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Blog - How To

Looking for free to use images on Google?

Lots of people use Google images to search for items, and often they would like to use the images they have found...Well here's a handy tip to keep within copyright laws..

When searching Google Images, use the Advanced Search facility to find 'free to use or share images.'

Here's how:

1. Enter your search terms

2. Hit the Images tab

3. Look to the top right for the cog, click this to get the Advanced Search facility in the drop down:

Finding images in Google which are free to sue and within copyright laws

4. Add the search terms you need (if they are not already showing) into the box at the top of the form shown:

advanced google image search

5. Now look to the bottom of the form and choose one of the options e.g. 'free to use or share, even commercially'

free to use image search in google

5. Now click the blue 'Advanced Search' button

6. Bingo! All the images you can use copyright free will be shown to you :O)

Here's one of our results:

Posted in How To by Sue on 05/04/2013

Research Proves Blogs are a key factor in Online Sales

Recently Technorati, (one of the earliest companies to do searches across multiple blogs) released the results of an extensive research project which found that blogs are significant influencers upon people looking to buy products:

Technorati report that:

"Blogs were the third-most influential digital resource when making overall purchases, only behind retail sites and brand sites. In fact, blogs were found to be the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for information on the internet."  

The results which were taken from surveys that included over 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers and 150 top brand marketers are shown below:

Blogs are one of the key factors in influencing online sales

These results show that apart from actual retail sites and own brand websites, blogs are the next best thing to help people decide to buy things – writing good, high quality posts about your products and services on your website, and getting others to blog about you too = success!

The report also investigated how consumers follow brands, and found that Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube were the strongest for learning about a product or service, and so making purchasing decisions:

Online buying influencers on Focal Strategy website design, Southampton, hampshire blog

Boost the success of your blog entries by posting them as status updates in Facebook. This can be very powerful, particularly if you interact and network with like minded folk to create a strong following.

Pin your blog images into Pinterest to develop interest in your products - with the ability to show the price tag on the images Pinterest can create a strong 'call to action' to buy! Ensure your images are innovative and of the highest quality to ensure they are pinned and repinned to spread the word! (below an example of a pinned image in Pinterest complete with price tag and link back to site where it can be purchased)

use Pinterest to market your products online - advice from Focal Strategy Website Design

With YouTube being shown to be the most popular way to learn about a product, creating a short video for your product or service is a great idea. Why not incorporate this into your blog post with a link to your YouTube channel?

Twitter was shown to be one of the most popular ways to follow a brand's activity. Why not write about your current projects, products and services on your blog in a professionally friendly and accessible way and feed your posts into Twitter?

Need to know how to market your business online? Contact Focal Strategy on 02380 844982 / 07946 427553 for a chat. We are based in Hythe, near Southampton and can work with you wherever you are based.

Posted in How To by Sue on 26/02/2013

Choosing the right fonts for your website

Choosing the right fonts to represent your business is a key part of your branding, both online and offline. For leaflets, business cards, posters or any other offline material, it's easy — pick a font, print it and you are done. Online, things can be more complex, and it is worth ensuring your fonts will work online before you finalise your font choices.

It is also important to choose fonts that match the feel of your business — are you aiming to portray a fresh and modern persona, a well established and formal look or something else? Picking the right fonts is a large part of how your business is perceived by others.

Read more…

Posted in How To by Rich on 06/04/2012

What are Google Images?

Here at Focal Strategy we like to take the mystery out of website design and the internet wherever possible.

Lots of people know that you can search Google by clicking on the 'Images' tab, and we often meet people who are not sure where the images come from, what they are for and if they can be used by them. So here goes with a quick overview...

Google Images is a way of searching the internet, which allows you to quickly find the image content of websites.

So if you enter a search term...let's say 'google pictures' and then hit 'Images', you will get a return of thumbnails of all the images which have a file name, or link pointing to the image, or text near to the image in relation to your search term.

Click on one of the thumbnail images, and you will see the image displayed in a box over the original website that the picture came from. You can then click to close the box and explore the website where the image was found, so it is a really useful way to explore the internet, and find what you are looking for in a visual way.

It seems that lots of people are under the impression that the Google Image Search facility returns images which are available to be used by any one, for any purpose, and this is not the case. Images returned are simply the images found on people's websites, and so fall under the normal copyright laws for artwork, logos and photographs :O)

What are Google Images, focal strategy, website design

There's loads of info on image copyright online, some easier to get your head round than others, wiki might be a good starting place!

Posted in How To by Sue on 04/04/2012

Are you Pinterested?

pinterest, what is it, what is it for, how do I join, focal strategy website design

Heard of the social network Pinterest?

According to Wikipedia: 'In December 2011 it entered the social networking top 10 with 11 million visits per week. In January it drove more referal traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+' so we're talking something big. It's a social network that's a great hit with women, apparently most of the site's users are female, and 97% of the site's Facebook 'likes' are from women.

So what is it and how does it work?

It's a social network that is largely visual; users create themed boards, which are groups of images/media the user has found online and 'pinned' using the 'pin it' button. (This handy tool can sit on your bookmarks bar ready for the next time you want to 'pin' something!) Each image has a link back to the original website on which it was found, so it is easy to relocate it at source if you are interested in following the item or product up.

pinterst, pin feed, focal strategy website design, hampshire

Above...the 'Pin Feed'

The 'pinned' images then appear in the Pinterest stream or 'Pin Feed', where other users can comment on the item, 'repin' it to their own board, 'like' it, or 'follow' the board or user it was originally posted from. In this way information is rapidly shared around :O)

What's the point?

I've only been using it for a day, but from what I can see it's a great place to gather together visual ideas for creative projects whether work or home based.

It is also a brilliant way to pick up and share new ideas. People are regularly sharing a wide range of media from products they like to info on cars, art, books, gardening, music and beauty to technology, design, and holidays etc. All with links back to the original website source, so it is a new way to share interesting products, services and ideas.

Right now I have set up a few boards where I have grouped together websites we have designed by colour, if you would like to take a look, or follow me click here http://pinterest.com/FocalStrategy/

blue website designs on pinterest, focal strategy, website design, hampshire

Above...Blue Website Designs by Focal Strategy Board

To use Pinterest you must receive an invite or request an invitation directly from the site

Posted in How To by Sue on 21/02/2012

What is Website Hosting Space and Website Support?

Here at Focal Strategy we like to take the mystery out of website design.

Often we meet clients who are confused about hosting space and website support so what are these exactly?

Hosting Space is a service in which we purchase space on a server (computer) for our clients' websites. This is where the website is stored and it provides connection to the internet.

Website Support is a service we offer whereby we supply regular code updates responding to browser updates and security threats.  A good example is that just recently Facebook stopped receiving automatic updates from website blogs...so we implemented a change across all our websites to overcome this. If we hadn't it would have just stopped working. Another example is that we protect all our "contact us" forms from spam and malware, and update the code across all our websites as required. This is behind the scenes work which most customers do not even realise we do!

If you would like to find out more why not get in touch for a chat? 02380 844982 / 07946 427553

Posted in How To by Sue on 06/02/2012

What is a Domain Name?

Here at Focal Strategy we like to take the mystery out of  website design.

Often we are asked what a domain name is - A Domain Name is the website address for example www.focalstrategy.com.

We recommend that Domain Names are registered to you or your business so that you can maintain ownership. We can register them to you and then manage them on your behalf; this is often the best way as we can make sure that the Domain Name settings are correct and renewed when needed.

A top tip is to register both the .co.uk and the .com versions of the Domain Name you have chosen. This prevents another company having a very similar website address which could easily lead to confusion, and potentially lost clientele. If both are registered to your business we can set up one Domain Name to permanently redirect to the other whenever it is entered.

We have a lot of experience in choosing Domain Names, and are able to advise you on the best ones to register for your business, why not give Peter a call for a chat? 02380 844982 / 07946 427553 or drop us a line info@focalstrategy.com

Posted in How To by Sue on 06/02/2012

Keyword Stuffing - not a good idea...

A number of years ago, many websites tried to trick Google into ranking them higher by hiding or stuffing keywords on web pages, often by making them the same colour as the background, using a font size of 0, or by positioning them behind images.

This is what is known as 'Black Hat' search engine optimisation (SEO), and Google have repeatedly announced that they now ignore or even penalise sites who use such techniques.

To quote Google:

"if your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your website may be removed from the Google index."

You can read more about hidden texts and links on Google's webmaster tools here  http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66353

We always use 'White Hat' search engine optimisation techniques, which are approved by Google and other search engines to ensure our websites are found online.

If you are looking for a website that works hard for your business, always feel free to get in touch or give Pete  or Sue a call 02380 844982

Posted in How To by Sue on 07/12/2011

Google now loves blogs even more!

Last week Google made their search engine ranking algorithm even better - now new web information will come much higher in their search engine results.

Great news if you use a blog on your website!

  • Google loves blogs even more than it used to as they add fresh new website content!  A website with new information on it will come higher than one without , so use your blog regularly!

  • Write blogs about current, interesting and relevant stuff for your line of business.

  • For extra blogging power use the keywords potential clients might use in their search terms to find you.

  • If you don't have a  blog on your website, seriously consider getting one - a blog is a very powerful search engine optimisation (SEO) tool which is completely in your hands.

If you would like to find out more about blogs and search engine optimisation, or are looking for a website revamp to add a blog to your site always feel free to get in touch with us 02380 844982 / 07946 427553  info@focalstrategy.com

Blog, website, search engine optimisation, focal strategy, website design, southampton, dibden purlieu, hythe, new forest

Posted in How To by Sue on 10/11/2011

Share the good stuff on Facebook 

You can now share any of our blog entries on Facebook...if you think  'Hey - That's interesting!'  click on the blog entry's title and hit the 'like' button :O)

You can also leave a comment on our blog in the same way...and simply type a message in the box!

Posted in How To by Sue on 27/10/2011

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