Friday, December 30, 2011

When Disaster Strikes

The worse case scenario was realised for a client recently. Their web-mail account was hacked, and despite all our attempts the account could not be recovered.

We value our e-mail accounts, but should treat them like they're a treasure. Especially, as in this case, when the account is used as the main means of doing business with clients.

Losing all your contacts details is a loss in itself, but what if you've lost e-mails that not only contain your credit card details, but also those of past clients? Think also of the loss of future business, as people use the old, hacked e-mail address. Think of the hacker rubbing his hands in glee as people try to pay him with a credit card...

It is truly a nightmare situation, but there are steps you can take to prevent this happening to you.

1. Backup your webmail contacts once in a while
Depending on your webmail service, you should export your contacts:

Yahoo - click Contacts tab, select all, click Export all. To a CSV
Hotmail - click Options, and click the Export Contacts list. Auto saves to a contacts csv.
Gmail - in Contacts, click More, then Export.. then choose CSV.

2. Make sure you've a strong password
8 characters or more, numbers, letters, Capitals, punctuation. Then change it on a regular basis.

3. Use the security question option
And change it once in a while.

4. If there are credit card details in an e-mail:
print it, file it safely, and then delete it. Then empty your Trash folder.

5. Above all: never never never click on a link that then asks for your account details. And never click on an .EXE attachment. And never send (or ask for) credit card details by e-mail. In fact, trust nothing anyone asks for in an e-mail.


More hacked clients has led me to offer further suggestions.

6. Export ALL your e-mail once in a while
Sounds like a massive job, but it's actually quite easy to export Yahoo into Gmail. See this article.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tracking adwords conversions on a WordPress site

Knowing how many people have clicked your Adwords ad and then gone through your site and contacted you via a form is critical - it shows how much value you're getting from your ad.

Here's one way:

1) Paste your Adwords conversion code into a html document (for example, contactconversion.html), and save it in your live site's theme's folder.

2) Edit the footer.php and add this code at the end (before closing tag :

if (is_page('thanks'))
{ include ("contactconversion.html"); }
elseif (is_page('otherthankspages'))
{ include ("conversion_other.html"); }

I've left an elseif in in case I want to implement tracking on one of our other forms)

See this post for additional information.

3) Now I need to create a thanks page in Wordpress. Just make it private so it doesn't show in any menu. The is_page value should of course match the page.

4) I use Contact Form 7, and so I use the Additional Settings field of my form to specify what happens after the form is submitted:

on_sent_ok: "location = '';"

As mentioned above, the end of the URL will match the is_page value.

See this page for further details.

And voilĂ , a form submission will redirect to the new thanks page and put in the code in contactconversion.html and my Adwords conversions will be tracked!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Google + Business Pages Are Here

Forget Facebook: 4 Reasons Your Company Needs a Google+ Page

According to Inc. Magazine, a Google + Page will have the following benefits for your business:
  1. Boost your SEO
  2. Give your message a longer shelf-life
  3. Google + will be the social network for businesses
  4. Easier to manage than Facebook
And our favourite part about social media marketing -- it's FREE!

Read the article at Inc. Magazine

Monday, August 1, 2011

Google Hotel Finder

Google has launched a Hotel Finder Service which one expert says is "so simple, it's brilliant."

Travelers will love the simplicity and speed with which you can select, compare and book hotels without ever having to leave the page, except for the final booking. No ads or affiliate links that get in your way - just relevant hotels. Google Hotel Finder is so simple, it’s brilliant.

Read the entire article on

While the service applies only to hotels in the United States at this initial launch, it is anticipated that other countries will eventually be included.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google+ Tackles Facebook with Circles & Sparks!

Google has launched a new platform called 'Google+' which takes Facebook head-on (again). But this time Google may have got it right.

  • By addressing privacy issues with its innovative 'Circles', Google+ lets you control which of your friends see your photos, posts, etc.
  • The Sparks feature lets you stay up to date on any topic, pulling search results from Google like a news reader.
  • And Hangouts is basically video-conferencing, allowing up to 10 people connect.
  • Android phone users get an added bonus with Huddles (group-chatting within your Circles).
Google+ is still considered a 'project' and you have to be invited to join by someone who is already a member.

Keep an eye on the Google+ website to see when they open registration.

Read more about the pros and cons of Google+ in David Pogue's NY Times article Google+ Gets a Leg Up on Facebook.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer @ Delphis Ltd.

Delphis Ltd. is pleased to have a Summer Intern once again this year.

Visit our Delphis Intern blog to see what our new intern, Dylan Madisetti, is learning.

His first week got off to a great start - he met two Mermaids and a Singing Cowboy! Web development is a fun and exciting career opportunity.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to create good presentations (part 276)

We've spoken before about ways to make better presentations (because who hasn't sat through a bad presentation). Here's a good article which covers the same topic.

Key points:

1) Keep it simple
2) Engage with your audience
3) Crack an occasional joke

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bing Goes Social too!

It's official. Microsoft's search engine Bing has integrated social networking into its search results.

Now when you perform a search on Bing, you will see sites that your friends 'Like' (as long as you are logged into Facebook at the time).

Moving away from traditional search, Bing is trying to integrate search results which will provide a 'conversation' among friends, as they believe this will lead to better decision making.

Bing has integrated more than a dozen types of social networking into its results.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Presence

There are 6.9 billion homo sapiens on the planet and 3.7 billion of them actively use 4.3 billion mobile phones. What's your excuse for not spending a few dollars making your site mobile-friendly?

Read more Digital Marketing Crimes Against Humanity at Occam's Razor

Monday, February 28, 2011

Google Goes Social

Last week Google made changes to the algorithm it use to display search results.

For the most part this update centered on reducing the power of 'spam' and 'link farms' in their search results. But they also rolled out a new feature which displays social search information from your friends on Blogger, Twitter, Flickr and other sites. You must be logged in to your Google account for this to work.

See how it works on this brief video:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets of Search

A great article in The New York Times about Google Search... uncovering tricks used to gain top search engine positioning and discussing 'black hat' SEO techniques.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you need a Mobile version of your site?

This is a question that would have been answered with a resounding 'Yes!' some time ago. But now it's not so clear cut. The fact is, your typical smartphone is growing in capabilities by leaps and bounds, and nowadays the screens people use to browse your website from their phone are showing off your current site in all its glory.

If we look at a typical snapshot of traffic, you'll see that the sophisticated devices rule the roost. And these devices tend to have the larger screens. My Android sports a 3.7" screen, making viewing most websites A Good Experience.

What you do need is to know how your site performs on a mobile device. View your site and try navigating around it. Do those pretty menus work on a smartphone? What about that fancy Flash? Then delve into your analytics. Are your bounce rates worse for mobile devices? In short, experience your site from the POV of a mobile user of your site.

Analytics insights: Bounce Rate

This year we're going to be focusing on providing some detailed insights into the world of website analytics. We've spoken before about the critical importance of analytics, so lets look at some of the key measurements of your site's performance. First off: Bounce Rate.

A bounce is not, as I've heard suggested, when someone scrolls up and down your webpage a few times. A bounce is simple - it's defined as a single page visit to your website. In other words, it's when someone goes to your site, and views no more than one page before leaving.

So your bounce rate indicates how 'interesting' your page (and site in general) is to a visitor. A high bounce rate suggests you have nothing to offer the visitor. But what's high, especially within the tourism market? I'd say you should be looking for a bounce rate under 50%.

And the next question you should be asking is: how can I improve my bounce rate? That we will explore in depth at a later date!

It's worth mentioning there is a related measurement - % Exits from a page. This is the percentage of visitors who left your site after viewing a particular page. Note the difference between % Exit and Bounce Rate - a bounce is a one page visit to the site. while an exit is simply leaving the site (and as such, not necessarily A Bad Thing).