G’day and welcome to another Redcliffe Marketing news update.
Quite a few topics today and all good things to have your head around as a local business owner.
00:20 Importance of securing your business data
01:07 Lastpass password manager
02:00 Cloud services take care of backup and maintenance
02:30 Google Maps App for iPhone is out
03:05 Facebook business page created by someone else?
03:58 Facebook vanity web address
04:45 Different webpage title for every page on your website helps SEO
05:35 WordPress 3.5 is out – WordPress runs 17% of the world’s websites
06:42 Claim your business username/vanity url on all the big platforms before someone else does
07:30 Homework – ask for online customer reviews
07:59 What do websites cost? Send me your questions around website pricing…
Securing your business against online ransom
There is a really good article over at Smart Company‘s blog at the moment talking about how to harden your business against electronic attack; basically, hacking. It’s really relevant because at the moment there is a medical center on the Gold Coast who has had all their client data encrypted by someone overseas. The data is sitting there on their hard drive but they can’t get into it and unlock it, unless they pay up and pay a ransom to get it back and, again, there’s no guarantee once they’ve paid that they’ll actually get that client data back. That’s a very real dollar cost not only in the ransom money but just in reputation and all the lost time and effort that’s gone into those client records.
When I’m working with businesses, I find that one of the really big weaknesses is password management – whether it’s written on a sticky note, the same password for a whole heap of different accounts, or it’s in a little black book where everyone knows the password and it’s all shared.
Secure Password Tool
I’ve mentioned before and, look, I’ll probably mention it again in the future, but Lastpass.com is the tool you really want to be looking at using. It’s $12 per year for premium subscription and what it does is allows you to have really strong passwords for every different service that you use and keep them all secure and then remember the one master password to get in so you’re not always scrambling for different passwords. The other really good thing is that you could use Lastpass to share your passwords with your staff or contractors so if they need to get into something they can, but in the process of sharing it they don’t actually get the password itself so when they no longer need access to that — if they move jobs or if the contract finishes — you then switch off the access and keep all your data and your platforms secure that way. It is really important, especially if you’re handling credit card details of your clients just as far as fraud goes or even identity theft. It’s something to look at and it’s really so easy to implement in your business.
The other thing to look at is cloud services as well where you’re not trying to maintain your own hardware and software on-site where you forget to backup or don’t update it like you should. Use a cloud service. They’ve got professional staff who make sure that it’s always up-to-date, the security patches are in place, and the hardware is looked after. It’s one less thing you need to worry about as a business owner.
That’s the top tips, but talk to a small-business technology expert and they’ll guide you through different platforms that are out there and save you a lot of money and a lot of time trying to work it out.
Google Maps App for iOS
Lots of people will be happy today. Google has released a Google maps app for the iPhone and the iPads. If you remember, the recent upgrade to the iOS 6 put the default maps back to the Apple Maps and there’s been a whole heap of problems with those – including a whole heap of people getting lost on their way to Mildura ending up in the middle of a national park because they’ve just been blindly following the GPS directions on their phone then getting rescued by the police. Those people will be very glad that they can now use Google maps back as a standard app on their iPhone/iPads.
Duplicate Facebook Pages and Places
I had a question from a café shop owner today about their Facebook presence. They haven’t created a Facebook page. They were worried that there was already a page out there for their business and they couldn’t get in and actually access or claim it for themselves so I took a look.
What had actually happened is there was actually a Facebook Place Page created for their business. Someone has probably come along, stopped at the café and actually checked in on their phone and Facebook has created an application or a Facebook place for that business. What the owner can do is go in and claim that page as the business owner and turn it into a ‘proper’ Facebook Page. If they’ve already got a Facebook Page and there is a Facebook Place Page out there separate to your main page, same thing. You can go in and claim it as a business owner and you can actually merge the two pages together and any of the people who are fans or who like the place page will then migrate across to your business pages as well. It just saves having multiple branded pages on Facebook and you can consolidate your online brand.
Facebook Vanity URLs
I’m also helping someone different at the moment with their Facebook Vanity URL. They tried to do the right thing. They’ve gone in and set a custom URL for their Facebook page. Instead of being a whole list of numbers after Facebook.com/ they’ve gone in but their Facebook page now is www.Facebook.com/www.theirbusinessname.com.
It’s a combination of their web site name and their Facebook name and it’s really confusing. Again if you’re looking at trying to tweak your Facebook page, do a Google search for “Vanity URL” and you want set it up as short as you possibly can so it’s something that you can put on your business cards and, ideally, it’s going to be Facebook.com/yourbusinessname
Importance of Unique Title Tags on your Web Pages
On Tuesday this week, I was at a presentation for the Council put on by a ticketing company. What they have done is create an online platform which allows businesses to go in and sell tickets for their events and it does a lot of the background admin.
When we were looking through the platform and how they’ve got it set up, most of their pages have the same page title (the <title> tags in the website code). It didn’t matter if it was a Glenn Shorrock event or if it was a Credence Clearwater Revival cover band, the actual web site page as far as the search engines were concerned had the same page title in there.
In your business you want to check these <title> tags on your website and, if it’s practical, go through and make sure every single page on your web site has a different title tag. Doing this will let the search engines know that each page is different and give them more information to work with. It is going to help you rank for a larger number of search terms rather than just having the same page title across your whole website.
WordPress 3.5 has been released
WordPress 3.5 has just been released. WordPress is the software that runs about 17% of the world’s websites so it’s hugely supported. If you are looking to build a website in the near future, you really do want to be building it on the WordPress platform. It’s got a lot of advantages and a whole heap of different things you can put on.
It is probably going to be the website is going to last you for a next five to seven years without having to change it too much. You can just give it facelifts. You will be able to plug in additional functionality as you need it and as you go along, but with this new update, it’s going to make uploading photos much easier. There’s a new media uploader. They’ve updated the back end so it supports retina displays or if you use a high-resolution monitor.
It’s so easy now to get your content up on your web pages.
If you’ve got a presentation that you’ve put up through SlideShare or if you’re taking photos on Instagram or you’ve got videos on YouTube, you can now just drop in the address for those picture or slide shows or videos and WordPress will do the rest. WordPress will take it in and display it on your page so that it looks really beautiful and it’s really well done.
^^ just drop in the link text to the image and WordPress does the rest!
Claiming your brand ‘username’ on web services – first in, best dressed
Okay. Along with getting a Vanity URL on Facebook, a lot of other services have the same basic setup where you can go and choose the username or the web address that you will use on their platform. So whether it’s Flickr, YouTube, Pinterest etc – what you want to do is wherever possible use the same username and same shortened website address on each of those different platforms for your business. Rather than having a different one on each social media site.
A really good tool for that is called Knowem. What you do is plug in the username that you want and it will go out and check a whole heap of different services and come back and tell you if that username is been taken on those services or not. Go check that out.
Homework – ask for online reviews from your best customers
I’m going to give you some homework this week and that is to go out and see if you can’t get an online customer review. The best place to try and have it placed is your Google local listing. Failing that, truelocal.com.au, startlocal.com.au, word-of-mouth online, Urban Spoon or TripAdvisor depending on what sort of industry you’re in but try and go and ask and see if you can’t get some customer reviews online and they’re going to be really helpful for converting future customers and bringing in more business.
Websites – what do they cost?
All right. In the next update what I’m hoping to do is go through a whole heap of different considerations and break down the cost of a business website. If you’re looking at the need for a website in the near future or if you’ve got any questions about how much websites cost or what the ongoing costs involved are – then leave a comment below this post and I’ll include that in the answers for the next one.