Articles: General advice

More on Scams

As always there are numerous scams out there, most trying to steal your email address and password, or overcharging you for something that you may or may not need. They may be by email or snail mail – post.

The last overcharging scam we have seen is a renewal notice/invoice from an organisation called PTMO – Patent & Trademark Organisation. Their scam is to overcharge you for a trademark renewal – on a trademark that you may or may not have and which may not be due for renewal.

As always, if you get an invoice from someone you are not 100% sure about;

Check the amount and what they are charging you for.
Make sure it is for a service you need and do not get from elsewhere
Read the fine print – some may lock you in for a long period
Do not give away passwords or anything else

For more information on various scams, search for “New Zealand scams” (or similar search phrases) in your preferred search engine.

Checklist for Xmas Break

At this time of the year I do like to remind you of things about your website to be aware of over the break when many of your suppliers etc may be closed.

The things that you should know about your developers, ISP’s and email providers etc.

Following is what we have told you in previous years. Be prepared in case your site has issues. Particularly important if you take bookings through your web site. It needs to be up and running all of the time or you may lose business….

Maybe it is your busy season, or maybe your business closes down like many at this time. Even though you may not close down, your web developer and other key contacts might.

Either way, there are things to plan for during the “silly season” in order to ensure service to your customers is not disrupted.

So here are some things to consider over Xmas:

Do you know what your web developer, hosting company and ISP are doing over Xmas?

Will they have normal services or just skeleton staffing?

Do you know what the arrangements for contacting them are if you have a problem with email, your website or your Internet connections?

What about your IT support person or company – what happens if your system breaks during Xmas and New Year? Will someone be there to fix it?

Will your hosting and ISP accounts etc get paid normally – don’t let one of these lapse because of Xmas disruptions to routines or you may find your web site, email or internet connection stops working.

Will you be checking emails as normal?

If you are going to be extra busy, have you figured out how to ensure that emails and enquiries are not ignored because of lack of time to respond?

If you are going to be away, is someone going to deal with emails and enquiries in your absence? If you are going to be checking them from remote locations, ensure you take all the logins and passwords with you that you might need.

That’s just a few things to get you thinking – there are probably many more things pertinent to your particular business. To ensure things run smoothly over the break, the best advice is of course “be prepared” and anticipate possible issues in advance.

Google Analytics spam

Spam and ghost referrers appearing in Google Analytics has been a major issue for some time. Your stats will be biased to some degree if there are lots of spam referrers.

If you want to know more about this and how complex it is to resolve, have a look at the article at

The first part of the article tells you about the issue in reasonably readable terms Continue reading

Google Analytics tracking of TripAdvisor referrals

Earlier this year, TripAdvisor changed their site to a secure one (using https:, not http:) This means that Google Analytics can no longer track referrals from TripAdvisor without some “tweaking”.

If you have noticed a drop in your TripAdvisor referrals in Anlaytics, this is probably why.

There is a work around for people with paid TripAdvisor business listings (eg accommodation sites) but not for other listings at this stage (like activities or free accommodation listings).

The work-around involves changing your website link to a custom Google tracking url.

Information on this change is at

We can assist you to do this if need be.

Tourism NZ Listings Updates

Tourism New Zealand recently introduced a new requirement that your business must meet your obligations under the revised Health & Safety at Work Act (HWSA) for your listing to remain active on their site, All businesses with listings are required to login and accept or decline this requirement prior to 30th September 2016. Only a few days away. TNZ should have contacted you about this change.

So just a reminder, if you haven’t done this already, you should do so ASAP.

If you do not do this before 30th September, your business listing(s) will become inactive.

If you have any questions about this, please contact TNZ’s support person, Elisabeth O’Connor at email
Ph DD 04 462 8000 or 021 416 027

We can also assist if need be.

Take Time to Review your Website

If things are quieter now (or less frantic than other times), then it is a great time to have a good look at your website and how it is performing. Do all the things you have intended to do before but were too busy to do during summer or the things that you weren’t really bothered to do. Not just your website but anything related to it and your Internet prescence.

Your website is very, very important. It represents your business to the world and in most instances, is your most valuable marketing tool. Check it out and fix or improve anything that you can.

Here are some tips and reminders of things you should check: Continue reading