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October 21st, 2016

Major Browsers to Block Flash Soon!

Posted by liveBooks

adobe-flash-photo-1

The liveBooks team has been working vigorously this year to migrate many of its clients from the Flash-based Legacy platform to the HTML5-based liveBooks8 platform. The HTML5 platform offers responsive templates that you are readily able to edit on your desktop, tablet or mobile devices! With it a ton of new features are also available – including advanced SEO tools and options for customizations, such as varied portfolio and gallery layouts, a library of hundreds of font choices, drag and drop design, in-line editing tools and much more!

In addition to the added features that the HTML5 platform offers, there is one big reason why you should migrate from your Flash website as soon as possible. All major browsers have already set into motion the blocking of flash sites!

Safari:
In June, Apple announced that the version of Safari that comes on macOS Sierra will block Flash by default across all websites. This means that if your website runs on Flash, your visitors will be greeted by the following message:

safari-block

Apple has taken a very big stand against Flash since 2007. This is due in part to Flash websites having slow loading times, being a drain on laptop batteries, and continually having security issues. The measures that Apple has taken will continue to detract visitors from visiting your Flash website.
(Sources: PetaPixel, The Verge)

Chrome:
Google announced in May that Chrome would start to block Flash websites with the launch of Chrome 53 in September. More importantly – in December 2016, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience. Those websites that only run on Flash will need to be enabled by the user to display properly.
(Source: Chrome Blog)

Firefox:
Mozilla Firefox will retire Adobe Flash as soon as 2017. With the release of Firefox 53, Flash plug-ins will require the user to actively click-to-play. Though Mozilla hasn’t directly stated that Flash will be completely retired after the click-to-play change, the move is apparent.
(Source: ARS Technica)

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-12-58-35-pm-copy

Though Adobe Flash helped make the Web a rich and dynamic experience, a new generation of technology has pushed for a big change in website platforms. The liveBooks8 platform is the optimal choice for our Flash users to transition to.

To learn more about liveBooks8 and its main features, please visit this link.

To see our migration options and schedule your migration, please visit this link.

Tuesdays Tip

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is one of the most important features that your website can have. SEO is the ability for online search engines to recognize your site through proper indexing. With a sound SEO strategy, you will be able to organically drive customers to your business, based on keywords and common search terms.

The liveBooks8 platform allows you the ability to add SEO settings on an image/page level as well as site-wide level. This article will focus on the setting for page level SEO settings. To begin adding SEO settings to your pages, see below:

  1. From the Content tab, enter your page by clicking its title
  2. On the righthand sidebar, select SEO and dropdown the settingstuesdays-tip-seo-1
  3. You will notice 5 input boxes: Title Tag, Description, Keywords, Navigation Label, and Canonical URL.

seootuesdays-tip-seo-2

 

  • Title Tags: the title of the page that you see in your tab of the browser
  • Description Tag: a concise explanation of the content of your web page for search engines to crawl through
  • Keywords: keywords relevant to your business to be crawled and catalogues by search engines (separate keywords with commas)
  • Navigation Label: set a different title/label for the navigation menu on your site
    • For example, yoursite.com/about-us can be changed to yoursite.com/abouttheteam
  • Canonical URL: helps prevent duplicate content from being indexed
    • If someone tries to copy the information you have on your website to theirs, search engines will recognize you as the primary owner of the content!
  • The first toggle option will allow search engines to index your site and display it in search results (we recommend always having it on!)
  • The second toggle option will allow search engines to follow links and index them as well (we recommend always having it on as well!)

4. Select Publish and you are finished!

Is there a new liveBooks feature that you are excited to learn more about? Let us know at social@livebooks.com.

 

Tuesdays Tip

With incredible visual appeal and ability to connect with large audiences, it is no surprise that Instagram has become a huge social media platform for photographers and creatives. While there is so much potential to reach your target audience, it does take a bit of planning and research on your end to make the most of your Instagram account. Believe it or not, by using a little bit of strategy, you will be able to take your profile from an account to share your day-to-day activities to a powerful business networking tool. Today, we are sharing our top tips for making the most of your Instagram profile:

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

  1. Post often, but quality over quantity:
    • It is important to provide your audience with regular content. Once you develop a regular posting schedule, stick to it. Chances are, your audience will get used to seeing your account in their feed and will start to look forward to interacting with your content. With that being said, each post should positively contribute to your personal branding goals. Sometimes it is easy to post just to post, but ensure that each photo’s mood, content and quality will sequence seamlessly with the image next to it in your profile, while allowing your audience to get to know you and your business a little better.
  2. Find your style and stick to it: 
    • Some people love landscapes, and some people love portrait photography. Some people are interested in a behind the scenes look at your daily life, and other’s want to see your perfect final images. It is up to you to decide who you want to reach, where you want to be in the future, and then go all in. It is great to vary the content in your feed, but consistency is key when it comes to voice and styling, The most important piece of the puzzle, however, is to make sure that you are staying true to your own personal voice and style. Your clients are coming to your social media to learn more about YOU and YOUR work. In the end, people that are interested in the content you are producing will follow and interact with your profile. Find your personal style and use this to guide your content and online image while connecting with your ideal audience.
  3. Use hashtags, but make them specific:
    • Hashtags are a great way to connect you with professionals in your industry as well as potential clients. Beware though, hashtags are also a great way to connect you with spammers. Keep hashtags specific to your location, the content of the image, and your industry to drive up interaction with your target audience. While it feels great to have a large number of followers, you want to make sure that the right people are following you. I will let you determine who the right followers are for your account, but it is our hope that you are able to connect with people that are genuinely interested interested in the content that you are producing (and could, hopefully, turn into potential clients!).
  4. Genuinely network with other professionals in your industry:
    • How good does it feel when you receive a compliment or comment on an image? Pretty good, right? Stay connected with professionals in your industry by commenting and interacting with their Instagram profiles too. Most importantly, make sure your comments and interactions are genuine, thoughtful, and productive. Instead of posting a generic: “Great image!” comment, let the poster know exactly what it is you love about their post or profile. Taking an extra second to generate genuine feedback has the potential to translate into deeper connections and a larger following base overtime. Keep in mind, however, that each user’s Instagram post is essentially a public platform, despite any security settings that are in play. Make sure you are conveying your personal brand image at all times. You never know who may be following them!
  5. Make sure your client (and potential clients) know how to find you online: 
    • Know that once you have gained followers, they may want to interact with you in every way! That means that when they visit your website, they will want to check out your social media outlets as well. With the new liveBooks 8 platform, you are able to create a bridge between your website and your social media accounts. Inserting custom social media icons into your website’s footer or navigation is a great start. Read this blog post to learn how to integrate social media icons into your website’s footer. Also don’t forget: you can also add your website link to your Instagram profile. This will help lead your Instagram followers into potential clients!

Are you on Instagram? We want to feature you! If you have an image that you are interested in having us share, send us an email at social@livebooks.com.

April 22nd, 2016

Spring Cleaning for Your Website

Posted by liveBooks

Spring is officially here – the time of year where we can start putting away our winter coats and boots and get excited for warm weather, sunshine, and being outside. Spring is also the time of year that allows us to take inventory of the old, polish it up, sweep it out, and dust it off. This same concept of “spring cleaning”  should apply to your business as well – and most importantly your website. When was the last time you really did an overhaul of your site? If it’s been awhile, now is the perfect time and we’ve compiled a list of things to focus on first to get you started!

spring cleaning

Content Clean Up

Make a conscious effort to do a truly comprehensive content clean up. This can range from something as simple as going through your portfolios and galleries and deleting older photos, adding new work, or moving images around, to actually digging in to your analytics and seeing which pages get the least amount of traffic and editing from there. Website design trends are moving toward cleaner, simplistic, and clutter-free – so really evaluate whether each page of your website is absolutely necessary and providing value to your audience.

Update Your Events Page

One of the things we see all too often is event pages that are far outdated – even by a few years. Take the opportunity to make sure your website is updated with your upcoming workshops, speaking engagements, photo expeditions, or any other important events you’re partaking in. Nothing looks more unprofessional than inaccurate information on your website – plus, this will be a great way to promote the events you care about and hopefully garner more attendees.

events

Be Intentional About Calls to Action

One thing we’ve often noticed that’s missing from photography websites are clear calls to action. While most of the focus should be on your imagery, you also want to make sure you’re telling your audience what you want them to do. Whether that’s booking you for a job, project, ad campaign, or even buying prints, tell them what you’d like them to do and make it easy for them to do it. Have your contact information readily available in multiple locations on your website so that anywhere they look, they can contact you.

Check Your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be something you focus on all year ’round, but if it’s not your strong suit definitely take the opportunity now to pay extra attention. If your goal is to increase traffic to your website (which we think it should be!) then make sure your keywords, tags, descriptions, titles, and content on your website are working for you. If you’re not ranking as high with search engines as you’d like, it might be time to overhaul your old SEO tactics and start fresh.

Web design

Update Your Website Design

We know that completely changing your website design is a huge undertaking – but small, subtle changes can be made to create a fresh new look without all the stress of a total re-design. Switch up the images on your homepage. Change the names/titles of your portfolios. Add a new page – such as a blog – to your website. All of these changes will keep your website up to date, as well as give returning clients new things to look at and explore.

What “spring cleaning” are you conducting on your website? We’d love to know!

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