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The Paperless office was envisioned years ago but it hasn’t really eventuated in most businesses I visit. But there are many little things you can do to avoid using more paper than you need to. Some of these include using cloud storage for files, moving your accounting system into the cloud, and sending and receiving statements and invoices electronically.

We have recently shifted to cloud accounting (don’t know why it took me so long) and have experienced a real productivity gain in data entry with bank accounts syncing transactions straight to our accounts. In addition, we are starting to shift our paper invoices and bills into electronic formats and save them online.

One thing you can’t get rid of all together is the paper receipt needed for business from a EFTPOS terminal. However, you don’t need to keep them. Scanning them and then saving them online is the best way to do this. And you don’t need an expensive scanner. Most good ones designed for document storage start around $500 or more. Simply use the Office Lens App on your Android iOS or Windows phone and you can scan straight into OneNote – and thence into your cloud accounting system.

Talk to us about the significant advantages to your business by reducing Paper and By using Cloud Accounting.

OneDrive For Business Syncing

Are you using OneDrive for Business or SharePoint? If so you may have had a bit of a bumpy ride recently with updates to the sync tool. The new sync tool is here and is far better, removes the old limitations and works – well let’s just say – as it’s supposed to! Read on for more info if you have had issues.

Office 365’s cloud storage in SharePoint and One Drive for Business is wonderful – gives you access to your data anywhere, version control and collaborative editing and sharing amongst many other features. However, the sync tool used to sync libraries to your PC has been buggy and had some limitations. To be fair these were mostly legacy issues that didn’t matter back when the size of libraries online was so much smaller. Now we expect to store large quantities and Office 365 certainly gives your business a heap of space.

The OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client is now available for Windows 7, 8 and 10 machines (coming to Windows 8.1 in the first quarter 2016 sometime) and for MAC )S X 1.9 and above now. However, it is not rolled out in regular windows or office patches but needs to be deployed.

At the moment it does NOT support Windows 8.1, or SharePoint libraries - though these capabilities will be added soon. It can run alongside the current tool and works just fine. I have been running the pre-release version since November with ZERO problems – not something I could say about the previous tool.

This Office Support Article has all the details as well as guides for Windows and MAC for deployment.

If you need assistance then please do not hesitate to call or message and we can discuss your options or do it for you

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

Christmas is almost here – and that brings great opportunities in business. People are shopping, using your business services and hopefully hitting your website and social media. Do you have a plan to engage and attract customers in this holiday season? Are you sure your website is secure? And if you are shopping yourself are you sure your personal data is secure? We would love to help with any of these things.

Can you be sure your personal data is secure?

The Veda 2015 Cyber Fraud Report published in October has some alarming statistics.

Sydney, Australia: Wednesday, 7 October 2015 – Australians’ love of online commerce and sharing on social media is making us unwitting pawns in the global fraud marketplace. A new fraud report released today reveals that fraudulent credit applications involving identity takeovers in Australia rose 59% in the past two years – and 17% in the past 12 months.

It shows that the online playground for hackers is getting serious, with 50% of credit application fraud in Australia now occurring online – an increase of 33% compared to the previous financial year. This compares with a 23% fall in credit application fraud incidents occurring at bank branches in 2014-15, compared to 2013-14.

Overall, credit application fraud rose almost 13% in 2014-15, across the four main types of fraud – falsifying personal details (accounting for 58% share), identity takeover (22% share), undisclosed debt (9%) and fabricated identity (8%).1

Of Australians who have suffered from fraud, 20% claimed their computer had been hacked – for example by malware – 18% stated that their mobile phone had been hacked and 18% claimed that one of their online accounts or their social media account had been hacked.2

The good news is that most Australians now use anti-virus software (90%) and PayPal for online payments (85%).

Following is a checklist to see if you or your business has exposure in any of the most obvious areas. Can you tick these items off?

Your Passwords are strong

  • Passwords should not be connected to your date of birth, middle name, children’s birth dates or names, or even your pets names. Rather they should be at least 9 (preferably 12) characters containing a mixture of upper and lower case letters numbers and punctuation symbols. Passphrases that include these may also work well. E.g. “I ate the dog’$ hoM3work”
  • Passwords should be changed regularly, and if you don’t have different ones you should at least have several levels – e.g. banking, email, online social medial accounts, and they should not be the same!
  • WiFi passwords are secure and your WiFi network is locked against casual users.
  • If you use someone else’s computer to conduct any banking use a private session and close the browser afterwards.

Physical devices should be reliable, secure and access restricted to authorised personnel.

  • Does your building or office have security, alarms or physical access restrictions (eg swipe cards)
  • Do you have a notification plan around lost or stolen data or devices with an escalation based on severity of the problem?
  • What is the time gap between a critical piece of infrastructure failing and its replacement allowing for continued business activity? Eg Router/modem, switch, server, PC, POS terminal etc.

The security of your business is important to us. We will assist you to work through the different threat levels, exposure and security risks and evaluate your current plans for failure points or missing pieces. Then we can help you plan and implement the missing pieces.

Act now BEFORE you experience a breach or loss. Contact us today for a security audit of your business and get yourself peace of mind.

Guides for Sharing Information Online

Recent research from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that phishing, hacking and ID theft was reported in over a quarter of all scams in 2014 and this is continuing to grow as more and more data is put online.

  • Be aware of what you (and your family) share online. Ensure your kids particularly aren’t giving away information that shouldn’t be kept private or could be used to compromise you.
  • Clear your cache regularly and use in private sessions when banking or doing other shopping.
  • Always check that the https:// protocol is in place when shopping. The S is the important bit.
  • Google your self occasionally – just to see what is out there

If you need help setting up or managing you or your families online profiles or devices, talk to us

Windows 10 update is available now

Microsoft just released a major Windows update to the world. This desktop update is packed with nearly 200 new capabilities, many of which were developed directly as a result of feedback from Insiders like you. Check out Terry Myerson's blog for more details.

With Windows 10 on now more than 110 million devices with 12 million of them business machines it is rapidly being installed everywhere.

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Talk to use about the significant advantages to your business about using Windows 10. We can upgrade you over the holiday period.

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Today’s newsletter has an article about your Business Security and the rest is mostly about Office 365. Most of you are using it but probably only scratching the surface with what it can do. I would love to hear back from you via this very quick survey created inside Office 365. Click this survey link.

Can you be sure your business data is secure?

Have you ever sat down and thought just how your business would cope if you lost all or even some of your data? Whether your critical applications are email, CRM, accounting or intellectual property the first line of defence is your IT infrastructure. And unfortunately in many cases the first point of attack is poorly planned and deployed infrastructure.

If critical data is corrupted, lost or stolen then there may be drastic business consequences. Maybe the inability to locate customer’s information or data, maybe the loss of sensitive information, or maybe the inability to trade could have a serious impact on your business’s profitability or even its continued existence.

Following is a checklist to see if your business has exposure in any of the most obvious areas. Can you tick these items off?

Your network is secure and reliable.

  • Mobile devices are securely connected and monitored and can be remotely wiped or deactivated.
  • Network access is only via security protocols requiring user authentication.
  • You can quickly detect and quarantine threats
  • WiFi passwords are secure and your WiFi network is locked against casual users.

Your backup and restore plans are tested regularly.

  • Does your backup plan include all your data and applications?
  • How often are your backups scheduled? And to what media? And with what redundancy?
  • Have you recently tested restoring your data or your systems?
  • How far back to the past can you recover data?
  • Is your backup onsite, offsite or a combination?

Physical devices should be reliable, secure and access restricted to authorised personnel.

  • Does your building or office have security, alarms or physical access restrictions (eg swipe cards)
  • Do you have a notification plan around lost or stolen data or devices with an escalation based on severity of the problem?
  • What is the time gap between a critical piece of infrastructure failing and its replacement allowing for continued business activity? Eg Router/modem, switch, server, PC, POS terminal etc.

The security of your business is important to us. We will assist you to work through the different threat levels, exposure and security risks and evaluate your current plans for failure points or missing pieces. Then we can help you plan and implement the missing pieces.

Act now BEFORE you experience a breach or loss. Contact us today for a security audit of your business and get yourself peace of mind.

New Office 365 features

So many new features, so few newsletters or time to explain them all. If you haven’t had your free business audit yet then please contact us. We will go through what you are using, show you the new features that you could be using and identify use cases where you could gain productivity or efficiency as a result.

Here are just some of the new things you may not be aware of.

Groups in Office 365 – available now

The first apps to take advantage of the Office 365 Groups service include Outlook, OneDrive for Business, OneNote, Skype for Business, Power BI and Dynamics CRM. Yammer, Delve and Planner will also soon take advantage of this service.

With the new Outlook Groups mobile app for Windows Phone, iOS and Android, you can now engage with your group on your phone while on the go—continue conversations, view files, @mention colleagues and even discover other relevant groups.

https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/22/introducing-availability-of-office-365-groups-in-outlook-2016

Office 365 Planner – Coming Soon

Office 365 Planner offers people a simple and highly visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.

https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/22/introducing-office-365-planner

Updated App Launcher

If you're new to the app launcher, you might be wondering what it is and how to use it. The app launcher is designed to help you get to your apps from anywhere in Office 365. When you click (or tap) the app launcher icon App launcher icon, you get a menu of apps and services depicted in tiles like this:

image

 

How many and which tiles you see depends on what services and features are available to you as part of your Office 365 subscription. For example, suppose that you're using Office 365 Business for work, and Office 365 Home for personal use. In this case, the app launcher you see when you're signed in to Office 365 Business will look a little different than the app launcher you see when you sign in to Office 365 Home.

Reminder – end of Mainstream support for Office 2010

As a reminder, mainstream support ends for Office 2010 on October 13, 2015.

Office 365 is designed to work with any version of Microsoft Office in mainstream support. We encourage you to update your Office installations by uninstalling Office 2010 and installing the Office 365 ProPlus subscription. Instructions can be found at http://aka.ms/uninstalloffice2010.

New OneDrive for Business Sync Tool – coming soon

The new client (available for both PC and Mac) offers improved reliability and selective sync, as well as removing the 20,000 file sync limit and extending support for files up to 10GB in size.

Simplified OneDrive browser experience

Microsoft has completely refreshed the browser experience, employing the best practices from the OneDrive consumer experience used by millions every day. The resulting browser experience is clean, intuitive and beautiful. A highlight of the new browser experience is the ability to switch between a list and preview tile view which makes it easy to identify key files. All of the key actions you want to take on a file or folder, such as preview, edit, share and delete, are conveniently located on the toolbar or by right-clicking a specific file or folder. This new browser experience makes managing your work files easier than ever. Read the link for more information including enhanced sharing, better mobile access and security.

https://blog.onedrive.com/meet-the-new-onedrive-for-business

Office 2016 – have you upgraded yet?

Some highlights:

  • Outlook 2016 provides the smartest inbox yet, delivering lightning fast search, removing low priority mail automatically and making sure everyone on the To: line has the right access to modern, cloud-based attachments from OneDrive.
  • We also have significant new updates to OneDrive for Business coming later this month across sync, browser, mobile, IT control and developer experiences. The highlight is the preview of the next generation sync client for Windows and Mac, offering improved reliability and selective sync, as well as increased file size and volume limits.
  • Tell Me helps you easily and quickly find the right Office feature or command, and Smart Lookup brings insights from the web right into your documents. Previously available only in Office Online, Tell Me and Smart Lookup are now available across the Office 2016 client apps.
  • Excel 2016 now includes integrated publishing to Power BI and new modern chart-types to help you make the most of your data.
  • The cloud-powered most recently used documents list allows you to pick up right where you left off in seconds, because it travels with you across your devices whether working in Office Online, the mobile apps or in the 2016 client apps.

https://blogs.office.com/2015/09/22/thenewoffice

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Last week I promised to talk about viruses – but I ran out of time and space. I have included a section today for you. Hopefully you are protected against these serious threats to your business.

Also there are less than 2 weeks to our seminar with Richard Bowles. Please register your interest by return email so we can secure the right venue for the number of people coming. This will be a great day of working on your business and not just in it.

As always I am available to respond to your requests and queries and provide you with answers.

Viruses are a Serious Business Threat

Jethro-Facebook-Virus-Protection

Have you ever been hit by a computer virus? If you have you will know just how annoying they can be. Even the “non-malicious” ones can suck away time by popping up ads, redirecting your browser or just slowing your computer down.

In this short summary I will identify the main types, causes and protection against malware and viruses.

Virus Types

First of all this is more than just viruses as a technical definition. I have included all the potential threats that can be injected into your computer against your will (either by someone else or by yourself accidentally). I have also summarised them by the threat result not the signature or type as defined by the security experts.

Browser Redirect

This is where your browser settings are hijacked and when you type in a web address your browser sends you somewhere else. It may also include pop ups and potentially the sites that you are sent to won’t let you leave without clicking through a number of dialog boxes. Typically these come from an extension or add in that often was not deliberately installed.

Malware / Adware

These are usually “harmless” in that they don’t attack your system or data, but they do popup ads constantly when browsing. These are similar to the browser redirect but often they came in via some software that was deliberately installed and included unknown and unrequested additional software.

Data Attacks

These attacks are malicious in that they can overwrite data, lock data against use with ransom requests, or even delete data. Typically they are introduced via an attachment in an email.

System Attacks

I have grouped together here all the attack types that damage your system, including boot sector viruses, file infectors, directory viruses and so on.

How they come

The two main ways that viruses are injected into your computer are via an attachment in email or from an infected website.

In order to protect against either a complex layer of threat protection must exist. Stopping attacks before they can even be clicked on is the best form of defence.

Unfortunately many people use a mish-mash approach to threat protection. While an individual pc at home is reasonably isolated and an infection can be cut out fairly easily with usually minimal loss and cost, the same is not true in an office of connected PCs. One user who clicks on a payload that installs and then replicates over your network can have devastating effects on employee downtime, loss of data, cost to remove and rebuild machines, and subsequent protection.

Many businesses also play the “lets buy every protection we can get” game with multiple software based solutions including firewalls, internet protection software and antivirus software and so on. This is actually a false protection in many instances because these overlapping technologies create gaps and cracks, often caused by the users themselves “allowing” threats through.

In addition users are often the worst threat to a business by losing computers and mobile devices that are insecure, providing the recipients of the unlocked devices with legitimate access to the businesses data and IT systems, and in using insecure email applications to access mail.

Best Practice Protection for your Business

Microsoft are the leading computer and software provider in this space. The combined hardware and software layered approach to threat protection includes the following aspects:

Hardware

Bit locker is available to encrypt hard drives. A lost device is no longer something to worry about.

UEFI Secure boot. Windows 10 has introduced the ability to lock the boot process to secure OS only, reducing the chance that a corrupt OS (loaded with malware or viruses) can even execute.

Better passwords. Multi factor authentication is removing passwords altogether.

Mobile Device Management. Online management of all your mobile devices including remote wipe is possible with Office 365.

Software

In front of the business. Forefront security is provided in Exchange for all those using Office 365. Spam and Malware threats are removed before they can even come to an email user.

In the business. Outlook has a sandboxed approach to allowing access to attachments reducing the chance that an infected file can be even opened let alone do anything once it is opened by a user who ignores all the warnings.

Windows Defender provides real time attack management identifying and quarantining malicious files downloaded from the internet.

Internet Explorer contains a Smart Screen filter and other browsing enhancements designed to recognise and stop potential website injected threats from being accessed or deployed.

Afterwards

If you are attacked, then there are some things you can do. First remove the machine from your network immediately. Disconnect the network cable, or turn off the Wi-Fi. Better yet turn the machine off and deliver it to someone like us to clean.

Ensure you have a data recovery clause in your insurance policy. Check with your broker, these clauses normally cost nothing to insert and can cover you for at least $5ooo to restore data after an insurance claim for damage.

Summary

Businesses cannot legitimately ignore the real threats that malicious software can pose on their business.

A multi layered protection is necessary and that includes training users.

Using numerous different protection systems is usually worse not better.

Microsoft’s layered approach using Windows 10 modern devices, Office 365, Windows Defender and Internet Explorer provides the best possible defence system. Mac users are also protected by using Office 365 from spam and malware, but they are still open to website based attacks.

Contact us now if you need to determine if your business is secure against these threats. We can have an obligation free chat about your specific scenario and what you can do about it.

An Extremely Unique Opportunity By An Extreme Individual

20151003 rich bowles seminar invite 1Learn the latest strategies in mastering your own mind, so you can fully commit & engage in the goals that you have set for yourself.

Richard Bowles holds world records on pretty much every continent on the planet, running the world’s longest and most rugged mountain ranges spanning from 1000km to 5,500km in length. Running up to 95km a day for weeks at a time, while tackling some of the most hostile weather and demanding terrain that the world has to offer, while carry all that he needs on his back.

Crocodile infested waters, exploding volcano’s, angry farmers with shot guns and being in the centre of a middle eastern desert warzone under missile fire is all in a day’s work for Richard, all the time pushing through the mental and physical barriers to conquer his success.

Over the last five years he has worked with some of Australia’s leaders in psychology and human performance, unpacking his own huge achievements to explore what it takes to succeed at any goal that is set before you, no matter the challenges and adversity that will be faced.

As a commitment and engagement strategist Richard helps you understand what is vitally needed to gain the goals that you have set for yourself. From his in-depth research he helps you understand that, Goals guide us, they don’t drive us.

If you are looking at a plan that will see you bullet proof your commitment to what you set out to achieve, and have you working towards your goals with ease, dedication and without burnout, then this is a seminar not to be missed.

We are partnering with Richard Bowles in delivering this exclusive seminar here in Brisbane CBD on the 3rd October from 9AM to 1PM. The cost is $89 and we will have a venue and ticketing options available soon.

Contact us today if you want more information.

New Gen6 CPUs and Motherboards now available

As mentioned in a previous newsletter the Computer Resellers often attempt to offload old stock at discount prices to susceptible buyers. The Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 range of Intel chips are now in their 6th generation. The starting number of the chip name indicates the Generation. E.g. an Intel Core i5 6400 is a 6th Gen chip. If you are planning on buying a new computer there is no reason to purchase old technology as it will run slower, use more power and generate more heat. As the manufacturers improve the chips in each successive generation to use power more efficiently and produce more results so the capability of your machine improves. Saving $100 now can lead to hours of lost time “waiting” for your computer to catch up. It is also economically better to purchase a new machine now that will last for 4-5 years than an older machine that will last 2-3.

Talk to us today if you are in the market for new or replacement computers. We can sell all computer equipment and also provide financing if needed.

Free Business Digital Skills Webinars

Yes Free!

I will be running some digital skills webinars for free to any of our customers who would like to learn more about how to get the most out of their digital technology.

Each webinar will be aprox 20 minutes long and can be joined using a weblink. They will be run every 2-3 weeks on a Wednesday at 2pm. They will also be recorded and made available online.

Subjects will include:

· Mastering Email – tips and tricks for a zero inbox, reducing time spent in email and other shortcuts

· Basic Spreadsheet design

· Using OneDrive and SharePoint

· Understanding Social Media

· And more

Email me back on tim@jethromanagement.biz if you want to be added to the invite list. There is no obligation or cost to attend. You will need an invite link to join the webinar. I’ll add you to the list I already have and we will start once we have enough.

Social Media for Business

facebook_logo-200Social media is constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up. There are always new features being added to the major social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Managing even 2 or 3 of these accounts for your business can make your life busy. And even if you have the “luxury” of delegating it to a staff member it can cause anxiety hoping they are doing it right.

Jethro has been active in managing social media accounts for many of our clients, from as little as creating the accounts and showing them how to use them to adding content and actively managing responses and engagement with customers. Just like you wouldn’t leave your phone ringing un-answered, so you should not leave comments and messages unanswered in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We can establish networks relevant to your products and services, assist you to create and implement a social media strategy, run a one off campaign to improve engagement or around a specific event or just provide training for you or your staff in how to use these networks correctly for your situation.

If you want to talk more feel free to give me a call and discuss how we can help.

Follow us on Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Today I am providing some answers to common questions we get asked and not just focusing on Windows 10. However I will have one little Windows 10 section as well for those who have updated already.

Are you actually harnessing the power of Office 365?

Jethro-Facebook-Office-365-Mobility-Business

When you made the strategic decision to move some or all of your business to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365 that was a good call. But since you made that call have you actually extracted as much value from this tool as possible, or is a large part of your investment lying there just untapped?

With our free customer audits we offer the opportunity to discuss what you have in place and what you don’t but could be utilising. Here’s a quick checklist. Are you utilising the power of these products?

Feature

Description

Major Benefits

Who should use

Skype for Business

Instant Messaging and Hi Def Video conference communicator for staff, customers and suppliers

Find out about Skype for Business

Hi Def Video conversations

Instant messaging

Presence indicator

Tightly integrated with Outlook

Presentation and webinar system

Any business with multiple staff

Any business with customers or suppliers who use Skype or Skype for business

Anyone who uses Outlook heavily

Anyone who needs to share their content via voice conference or webinar (private or public)

SharePoint

Document management system

Find out about SharePoint

Multiple version management

Single point of reference

Reduce attachments in email

Remote / mobile access to documents

Collaborative (multi user) editing

Any business creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets, video content or PowerPoint decks

Any business with staff roles and security levels for access

Any user who has more than one device (e.g. laptop and PC, or tablet and mobile)

Any business who collaboratively creates documents

OneNote

Note taking application that includes web clipping, email saving and screen shot saving

Find out about OneNote

Organise notes, to do lists, screenshots, and other important information in one place.

Easily share some or all of any notebook with multiple people as read only or read write

Automatically syncs across every device you own with no need to save

Anyone who writes to do lists

Anyone who needs to store important information like passwords

Anyone who needs to share with staff important information e.g. shared notes about customers

Anyone who needs to create screenshots and turn them into images

Delve

Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging

Find out about Delve

Surfaces information already being created in the organisation by other people you might not know about

Improves collaboration

Integrates with Yammer

Any business with a team working on a projects or shared work

Any user wanting to find other documents in the organisation

Any business with 3-5 or more staff who create and edit documents

Yammer

Private Enterprise Social Network.

Also allows connection with external networks

Find out about Yammer

Find information and answers to common questions easily

Communicate with peers and colleagues on projects and documents

Network with others inside and outside your organisation

Any business with multiple locations or remote workers

Any business that works with customers or suppliers who also use Yammer

Any business that runs projects

Sway

Online publishing tool

Find out about Sway

Create and share polished, interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more

Any business creating presentations or reports

Any user creating content

Anyone needing to provide a slick looking web presentation of their information or data

Contact us now to if you haven’t had your free audit or want to know more about any of these products.

SEO Is no longer an option for business it’s a Must

Here is a fairly long explanation of what SEO actually is if you ever wondered just what those telemarketers are offering when they ring up and say they can put you on the front page of Google. I debunk the myths and explain the actual science of SEO so business owners can understand it.

image001Definitions

  • SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – commonly referred to as getting on page one of Google for a search. However there is a lot more to it than that. It is actually about ensuring that the website has all the components in place to assist the search engine crawlers (Bing Yahoo and Google) to rank you correctly. There are a number of components and I have attached a cheat sheet that describes most of these. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing – paying for ranking improvements by the use of AdWords, Click marketing and other techniques.
  • SMM – Social Media Marketing – very broad term around utilising social media as a marketing tool
  • Black hat SEO – refers to aggressive and often “bad” methods of attempting to “game” the crawler algorithms by taking advantage of them. Usually a short-lived approach and is generally only used by the scammers – those who call up in a foreign accent and tell you they want to help you improve your SEO. While these often work well for 1-2 months the end result is usually a lower result as you can get blacklisted for doing it.
  • White hat SEO – the professional approach to doing it right using known techniques that actually work.

Measurement

There are some easy ways to define measurement and then a whole range of additional metrics that are far more in depth and specific. The first task is of course a goal or goals that need to be set in order to measure improvement of the metrics against those goals. For example measuring the number of people who come to the site isn’t really relevant without adding in calls to action and then measuring those calls to action. Then you can determine if a particular piece of work changed any of those things.

Using Google analytics is extremely important and should be enabled by your web developer. If you are not sure ask us. Metric management is about tracking the specific stats against a goal and the changes as you do things. Google analytics can measure how many people clicked on the contact form page and how long they stayed there, where they came from and where they went next. Some of the specific things that can be measured external to the google analytics are the number of enquiries you receive from the website forms. This can then help us create a ratio as follows:

no of people viewing a sales page : no of people clicking from the sales page with a call to action to the contact form page : no of enquiry forms received : your conversion from those enquiries to sales. Example 1000:150:8:5

This then allows you to set a goal around that ratio metric – e.g. increase the numbers or improve the ratios.

The actual measurement then requires three things:

  1. A measureable goal
  2. The stats being collected from the website
  3. And the additional stats provided by yourselves.

Additionally Goals themselves should be what is known as SMART goals:

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:

  • Who: Who is involved?
  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • When: Establish a time frame.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”

Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.

To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……

How much? How many?

How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable – When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic- To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.

Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing.

When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.

How do we do this?

SEO is primarily about two things – Content and Currency.

Search engines rank you for the content on your site. They crawl words within context looking for relevancy. They look for timeliness or recentness.

This has to be developed backwards from the goals.

First you have to develop an avatar or a generic target customer. You create a mythical person who is your ideal next customer – the person you want to be having that phone call with selling your services. Once you identify the problem that person has that you can solve for them, then you need to work out how they find you. E.g. what was the problem? What words did they type into google to start finding solutions to the problem? How did that then find your website? When they found your website (page on your site) how well did the words you wrote confirm for them that you know how to solve their problem and convince them to contact you?

This leads you or us then to the ability to write content for your site that meets this objective. The more pages that can be written describing the real problems your customers have and how your company solves them. The more keywords there are that can be crawled by the search engines and the higher you will rank for those keywords. Adding in external links and other reference material, and then being referenced by other sites, analysts, uni students doing assignments on that problem and writing websites about them, etc. will help your rankings.

SEM – paying for it

A natural extension to the first component is to start paying for the results using AdWords and click marketing. E.g. paying for your site to be ranked higher or in suggested or advertised results sections on searches for certain keywords. Note there is no point doing this until you are already ranking well for those keywords. Your site needs to already have good content with those words before you can do this effectively.

SMM or Social Media Marketing

A powerful tool to massively leverage the ability for people to find your content and also improve SEO is SMM. This is extending the content you write on your site out into social media space – LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter are probably the best places and definitely Facebook as well. Each space has a different set of “rules” and ways to work and Twitter and Facebook also have the ability for you to pay money to advertise.

How do we help?

We have a very specific targeted approach to this and can assist at any one of three levels:

  • We can do everything for you including writing the articles
  • We can assist you by doing the technical and web stuff after you have written the content yourself
  • We can teach you how to do it yourself and then stand back and let you go to it on your own.

Our approach is simple.

The first step is to have a planning meeting where we assist in working out goals, setting a timetable of 6-12 months for content creation, determining the scope – e.g. website alone or extending to Social Media

From there we can help you work out who does what and what the cost will be.

Each step we take helps you identify the goals, how will measure it – who does what and how much it will cost. No black box “pay $40 a week and we will get you onto page 1” false promises.

Contact us today if you want a free analysis of your website for the 7 most common mistakes most business websites make (Usually $199). If you want a free SEO cheat sheet email and I will send one to you.

Is Your WordPress site secure?

wordpress-logoWordPress is one of the most popular CMS (Content Management System) website software out there. We have developed a lot of WordPress sites for our clients. What many people don't realise is that both the WordPress core system and all of the available WordPress plugins are vulnerable to hacking, and need to be monitored and kept up to date on a regular basis.

Keeping your website up to date will help safeguard and eliminate uninvited intruders or bugs on your site.

Nearly all of our clients take the approach to allow us to manage all aspects of the domain name management, hosting, development and ongoing maintenance. However we do allow our clients the flexibility to host elsewhere, manage the site and maintenance themselves if they wish.

Obviously we can’t be responsible for their site if issues occur if they’re choosing to host elsewhere or managing the site themselves. And unfortunately some people fail to keep their ‘versions’ of software and plugins up to date, again causing possible opportunities for hacking. The lack of updates, coupled with poor hosting environments can leave a website wide-open for security threats.

But time and time again, we have clients who do it themselves come to us pleading for us to help them out of a horrible hosting mess or to fix the site when it gets hacked or goes down.

Where there are WordPress sites there are hackers, and over time we’ve seen an increasing number of hacking attempts and malware on WordPress sites. We daily get reports from our managed sites indicating the targeted attacks occurring and the successful blocking of those attempts.

What Jethro does for our managed WordPress clients

  • Our servers are entirely owned and managed by us. There are no other resellers or websites on the server that we don’t have control of. When you host with crazy domains or any of the other cheap hosts you are subject to the fact that there are hundreds of not thousands of other sites on the same server – and while your site might not have any issues something happening to one of those other sites might cause your server to go down.
  • We monitor the servers constantly. Both at the server level where we receive text message and email notifications if something occurs, and at individual site level.
  • We harden the security of the default WordPress site way beyond the standard install. The standard install script most hosters offer for DIY leaves folders unprotected, easily guessable admin user names and no usually no password complexity requirements. We ensure that the site is as hard as possible to get to.
  • We don’t install 35 “that might be nice to have” plugins that may cause compatibility issues, security flaws or other issues. Every plugin we use has been tested over a long period of time, is compatible and has good developer maintenance.
  • We offer a maintenance service level agreement for all our clients that includes regular off server backups, plugin and core updates, documentation of all changes made and easy recovery if problems occur and active monitoring of the site.

Talk to us today about your WordPress website and ask us for a quick analysis of the site for potential problems. Better yet let us maintain this business asset for as little as $550 a year.

Welcome to the New Windows 10

Your Start screen

The Start menu is back—and it’s more personal, more organized, and more fun than before. Go to Start Windows logo icon on the taskbar on your keyboard. You'll find your most used apps on the left, the All apps list, and shortcuts to other locations on your PC, like File Explorer and Settings

win 10 start screen

Windows 10 Store

win 10 storeThe Store is a one-stop shop for music, videos, games, and apps.

Try out an app before you buy it, or pick a free one. Your Windows 10 apps will work on all your Windows 10 devices.

Application Switcher and Virtual Desktops

Click the application switcher for quick access to all your running apps. Or create and switch between virtual desktops.

win 10 desktops

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

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What people say..

I have recently had the opportunity to use the services of “Jethro Management” to work with me on some business planning, coaching, etc. Whilst we are still not completed yet in what we are working on, I can honestly say that Tim and his staff have been very professional in every way.

— Gary Wakeling (GHS)

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