Category Archives: Websites

Strange things often seen


Online transgressions that should be as uncommon as bears on bikes:

  • A business without a website
  • A website without a visible telephone number
  • A website without analytics
  • Website analytics without conversion goals
  • An ‘About Us’ section about nobody
  • A ‘News’ section without news
  • An online image without originality
  • A negative online review without an owner response
  • Social media without a strategy
  • A social media channel without branding
  • A customer query on social media gone unanswered
  • A personal LinkedIn profile without a picture
  • An organisation without a LinkedIn Company Page
  • A blog post without the name of the author
  • A Facebook brand page without an internal champion
  • An event without a designated hashtag

Ooh, look over there!

How to Embed Tweets into Your Website or Blog

Embedding specific posts from Twitter into a webpage or blog post is a simple 2-step process. The embeds render as fully interactive and look smart within their individual frames. Embedded tweets can be displayed as customer testimonials or as part of a narrative from one or several Twitter users.

Here are a two embed examples from people who tweeted about my courses:


Here’s the 2-step embedding process in action:

Step 1 – hover over the bottom of the tweet, click on the ‘… More’ link and then select ‘Embed Tweet’

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 10.52.54 AM

Step 2 – grab the embed code from the dialogue box and paste into your website or blog via the HTML or text editor of your CMS

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 11.01.20 AM

Google+ Releases a New Set of Interactive Badges for Your Website or Blog


If you don’t have a brand presence on Google+ you should correct that sooner rather than later (yes, that’s what I’m saying). If you are on board already Google has released a smart new set of badges. These interactive badges are designed to lift the visibility of your personal profile, brand pages or G+ communities by allowing people to add any of them to their own circles directly from a badge on your website or blog. Customise and grab your own own G+ badges here.

Layout Examples

Personal Profile


Brand Page

G+ Community


27 Tasks Every Marketer Should be able to Perform Online


There are DIY skills every modern marketer should have in their virtual toolbox to handle the numerous small tasks which need to be frequently performed online. Tackle the simple stuff yourself when you can – quickly and inexpensively – and only outsource the big hairy jobs. So, do you have the digital chops to get the everyday basics out of the way?

You Should Know How To:

1. Customise the branding elements on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ (if you have a presence on these platforms).

2. How to activate and deactivate automatic cross-posting between social media platforms.

3. Adjust your personal privacy and visibility settings on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

4. Use permalinks to link to specific posts on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

5. Comment on a blog post, and comment on a comment.

6. Use a wizard tool to manually create one or more of the following social share buttons for a webpage: Facebook Like, Google +1, Twitter Tweet, Pinterest Pin-It or LinkedIn Share.

7. Upload a video file to YouTube, and then embed that same YouTube video back onto your webpage.

8. Subscribe to a specific blog, YouTube channel or podcast series.

9. Apply hashtags to a post, search on specific hashtags within a social media platform, and know the meanings of basic courtesy hashtags such as #HT (hat-tip).

10. Compress the file size of an image for web use, change its horizontal or vertical orientation, or resize it to a specific pixel width and height.

11. Add text as an overlay to a digital image, e.g. general text, a brand name or a URL.

12. Customise the metatitles and meta descriptions on your own webpages or blog posts.

13. Insert a hyperlink into a webpage.

14. Insert an image onto a webpage and add alternate text to it for increased search visibility.

15. Create a basic customised Google Map.

16. Embed an interactive Google Map or a Streetview frame into a webpage.

17. Post an online review for a specific business (and how to delete it later if you choose).

18. Run a search engine keyword query which is limited to blog or forum results from a specific country.

19. Clear cookies from your browser and surf the web anonymously using a free proxy server.

20. Open a Google Analytics account and set up visitor tracking for your website or blog.

21. Scan a QR code, and how to create your own QR codes selecting from multiple response options.

22. Reuse other people’s digital content under the conditions of an assigned Creative Commons licence.

23. Apply Creative Commons licencing to your own original online content.

24. Claim the Google+ Local business listing for your organisation or business.

25. Provide an ‘owner response’ to a Google+ Local review of your organisation or business.

26. Use a free voice and video conferencing platform such as Google+ Hangouts or Skype.

27. View the cached search engine version of a webpage when a website is down or the page has recently been deleted.


Image by  Visit Greece

Looking into Your Website’s Past Using The Wayback Machine – ANZ as a Case Study

Looking at old photos of yourself can be jarring: past iterations of your physical self that are familiar yet detached. Websites are no different – if you look at past snapshots of any organisation’s homepage it’s like watching a child growing up through an awkward adolescence.

If you want a glimpse of your own website’s past try the Wayback Machine at, a digital time capsule created by the Internet Archive, a non-profit organisation based in the US. You won’t be able to find snapshots from every date since your website was launched, but you will be able to retrieve enough to marvel at how far you’ve come.

I’ve used ANZ’s homepage as a case example with snapshots spanning from 1996 to today.



















9 Dumb Ideas for Your Next Website


1. Get your website built on the cheap so it looks like a road accident involving farm animals. El cheapo comes in a range of flavours: DIY (particularly dangerous); outsourcing to an Indian guy named ‘Charles’ who contacted you out of the blue last month; your next-door neighbour’s daughter – she’s a second year multimedia student after all.

2. Underestimate the time required to write half-way decent copy for your new web pages. Go into task avoidance mode. Alienate your web developer by not responding to requests for content. Launch website 14 months late.

3. Throw $5 photostock images like graffiti across your pages, preferably shots of power-dressed business folk (yes, you know the ones I’m talking about). Now your site is bursting with North Americans sporting unnatural grins, gesturing meaninglessly into the air.

4. Only let people contact you via a contact form (no-one uses telephones anymore). Get back to any queries within 2-3 days – don’t appear too keen with an immediate response.

5. Proudly display icon links to all of your social media accounts. Too bad you’re not doing anything in social media yet.

6. Provide a link to your blog. You’ve only posted on three occasions, all during the first week it went live. Tumble-weeds have since rolled in.

7. Display today’s date and time on the homepage as a reminder that I’ve got better things to be doing with my time than being on your website.

8. Feed your Twitter stream onto your homepage – the last 5 tweets will invariably be some fragmented conversation thread between you and another person about something not at all related to the needs of your customers.

9. Run with a site-wide jungle theme… cleverly shape all of your web buttons as bananas, and play a random animal noise every ten seconds or so. Talk about getting cut-through!

Bonus Dumb Idea

Place a QR code on your homepage that if scanned takes people to your homepage.


Image by Thomas Hawk