Sunday, 26 April 2009

Who's Spying On You When You're Online?

One of our customers mentioned a few weeks ago that he had had a terrible time with spyware and malware on his computer. We worked out he had lost 5 hours to a Spy Guard spyware programme. Spyware is software that is installed on your computer without your knowledge or consent to collect your browsing history, your passwords or try and control what you access.

Boyd Butler in his own words:

"It was a nightmare. I had the blue screen of death. I thought I had lost all my work. It took me ages looking online to find the solution. Every time I wanted to download a fix the PC would lock up because of the spyware. Eventually, I managed to SpyZooka, a cheap £25 service which got me out of the trouble I was in. The moral of the story for me is, make sure you get really good protection, (the best) back up your stuff on an external hard drive or internet service so you don't lose it and don't always try and find a free fix when you can pay a small amount to get it sorted. Hope this helps other Toolkit users!"

So how can you avoid getting spyware on your computer in the first place?

Firstly, get Firefox and use it as your main internet browser. Firefox is free, and much less vulnerable to security attacks than Internet Explorer. You can also install really good add - ons that help protect you when you're browsing online. Here's some of our favourites:

Ad Block Plus - Block popup and banner adverts that can install Spyware on your System.

No Script - Only run Java Script and other executable files from websites you trust.

You also need to make sure you some good anti - virus and anti - spyware software on your computer. Here's some good free programs:

AdAware

Spybot Search and Destroy

AVG

For our clients' peace of mind, we take daily back ups of their website. If they've taken up our business class email service, we take daily back ups of that too. Then on top of that, off site backups are also taken for a belt and braces approach to ensuring the website and email is doubly secure.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Engage Your Customers for Success!

Customers are coming to businesses in 2009 with a greater sensitivity to price, a strong focus on quality, a need for hassle free services and are not tolerating bad customer service.

Compiled by E-consultancy and cScape, a study showed that 51 per cent of UK companies said they had focused more on customer engagement during the financial crisis to try and live up to customer expectations.

Six in ten of those who completed the survey said they were looking to use email newsletters as an increased part of their customer engagement plan.

There's lots of other ways you can use the internet to engage your customers too. Here's what Linus Gregoriadis, head of research at E-consultancy had to say:

"More companies are viewing tactics such as blogging, user reviews and on-site video in the context of a broader customer engagement strategy and pulling only those levers which are most appropriate for their business model and customers," said

If you decide to try email marketing , according to MarketingSherpa, email newsletters that contain minimal "hard sell" language are more likely to see results. You definately need to be able to measure the return on your investment. Why not take up our offer of a free trial of our powerful bulk email marketing software, Toolkit Broadcast? It keeps you in the letter of the law, whilst letting you see how many people are opening your emails and clicking on the links.







Saturday, 11 April 2009

Get on Google on Day One!

We know Google can take ages and ages to list a new website in the natural search listings. Those are the search results that appear on the left when you search for your keywords. It can sometimes take up to 8 weeks appear in those pesky natural listings. You’ve built a great website, got the domain sorted, you don't want to be waiting to found!

To get on Google from day one of your website going live, you need a web marketing strategy. Alongside making sure your website address is on your van, on your fliers, on your shop front, your business card etc... you need to get your website address out there on the web. One of the most effective ways to do this is to place adverts in the sponsored search results listings on search results pages.

To get started with this, you need to pick “keywords” that best describe your business or products. Then you can use them to create small ads that will be featured on major search engines, including Google and Yahoo. Whenever a customer uses those keywords to search for something they need, your ad can appear on the results page.

Here are some tools from Google to help you choose your keywords:

http://www.google.com/sktool/


https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

How often those ads appear depend on the popularity of the keywords used - whether other businesses are using them as well. The great thing is that you only pay for the visitors who actually click on your advert and are taken to your website.

Read more about Google Adwords on our website.

So if you want to get started advertising on sponsored listings, click here!




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Saturday, 4 April 2009

Keyword Tips for Search Engine Optimisation

You've got a great business website. You can update it yourself. You've got Google Analytics to monitor your statistics. What now?

How do you drive traffic to your website?

Let's take our favourite Toolkit Websites example, the old Plumber based in York, UK.

How would our Yorkshire plumber decide what keywords to use? Well Google has a handy tool.

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal


It shows you how many people searched for your chosen keywords in the last month, and on average. Our hypothetical plumber's main keywords "Plumbers York" appear to be quite popular, but the great thing about this tool is that it suggests alternatives too:

Here are some alternative keywords that Google suggested:
plumber in york
plumber yorkshire
plumbers merchants york
plumbers in york

Our plumber can now add these keyword phrases to all the different parts of his websites, such as link, meta data, meta description, page titles and the text on his website.

However, he could maxmise his chance of being picked for these keywords even further by using variations on these phrases.


View Larger Map

This is where Google Maps is your friend. We know that at least 30% of searches are for location based keywords. Our plumber is bound to cover more than just York city centre, so by using keyword phrases like:

plumber in New Earswick
Plumber Huntington
Plumbers in Heworth

and so on, our plumber can capitalise on the searches for plumbers in the York wider area as well.

It's also good to make sure your business is on Google Local too, to make sure you're top for those local searches.

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