ecommerce-mobile-experience

8 Killer Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Mobile Browsing Experience

Expert Tips For 8 Killer Tips to Improve Your E-Commerce Mobile Browsing Experience

If your e-commerce business isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of sales. With 72.9% of people shopping online using a mobile device, it’s essential that your digital storefront is optimized for these mobile devices. Here are Agency Partner’s top 8 tips to help you improve your customers’ mobile browsing experience for maximum sales.

Start with the Search

The product search is where so many conversion journeys truly start, so give it some deep thought. Keep your search bar visible and accessible on every single page leading up to the checkout step. Your search bar also can be used as a navigational tool by incorporating auto-suggestions to guide users through the discovery phase in finding what they want.

Design for Different Devices

We at Agency Partner design and develop for both Apple and Android users, and so should you. Make sure you research the differences between not only phone platforms but also tablet devices; then test your designs for each to optimize every shopper’s experience so that no user ends up feeling left out.

Make Checkout Quick And Simple

Maybe the most important part of a positive e-commerce experience, the checkout process is critical to keep as streamlined as possible. Approximately 35% of digital shoppers in the US decide to not complete their order because of interruptions like having to create an account before even getting to shop the site first. Design your site so it moves at the pace of the user rather than rushing them or causing friction for them.

The checkout process can also be a nerve-wracking one for users unsure about the safety of sharing their personal information. When your user is creating that account (prompted at a more thoughtful stage of the process), show that your company is mindful of security by directly requiring a strong password or offering a variety of payment methods that users commonly trust. Keep the use of those payment methods as native and integrated as possible to also minimize any disruption of the checkout stage.

Offer Multiple Ways for Customers to Reach You

There is any number of reasons your customers may need to contact you, so keep it as easy as possible for them. A clearly displayed ‘Contact Us’ page, a non-intrusive live chat function or chatbot, or an optimized FAQ page can offer a variety of solutions that satisfies the variety of customer preferences. 

Don’t Forget Visual Content

Smaller screens can be an issue for many users. Make it easier on them by focusing the text elements on just what is most important and including more relevant visuals. Where text is necessary, make it skimmable with short sentences and bullet-point lists. If possible, use video to highlight product information. Online shoppers nowadays are overwhelmingly more open to purchase when a product page includes a video about the item, especially for mobile shoppers.

Check How Fast Your Site Loads

Want proof that patience is largely a thing of the past in this digital age? The ideal length of time for an e-commerce site to load in 2 seconds. Yep. 2 seconds. A “long” page load time is one of the biggest causes of a high bounce rate; a whopping 40% of users will abandon your site if it takes them 3 or more seconds to access it. Google offers a tool for testing the speed of your page’s load time.

Use Clear Calls to Action

The modern online shopper prefers being directly told what action to take next. Keep them focused and guided by strategizing your calls to action or CTAs throughout your e-commerce site in terms that are relevant to the mobile experience. Keep them concise, direct, and in the brand voice. Consider the visual elements as well like the contrast of colors, the size and shape of buttons, and the readability of text. 

Note: While a desktop site may (for example) say “Click here”, it wouldn’t make sense for the mobile site to say the same. Don’t forget to update the UX copy to “Tap here” to reflect how the user is accessing your store.

Use Social Media to Your Site’s Advantage

Shoppable posts are fairly commonplace on Instagram and are growing on other social platforms, too. Meet your customers wherever they are with posts tagged with product visuals and info. Then seamlessly lead them back to the product page on your site to make the purchase in as few steps as possible. These actions can be tracked to also give you insight into what social platforms are most effective and how to offer promos to drive mobile conversions more efficiently.

If you’re looking to improve your e-commerce mobile site, we can help! Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to designing sites that are both visually appealing and functionally sound across multiple devices. Let us help you take your e-commerce business to the next level – contact us today!

seo-for-ecommerce

SEO Tips for Ecommerce Businesses: How to Increase Traffic and Grow Your Store

Expert Tips For SEO Tips for Ecommerce Businesses: How to Increase Traffic and Grow Your Store

If you’re an eCommerce business, you know that traffic is key. The more people who visit your store, the more sales you’ll make. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips for increasing traffic to your eCommerce store. We’ll also talk about how to grow your business and attract new customers. And finally, we’ll recommend ways to improve your SEO and get better rankings in search engines. Thanks for reading!

What is SEO?

To understand how to make our website rank better, we have to have a basic understanding of what SEO is. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. It is the process of optimizing a website for Google and other search engines. When done correctly, SEO can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), which means more people will see your site and hopefully click through to make a purchase.

How Does Google Find My eCommerce Shop?

As soon as you’ve launched your eCommerce site, Google knows you exist right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Google discovers new websites in a few different ways, but the most common is through links. Google looks for a specific file in your website’s code called an “XML sitemap”. This file contains a list of all the pages on your website.

Googlebot (Google’s web crawling bot) visits websites and looks for links to other websites. When it finds a link, it will follow that link and crawl the website it leads to. This is how Google discovers most of the websites on the internet.

It looks for sites that are linked to other sites, these are called “backlinks”. The more backlinks you have, the better chance your site has of ranking higher in Google.

How Do I Increase Traffic to my eCommerce Shop?

The best and most cost-effective way to bring traffic to your eCommerce shop is through SEO. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can bring in more organic traffic (traffic that comes from people who are searching for information on the web). This type of traffic is highly targeted and has a higher conversion rate than other types of traffic.

If you’re able to rank in Google for search terms related to your products, you’ll likely see a significant increase in traffic to your eCommerce store. In order to rank in Google, you’ll need to employ some basic SEO tactics, such as optimizing your website’s title tag and meta description, publishing high-quality content, and building links from reputable websites.

Best Practices for eCommerce SEO

There are some basic SEO practices you can put in place to make sure your eCommerce shop is as visible as possible in SERPs. Here are a few tips:

-Optimize your website’s title tags and meta descriptions.

When you tell Google to crawl your site, it looks for certain information in your website’s code. This includes the title tag and meta description. The title tag is the text that appears in the search engine results page, while the meta description is the text that appears under the link to your website.

Make sure these two pieces of information are well written and keyword-rich. They should accurately describe your product or the page and include some of your target keywords.

-Publish high-quality content.

Google loves high-quality content. In fact, it’s one of the factors that determine a website’s ranking in search engine results pages. When you publish great content on your website, not only will your visitors love it, but Google will too. And it will give you a chance to add even more keywords to your site! Blogs are an easy way to expand into content, but you can try other ways such as videos, infographics, podcasts, and SlideShares.

-Build links from reputable websites.

Links are still one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking in Google. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your website, the better chance you have of ranking higher. Try to get links from websites that are relevant to your business and have good domain authority. This means that the website has a high trust score with Google and is likely to pass some of that authority on to your website.

-Use keyword research to determine the best keywords for your site.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is using the right keywords. Keywords are the terms and phrases people use when they’re searching for information on the web. By targeting the right keywords, you can attract more traffic to your website.

-Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Google has been increasingly focusing on mobile search results in recent years. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll likely lose out on traffic from people who are searching on their phones or tablets. If you want your eCommerce shop to rank well in SERPs, make sure it’s responsive and looks good on all devices and browsers.

What are Some SEO Tools I Can Use?

There are lots of SEO tools you can use to make sure your eCommerce shop is SEO-friendly. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • SEMRush: This tool allows you to spy on your competitors and see what keywords they’re targeting. You can also use it to find out how much traffic those keywords are driving to their websites.
  • Majestic: This tool helps you measure the quality of the backlinks pointing to your website. It also has a feature that allows you to compare your website to your competitors.
  • Google Analytics: This tool is free and provides you with a wealth of information about your website’s traffic, including where that traffic is coming from, what pages are being visited, how long people are staying on your site, and where they’re leaving from.
  • Google Search Console: This tool is also free and helps you track your website’s search engine rankings, optimize your website for search, and find out if there are any problems with your site that Google has detected.

SEO for eCommerce Conclusion

By following these SEO tips, you can help your eCommerce shop rank higher in search engine results pages and drive more traffic to your website. And that means more sales for your business!

If you’re looking for an agency to help with your SEO efforts, contact us today. We would be happy to chat with you about our goals and help you become a successful eCommerce business!

seo-in-2022

SEO in 2022: Is It Really Worth your Time, and Money?

Expert Tips For SEO in 2022: Is It Really Worth Your Time, and Money?

When it comes to digital marketing, SEO is one of the most important strategies you can implement. But is SEO worth the investment? That depends on your business and your goals. If you’re looking to increase traffic and generate more leads, then SEO is definitely worth the investment. However, if you’re not seeing a return on investment, then it might be time to rethink your strategy. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of SEO and how an agency, like Agency Partner Interactive, can help you achieve your desired results.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When someone searches for a term related to your business, you want your website to show up as one of the top results. This is where SEO comes in. By optimizing your website and content, you can improve your ranking and attract more traffic to your website.

SEO is constantly changing as Google updates its algorithm, so it’s important to have an experienced team of professionals who can help you stay ahead of the curve. That’s where Agency Partner comes in. We have years of experience implementing SEO strategies and we stay up-to-date on the latest changes to ensure that your website is always performing at its best.

What are the Benefits of SEO?

There are many benefits of SEO, including:

– Increased traffic: One of the primary benefits of SEO is increased traffic. When you rank higher in SERPs, you’ll get more clicks from people who are looking for information related to your business.

– Increased leads: SEO can also help you generate more leads. By increasing the visibility of your website, you’ll attract more visitors who are interested in what you have to offer.

– Increased ROI: One of the most important benefits of SEO is that it can help you achieve a higher ROI. When done correctly, SEO can provide a significant return on investment, often resulting in more leads and sales at a lower cost than other forms of online marketing.

Is SEO Worth it?

SEO is a long-term investment that can pay off big time. By improving your website’s search engine ranking, you’ll not only increase traffic to your site, but you’ll also generate more leads and sales. An agency partner like Agency Partner Interactive can help you achieve these results by developing an SEO strategy that best suits your business.

If you’re an eCommerce business, like a clothing store, making sure each item up for purchase is properly tagged with the right keywords is essential to your SEO. If you’re a B2B company, creating informative blog posts (like this one!) and optimizing them for search engines can help you attract leads from potential customers.

How Much Should SEO Cost?

SEO should be part of your marketing plan in 2022 and beyond. But how much should you budget for it? That depends on your business and the goals you want to achieve. Generally, expert SEO services cost between $3,000 and $10,000 per month, depending on the scope of the project and your individualized needs. You can find more about this in our blog How Much To Budget for SEO.

SEO can be done by yourself, but it takes a lot of time and effort. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive and effective approach, hiring an agency partner is the way to go. At Agency Partner Interactive, we have years of experience in SEO and can help you achieve your desired results. Agency Partner Interactive can help you develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your website’s ranking and generate more leads and sales. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Is SEO Different for My Niche?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. SEO is different for every business and every niche. What works for a Hollywood news website might not work for a pet store. That’s why it’s important to partner with an agency that understands your specific industry and can create a custom SEO plan that will help you achieve your desired results.

There is no one size fits all for SEO, follow our blogs in the coming weeks as we discuss more tips for different tips of business!

If you have a specific question related to SEO, reach out to us to get contacted with an expert! Agency Partner Interactive is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO. We have years of experience helping businesses achieve their online marketing goals, and we can do the same for you.

Is SEO Worth it? – Conclusion

In short, yes – SEO

The bottom line is this: SEO is worth the investment if you want to improve your website’s traffic and generate more leads and sales. An agency partner like Agency Partner Interactive can help you achieve these results by developing a customized SEO strategy that is tailored to your business and niche. Contact us today for a free consultation! 

amazon-ads

How Do Amazon Ads Work?

Expert Tips For How Do Amazon Ads Work?

When it comes to online advertising, Amazon is a major player. In fact, Amazon is now the third-largest digital ad platform in the United States, behind only Google and Facebook. That’s a pretty impressive feat for a company that started out as an online retailer! If you’re looking to start advertising on Amazon, or are just curious about how it all works, read on. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Amazon advertising and outline how you can get started.

Who can advertise on Amazon?

If you have an Amazon storefront, you can advertise on Amazon! This includes sellers who use Amazon to fulfill orders (Fulfilled by Amazon, or FBA) and those who sell through the Amazon Marketplace. Setting up ads for your products is a great way to get your ads in front of the right audience. Running an ad places your product in a high-visibility spot, such as the first shopping result page.

What types of advertising are available?

There are three main types of advertising that you can use for your Amazon products.

Sponsored Products:

This type of ad targets customers who are already looking for products like yours. When someone searches for a product on Amazon, your ad may appear next to the search results. If a customer clicks on an ad, they’re directed to the corresponding product page. Sponsored product advertising is available to professional sellers and vendors.

If you’re looking to promote a specific product, this is a great ad to use! Sponsored Product ads help to increase sales and attract traffic to specific product pages.

Sponsored Display Ads:

Product display ads help you engage customers who have shown an interest in your in categories similar to your products or have viewed your product pages but did not purchase. This kind of Amazon ad shows ads on and off Amazon.

If you’re getting a lot of clicks on your product page but not a lot of purchases, consider using this kind of advertisement to keep your product at the forefront of people’s minds. Sponsored display ads are only available to vendors and sellers registered in the Amazon Brand Registry.

Sponsored Brands:

Sponsored brands allow you to highlight multiple products at the same time, along with your logo and a headline. Using this type of ad, shoppers are directed from your ad to a selection of products or to your brand’s store. This allows you to boost brand awareness and increase sales across all your products.

If you’re wanting to gain more credibility for your brand and you have a catalog of similar products, this is a great ad to use! Sponsored brand ads are available to vendors and sellers registered in the Amazon Brand Registry.

How Do I Pick a Budget?

Now that you’ve decided what and how you want to advertise, it’s time to set a budget for your ads. On Amazon, you pick a daily spend that you want Amazon to use. Every time someone searches for one of your keywords, all the ads Amazon bid for placement. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, the higher the budget the more clicks you’ll likely get.

Keep in mind that your budget should be based on your goals for the campaign and what you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re unsure of how much to spend give Agency Partner a call and our experts can consult you in your Amazon advertising!

How do I get started?

Advertising on Amazon can be a little tricky, but following these steps will help you set up your first ad. First, log in to your seller account and click the “Campaign Manager” tab at the top of the page. This will take you to an advertising dashboard where you can create ads, manage your budgets, and measure the performance of your campaigns.

Next, you’ll need to create a campaign. Give your campaign a name and choose the products that you want to advertise. You can then decide on your budget, how long you want the campaign to run for, and what type of ad you’d like to use. After that, you’ll need to create an ad. This is where you’ll input the details of your campaign, such as your headline, description, and product images.

You can also target specific customers by choosing keywords and interests that you want your ad to match. Amazon will then place your ad in front of people who are most likely to be interested in your products.

How do I know if my Amazon Ads are successful?

Once your ad is live, you can monitor its performance with the “Reports” tab. Reports show how much money your ads have made, the number of clicks and your ad spend. You can use this information to make adjustments to your campaign and improve results over time. If you’re just getting started with advertising on Amazon, you might want to consider using an Amazon advertising agency, like Agency Partner Interactive to help you get the most out of your campaigns.

What’s the Best Way to run Ads on Amazon?

The best way to guarantee results and start making good sales is to partner with an Amazon agency, like Agency Partner Interactive. With over 10 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry and a team of experts who are dedicated to your success, we can help you reach more customers and increase your revenue by creating effective advertising campaigns that get results. 

Ready to Promote Your Brand with Amazon Ads?

If you’re looking to increase sales and brand awareness, Amazon advertising is a great way to do it. With Agency Partner Interactive, you can create effective campaigns that will reach more customers and help boost your bottom line. Contact us today for a free consultation!

ppc-campaigns

How Can I Improve my PPC?

Expert Tips For How Can I Improve my PPC?

No matter the size of your business, it’s always important to make sure you’re using all the tools at your disposal to attract customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is through PPC advertising. But if you’re not seeing the results you want, don’t worry – there are definitely ways to improve your performance! In this post, we’ll outline some tips for boosting your PPC campaigns.

  • Set a clear goal

Unless you know where you’re going, it’s hard to know how to get there. Make sure you’ve set clear, measurable goals in order to strategically and effectively optimize your PPC campaigns. Depending on the intended impact, some PPC goals to set could be:

  • Getting traffic to your website
  • Improving sales
  • Gaining subscribers or downloads

Always keep your goals realistic, too. Success can be very motivating, but only if it’s actually achievable!

  • Strategize using high-performance keywords

Finding the right keywords can make or break any campaign, including PPC, and the most important keywords have a high CTR or ‘click-through rate.’ Thoroughly check their performance on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) platforms like SEMrush or Moz.

Bonus tip: Maybe your users live in a different part of the world than where you’re based. A VPN can help you reroute your searches to include the right regions for your needs.

  • Boost the quality of your keyword score

Loading your campaigns with all the keywords you possibly can may seem like a good idea… but unfortunately, it’s not. ‘Keyword stuffing’ as it’s known is prioritizing quantity over quality. Refine what you include to reach a better, more targeted audience to make your efforts efficient.

Consider if your ad copy truly supports the keyword objective and clearly speaks to your customer’s pain points.

  • Combine Similar Conversion Events Into A Single One

If multiple PPC events can be combined into one, you’re both streamlining the process AND refining machine learning. Whichever PPC platforms you’re using will be much better equipped for delivering your ads at higher optimization. More singular data for conversion = better conversion results.

 

  • Add Google ad extensions

Attach additional company or product info with ad extensions to help searching users learn more about you.

  • Manual ad extensions can be customized with site links, your location, reviews, contact info, etc.
  • Automated ad extensions work, well, automatically and can dynamically include previous visits, consumer and seller ratings, structured snippets, etc. 
  • Create a list of negative keywords

Negative keywords are a good thing to have, we promise! Say you are selling ‘brand new’ TVs, so you wouldn’t want your ads to show up as a result for someone searching for ‘refurbished’ TVs. This list helps keep your PPC targeted to your most relevant click and conversion opportunities, thus further maximizing your campaign budget.

  • Take advantage of remarketing

Instead of looking at a high bounce rate as defeat or frustration, look at it as an opportunity. This is just a sign to implement remarketing tools which send a follow-up ad via cookies to potential customers who have already looked at your site or product. It’s a very cost-effective option that has a proven history of higher ROI (return on investment).

  • Some ideas might be
  • Try A/B testing on lead magnets
  • Promote to users based on YouTube usage
  • Utilize your CRM 
  • Boost your ad copy engagement 

All the remarketing in the world won’t do much unless it’s in support of a solid campaign message. Take another hard look at your ad copy. Is it…

  • concise?
  • Considering character limits, make the most of your available space with a clear, direct copy about what you do and what it can do for the user.
  • relevant?
  • Does the copy reflect the audience segment you’re retargeting? Does it match its attached landing page?
  • attention-grabbing?
  • This is the perfect place for high impact, motivating words like ‘discover’, ‘exclusive’, ‘limited’, ‘instant’
  • coupled with a strong, clear CTA (call to action)?
  • Tell the user exactly what you want them to do next. ’Shop Now!’ ‘Get 1 Month Free’ ‘Learn More’ 
  • Avoid remarketing too frequently 

When setting your remarketing ad frequency, be aware of what you set the amount to. If it’s too often or for too long a timeframe, you run the risk of irritating those potential customers. Keep in mind that these remarketing campaigns cannot account for users who follow through offline, like if your CTA is to call your business for an appointment. 

With so many factors to consider in optimizing your remarketing campaigns, Agency Partner is ready to help you through every step. Give us a call today for a consultation!

UX-writing

All About UX Writing: The Complete Guide

Expert Tips For All About UX Writing: The Complete Guide

User Experience writing is a little-known but very important aspect of web design. If users can’t easily find what they’re looking for or don’t understand how to navigate your site, they’ll leave – and you’ll risk losing potential customers.

Despite its importance, many small business owners are unsure of what user experience writing is or how to go about incorporating it into their website. This comprehensive guide will introduce you to the basics of UX writing and show you how to apply it to your own website. With just a few simple changes, you’ll be able to create engaging and user-friendly interfaces that keep your customers coming back for more!

What is UX Writing?

Let’s start off really simple.

  • Fundamentally, UX stands for User Experience and is the crux of the whole UX design process.
  • UX design is all about the creation and, well, design of a great user experience with a digital product – UX writing serves the same purpose, but instead achieves it with words!
  • A UX writer is in charge of planning and composing microcopy for sites, apps, and other digital interfaces to help direct users through the product and have a great time doing it.

The two elements, writing, and design depend on collaboration with each other to achieve their goal of, you guessed it, a great user experience.

What is Microcopy?

The term “microcopy” refers to the bite-sized bits of writing you see all around sites and apps and products. They help a user understand how to navigate an interface, provide information on a situation, direct a user on what to do next, speak to potential user issues, and help express and convey the overall identity of who your brand is, what the product is, and how you do business.

What does a UX Writer do?

A UX writer writes the copy for a product’s interface to guide users on how to use that product. Commonly, UX writers are in charge of writing almost any interaction a user has with the product, such as:

  • Navigation buttons
  • Push notifications
  • Instructions
  • Error messages
  • Onboarding processes
  • Form fields

In some situations, a UX writer is also referred to as a content strategist, though a content strategist is not necessarily a UX writer. While content strategists typically focus on more overarching layouts of information and UX writing is all about concise details, there is an impressive amount of overlap in the skills both require to do the respective job well.

Why does good UX writing matter?

The growth of UX writing has been begun exploding in the past couple of years thanks to recent hard evidence from studies proving how remarkably effective it can be.

A popular example is of a study showing a hotel booking site changing its microcopy from “Book a room” (too decided-sounding and like a commitment, users explained) to “Check availability” (much more approachable and less committed). The site’s engagement jumped by a full 17% with just this one simple change in UX language.

What makes good UX writing?

Good UX writing follows some simple but distinct principles.

  • Use simple, familiar terms
  • Write in an active voice
  • Keep text and characters minimal
  • Be clear, direct, and concise
  • Speak the user’s language (if your audience is of a particular nationality or of a certain generational demographic, speak in a way that that particular audience will understand)
  • Maintain consistent terminology
  • Always prioritize empathy for your users 

Funnily enough, the less a user notices UX writing, the better the UX was written.

Is UX writing the same as copywriting?

Well, not quite. Simplistically, the biggest difference between the two is marketing: copywriting is marketing while UX writing is anything but marketing. Yes, UX writers write copy, but the purpose of their copy is to help users use a product rather than to sell that product to the user.

What skills do you need as a UX writer?

Effective UX writers tend to put these skills to use most in their job

  • Web Design
  • Content Planning and Management
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Project Management
  • Brand and Product Development 

Is UX writing creative?

Considering the bulk of the task is based on verbal problem solving, we’d say it’s definitely creative. if you know how to do it well! It might not call for flowery language, but imagining user scenarios and journeys and how you might help solve the problem before it’s an actual problem for a real user AND solving it all with just language? A role like UX writer is definitely all about creating ways to make a product interface simple and joyous to use! 

UX writing can be a tricky and highly nuanced skill, but with some time and effort, you can be writing engaging copy to help improve your users’ experience with your digital product. Short on time or effort? Let the team at Agency Partner take over the task for you! Contact us today to get started.

api-vulnerabilities

API Vulnerabilities and How to Protect Them Part 1

Expert Tips For API Vulnerabilities and How to Protect Them Part 1

Cybersecurity has never been more critical. In the last several years, APIs have taken center stage for modern stakeholders dependent upon qualities like productivity, reliability, and programming among others. So many of these things modestly exist under the radar of attention-grabbing, leaving them prone to at risk for attack by bad actors. To help you gain a better understanding of what to look for in keeping your site’s APIs protected, here’s a breakdown of the most common types of attacks and what you can do to prevent them.

What Is An API

API stands for Application Programming Interface, a collection of tools used by web developers and programmers to build new ‘middle man’ software that sends information for a task between a site or app and its user. A site or app’s API(s) is like a car’s engine. APIs can also act as layers of security, too, which we’ll be focusing on here.

Why APIs Are A Big Concern

Why does API security matter so much? Well, sometimes that information transfer includes sensitive data, especially when dealing with business APIs, about the customer, user, or even the business itself. Thus keeping the APIs safe and secure helps prevent those interfaces from becoming compromised in any way. 

Typical API Security Risks

The biggest causes for concern when it comes to the risk of API security are

  • sensitive data exposure
  • misconfigured security
  • inadequate monitoring
  • broken authentication
  • rate-limiting and lack of resources

The implications of these and other risks are huge.

Exposure to DDoS Attacks

This type of attack, a Distributed Denial of Service, generally is led by a network of bots to overload a target with artificial traffic. This prevents genuine users from accessing the site, rendering the site inoperable, and so it typically results in damaged brand reputation and loss of customers and sales.

Parameters Attacks

A parameters attack focuses on the URL field, manipulating the site target without the user’s knowledge or consent. This can involve data like a user’s credentials, product information, etc. Because URLs often follow a pattern, they are popular aims for attackers. 

Broken Object-Level Authorization

broken object-level authorization or BOLA means the application did not actually verify the user has the necessary approval to access an asset of another user. Nearly every single company has an API at risk of BOLA.

Insufficient Monitoring and Logging

When lacking information logs or lacking the right context, format, storage, etc, a company’s APIs can therefore also lack the resources to detect a break in security. If these logs aren’t backed up, intruders can erase the logs, essentially covering up both their tracks and their identities. This is especially dangerous for the financial and medical sectors.

How to Protect Against API Security Issues

Identify Vulnerabilities

In order to know the “how”, you first have to know the “what” – What API vulnerabilities are you or your company most prone to? No easy question to answer, especially as a company grows and integrates more and more APIs. A good first step is using an Extended Detection and Response (XDR). It’s specially designed to check for security flaws and support proper authentication.

Use Access Tokens

Using tokens is always a good idea when it comes to securing APIs. They allow sharing of information without necessarily having to share credentials, too. The tokens are always confidential.

Data Encryption

This is the foundation of securing APIs from attacks. Agency Partner recommends you use TLS or Transport Layer Security to scramble any and all data, especially the uniquely identifying kind. It’s also important that valid identifications be required so that only approved handlers have access to said critical data.

IP Whitelisting

Consider this your VIP list. Only specific IP addresses are granted access to the network. This is very helpful in preventing any unauthorized entry that can affect APIs within a particular private network. Whitelisting tends to work best in centrally administered locations that typically deal with a steady task load. This system can take effect in as little as 24 hours, and If any attack does happen, you can be sure that it came from within. 

API security issues are a real and present danger to businesses of all sizes. By understanding the vulnerabilities that exist and taking steps to mitigate them, you can protect your business and its data. Agency Partner is here to help you do just that. We have the expertise and tools necessary to secure your site or app APIs against attack, so contact us today for a consultation!