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Why Are Russians Stalking My Website, and More of Your Questions For November




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Any idea why I would have Russians checking into my website? According to Google Analytics, they account for 20 percent of my audience.

It would be nice to think your little store is attracting a worldwide audience, but the truth is that these are not human visitors, says Matthew Perosi, founder of the Jeweler Website Advisory Group. Most of these visits are either from Russian search engines scanning the websites, or more likely, spam bots, he says. “Google Analytics has an inherent flaw that allows fake website visits, or ‘ghost spam,’ to be recorded as real website visits,” Perosi says. The search giant has been fighting it for years but with little success. Solutions that create elaborate filters to block those imposters from being recorded can be found online if you search for “Google Analytics ghost spam,” says Perosi, but he adds they need frequent updating because the ghost spam attacks change weekly

At times this might account for more than 50 percent of your monthly website traffic. “Until Google figures out how to solve this problem, without applying the proper filtering yourself, you will not know your real website analytics,” Perosi says.

Never visit those suspicious websites you find in your Analytics reports; that’s what the spam companies are hoping you’ll do, Perosi says. “Many of those sites have viruses or Trojan attacks hiding in wait.”

If I install an RFID system, can I stop doing physical inventories?

As accurate as RFID systems have become in the last few years, it would be very unwise not to go through the process of eyeballing every piece you own at least once a year (January is always a good month) and checking every tag. “RFID eases that burden of doing inventory so you can actually do it on a more frequent basis but with much less time spent and much less aggravation,” says Jordan Peck of RFID maker TracTech Systems.

How do I approach a radio station to buy air time?

TV and radio stations love customers who buy direct, says Andy Malis of ad agency MGH. But the reason should give you pause: “Because they know you don’t what you’re doing,” Malis says. He recommends you call your local station and ask the sales manager for the names of freelance media buyers they work with. “Choose one that buys for a variety of other local businesses. They’ll charge a lot less than a fullservice agency, but they’ll know how to choose the right stations and programs, and more importantly, they’ll know the best rates.”

An employee has asked to take time off to vote on Election Day. Do I have to pay her for the time?

State law rules here, so your best bet is to search online for your state’s name and “time off to vote.” Many states now allow mail-in voting, but if going to a polling place on Election Day remains common in your state, check laws to see if employers are required to give workers paid time off to vote if the employee’s work hours do not allow the person to cast a ballot when polls are open. Whatever the rules in your state, we think it’s good policy to do everything in your power to enable your staff to vote. It’s all about being a good citizen. And besides, Election Day is rarely a busy one in the store.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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