Recently our client Hayes Valley Medical and Esthetics moved to a gorgeous new location in Marin. When promoting their grand opening we noticed their Google Map pin, which Google generates automatically for businesses, did not show along with other nearby businesses on larger map views. This is because Google algorithmically determines when a business location shows on Google Maps, and it is based on factors like how long it has been at the current address as well as the number of Google reviews for the business. (HINT: Ask your good customers for Google reviews!) So you do not have control over when your Place Label shows as the user zooms in on your general location on Google Maps.

The below screen captures show that at a larger scale, HVME does not show until you zoom in closely on their location.

google map hvme not showing

Zoom in closer and it does show:

google map hvme showing



Welcome to our client list, Set the Occasion – Table Designs by Thena! We have loved working with such a talented and professional client. The web site looks great, and working on photoshoots with you in beautiful locations in Larkspur, Belvedere, and Corte Madera has been a highlight of our year.

Yes! is here! John coded this custom for Thena – beautifully responsive, deep linking portfolio pages, perfectly optimized photos, slideshows with several different progress options – well done, partner. I love the design – so simple and elegant and all about the photos.

Header to this blog post is a setting photo as we integrated it into a header graphic for the contact page.





Thena, we can’t wait to see where you take us next! We are grateful that you are taking us with you.


Holiday Marketing

(If you are looking for gifts, decor, corporate gifting, inspiration, or fun, MenloVille, pictured above, decked for the holidays, is a great place to start. Tell Lisa we say, “hello”.)

Well, I’m a little late this year with the reminder.


These are the things that seem end up being rushed in November and costing extra for rush shipping – prepping and ordering gift bags, greeting cards, holiday decor, gift certificates, gift tags, posters, etc…

Each year in November and December we get a slew of last-minute projects for which clients end up paying rush shipping and printing rates. (Reminder of our rush project policy.)


Plan your online marketing: e-mail campaigns, seasonal web site changes, and AdWords campaigns.

Are you sending cards, party invitations, and/or gifts to your clients and partners this year? Let’s get on that too!

Selling gifts? Check your inventory and the lead times of items you wish to stock. From October on-wards, order fulfillment and shipping from your vendors may take additional time. Also, be sure you stock plenty of festive packaging and shipping supplies if you plan on mailing items.

Holiday party? Book your caterer (you can’t go wrong with our client, Palace Cafe Catering!), asap. Start sending Save the Date invites early. Plan how you are going to invite people and take RSVPs.

Don’t forget your staff! Plan parties, gifts, etc…

This is also the time of year to think about partner marketing for the holidays. Consider gathering a group of businesses with similar clients to yours and use their mail lists and social media to get the word out about your holiday specials, events, etc…

Here’s some 2017 key dates to keep in mind…


Halloween, Tuesday, 31th


Daylight Savings, Sunday, 5th

Veterans’ Day, Friday, 11th

Thanksgiving, Thursday, 23rd

Black Friday, 24th

Cyber Monday, 27th


Pearl Harbor Remembrance, Thursday, 7th

Green Monday, 11th

Hanukkah, Tuesday, 12th through Wednesday, 20th

Festivus, Saturday, 23rd

Christmas Day, Monday, 25th

Boxing Day | Kwanzza, Tuesday, 26th

New Year’s Eve, Sunday, 31st


Halloween Marketing

John and I have been making sure to seek out balance between work and relaxation as we ramp up to marketing’s silly season over the next few months. (Are you ready?)

On Friday, we headed to Santa Cruz for lunch at the Crow’s Nest and a walk on the beach. Here’s John chilling out with some new friends.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

And remember, all work and no play makes everyone stressed and grumpy!


Allison Quistgard

We’re so excited that Allison Quistgard, founder of Sprig & Glow, has been working with us on her site and on photos.

Ali is a Master Clinical Aesthetician, wellness editor, freelance writer and blogger with a passion for beauty, wellness, skincare, and the science behind it all.

She recently appeared as an Expert Skincare Consultant at Space NK Apothecary in Larkspur, which is where we met her to take a few photos for use in marketing. She’s amazing!

Allison Quistgard

She’s also a contributer to Marin Magazine – here’s her latest article: Are Korean Spas the Next Global Trend?

We met Ali through our client Hayes Valley Medical & Aesthetics – one more reason to be grateful to Linda and Sheila.

Ali – we hope we can work together again soon!


switching from HTTP to HTTPS


I know this is the type of detailed techie info to which many of our clients are adverse.  But it’s key.

The main things to know are that we’ve got your back, we can take care of this, and it’s not going to cost you a lot.  Good?

Extra good news…if you are one of our clients and your site is hosted by our partner, NeuronLinks, or our MPS server, the hard part is being done for you – FOR FREE!  Thank you, Raj and John, for including this extra as part of your clients’ web hosting package.

And super good news…only businesses with credible websites will be making these updates.  (If and when someone tells them about the issue.)  By implementing these changes toot-sweet, you could get some google bounce while non-HTTPS sites will penalized.

We’ll be reaching out to our clients, if we have not done so already, or, please contact John at or 408 252-8664.  Many of our clients have just asked us to “handle this” – we will certainly do so, and can quote for any time spent on site review and/or coding before we start if you wish.

Here’s the details…

(The info below and the graphics are based upon the Chrome browser on a desktop or laptop computer.  Chrome, because that’s what most of you are using and because it is the browser that most clearly shows “not secure” and “secure”.  And desktop because this info is clear on a desktop.  If you are reading this on a mobile device, it will be easier to understand if you switch to desktop/laptop.)

Secure Web Site https

Here’s a view of a secure site. (And some pretty photos of great hair to break up the tech details.  You’re welcome.)

If you click to every page of the Halo site, you’ll see this green lock icon to the left of the domain name. It shows this is a secure site because it’s host is using SSL Certification* and it’s using the HTTPS secure website protocol.**

If your site shows this green lock icon on each page, you can stop reading – you’re good.

This is a big deal because soon Google will be flagging and penalizing any website that is not using SSL Certification for their websites—that is, if links don’t start with https://.

If each page of your site is not secure, browsers may show warnings that make it seem your site is not safe, especially when forms are displayed. And there will be a reduction in your website’s ranking in Google organic (non-paid-for) search results.

From here, two steps need be taken.  1) set up of SSL certification on your server and 2) review and coding of your site to set up HTTPS secure website protocol.


If your website is hosted by a company other than Neuronlinks or MPS, you’ll need to check whether your server is already supporting SSL. It’s easy to check, just type in “https://” followed by your domain name. You will immediately see the green lock if SSL has been set up (if you are on Chrome on a desktop/laptop.) If it has not you will see this message:

https not set up

You’ll need to review each page of your site – not just your home page.  Contact John if you’d like us to do this site review for you.

If you go to your website, in Chrome, and see this little iconnon-secure website icon it means that page is not secure and will be docked by Google soon. You’ll need to ask your web hosting company to switch your site to SSL. Good hosting companies should be offering this free of charge.

non-secure website notification


Once your site has SSL certification, the next step is to review your site for HTTP issues and make corrections.  And then add code to move to HTTPS.  Our charge for this work will vary depending upon how your site is coded, if you have separate blog, store, database, and/or mobile site, and how many pages on your site.

If you’d like help in updating your site, please contact John at or call 408 252-8664.

*SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. More info at

**HTTPS secure website protocol – “S” for secure.  More info at


Last month, our client Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics invited us to their San Francisco location to try their new facial – Event-Ready Facial.  It was quite an experience, at least for me as I just lay there, while John took the photos and Licensed Esthetician, Holly Byerly modeled beautifully while working.

(BTW, fab manicure, Holly!)

This experience was unlike any facial I’d experienced before – more like a treatment visibly minimizing wrinkles and firming my skin.  And unlike any previous facial, it really is event-ready – no redness or splotchiness.

Photos have been used as a blog post promoting the facial, an instagram post (left), and will be Facebooked too.

Yes, many people will see me at absolutely the worst possible angle – neck and nostrils!  I’m not ready to add model to my resume, but if anyone wants to give me a luxurious, clinically-sound, and results-driven facial, I don’t have an issue with a few unflattering photos.






Instagram Repost

Dear Ali,

Thank you for being the one who finally got me to take the time to post this. Welcome to our client list, Sprig and Glow – we can’t wait to work with you.

Also, thanks to my biz partner who downloaded and tested a gazillion reposter apps to find the best one for us.

Instagram Repost No App

(Technically, not a re-post, but it gets the job done.)

On your phone, do a screen capture of the post.

Note the poster’s Instagram handle.

Open Instagram and use the cropping feature to crop out everything except the photo.

Then post as you do usually.  Thank the poster and use a @hashtag with their Instagram handle.

(If you want to be re-posted, be a brand ambassador and do as this poster, @mercygoddard did – be a brand’s dream Instagrammer.  She tagged the photo with our clients name so it was easy for me to find the post.  Plus she made a great photo that fits our client’s brand and looks beautiful with her Halo Fab Blow Out.)


Instagram Re-poster App


The app that currently works the best for us is Repost for Instagram. 

We never did find one app that functioned the way the app directions stated.

For this re-poster app, these are the directions that work for us.  Of course, your phone may be different, settings, and who knows what else.  We’re hoping this blog post at least gets you moving in the right direction.

(@sf_skin_and_brows made the original post and because she used #hayesvalleymed, I was able to find it.)

Step one is downloading the free app (you get ads on your re-post – see graphic on left- it’s just @get_repost – so no big deal) to your phone.

Once you have the app installed,

1 – be sure you are logged into Instagram and can re-find the post you wish to re-post,

2 – open app and click the Instagram logo at top/right,

3 – click the three little dots at the top/right of the post – you’ll get a drop-down with several options if the poster has their settings allowing a re-post.  Select “Copy Link”,

4 – go back to the app where you’ll see the post you wish to re-post with a little right-arrow icon.  Click that, type in a post if you wish, add your hashtags if you wish, and click the blue button.