Business Tips

Review your Google Analytic Retention Settings

Google Analytics screenshot

Important Reminder from Google: Review your Data Retention Settings before they take affect on May 25th, 2018! Effective May 25th, 2018 Google is changing the data retention controls of your Google Analytics. If Google Analytics is set up on your own account (as is the case with most of our clients) then you would have or should have already received reminders about this. By default, Google sets the User and Event data to expire in 26 months. This can be changed to: 14 months 26 months 38 months 50 months Do not automatically expire Should you require other settings you …

Business Owners: The Coming Website Crisis You Didn’t Know About

Question: how often do you experience Microsoft, Apple or other apps sending you updates? They do it because of security patches, upgrades and improvements. So, who’s doing that for your company website?  In the last few years web designers have gravitated towards purchasing themes. These are pre-made templates often loaded with small scripts of codes called plug-ins. Buying and customizing themed websites is usually cheaper than a custom built website. Cost-sensitive businesses like the lower upfront cost. But what they don’t realize is that they come with technical debt, meaning they kick some costs to the future.     Many unsuspecting business owners don’t realize their websites need maintenance. They think it’s like …

An Effective Website: The Wrong Path

There is a saying: “before climbing a ladder, make sure the ground is solid and that you’re climbing the right wall.”  It seems straightforward, but many companies start climbing without asking the right question. They end up going down a path that is more complex than required. They also waste time and money. And worst of all, they will create an ineffective website.  So what’s the wrong question? Asking, “What do I need in a website?”  Tell the truth. Isn’t that the question you asked yourself? You let that question generate a list of “requirements” that you took to your web developer.  Most developers worth …

Treat Websites as Online Sales Staff, Not Signs

I sat across from my accountant, who is also a web client, and asked her “Do you think your website is important to your business?” She answered “Oh yes. I even got a nice client yesterday who picked us over the competition because of our website.” Next I asked, “So what percentage of your business do you believe you get because of your website?” She thought for a moment and then gave me the number – a good portion I might add. So then I said, “Multiply that number by your revenue.” “Got it” she said. I then asked the big question, “If your website is responsible …

Time to prepare your website now for voice searches

The iPhone launched in 2007. Since then it’s incredible how quickly mobile phones have become a part of our lives. So what’s next?  In the last year, technology related to speech recognition has had major breakthroughs. The accuracy keeps getting better and it will only improve. And as it does, more people will stop typing and simply ask their smart phones questions.   Apple just released a new Apple TV with voice search. Others will follow. Speak recognition technology in automobiles will improve as well. We will become more comfortable speaking than typing. Trends show it’s growing.    As a …

The WordPress time bomb that may ruin your day

Woman screaming

The call or email goes something like this:  “Help!  I’ve been hacked. My website has been down for over a day now. We are losing business!” We are starting to see what we predict will be a very bad trend that will affect a large number of the organizations that are buying WordPress websites. And those organizations have no idea …. until it’s too late. It’s not unusual for the average web designer to buy WordPress themes, customize them, and put them on cheap hosting. Everyone is proud of the new website.  It looks great. Your organization puts out an announcement, everyone compliments your …

Fix mobile usability issues found on…

Do you have Google’s Webmaster Tools installed on your website? If you do and if your current website isn’t mobile friendly, Google is starting to send out notices with the words Fix mobile usability issues found on… suggesting you fix the issues. The notice will go something like this: “Google systems have tested 57 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 57 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore …

Web accessibility: Why it’s time has come

Having an accessible website means that your site is built in a way that enables anyone with a disability to interact with it. The Ontario AODA legislation kicked in January 1, 2014.  It is now mandatory for any company with 50 or more employees to make their new website or new web content accessible to meet WCAG 2.0 standards. The 370,000 businesses in Ontario with less than 50 employees need to pay attention as well. What level of WCAG 2.0 should you meet? Think of WCAG 2.0 as the ISO standard for web accessibility. It is the technical standard web designers use …

Are you Selling in the Right Place? Online Marketing

Most business people aren’t using the social media platforms you like to use as a consumer to buy products and services. In fact some don’t use social media at all for business. If your next thought is, “well, they are old” or “they aren’t tech savvy”, I would reply that you’re probably making judgements based on your reality of online marketing, not the reality of your customer. And data shows most of our business activity is still done using dark social. In 2013 in the US, only 22% of business people used LinkedIn, a well known social media business platform. …

Are you Annoying Visitors Without Realizing It?

Back in Sept of 2011 usability expert Jakob Nielson wrote an article entitled “How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?” (http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-users-stay-on-web-pages). He spoke of research that showed your website has only 10 seconds to get visitors to stay. If you can get visitors to stay 30 seconds the rate of visitor loss flattens out. That means you need to communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds, then get them to stay for 20 seconds more. But what if you are annoying visitors without realizing it? How? Distracting movement on your website. “What?” you ask, “but I love my carousels …