I love new camera lenses more than I love new shoes! Here’s a practice shot – Autumn Garden Table.
I love new camera lenses more than I love new shoes! Here’s a practice shot – Autumn Garden Table.
IF YOUR BUSINESS HAS A WEBSITE AND YOU CARE ABOUT GOOGLE SEARCH, YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS. Yes, all caps!
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 email@example.com 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.)
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:
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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_authority.
**HTTPS secure website protocol – “S” for secure. More info at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTPS.
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.
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.
WAY ONE – 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.)
WAY TWO – WITH 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.
Infographic credit: AdWeek Infographic based on Experian study
What are the best days and times to send your email marketing campaigns?
According to research from an Experian email marketing benchmark study, the best open rates tend to be in the evenings Tuesday though Thursday, but these are only general guidelines. When working with our client’s specific email lists we test different times and compare open rates. But if there is a call to action including a phone number to make an appointment we won’t send an email after closing time. For example, one of our clients best open and interaction rates comes with launch at 8pm, but the campaigns generate phone calls, and they are closed at 8pm, and so they can’t launch most campaigns at the peek time. So as with so many things in life, there’s no clear-cut answer–“It depends!”
From the study: “…recipients are surprisingly active late at night. Unique open rates averaged 21.7 percent from 8 pm to 11:59 pm and 17.6 percent for 12 am to 4 am. Moreover, this late-night group was more likely to click through, with open rates of 4.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. These night owls also had the highest click-through rates for all times of the day. Revenue per email was also the highest in the 8 pm to 11:59 pm group. Additionally, more than 54 percent of emails are now opened on a mobile device.”
Green Dahlia Wall Clock available in Rachel’s Society6 shop
Google My Business Listings are free and an essential component of any modern company’s online marketing.
Google My Business Listings show on the right side of a Google search engine page. Please see the sample listing For Halo Blow Dry Bars.
*Now, Google is offering a free ad posts which shows within your listing. Please see the Keratin ad on the sample listing.
Ads can be up to 300 words, include a graphic, and a call to action: “Learn more,” “Reserve,” “Sign up,” “Buy” or “Get offer.”
Ads are designed to be dropped from the listing after one week, but if you want an ad to run continually, we’ve got a work-around to do so.
We manage the Google My Business Listings for several clients and are contacting them about adding a promotion.
Please contact John to set up your business listing – or to add one of these new promotional resources to your existing listing.
I enjoyed using this beautiful tulip photo by Larry Shapiro to make this poster for an upcoming photography exhibit in Los Gatos.
I’ll be exhibiting one of my collages:
If you like it, you may purchase wall art, clothing, and lifestyle items with it printed at: https://society6.com/product/night509847_stretched-canvas#s6-7140287p16a6v28
We love the websites we have worked on and maintained through the years. And we are grateful for all our clients who trust us with their website projects. But, there’s no more need for a portfolio to contain non-responsive sites. So, even although these sites are still working for our clients, we are moving non-responsive sites from our website portfolio to this post for posterity. So even though these websites are still working for our clients (some for over a decade, wow!), we need our portfolio to show sites which work on mobile devices.
Here they are, likely our final non-responsive website projects:
Built in 2007. We love that when we visit AT&T Park, we see their work.
Built in 2007. George and Kerrie are the best cut and color team out there!
We started working with Donna in 2013. We still love the look of this site.
These sites follow the same template so the property management company can offer their HOA clients sites at a lower cost, have site samples to demo as a sales pitch, and simplify the development process. Each site has a password-protected area for HOA members with an events calendar, group e-mail and messengering, work-order forms, HOA policies, board meeting information and more.
Made in 2011.
Running since 2012.
Built in 2008.
Artisan Macaron needed some brand standards, so we started with new fonts, and finalized colors for print and web. Moving forward, they have a brand package, so all designers and employees have access to the same branding elements for cohesive marketing collateral.
We made new business cards, special offer folded mini-tent cards, a tri-fold brochure, and two large banners. My favorite part of this project was combining photos of individual macaron vignettes into collages making them look like they were all photographed together. The collage for the tent cards is in the header above, and this is the inside of their new tri-fold brochure:
Is your mouth watering yet? (The salted caramel is to die for! This from someone tiring of this food trend, but Chef Alex knows how to get that perfect caramel bittersweet taste. Naturally [wink!], I had to sample many macarons during the design process.)
All brand ingredients came together last weekend at a trade show in Long Beach (under the professional eye of Hope Daly, PR Queen.) We heard all the new items looked great.
Wedding photography is not a service we offer, although we’ve enjoyed doing it for friends, like this recent wedding at Slate Creek Goat Farm in El Dorado Hills. Our album uses photos we both took.
One wedding service we offer – and love to do – is signage for the event.
We also have the opportunity to work with clients who offer wedding services. Please consider them for any upcoming nuptials:
Palace Cafe Catering (We just launched this beautiful new site for them.)