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Posted in News

Google enforces change on all websites - SSL means you are secure

Posted by Gabrielle Armes
22
September 2017
Google enforces change on all websites - SSL means you are secure

There has been a lot of news around with Google not ranking sites they feel are not secure... and now with the upcoming release of their new Browser Chrome version, if your website does not have an SSL certificate your website will be marked as 'NOT SECURE'. Google are now enforcing the new SSL certificates upon all websites!

In this post, we will cover:

  • What is Google doing?
  • What is an SSL Certificate?
  • Why you need one?
What is Google doing?

Earlier this month, Google began alerting site owners that haven't secured a SSL certificate that their website will be marked as 'NOT SECURE'. The messages state that with the rollout of the latest update, due to be released October 24, all websites will require a SSL certificate.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are used to establish an encrypted connection between a web browser (what you view websites on) and a server (where your website is hosted). This encrypted connection protects the information of customers such as passwords, banking and credit card details and contact information. The information can be as basic as what customers provide in your 'contact us' forms and the messages attached. Google have now determined all of the above forms of information must be protected and secured. SSL changes this sensitive information from plain text which can be easily accessed, to inserting random characters which is much harder to read by potential hackers. Essentially, if the information is not encrypted, there is a chance it can be read between the small distance it travels between your customer and yourself.

When a customer accesses your website and you do not have an SSL certificate, your website will be marked as 'NOT SECURE' by some browsers. Once you have an SSL certificate, your website will appear with a green lock stating it is secure.

Why you need one?

When the little green lock appears on your customers screen, they are going to feel more secure about entering sensitive information without the fear of this information being stolen and misused. If your website is accepting credit card payments, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards and one of the requirements is the correct use of an SSL certificate. Additionally, when Google determines your website's rankings, they use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) guidelines to do so, one of those being security. Having an SSL certificate attached to your site will give you the upper-hand against your competitors. 

As these SSL certificates become more essential, Bloomtools clients will be notified prior to Google's launch on how you will be covered.

Posted in: News Website Design Internet Marketing Google Applications   Comments

A new way to promote your business on Google

Posted by Tracey Voyce
27
July 2017
A new way to promote your business on Google

 

Posts feature is now available on Google My Business

Google My Business, is one of the first strategies you need to have sorted, and one that will make a massive difference to your business being found. This is backed up by Googles statistics that say that 82% of people turn to search engines to find local information and 70% look at multiple businesses before making a decision.

Now Google has made it even more effective, by now allowing businesses to post on their listing.  This is powerful for promoting events, blogs, offers, specials, product updates, announcements and more.

  • As an accountant, you could promote Tax workshop for the end of financial year, with a 'Book Now' call to action (CTA),  
  • A private school could promote an Open Day event, with a 'Call Now' CTA;  
  • A Dentist could promote a special offer for teeth Whitening, with 'Call Now' CTA;
  • A business coach could promote one of their blogs to showcase their expertise, with a 'Learn More' CTA;
  • A dog groomer you could promote getting your dog groomed, with a Book Now CTA;  

Think what you could use this tool for to promote your business, and schedule adding new posts once a week or month.

To add posts, simply log into your Google My Business Account, then click on posts

Important tips:

  • Photo/image used:  Make sure it is of good quality and fits within the box restrictions
  • Make your post brief.  You have 100-300 characters to give the key information, then inspire to encourage action
  • Add in your button of 'call to action'.

For more detailed step by step of what to do, Google Support has a good support article, to help you set up along with tips and examples.

 

Adding a post to Google MY business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: News Internet Marketing Google Applications   Comments

Additional Payment Gateway option for Shopping Carts

Posted by Tracey Voyce
18
May 2017
Additional Payment Gateway option for Shopping Carts

Afterpay is the modern day of the layby, but unlike the old laybys, you can get delivery of your purchase right away.  Afterpay allows shoppers to pay for items in four simple instalments and you the merchant to be paid immediately.

What it mean for the Ecommerce Merchant

  • An increase in conversions:  Helps you get customers that may not have made a purchase due to cost. 
  • Increase in Average $ spend: Helps your customers spend more, as it removes the need to pay for it all upfront
  • Overall increases sales revenue
  • Zero fraud or credit risk.  Afterpay assumes all end-customer non-payment risks for every transaction
  • Doesn't cost your customer any more money.  No interest.  Fees only appear if their automatic payment is unsuccessful.

How it works

Like any checkout process, your client selects their preferred payment method (often our e-commerce clients have the standard Visa, Mastercard as well through another payment gateway provider eg. Paypal). 

Then, the site will send your customers off to Afterpay to organise the payments, over four equal instalments with their nominated debit or credit card.  This process is simple with no lengthy forms and best of all they will get instantly approved. 

Afterpay makes money by charging:

  • Retailers a fee for use of the Afterpay payment platform
  • Customers late fees if they don't pay their instalments on time.

Other popular questions:

  • Is it trustworthy:  Hundreds of the top retailers are using it online here in Australia and overseas.  Cue, Country Road, OfficeWorks, Adairs, Booktopia (see a merchant list here)
  • What Cards do they accept: At present Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards.
  • Is there a purchase limit:  For debit cards, the maximum you can spend is $500.  In regards to credit cards, Afterpay calculates a limit based on what it knows about your account (NB/ After pay does not have access to your credit history)
  • What are the Late payment fees:  $10 Late payment fee, and $7 on top of this if you still haven't paid it in a week. (as at May 2017)

If you are keen to get Afterpay running on your website through your Bloomtools Shopping Cart, please call your Bloomtools consultant as we are a certified Afterpay e-commerce provider and can connect quickly to your Afterpay account, as well as 7 other major Australian Payment Gateways.  

Posted in: News Ecommerce   Comments

Queensland Government is assisting businesses to grow

Posted by Tracey Voyce
24
November 2016

$10,000 Queensland Business digital grants 

The Queensland Government has funded a program to help regional small businesses grow by expanding potential markets through an online presence with access to the latest digital technologies and services. Thus enabling them to work smarter, engage with the global economy and make the most of online business opportunities arising from digital disruption.  Note applications need to be in by 9th December

The objectives of the program are to:

  • assist small businesses to access the latest digital technologies to increase their productivity and competitiveness
  • enable small businesses to employ more staff and grow to medium-size businesses
  • provide access to training to allow small businesses to use new technologies more effectively
  • generate improved business confidence and increase business sustainability
  • enable regional small businesses to expand their market reach through an online presence
  • assist small businesses to work smarter, be more innovative and work fewer hours
  • create an environment that makes it easier to do business.

How much can you apply for and what can it be used for?

Matched funding of up to $10 000 (excluding GST) may be provided to eligible businesses for the purchase of software and services such as digital coaching. The business must show that the digital technology or service purchased and adopted will enhance the digital capabilities of their business and help them to be more competitive and employ more staff.

The digital technology or service must fall under one of five identified priority areas:

  • digital marketing and social media
  • digital content (web pages, mobile apps, media etc.)
  • receiving payments or selling online
  • specialised digital technology or software (business specific)
  • digital planning and advice / training.
  • What is the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible the business must:

  • have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
  • have Queensland headquarters or significant Queensland-based operations
  • declare if any owners or directors of the business are an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.
  • The funds can only be used for new purchases -  meaning that the costs of maintaining existing technologies or web hosting costs can't be claimed and all purchases have to be made within three months of when the business receives the grant.
  • The participating business must provide OSB with a project report on completion of the project detailing how the funds were spent and the impact it has had on the business.

Businesses will be surveyed 12 months after the completion of the project.

Only one application will be accepted from an individual ABN or business address.

Application timeframes

Applications open: 8 November 2016

Applications close: 9 December 2016 (midnight)

How do I apply?

Planning

For us to help you with this, we need to gain more of an understanding of your business, goals and challenges to identify what will be the best strategies forward for you, for your online presence (including if applicable, websites, database marketing, CRM, Internet market etc) 

Apply

Once we have a plan we can then assist you with your grant application. Applicants can expect to receive a decision within two months of application.

Contact your local Bloomtools Consultant, if you are interested in growing your business online and be reimbursed via a Qld Government grant for half the project costs.*

*Subject to OSB terms and conditions.

For more information, go to https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/support-tools-grants/grants/digital-grants

Posted in: News   Comments

auDA going to introduce new domain extension .au

Posted by Tracey Voyce
3
May 2016
auDA going to introduce new domain extension .au

Individuals and Organisations will be able to register domain names in the top level .au, as per the decision of the policy panel appointed by auDA (Australian Domain Administration).  eg. yourname.au

After 10 months of public consultation and evaluation the 23 strong policy panel made the recommendation.  This will enable shorter domains for organisations, which can be easier to remember, and more appealing as well as expand the choice of domains.

auDA have not said when these direct registrations will be avaliable, but will undertake a detailed policy development process before they implement this new feature over the year.

To view the announcement, and see the research and recommendations, go here.

Even though this new extension is not avaliable yet, if you need a domain registered for your business - you can still call your Internet Consultant to help you find the best domain for your business.

Posted in: News   Comments
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