Autumn Web Browser Changes

- By Chris Booth

Google, who make the Chrome web browser, are planning to make changes to the way they label some websites this Autumn.  Mozilla, who make Firefox and are funded almost entirely by Google, have lead the way on this and have been labelling some sites as "insecure" for a while.

Websites which are not registered for an encryption certificate will be labelled as "Insecure."  These changes will not change the way your site appears in Google Search but may result in pop-up warnings appearing in the visitor's web browser once they are looking at your website.

A number of The Web Booth customers have been in-touch about this, some of them in "Chicken Little" sky-falling scenarios.  Extra warnings in a popular web browser like Chrome are worth mentioning but you don't need to panic.

For an idea of what to expect let's look at what both Chrome and Firefox do now.

Information icon in Chrome browser
At the moment both Chrome and Firefox show a little (i) in the address bar.  If you click the (i) in Chrome you get this...

Popup in Chrome browser - not secure!
If you try and fill in a form the address bar changes to this in the latest versions of Chrome...

Chrome browser not secure warningNot secure!

In Firefox, right now, your address bar will sprout a red padlock if you try and complete a form on an unencrypted website

Firefox address bar padlock

And also this attached to each form field as you type into it.

Firefox form warning
There is plenty of time between now and October, it seems that Google are planning on turning up the heat every few weeks.  This seems to be what they are aiming for Chrome to do.

New chrome warning for autumn 2018
 
As you start filling in a form, the title bar will change to red with a cute animation.  Not really the sky falling and probably less invasive than what Firefox already does.

Why is this happening?

The reasons for this change are complex.

There are genuine concerns that people can view or modify information you type into a web browser.  In practice the only people who can do this easily are governments and whoever owns the cables you are using.  Although it is technically possible for anyone to view or modify Internet traffic and it has happened, it's not (touch wood) common because it's difficult to do.

So we need to look for other reasons and there are two of them...

  1. Revelations, a few years ago, about massive-scale government surveillance really annoyed cryptologists and Internet programmers and they are still determined to put a stop to it.  Many of these people work for Google.
  2. Some countries, particularly the US and developing countries, have monopolist Internet Service Providers who add adverts to web pages their customers view.  Encryption would stop this and Google executives don't want anyone but Google putting adverts on third-party websites.

Do I need an encryption certificate and how do I get one?

Sooner or later, yes but there's no rush.

Most websites don't actually need encryption but it will reduce the chances that your customers will be put off by warnings and it may boost your performance with search engines a bit.  The cost of registering a website for an encryption certificate is so low that you should probably do it.

You get a certificate by asking us.

If you have a new website or if we have updated your site recently then you probably have a certificate already.  We have been adding them as we go along all year.

  • If your web address starts with "https://" then you have a certificate.
  • Websites starting with "http://" are unencrypted.

How much do certificates cost?

Certificates are either free or reassuringly expensive.  We would suggest a free certificate for almost everyone.  In the unlikely event that you can't make do with a free certificate, we will let you know.

Unfortunately adding a certificate moves your website's address.  This means we need to make changes to your website and resubmit it to search engines.  As a result we are charging a one-off fee of £50.00 to add the certificate.

If you want us to add a certificate to your website sooner rather than later, get in touch on 0172 555 2430 or email chris@thewebbooth.co.uk

Have you tried Facebook Live?

- By Naomi Booth

So I have to be honest I missed Facebook Live going live - maybe you have too?

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is what it says - you can stream live video of yourself onto Facebook for your friends and followers to see.

Why should I use it?

Well you don't have to - but have you noticed the number of videos and live feeds are growing on Facebook, you could join them! Here are a few reasons:

  • Engage with your audience in a new way
    They may be curious about the new Live feed and more likely to watch it. People like watching video - it is easier and more real than words.
  • It is very personal
    You can talk to your followers, show them who you are, you are a real person! Show them where you are now - maybe how you work, an event you are at, who you are meeting with.
  • Facebook is prioritising Live now
    They want more people to use it so are sharing the content more than normal page posts. Try it for yourself, Jessie from West Dorset Wedding Flowers found her first Live video was seen by over 800 people compared to her posts which get about half of that amount of views.

 Facebook Live with me!

So how do I do it?

  • To go live using Facebook for iOS or Android:
    1. Tap What's on your mind? at the top of your News Feed
    2. Tap Live Video
    3. Write an optional description for your broadcast
    4. Tap Go Live to begin your broadcast
    5. Tap Finish when you want to end your broadcast

Don't forget

Do have a plan, think what your message will be, what action you want viewers to take - and then go for it... I hope to catch you Live soon.

Thinking of advertising with Facebook?

- By Naomi Booth

Taking the plunge into advertising on Facebook can seem daunting; maybe you have seen your online advertising money disappearing with little return? Here are a few practical tips to help get the most out of your Facebook advertising.

Make a status into an Ad and boost engagement

Create a status that will engage your current followers then you can make more of it by using "Boost". 

Your Followers need to be excited about it, "Like" it, "Share" it and talk about it or you won't see the results you have hoped for.

Facebook is built on "Friends". You see things your friends like and they see things you like. Facebook knows the people you engage with most and will show them your status before others. Think about the people further out in your network - you may only see a status from them when they have a huge announcement like they are getting married and so many of their friends have liked an commented before you even get to see the post. Your ad works just like that!

Facebook Boost

So as you can see that is why getting Followers and Friends is so important to your business.

Employee advocacy - everyone can help

So how can you help get your ad out there? You may only be a small company, but asking your employees, partners, contributors, distributors to engage with you on social media will help share your ad to more of your followers and even get through to their friends and followers too.

Have you tried posting to local Buying and Selling groups on Facebook too? They all have different rules so do read them before sharing your post there, but they are watched by many people religiously so it may be worth the extra work.

How to make your ad engaging

  1. Always make the headline of your ad make people want to click-through, like or share your ad.
  2. Use images of what you are talking about. Some people will find including a photo of themselves will promote more engagement, others it will be about the new product features or special offer.
  3. Try video, more and more videos are exploding onto Facebook, is it time you joined them?

What are you competitors doing. As with all things in business it is a good idea to keep an eye on what is working for other people in your industry.

See what works for you

Once you have set up an ad, see how it works. Not every post is going to make the conversions you want it to, but if you analyse the data you can see patterns, what people like to engage with and what they aren't interested in.

Want more?

I hope this has helped, if you would like me to look at how your business may benefit from using Facebook more do get in touch.

Naomi

naomi@thewebbooth.co.uk

 

 

 

To plan for 2017

- By Naomi Booth

Making a plan for 2017

When we get to this time of year it is always good to take the opportunity to stop, enjoy the Christmas festivities, look back on the highlights of the past year and then stop again and start to look forward!

So lets review together

What has your business done well this year, what are you proud of?

Naomi:
"I really liked this logo for Nick, can't wait to see the business cards and sign-writing..."

 Chase Technology Solutions

"I have also enjoyed doing newsletters this year, for Anousta, Hands on Life and Canvas. A thing of beauty that won't last more than a month, but can help those businesses get their messages and products out there via print, blog and email!"

Anousta Natural Skincare Products NewsletterImages: hands-on-life.jpg

Chris:

"The Poundbury Florist website, she loves it and people are buying more from her online than before, so it works, that is why I like it. I also love the search on sixpennyhandley.info another website people just like because it does it's job!"

Poundbury Florist websiteSixpenny Handley Website

 

Who were your clients in 2016?

Our clients were small and medium sized businesses and organisations. Mostly local, but some further afield who we have only met once.

Did your brand and marketing reach the right audience?

Mostly. I think we need to move our branding on, to be more up-to-date, hence the new logo for social media and print work in 2016. We need to make time to implement that new branding on the website.

The Web Booth new logo The Web Booth new header

The old website now looks too cluttered and old-fashioned, time for an overhaul!

Our marketing online worked OK, we kept our clients in the loop about changes to domain-names via email and were inundated with domain renewal requests. We didn't sell ourselves much and could use more social media to keep us in people's minds.

More questions...

Were our products right, did we meet expectations, are our prices competitive?

Looking forward to 2017...

Attract new customers

So it looks like a new website is on the cards for us...

  • Who are our prospective customers?
  • What are their needs?
  • What will attract them?
  • Are the colours right?

Check competitors for design, pricing and services offered.

Look after existing customers

Plan a few more contact points via email or social media with our existing customers as the one we did worked well. Try a marketing calendar - you can download one online or why not pick up one cheap in the sales after Christmas!

Do we have any other services or products clients might not know we offer?

Can we use/create any tools to create a better experience for them?

Still more to think about - but it is a start and written down!!

What are your plans?

If you have plans we can help you with do give us an email or call 01725 552430.

Choosing logo colours and shapes

- By Naomi Booth

Logo Colours and Shapes

What do different colours and shapes mean to people?

Logo Colour Choice

Logo colour choice speaks volumes to the customer. Think green and it is all about eco, high-end and growth. Like Waitrose, BP and Body Shop. What about yellow? Brightness, standing our from the crowd and value. Like McDonalds, SubWay and Lidl.

There is also the emotional side of colour - how they make you feel - I love the fantastic info graphic showing a huge range of logos and suggested emotions. How do they make you feel?

 Logos and colour

What about Logo Shape

Logo shape also conveys a sense of what your company is about.

Think of a circular logo like Intel, BMW and Starbucks. They have themes of inclusion, unity, stability and endurance.

And what about the harder looking rectangles and triangles? Companies like Mitsubishi and Adidas use these shapes to suggest balance, strength and masculinity.

Logo Design

It is interesting to look back at logos we have designed and see these choices come together to create logos that work.

Project Uganda

Choosing a colour for your logo

The strong rectangle at the base of this logo reflects the strength of the project, the balance of man and nature is suggested with the tree softening the hard rectangular form. The green colour reflects the hope for ecological growth and prosperity that this charity offers.

Waistcoat Festival Logo

Choosing a shape for your logo

This circular logo speaks about the community as a whole, getting together and being involved. The blue and green behind are creating feelings of peace, inclusion and stability.