For any business that accepts payment with credit cards, you need to think about PCI compliance.
PCI stands for “Payment Card Industry”. What are PCI standards?
PCI standards are not laws, but regulations imposed by payment card companies. In order to accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express, you have to fulfill certain contractual obligations to ensure the safety of customer data.
For small businesses such as e commerce businesses, it especially comes into play if you accept phone orders. After all, the e-commerce orders through your website probably are secure. But what if someone calls you on the phone? Do you just write credit card info on a piece of paper before processing it? What do you do with that paper? What should you do?
If you are local to the Charlotte area, you may want to consider attending a free seminar from JStengel Consulting. They have a free information seminar coming up at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce on April 1st. (No, it’s not an April Fools joke.)
We are not affiliated with JStengel in any way. We met them at the Lake Norman Expo the other week for the first time. Yet, three from our office will be attending their meeting.
This is important to us. If you handle credit cards, it should be to you also.
DoubleClick has approximately 60% of all display ads (ads on other websites). Google already has about 75% of all search ads. Google will likely combine all this very soon into one interface – Google AdWords!
In other words, if you want to advertise on either another website or a search engine, the only place to start is at Google. This forces more advertisers to use Google (often exclusively). The logical reaction would be that more publishers will use Google to show ads.
Therefore, those percentages of 60% and 75% will grow! This is especially true given the powerful brand that Google has built up.
Exhibiting at the Lake Norman Expo last week was a real success. We had some excellent assistance from my graphics designer, a local sign shop, and even the local print shop to get everything we needed.
Our goal for the show was different than most other exhibitors. We did not just want to distribute our information to everyone that came. Rather, we wanted to actually sit and get to know the few that are specifically interested in online marketing. We setup our booth so that others could sit in a comfortable chair and actually have an interesting discussion getting to know us.
Last week I renewed my Google AdWords Professional certification. If that sounds like fun to you, it’s not. It involves taking a 117 question test that takes up to an hour and a half.
How do you prepare? Personally, I knew I could pass the test without studying. I practically use AdWords daily and keep up with the changes they make to it.
But because we have an upcoming class on Google AdWords, I thought I would dig a little deeper. So I literally spent about five hours reading all of the information that Google provides. It was long and tedious. It was a good refresher and I’m more ready than ever to teach the class later this month.
By the way, I ended up only getting 7 of 117 questions wrong. Not bad. Upon further review, the 7 questions seemed to be in topics such as reporting and billing. The fundamentals I had down.
So what was the biggest benefit to doing all this?
In reviewing all this information, I started to think about what pieces of Google AdWords I could use more efficiently. The one that kept hitting me was not the radio, newspaper, or even television ads they now offer. It was the content marketing.
Content marketing on Google means showing your ads on other websites (not search engines). Google now offers some really great ideas and tools for doing this.
The key is to treat it completely differently than search engine marketing. It needs to be in its own campaign and the keywords and ads need to be very different.
In case you have not heard, the Charlotte SEO Meetup is really taking off.
When I first heard about this group back in October, I joined immediately and attended the next meeting. At that time, there were very few members. In fact, only four other people attended the first meeting I went to…