When a website’s new it’ll often have little traffic – and much of that traffic will be from you, your agency and your employees checking new additions to the website. This can really throw of your Google Analytics data. Visitor, bounce rate and traffic source data all become meaningless when a decent percentage of the traffic logged visiting your site are not, in fact, customers. The answer is to exclude yourself from Google Analytics logging. That way, you’re free to browse your own website all day long without messing up your figures.
How To Exclude Analytics
There are a number of different ways of doing this. You can block your IP address, but most people’s IP addresses aren’t static, so this is only a temporary solution – one that doesn’t work if you often work from home or outside the office. There’s another option of setting a cookie and then excluding yourself based off of that cookie being set. That’s imperfect to – firstly it’s a bit of a faff to set up and secondly (if you work at an agency) you have to do it separately for every client – and it wont work in Icognito mode. By far the easiest way to exclude yourself from Google Analytics is to use the Google Analytics Opt-Out Browser Add-On . It’s a simple extension that’s available for every major browser that stops you being tracked by Analytics. With it installed, you can happily browse your site without being a feature in Google Analytics traffic figures.
There is one last thing you should do before browsing your site. Occasionally you may wish to browse your site in Chrome’s incognito mode – whether to check some functionality, or because you’ve been viewing non-personalised ranking results. By default the Opt-out plugin will not function in Incognito mode. To fix this you need to click in to Chrome’s main menu, choose ‘tools’ and then ‘extensions’. Scroll down until you find Google Analytics opt-out add-on and then click the ‘allow in incognito’ button:
And now you’re done! Tracking free browsing of your – and your friends’/competitors/clients – sites.
OK, so everyone knows we love Magento eCommerce – that much goes without saying. It’s the worlds number one eCommerce system and for good reason. However we will also admit that it certainly isn’t perfect straight out of the box, but that’s ultimately down to it’s incredibly flexible framework that makes it so special.
The fact you can customise Magento as much as you may desire is the main reason it has been so successful. Over the next few weeks we’ll be running over a few of our favorite Magento eCommerce plugins that we have found to make a real difference to our customers. So what’s first on the list?
AheadWorks Help Desk Ultimate
A companies help desk and support facility is often the first port of call for any customer that has potentially had a problem with your business. Sadly it is something that is only too often overlooked by businesses launching a new site, as they focus on the drive for new sales.
However we know from experience that while a customer who has had a good experience might tell one or two people (and that is a big might!) someone who has had a bad experience will gladly sing it from the rooftops, posting it on Twitter, Facebook and any review site that allows posts without questions asked. And yes – I’m as guilty of is as anyone else!
But this is serious stuff. And reviews and online feedback quickly lead to a fairly terrible reputation online. This then negatively effects the possibility of any referrals from social media not to mention the potential impact on on-site conversions as customers research a brands presence online.
If your are not keeping on top of your customer support you can oh too quickly find your online reputation it tatters, and you have a battle on your hands to regain it. Which is where Help Desk Ultimate comes in…
What is it?
Help Desk Ultimate is effectively a “turnkey solution for…….customer care and support” to quote AheadWorks. It features case tracking and resolution management to ensure you can stay on top of those all important support queries.
You can view their intro video here:
What does it do? Help Desk Ultimate Features:
Pre defined auto responses – ensuring your customers know their query is being processed
Full history linked to customer record – Easily accessed from the Magento customer record ensuring you know if a customer has had a similar experience before, and if you perhaps want to go that extra mile and offer and store credit or discount voucher.
These details are also noted according to the order details, ensuring you know exactly when and with what the customer has had an issue.
2 way parsing – Or to put it simply, the conversion of customer emails into a simple ticket system which reply’s using your email system, once it has been configured. Emails sent by staff members are automatically processed through the system and stored against the incident, then passed on to the customer.
Unlimited Departments – It has the ability for different support queries to be allocated to different departments, ensuring customers contact the right person from the get go, and aren’t passed from pillar to post in search of a resolution to their issue.
Multi store compatibility – Not only can you divide support by departments, but also according to the different front ends – particularly useful if you are managing multiple language sites.
Flexible Ticket Management – Including the functionality to pass tickets to other departments or to lock tickets so only you or a chose admin group can edit them.
Ticketing Priority System – Allowing tickets to be given levels of importance according to customer groups. Really useful if you have a group of top or regular customers who you want to ensure are always looked after to the best of your ability.
And much more besides.
Compatibility and costs
Magento Community (module cost $199)
Magento Professional (module cost $349)
Magento Enterprise (module cost $699)
We are now installing it as standard on all our new Magento eCommerce builds, due to the popularity with our existing customers. Having Help Desk Ultimate ensures our clients are right on top of their customer service process from day one of their new website launch.
If you are looking at installing Help Desk Ultimate please feel free to get in touch, or if you need more information on the module have a look at the AheadWorks side on the following link:
A lot of companies come to us saying they need more links. They’ve heard that more links equals better rankings in Google and, to a certain extent, they’re not wrong. There’s a lot more to it though. I’d even go as far as to say that if you’re spending all your time worrying about links then you’re missing out on the biggest opportunity online provides your company with.
Google has several hundred factors that it takes in to account when it decides to rank one website above another. We tend to distil those down to three core areas though authority, relevancy and trust. These terms will sound familiar and that’s because Google treats links in exactly the same would your or I would real life recommendations. We look at who’s saying it, whether we trust them, whether they have a connection to the product they’re suggesting and whether they’re recommendation’s actually relevant to the product.
Quality > Quantity
Would you rather the BBC, or an entire class of 8 year olds, talk about you? In a world of VIPs and trendsetters there’s no point spending time online trying to convince the 99% to like you when you could spend the same time slowly encouraging the people that set the agenda to talk about you. Not only does that build you powerful friends, but it makes your company look pretty important to.
Lets take mobile barman and cocktail making class provider Hire the Barman as an example. Like any business they could benefit from more exposure. They get that every time they run a cocktail making class. The problem is that who is at the cocktail making classes is effectively random – it’s up to the person paying for the class. I’m sure you can see where this is going. If it’s up to the person paying, then pay for your own services. Invite people who you’d really like to influence – bloggers, journalists, potential clients – to a free preview of your services. When they write-up their night you gain access to all their audiences. Because you’re meeting the people in person you can build real relationships with them – those relationships are more valuable than the links. Those relationships will give you access to the VIP’s communities, which grows and grows and grows your own importance. So quality’s more important than quantity not just because it’s a lot easier, but because it provides you with opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
You don’t get quality when you’re just ‘linkbuilding’, you get quality when you’re relationship building. That’s what marketing’s really all about.
EDIT: Since this post went live, John from Solve’s been in touch. He ran me through the slightly unusual use that the insightful mode’s meant for. Apparently it’s only shown in a small percentage of situations to people who they’re already confident are human as a way to gauge brand sentiment. Interesting. I asked how they were sure that those people really are human (after all, if they’re certain there’s no need for a CAPTCHA). Apparently they use a large number of signals including IP address, cookies etc to gauge it, which is interesting and begs for more experimentation. John did agree that ‘correct’ is perhaps not quite the correct response in that instance, which was nice. Thanks John!
You may have heard lately that, with great fanfare, Tickemaster have announced the death of CAPTCHA as it moves to a new system developed by Solve Media. The new system shows users adverts instead of difficult to decipher skewed text. The user is then asked to type in what they see. In theory, this would mean that if you saw a Nike logo you’d type in Nike etc. Pretty nice functionality, right? Well, I had a play with it on their website – make up your own mind: