fbpx

Brexit and Online Dispute Resolution

eu_online_dispute_resolution_brexit_issues

Important information regarding cases involving UK users

On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom will withdraw from the European Union. In the event that no withdrawal agreement will be in place on that date (so-called “no deal-Brexit”), the UK’s withdrawal will have the following impact on the use of the European ODR platform:

After 29 March 2019

  • Consumers resident in the UK will no longer be able to submit a new complaint on the ODR platform. They will also not be able to act on any ongoing cases in the platform, whether to send it to a dispute resolution body, contact a UK ODR advisor, or receive an outcome.
  • Consumers resident in the EU or Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will no longer be able to use the ODR platform to complain about a UK trader or send their case to a UK dispute resolution body.
  • Traders established in the UK will no longer be able to access their ODR dashboard.
  • Traders established in the EU or Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will not be able to act on any ongoing cases concerning UK consumers in the platform or suggest UK dispute resolution bodies.
  • All users can no longer export any relevant complaint data concerning UK consumers or traders from their dashboard. Users have the possibility to export relevant complaint data before 29 March 2019.
  • All users will not be able to contact the UK ODR advisor. Please contact them before 29 March 2019.

For further information, please contact your national ODR advisor.

Email Spam

email spam

Email Spam-the Never ending Cat and Mouse Game

Today – as before – there is plenty of spam on social networks and in other types of online marketing, but most of us probably think of email when talking about spam. If you’re like me, battling email spam is a never-ending game of cat and mouse — tweaking spam filter settings, blacklisting and whitelisting domains, deleting emails that reach the In box, etc.
If your Website is build on the WordPress CMS System and you are using the popular Contact Form 7 Plugin for your Contact Form then here are some additional solutions apart from the build in re Captcha Integration.

First off – Should You use all the anti-spam methods recommended here?

In a word, no. I do NOT recommend that you implement ALL of the methods suggested in this article. A WordPress website should be kept as clean and minimal as possible behind the scenes, and you should not install unnecessary plugins.
Instead, I recommend using trial and error to experiment with these solutions – whether you’re a WordPress expert or a novice.If you need Help with any of these methods please contact me. Track how much contact form spam you receive after implementing one or two methods, and make changes until you are happy. Install Akismet as a starting point, and take it from there.

Using Contact Form 7’s in-built anti-spam measures

You’ll find a lot of articles recommending CAPTCHA and quiz plugins that work with Contact Form 7. Most of these are unnecessary as it’s better to use the features already built into the Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin.

Quiz

Simple quizzes are becoming a popular way to combat contact form spam. They work by asking the user a simple question such as “Which is bigger, 2 or 8?” Bots can’t answer this question. As a result, only people who enter the correct response can submit the contact form.

To add a quiz, edit your contact form and click the Generate Tag dropdown. Paste the shortcode that appears below into your contact form. It will look something like this:

[quiz capital-quiz "Which is bigger, 2 or 8?|8"]

2. Minimum character count

The WordPress website featured in this article received a lot of spam contact forms with 2-digit messages – usually a number. I have no idea what they were trying to achieve, but it’s obviously a popular type of spam at the moment.

If all your spam messages follow an obvious pattern, you can block them by setting up your contact form to block messages that meet this pattern. In this case, I used the Max and Min Length options in Contact Form 7 to require messages to be more than 20 characters long. Genuine inquiries will usually provide more than 20 characters, so this blocks bots without frustrating real users.

The Message/Comments field will look something like this:

[textarea* your-message minlength:20 maxlength:500]

3. Akismet

Akismet has a reputation as the best WordPress anti-spam plugin. Not everyone knows that it works with Contact Form 7 as well as blog comments.

Once you have activated the Akismet WordPress plugin and followed the on-screen instructions to add your API key (free for non-profit-making website, small monthly fee for business sites), you need to do a bit of extra config to make it talk to Contact Form 7 – see https://contactform7.com/spam-filtering-with-akismet/.

In my tests, Akismet stopped about 70% of the Contact Form 7 spam but not all of it. It worked well in conjunction with some of the other solutions mentioned in this article.

4. Contact Form 7 Honeypot

Contact Form 7 Honeypot is a WordPress plugin that adds a hidden field to your contact form. Real users won’t complete it because the field is invisible. However bots won’t know this and will fill it in. This allows the plugin to recognize them as bots and block their submission.

After you have installed and activated the Contact Form 7 Honeypot WordPress plugin, use the Generate Tag option to create a honeypot shortcode to insert into your contact form. It will look something like this (Contact Form 7 recommend changing the ID to something unique, so replace 531 with something else):

[honeypot honeypot-531]

GET CONTACT FORM 7 HONEYPOT

5. Really Simple CAPTCHA

The Really Simple CAPTCHA WordPress plugin was created by the developer of Contact Form 7 so they work together seamlessly. The plugin allows you to add a CAPTCHA to your contact form. It’s designed to prevent bots from submitting forms on your WordPress website.

Once you have installed and activated Really Simple CAPTCHA, insert a CAPTCHA tag into your Contact Form 7 form. (Click the Generate Tag dropdown to see the available options and create a customized tag to paste into your form.) It will look something like this:

[captchac captcha-14]

Further instructions at https://contactform7.com/captcha/.

Please note that CAPTCHAs are becoming slightly old fashioned and are not great for user-experience. They also require particular features to be enabled on your server, which may not be in place for your WordPress website.

I would recommend adding a quiz first (see above), and only trying CAPTCHA if this doesn’t work. The two methods basically do the same thing. They prevent automated bots from submitting your website contact form – so you shouldn’t need both.

GET REALLY SIMPLE CAPTCHA

What worked for me

All WordPress websites receive spam in slightly different ways. What works for one website may not work for another.

When I had to stop Contact Form 7 spam on a WordPress website, I immediately achieved a huge reduction in spam simply by installing Akismet. The spam messages reduced from dozens per day to 5-10.

I fixed the problem completely by combining Akismet with the Contact Form 7 Honeypot plugin, a quiz and minimum character count.

If you just want to add one method to reduce Contact Form 7 spam, then I recommend Akismet. This is the best standalone solution as it’s so powerful and comprehensive. You can use it whether you’re a WordPress expert or a beginner. It can make a real difference to your WordPress contact form spam.

GET AKISMET

GPS Failures and Google Translate Failures

Whilst most people are familiar with GPS Failures gps-failure, there are also many Google Translate Failures and SOME turn out to be quite funny, even embarrassing for the Website Owner.
If you have and Estate Agency Website advertising Property to a multi national potential Client Base do you REALLY want to rely on Google Translate to advertise your Properties?
Google Translate HAS become better over time and your Website Visitors will probably get the general meaning of the the translate, BUT often the wording is wrong way round or the sentencing does not make much sense to native speakers.

Tripadvisor Widget for your Website (or not?)

tripadvisor-review-widgets

Lets imagine you’re a hotel or restaurant owner and your hotel or restaurant has got very good ratings on TripAdvisor.  You might think “We’re flying here – how can we use this to our advantage?”

You have probably seen some of their widgets on various Websites either with Reviews or Accolades about that particular establishment.  These Widgets are bits of code that you integrate into your hotel website to show off your TripAdvisor Reviews or Accolades etc.

Great!  But hang on a minute – you rarely get something for nothing in this world, and TripAdvisor knows a thing or two about marketing (especially themselves).  So what is the catch here?

First issue is, TripAdvisor widgets include a whole bunch of text links to TripAdvisor. How does this help TripAdvisor or harm you?
Because it provides them with inbound keyword links using your hotel or restaurant name, increasing the chances that TripAdvisor will rank highly for search results for your establishment.  You can test or see this easily by entering your own Restaurant Name into Google Search. Chances are the TripAdvisor Listing about your Place come even BEFORE your own Restaurant or Hotel Listing.
So by using a TripAdvisor widget on your site you’re boosting TripAdvisor in the search engines, and possibly harming your own site’s rankings.

TripAdvisor

Second issue is, once someone leaves your site through that link, they will see listings of TripAdvisor ads pushing your competitors.  By sending them to your TripAdvisor page, you might easily lose a booking.

The third issue applies to the widget that shows snippets of actual reviews.

Not only does this one give TripAdvisor link juice, but it also displays content over which you have no control.

If you have a great listing on TripAdvisor and want to use it to your advantage, think hard before using a widget.  You might decide to go ahead anyway, but it’s best to be aware of what the widget is REALLY for – to promote TripAdvisor.

Be creative – there are ways of capitalizing on a high TA ranking without shooting yourself in the foot.

The easiest and safest way is to just copy your Reviews FROM the TripAdvisor Site and add them manually to your own Website. I admin this is not as convenient as their Widget but you will show your good Reviews, you have total control over the content you display AND potential Customers will not leave your Site.
I admit I have placed TripAdvisor Widgets myself on a number of Customer Websites, because they asked for it and of course each can do or choose as they please.
If you need help placing your Reviews manually on your Website please leave a message or if you would like to comment please do so below.

Image ALT Tags

Alt Tags

What are Image ALT Tags and are they important?

Alt text (text that describes an image) improves accessibility for people who can’t see images on web pages, including users who use screen readers or have low-bandwidth connections.

Google uses alt text along with computer vision algorithms and the contents of the page to understand the subject matter of the image. Also, alt text in images is useful as anchor text if you decide to use an image as a link.

When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page. Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.

  • Bad (missing alt text): <img src="puppy.jpg" alt=""/>
  • Bad (keyword stuffing): <img src="puppy.jpg" alt="puppy dog baby dog pup pups puppies doggies pups litter puppies dog retriever  labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier puppies dog food cheap dogfood puppy food"/>
  • Better: <img src="puppy.jpg" alt="puppy"/>
  • Best: <img src="puppy.jpg" alt="Dalmatian puppy playing fetch"/> 

In the above examples you can see that in the first option there is NO ALT Tag at all defined. In the second option there are too many ALT Tags (also known as Keyword Stuffing) resulting in a possible Google Penalty for the Website.
The third option is acceptable but does not say too much about the Image.The fourth Option is the best as it describes the Image perfectly.Google and other Search Engines will be able to pick up this text.

Camera Images often save Image Names as something like  5370_576.jpg in the DCIM (Digital Camera Images) Folder.An Image Name like that does not mean anything to anybody let alone the Search Engines.
Best Practice would be to rename the Image into something more descriptive and relevant as described above.

Real Estate, Property Websites often overlook this important aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as Property Sites upload many Images for each Property.
Instead of having an Image Name of 5370_576.jpg , why not rename it to second_bedroom.jpg or view_from_the_balcony_towards_mountains.jpg
Requires a bit of manual work but will be worth your while for SEO Purposes.
If you need help with renaming your Images please contact me.

Facebook LikeJacking

likejacking

And NO, Starbucks isn’t giving away free vouchers on Facebook
1. Via a Webpage
“Likejacking” is a Facebook-specific version of an attack called “clickjacking.” The purpose of the attack is to get you to click items on a webpage without your knowledge.

Facebook attackers present a web page that actually has two layers. The back layer is designed with a Facebook “Like” button configured to follow your mouse cursor. The front layer shows whichever lure you are unfortunate enough to be tricked by. No matter where you click on the webpage, whether it be “One of the craziest ways to eat a banana” or “101 Hottest Women in the World,” you are actually clicking the Facebook Like button and further spreading the spam.

The earliest instances of likejacking seemed to be a proof of concept that the attack would actually work. Since those first attacks, likejacking has evolved into a money-making scheme through a technique called affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing pays the affiliate for every person who views an ad, signs up for a service or registers on a given site. We have yet to see these attacks lead to malicious content, but it is only matter of time until they do.

One reason this attack works is that Facebook does not require any confirmation when you click the Like button. Though confirmation would not entirely prevent the attack, it would complicate the attack and potentially discourage its active exploitation.

Users should carefully review their wall posts if they were tempted by and clicked through one of these scams. 
Reviewing installed Facebook applications periodically is also a smart idea to defend against many of the ways users are victimized on Facebook.

2. Via a Facebook Post

Here are a few common examples of likejacking:

  • An image of a sick or injured child with text claiming that Facebook will donate € 1.00 toward the child’s care for every like.
  • A false offer for a free voucher or gift card. These have included offers of € 50.00, € 100.00 and € 250.00 give-aways from certain well known mostly international Companies.
  • A bogus offer for a free iPad, iPhone or other popular electronic device.
  • An image of an attractive young woman along with a compelling message such as “The Prom Dress That Got This Girl Suspended From School.”
  • An Invitation to help some abandoned or mistreated animal.

Unfortunately these Posts play on peoples emotions and are therefor fairly effective.

To protect yourself from likejacking, security experts recommend that you use caution in clicking, liking or sharing posts and be extremely skeptical about any free offers.

Divi Theme based Website Design

divi wordpress theme

Do you have a LOCALBIZ?
Template (Theme) based Websites from € 150.00 once off.Fully customizable to YOUR Business.Build with DIVI the MOST popular WP Theme.

Divi Theme based Websites
If you just need a simple Internet Presence.
€ 150.00 Theme or Template based Website
You get:
Fully functional Small Business Website Designed
Home Page, About Us Page, Services Page, Single Service Page, Contact Us Page.
Can be adjusted to ANY Type of Business
All Colours, Fonts, Text, Images editable via secure password protected admin Backend.
Demo Here: http://www.demo.domainpark.co.za
Use the Contact Form for details.

Customize to your specific Business.

Contact Form Included.

Advertise your Strong Points.

Upload and publish your own Images, Videos and Company Profile.

Add your Customers Testimonials.
Easy to self manage via a password protected admin back end.Free Setup of WordPress CMS on your or our Hosting Account.

The Importance of adding ‘fresh’ content.

add new content on a regular basis

Content is King!

content is kingAdding new Content to your Website on a regular basis is important for SEO Purposes.If you are using WordPress CMS for your website you could use POSTS to add a weekly new Article to your Site. WordPress PAGES are more suited for static Content such as the Contact Us Page or the About Us Page and are not frequently updated.
If you are using the Joomla CMS the same applies. Just add new Articles and link them to the relevant Category.

1) It helps drive traffic to your website.

  • Your Customers could type your name right in to their browser, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic on top of what you’re already getting.
  • You could pay for traffic by buying an email list, blasting them, and hoping some people open and click through on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know.
  • You could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid ads, which isn’t illegal, but still quite expensive. And the second you run out of money, your traffic stops coming, too.

So, how can you drive any traffic? In short: blogging, social media, and search engines. Here’s how it works.

Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right? And think about how often you update those pages. Probably not that often, right?

Blogging can help solve both of those problems.

Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search. It’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what new content was added.

Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks — Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest — which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.

Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going — instead of asking your social media manager to come up with brand new original content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that repository of content. You’re strengthening your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via your social channels.

So, the first benefit of blogging? It helps drive new traffic to your website and works closely with search engines and social media to do that.

2) It helps convert that traffic into leads.

Now that you have traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads.

Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. The way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.

Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free e books, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free webinars, free trials … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information. To be super clear for anyone unfamiliar with how traffic-to-lead conversions work, it’s as simple as this:

  • Visitor comes to website
  • Visitor sees call-to-action for a free offer
  • Visitor clicks call-to-action and gets to a landing page, which contains a form for them to fill in with their information
  • Visitor fills out form, submits information, and receives the free offer

If you scroll down in this blog post, you’ll see a call-to-action button.
That is how you turn that traffic coming to your blog into leads for your sales team.

Note: Not every reader of your blog will become a lead. That’s okay. No one converts 100% of the people who read their blog into leads. Just get blogging, put calls-to-action on every blog post, set a visitor-to-lead conversion rate benchmark for yourself, and strive to improve that each month.

3) It helps establish authority.updated your website content

The best business blogs answer common questions their leads and customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes. This is a particularly handy tool for Sales and Service professionals.

Can you imagine the impact of sending an educational blog post you wrote to clear things up for a confused customer? Or how many more deals a salesperson could close if their leads discovered blog content written by their salesperson?

“Establishing authority” is a fluffy metric — certainly not as concrete as traffic and leads, but it’s pretty powerful stuff. And if you need to tie the impact of blogging to a less fluffy metric, consider measuring it the same way you measure sales enablement. Because at the end of the day, that’s what many of your blog posts are. Think about the sales enablement opportunities blogging presents:

  • If prospects find answers to their common questions via blog posts written by people at your company, they’re much more likely to come into the sales process trusting what you have to say because you’ve helped them in the past — even before they were interested in purchasing anything from you.
  • Prospects that have been reading your blog posts will typically enter the sales process more educated on your place in the market, your industry, and what you have to offer. That makes for a far more productive sales conversation than one held between two relative strangers.
  • Salespeople who encounter specific questions that require in-depth explanation or a documented answer can pull from an archive of blog posts. Not only do these blog posts help move the sales process along more swiftly than if a sales rep had to create the assets from scratch, but the salesperson is further positioned as a helpful resource to their prospect.

4) It drives long-term results.

You know what would be cool? If any of the following things helped you drive site traffic and generate new leads:

  • Trip to Canary Islands
  • Going to the gym
  • Sleeping

Good news, though! That’s what blogging does — largely through search engines. Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you sit down for an hour and write and publish a blog post today. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads. You get another 50 views and 5 leads tomorrow as a few more people find it on social media and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email and RSS. But after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads.

It’s not done.

That blog post is now ranking in search engines. That means for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic and leads from that blog post.

Other Areas to consider for good Ranking:

  • A good relevant to your Business Domain Name
  • Relevant, interesting, fresh Content
  • Alt Tags for your Images
  • Seo Friendly Image Titles
  • Optimized for Web use Images
  • Internal Sitemap
  • Site structure

This Post was first published on 10 Sept. 18 but updated and re published.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close