Website owners who use Google Analytics generally want to see where traffic is coming from and what keywords/phrases they used. It is easy to become frustrated especially when we see large amounts of visits being labelled “not provided” or “not set”.
But what exactly do they mean? We will try and explain in more detail below.
There’s a mandatory change being made by SagePay this year migrating all customers from protocol v2 to v3. If you run a BFI ecommerce website, it’s likely that your current payment integration will no longer function after July 31st 2015. To continue taking online payments into August, your website must be updated to use the new v3 protocol.
Unless you ask us not to, your website will be upgraded from SagePay v2 to SagePay v3 during May & June. This will be a billable upgrade.
The upgrade process is low-risk and will work as follows:
- We’ll contact you to arrange the upgrade. One of the BFI team members will let you know the price & the upgrade date.
- We’ll build a new additional v3 payment module and apply it to your live website, but we won’t enable it.
- We’ll configure and test the v3 module, without live customers being able to see it.
- Once tested, we’ll enable the v3 module and give you a call. You’ll be able to put through a live transaction using your card, and then refund it.
- Once this second test is complete, we’ll remove the old v2 module from your website.
- The upgrade is complete.
At the moment there is nothing you’ll need to do. We’re working through our clients in batches and will contact everyone affected in the next 4-6 weeks to arrange your upgrade.
It’s likely that SagePay will have emailed you already, and may call too. You can let them know that everything is in hand and refer them to this page. We’re planning for all websites to be upgraded by the end of May 2015.
Introducing Direct Debit for our customers
BF Internet have an easy way to pay your invoices by Direct Debit. This allows you to pay invoices automatically, direct from your bank account.
You can authorise for payments to be taken for:
- All annual hosting and domain invoices
- Invoices for design & development work
Once you’ve authorised payments, we do the work automatically. This saves you time, leaving you free to concentrate on your business rather than boring admin tasks.
Registering for Direct Debit Payments
If you’d like to start using Direct Debit payments, you can register today in 2 ways:
- Visit www.bfinternet.co.uk/dd-signup to sign up
- Contact our Accounts department to request an authorisation email
Signing up online
- Fill out this online form – www.bfinternet.co.uk/dd-signup. We use GoCardless to process payments, if you don’t already have an account with them you’ll be prompted to create one.
- Once you’ve entered your bank details, you’ll be set up for Direct Debit payments.
- BF Internet will contact you for future invoices to see if you’d like to pay them by Direct Debit.
- BF Internet will notify you 3 days before any payments are taken via Direct Debit.
Signing up via email
- Contact us and request for an authorisation email to be sent out to you.
- Follow the link in the email, check the details are correct and submit the authorisation.
- BF Internet will contact you for future invoices to see if you’d like to pay them by Direct Debit.
- BF Internet will notify you 3 days before any direct debit payments are taken.
We love GoCardless
Interested in using GoCardless to accept Direct Debit payments for your own business? Click here to find out more – www.bfinternet.co.uk/we-love-gocardless
It is no secret that for the majority of ecommerce website owners, generating more traffic and sales is the key to success. Knowing where to start and what to do is not always clear which is why we have decided to create our own practical guide to Ecommerce SEO.
Before you start to think about optimising your website, you need to have a plan. You may already have a good understanding of which keywords/phrases are important (get in touch if you don’t) but don’t just stop there. Take some time to type those phrases into Google and see who already appears on page one.
Press release, courtesy of Moore & Smalley and Freshfield PR:
When Mark and Lucy Fuller became frustrated with the lack of a suitable system for managing bookings at their South Lakes Hotel, the entrepreneurial couple decided to create their own.
The booking system they designed, in partnership with a web development agency BF Internet, has been so successful at maximising sales and improving efficiency, they have decided to launch a new venture offering the software to other hotels and accommodation providers.
Direct Room Sales has been designed specifically to help smaller independent hotels offer online sales, manage room allocation, and take electronic payments, all within their existing website.
Mark, who owns The Sun Inn at Kirkby Lonsdale with wife Lucy, said: “For smaller hotels, such as those with fewer than 20 bedrooms, there was nothing out there in terms of software that enabled them to manage online reservations in the efficient way that larger hotels do.
“We wanted a system that allowed us not just to sell our rooms online, but to sequence those room sales in a logical order, offer packages and extras, and do things like automatically change room pricing structures for weekends or certain times of the year. A key feature for us was the link into our EPOS to automatically charge the guest room account.”
2013 sees an overhaul of our hosting packages, which we’ve recently updated onto our website. After listening to feedback from our customers the new range includes a wider choice of upgraded and premium shared hosting packages, offering increased server resource, uptime and support for businesses who rely on their website as a key source of income.
When putting together a hosting package, it is the physical rack space that makes up the bulk of the cost, rather than the hardware itself. By upgrading our hardware specifications to allow servers to be shared between 5-10 websites, we’re able to offer this new range of competitive commercial packages. Sharing the rack space means enterprise features are available at the fraction of the cost of a dedicated machine, whilst offering comparable performance & uptime levels.
Content Experiments are a great way to analyse the design, layout and content of your site with the aim of improving each individual aspect of it. The purpose of these experiments is to enhance your site to give the best performance in respect of Conversions (the number of successfully completed goals for a given number of visitors).
Google’s Content Experiment tools are free, and seamlessly link to Google Analytics to make it easy to analyse the statistics produced. Each experiment is designed to help your site meet its goals – whether that it for customer to make a purchase, signup for a newsletter or to view a particular page.
Content Experiments let you target one page at a time, so that you can focus on the most important pages involved in reaching your website’s goals. By concentrating on the individual elements of these pages, you can trial different variations and measure how each one performs compared to the original.
For example, the screen shots above show the Direct Room Sales homepage and variants to be tested. This page is the first area a visitor will see, so the content displayed here is extremely important. Google Content experiments could be used on this site to display different content to different segments of its visitors, while measuring each variants’ success.
Having read our article about selecting a mobile presence for your business, the next step is to consider your overall mobile strategy. The strategy and presence you choose for mobile go hand-in-hand, they are decisions made on a case by case basis and determined by considering your users, the type of content you present online and your business sector.
Consider your users
The primary consideration for any web project should be the users, since they are usually your customers. When considering users and your mobile strategy you should seek to answer the following questions:
- Why will users be accessing my online content using a mobile device?
It is to purchase a product or make a booking? Or merely to find out more about your company? Or am I providing a tool for my employees?
- What will they be looking for?
Will your users want to find contact details, directions, opening times? Or maybe read your latest news?
- Is there any content from main website that they won’t need to see?
Word documents for printing, for example, probably aren’t very relevant to mobile users
- Are there any new features or content they’ll need?
With a mobile app you could take advantage of device features like the camera, push notifications and GPS
- Where will users be when using a mobile device?
Will they be out and about? Or sitting comfortably at home? An iPad user at home may browse together with a partner, whereas a smartphone user may privately browse on the train.
- What type of device will they be using?
iPad users may typically be at home, and possibly connected via Wi-Fi. There could be an opportunity to present these users with a great interactive brochure?
Some of these questions can be answered by looking at your website statistics (Google Analytics for example), some from placing yourself in your users shoes. Further insight may be gained by gathering information from users via a simple questionnaire.
Read the rest of this entry »
Whilst mobile browsing accounts for an ever-growing proportion of your website traffic, there isn’t one ‘standard’ approach for catering for mobile visitors. The information you provide to a mobile audience and the methods used to present it should be considered on a case by case basis; user demographic, business sector and budget all dictate which solution suits best. With this in mind we look at four approaches and ask; which mobile strategy is right for your business?
1. The simplest approach: Adjust your desktop site
The simplest and cheapest option is to simply adjust your existing desktop website. This basically comes down to testing it with the most popular devices (your website statistics are useful here) and making sure everything works i.e. all the functionality is accessible, products can be purchased, pages can be seen and forms filled in. The aim here is to ensure that whilst the user experience is far from optimised for a smaller screen, no visitor with a mobile device is prevented from using your site (and so forcing them to go elsewhere.) Read the rest of this entry »
Still not on Twitter?
Ranked by browsing behaviour analysts Alexa as the world’s 8th most influential website, Twitter is now in its 7th year of existence. What’s more, industry experts predict that social media will have an even greater influence on both the business and personal spheres in the near future.
Through dialogue with our clients and contacts, we have come to the realisation that many struggle to get started with new online platforms. With that in mind, the BF team have created a step-by-step best practice guide to the Twitter sign-up process.