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Mobilegeddon – 1 Month Later

By | General, Online marketing, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

It’s been almost two years since we posted about responsive sites and the importance of making sure your online presence is mobile ready. We remember because the publication of such a post resulted in a rather healthy debate on Twitter with some advocating that it’s really not that important.

Well we hate to say we told you so but . . . we told you so.

A month ago Google put in place a new algorithm that focuses on the mobility of your website. That is, if your website does not have the capacity to adapt to mobile or tablet screens you will find you Google ranking (SEO) affected.

Some sources are saying that this could be as bad as your search ranking being cut in half in one fail swoop. We’re only a month in and businesses are watching their SEO rankings closely and so far they’ve seen a drop but nothing that has people panicking. . . Yet.

The good news is that it will be over the coming year that we will begin to see it’s true impact so there is still time to make sure your website is ready for what is being dubbed ‘mobilegeddon.’

How To Check If Your Website Is Ready

This is quite a simple step but one that many haven’t yet completed. Take a mobile phone, open up your browser and enter your websites address.

If:

• You have to zoom in to navigate
• The images are tiny and undefined
• You find it difficult to select categories or fill in forms

Then your website is not ready for Mobilegeddon and you will find your SEO severely affected, dropping page ranking radically.

What To Do If Your Website Isn’t Ready

If your website isn’t ready for the oncoming SEO apocalypse it may be time to have a look at your website in a new way and maybe even giving it a little spring cleaning.

To make your online presence mobile friendly your website will have to be looked at from the back end. We can help advise you on all elements of making your website fit for any mobile or tablet screen.

Once you have a streamlined adaptable website you have to make sure that it is present on social media. The current Google algorithm focuses on your social presence. On how many ‘likes’ your FB page is and how many +1s you have on Google+ so you have to make sure you have a presence on both of these platforms and that you are driving traffic back to your website.

If you want to speak to someone about getting started on Social Media ask our resident Social Media Guru Helena

So are you ready for Mobilegeddon?! If not don’t let your website suffer! Talk to us today and we’ll be happy to help!

Weekly Round Up

By | General | No Comments

This Week In The News

Apple Gets Pranked & It’s Pretty Glorious

We wonder if Microsoft had anything to do with these pranksters?

Instagram Introduce An Excellent New App – Layout

layout-ipad-radial-menu

Instagram noticed that their users love to combine many photos into one post so to help them out Instagram has rolled out a new App called Layout. It allows users to easily combine multiple pictures into one and then post onto Instagram in one swift motion.

Developers Aren’t Happy With Facebook’s WhatsApp Announcement

Facebook WhatsApp

Developers want to get their hands on WhatsApp but Mark Zuckerberg simply will not let that happen. He believes that allowing third parties access might “inundate users with messages they don’t want.” Sounds pretty reasonable to us given what it’s done to Facebook. . .

UK MPs Being Forced Into The 21st Century

mp_2407898b

Every single one of those 650 hard working MPs of ours will be gifted with brand new Ipad Air 2s after the Election. Bet they want to win their seats even more now.

Tips & Training

Not Too Late To Book In & Find Out Why Our Helena Walsh Loves Social Media

Next Tuesday morning Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Women In Business Breakfast Briefing and our very own Social Media expert Helena Walsh will be there to talk about the many benefits of Social Media to business. It’s not too late to book in, you can either ring Mary Clements on 02085916966 or register your interest here.

5 Executive Tips To Speed Up Your G-mail

Spending too much time going through your E-mails? Check out these 5 great tips & cut time wasting significantly!

Favourite Youtube Video Of The Week

Sassy dog does not like being left alone in the car.

5 Executive Secrets to Speed-up Using Gmail

By | Business, Business advice | One Comment

Saving time and effort is one of my favourite pass-times yet I was told once by a colleague that I spend far too much time on checking my emails.

But I get 80 new emails a day sometimes! Like it or lump it, while we sleep we get emails! This article is going to show you in just a few steps how easy it is to avoid getting caught up in your emails. Gone are the days of procrastinating in my inbox – with these 5 tips, you should speed-up using Gmail too.

Procrastination vs Gmail

I felt like sharing with you why using Gmail offers me some really powerful features to maximise my day in an effort to help you with your day. I hope I can save you some time, thank me with a Share on Facebook or Twitter ok?

So these features dramatically reduce the amount of time you’ll need to spend on emails, making the corporate responsibility part of your job more efficient and getting you a special “nerd badge” for showing your family or colleagues how best to use Gmail.

Of course you’ll also be able to get heaps more work done too, or if you lucky go home early?

First off, just be aware that I used to be a reckless with my email address and I recommend that if you are using your work email to sign up for anything and everything, you won’t be helping things, you’ll have more work too. SO consider that next time you subscribe to something, be sensible with your email address and online sign up to really useful blogs like ours!

This simple consideration along with my suggested changes to your email set-up should help you to improve things. My tips will make it easier for you to find your emails, assist you with automatically filtering emails into organised folders and helping to prevent spammy emails hitting your inbox in the first place.

After all, prevention is better than the cure!

Why use the Nova email system in your Gmail?

Well these aren’t really secrets, but if you don’t know, you just don’t know, am I right!

The need to write this post come from a need to speed up checking my own emails and from discovering hidden features and tools in Gmail over the past 9 years. It was only about 6 months ago I decided to spend less time on my emails than today.

I designed a system using some freely available tools within Gmail and I regularly use these systems to check email once in the morning, once in the afternoon. I’ve saved so much time per day, I can afford to spend time writing valuable blogs instead.

You might too be one of those people that wouldn’t even be able to finish daily and other important tasks due to spending hours on emails. I used to feel defeated, rushed and I didn’t feel like I had achieved much.

If you can relate to this then never fear that Empty Inbox is not far off and you’ll start reclaiming extra time the more efficient you become at using Gmail.

(At the time of this blog post I was using latest gmail interface, but these ideas / tools should still work with the Basic HTML version too).

Some of Gmails secret features

1/ Organise with Filters

Filters are used to scan emails before they come in to your inbox. Using keywords or email addresses you can identify emails you want and apply actions to and delete, archive or sort them automatically along with lots of other useful actions.

Gmail provide a handy “filter wizard” which you can use to filter emails with all sorts actions including actions such as;

  • Apply Stars
  • Apply Important Tag
  • Apply Labels
  • Move to a certain folder
  • Archive
  • Mark as read

There are plenty more options available and using these in combination with cleverly organised folders (and sub folders for advanced organisation) soon your email can be categorised how you want without even using your inbox!!

You could for example organise emails by supplier / client or contact or by project, group, context and the list is endless.

I use personally use filters to remove emails from my inbox that I don’t feel are urgent to see, such as newsletters or subject matter that I want to keep, but don’t find vital enough to check each day.

Filter-wizard

2/ Unread first

A very handy feature to speed through your emails, is to show only “unread emails”.

This can prevent procrastination by hiding “everything” (which is googles way of saying – all of your other emails) and showing only emails which need to be read or actioned.

If you don’t set your gmail view to “Unread” first, the next step will be super useful and save you the most time out of all the tips here in this post.

Unread-First

3/ Triage via inbox vs next button

Everything leads up to this point, the mass extinction of unwanted email from the main view of your Gmail, you should have now a long list of “unread emails”.

On your screen you’ll see lot’s of rows of emails with additional information along each row (each column giving you info about each email), you should see from left to right the following;

  • A check box – Select a single or multiple emails
  • Star Icon – Highlight emails as Starred
  • Important Icon – Mark your emails as important
  • From – Telling you who sent the email
  • Subject Line – Giving you some info about the email
  • Attachments – Paper clip icon
  • Time / Date

To triage your emails and sift the wheat from the shaft, go down the list and apply a check to the check box.

Ok here’s the time saver, once you’ve selected multiple emails from top to bottom of the list checking your emails using the other columns to identify which emails you want to action.  You’ll notice the toolbar (navigation bar) above the list of emails will change giving you more options.

The button we want here is the box with an arrow pointing down on it (archive) which in Gmail simply means, “not in my inbox” or in Gmail language moved to “All Mail”, which includes; archived, sent, unread etc.

With all of your emails selected you could also start using the other buttons to organise further your emails, don’t forget to look in the “more” button which gives you further actions to apply.

Note that “Mark as read” also archives (not delete) the email and removes them from your “Unread” list.  But be aware that you can only do one page like this at a time, moving to the next page deselects the previous page and you’ll have to start again!

Of course IF you have emails that you do want to read then move on the the next step.

More-Selection

4/ Faster Email Reading and Quick Actioning

First of all, I’m not telling you here how to read your email or what to do with the email once you have read it. Simply how I now navigate between emails and to action an email effectively.

First of all you don’t need to pop in and out of the list with this tip, i.e. Go into an email and hit the back button to return to the list.  Just pick the top or the bottom.  This choice will depend on which order you would like to go through you emails, I sometimes choose the top which is the latest emails, and if there are important unread emails or it’s been a while since I checked my email I go to the end of the list and start from there.

I’m assuming you’ve read the initial email (the first or last from the list) and now you want to action the email by forwarding the email, replying to it or simply archive (mark as read) to move onto the next email.

Well if there is no reply or forward required here is another great button I’ve discovered, as it’s a little tucked away.  The NEXT or PREVIOUS button!!

Of course hitting the previous button works from the top of the list, the next button form the bottom of the list, so now you can read, action and move on quickly without the need to return to the list view.

Next-Previous Button

Quick Action shortcuts

If you want to quickly reply to a short email (i.e. A few sentences that meant you didn’t need to scroll down to read it) then you can hit the reply button. If you have a longer email and get to the bottom you’ll notice a text box with reply and forward in it. Click one of these or simply start typing in the box to reply. Note – This will reply only to the person that sent the email to you.

Reply All

If you have multiple people to reply to (i.e. Reply All) then hit the down arrow next to the reply button and you’ll get more options, the reply all button will only be present if there are more people involved in the email (i.e. someone was CC’d or multiple recipients).

Filter messages like these

This one is vital. If you realise that the message is one of those not so important messages that you don’t want in your inbox each time, or if you want to add a different kind of action to messages from this person (or with certain keywords within it), then use this feature to jump start the filter wizard.

reply-drop-down

Send Shortcut

On PC use – CTRL + Enter
On Mac use – ⌘ + Enter

5/ Gmail Labs (The best bit)

Google Labs for Gmail is a nirvana for indie developers to create some awesome (somewhat hidden) features that can’t be accessed through normal settings or found in the new interface anywhere. Some of my particular efficiency favourites are:

Undo send

Perfect for a few seconds of grace when you accidentally send an email but realise that it’s to the wrong person, you didn’t attach the file you wanted to or just feel not quite ready to send but out of habit, hit that send button too hastily.

Right-hand chat

This lab tool is great if you have lots of folders and subfolders, instead of having to scroll in the tiny window the new Gmail interface allows. Right hand chat moves the whole chat section over to the right hand side instead.

Quote selected text

To reply quickly regarding specific text in an email, simply select the text and hit reply. The selected text will be placed as a quote (with citation and date) in the return email.

Unread Message Icon

If you have Gmail in a tab in your browser this little gem will place a further icon on top of the gmail icon and show you how many unread emails you have. Goes well with point one and if you “pin” gmail to your browser it minimises the tab and looks super cool up in the browser.
unread-icon

Labs-Unread Icon

Well that’s all for now, thank you for reading this and if you have anymore useful ways to make using Gmail more fun or efficient, I am always open to hearing more about how best to use Gmails many cool tools. Also if these tips have helped any of you, please share, comment and sign up for more blogs like this one.

(Use the form on the right here to sign up for email notifications of our new blogs and weekly tech news round-ups).

1 Facebook Security Tip Everyone Should Do Now

By | General, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

First Things First: The Information You Share With Your Friends Is Not Restricted To Their Eyes Only

Recently there has been much talk over FB and privacy rights. You may have even taken part in sharing the ‘better safe than sorry’ status that was doing the rounds recently. In more recent news the hacking of the USA’s Central Command’s Twitter and Youtube account has made Social Media security a hot topic.

Unfortunately through signing up with Facebook anything that you make public can be used by 3rd parties. It’s in the sign up fine print and it has always been the same way. That does not mean however, that you should instantly panic and immediately boycott Facebook. Take a read of this article to gain a better understanding of the matter.

Furthermore, the more malicious of these Apps can be used to hack you Social Media accounts like with the USA’s Central Command’s accounts. You should be careful when accepting any App request for access and if your gut says there’s something iffy then trust it! It’s usually right!

This is not what I want to cover today. Today I would like to cover something that has flown under the radar of many a Facebook user.

3rd Person Access Via Your Friends

Many of you would have signed up to 3rd party systems that you can access via Facebook sign in. Spotify, Netflix, Candy Crush to name but a few. Many of these Apps are doing what marketers do on a daily basis, they use your Facebook profile information to tailor their services and advertise the right products to your FB page. Their request looks something like this:

1 Top FB Tip 1

They tell you what they can access when you sign in for the first time via Facebook and if you are like me I accepted these terms. I know the grey area that is Facebook privacy and I know that for the most part it is up to me to govern how much information I put up there.

What I did not realise until very recently was that my more private information, information that I have allowed only friends to see, can be made available to some Apps out there despite me not using or allowing them.

How? Because my friends use them and have accepted their access requests.

Before you get angry with your friends, you’re doing the exact same thing and these Apps are clever. They tell you that they will gain access to your contact list but do not need to tell you what they do with that contact list.

If your friend uses a 3rd party App on Facebook and have accepted their terms then automatic settings on YOUR Facebook account means that those Apps have access to the following pieces of information:

FB Security Settings v6

I’m not sure about you but I’m pretty uncomfortable with Apps that I have not given my authority to having access to information such as my photos and current location. Even if it’s just potentially.

If you feel the same way then go into your Facebook account and select settings.

FB Security Settings v3

Go into ‘Apps’ on the left hand side.

FB Security Settings v1

Scroll down to the bottom and select ‘Apps Others Use’ and edit your settings according to your comfort level.

FB Security Settings v2

And there you have it! Isn’t it a great feeling to essentially blockade those sneaky Apps?! When it comes to this aspect of sharing information it really is ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’.

FB Security Settings v5
(image www.comicbookmovie.com)

If you have ANY questions regarding Social Media Security or any advice of your own let me know! Leave a comment below, Tweet me @_NovaHelena, leave a comment on our FB page or find me on LinkedIn.

Hope it helps!

5 Key Points To Twitter

By | Business, Social Media | One Comment

Twitter is one of the best places to start your Social Media journey so here are Nova’s 5 key points to Twitter:

1)   Genuine Followers

Perhaps the most important element to Twitter success are the accounts that you attract as ‘followers’.  To make sure that accounts who are relevant and interesting follow you, your account must do two things.  Firstly, it needs to post content that others will want to read about.  If you are posting regular updates on industry news and asking genuine questions then active accounts on Twitter will want to follow you.  Secondly, you need to go out and find those accounts and follow them.  Interact with them, answer questions that they post.  Here’s a little trick if you’re asking yourself whether they are genuinely active on Twitter have a look at when they last post.  If it’s not in the last 48 hours chances are not the kind of account you want clogging up your ‘following’ list.

2)   Replies

The whole point of Twitter is to be social and so would suggest that politeness will go a long way in being noticed and respected.   If an account re-tweets one of your tweets you should thank them for taking a notice and reading what you have to say.  Again if someone asks you a question you should respond as quickly as possible not only to show efficenicy but genuine interest.  If you cannot respond for a while then apologise for the hold up, show that you care about what your followers have to say.  Replies should convey your company, witty or friendly it will help to build on your image.

3)   Re-tweets

In order to engage with your followers and gain new ones, you need to retweet their content as well as share your own. It also builds your profile up, and provides new content for your followers to read. You should retweet content relevant to your niche market. Retweet posts from your target audience, and if relevant, comment on the posts too. You can search hashtags to find certain topics, but make sure the posts are not older than one day.

4)   Lists

step1

Twitter is a fast-paced world and to gain ‘followers’ you yourself have to follow hundreds if not thousands of accounts.  All of these accounts have something interesting to say but their tweets can get lost amongst the chaos that is the Twitter Universe.  One way to make sure you keep up to date with your favoured accounts is to organize them into ‘Lists’.  By selecting the drop down option and adding the account to a list that you have created

step2

You can create ones as you go or create lists prior through selecting the ‘List’ option on the side of your home page, this is also where you would go to view your ‘Lists’ and read the tweets that they have sent.

view lists

You can tailor lists to certain industries and interests allowing you to quickly source the accounts you favour.  If you do not want the accounts to know that you have added them to a list you can choose the privacy option.

5)   Content

When it comes to any social media platform content is king, and this is especially the case with Twitter.  No one wants to read the same tweet about the sale that you have on or the special services that you provide.  Followers will get bored and quick.  You should post articles and news relevant to your industry.  Pictures should be used especially those that will make other people want to share.  That is not to say that you cannot push your company’s services and deals just remember to use the correct # to determine what kind of tweet it is #news & #offer/#business respectively.

Don’t forget if you have any questions ask away!  You can find us at:

@TheNovaAgency

www.facebook.com/novadigitalmedia

or drop us a line at: hello@thenovaagency.com

We offer One on One Social Media courses which include set up of all major Social Media platforms tailored to your business.