PPC) – Advertisement scheme where advertisers pay ad agencies whenever a user clicks on their ad.
- Paid Inclusion – Practice of charging a fee to include a website in a search engine or directory.
- Video Search Marketing – Optimizing your video to be indexed and rank on search engine result pages for relevant keyword searches.
- Sponsored Listings – The same as PPC (pay per click) advertising, a technique used to promote websites on search engines which charges the advertiser a small amount once clicked on by a visitor.
- Google Adsense – Provides a way for website owners to earn money from their online content. Works by matching text and display ads to your site based on your content and visitors.
- Describe and give an example of white hat SEO and black hat SEO.
- White-hat SEO – refers to use of techniques and strategies that target a human audience opposed to a search engine. Used as a long-term investment as the results last a long time.
- Black-hat SEO – refers to techniques and strategies used to get higher search rankings, and breaking search engine rules. Focuses on search engines, not human audience. Used for a quick return on site views, rather than long-term investment.
- Major search engines have Webmaster Guidelines to help search engines find, index, and rank their sites. Please go to the following websites and pick the 5 most important guidelines for Google and BING search engines:
- Google – Automatically generated content (content that has been generated programmatically), Participating in link schemes (any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results), Creating pages with little or no original content, Cloaking (presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines), Sneaky redirects (redirects that deceive search engines or display content to human users that is different than that made available to crawlers).
- Bing – Cloaking, Link Schemes, Social Media Schemes (auto follow of anyone who follows you), Meta refresh redirects (redirects reside in the code of a website and are programmed for a preset time interval, automatically redirecting a visitor to other content when the time expires), Duplicate content across multiple URLs.
- What are web analytics tools and what are their functions?
Web analytics is the measurement and analysis of data to inform an understanding of user behavior across web pages. Web analytics provide insights and data that can be used to create a better user experience for website visitors, you can also accurately track the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns to help inform future efforts.
The eCommerce sector is rapidly expanding so naturally along with that, online payments are becoming increasingly popular. Online payments are faster than manual payments, instantly lets the merchant know if the shopper has sufficient funds to cover the transaction, and the merchant doesn’t handle or store any credit card information. There are several companies, services, and applications that act as a financial middleman between the merchant website and the customer, and between the merchant (and their bank account) and the shopper (and their bank account).
A payment gateway is the service that receives the online payment request and directs it to the payment processor. The payment processor is a service that validates the purchaser’s credit card details and checks if there are sufficient funds in the shopper’s account. A payment provider is a company that operates the payment gateway, and in some cases the payment gateway and payment processor are combined into a single service known by either name. The payment service or payment system is each type of gateway that a payment service provider offers. A merchant account is a special type of bank account used exclusively to hold funds received from credit and debit card transactions. Funds accumulated in the merchant account are transferred to the merchant’s company bank account on a regular basis.
Once your web page is connected to an online payment service, visitors will be able to pay online for products or services. On the online payment form that appears, the visitor will enter their credit card information then submit the transaction request. The transaction request, along with the purchaser’s credit card information (which is encrypted so that no one can view the purchaser’s financial or personal information), is securely transmitted to the payment gateway operated by your payment service provider. The payment service provider will then use a secure payment processing service to verify the purchaser’s credit card details and confirm if the purchaser has sufficient funds to complete the transaction. If the purchaser’s credentials are valid and there’s sufficient funds in their account, the payment service provider will initiate a transfer of funds form the purchaser’s bank account into the merchant account and the purchaser will get a message confirming the transaction has been approved. This whole process happens in a matter of seconds.
There are only a few ecommerce platforms that dominate most of the market- WooCommerce, Shopify, and OpenCart. Each of the platforms has their own strengths and weaknesses, but they all have robust functionality and advanced capabilities that make them stand out. WooCommerce has more than 38 million downloads and currently empowers more than 28% of all online stores worldwide. Shopify claims that there are 500,000+ stores live on their platform, while OpenCart has 300,000+ live websites.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress eCommerce plugin, so it is a perfect match for online retailers willing to build their online store on their current WordPress blog or website. WooCommerce is a free service but the functionality becomes limited without select paid plugins that are recommended to purchase as your business grows and matures. Shopify is a hosted shopping cart with the most enhanced eCommerce functionality. Shopify is by far the easiest to use, but it does require a paid monthly subscription after the free 14-day trial. OpenCart is a free and open source eCommerce platform based on PHP. It is highly intuitive with a well-designed interface but it is slightly more difficult than WooCommerce. According to recent research, WooCommerce and Shopify are the two leaders in eCommerce platforms for SEO.
- Describe the differences between Transaction Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Security Layer (TLS) are both protocols that are used to encrypt communications between a web server and a user’s web browser. Both SSL and TLS encrypt these communications by exchanging public and private keys to create a secure session. TLS uses slightly different cryptographic algorithms for MAC function generation of secret keys and include more alert codes than its predecessor, SSL.
- Explain: Secure Electronic Transaction (SET).
A secure electronic transaction (SET) is an open-source and cryptography-based protocol for secure payment processing via nonsecure networks.
- Explain how to make the payment process easy for online customers.
There are a few key steps in helping to make the payment process easier for online customers. Provide several options of payment methods for customers, as studies show that more than half of shoppers expect a variety of payment options at checkout. Allow payments without requiring an account, customers don’t want to sign up for anything to buy a product and forcing first-time customers to sign up for an account is bad for conversion. Deliver a seamless design, keeping the design consistent on the checkout page just as it is on the webpage, will raise brand recognition of the business. Don’t redirect people, it helps for customers to purchase from a checkout page connected to your website so it doesn’t’ feel like they’re giving their money to a business other than the one they are buying from. Make errors easy to fix, ideally you want an error message to appear in the field in which it occurred rather than having to scroll all the way up to find out what went wrong. Only ask for essential information, shoppers will abandon an online purchase if they feel like the site is asking for too much information. Provide reassurances on security and privacy, you will typically want to have a SSL certificate for your website to provide a secure connection and encrypt shoppers’ credit card information. Have clear calls to action, use specifics like “Continue to checkout” rather than “Continue” or “Checkout”.
- What is https and htaccess?
A .htaccess (hypertext access) file controls access to a certain directory in your server. The use of .htaccess files became popular because they could be used to override global level server settings related to access of directories. However, recently .htaccess can override many other configuration settings. Https (hypertext transfer protocol secure) is the secure and encrypted version of http, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to.
- How do you obtain an SSL certificate and secure transactions?
First host with a dedicated IP address, then you will have to buy the SSL certificate. After you buy the certificate you will have to activate, and then install it.
- Compare and contrast the appropriateness of employing a merchant account or a payment gateway to handle online transactions.
Employing a payment gateway to handle online transactions hands over the responsibility of collecting payments from customers to a third party, which specializes in doing so securely. Also, the payment gateway becomes responsible for communicating with credit card companies and other financial institutions. One of the cons of payment gateways is that they can hold payments from the merchant for various reasons, also each gateway charges a fee.
- Describe the process, advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with opening a merchant account.
The pros of opening a merchant account are increased sales, faster checkout, security, and more payment options decreases probability of losing sale to customers. Cons of opening a merchant account is cost, fraud, and charge backs (when customers dispute a charge and win against the merchants). There is a fee to open and maintain a merchant account.
- Describe the process, advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with using a payment gateway.
Advantages of a payment gateway is a secure transaction, easy to use, rapid deployment, and it is full of features that benefit both merchants and customers. The disadvantages of a payment gateway are the risk on sensitive information, technical glitches may take considerable troubleshooting time, and some customers are still unsure about payment gateways for various reasons.
- Explain why Website Payments Standard is:
- Fast: Website payment is instant, the payment processor checks for sufficient funds and retrieves the payment within seconds of the customer clicking the “Checkout” button.
- Easy: Simple to install and intuitive for customers to use.
- Low Cost: No startup costs, termination fee, or monthly fees.
- Which 4 different methods PayPal can accept? PayPal can accept debit cards, credit cards, PayPal balance, and PayPal credit.
- Do you need to have a shopping cart to use PayPal? Name 5 compatible carts with PayPal. You do not need to have a shopping cart to use PayPal, you can have PayPal handle all of your online payment solutions. 5 carts that are compatible with PayPal are Wix, Shopify, Magento, Squarespace, and WooCommerce.
- Are applications, set up, or monthly fees required with PayPal? PayPal does not charge any startup costs, termination fee, or monthly fees. However, PayPal does charge transaction fees when you sell goods or services online and in your store location and the buyer pays using his/her PayPal account.
- With PayPal, do you need to store and protect customers’ sensitive financial information? No PayPal encrypts, handles, and stores all of the customers’ sensitive information.
- Is a long-term commitment required with PayPal? No commitment is necessary with PayPal, and there is no termination fee.
- Does every customer require a PayPal account to make payments on your web site? Customers don’t need a PayPal account to make payments.
- Briefly explain what happens after the customer reviews the order in your site and proceeds to check out in PayPal. After the customer reviews and confirms the payment details in a secure pop-up window, PayPal passes customer contact and shipping details to you so buyers can check out without needing to complete forms on your site.
- Explain briefly if the PayPal check-out site can match the look and feel of your own site. With PayPal Payments Pro (paid upgraded PayPal shopping cart service), it is possible to configure and customize PayPal in any way that your business demands.
- Briefly explain what encryption is and why PayPal encrypts your business and customer information. Encryption converts information into a format which only authorized parties can access. PayPal encrypts both the business and customer information to prevent either party from seeing any sensitive credential details that could lead to identity theft or fraud of any kind.
- What is the PayPal transaction fee?
For online payments, the transaction fee within the US is 2.9% + $0.30.
- What are the three steps to integrate the PayPal Shopping Cart? The first step is to get the code. Second step, set up a payment. And third step, execute the payment.
- Name 5 additional features of the PayPal Shopping Cart. Accepts 25 currencies from over 200+ countries and markets, optimized mobile checkout experience, optimized mobile checkout experience, keep customers on your site throughout payment process (only PayPal Pro), and accept phone payments with a virtual terminal (only PayPal Pro)
- If your client doesn’t want to use PayPal, can you explain what other E-Commerce Hosting Services you can offer to him or her? There are a few alternatives to PayPal- Stripe, 2Checkout, Google Wallet, Intuit.