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Know how you're adding value

What is your value?

I had a meeting with a potential client this morning, who was recommended One Day Website, as we often help clients with business strategy as well. When I asked the client what their conversion goals were, they said they want to get speaking gigs as a result of their website.

This client has a lot of content, which was accumulated over years, and would be hard for anyone to duplicate. It is unique, valuable, interesting, and drives traffic to their website. However, no where on the site does it mention that the individual running the website is willing or able to speak professionally.

As speaking engagement opportunities aren’t mentioned on the website, it goes without saying that there are no details about what the client is good at speaking about, or why. The entire exercise would be left up to the website visitor to simply imagine that the client was available for hire.

One of the first things I ask all potential clients, is to clearly define what their conversion goal is. From there, we can start to being discuss strategies to optimize the website for conversions. But before that, we need to ensure we have a clearly defined value for the customer.

Many people make the mistake of stating what their product or service is, but I have more success with using the narrative of what the customer’s value is.

One Day Website optimizes your online business strategy.

Notice that I did not say we do websites, we do analytics, we do business strategy, and a host of technical solutions. When you read the above sentence, you immediately know if what One Day Website is offering aligns with your business pains, or if it would provide you a business gain.

You likely have some perceived notions as to what the value is you provide, now you need to validate it with potential and existing customers. Once your value has been validated, make sure your messaging along these lines is clear.

Vancouver, Canada: The World’s Bitcoin Hub

The City of Vancouver in Canada has been tagged as Canada’s Tech Capital. Gregor Robertson, Vancouver’s mayor, declared, “Technology is now a critical part of Vancouver’s economy.” Looking at Vancouver’s history and technology timeline, it shows how Vancouver’s economy was transformed by technology through time. A great part of the city’s tech history is the first Bitcoin ATM that was opened in 2013 at a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver. The ATM installed at the Waves Coffee House can convert bitcoins to Canadian dollars and dollars to bitcoins. The machine was launched by Bitcoiniacs, now Cointrader, a bitcoin exchange company based in Vancouver in partnership with Robocoin. The city is now dubbed as a bitcoin hotspot. The Bitcoin ATM is not only first in Vancouver; it is the first Bitcoin ATM in the world.

Bitcoin (BTC, XBT, or ฿), is a currency like European euro, US dollar, British pound and Canadian dollar. A currency directly refers to money or a system of money used in a nation. Like dollars, bitcoin is used as a medium of exchange. It is a growing global virtual monetary unit. In 2009, a paper proposal was published by an anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, introducing bitcoin as an electronic payment system. The objective in creating this system is to allow a currency to be free to circulate and independent from a central control; free from interference and manipulation. It’s a secure payment processing system where money can be digitally transferred instantly with less or no fees at all. It is categorized as a “cryptocurrency” because it uses cryptography to secure its processes.

Payment processing has grown into networks and has also evolved and was innovated overtime. There are many ways now to pay and purchase products and services or send money to families and friends. People can pay or send in cash, credit or debit through money transfers and payment transfers through banks or payment transfer services, in-person or online; through computers and mobile phones. Physical establishments can also take different forms of payment from customers and consumers. While the Bitcoin money system is very similar to the traditional currency; it is also unique in many ways. It is an open-source system and is free to use by the public; created but not owned by anyone.

Currently, there are numerous global public and private organizations dedicated to support and spread bitcoin as a legal financial service. Decentral Vancouver in Canada is a community of members with the advocacy for collaborating ideas, organizing events and sharing of information about bitcoin. The organization actively supports the decentralization of the bitcoin system. There is also the Bitcoin Association which works to make the global citizens gain more knowledge and better understanding of bitcoin and related concerns by providing information, news and updates. The Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, one of the many non-profit organizations, aims to promote awareness about bitcoin to businesses, merchants and consumers. Bitcoin.org is the domain for the first bitcoin website which features basic and simple information about bitcoin; how to acquire bitcoin and how to use it.

The Bitcoin payment system features include: easy payments through mobile phones using QR codes, secured payment transfer, protection from fraud, allows sole-control over money using a private key to avoid money theft and for privacy, instant money transfers which is possible even on holidays, international payments or transfers are sent in minutes, very low transaction fees, and it does not reveal the identity of the owner which avoids identity theft.

This cryptocurrency is for individuals, consumers, businesses and software developers. The bitcoin payment system is for everyone.  The businesses accepting bitcoin in Vancouver has been growing in number. A known local grocery store and café called “The Wilder Snail”, was the first grocery store to accept the currency as payment in Vancouver. There are also many Vancouver restaurants which accept bitcoin. A major online eye wear store based in Vancouver is the first e-commerce retail shop to accept bitcoin. One Day Website is the first website development and hosting company to accept bitcoin. The SFU (Simon Fraser University) is the first major educational institution to install bitcoin ATMs in Vancouver and the world. The university also accepts the virtual currency in their bookstores as payment. In 2014, the Sandman Hotel Group announced that they are accepting bitcoin for hotel reservations. Dell, Expedia, and Newegg, which is an electronics store also accepts bitcoin. The spaceline, Virgin Galactic, which is first in the world, also accepts bitcoin for space flights. This year, the Westfield Vancouver mall also installed their first bitcoin machine. Vancouver has become a bitcoin friendly city and is spreading its cyrptocurrency influence all through out Canada and the world. Learn to start using bitcoin now!

Is my website mobile friendly?

Is my website mobile friendly?

If you read Google’s announcement on Feb 26, 2015, the first question you likely asked yourself is — is my website mobile friendly? Google announced that starting April 21st, they will consider how mobile friendly your website is, as a ranking signal. This means if someone searches for your business from their mobile — a smart phone such as an Android, Blackberry, or Apple iphone, or from an ipad or tablet, Google may lower your search results, or not even show your website in the results at all.

What should you do to ensure your website is mobile friendly?

  • Enter your website at Google’s Mobile Friendly Test page, or have us compile a report for you on the steps needed to make your website more mobile friendly.
  • If possible, update your website with these changes before April 21st, so that your search rankings for those on mobile devices is not reduced.

For our customers, or anyone using WordPress, a couple solutions that might help you minimize costs during the transition, or even make them free.

  • Choose a theme that claims to be using Responsive Web Design (RWD). Being responsive, means that a website can comfortably resize for any screen size or shape. For example, will the images on your website appear smaller if viewed on a small device, or will they look the exact same size, filling the screen?
  • There are a few WordPress plugins that can come to the rescue, specifically WPTouch and WP Mobile Detector. What these plugins do is leave your existing website as is for desktop users, but they offer a specialized theme for your mobile visitors. While it won’t look the same to someone looking at your website from their desktop, as it will when they look at it from their phone, it has the advantage that it’s easy, and your website will instantly be mobile friendly (although make sure to test it again with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test page again, to be sure!). Then when you have more time or money in the future, you can redo your website to be responsive.

We’ve brought in design and CSS professionals this month to help meet the demand, so give us a call to ensure your site is optimized before the April 21st deadline. Although we can complete this process in less than a day for most websites, we will commit to fixing and transitioning every website to a mobile friendly version by the deadline, as long as you begin the engagement by April 7th, giving us 2 weeks.

Google Plus

Introduction to Google Plus

Why should you care about Google Plus, over Facebook pages? The main reason, as my friend Janice Mansfield (+1M followers!) told me years ago, Facebook charges you to reach the audience you worked so hard to build. Say for example you’ve piqued the interest of 1,000 people to follow your Facebook page, no doubt that would have taken a lot of your time and/or money. However you might think when you post something to your Facebook page now, all of your hard earned audience will see your post, but this is not the case. Only a small fraction of your audience, or Likes, will see your post. On Facebook, you need to pay for the privilege of reaching your own audience, and that ratio of organically reached vs paid reach is stretching every day.

This is not the case for Google Plus. Once you’ve earned the interest of someone, by them placing you in their circles, they will now be able to access your posts organically. You don’t have to pay for the privilege.

In the meantime, if you want to try the switch to Google Plus, here are a couple tips to help with your first few posts. You can highlight the important points in your posts by placing an * (asterisk) on each side of the word or phrase to make it show up in bold once you’ve posted it. You’ll also want to consider using up to three hashtags, to make your post(s) even more searchable. Google has a primer on using hashtags with their service.

Try posting your next question or comment to our Google Plus page, One Day Website. (email or tweet if you get stuck in the process). You’ll quickly realize that all it takes to use Google Plus is a Gmail account, so most of us are already there. Once you’re on our page, simply click the red “Follow us” link. You’re now able to ask us as many questions as you’d like, on how we can help get your online business to where you want it.

Open Web Analytics

What are you missing from your analytics?

If you’re not regularly monitoring your website analytics with goals and a pain free conversion strategy, you’re already behind the curve. Let us help.

However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs who run a website and check your logs religiously, you might want to consider what information you might be missing from your analytics.

Most analytic solutions involve running JavaScript, which can provide a great level of detail. The challenge is, many people now use JavaScript blockers, and that traffic is lost to these tools. Many search engine bots and spiders don’t use scripts either, so they will be missed. How prevalent is this? You might be surprised with the following results.

Recently, I put this site behind Cloudflare to try it. While I wouldn’t consider their information to be detailed analytics, they do provide an idea of traffic:

cloudflare analytics
cloudflare analytics

Regardless of JavaScript, most webservers, applications that serve websites, log all traffic. You can use useful tools on these logs, to compare the data with your JavaScript analytics.

I then took at look at my webserver logs, using analog.cx to parse them, showed slightly different metrics.  This table showing date, number of requests, and number of pages:

analog.cx of logs
analog.cx of logs

As you can see, these are not too different, until you compare them with the results I’m getting from Piwik, which is what I usually use for analytics:

piwik jan2015
piwik jan2015

~20 to ~2000 unique visitors per week is no subtle difference! We’re talking not one, but two orders of magnitude difference!

There are many potential reasons for the discrepancy; is Piwik installed on all pages of the website? Is there something stopping the pages from loading completely for every website visitor?

The important thing here isn’t to emphasize how little I work on improving traffic to this website, but that if I’d only been looking at Piwik, I would have missed many potential opportunities.

My suggestion is, don’t rely on a single approach to website logging, make sure you’re getting multiple perspectives, to ensure you’re seeing the whole picture.

 

No Gmail for business

Don’t use Gmail for business

When I say “Don’t use Gmail for business”, I’m not referring to Google Apps, which offers a branded email service, I just mean you should never have @gmail.com on a business card, or in the From: field of a professional email.

If you’re doing business, your branding matters. Whether you like it or not, your digital image paints a picture as much as wearing ripped jeans vs formal wear does. Once you own a domain name for your business, such as onedaywebsite.ca, most web hosts also offer or include a service to setup your own personalized email address.

[email protected] looks a lot more professional than [email protected]

It shows that you pay attention to such details. When you use an @Gmail.com, it just screams that you’re too lazy, or aren’t willing to invest a little money into your business branding.

If privacy isn’t a concern to you, and you really like giving Google access to everything about you and your business for the convenience of using them, check out Google Apps for business. We also offer various email solutions for business, depending on your needs, such as privacy and quantity requirements.

If you’ve spent the time to make sure you have a website, and social media, don’t forget to finish off the process by setting up professional looking email addresses for your business. Once you have them, don’t send out anything business related, unless it’s from that email address!

Responsive Design

Upgrade your website to 2015

Your small businesses likely has a website, but you’re not seeing may customers from it, and it most likely hasn’t been updated in a decade. We’re hoping to upgrade your website to 2015. What we will do is export your website from where it is now, and import your domain and website over to our hosting service. During the transition process, we will minimize downtime, and give your website a fresh look and feel. We’re recommended responsive themes this year, which means your website will be readable from a smart phone or ipad, any device, not just a personal computer. We provide you access to thousands of themes, and you can change them at any time, with one click. The process couldn’t be easier.

If you have 5 pages or less, we’ll do the entire process for $299 this month! Anything over that, we charge $100/hour and can usually do ~10 pages an hour. As you likely still have some months left before renewal with your existing web provider, we’ll include hosting for the rest of the year, at no extra cost to you!

Starting in 2016, you can choose to renew annually, or monthly, whichever you prefer. Never again will you be stuck with an outdated website, your choice of themes updates every week, using the latest technology, and you can update your theme at the click of a button, any time!

Of course, once you’re our customer, you’re able to access any of our services — improve your rankings in the search engines with SEO, know who is actually visiting your website anytime when with our privacy friendly Piwik analytics, or we’ll work with you on a conversion strategy  — measuring and reviewing how many of your websites are being converted to customers. We want to work with you to make sure your website is generating you income, not just sitting there because you feel you should have one.




Free Wordpress websites

One free website package for each week of December

I’m hoping to give away at least 4 free website packages this month, one every Sunday, and I’m not opposed to giving away more. That’s over $1,000 in website packages, for free. Here are my conditions:

  • I’m looking for people who really can’t afford it. If you can afford regular luxury coffees, or go out regularly and spend disposable income, this is not for you.
  • You have an idea you’re really passionate about. This could be for a project, or business idea.
  • You’re ready to commit to it. I’m not looking for someone who would spend a day or two building the website and forget about it, but someone willing to obsess over it. It is seen as an opportunity to improve your life and/or the lives of others, over the long term. In a year from now, you’ll still be so busy working on it.

If you guarantee me verbally the above are true, drop an email in 200-500 words with your story to [email protected] and I’ll respond within 2 business days. Your story will remain confidential with me, unless you agree for it to be shared.

If you win one of the website packages, I’ll do the domain name registration, setup WordPress for you and give you full access, and include web hosting for a year, at no cost to you.

Free WordPress websites

Happy holidays.