Survey Monkey – ask your customers what they think.

 

We always get told “Put yourself in your customers shoes”. As business owners we can sit around trying to guess what our clients need/want/value, and it can be really hard to get an accurate picture.

 

Survey MonkeyAs usual we really aren’t plugging any particular service, but when we find something we genuinely see value in, we do like to pass it on to Surefire Design clients. Several of our contacts have used Survey Monkey and it caught my eye.

 

Essentially you can create and send out professional surveys.

 

      * No software to install.

 

      * Various questions formats

 

      * Insert your logo and link back to your website

 

      * Turn your survey into a portable PDF

 

      * Real time results

 

    * Charts and Graphs

Survey Monkey have a variety of packages, with the BASIC package starting at 10 Questions per survey, 100 responses per survey for FREE!

 

Their plans can be found here. I’ll be honest I’ve only been on the responder end of their surveys, but even then I was really impressed with how simple and easy it was to complete.

 

Got those burning questions to ask your clients? Maybe try their free package out by sending surveys to several smaller groups of clients. If you do, we would love to hear your feedback!

 

 


What are the options for receiving money online?

 

What are the options for receiving money online?

There are a daunting number of options for New Zealand retailers wanting to accept real time credit card transactions online.

 

To receive credit card payments you need some kind of payment gateway. Put simply a gateway is an organisation that accepts the credit card payment on your behalf and performs real time checking of the number name etc all online while the client is purchasing from you. Just as if they were in a shop using the eft-pos machine.

 

Here are brief descriptions of some of the options.

 

1 Paypal is the biggest international internet payment gateway. Paypal itself has a huge array of payment products ranging from requesting money from people by email, to buy now buttons and shopping carts operating directly from your website. Because of its size Paypal has reasonably good feee structures. With Paypal your money sits in your account with them, and you periodically download your earnings into a bank account of your specification. A separate Merchant Account (and the associated fees) with a traditional bank is not required for most options.

 

2 DPS is a New Zealand home grown payment gateway. Again there are a huge arrary of services. Payment Express is a Visa and MasterCard certified solution, developed by DPS, which allows electronic payments from multiple access points i.e. Web, EFTPOS, Vending, MOTO (Mail Order / Telephone Order) and Wireless.

 

3 Banks. Many of the New Zealand banks offer payment gateway services that can be custom integrated into your website along with their Merchant Account services. These systems are often the most expensive and have custom options when actually implementing into your website.

 

 


Seeing double – Surefire Design clients with two sites… and why!

 

Why would you choose to have two websites?

 

A growing number of business people are becoming more savy about the power of targeting their marketing, and how more than one website can improve your overall web marketing results.

 

It may sound odd at first, but there are some very good reasons for having more than one site. The fundamental reason is to reach particular target markets.
The method is by giving Google (and the other search engines) exactly what they are looking for. The more specific, well optimised content you provide to Google, the higher you will rank in the searches from the people you are trying to reach!

 

Separate sites allow you to really focus on the key words and phrases in the meta titles, meta descriptions and content. And with a Surefire Design no setup fees website, getting a second website can be more effective and cheaper than a Google Adwords campaign on an existing site. (Appologies for the blantant plug, but it’s true!!). Also when people land on the website they are getting a more specific and effective message.

 

Here are some examples from our clients. These are differentiated by geography, target market groups and product categories.

 

Two different geographic targets. People are these days searching with the location in the search string. For instance you might type “furniture removal wellington” into Google.

 

This second site targets a specific time frame each year. As tax time comes around certain visitors will search for refund information by the year.

 

Separating different product groups for different markets. High end designer kitchen clients will search differently, and be looking for different information, to customers who want to DIY.

 

Differentiate complimentary product or service. Here a specific product within the business has a site of its own. This allows for much more specific information on the product.

 

Associated businesses. These two business share branding and location. The complimentary sites link into each other.

 

 


How to embed a Google Map into the Surefire content management system

 

Ok so if you have read our blog article “How to embed a YouTube video into the Surefire content management system” then you are going to realise this blog article is a complete ripoff of that!

 

On the positive side, you will pretty much know how to do this already!

 

Putting a Google Map into a page on your website using the Surefire Design content management system isn’t particularly difficult, but you need to take a little care…

 

Here is the Google Specific part-

 

Browse to Google Maps – http://maps.google.co.nz/ and search for the address you want…

 

At the top right of the Google Maps page is a link called ‘Link’. Click on this.

link link

 

A popup will appear. On this popup, click the link that says “Customise and preview embedded map”.

link popup

 

The popup window that results, will let you select a size, or type in a custom size. Change the zoom settings, choose the map type – street, satellite, terrain. Even drag the map to the position you want.

map customise popup

 

Once you have set your custom settings, copy everything in the box in step 3. Select everything in the box and right click copy, or ctrl C. This is the code you will paste into the editor.

 

Then the Surefire part-

 

Open the page in the WebStart editor.

 

In the spot where you want to put the map, type something you will recognise… personally I type *******.

stars in text

 

Then click on the ‘Source’ button on the toolbar. This will show you the actual html code for the page.

 

source button

 

VERY CAREFULLY look through the html code for the ******* you typed. Delete the *s and making sure the cursor is in the right place, right click and select paste. This will drop in the code you copied from Google Maps.

 

stars in source code

map code in source code

 

Press the ‘Source’ button again to get back to the usual view. You should see the map embedded in the content now! If it isn’t… do NOT save the page. Go out and start again.

 

map showing in the editor

 

 


How to embed a YouTube video into the Surefire content management system

 

Putting a YouTube video into a page on your website using the Surefire Design content management system isn’t particularly difficult, but you need to take a little care…

 

Note: we have just added the blog post How to embed a google map into the surefire content management system. This article is suspiciously similar!! The process is exactly the same.

 

Sign up for a free YouTube account at http://www.youtube.com/create_account, and follow their instructions to upload your clip.

 

Then browse to your clip in YouTube. You will see (for all clips on YouTube) there is a field called Embed. This has the code in it that we want to copy and paste into the editor.

 

There are all sorts of setup options these days, colours, sizes, players, borders etc. But the simplest is to select the code in the Embed box and copy.

 

Embed code

 

Open the page in the WebStart editor.

 

In the spot where you want to put the video, type something you will recognise… personally I type *******.

Stars in text

 

Then click on the ‘Source’ button on the toolbar. This will show you the actual html code for the page.

 

Source button

 

VERY CAREFULLY look through the html code for the ******* you typed. Delete the *s and making sure the cursor is in the right place, right click and select paste. This will drop in the code you copied from YouTube.

 

Stars in source code

Video code in source code

 

Press the ‘Source’ button again to get back to the usual view. You should see the video embedded in the content now! If it isn’t… do NOT save the page. Go out and start again.

 

Video in content