Archive for July, 2012
No business owner wants to turn away a potentially good customer. No one wants to let barriers like language stand in the way, particularly if there’s an easy way to translate your Web site into another language.
Here’s the problem: the translations are horrible, and probably wouldn’t reflect well on your business. Take this example:
Crea gratis y en minutos un sitio web profesional.
Google Translate translates this as:
Free and in minutes Create a professional website
The average user could probably figure out what the intent was, but this sentence would hardly look professional. The truth is, if you need a translation of your site into another language, you need to have a professional translator write it up in the language of your choice. If you have a service, you’ll also need to make sure you have someone on staff who can speak with the language that you’ve translated the site into.
Many businesses have Social Media accounts to help find new clients, customers and patients. Most create an account and forget about it. It is actually better to just create an account if that’s your approach — have an “empty” account can look worse to a potential customer than not having one at all. A successful social media presence involves an ongoing investment in adding content and having a dialog with your customers (such as this blog!).
Once you have a presence, it is also important to monitor the accounts for negative content such as a customer complaint. Customer complaints will make potential buyers leery to work with you. With Blogs, Facebook and Google Plus, that means using built-in tools to remove the offending content. With Twitter, YouTube and Yelp — where negative content can’t be easily removed unless it violates the service’s terms of service, it means responding to the negative content in a friendly way — making it appear that you really do care about your customers. Try apologizing to the person publicly and inviting them to contact your directly to resolve the problem.
What kind of content have you had to remove from social media accounts?
Many of the sites we are working with use WordPress, which is one of several open source content management systems that are available for Web site developers to use. WordPress is powerful, extensible and easy for developers to use making it a great choice. It’s also very popular, which means you have lots of other sites using it.
That popularity can be a blessing and a curse. The fact that many others are using it means there will be lots of people who can help you if you have a problem. It also means that if you were a malicious person, and you knew how to develop a piece of software that could attack a WordPress installation, you could attack many sites with the same software.
The defense against these types of attacks is keeping your WordPress installation up to date. This is easy to do — click the “updates” section from your dashboard to see what updates are available and make sure they are applied. Occasionally, updates to the core and/or the plugins can break existing functionality, so it may be good to involve your a Web site development professional to be sure that nothing gets broken.
As of this writing, the current version of WordPress is 3.4.1 and it includes several security related issues that were fixed.
Most merchant account providers will ask you to include this information on your site. Most of them are good common-sense items that you would want to include anyway.
- Website active with DBA on application present and prominent. So if you call yourself “XYZ, Inc.” it should mention that on your site. This helps make sure that your customers aren’t confused when they see a charge from “XYZ, Inc” on a credit card bill when they have never heard of the company.
- Customer Service number or email listed – Customer service contact information must be available for the customer to reach the you in case there are questions or problems. We always recommend a phone number in addition to an email address, but technically one one is usually required.
- Return/Refund Policy present - This is where you describe what your policy is if someone wants to cancel or return an item. For example, if you return with x amount of days with receipt - we will refund your entire purchase minus shipping. It doesn’t actually mater what this policy is: it can say “no refunds!” — it just must be accurate.
- Merchant Privacy Statement must be present – This tells the consumer what will happen with the information that is collected on the website. For example: we will or will not sell your information or we maintain that information offsite so it is not on the web server for your protection . It actually doesn’t matter what the policy is: you could write “we will sell your data to the highest bidder!” as long as it is accurate.
- Website Secure Order Page – The page that accepts credit card data must be secured using an SSL certificate.
- Products/Services listed with price
- Delivery Method and timing are clearly stated - the underwriters of your merchant account want to know how the product is going to be shipped or service rendered and what the time frame is for delivery. Again here, it doesn’t matter what your policy is — for example — you could write “we ship all items in 18-20 weeks” — it just must be accurate.
When we’re setting up Web sites for E-Commerce clients (who are mostly in Washington state), we often have to do a lot of work to get Sales Tax to compute properly and we also have to do a lot of work educating our clients on how Sales Tax works. Almost every site that sells products should include sales tax. Here are some general guidelines that we use regarding setting up sales tax: