May 31, 2012
May 31, 2012
May 22, 2012
Lately lots of clients have been looking to us to guide them in the SEO process when we do their CMS Websites. SEO proposes some interesting challenges when approached creatively… there is always a fine line when it comes to marrying good creative and strategic SEO. Let SEO lead, and creative will suffer. Let creative lead at not even the depths of Google will be able to find your site. So how can both sides of the house win? Here are some tips on get your search ranks up without sacrificing your creative to the SEO gods.
1. Keywords and where to put them
When you’re writing page copy, first keep keywords in mind when writing headers and subheaders. Sprinkle keywords throughout body copy, but don’t do so heavyhandedly, or your message will get muddied and become hard to read. You’ll also have meta description and meta tags within your SEO settings (I recommend an SEO plug-in if you’re working in a CMS like WordPress) that you can work keywords into. Not sure which keywords to use? You can research keywords on Google Keyword.
2. Images are important
Every page should have an image. If you’re working in a CMS, you can upload an image even if you want only text to be viewable on the page. Upload an image, then save it as a “featured image.” It won’t appear on the page, just in search results. Add alt text to each image on your page. Make sure that includes the keywords you think people will be searching for. Also add a caption to each image, including keywords.
3. Use headers
I bet you didn’t know that formatting your header as H1, H2, H3 or H4 sends a message to Google that the content of that header is important. I didn’t know that either until I started researching SEO for our clients. You can do this easily with whatever CMS you are using. Look for a drop down menu at the top left of the format section.
4. Blog, blog, blog
Even if you’re building a Website for your small business and you think no one will care to read your blog, do it anyway. Each and every blog post gives you a chance to drop in keywords like nobody’s business and clue-in prospective clients and customers that you are the subject matter expert on your particular type of business. Don’t think your writing skills are up to par? Make it a photo blog and use the captions/alt text I mentioned in step 2 to up your search rankings.
- Sarah Toler, Creative Director
Photo credit: Flickr user Richard-G
May 17, 2012
You can’t sleep, you can’t eat, and omg is that a zit popping up? You appear to be experiencing all the systems of stress, but where is this stress coming from? You’re well rested, works going great, the boyfriend is great, rent’s paid… so what could it be?!
The culprit: Your smartphone, i.e. your new virtual social life. That little hand held-device that is supposed to make your life easier is now causing you to totally wig out. The posting, the commenting, the constant urge to check your wall and change your status. Do you have enough pictures up? Who’s in a relationship, who’s breaking up? AHH, you can’t take it anymore.
A recent study out of the University of Worcester gives light to the cause of this added stress. According to the university’s psychologist, Richard Baldingonce, once an individual starts to use his or her smartphone, the workload management benefits are displaced by the pressure to keep up with their new virtual social life. It’s like highschool all over again. The pressures to keep up appearances, be accepted, be a part of the conversation… who has time for all that pettiness?
To take a further look into this sudden increase in stress among seemingly happy, easy-going individuals we look to a recent survey done by ad agency JWT. After surveying young adults between the ages of 19-26, they discovered that more than half of the people surveyed were concerned over the growing amount of time spent in maintaining their social media accounts. Respondents of the survey complained that the stress of trying to keep up with the virtual social lives was having a negative impact on their work and studies. Has social media led us to the point where we are so obsessed with our online appearances that we are losing sleep over it?
“We found that the reason young people need breaks is because of their social media responsibilities, but that’s exactly what they do when they’re on a break,” said Lydia Daly, JWT planning director. “It’s a vicious circle.”
So how do we get a hold of ourselves and enjoy life once again, outside of this vicious online social circle? Here are four simple steps to help you get back to living life again, your real life.
1. Take time to disconnect
Walk away. Just put the phone down and walk away. Go for a run, take a cooking class, talk to a friend (in person), or check out the documentary you’ve been wanting to see. Yes, try one of those wonderfully stimulating activities you use to partake in before smartphones and social media took your life. Listen to Prince, and party like it’s 1999 – for at least an hour or so.
Breath in, breath out. You know that involuntary movement we never pay much attention to. Did you know that by simply taking control of your breaths, you can release built up stress? Sign up for a yoga class, buy a yoga dvd, or simply try this simple breathing exercise. Breath in slowly, counting to 5, and then breathe out counting to 5. Keep going. Feeling like a new you already? As you continue this slow controlled breathing exercise, your nervous system relaxes, reducing stress and inducing relaxation. Slow and deep breaths help to calm and quiet the mind. Namaste.
3. Eat these 7 foods
By changing your diet a little bit, you can radically reduce your stress. Try out these 7 proven de-stresser foods.
So the next time you start stressing over the new pic you posted that is getting no likes, put down the phone, grab a banana and relax.
4. Get up.
Detach yourself from all your mobile devices for 15 minutes and get up and move. Yep, that’s it – shake what your mama gave you. Moving around and being active causes serotonin to be released into your brain. After 15 minutes of dancing around your living room you’ll have forgotten all about that wall post Bobby Sue wrote about you. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself.
All you have to do it follow this easy advice and I promise you’ll be back to your lovely pre-Facebook days in no time.
- Katie Cohen, Jr. Copywriter
Photo credit: Flickr user SproutingWings
May 7, 2012
I am a visual person. In fact, there’s a joke around the office that you can’t fully communicate with me unless you’re using hand signals. (I’ve already given Lee credit for Daniel’s ideas, because Lee explained them to me using hand signals and Daniel did not.) Anyway, I’m visual. I can remember a face forever. If I see you in passing, you will look familiar to me the next time I see you. And, I’m pretty good at remembering where I was when I met someone, if I recall what the room looked like when we met. But, I’m terrible – TERRIBLE – at remembering names!
Last weekend, I attended the American Marketing Association’s National Summit in Chicago and met 300+ marketing professionals over the course of three days. Usually, I collect business cards and scribble a comment about something visual on the back of the card to remember the face with the name on the front of the card (“brunette wearing red skirt suit” or “tall, blue shirt and blonde hair”), but, this time I didn’t need to do that. I was able to remember more names than I’ve ever remembered before, all because of a cool interactive networking game we played called Firefly. In fact, Firefly is the reason I was in Chicago. Pocketstop was one of the sponsors for the Leadership Summit, which is where we introduced the Firefly networking game. I won’t go into details about the game, but it basically involves a new person, an image that represents that person, and a smart phone that can display the image. For the first time ever, I actually remembered names in addition to faces! And without scribbling fashion comments on the back of business cards.
It felt good to easily remember the names that went with faces. How embarrassing, when you’re in a position to introduce someone to another contact and you’ve forgotten his or her name. Sure, there’s ways around it, but to properly introduce two business contacts, you’ve pretty much got to remember both party’s names. Have you been there? “Tom, I’d like you to meet….” (Insert feeling of panic here). Well, if you are like me and rely on visual cues to spark your memory, know that you’re in good company and there are ways to remember names when you first meet someone. You just have to find what works for you.
- Sandy Taylor, Accounts Manager
May 4, 2012
At Pocketstop, we love excited doers and big thinkers. So, we thought, what better way to get some super fresh (think straight off the boat) ideas than to harvest a team of newbies? That’s right, the Pocketstop Summer Internship Program is here.
Starting at the end of the month, we will be welcoming several college juniors and seniors with big ideas, eager attitudes and (hopefully) big senses of humor. They’re coming on board to join our development and account teams. They’re going to have the chance to sit in on meetings and client calls with their mentors, plus we’ve got one big super top-secret project they’ll all be working on together. We can’t wait to see what they come up with.
We’re still on the hunt for one more account management intern, so if you know someone who fits the above criteria, please send them our way. (Added bonus, if the candidate loves to bake, we have never been known to turn down a brownie or several.)
Happy Summer and a big welcome to our new flock of interns.