When does Google Adwords charge you?

This question came up with both a client and at the last Websites 101, Part 3 (SEO) class:

Does Google Adwords charge you when someone clicks on your ad or when it appears on a search page (no click)?

It seems you can do it either way. On PPC Answers, the authors say

Your decision to use cost per click (CPC) bidding or cost per impression (CPM) bidding in Google AdWords depends entirely on your advertising objectives. CPC bidding is the most common type of bidding in Google AdWords because you only pay when your ad is clicked. CPM bidding is used when you’re only concerned about ad visibility and you aren’t worried about clicks or immediate conversions. Click here for the rest of the article…

For what Google has to say about costs for the two options, plus one additional, click this link: “How costs are calculated in AdWords.


What are some e-commerce platforms?

An e-commerce platform or program lets you set up an online store with product pages, shopping cart, and account management without programming it yourself.

In the workshop, we mention PayPal, Chase Bank’s Instant Storefront, and Amazon Checkout (Google Checkout is no longer available). Network Solutions, GoDaddy, and 1and1 all offer e-commerce solutions as well as shopping carts that can be added to your website.

Two additional soup-to-nuts e-commerce platforms are:

We plan to do a feature comparison of e-commerce solutions sometime in the next month or so. Stay tuned.

Can you add an external shopping cart to Weebly?

Weebly offers Google Checkout and PayPal shopping carts, but if you already have another shopping cart, can you use that one instead?

The answer is yes, as per this article in the Weebly support center: Other Shopping Carts. “Any cart will work so long as the vendor allows you to create embeddable product listings / add to cart buttons.  Any such embeddable options can be added to you site via our custom html element. “

So Google translates my page, but what if someone calls and I don’t speak her language?

This question came up at last night’s workshop, and it’s a good one:

Say that you put a Google (or other system) translation button on your website, or even create two or three different versions of your website in different languages. What happens if someone calls and wants to talk to you in–for example–Russian? You don’t know Russian.

One answer is to use a company that offers telephone interpreters:

  • LanguageLine:  Your customer calls a toll-free number and an interpreter picks up the phone and translates between the customer and your staff member.
  • AT&T Interpreter: “AT&T On Demand Interpreter, powered by Language Line Services… enables you to connect to interpreters from your cell phone in just seconds. Simply press *4 to reach a professionally trained interpreter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

If you post a mobile number on your website, you may be able to use translation apps:

  • Google Translate for Mobile will translate and speak texts out loud, but that’s not the same as translating a conversation on the fly.
  • Jibbigo, which is supposed to translate speech to speech as well as text to speech on mobile phones, was just acquired on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, by Facebook.

More to come as we learn more.

What are the fees on PayPal for international sales?

This question came up at session 1 of the May 2013 Websites 101 workshops: Can you use PayPal for international sales?

Yes, and you can find out more on this help page: Transaction Fees for Cross-Border Payments – United States.

We also checked for the same information on Google Checkout (an international sale adds another 1% to the usual fee) and Amazon Payments. They, too, let you sell  internationally.

Things have changed as of Aug. 11, 2013

On Nov. 20, 2013, Google Checkout is being “retired,” and if you’re selling physical objects, you’ll have to switch to another payment system. They suggest Braintree (only for United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe); Shopify (which countries they support depends on which payment “gateway,” like PayPal, you pick); and FreshBooks (again, it depends on the gateway). See Retiring Google Checkout Announcement for more information.

Amazon Payments works for your customers who are also already Amazon customers. “Amazon Payments allows U.S. as well as international customers to use major credit cards to make payments on Amazon Payments-powered websites. However, bank account and Amazon Payments account balance transfers are enabled only for US based customers [in other words, you have to be in the U.S. with a U.S. bank account to collect your money]. All transactions are in U.S. dollars.”

PayPal’s international payments are unchanged.

How Secure are Free Websites?

Protecting Your Relationship with Weebly

Here’s a section from the Weebly.com Privacy Policy that describes their approach to security. Note that their SSL encryption only protects you in your relationship with Weebly.

Confidentiality and Security

No data transmissions over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Consequently, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we make efforts to ensure security on our systems.

  • We use physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect personal information about you.
  • Your account information is password-protected. Additionally, your account’s password is stored using a salted, variable work factor, one-way hash algorithm.
  • In certain areas, Weebly uses industry-standard SSL-encryption to protect data transmissions. However, please note that this is not a guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed by breach of such firewalls and secure server software.

Protect Your Customers’ Information

If you collect credit-card information, you want very strong security protections. The easiest way to secure your shopping cart is to contract with platforms like  Network Solutions, Amazon Webstore, Google Checkout, Shopify, and so on, with the security options already built in. Weebly’s shopping cart uses PayPal, which has  strong security options, to manage all financial transactions.

You can set up a simple store (a few items with fixed prices) using PayPal directly. See Meals on Wheels of Staten Island’s donation page for examples of PayPal buttons.

If you collect personal information (medical records, for example), consider buying SSL encryption. Network Solutions offers a variety of options. See http://www.networksolutions.com/SSL-certificates/index.jsp for their information.

Other large hosting companies offer SSL certificates as well. If your host doesn’t, you might want to change hosts.

Protect Yourself against Spam

If you want to prevent spammers from sending garbage forms, use a CAPTCHA. See Meals on Wheels of Staten Island’s volunteer application page for an example.

Hey Viv! Benefits from a Consultation

Hey Viv!

Hey Viv’s home page

HeyViv’s e-commerce site sold plenty of poodle skirts and was at the top of the search results for 1950s clothing. However, Viv felt it could work better.

She hired us to analyze the site’s usability and navigation and then (most important) communicate our recommendations to the company that maintained it.

The result? Viv says, “I learned from the consultation how to think about site navigation and how customers move around the web site. I feel more confident making decisions and organizing the site.

“On Susan’s recommendation, I added a follow-up survey to get customer feedback. This has helped me make even more improvements. Customers and the operators who take phone orders say the site is easier to use. We’ve also noticed fewer dropped shopping carts.”