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Web Search & Marketing Newsletter – October 2017

Posts Tagged ‘Online security’

Web Search & Marketing Newsletter – October 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 23:31 No Comments

Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter which focuses on news, tips and advice for effective website marketing, with particular attention on Google and best practice search engine marketing techniques, plus current trends in the market.

In our first article this month we take a look at Google’s increasing focus on website connection security and how it intends to eventually show the “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages through the Google Chrome browser.

We also look at two recent announcements from Google AdWords, with the reduction of the ad rotation options, and secondly, the way that Google tracks AdWords conversions through Google Analytics. We look at the implications of these changes for advertisers.

You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter by month. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page or Google+ page for updates.

On to this month’s edition…


Google’s Focus on Website Connection Security

In January 2017 Google’s Chrome Web browser began to indicate connection security with an information icon in the address bar. Historically, Chrome had not explicitly labelled HTTP connections as non-secure, but since then any HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards have been marked non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure and to encourage increased web security.

Chrome previously marked HTTP connections with a neutral indicator, which didn’t reflect the true lack of security for HTTP connections, because when a website is loaded over HTTP someone else on the network can look at, or modify the site before it gets to you. Studies showed that users do not perceive the lack of a “secure” icon as a warning, but also that they become blind to warnings that occur too frequently. As a result, Google’s plan has been to take in gradual steps to label HTTP sites more clearly and accurately as non-secure.

Since that change in January, there has been a 23% reduction in navigations to HTTP pages with password or credit card forms on desktop, so Google has decided to take the next steps they see as necessary. Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the “Not secure” warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.

Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in Chrome version 62, it will show the “Not secure” warning when users type data into HTTP sites.

When users browse Chrome with Incognito mode, they likely have increased expectations of privacy. However, HTTP browsing is not private to others on the network so in v62, Chrome will also warn users when visiting an HTTP page in Incognito mode.

Eventually, the “Not secure” warning will be shown for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode. Google will publish updates as future releases are developed, but they highly recommend switching websites to HTTPS as it’s easier and cheaper than ever before and it enables both the best performance the web offers and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP.

It can also provide an advantage in search rankings (particularly for mobile results) against the sites that haven’t yet transitioned. So if this hasn’t already been done, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later.

If you want to know more about how website connection security can help to improve your business, contact us now.


Google “Simplifies” AdWords Ad Rotation Settings

Ad rotation is the way that Google delivers ads on both the Search Network and the Display Network. If there are multiple ads within an adgroup the ads will rotate, because no more than one ad from the account can show at a time. The ad rotation setting is therefore used to specify how often the ads in the adgroup are to be served relative to one another.

On 25th September 2017, three updates were made to simplify and improve ad rotation:

1. There will only be two ad rotation settings:

  • “Optimise” will use Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads that are expected to perform better than other ads in the ad group. This setting will optimise ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location and more.
  • “Rotate indefinitely” will deliver ads more evenly for an indefinite amount of time.

Now that this change has taken place, the previous “optimise for conversions” and “rotate evenly” settings will be greyed out in the AdWords interface. This means:

  • Campaigns using “optimise for clicks”, “optimise for conversions” or “rotate evenly” will now just use “optimise”.
  • Campaigns using “rotate indefinitely” will stay the same.

2. Campaigns using Smart Bidding will use “optimise” regardless of their ad rotation setting.

3. Ad rotation settings will now be available at the adgroup level, rather than at campaign level. This enables the use of multiple rotation settings across a single campaign.

It’s not critical to take any immediate action but Google states that to continue optimising for conversions, the use of Smart Bidding is “recommended” (and there is no other way to do it). This helps to tailor bids based on the likelihood of a conversion, and chooses the ad most likely to drive that conversion, although the results will be dependent on Google’s automated system and the more conversions there are, the more effective this is likely to be.

Google states this change is to simplify the settings, but the fact that the previous “rotate evenly” option will now automatically optimise for clicks encourages a more cynical view, and the reversal of these options comes after the numerous complaints made some years ago when the choice of rotation was originally changed. Furthermore, Smart Bidding using Google’s machine learning has yet to be proven to be highly effective at increasing conversions and lowering the average Cost Per Acquisition, since it’s still relatively early days for that technology and advertisers should review the changes after this change and decide which rotation setting to use.

It’ll be interesting to see if Google ever back-flips on this decision due to more industry dissatisfaction at there being less control (as has happened previously with device bid modifiers). In an attempt to appease a similar outcry, Google is still thankfully providing the option for ads to “rotate indefinitely”. AdWords managers who prefer more control with an even rotation can still do that to split test the ads without any automated optimisation input from Google, although it will require more monitoring and changes to ensure the best results. That will, according to them “be the sole option for an even rotation going forward”, but how long that possibly unpopular decision stays in place remains to be seen.

You can read more about simpler ad rotation or contact us now for more information.


Changes to AdWords Conversion Measurement

In another recent change to AdWords, Google recently emailed all advertisers with details of adjustments that would be made to the way conversions are measured. Most advertisers won’t need to take action but should be aware of the reasons and implications of these changes.

The announcement in September resulted from changes that Apple are introducing with their Safari browser, using a new feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention. This is designed to stop the use of cookies and other tracking data operating across more than one website and the implications are that it may affect the accuracy of AdWords website conversion tracking through Safari, and therefore in particular on iPhones.

Google has therefore made changes to help ensure that conversions are reported as accurately as possible in AdWords, by making three changes which are consistent with Apple’s own recommendations for ad attribution:

  • If an advertiser has auto-tagging enabled and a Google Analytics tag on their website, Google will begin to set a new Google Analytics cookie on that site’s domain, which will store information about the ad click that brought a user to the site. If the AdWords and Google Analytics accounts are linked, then the AdWords conversion tracking tag will be able to use that click information.
  • AdWords will continue to report conversions for users who have recently interacted with Google services and domains.
  • AdWords will also use statistical modelling to estimate website conversions that could not be measured from Safari, and include them in the AdWords reporting.

Google has started to use the ad click information stored in the new Google Analytics cookie from September, although it may take a few days before these conversions appear in the AdWords reports. Advertisers can turn this off by updating their Google Analytics tag, but this would not be recommended.

Google does recommend that if an advertiser hasn’t yet linked their AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, this should be done to better measure conversions in AdWords. They also recommend that the conversion data is monitored over the next few months to see if there are any notable changes to previous trends with the data tracking.

If you would like more information about this change, or help with linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts together, please get in touch.

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Web Search & Marketing Newsletter – February 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 5:26 No Comments

Welcome to the latest monthly issue of our regular newsletter which features news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search engine marketing techniques and trends.

In our first article this month we take a look at the term ‘crawl budget’ in relation to Google Search Console, which applies to the Googlebot that crawls websites to index their pages for the search engine rankings, and the implications this may have for search marketers. The second article looks at Google AdWords, and examines search terms that Google classifies as ‘low search volume’, with advice about how best to approach the use of those keywords.

In the final article this month we take a look at how best to avoid fake emails. These can be in the form of scams, or thinly veiled online marketing sales pitches and this advice should be useful for individuals or businesses who are keen not to fall into these potentially serious traps!

You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter by month. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page or Google+ page for updates.

On to this month’s edition…


What ‘Crawl Budget’ Means for Googlebot

Webmasters have various definitions for ‘crawl budget’, which is a term that refers to Googlebots that crawl websites to index their pages for the search engine rankings (i.e. ‘Crawling’ is the start of the process to get websites into Google’s search results). Efficient crawling of a website helps with its indexing in Google Search.

Google recently clarified the meaning of ‘crawl budget’, which covers a range of issues, but they also emphasised that it’s not something that needs to concern the majority of webmasters, whose sites have less than a few thousand URLs, as most of the time, sites of that size will be crawled efficiently.

Crawl rate limit

Prioritising what to crawl, when and how much resource the server hosting the site can allocate to crawling, is more important for bigger sites, or those that auto-generate pages based on URL parameters, for example. Crawling is Googlebot’s main priority, while making sure it doesn’t degrade the experience of users visiting the site. This is called the ‘crawl rate limit,’ which limits the maximum page fetching rate for a given site.

Crawl health

If the site responds really quickly for a while, the limit goes up, meaning more connections can be used to crawl. If the site slows down or responds with server errors, the limit goes down and Googlebot crawls less. By setting the limit in Search Console, website owners can reduce Googlebot’s crawling of their site. (Note that setting higher limits doesn’t automatically increase crawling).

Crawl demand

Even if the crawl rate limit isn’t reached, if there’s no demand from indexing, there will be low activity from Googlebot. The factors that play a significant role in determining crawl demand are:

  • Popularity: URLs that are more popular on the Internet tend to be crawled more often to keep them fresher in Google’s index.
  • Staleness: Google’s systems attempt to prevent URLs from becoming stale in the index.
  • Additionally, site-wide events, like site moves, may trigger an increase in crawl demand in order to reindex the content under the new URLs.

Taking crawl rate and crawl demand together, Google defines ‘crawl budget’ as the number of URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl from a website. According to Google’s analysis, a website that has many low-value-add URLs can negatively affect a site’s crawling and indexing, such as having on-site duplicate content, soft error pages, hacked pages or low quality and spam content.

These sort of issues make it important to develop quality content throughout a website, but also to keep monitoring Google Search Console reports to ensure that a site is being indexed regularly and efficiently, and there are no potential issues with the site that may prevent pages being added to Google’s index.

You can read more on how to optimise the crawling of your site, here, and this is still applicable despite being an article from 2009. If you would also like to know more about how we can check if your site is being correctly indexed to ensure it’ll be admissible to Google’s search results, please contact us now.


Managing Low Search Volume Terms in AdWords

One frustrating aspect of Google AdWords can be the ‘Low search volume’ status that Google will sometimes give to keywords with very little to no search history, worldwide over the past twelve months. They are temporarily made inactive so that they don’t trigger AdWords ads even if you try searching for the term on Google. This can be a problem for new product or brand related keywords.

Google will identify any keywords added to an adgroup with the ‘low search volume’ status and no impressions will accrue against the keyword. However, if the number of search queries for these keywords should increase, even a small amount, they’ll be reactivated and will start triggering ads to show in the results as Google’s system automatically checks and updates the status on a weekly basis.

Before the introduction of the ‘low search volume’ status, it used to be possible to target ‘long tail’ keywords. These are keywords or key phrases that are more specific and usually longer than more commonly searched for keywords, but not searched for very often. Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific and more closely relate to the searcher’s intent.

This is often why the ‘low search volume’ status can be frustrating in AdWords and there has to be a methodology to manage them, such as the following:

  • Do nothing and wait for Google to automatically check again within a week. If more people start searching for your keyword, it’ll be reactivated. This option can be particularly helpful if a new brand, term or product is being advertised.
  • Change the keyword match to broaden it out from phrase or exact versions, as the probability for someone searching for a keyword with 5-6 words in a certain order is very low.
  • Pause the keyword. If there are a large number of low search volume keywords, pausing the ones that are generic and have a low quality score should be considered. Having a few low search volume keywords in your account doesn’t affect account performance. However, if you have a significant number of such keywords then it may affect the Quality Score of the adgroup, which in turn can affect the avg. CPC of the keywords.
  • Move the ‘low search volume’ keywords to a separate campaign. This can provide more control over them and improve overall campaign quality score.
  • Remove the keyword and use the Keyword Planner to find additional keyword ideas.

The best way to increase traffic on low search volume branded keywords is to run Display campaigns to create brand awareness. People will become aware of your product/site and start searching. This will increase search traffic for the brand terms and low search volume keywords will become active. It won’t happen immediately, but results should begin in a month or so.

If you want to know more about how we can help to improve the Quality Score and performance of your AdWords campaign, contact us now.


Avoiding Fake Emails

Ever since emails became a mainstream part of the Internet, the use of unscrupulous or fake emails to try and trick recipients have been a common threat, with varying degrees of annoyance or danger. However, being email aware can make recipients cautious about emails and avoid taking any unnecessary action.

From the early days of Nigerian email scams, which promised recipients untold wealth from surprising will gifts, emails have become more sophisticated and widely used by scammers, hackers and criminals to hide behind a fake profile and to tempt participants to part with money to do things they shouldn’t be doing.

In the search marketing field, these scams include marketing emails that supposedly come from an ‘expert’ who has viewed your website and want to scare you into taking action with them. These senders have rarely viewed your site and send the same warning message to thousands of recipients in the hope that a few will ‘bite’. They tend to come from Gmail or similar generic email addresses and have no indication of coming from a legitimate business, with no address or phone number details.

At a more serious level, emails that contain clickable links can lead you to fake websites and probably malware or viruses that can attack your computer and personal information. Many of these emails are cleverly designed to look like legitimate emails from companies and attract your attention and have to be treated with caution. Many emails systems – like Gmail – are pretty good at filtering out a lot of these scams, but some can get through (and sometimes real emails can be filtered incorrectly).

A few simple checks are worth taking with any emails that look unusual, such as:

  • Would you expect to be receiving this type of message?
  • Check the message headers, as the “from:” address and the “return-path” reference should reference the same source
  • Does the content of the email read correctly or contain typos?
  • If you hover over any links from the email, does the URL match the expected website you’d be connecting to, or an unusual address?

If in doubt, go directly to the website you would expect and login or signup there rather than via the email link. Also make sure you have virus software on your device and you regularly scan the device or run a malware check.

By being email smart and questioning anything that looks odd, should help to keep you safe and just delete the suspicious emails. If you’d like more information, please contact us for details.


We hope you’ve found this month’s newsletter useful. As usual, if you have any questions or need help with any of these items, please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website’s performance.

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Web Search & Marketing Newsletter – September 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 7:30 No Comments

Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter, which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search marketing techniques and trends.

In the first article this month, we take a look at Google’s recent changes to the format of the local search listings when displayed on the main search results page. This should be of significant interest to businesses that have any local ‘My Business’ listings and want to target local searchers.

In our second article, we look at Google’s advice for website owners and managers on how to avoid being targeted by hackers, which is becoming an increasingly common problem. Finally this month, we take a look at Google’s recent launch of the new Adwords Report Editor, a tool which any business running an AdWords campaign should be interested in, to help review and analyse their marketing performance.

You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter, either by month. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page or Google+ page for updates.

On to this month’s edition…

Google Changes Local Search Results

Google has recently changed the way in which local search listings are being displayed on the first page of search results. This should be of interest to any business that has a local business listing, as they are an important asset on the Search Engine Results Page, as Google gives them preference in the organic rankings.

Up until recently, Google would usually display about 7 local business listings in the search results, so this recent change to limit the list to 3 businesses means that there’s more competition for the limited visibility. So having a well-optimised listing is more important than ever.

The new listings have a number of important changes, including telephone numbers being replaced with directions to the address, as these changes are mostly designed for mobile searchers looking for a location. These directions also link to the new Local Finder in Maps, as does clicking upon the business’s red icon in the search results. Within these new Local Finder results there are 20 opportunities for visibility.

The links to the business’s associated Google Plus pages have also now been removed, as G+ is going through a change of focus and will soon be split into two elements – Photos and Streams. Fortunately, this change won’t impact the ability for searchers to view reviews of a company, which will still appear in the grey box that appears when the listing on maps is moused over. Seeing reviews is now a two-click process into the Local Finder and then another click on the reviews, which isn’t very user friendly.

However, if there are sufficient reviews to show the star rating out of 5, there is a link directly to those reviews from the search box. This means that there’s still a good reason for compiling as many of those positive customer reviews as possible because having that visible star rating provides a competitive advantage as it immediately draws the eye towards the business that has it displayed.

Google has been making a series of changes over the past few years to the Places / My Business listings and to the local search results, which can often be a confusing or backwards step for some companies. It’s hoped that it will soon settle on the most effective format and stick with it for a while, as the data that its own Local Analytics provides is currently not completely accurate and so has limited use.

If you would like to know more about how your business can benefit from these latest changes and having a local business listing displayed, contact us now for more details.


How to Avoid Being Targeted by Hackers

Google has recently been publishing a series of articles for website owners with tips and techniques to avoid their websites being hacked. This is because they say that they’ve seen a 180% increase in the number of sites getting hacked over the past year. Therefore if you publish anything online, one of your top priorities should be security, as getting hacked can negatively affect your online reputation and result in loss of critical and private data.

First launched in 2014, Google’s ‘#NoHacked’ campaign aims to educate webmasters about ways to avoid, or identify hacking attacks on their website, and to keep data and account secure. A recent series of blog articles on its Webmaster Central Blog, has added more content to support this campaign.

Some of the key recommendations made by Google have been:

  • Ensure that all your website’s software is up-to-date: one of the most common ways for a hacker to compromise your site is through insecure software on your site. Be sure to periodically check the site for any outdated software, especially updates that patch security holes. If you use a Content Management System (CMS), or any plug-ins or add-ons on the site, make sure to keep these tools updated with new releases – this is particularly important for WordPress sites, which are a primary target for out-of-date software.
  • Strengthen your account security: creating a password that’s difficult to guess or crack is essential to protecting the site. For example, a password might contain a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, or be a pass-phrase. Password length is important. The longer your password, the harder it will be to guess.
  • Research how your hosting provider handles security issues: Your hosting provider’s policy for security and cleaning up hacked sites is in an important factor to consider when choosing one. If you use a hosting provider, contact them to see if they offer on-demand support to clean up site-specific problems, or a managed administrator services option, to update software. You can also check online reviews to see if they have a track record of helping users with compromised sites clean up their hacked content.
  • Use Google tools to stay informed of potential hacked content on your site: having a Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) account can be useful to receive notifications from Google about malware or other issues on your website. It’s important to have tools that can help you pro-actively monitor your site. The sooner a compromise is discovered; the sooner work can begin on fixing the site. You can also set up Google Alerts on the site to notify you if there are any suspicious results for it.

Website security is a fundamentally critical issue for any online business, so taking heed of these points could make the difference to avoiding, or surviving a hack-attack. Check out the blog articles from Google and check what security processes you have in control for your site.

If you want to know more about how a website security plan could help to protect your online business, contact us now for more details.


Google AdWords Launches Report Editor

At the start of August, Google AdWords announced the new Report Editor tool, which would be rolled out over the coming months. This is yet to appear in some accounts, but it will do so in due course, so it’s well worth being familiar with it in advance.

Report Editor is a powerful AdWords tool that lets you explore account data in brand new ways from within a browser. Access to it will be apparent when the new ‘Reports tab’ appears in the AdWords account and from this tab, you can open a pre-defined report or create your own report from scratch. It provides an easy-to-use interface that enables the building of custom tables and charts that can be segmented, sorted, and filtered to help find the insights that matter to a business.

The key functions are:

  • Explore your data with simple drag and drop actions
  • Sort, filter, and pivot your data to focus on the slices of information you need
  • Visualize your data in pie, bar, or line charts to reveal powerful insights
  • Apply multiple segmentations to analyse your data with finer granularity.

Key metrics and dimensions can be examined by simply dragging and dropping the selected ones into a table or chart. Metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions can be viewed and then you can add dimensions like device, campaign, or adgroup to segment the data further.

It’s also possible to visualise data. Charts can quickly unveil performance trends that may be missed when looking at numbers alone. Now, it’s possible to instantly create a line, pie, or bar chart to surface your key insights. It just takes a click to instantly switch between different charts and tables. Just like tables, it’s possible to save and share charts with others or set them to run regularly.

This release has been warmly welcomed by the AdWords management community, as it makes the data more actionable, providing more powerful insights and vastly reduces the amount of time spent creating ‘old-style’ numeric reports, which don’t highlight the KPIs as effectively.

You can read more about the Report Editor, here. If you would more information about how this important reporting tool can enhance the performance of your AdWords campaigns, contact us now.


We hope you’ve found this month’s newsletter useful. Please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website’s performance. Also, if there are any issues you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please submit your suggestions to us.

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Web Search & Marketing Newsletter – May 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014 7:29 No Comments

Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search marketing techniques and trends.

Just over a month ago, Google released their Universal Analytics product from beta, so this edition of the newsletter looks at this much anticipated upgrade to Google Analytics, plus its benefits and the implications for all websites using this tracking. Related to this, we also examine how the implementation of Google’s Tag Manager code to a website has significant benefits in terms of functionality and the potential to reduce the management time and tracking resources on a website.

Finally in this issue, we review another significant event from the past month, which has been the recognition of the ‘Heartbleed Bug’. This is a major security breach that exploits a vulnerability in supposedly secure SSL and TLS encryptions and presents a significant concern to every Internet user.

You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter, either by month or by subject. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page or Google+ page for updates.

On to this month’s edition…

Google’s Universal Analytics is Released

In an eagerly-anticipated development, Google recently announced that their latest version of Analytics – known as ‘Universal’ – has come out of its beta stage and is now the primary version of the Analytics product. This should be of significant interest to any business website owner, or website marketing manager, who actively controls and analyses this data, as it’s much more suitable for today’s multi-screen, multi-device world.

The new Universal Analytics product has a range of new features and benefits which are summarised below. The immediate issue for most websites that are currently using Analytics is to upgrade the tracking code snippet on their site pages, which can be done now, or eventually Google will force all websites to use the new code, as the existing code will eventually be discontinued. If you currently use Analytics, you’ll need to login to your account and start the upgrade process within the Admin area – which is clearly explained within the account.

One of the main features being promoted by Google with the new Universal Analytics is that it will enable more modern functionality, including the gradual roll-out of the User ID feature to help you better understand the customers’ full journey through a website towards a goal or sale completion. These reports will show anonymous engagement activity across different screens and visits to your site to provide a more user-centric view of the traffic, to help you build a more tailored experience for your customers as well.

It will also enable new cross-device reporting that shows how the website’s users are interacting with your business across multiple devices, at different times. With the User ID, you can get a more accurate user count, analyse the signed-in user experience, and get access to the new Cross Device reports. You can read more about User ID here, or how to set up the User ID here.

Other improvements include tracking code that is also more flexible and easier to implement on a number of levels. In addition to this, there is time-zone based processing of reports, which provides the data more quickly without any time-zone lag, leading to much fresher data. There is also more advanced benefits for developers and the improved cross-domain, or sub-domain tracking for websites, as well as the ability to create custom dimensions and custom metrics to collect data that’s unique to your business and stay up-to-date with new features.

In addition, Universal Analytics also gives you access to new configuration options. These are organic search sources, session and campaign timeout handling, referral exclusions and search term exclusion that add a new level of functionality to control the data. You can read more about the benefits of Universal Analytics here.

This is a major advance for Google Analytics and the ability to track how (anonymous) users behave across multiple devices and sessions is a huge leap forward from the previous version and will provide an invaluable level of data and reporting detail in the future. If you would like to know more about Universal Analytics and how it can benefit your business, contact us now for more details.

Google Tag Manager – Why Use It?

Following on from the first article this month about Universal Analytics, this is a perfect time to consider implementing Google’s Tag Manager code on your website, as it offers numerous benefits to both business owners and marketing managers. A key benefit of the Tag Manager (GTM) is its ability to deliver any code that you want to your site, without lengthy manual and sometimes costly, code changes. This will make future upgrades and enhancements much simpler, since modifications can be made through GTM by marketers and not through technical developers.

If you decide to implement the new code for the Universal Analytics tracking on your website, then it’s also a good time to consider setting up a Google Tag Manager account and using this code instead – which can incorporate the Analytics tracking functions. Some of the other benefits in setting up the Google Tag Manager are:

  • Speed
    As changes and new tags can be made rapidly and do not require code changes to the website it’s great for marketers, with its excellent ability for quickly adding marketing tags for Adwords or conversion tracking, without involving a developer.
  • Flexibility
    As marketers don’t need to involve a developer with every tweak to simple tags, this frees up time for developers to focus on larger projects. GTM’s robust features and extreme customisation options also give it great flexibility.
  • Debug Options
    A critical element is the ability to use GTM’s de-bugger to ensure tags work before they are live on the site.
  • Version Control
    Every time you publish a change, it creates a new version, which is archived. If at any time you need to rollback to an existing version, you can do so easily. This is also a great way to keep tags organised and trouble-shoot tagging problems.
  • User Permissions
    GTM allows you to set permissions for individual users that include view, edit, and publish. So varying levels of access can be provided for internal employees, or for out-sourced marketing agencies.
  • Built-In Tags
    GTM has included tags for classic and Universal Analytics, AdWords conversions, remarketing, as well as other popular ad networks. These allow marketers to customise the tags with just a few pieces of information and without the time-consuming complication of implementing code.
  • Event Listeners
    GTM can be used to target links or buttons by attributes that are already on the link, or by using a standardised naming structure like data attributes, instead of manually tagging each link that you want to track as an event within Google Analytics. This a very important and time-saving benefit.

The reason for adopting the use of GTM is very compelling, especially due to the way in which it can reduce resources and is so adaptable and customisable. There are numerous types of code that can be quickly added to your site, a few examples of which can be seen here.

In you’d like more information about the benefits of GTM and how it can save your business money, please contact us now.

The Heartbleed Bug – Does It Affect You?

On 1st April Google’s security team reported their findings on the vulnerability in OpenSSL, used by website’s with secure data handling such as ecommerce sites. At the same time, a Finnish company had also discovered the bug and it has been revealed to be far from an April Fool’s joke! However, action has been taken quickly during the month to patch the bug and to prevent any serious security breaches.

The Heartbleed bug was revealed to be a serious security flaw located in the OpenSSL library – for a more technical background you can read more here. In simple terms, this bug is a flaw that makes it possible for important user information to be stolen through different SSL and TLS encryptions. The Heartbleed bug can lead to personal information being hacked and accessed by others, in the form of emails, instant messaging conversations and VPN’s.

As a result of flawed OpenSSL protection, hackers have been able to eavesdrop on individuals and gather data such as usernames, passwords and other valuable personal information. This bug has become a major concern for businesses across the globe with valuable and confidential business information now potentially being accessed and compromised by outsiders.

The only way that this bug can be corrected is through installing the ‘Fixed OpenSSL’ patch. Users may have to wait until this patch is implemented for different operating systems, networks and software, although the top Internet security firms have been working on solutions around the Heartbleed bug to ensure valuable personal information is protected.

If you are concerned that your information has been hacked from a vulnerable website – or that your website might be vulnerable – then you can use the Symantec SSL Toolbox web security service. This will inform you whether a specific website is safe from the Heartbleed bug. If you are considering using a website and providing the site with valuable information, then it is a good idea to use this tool to ensure the site is safe from potential SSL security breaches. Changing all your passwords regularly is another effective way of ensuring your personal information remains safe.

The Heartbleed bug is a major security breach and worry for all Internet users across the globe and vast amounts of resources and funding will be needed to ensure the security breaches caused by this bug are repaired in the near future.

If you’d like to know how the Heartbleed Bug could affect your business, contact us now for more information.


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