The Anatomy of a Winning Website Design

Eye-catching, on-brand color schemes. Big, bold images. Striking headlines.

These are all important parts of great website design. After all, they’re what can make or break a new site visitor’s first impression of your site. But what about the more nitty-gritty parts of great website design — like helpful navigation menus, strong calls-to-action, and indicators of website security and trust?

There are a lot of moving pieces that go into the web design process, and it’s important to make sure you’re not overlooking any of them.

Don’t want to leave anything out during your next website redesign? Check out the infographic below by AddPeople for a comprehensive list of the basics of designing and building a great website. 
 



http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/anatomy-web-design

12 Secret Facebook Features Every Marketer Should Be Using

Using Facebook is easy enough — most of the 1.49 billion monthly active users on the site would agree. But the social media platform is constantly being updated with new features and tools that make using the platform as a marketing and business tool easier and more effective. 

The problem is that these new features don’t always make a splash in the press, so many of the improvements for users aren’t well know.

If you want to up your Facebook skills, check out this infographic from Post Planner. You’ll learn how to track the activity of your competitors, use post attribution settings, and even save content for future use.  

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http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/secret-facebook-features-infographic

Is This Copyright Infringement? What Images You Can & Can’t Share


Sharing is caring, right?

Well, yes … but when it comes to sharing other people’s images, there are a few restrictions.

When someone creates an original image, they automatically own rights to that image. And when one of the rights to that image is used without the creator’s consent, that’s called copyright infringement — and it’s a big deal.

On the other hand, there are certain circumstances under which you can share images on your blog without asking permission under what’s called the Fair Use Doctrine.

… So what does that all mean? What exactly are the rights people have to the images they create? When is it okay and not okay to use other people’s images without permission? And where are good places to look for pre-approved images? 

To learn the answers to these questions and more, check out the infographic below from Vound and Intella in partnership with Ghergich & Co.




http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/image-copyright-infringement

How Social Media Impacts SEO and Your Websites Ranking on Google

Social media should play an important part of any successful SEO and content marketing campaign. Without social media we’d lose 80% of our blog traffic and no doubt a huge chunk of our backlinks would never have been earned.

To see how social media can work for your business take a look at this infographic by Submit Edge which highlights how social media can aid outreach and looks at how social signals impact rankings themselves.

How Social Media and SEO Impact Your Websites Ranking on Google


Want to Attract Links to Your Website? Try These 8 Data-Driven Tips



In the seemingly eternal struggle to keep up with Google’s algorithm updates, savvy marketers are always looking for ways to increase the authority of their content. One of the ways to boost your blog posts in search? Increase the number of quality inbound links from other people’s websites to your own website.

While link building is critical to your SEO strategy, it’s not something you have complete control over. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating awesome content that people can find easily and then want to link to.

Don’t worry, there are strategies for creating content that attracts people to link to your site. For example, did you know that data-driven content generates 283% more backlinks than content that isn’t data-driven? It makes sense: Citing data makes people look smart, and people like looking smart. Original data and research is even better.

Another one: infographics. Neil Patel found that infographics generate 37.5% more backlinks than a standard blog post. Again, not surprising: If you create an awesome infographic that people want to share on their website, they’ll (hopefully) cite the original source (you).

Check out the infographic below from Engagebit to learn more data-driven strategies for creating content that’ll attract more inbound links.

 
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free report: secrets behind top business blogs

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/linkable-content

8 Interesting Facebook Stats to Help You Increase Engagement

All the evidence suggests that Facebook’s News Feed is now one of the most powerful content channels in the world. Don’t believe us? Let’s look at some recent studies.

Shareaholic research shows social media now drives more traffic to its publishers’ websites than search, and that Facebook dwarfs all other networks. According to Shareaholic’s latest report, Facebook now drives 25% of all traffic to its publishers’ websites.

Also, according to Forrester, Facebook owns 13% of all time spent on mobile devices. Plus, the average U.S. Facebook user (there are 222 million of them) spends 14 hours a month in his or her mobile Facebook News Feed.

The ability to create engaging posts in Facebook has therefore become a key part of any content amplification strategy. But what can you do to create better post engagement? 

Mari Smith and BuzzSumo have put together the following helpful infographic on eight Facebook engagement statistics that every content marketer needs to know.  



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Want to learn what content performs best for any Facebook Page? Check out this new tool from Buzzsumo.
download our free facebook tips guide

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-engagement-statistics

11 Quick Food Photography Tips to Make Mouth Watering Images

One of my first jobs in photography involved shooting food, including doing shots for a cookbook. I learned a lot about food styling and choosing the right props. If you’ve ever needed to take some food photographs or think this is something you might want to try, here’s a few quick tips for you to get started.  Feel free to add your own tips or ask questions.

Food Photography Tips

 

#1 – PICK THE FRESHEST INGREDIENTS



If the skin looks wrinkled, scarred or damaged take it out and get a new one – or angle it in a such way so as not to see the bad side. This seem obvious but sometimes it’s easy to miss. You’re often photographing these things really close up so even the tiniest flaws will show up. Check them over closely and be ruthless when you buy our vegetables.

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#2 -LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING!


Backlight is key to texture and making it appetizing looking. This will also allow any steam to show up in the image.  Steam or smoke will show up prominently when lit from behind. Notice how much more appetizing the corn and bean salad looks in the second image, and the only difference is the angle of light. The one that has the light skimming across it from behind makes the salad look crisp and fresh, the other one just seems flat and unappealing.

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Lighting from the front and to camera right, notice how flat it seems?

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Lighting from behind makes the salad glisten and look more appealing to the eye.

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Dramatic lighting doesn’t have to be fancy, this was shot on my kitchen floor using light from the patio window.

#3 – KEEP IT SIMPLE


Take out stuff you don’t need. Take out things on the table that are distracting and pair down to just one plate of food.  If the food once cooked is unattractive only show a portion of it. Brown soup doesn’t really seem visually stimulating but if you have to do something with it, get creative with props and cropping and when in doubt follow the “more is less” rule of thumb.

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#4 – USE SIMPLE PROPS INCLUDING RAW INGREDIENTS


Simple plates, cutlery, etc. and raw ingredients make great extra props. When I did a lot of food photography I had a cupboard full of different plates, placements and bowls, but only one of each!  Stick to non-patterned plates and bowls so the food stands out more.

If you don't have props use raw food bits
If you don’t have props use raw food bits.

#5 – SHOW A BEFORE AND AFTER SHOT


Showing steps in the cooking process including chopping, in the pot or in process helps people understand the final image. Show one shot before, and one after it’s cooked or step by step images. This works well for things that just don’t look all that great cooked.

Super green soup in the pot before blending shows the ingredients well.
Super green soup in the pot before blending shows the ingredients well.

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After blending it doesn’t look like much so use the before and after, and prop with raw ingredients to help its appeal.

#6 – SHOW IT COOKING


Along the lines of #5 showing it cooking is sometimes better than showing the finished product.

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In the pot and human element added. This was actually photographed on my deck in mid-winter. Can you guess what the background is?

#7 – ADD A HUMAN ELEMENT


Adding a hand stirring a pot or holding a plate allows you to show scale and adds a human element which is often more appealing and real to viewers.  (see photo above)

#8 – DON’T COOK IT COMPLETELY


When meats and vegetables are fully cooked they keep cooking after you remove them from the heat. So to keep them looking plump and juicy remove them from the stove or oven a bit early – take your photos, then put it back it to finish cooking before you eat it. This will keep things from looking shrivelled.

#9 – KEEP THE PLATES CLEAN


This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. The plates and props holding the food must be absolutely 100% pristine, clean, flaw free. When you shoot close up, like most food requires, any imperfections will show up and look like the dish is messy or incomplete.  Like this one.

Oops!  I should have cleaned the pot better.
Oops! I should have cleaned the pot better. Notice how messy it looks?

#10 – VARY YOUR CAMERA ANGLE


Try different angles of view when shooting your food items from directly overhead, tilted, shooting into the edge of the plate or table, and so on.  Get creative and try to show it in a different way than most people would see it.

A little tilt and diagonal lines just adds interest. Notice the back lighting again?
A little tilt and diagonal lines just adds interest. Notice the back lighting again?

#11 – ADD A BIT OF OIL


To make vegetables glisten brush them with a bit of olive oil, or mist a salad with water. It will make them look fresher.

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These veggies were marinated in oil and herbs so notice how they glisten so nicely?

#12 – BONUS TIP FOOD SHOTS EATING OUT


Yup I’m one of those people that takes a photo of my food before I eat it, especially if it’s particularly nicely presented. I feel I owe it to the chef who took such great care in preparing it. Perhaps it my food photography background and I just can’t help myself!  I often just use my iPhone but when I do have my camera I will usually set it up before I eat it and take a few shots.  Here’s a couple of mine.

Okay let’s see how you put this to use!

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French toast at the Byway Diner in Portland, Oregon.

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Cafe latte and beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans