Website Legalities 

If you have a website, blog or app on the Internet then you have to comply with privacy laws. Regardless of whether your website is professional or non-professional, you must display certain mandatory information. If you don’t comply with the website legalities then you risk being fined €1500.

In the worse case scenario, unauthorised computer processing of data you’ve collected could result in 5 years’ imprisonment and a €300,000 fine.

Have I got your attention now?

Websites legalities is a fairly hefty topic and the mandatory information depends on whether you are an individual, company, type of activity, etc. So I’m going to break it down into smaller chunks and just cover Cookies and Privacy Policies here.

 

Follow the rules Please Stay on the path

Cookies & Privacy

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for several years, if you’re collecting personal information you are responsible for that data. Having a Privacy Policy is your commitment to guarding the privacy of your user’s data.

 

“When operating a website or mobile app, you should be ready to answer questions that your users, business partners, or authorities might have about the privacy policy of your service. If you work with other businesses, you [might] need to share with them your privacy policy and make sure you abide by it”.  Extract taken from PolicyMaker.io website

Business website owners aren’t the only ones who have to comply. Theses website legalities apply to professional and non-professional websites. 

  • A professional website is one that is used by a business, either an individual or a company. The compulsory details to be displayed will depend on the type of activity. 
  • A non-professional website is one that’s used by an individual and is not used for business. For example, a blog.   

To comply with the law all websites must display the terms relating to the use of cookies, and information relating to the use of personal data.

Trust

Apart from the risk of a fine, non-compliance could have other more serious effects. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that users will avoid interacting with a website if they think their privacy is at risk. You need to comply with the law if you want to be seen as trustworthy. 

Find more detailed info, including cookie definition and a free online policy generator at ‘Cookie Law’ and PolicyMaker.io .

Check out Top 12 Trustworthy Policy Generators. Be aware, although most claim to be free, some will apply fees depending on the type of business. 

Choose a policy that’s most relevant to your website activity, personalise it and display it prominently on your website. Enable a Cookie pop-up so it displays when visitors access your website. This allows them to accept, reject or change their preferences. Also consider adding a link to your policy on your Contact page. Prove to your customers that they can trust you.

If you have any problems with setting this up, get in touch and I will do my best to help you out. If I can’t help then I’m sure I’ll find someone that can!

 

I hope this article has been useful. The next one in the Website Legalities series will cover individual entrepreneurs exercising commercial, craft and regulated activities.

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

RESULTS: Good Quality Images Will Capture Their Attention

A picture paints a thousand words

After 18 months of testing, 56% of usability testers said that it was good quality product images that captured their attention first, and then they read the description. 

Although the Hotel News article’s user testing results are based on a booking system, the No.1 response can be applied to practically any enterprise that sells products – quality photos matter.

People remember 80% of what they see

Let’s stick with hotels for the time being and imagine you want to book a romantic weekend for 2 in or around Dublin, Ireland.

In Google Search for ‘romantic weekend Dublin room service’. Click on TripAdvisor’s ‘Ten Best Romantic Hotels in Dublin‘. 

I pick one from the list ‘The Marker Hotel’. It’s a bit out of my price range but the room photo has piqued my interest. There are over 1000 photos, but check out the Room/Suite ones and tell me which ones you prefer. Scroll through them and it’s pretty obvious which are professional and which are guests photos.

If you’re looking  for a hotel you don’t just want to see a hotel room. You want to see the bathroom, the dining room, the pool and spa facilities. But they have to be captivating, good quality images in order to entice you in, like The Marker Hotel. 

Now apply that principle and search for your product. Better still get someone else to search for your product and give you their honest feedback.

Regardless of what you are ‘selling’, good quality images are going to catch the shopper’s attention before they read the description. You need to showcase the whole product, from different angles, and in different settings if possible. Think about what you would want to see as a potential buyer. 

 

“We are highly visual creatures and repeatedly buy with our eyes. This is especially true when it’s time to book a hotel room. Potential guests want to see where they will be staying”. 

Read the full article: Creating a picture perfect booking experience Secondary Link

Hiring a professional photographer might sound like an unnecessary expense but, if you want to boost your sales, your photos need to be good quality images. High resolution digital photos will give sharper results, and hiring a professional photographer may turn out to be the best business investment you ever made. Ask for recommendations, check out their website portfolio and chat with them about your product requirements.

If you want to boost your sales, think like your customer or ask someone else to. Then act on their feedback.

Most buyers are looking for inspiration so good quality images will capture their attention and help to create a picture perfect ordering experience! 

 

I hope you found this article useful.

If you think there is anything that could have been better, let me know.

 

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Tattoo parlour shopfront

Key Design Components

  • Business Logo – if you’ve got one try and place it in the top left corner so it’s the first thing people see. Don’t surround it with clutter, let it stand out. but don’t make it the size of a billboard. Think Quality not Quantity.
  • Site Menu – keep it simple and use familiar terms, like About Us, Services, Accommodation, Gallery, Contact, Location, etc
  • Main Image or ‘Hero Shot’ – this should be the most important aspect of your homepage so make it good. Select your image carefully because this is the focal point of your window display and helps tempt customers into your shop.
  • Headline – place it above, below or within the main image. Keep it short but make it about reader – what can you offer them?
  • Call to Action (CTA) button – It’s called an Action button for exactly that reason, but what do you want them to do? Don’t just say ‘Click here’, be intentional – ‘Show me’, ‘Get a Quote’, ‘Find out more’.
  • Blog – having a blog increases engagement with your visitors so include links to recent posts. Hopefully if they like them they’ll sign-up
  • Introduction – start your conversation with your visitor but keep it concise, informative and friendly. What can you offer them?
  • Portfolio – if your business offers products or services that can be showcased with images or descriptions then add them, but don’t overdo. If there’s a lot direct them with a CTA ‘Show Me More’.

Everybody loves a freebie

  • Offer – feature an offer, maybe a free trial or money off. Everybody loves a freebie and it will help generate leads which can turn into more business, more referrals, more income.
  • Social Proof – Reviews, ratings, number of satisfied customers, awards, press releases. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
  • Subscription – encourage visitors to sign up for your email newsletters so they’ll be first to hear about offers and new products. And make your Privacy Policy clear so that they know how you will use their personal data.
  • Footer – always create a footer and consider which elements you’ll include – contact info, social media icons, email subscription, links to latest blog, awards (Social Proof).

 

pizza by the slice window sign key design components

Business Website Homepage

Whether you already have your own business website, or you are creating a new one, think carefully about the homepage design and how you are going to entice customers into your online shop. Certain key design components should be included but overall it’s best to keep the page small, but strong.

The best window displays aren’t accidentally designed and chaotic. They’re carefully intended to highlight the business’ best products and services in a way that is pleasing to the eye and tempts us to go inside.

Before we look at what key design components should be included on your business homepage, let’s think about the content and the purpose of your homepage. 

Think ‘Shopfront’

Wherever you share the link for your business website inevitably it will navigate the visitor to your homepage, so imagine it’s your shopfront. When we’re window-shopping there has to be something of interest to encourage us to go into the shop. Visually or verbally you need to have something on display which is going to entice the customer in.


  1. What do I offer? 
  2. What will make someone choose my business over my competitor offering the same products or services? 
  3. What kind of business image do I want to portray – honest, reliable, trustworthy, value-for-money, family-friendly?
  4. If I advertise myself as a professional – define ‘professional’ – what do I do that I consider to be professional? 
  5. What time is the shop open?

Sign saying less is more - key design components

 

Less Is More

If you are not confident in writing your content then hire someone to write it for you, because poorly written content is bad for your image. You want people to remember your business for your products, not your spelling mistakes. If you decide to do it yourself then write it in a word or google document first and make sure the spell-checker is on. There are other free tools you can use, such as Grammarly, which will even suggest ways of re-wording sentences too.  Be careful though, because sometimes tools can suggest incorrect changes, e.g. if the term you want to use is in French, such as place names.

 

Unbiased Review

I would also recommend you ask an outsider to review your content. Let them view the page and tell you what their first impressions are and give you honest feedback.

Is it clear what you do?

Too much or too little information?

Is it easy to read?

 

Remember

Include as many of the key design components as you can. Keep the whole page short, strong and to the point. Sell yourself but don’t over-exaggerate. Don’t lie about your experience and definitely do not belittle your competitors.

 

 

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Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

SAA IT TESTING

Dedicated to Quality

“Our aim is to help you improve the quality of your customer’s experience and increase the visibility of your business by providing expert advice and offering a range of affordable solutions and services”.

Find Out More

Why having your own business website is so important

In a recent poll I conducted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I asked ‘Do you think it’s important to have your own business website?’ A staggering 96% voted Yes. And I say ‘staggering’ because when I check out the various social media platforms, I rarely see anyone promoting their business website.

So maybe there’s a lack of understanding as to why social spaces are the perfect arenas to promote their business website. 

Online research still on the increase

More and more businesses are setting up online because they have the potential to sell their products or services to a wider market. Data shows that researching on a product, service or holiday before parting with any cash is still on the increase.

Having a website designed for your business is an important step towards grabbing a piece of the online marketing pie. And building a business website is so much easier now. You can hire a professional to help build it or you can use one of the various Website Builders, such as WordPress, Wix or Squarespace.

Searching online using multidevices


What are the Pros and Cons of having your own business website?

Pros

 1. Less competition 

If you sell your products or services on eBay, Amazon, AirBnB or similar sites you are competing with other sellers. Your potential customers don’t go on the main selling sites to look for your products. Even if they find one of your items, they can be distracted by other adverts flashing up around them. Creating a business website means your products and services can be found and, with no distractions, they are more likely to buy.

 2. Create brand awareness

It’s a competitive world out there and building a website with your brand name means that if it’s good people will recognise it, talk about it and share it. Having a business website with a secure (https) domain name that’s relevant to your business stakes your claim to that name. Getting there first will protect and secure your online brand and reputation. SAA IT Test logo

3. Reach a wider audience

Having your own business website you can attract customers from anywhere in the world, not just social media users. Not everybody has a Facebook account but most people have internet access and they use it to research before they buy.

4. Customer service 24/7

You can keep in touch with your customers and offer advice and support anytime anywhere.

5. Access to Business Information

Even if your physical shop is closed your customers can still find your business website and they can access it from a variety of devices. As long as you keep the information uptodate they can check availability of goods and services and check your prices.

6. Advertising

Use your website as a tool for advertising your business and creating customer awareness of your products, brand, and offers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews.

7. Fresh content

This can be a Pro and a Con. Your website is there to promote your business. Make sure the information is uptodate and interesting enough to attract more customers. Writing great content is a task in itself, hence why it’s also listed under Cons. There’s plenty of help out there if you know who to ask, and some excellent tools too. (that’s another Blog topic!)

8. Reduce communication costs

The Internet is an inexpensive form of communication and a great way to keep in regular contact with customers, suppliers and other businesses.

Cons

1. Website crashing

Error message on a website

Sometimes your website might crash making your business unavailable to customers. It’s normally only short-term so don’t let this put you off.
2. Accessibility

More and more customers use mobile devices for online purchases and if your website isn’t customised for mobile users they go elsewhere. Make sure you have a Responsive Website Design (and that’s also another topic).

3. Poor design

Some websites look cluttered and the user journey from searching to buying is too complex. If customers can’t find what they are looking for within a few seconds they won’t stay on your website very long.

4. Bad publicity

If customers leave a negative reviews on your website the bad publicity could have a huge impact on your brand reputation. Don’t ignore bad reviews and feedback. Respond calmly and professionally. Tell them what you will try to do to change things, offer a free replacement. How you respond can turn bad publicity into good publicity. But this isn’t just linked to business websites, it anywhere someone can leave a rating or review.

5. Not reaching your target audience

It’s not always easy to reach the right audience straight away. It can depend on your content and how your business ranks in searches compared with your competitors. Don’t be disheartened, there are people out there who can help with advertising, SEO, and content writing.

6. Poor content

Keeping your content fresh, informative and uptodate can be a real advantage. If you’re not comfortable writing your content then the thought of it could put you off having your own business website. There is help out there and sometimes all it needs is a fresh pair of eyes and a little encouragement to get you on the right track.

Increase Your Sales

So, you can see the Pros for having your own business website outweigh the Cons. The potential for increasing your customer base, business branding, reputation and increased sales is just too good an opportunity to miss.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get your business website working for you today.

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

SAA I.T Testing

Dedicated to Quality

“Our aim is to help you improve the quality of your customer’s experience and increase the visibility of your business by providing expert advice and offering a range of affordable solutions and services”.

Find Out More

 

Understanding Inbound Marketing Terms

Now you’re probably wondering whether a blog about Inbound Marketing Terms is worth a read. Well, if you are trying to promote your business online then yes it is. 

Although I can tell you a few things about websites, user testing and writing great content, I’m still learning about Digital Marketing. So when I come across something that helps me to understand one small area of this huge subject, I share it. 

If you only get one useful idea or piece of advice from it then you have still learnt something which will enable you to better promote your online business. 

Personally, the terms Social Media and Social Media Engagement stand out the best and have got my little grey cells working overtime. Now I’m thinking of more ways to start conversations and find interesting, well-written posts to share. Google Trends might be my starting point today. 

But I digress, I’m sure you’re all thinking ‘Get on with it!’ OK. Make yourself a brew, sit down and have a read of this post from a fellow blogger. Then tell me that you haven’t learnt something new today. 

 

Focus definition in dictionary

Inbound marketing focuses on creating helpful content that pulls your buyer toward your website where they can learn more about you, your expertise and knowledge, and what you sell on their own time – without being interrupted with ads or traditional marketing. By exchanging useful content for demographic information (especially email), inbound turns browsers into leads and, eventually, leads into customers. 

Read the full post:

The Vocabulary of Inbound Marketing: The Layperson’s Guide to Terms You Need to Know

Location

Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

79120, Sainte Soline, France

SIRET – 835 373 515 00013

©2020 SAA-IT-Test.com

Contact

Need some help? Please contact us:

saa.it.testing@gmail.com

FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11

UK: +44 (0)7940 435970

Hours

Mon: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thu: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Post with poster saying Big Data is Watching

Small Businesses and Personal Data

What’s classed as ‘personal data’?

 

  • The obvious ones such as name, surname, initial(s), alias, home address, phone numbers, date of birth or place of birth. ID card number, credit card number and e-mail address
  • Sensitive data such as genetic and biometric data e.g. health data, face, fingerprints, retina, DNA, etc.
  • Online identifiers such as IP addresses and cookie identifiers
  • Location data such as device location history
  • Metadata related to Internet activity i.e browsing and search history. Also information regarding a data subject’s social media accounts and posts.

 

Note: if you process debit or credit card information, you may also be subject to PCI DSS Regulations.

And whilst we’re on the subject of Data Protection…

I want a copy of my personal data and I want it now

As a small business owner you know what personal data rights are under GDPR don’t you, and what a data subject is?

And if one of your customer’s asks you to provide them with a copy of their personal data you know exactly what to do and the timescale for doing it in, correct?

 

..‘data subject’ refers to any living individual whose personal data is collected, held or processed by an organisation. Personal data is any data that can be used to identify an individual, such as a name, home address or credit card number .

(Luke Irwin, Author for IT Governance 15/11/2018)

 

 

 

 

 

People are becoming more aware of what their rights are regarding the data protection rules and are exercising these rights more frequently. They can object to advertising communications, deny access , or ask for a copy of the personal data that’s held on them.

Because individuals are becoming more aware this is also having an impact on businesses. As a business owner, even if you’re a one-man band, it’s your responsibility to understand how GDPR affects you. 

So, let’s go back to my original question.

Q. One of your customers has asked you for a copy of all the personal data you hold on them. What do you do and how long have you got to respond?

A. You have one month from the date of receiving the request to provide  a copy of all their personal data. Continually asking you for a copy of their data records would be an exception, but otherwise you’re legally obliged to complete their request.