August 2014 Newsletter

Hi

Welcome to our August Great New Zealand / Net Action Tourism Web Marketing newsletter.

In this newsletter:

  • Release of .nz domain names
  • Adventure Operator Audits & Registration
  • Google Analytics and Bots
  • Keep your WordPress site up to date
  • Meeting re your website

Release of .nz domain names

At last there is some definitive information about the new .nz domain names due for release soon. If you are unsure what these are, see our article at http://www.netaction.co.nz/new-nz-domain-name-extensions-tlds/

Essentially, you can register your interest in obtaining the .nz version of your current domain name between 30 Sept 2014 and 30 March 2015.

If no-one else is using a version of your domain (like .net.nz) you should get automatic PRR (Preferential Registration or Reservation) status for the name and have no problem.

If someone else is also using a version of your name and also registers their interest, you will be in conflict and will need to make a case for an arbritrator to decide who gets the name. That may be based on whether it is actively being used, length of time since registration, trademark or branding issues etc. It may be that no-one is allowed it.

You can go online and find out the status of your domain name at http://www.anyname.co.nz. This will also show you who you are in conflict with if that is the case.

Rather than us regurgitate everything about this, there is comprehensive (and fairly easy to read) information about the whole process on the http://www.anyname.co.nz site, including the important dates, conflict issues and resolution, and FAQs.

We suggest that you should consider reserving your .nz domain as it protects it from being registered by others. But in most cases, still keep using your existing domain as your main one for your website as this is what it will be indexed as with Google and elsewhere on the net.

Please contact us it you need more information or help with this.

Adventure Operator Audits & Registration

In an effort to stamp out “Cowboys” and maintain high standards, Worksafe NZ is tightening up on rules for adventure operators. Operators falling under the Worksafe NZ regulations are required to complete safety audits and registration by a 1 November 2014 deadline.

The Worksafe NZ site states

Operator responsibility

It is the responsibility of operators to ensure the safety of their clients and staff at all times. They remain responsible for ensuring the safety of their operations on a daily basis.

This includes identifying whether they are subject to the regulations and, if so, to ensure they are audited and registered by 1 November.

So if you are an adventure operator or have some sort of business that may fall under these regulations you should ensure that you know what your responsibilities are and if you are subject to audit and registration.

Failure to do so appears to have significant consequences. This includes your ability to advertise in regional guides, and Tourism New Zealand will only support registered operators.

Full information is available at http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/about/what-we-do/adventure-activities/for-operators#guidance

and

http://www.supportadventure.co.nz

Google Analytics and Bots

For some time Google Analytics has been somewhat inaccurate as some of the data recorded has not been from real visitors but rather from visits to your site by “spiders” and “robots” (these are automated tools that troll websites looking for information). One particularly problematic one recently has been Semalt.com which also biases data about visitors from Brazil.

Google has now taken steps to allow users to exclude traffic from Spiders and Bots. There is a setting under Admin – View Settings which allows you to “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders.” They are not automatically excluded until you change this setting.

The downside is that this will undoubtedly mean that your website traffic appears to drop. Nobody likes to see that! But the upside is that from now on you will have a much more accurate figure of the number of ‘real’ visitors to your site.

If you want to have more accurate stats data about real live visitors, you should change the setting, take the one off hit in your stats and accept that figures are more “honest” in future.

There is an old saying “stats, stats and lies”… Google haven’t been very upfront about this fix as they probably don’t want to admit that Google Analytics data hasn’t been as accurate as they have said it was.

Keep your WordPress site up to date

We have recently seen a number of WordPress sites where the version of WordPress and various associated plugins are out of date. Out of date versions can mean security loopholes are not closed and your site could get hacked. We have recently seen 4 sites get hacked.

It is important that your WordPress installation is kept up to date with any version updates. Who is doing this for you? Does your developer have a process for proactively managing this for you?

There are settings that will allow your core WordPress files to update automatically. However this should only be done where these files have not been changed in the development process and child themes are used. That probably doesn’t mean much to you – but do check it out. Ask your developer or us for assistance or clarification on this

Also, while checking this out, find out who has a complete backup of your site? You should know this so that you don’t lose your site if servers go down or your site is hacked and needs restoring. No backup may mean a new website built from scratch again! You know how much time, effort and cost that involves! Be prepared and have the backup!

Meeting about your website

We are currently visiting clients around New Zealand. In the next few weeks we will be in Wanaka, Westland, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Picton, Wellington, Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, Taupo and Auckland.

If you are in any of these regions and would like to know how we can assist you with Search Engine Optimisation and helping your website perform better for you, we may be able to meet with you. Just contact us and we will try to schedule you in. Sorry, tourism businesses only please.

We hope some of this information has been useful. Please contact us if we are able to help you with any website or Internet issues at any time.

Best regards

Ron, Sue, Judie & the team at
Net Action Ltd and Great New Zealand
07 866 3929