Have You Checked Your Website Traffic Lately?

Well, have you? With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, there is no better time than now to check your website traffic.

1. Login to your Google Analytics Account. Don’t have one? Shame on you! This is a free and essential tool for online marketers. Google Analytics will give you a ton of insight into how people find your products and website. I suggest you sign up now.

2. If you are using the new interface design, you want to click Traffic Sources on the left navigation then, Search, then Organic. In the old interface you will click Traffic Sources, All Traffic Sources, then click Google/Organic within the report.

Here you will see all of the traffic that is reaching your site via organic search.  This is a great way to get keyword ideas for your Adwords campaigns (you are running those too, right?) and general search query ideas so that you can target your customers and ads correctly. It will also show you negative keywords to bid on. Example: If you run a tennis shoe company, you would want to bid on keywords such as tennis shoes, running shoes, etc, but you wouldn’t want to come up in searches for horse shoes, so you would make horse shoes a negative keyword.

You can click over to the Google Webmaster Tools tab to see what exact queries your customers are using to find your site.  It will even tell you the keyword position, impressions and clicks. This is also a great way to track how your customers are finding your site.

Some of the most important stats are located on your dashboard when you login to Analytics.  These stats include impressions, clicks, time on site and bounce rate.  You can even click through to see which pages on your site have high/low bounce rates.  This can help you understand what content your users find useful and what pages they find not so useful.

Analytics is a great way to easily keep track of your website traffic.  There are tons of more useful reports and stats and I will delve a little deeper into some of them in the next few blogs, so stay tuned!

Questions or comments? Leave them below! What steps do you take to monitor your website traffic?

[SCAM] Beware of Southwest Airlines Facebook Scam

Another Facebook scam is running rampant.  At first glance, the page that can be seen here looks real.  The Southwest Airline logo and colors are present, as is Facebook Social Plugin with everyone gushing about how they love Southwest Airlines and thank you for the free tickets. The thing that people aren’t gushing about, is that the page and promotion are a total scam.

Upon Liking and Sharing the Southwest Airline promotion on your wall, you are prompted to enter all of your personal information, including mailing address and phone number.  It then tells you that you must participate in two other offers first, in order to receive your free tickets.

And this is where the fun ends.

Once you realize that you have fallen victim to the scam, you can quickly erase the shared link on your wall (to save your friends from falling victim too), but it’s too late for your personal information. It is now in the hands of scammers and criminals.

A friend of mine was the one who alerted me to this scam.  He had fallen victim to it himself.  (He is a tech guy and he can’t believe he fell for it) He said that 10 minutes after entering his information, he had already received 2 phone calls from scammers trying to enter him into another promotion. He quickly hung up.

So, please be careful out there! The Internet is a scary place, full of scam artists and criminals just waiting for you to slip up! Always double check the URL, don’t click links in emails, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Have you ever fallen victim to a scam like this? Leave your comments below!

[HOW TO] Set Up a Webcam to Watch Your Reef Tank From Anywhere

We just recently set up a Reef Tank in the office and wanted a cool way to check on it while we were away (we are total dorks, we know.) So, we decided to set up a webcam.  It was cheap and easy and with No-IP, you can check in online, even if you have one of those pesky dynamic IPs. Don’t have a fish tank to watch? The options are limitless! Monitor your front door, security for your office, your refrigerator, or anything!  Just make sure that you aren’t invading anyone’s privacy or breaking any of these laws.

1. Buy a webcam. You can find a cheap one online, we ordered ours from Amazon.

2. Place your camera where you would like it.  Our reef tank cam is attached with electrical tape to the side of the tank.  We also have other office cams that are mounted to the ceiling.

3. Have a dynamic IP? In order to see your webcam easily over the internet, you will need to create an account with us. You can check out this video if you need help getting started with us.

  1. Create an account from the homepage.
  2. After you fill out your credentials and receive your account verification email, log in to your new No-IP account.
  3. Create a username
  4. Click the hosts/redirects tab
  5. Create a new host- leave all of the information that is already clicked the same.
  6. Behind a router or firewall? You will have to forward your ports.  Take note: our documentation on port forwarding is limited due to the vast amounts of routers.  Please check out your routers support page for more information if you are lost.
  7. Download and install our dynamic update client. Our DUC will automatically keep track of your dynamic IP changes.
  8. Now, you just need to check to see if everything is working correctly.  You can go to canyouseeme.org to confirm that your ports are forwarded correctly and that you can view your reef camera from the web.

4. Once you have completed the above steps, it is time to log in to your camera via the host you created to see what your fish are up to! You just need to make sure the webcam’s software is launched and ready to accept internet connections.

5. Viola! A quick and easy way to set up a webcam on a dynamic IP address. Enjoy!

Questions or comments? Leave them below!

How to Save Yourself When Technology Bites the Dust

As we rely more heavily on technology, there are a few things that we can do so when it fails us, we don’t lose our entire lives with it.

1. Backup everything, twice. It doesn’t help to have a backup of all of your photos, documents, and music if your backup is only located in one place. Always have a backup of your backup in case your backup goes out. Oh and make sure it’s not connected to your computer. Store it somewhere that you can easily grab it if your house catches fire, etc.

2. The recent BlackBerry fiasco has brought email and SMS outages to the forefront.  What would happen if your email went down and you weren’t able to email your boss or friends? My advice is to have a second known email that you can access all of your important contacts (have it listed in your signature on your emails as a secondary email) via, so if your email ever is down, you have another way to send and receive.

3. My husband is pretty old school. He still has a black book with all of his contacts in it. Every time he takes it out to look up a number from an old friend it makes me laugh.  Until the day he went to the cell phone store and came back with a phone that had been wiped clean on accident by a “genius”. (he never backed it up, really?) He was ready to shoot the guy. If not for his little black book he would have been a pain in the butt getting all of his contacts back. So when in doubt, go old school and write important stuff down or at least have all of your contacts on your computer! (and back it up!)

4. Memorize at least two important phone numbers.  This will come in handy if you are ever lost or stranded and your cell phone battery is dead, or if you lost it.  What would happen if you tried to call someone to tell them you needed help, but didn’t know anyone’s number?

5. Keep a land line phone.  How ancient, right? But really, what happens if there is a storm or disaster and cell towers do not work? You can even go an extra step and make it a corded rotary landline phone (do those even exist anymore?!)

What other things can help you when dealing with technology? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

How to Make Your DNS Infrastructure More Redundant

No-IP Squared (Backup DNS) offers a great way to beef up your DNS infrastructure. As of this writing, we have points of presence in over 100 locations across the globe.

If you maintain your own DNS server it’s pretty easy to setup. Follow these simple steps:

Follow these simple steps:

1. Edit your DNS server to allow zone transfers to our distribution server. You want to make sure that when you make updates to your zone file that our system knows about it.
Slave name servers check for zone transfers based on the REFRESH SOA (Start of Authority) value for your zone. A secure name server will disallow zone transfers to the public. You’ll need to allow zone transfers to our system 8.23.224.170.

This is what it will look like in BIND:

zone "dansfishtanks.com" {
....
allow-transfer { 8.23.224.170; };
}

Since the address 8.23.224.170 is not on a public facing name server, you should also enable notifies. Notify short circuits waiting for the refresh timer to expire and tells all of the slaves to go grab
a new copy of the zone right away.  But since our distribution server is not listed in the zone file, you’ll need to use also-notify

Your BIND configuration will now look like this:

zone "dansfishtanks.com" {
....
allow-transfer { 8.23.224.170; };
notify yes;
also-notify { 8.23.224.170; };
}

2. Configure your master IP in the No-IP Interface: Go to Manage Domains. Select your domain, then click edit. Here, you will enter the IP address of your master server.

3. Behind a Firewall? Make sure you don’t have any firewall rules that would prevent our servers from talking to yours. You’ll need port 53 UDP and TCP open for 8.23.224.170

4. Verify the zone transfers work properly. You can make a test change to your zone file by just incrementing the zones serial number and applying the update. Then, verify that we have the new ip address.

Using Dig you should see the following:

dig @yournamserver.com mydomain.com SOA +short
Apply serial number update

dig @yournameserver.com mydoimain.com SOA +short
Should see new serial number

Then check us
dig @8.23.224.170 mydomain.com SOA +short
This should match the new serial number, if it doesn’t match then something is not quite right. Try reviewing the steps above for an error, or if you still cant quite get it, give our support team a buzz, that’s what they’re here for.

5. Update your zone file to include our name server (NS) records. So, if you’ve made a successful update to our system, now its time to add our
NS records to your zone.

Your BIND zone file might look like this:

$TTL 2d ; default TTL is 2 days
$ORIGIN example.com.
@ IN SOA ns1.dansfishtanks.com. hostmaster.dansfishtanks.com. (
2003080800 ; serial number
2h ; refresh = 2 hours
15M ; update retry = 15 minutes
3W12h ; expiry = 3 weeks + 12 hours
2h20M ; minimum = 2 hours + 20 minutes
)
; main domain name servers
IN NS ns1.dansfishtanks.com.
IN NS ns2.dansfishtanks.com.
; mail domain mail servers
IN MX mail.danfishtanks.com.com.
; A records for name servers above
ns1 IN A 1.2.3.4
ns2 IN A 1.2.3.5
; A record for mail server above
mail IN A 192.168.0.5

Now add our name servers records:
IN NS ns1.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns2.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns3.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns4.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns5.no-ip.com.

Your zone file will look like this: (don’t forget to update the serial number!)

$TTL 2d ; default TTL is 2 days
$ORIGIN example.com.
@ IN SOA ns1.dansfishtanks.com. hostmaster.dansfishtanks.com. (
2003080801 ; serial number
2h ; refresh = 2 hours
15M ; update retry = 15 minutes
3W12h ; expiry = 3 weeks + 12 hours
2h20M ; minimum = 2 hours + 20 minutes
)
; main domain name servers
IN NS ns1.dansfishtanks.com.
IN NS ns2.dansfishtanks.com.
IN NS ns1.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns2.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns3.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns4.no-ip.com.
IN NS ns5.no-ip.com.

; mail domain mail servers
IN MX mail.danfishtanks.com.
; A records for name servers above
ns1 IN A 1.2.3.4
ns2 IN A 1.2.3.5
; A record for mail server above
mail IN A 192.168.0.5

4. Don’t forget the glue! Last step is to tell the root servers where to look. This is done at your registrar. If your domain registration is with No-IP, (Your domain isn’t registered with us?! Transfer it today!)

5. Enjoy Peace of Mind! You’ve just increased your DNS presence 10 fold. Just make sure you keep your email address current with No-IP so that you can get important
maintenance notifications of changes on our end that may require action on your part (in the rare event of IP address changes)

This example uses BIND. Very similar actions are needed for other servers such as NSD or Microsoft DNS server.

Any questions? Please do not hesitate to ask for help. Give us a call or open a Support Ticket.