A couple of my clients received sobering letters from Getty images to pay for the right to use a photo on their website. One bill was $700.00, the other was $11,000.00. Each client was unaware of the ownership of the photos, which had both been using the images for about 10 years. Getty had calculated this into their “bill”– that’s how intuitive their information is. They have been aggressively pursuing anyone using their images.
The news today Getty is offering 35 million images for use is a stunning surprise. Read more. For those searching for archival photos this will be a big help. As a website owner: read the fine print. Be sure the image is allowed on a commercial website. While Getty is allowing images to be used on blogs and social media, don’t interpret this to mean “any and all uses”. Also be aware Getty can change their mind at any time, and once you are using their image, with their required code intact, they can easily track the image.
Lastly: Getty is not allowing “resizing” of the image, your layout will need to be adjusted to accommodate the image.
This might be the answer for that 1950’s farm tractor photo you’ve been trying to find!
Thinking about making a change to your website? Your website is your best marketing tool. Its success relies on the amount of attention you put into it. Search engines look at how often you update your website.
Websites need to evolve continually. The days of create-it-and-leave-it have passed. Websites which are stagnant year after year fall behind. With so many businesses actively attending their websites you don’t want to make the mistake of ignoring yours.
So much has changed in the past 2 years online. As you surf the net you’ve seen wider websites, interactive slide shows and design changes. Consider a fresh redesign and updating your content. If you like your current design it can be reworked using newer visual layouts and code. The client below liked his color theme and banner-it now looks fresh.
Add a slide show, add a blog and write short articles, or update the photos on your website. Now we can use much bigger images. Don’t ignore the value of your FAQs page-update the questions. Offer the information people need to know when they are ready to hire you. The current thinking is to make changes to your website at least every 2 months.
The internet is so visual don’t take a chance on your website looking out of date and losing business to a competitor. Keeping your website fresh and current sends the message your business is thriving.
Deciding how to show your products is part of creating your website. Trying to decide the difference and choosing can make your head spin.
The Staging category needed the full breadth of the image. While this meant larger files, we reduced the number of images in the slide show to compensate.
Portrait portrait (versus landscape), thus the difference. Keep in mind the best display for your product.DouglasSimon.com
Presentation can be a fabulous supporting framework for your product. In this case the whimsical art is beautifully showcased using a book which pages turn.
These metal art showpieces measure about 4 inches. Good clean images from multiple sides are critical for the buyer. This allows full visual at the user’s leisure.
So many choices. When you find something you like send your web designer the link. Enjoy exploring!
For my clients writing website content is time consuming and usually painful. So much rests on your website’s accuracy. Each visitor evaluates your business based on website content. The visual design and photos are critical to keeping a visitor, but typos can be the deciding point for a user looking to make a purchase of services or products.
Everyone makes typos and spell check has its limits. Recently a typo got past a team of three. The result was a kitchen “pantry” became “panty” and a bit embarrassing. It happens, but a website with multiple typos or poor grammar can be the tipping point for a visitor to decide to leave your website.
An affordable solution is a proofreader. Services range from simply checking copy for typos or grammar proofing to suggest better sentence structure - choose which services you need.
I am always happy to find a resource I can confidently recommend: Polished Proofs. Good value for your advertising dollars. (And yes, she is a client of mine.)
Since the phone directories are all but dead your website is now the cornerstone of all advertising. Everything needs to point to it. Each email should contain an email signature with a link to your website. Print it on your invoices, print ads, coupons and anything you hand out to clients. You can’t overdo driving people to your website.
What can you do to increase your online presence?
If you began your online presence with a ten page website consider expanding. New pages can include detailed information about your services and products. Each page gives the opportunity to drive that page for one keyword – a solid strategy for organic search engine results. The more real estate you use online – the better your website will work for you.
Web design continues to change to reflect trends and follow the internet consortium standards. One of the most obvious visual changes is creating web pages which are far wider than 5 years ago. Widening your website allows more of your message to be seen quicker. Consider reviewing your website for improvement – both design and functionality.
If your website is static (nothing moves) consider adding a slide show. There are so any choices to display your products and services. More examples: Magnifier (scroll below slide show), Gallery, Online Magazine/Book with page turning.
Create a video; embed it on your website using YouTube as a search engine to get out your message. Videos of past were often slide shows, but today’s user expects a higher quality video with a solid message. One client
added a video and within 2 months had over 400 views. This adds to your advertising plan.
Mobile websites are a necessity. You can’t afford to miss out internet users who actively use phones and/or tablets. There are several ways to approach a mobile website depending on your budget.
Collect email addresses and keep in touch with your clients via email campaigns.
A new year and a fresh plan may be in order.
Now that phone books have officially died the internet is the place to get your message to your clients. Social media weighs heavily into your online presence with reviews.
Yelp, in particular, is an entity each business must address. If your Yelp listing has 5 star reviews you are content, but one bad review sticks around for a long time. The complaint businesses have with Yelp is their inconsistency. With fairness in mind Yelp has a filtering system. Unfortunately many of us have watched that filter system hide a legitimate review. Businesses have purchased Yelp’s advertising programs in hopes these filtered reviews would resurface to the front page. For some it worked; then wide spread reports of businesses ending the advertising only to watch their reviews disappear.
To combat Yelp multiple online companies solicit businesses–offering to post fake reviews on Yelp under the guise of helping to clean up their reviews.
No matter how frustrated you are with Yelp buying reviews will come back to haunt you. I continue to recommend just putting Yelp off, be polite when they call. They are here to stay.
The single action you can control is to respond to the reviews (all online reviews) and turn the negative into a positive message about your business.
A negative review isn’t a reason to panic. Visitors to your Yelp listing recognize not everyone is happy. The way you respond tells them volumes about your business practice and customer service. Use this as a forum. Trust visitors read between the lines.
Yelp has been around a long time, and they are trying to capitilize on a platform that showed little return for a long time. They are vested in making this work.
Here’s more reading.
This was such a fun project – my client was so upbeat, enthusiastic and full of energy for developing his website: PubPokerUSA.com
Some photos were taken by DouglasSimon Photography & Video as I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t find stock photos to do the trick. It gives such a polish. Creating the graphics was equally fun. Defined, because cards have the four suits, but how to present these in a fresh colorful way was a fun task.
Beyond design was searching for a leaderboard system to handle the back-end. PlayBarGames was a gem to work with. I am happy to recommend Chuck, great to work with and a great product – it fit my clients needs exactly.
Too many clients come to me after trying a template website, or do-it-yourself company. They are completely frustrated and often have spent too much money either not completing the site, or letting it go month after month and paying a sizable monthly fee.
Template sites from major telecommunication companies (Yellow Book, AT & T, Supermedia) sound simple for a busy business owner, and do-it-yourself/create-your-own-website companies sound promising to ge you up and running in hours.
There are times when these might be ideal for business owners who are aggressive in learning basic code, SEO and photo editing, or needing something up quickly while developing a custom site. Here is a side by side comparison to help you find clarity in what to choose.
There are certain businesses which cannot be without a mobile website. If your services are urgent, or emergency this is a must. There are choices in a mobile website design and structure — the goal is to find what fits your budget and needs. You can redo your existing website to transform to mobile deives with style sheets, but the cost is substantial. A simpler choice if you have limited content on your website (like a 20-30 page website) is to create a standalone sub-domain, mobile website. It’s time efficient which translates into cost savings for business owners and will reflect your full website.