We’re making a habit of celebrating everything. It’s good when you get a break from work and maybe some cake, however, I’m not entirely sure that Valentine’s Day is the best celebration for the workplace. Here are some reasons why:
1. Someone will get offended. While you found the Bobs mug hilarious, Bob from accounting probably didn’t
2. Someone will feel left out. Some will get too much attention and others will be forgotten
3. Someone will have a breakdown and spend the rest of the day crying because they’re single
4. Someone will take it too far and be forced to attend the ‘sexual harassment in the workplace’ seminar
5. Someone will remember that they are in a terrible relationship/ marriage
6. Someone will stand on their desk and sing ‘all my single ladies’ coupled with the dance routine
7. Someone will spend the day distracting others about how being single is the best and how they have ‘found themselves’
All in all, productivity will be low and morale will be down. However you choose to spend the 14th, we hope you enjoy yourselves!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Notting Hill Web Design
To my absolute horror, there are still bloggers, uselessly blogging about how irrelevant social media is and specifically pinpointing Facebook. I’m certain that they are just blogging to attention seek. I can forgive a fool that thought this a few of years ago, but I would definitely expect business owners to have the knowledge and understanding of their market and the evolution of business/ strategy.
While I feel some other social platforms can be imperative to a businesses success, I will focus today on Facebook only, as according to alexa.com it’s the most used social network. Not too long ago, many businesses refused to get a website and thought they could survive doing what they did in the olden days. They got left behind! Many of those businesses either closed down or suffered until they were forced to get online to survive. Here are just two short reasons (out of many) why you need a business fan page:
Soon, the Facebook generation will be your only audience left. If you don’t find a way to stay connected to them, someone else will. Facebook allows you to target and promote your business to your specific market in a way that your website can’t. It already knows the interests, hobbies, age range and gender or most of its users. You can use this to your advantage to specifically and cost-effectively promote to the right people. Just looking at your friends, colleagues, and family, you know most of them have Facebook and check it daily but, they won’t be on your website daily! Facebook will allow you to keep them updated on your business more frequently, keep your business in their minds and lead them to your site. Meet your potential clients in their comfort zone and place of addiction (Facebook). Websites and blogs are great and necessary but before the client gets to them, you need to capture their short attention span and give them a reason to care about your business while they are killing time on Facebook, communicating with friends and trying to make the work day end faster.
Google and the others
While I agree to certain businesses/ industries such as fashion, music and large brands, benefit from and invite more audience interaction than certain businesses, the SEO value that is built from social networking is great and necessary for all businesses. By producing and distributing content across social media, you will be able to build a good relationship with search engines as well as your (potential) clients. Having the buttons clearly linked on your site and making frequent and consistent updates improves a sites organic search presence and is becoming more important criteria for ranking. This, I will say is the most important reason to be on Facebook and the best answer to those who are skeptical.
I predict that in the not too distant future, businesses that resist using social media will be left behind just like those who thought they could survive without websites or online listings.
Celebrating Our 14th Birthday
Happy Birthday to us! We’re very proud to say that we are in our 14th year in this business and are continuing to grow and evolve with the fast pace of the online industry. We’d like to thank Fari and Carolyn for putting together such a great team and our clients and associates for their loyalty and support.
It’s such a huge achievement to have survived so long amongst many competitors and the daily challenges that the internet throws at us. Here is a virtual toast to another 14 years of success and hard work!
A combination of the January blues and the cold weather has everyone in the office in a bit of a funk. I hope this video inspires you all to play a prank on your Bosses and colleagues to lift your spirits and have you all laughing again!
If this proves to be too complicated you can always cover the office equipment and furniture in tin foil, if you're hiring make your friend pose as a difficult or inappropriate job applicant, take a screen shot of a colleague's browser and set it as their desktop image… the pranks are endless. It's important to make the work place fun.
Have you noticed that the YouTube logo has a little cartoon Psy next to it? Well, if you press it, it takes you to this hilarious video that summarises the top trending videos and events of 2012. Psy and various viral celebrities got together at the YouTube studios in LA to recreate this year’s most watched videos and trends – GANGNAM STYLE! While YouTube had created rewind videos for 2010 and 2011, they don’t compare to this year’s video which doesn’t just show the video clips but re-enacts them in this Gangnam Style and Call Me Maybe mashup.
Psy has been honored with the staring role in this video as his song had become the most watched video, knocking Justin Bieber off of the top spot with his 2010 hit “Baby”.
Here are the top ten videos acted out by Psy and his fellow YouTube stars – Jenna Marbles, Walk off the Earth, Real Annoying Orange, Graydon Sheppard of ‘Sh*t Girls Say fame’ and Felicia Day:
It’s that time of the year again where you stress about what to get your colleagues for the office Secret Santa. Here are some of my suggestions for gifts to buy on different budgets.
£5 and Under
For just £4.99 you can get one of these very cute hand warmers with a knitted cover. Perfect for the upcoming winter months and should hopefully stop that certain someone moaning about the cold.
A desk essential, especially if it’s for someone that does a lot of overtime or hasn’t got any of the following- screen wipe, plastic comb, sewing kit, shoe shine, stain remover, shoe shine, refreshing wipe, plasters, mints, lemon wipe, mini pen, toothbrush or toothpaste! They will now always be prepared and fresh.
£10 and Under
A nice subtle hint for the person with a dirty desk. You should intervene now before the cookie crumbs attract insects and rats.
Lush – Secret Santa
There is always a girly girl or a metro-sexual in the office that likes to pamper themselves. Why not get this already beautifully wrapped fruit punch scented bath bomb and honey toffee soap?
Just in time for Christmas and New Year drinking. A great present for one of the lads!
£15 and Under
Perfect for the person that is always late into the office. Obviously, their current alarm clock isn’t effective enough, so they need one that requires them to jump out of bed, catch the helicopter as it flies around their room and attaches it to the alarm clock to stop the noise.
Maybe it’s true, maybe you’re secretly being sarcastic…. Either way, you can use this opportunity to massage your bosses ego.
Arcadia For iPhone
A desk-sized arcade game for game lovers and procrastinators. This can be entertaining in lunch breaks and even during working hours for those that don’t work hard. If your colleague is of the right age, this will fill them with memories of yesteryear.
Remember, online shopping saves you time and the delivery cost will be the same as (or cheaper than) the cost of traveling and parking. Get the items delivered to your work place and avoid going to shopping centers and wasting time and distracting yourself with all the shops!
I hope this makes things a bit easier for you.
While I had stated a couple of weeks ago that looks aren’t everything, it has to be said that this statement is only true to a certain extent and there are some very obvious exceptions. When looking at the following sites, be sure to be equipped with sunglasses and aspirin.
constellation7.org is possibly one of the most torturous sites to look at and to navigate. All the pages, navigation buttons, and sidebar offer a number of multicolored, neon backgrounds. The neon theme is also reflected in the site’s images and texts. A lot of effort would have had to be made to make this site so ugly. Each page has a totally unnecessary sound clip with no option to mute the sound on the site. I cannot imagine that visitors will want to spend much time on here.
There seems to be a pattern emerging with Jesus and Neon. After you overcome the dizziness of dokimos, you can see the link to their new site, which is quite a relief.
Lings cars from Dragon’s Den has a website that is both funny and ugly. It has all the flashing images and texts, too many colours and different fonts however she has made some funny images of herself and I would tell her personalty and sense of humour is accurately translated here. The site isn’t actually that hard to navigate but there are far too many distractions.
Arngren‘s information overload of ugly overlapping images and text makes you want to leave the site instantly. I think this site sells stuff but, would you trust them?
M.I.A’s intro page and main site has bright colours and prints, much like her personal style. Not sure if it is that acceptable in reality or the virtual world.
So here we have it, examples of how looks can matter. A lot of time and money would have had to be put into making these sites ugly. The saying ‘less is more’ should be considered when designing your site.
A professional team of web designers, web developers, and SEO experts will create search engine friendly websites through on-site optimization. Here are some steps that should be taken to ensure that your site is optimized:
1. Title Tags
It’s the title of the page and is one of the most important steps. It should have keywords in it and accurately describe the page.
2. Meta keywords
Keywords and keyphrases that are relevant to your business or purpose which will help search engine users find your site and understand what it is about.
A sitemap is a list of the pages on your website which allows visitors but, most importantly search engines to view all the pages and get a better understanding of the site’s content and purpose.
4. Meta tags
A meta tag is an HTML tag that provides information of the site. It cannot be seen on the site but it can be picked up and analyzed by web spiders.
5. Internal Links and Link Optimisation
Linking from page to page within the site is a key for search engines as well as encouraging visitors to navigate around the site.
Useful anchor text should be used to link, for example, linking the text “bespoke websites” is more useful than linking “click here” as it will be clearer to search engines and visitors what page the link leads to.
Unique content that includes keywords and keyphrases needs to be on every page. Search engines will penalize sites that have copied content.
7. Image ALT Tags
The images on your site should have ALT tags so that search engines know what the image is and are able to direct users to what they are looking for. Search engine spiders can only read a text and not images. When your cursor hovers over the image, the text should represent the image and be relevant. The image file name should also be changed to match the ALT tag and should never be labeled as “photo1.jpeg”.
8. Social Marketing
By producing and distributing content across social media, you will be able to build a good relationship with search engines as well as your virtual audience. Having the buttons clearly linked on your site and making frequent and consistent updates improves a sites organic search presence. Facilities such as blogs allow websites to be frequently updated which is another search engine criteria for ranking.
While on-site optimization is only one part of SEO, it is the first process to help improve sites organic search presence. This is why it’s important to understand and appreciate the value of a professional when making a site and to seek their services. You should get your site audited to make sure all these steps have been taken and what can be done to improve and update your site.
Many new website owners, graphic designers, and web surfers are placing far too much emphasis on the looks of a site and forgetting to consider how a site should function. There is no use having a beautiful site with attention seeking graphics and ‘look at me’ flash animations if it doesn’t deliver what it’s supposed to.
Here are a few arguably ugly, big-name sites that have taken over the internet despite their less than average looks:
Craig’s list goes against nearly everything that I have learned about on-page optimization, marketing, branding, having taste and working eyes…
Regardless of the things that look wrong with the site (which is everything), it is easy to navigate and functions very well.
eBay has a basic logo and site layout but has advanced and efficient functionalities that allow anyone to create their own online garage sale. Once I started doing some research on eBay and discovered that an Iranian founded it, I suddenly loved everything about it so it’s up to you to decide on its looks.
This bogie colored site, unlike the others, has made an effort with its design by making its base tones green and yellow and designing an image based logo. Although its efforts have failed aesthetically, it has delivered in terms of usability.
A platform that allows for reunions worldwide and anonymity for online stalking can look however it pleases. While it’s designed is looking a little less ugly than it’s launch in 2004, Facebook’s free space is now being bombarded with adverts like MySpace (remember MySpace?).
Obviously, Facebook can invest in better designers but why should they waste time and money? It gives the user what it wants and allows them to do it quickly, easily, anywhere and anytime.
The site that solves arguments! This site isn’t so much ugly but doesn’t really have much to it, which seems to have been its success. The homepage is so minimal and the logo is a text-based one made with primary colors. It has freed the clutter which can often be irritating on Yahoo and Ask that are feeding you with information before you’ve even asked for any.
However, Google does frequently make an effort to entertain and dazzle its visitors with its doodles:
These companies first priority was the development of their site. The design seems to have taken a back seat …and pretty much stayed there. What are your website priorities and how would you order them? Design?… Development?…. Images?…. Text?
The Gangnam song and dance craze has now reached new levels of “viral”. The Korean number 1 hit song has been synchronized with a Halloween light display that has currently got an audience of over 2 million viewers.
The video has been shot to success largely because it is current and humorous. It’s giving seasonal material for internet surfers to view and is using the popularity of the song to attract viewers. Although viral videos are never a guarantee, there are certain steps that can be taken to make promotional videos a success. The step that we can help you with is SEO.
No doubt that this Halloween evening will be filled with loads of Gangnam Style costumes and we are looking forward to seeing the aftermath of everyone’s night tomorrow on facebook!