Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business

Journal, ISO date 2018-05-07


Having started a bit late - it's a bank holiday, so perhaps I shouldn't be working at all(!), which means there's no school to force deadlines and structure to the morning - dealing with the weekend email took a while and involved some digressions.

New interesting looking SaaS podcast.

Signed up to an HMRC webinar on making tax digital (something I want to be ahead of for PaTMa, and also generally think is a good (in the long run) idea). Only trouble is, it clashes with LTVConf later this week! :-(

I've never bought anything at auction but I do like browsing the property auction catalogues and today it was this one.

GDPR and Google Analytics

Spent some time reading about GDPR implications for using Google Analytics, triggered by reading this.

Eventually arrived at this Google page for some relevant information on avoiding sending PII to Google.

Some alternative views on the situation... more positive and rather less so.

Technical details for GA IP anonymisation are here and here

My personal conclusion is that I don't need Google to store the full IP of visitors so I may as well turn it off. I suspect it isn't really needed though, as it's not visible in GA and my settings are such that Google shouldn't be sharing it elsewhere at all.

PaTMa Marketing

I've decided to end my test adverts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn early as they were showing low CTRs and no results at all. All were promoting PaTMa's property tools browser plugin. They jointly generated 118 clicks over 5 days costing just over £150. The download stats for the Chome and Firefox plugin stores show no increase at all. The numbers are obviously very small but I don't have much budget to play with.

My cost per click works out as £1.27, which feels a little expensive to me. But the cost per conversion is currently greater than £150 - far too much for a lead at this stage.

My other advertising test is with AdWords, where I'm currently marketing PaTMa's buy to let profit calculator. I'm currently seeing a CTR of over 12% for that with costs around 40p per click. This advert has been running for the same duration as the others and has generated 2 leads so far. The rate of visitors trying out the calculator and getting some results is around 40%. With only 170 clicks the numbers are still extremely small and the cost per conversion of around £30 is higher than I'd like at the moment but it's infinitely better than the other adverts.

Is the profit calculator a better thing to advertise? Is it that I can put it in front of people exactly when they're looking for it?


A while ago I published an updated list of podcasts I like listening to - deciding to publish it incomplete rather than let it languish. Since then, every time I listen to a podcast that should have been included it bothers me. So today I've spent a short while completing the article so I can listen again without any added stress!

The actual plan

I managed to spend the afternoon (melting and) working on PaTMa development, managing to:

  • get the tax report updated to show the finance expense split required by section 24
  • add per property opt-out for rent reminder emails
  • implement a collection of small visual improvements
  • improve some systems management and automation

This included some reading of the very exciting(!) HMRC manual on property income and their examples on the Section 24 tax changes - it isn't always your finance costs that decide the finance deduction (at basic rate)! And when it's not decided by your finance costs, you can carry forward your unused finance costs to the next year! No wonder we need the office for tax simplification. :-(

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