Images, layout and design do more than make your presentations and blog posts look better. They can help you emphasize a point, conjure a feeling or emotion, get a complex idea across, help you resonate with your reader/audience and so much more.
There was a really good presentation on Slideshare recently about Simple Design (I have embedded it below). We shared it around the office and then talked about a few of our favorite places to find images for our blog posts and webinars.
Here is a short list of what we came up with and why we like them:
- Flickr – An old standby, Flickr has a large collection of photos and a decent Advanced Search option. Using the Advanced Search, you can find Creative Commons licensed photos that you can use.
- Creative Commons Search – Speaking of Creative Commons, they have their own image search service. It is easy to use and has a large selection of photos.
- Photo Pin – Photo pin also pulls from the Flickr API to find Creative Commons licensed images but the interface is a little easier to use. Two things I like is that one of the ways to rank the images is by ‘interestingness’ and they provide the HTML for your photo attribution.
- Google Image Search – Google Image Search also has some great advanced search options. You can search for particular sizes, colors, phrases and usage rights. As much as I like the bells and whistles, I have a hard time actually finding an unlicensed photo that I can use for commercial use. I still like to check it out every once in awhile though.
- Pixabay – This one is new to me but we have been testing it out. Pixabay is a site offering photos without copyrights that do not need attribution. There is no obligation to have an account either. Users who want to submit their photos need to log in and waive their right to the photos that they upload.
Hopefully with a few options you can really spruce up your presentations and blog posts! Did we miss one? Do you have a photo search tool that you like to use? Let us know.
photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc
Dave did a great webinar yesterday on Optimizing the Most Important Pages of Your Website (see the full recording here). It may surprise you that your About Us page is one of the most viewed pages of your site. Your site visitors are curious and want to know more about your business. Your About Us page can establish trust, lower their buying risk and be a key page in your sales process.
So what should you include in your About Us page?
- Your company’s history – How long have you been in business? Qualify your business as a stable company to work with by showing that you have been around a long time and have experience in the industry. If your business is new, what experiences do the key players in the company have that they are bringing to the table?
- Your company description or mission – Let people know what your company stands for. There are probably other businesses that offer your services but what is it about your company that makes you stand out from your competition?
- Who do you work with? – Show your About Us page visitors who you do business with. Let them know if you are a good fit for their needs as a business. Show them that you have experience in their industry or specialty. This could be a great place to integrate some testimonials about how you have helped other businesses.
- Who are the people? – Establish personality for your company by highlighting your people. Show us their faces, tell us about their experience and education. Build up trust with a potential buyer by letting them know they will be in good hands when a member of your team will be available to help them. Show them that these are real people and maybe offer ways to connect with them via email or social networks like LinkedIn or Twitter.
Your About Us page can be a tool in your sales funnel. By showing visitors more about your company you are giving them more to consider when they are comparing you to your competition. Your About Us page is a great place to establish trust and show more about your company’s culture and why you would be great to work with.
Photo credit: jlz
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This week we had a great webinar with a record number of attendees. I was surprised… I thought the day after a holiday would surely be slow but we had a great turnout for our Using Analytics to Measure Website Engagement webinar (slides are at the end of this post).
One of the questions we got during the webinar, I actually got at a meeting last week too so I thought I would explain it here.
As you know Google Analytics is a popular, powerful, free tool to see how your website is performing. If you want to drill down to how a single page is performing and gather information on it follow these simple steps after you are logged into your Google Analytics account:
- Specify the date range you wish to analyze.
- Go to Content in the left hand navigation and find the page you are looking for in either Top Content or Content by Title.
- Select the page you are interested in by clicking on the link in Google Analytics
- You should now find yourself on the analytics for just that single page.
From here you can look deeper into:
- Navigation Summary
- Entrance Path
- Entrance Sources and
- Entrance Keywords
With all that information you should be able to make some easy assessments of how this page is doing compared to other pages, how people got there, what they did after and if this content is what they were looking for.
Another question we got was about determining what your Bounce Rate is and what web visits count as a ‘bounce’. Jenike actually wrote a post about that recently so I thought I would re-share that link her as well: What does your bounce rate tell you?
Hope those two tips help! Let us know if you have any other Analytics questions!
If those words in the title are thoroughly confusing, don’t worry, I had no clue what they meant a few years ago either. Since then I have had the opportunity to dive into each one and see what they are all about. Whether you are involved with your company’s website, or you work on your own, you have probably heard of at least one of these three open source content management systems (CMSs). While there are hundreds of great systems available (just check out the CMS Matrix to see), Drupal, WordPress and Joomla are typically the most talked about. Have you ever been curious about exactly what each one is and which CMS is right for your website? Starting this month, I will present a 3-part webinar series, answering your questions and giving you an introduction to each system.
This CMS is a full scale website creation and management system. Drupal, which was released as an open source project in 2001, is built for easy web community integration and allows for large scale customizations. It has a large following, especially among developers who are very passionate about the system. Because of this, there are many custom built add-ons (known as modules) available. There are also many sites available for support and tutorials, which is helpful because of the steep learning curve associated with Drupal. Websites that require a lot of customizations will find Drupal to be a good solution.
WordPress is another open source CMS that is often used as blogging software. With the recent release of version 3.0, there are new features that allow users to have more freedom when adding content other than blog posts, making it a robust content management system. Similar to Drupal, WordPress has add-ons called widgets that can be customized and placed in different areas on the site without having to use code. WordPress has a versatile templating system with many themes available. This CMS is perfect for blog-based websites with additional information pages and some unique functionality.
Another popular open source CMS is Joomla, which was released in 2005. There are many free and commercial plug-ins available for the system that allow for customization of your website. Multiple templates are available for Joomla sites, which are easy to install and switch between. As with Drupal, there tends to be more of a learning curve, but it can be easily mastered with the proper set-up. Joomla can be a good solution for simple websites, member based websites, and sites that need a little bit of customization.
If you are interested in learning more about any or all of these systems then keep an eye out for the upcoming webinars on our webinar listing page. The Introduction to Drupal webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 13th and you can register for it here. I look forward to talking CMS with you!