Radar Hill Blog

April Tips, Tricks & Shiny Stuff

A woman's hands holding up an iPad showing the Google homepageSpring is in the air, although our winter has been unusually mild. Time for this month’s collection of useful tips, reviews, and links of interest.

Password Tip

What makes a good password? How do you choose a good password? If you are now using any of the password wallet or password lockers we mentioned last month, these can create passwords that are harder to break because they are composed of numbers, and UPPER and lower case letters. An example is rnuw7DuaGAhZ. Some have the option of including other characters such as $%&#!*. An example is C$qrw5k9x9K&. Note that not all programs you log into will accept special characters.

How long should a password be? The longer it is, and the more varied, the harder it is to hack. If you use a password wallet to log into your accounts, and you do not need to memorize them, then make the password as long as you can. If you prefer to write your passwords on paper, be careful about using characters that can be confusing, such as 1 and I and l, which is one, uppercase I, and lowercase L. Or 0 and O, which is zero and uppercase o. They can be hard to differentiate when written out.

Pyramid CMS and Rollback

Recently the login for a client’s website was hacked. The hack was carried out by an unauthorized person who managed to get the username and password because a key logger program – also called a keystroke program that records keys struck on a keyboard – was on the computer. How that key logger program may have gotten on is a topic for another newsletter.

We traced the login from this unauthorized person to Latvia, to an IP address in Latvia. This unauthorized person logged in with our client’s user/pw and changed content on the website. It is a sickening feeling knowing that someone has broken into you house. That same feeling can persist if someone breaks-into your website and changes your home page.

With our Pyramid CMS it is easy for our clients, the website administrators, to fix these changes. The real website administrator should:

  1. Use another computer to login to the website admin
  2. Change the password
  3. Rollback the affected pages to their previous state using the Previous Versions feature
  4. Get the original computer cleaned and have the keystroke programs removed

If you encounter a similar situation to the one above and need help with any of these steps, we are here to help.

Along with Key logging programs, you should be familiar with Ransomware: What you need to know. Make sure you have proper backups, and not backups connected to your computer, so this does not happen to you: Ransomware victims pay cybercriminals to save family photos. Need help or recommendations for proper backups? Ask us for referrals.

Definition

Showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store, and then buying it online, sometimes at a lower price. Online stores often offer lower prices than their brick and mortar counterparts because they do not have the same overhead cost. As a result of showrooming, a physical store may lose sales. This has been one of the major issues affecting Best Buy and Future Shop.

Google: The Future is Mobile (so is the present)

Starting April 21st, Google will be promoting sites that have responsive, mobile-friendly design over desktop-only sites in search results for people using smartphones and tablets.

With 55% of Canadians total owning mobile devices, and with 40% of all time spent on Canadian retail sites coming from mobile device users (and growing), non-responsive sites stand to lose a lot of online traffic to responsive competitors over the coming months. Want to do better in Google? Contact us, we are the local industry leader in creating responsive, mobile-friendly websites.

In retail? With spring here, people are out of their houses and on their smartphones, looking for places to go and things to grill. Read about these trends, what people are searching for, and what it might mean for your business in From BBQ to Burns: 5 Hot Summer Trends to Plan For.

This is a tough time for physical retail, but not the end. Done right, the future of shopping is not local versus online—it is both. Digital now drives a surprising number of in-store sales as shoppers gather information and buy wherever it’s convenient for them. Companies need to change the relationship between their local stores and their digital presence: how they share local inventory with shoppers, and how they offer mobile experiences for showrooming customers, and more. Read more at the Local Retail Playbook.

Sears Stores saw a 16% higher clickthrough rate and 122% increase in visits to its stores after adopting Local Inventory Ads, which lets retailers display nearby store inventory to shoppers who are in or near the store. This helped Sears extend the reach of its advertising budget, driving $8 of in store sales for each dollar invested online. Here are 5 ways retailers can drive foot traffic with smartphones.

In the hotel and tourist industry? Google now has Hotel Ads designed for hotel-related searches. Hotel Ads show current prices for hotels from a variety of partners and help travelers narrow down their options. Because Hotel Ads appear when travelers are already engaged and ready to book, hotel partners have seen great results. Read more at Building a better hotel search experience for travelers and hoteliers on Google.

If you need help setting up any of these Google services, we are Google certified. Contact us to find out more…

Recommendation: Duct Tape Marketing

We are big fans of John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, whose books, downloads and podcasts have had a profound and positive effect on the way Radar Hill operates. John is one of the world’s most practical small business marketing specialists, and is one of the speakers at Social Media Camp in Victoria in May. We are excited to be able to meet him IRL (In Real Life).

Links

Closing Quote: “If you can improve your operation by 1 % each day, in 70 days you are twice as good”.
~ Alan Weiss, Ph.D. ~

Comments and content suggestions are always welcome. Stay tuned for our Renovations and Moving newsletter in a few weeks. Happy Easter,

The Team at Radar Hill

About Shawn

Co-owner and one of the founders of Radar Hill, Shawn is an award-winning public speaker who publishes our newsletters and organizes our monthly workshops. He loves working with business owners, and tries to keep up with marketing trends.
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