How to Find the Image Optimization Butter Zone

image optimizationIf you’re involved with producing content for the web in any way these days, you’ve probably had to deal with the issue of getting images to look good online. What seems on the surface like it should be a relatively simple process (choose image, upload image, place image, eat cake), turns out to have all sorts of complicated factors.

Where do you find a good image? How do you choose a good image? What file type should you use? What file size should you shoot for? What dimensions are best? What meta-information should you include? How should you crop the image? What type of screens do you need to account for? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!

One of our favorite clients recently wrote in with a question specifically about how to find the sweet spot between image size and image quality for web photos, so I’m going to dig into just that area for today. If you’d like more info on choosing a good image, check out my post from earlier this year on choosing good stock photography. Onwards and upwards! Continue reading

How Are You Still Not Using A Password Manager!!??

password managerA few years ago, we posted about the super, ultra, mega necessity of using a password manager. Since then, the world has become an even more dangerous place for us, cyber-attacks larger and more frequent, and the number of vulnerable access points in our lives more prevalent.

And yet I still run into people on a regular basis who don’t use one. Who are still using the same short probably-already-hacked password for every account that they own. So let’s try this again, shall we?! All together now, YOU NEED TO BE USING A PASSWORD MANAGER!!!!! Did I put enough exclamation points at the end of that to get my message across? I hope so.

You see, I want you to be safe. I want you to be happy. I want you to be snuggled up in a warm blanket of security and peace of mind. And unless you use a password manager, when it comes to your online security, you won’t be.

So let’s take another look at the available password managers out there worth choosing from, since things have changed and updated since the last post, and when we’re done you can all pinky swear that you’ll pick one and use it. K? K. Continue reading

The Latest & Greatest — WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

bill evansOne of the great things about WordPress is that it is constantly in development, and each new release brings a slew of new features and updates that make using our favorite CMS even more enjoyable. That’s why, as each new “named” release becomes available, we’re going to take some time here to go through the new bells and whistles for you.

If you have an existing WordPress site, you won’t see these new items automatically, you’ll need to upgrade your WordPress installation to 4.8 in order to see them. However, you shouldn’t update your install without backing up your entire site first and then double-checking everything is still working afterwards. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with, DON’T update. Instead, get a team with WordPress experience, like Solamar, to do it for you.

That said, we still want you to know what the new hotness is, so you’re up-to-date on what WordPress is capable of. So without further ado, here’s the good stuff that was added in WordPress 4.8 “Evans”, named for jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans. Continue reading

How to Plan a Successful First Online Launch

online launchIf you’re like many clients who come to us, you’ve got a great idea for a program, course or product and you want to launch it online. You’ve seen many other entrepreneurs launch their thing, you’ve heard countless success stories, and launching looks like your ticket to finally making big bucks online without trading hours for dollars around the clock.

The good news is, of course it is possible to have successful launches and create a successful online business. We’ve had the opportunity to support many clients with thriving online businesses at Solamar. But it isn’t as simple as it appears from the outside looking in and there are many misconceptions about what it takes to actually pull off a successful launch.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, so I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit to provide some helpful insights for planning your first online launch. Continue reading

How to Use Facebook Live to Get Personal While Going Public

facebook liveIt’s been just about a year since Facebook Live was born. Since its beginning, businesses all over the world have been cashing in on this fun new feature, which allows them to broadcast video in real-time and connect with their audience, directly from a smartphone, tablet, or a computer app—with just a few simple taps or clicks.

When your own small to medium-sized business joins the growing ranks of Facebook Live corporate users, like Chevrolet, Disney, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Target, your streaming video will show up live as your friends, clients or followers scroll, and the recording will save automatically to your news feed, to be viewed or shared later. Even Santa used Facebook Live last Christmas, so viewers could track his holiday journey, according to newswhip.com.

As an infinite number of words and images are vying for everyone’s online attention, Facebook Live video is winning with increased reach, visibility, and interaction in a fresh and exciting way.

Here are 6 ways to create, share and discover with Facebook Live using its proven and newest features: Continue reading

Drive Traffic to Your Webinar with These 9 Terrific Tips

webinarA free webinar is a proven and effective tool to generate leads, build credibility and authority, attract new business, give your brand a boost, retain customers, and educate your target market. Everyone knows how well webinars work. But, to come out ahead of the pack, you need to know how to promote your webinars and get the right people to sign up, attend and stay through to the end.

We all know that people will sign up for your webinars simply because they’re free. But when push comes to shove, those same peeps will schedule other commitments and bypass the actual free webinar. They may feel that your no-cost session is not all that important, will have information they don’t really want or need, or that if it’s “free” it has no real value.

Here are 9 tips to get people to sign up and really anticipate your memorable, interesting, and useful webinar. Continue reading

7 Design Tips to Boost Sales With Effective Landing Pages

landing pagesWhether you want to get more customers to buy your products or more clients to hire you for services, the main purpose of your website is to attract people who are interested in what you have to offer.

The ultimate goal is to convert those interested prospects into buyers. The best way to set yourself up for success from the start of that relationship is to plan carefully for specifically where they will land to learn more about the product or service they’re seeking. Rather than only thinking about a small business website as a whole, smart marketers create specific landing pages for their offerings, each with a specific focus.

An effective landing page is an opt-in page that gets a high percentage of visitors to provide their contact information in exchange for a free offer or a sales page with a high percentage of visitors who buy. High-converting landing pages have a single topic and a single purpose. There’s only one action to perform — either fill out a form or click a button.

You can boost sales in your business by designing opt-in pages to generate better leads and creating sales pages that really convert.

There are many aspects to consider when creating a landing page, including audience demographics and psychographics, copy, traffic source, context, and more. Here are 7 design-focused tips to boost sales with your landing pages: Continue reading