So far only one of my US based webmaster clients has taken notice of the changes needed to their website to be EU compliant with the new GDPR rules on EU citizen privacy.
This is what I hear from clients:
I do not sell in the EU so this does not apply to me.
I don’t care if I have EU visitors. No one will prosecute me.
I guess I am feeling lucky and so am not doing anything.
Let me demystify something please.
It is not complicated to make these changes.
There are free cookie handling scripts for this.
For most clients we work with, the implementation would be under one hour and the cookie acceptance script is free unless you are on https and then expect to pay about $100 for the script.
The site update is not obtrusive, yet gives you protection. Although our own website does not get a lot of traffic from the European Union, factor 30 day traffic times 12 months. That number is high enough to think twice about saying no one will find me out.
One of our clients who said he did not want us to implement the updates, and said he was feeling lucky. But later sent an email and said go ahead and make the changes. He was feeling lucky but also wanted to be safe.
From my point of view, making this relatively simple update for most sites is a no brainer and I am baffled as to why more US business sites are not updating to this important change.
Being transparent with website visitors is important, not hard to do, and is the right thing to do. That is what the EU’s GDPR is all about.
Please make sure that you take the time to review these important new guidelines that go into effect May 25, 2018. Below are several examples of many articles on the web to help you understand what changes may be needed to your website to be in compliance. It is important to do your own research and implementation to be compliant.
“Who does the GDPR affect? (From the Official EU site)
The GDPR not only applies to organizations located within the EU but it will also apply to organizations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behavior of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.”
So the bottom-line is if you sell to or even have visitors from the EU, you need to be in compliance.
Important note: I am not a privacy expert and I cannot make recommendations for you that will bring you into compliance. This blog post is only to advise you that action may be needed by your firm’s website to be in compliance.
Training staff that works remotely can be a challenge. My firm has four remote employees and I have found that training is as easy as taking a short video with your phone.
In my case, my remote employees do not all have the same hours as all of them have other jobs or are full time students. So, it is nearly impossible to get everyone online at the same time.
I have started taking videos with my phone while I am in a control panel to make a super short video of what to do on a project. I am finding that employees like this, are able to watch the training multiple times, and some will even take notes and then work from their notes.
The key is to make the video super short and convey a concept that is not overly complicated. For me, I have done videos on how to add negative keywords to an AdWords account and how to create new ad text.
For most millennials, the visual mode of training is best and engages them most. Older staff seems to want the video plus written steps.
The key takeaway on this blog post is sometimes you simply need to think outside the box and meet staff where they are and allow training that is on-demand for their schedule.
If you are not using a template at your e-newsletter sending service and have used or created your own HTML code, you may have trouble adding your sending services e-newsletter sharing buttons if they are not already included in the footer.
If you want to track statistics you can set up an account and then get an API key which you then put in the ID field. Before you generate your code, update your details like Share Our Newsletter and your URL of your online newsletter to share.
AddThis is a wonderful work around and the buttons look good on the page. When clicked the email one will open an online interface for sending and the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ buttons will open the senders accounts so they can easily share items with their online friends.
Friction points, it’s all about finding where customers have trouble completing during the buying process with you and fixing the issues.
Here are some examples of friction points:
Buyers have trouble downloading completed video files for a drone photography agency. What can be done? Maybe using Drop Box with easy to follow instructions and photos on what to do next for a file download.
Prospects have trouble understanding what is included in a blog post sale. How can that be clarified? Maybe posting samples of content with the right word count and number of links to help a prospect understand the type and quality they will receive on your website to prequalify prospects before they even call.
Buyers have trouble getting contract documents to sign and return. How can the process be easier? Maybe using a digital signing service and online document archive would work to speed the return process.
Each business has their own unique set of friction points. Making things easier for people to buy from you is not all e-commerce focused. Friction points exist even for transactions with consultants and business to business sales, and for people who do not even sell items on their website.
My own company’s friction points have previously been: blog writing samples and writing expectations, prospects not having the proper technology to send or receive a contract, and buyers needing an online self-serve credit card payment center.
Are you hearing the same issues over and over from clients and prospects? That is a friction point. Now’s the time to identify what yours are and do something specific to address them to make buying from you and your company frictionless.
Don’t damage your existing SEO when you launch a new website. Once you have changed page URLs, all inbound links pointing to your website (that helped you garner your old website’s placement) will be broken and the SEO juice gone.
I recommend taking time to do an .htaccess file redirect in the root of your server; list your old URLs and then redirect to the new page that is the best match. If you have a very large blog, consider leaving the old blog up and then starting a new blog site on the server, having multiple incidents of WordPress so you do not lose thousands on inbound links if you have been a very active blogger.
This is of particular importance when you are moving from a PHP or HTML site to WordPress as the format of your website links will be different.
For many well-placed websites, setting up a new domain and leaving the old site untouched may be the best solution. In fact, if the old site is well placed organically you can point your pages to your new website (not with a domain forward, but rather with links in the footer and content). This may pass some of your SEO capital to your new site to help it get established.
When you want a new site and build one, but do not come up with a plan to address your historical inbound links, you break what you had and literally have to start all over again building SEO placement. Don’t damage your existing SEO out of ignorance.
Overwriting your existing website with new URLs without a well-thought out process can really damage your online placement and may be very hard to recover from, so move thoughtfully and carefully.