Girl sitting in front of laptop contemplating what to post on social media

Not Sure What to Post on Social Media? Here are 8 Social Media Content Ideas...

Not Sure What to Post on Social Media? Here are 8 Social Media Content Ideas...

Let’s face it, social media has most likely become a vital part of your overall inbound marketing strategy. With social media usage growing 356% in the past six years, it’s no surprise that most companies are spending a lot more time using social media to reach their desired target market. So the question isn’t whether or not social media is important for your marketing strategy, the question is how do I come up with and post content that will engage my audience?

In this article, I’ll share with you 8 social media content ideas, so that you won’t be left scratching your head when it comes time to post.

1. Address and solve a problem.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, in today’s world, if you have a problem of any sorts, most likely the first place you go to to find a solution is the Internet. With that in mind, consider what kind of challenges or problems your potential clients may face on a daily basis and suggest solutions to those problems.

2. Post relevant content with daily hashtags.

Daily hashtags are a great way to connect to your community and customers, however, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to reach customers, both old and new. While general daily hashtags can boost your Instagram and Twitter posts and improve your reach, learning which daily hashtags are more relevant to your business can help get your brand in front of the right people. Below is a list of of daily hashtags organized by day of the week. As you will notice, some are quite general, while others are more specific, geared more towards certain types of businesses.

Monday: #MotivationMonday, #MusicMonday, #MondayBlues, #MondayMemories, #MarketingMonday, #MindfulMonday

Tuesday: #TuesdayTip, #TriviaTuesday, #TuesdayTreat, #TechTuesday, #TravelTuesday

Wednesday: #WackyWednesday, #WednesdayWisdom, #WayBackWednesday

Thursday: #ThrowbackThursday, #ThursdayThoughts, #ThankfulThursday

Friday: #FollowFriday, #FridayFun, #FlashbackFriday, #FeelGoodFriday

Saturday: #SocialSaturday, #SaturdaySwag, #SmallBusinessSaturday, #ShoutoutSaturday

Sunday: #SundayFunday, #SundaySelfie, #StartupSunday, #SpotlightSunday

3. Celebrate funny and unusual holidays.

Did you know that January 11th is “Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day”, or that October 1st is “International Coffee Day”?

Believe it or not, every single day of the year boasts at least one unusual holiday, also known as a “micro holiday”, that your audience has most likely never heard of. Days of the Year is a great website for discovering some of these funny and unusual holidays; however, keep in mind that any content you post on social media using one of these holidays should still be relevant to your business and brand.

Screeenshot of Days Of The Year website

4. Share relevant industry news.

Sharing news, articles and stories relevant to your industry is a great way of connecting with your audience. Besides offering your audience information and reading material that they may find useful, even if it is someone else’s content, it shows that you are informed and remain up-to-date on industry news.

5. Take your audience behind-the-scenes.

Mobile screenshot of SMD Arquitectes work behind-the-scenesBehind-the-scenes posts are great for building relationships and trust with your followers. They give clients an intimate experience of your brand, which tends to humanize your company.

Is your business a bakery? Give your customers a sneak peak of you preparing the ingredients used to make the bread you sell or the cakes you display in the shop windows. Are you an architect? Post a photo of a client’s home while it is still in construction. It doesn’t matter if everything isn’t perfect, if piping is showing or if the walls are still bare with no paint – these posts and images show people that you love what you do. In the image we see how Barcelona-based SMD Arquitectes uses Instagram to give its audience behind-the-scenes views of their clients’ renovations in progress.

6. Shine a spotlight on your customers and supporters.

Make your customers and supporters feel appreciated for doing business with you and take the opportunity to promote them in the process. They will love you for it and make them feel even more connected and valued by you and your business.

Is one of your valued customers also a small business owner? Take the opportunity to thank them for working with you or shopping in your store, while discreetly promoting their business in the process, possibly adding a link to their social media profile. In this way, not only are you strengthening your relationship with them as clients, but ideally, you are also capturing the attention of their followers.

An idea could be to dedicate Fridays to customer appreciation. Simply add a #FollowFriday hashtag to the post thanking them and including a link to their username (or handle as it is called).

7. Share your blog posts, old and new.

If your website has a blog, then you have loads of content at your disposal. Share a link to your latest blog post, or re-post the link to an older blog post. When sharing blog posts it is advisable to include a short and snappy introduction in order to entice readers to click on and share your post.

8. Share testimonials and positive feedback.

Third party reviews are by far the most powerful endorsement of your products and services, and there’s nothing wrong with sharing this positive feedback and testimonials for others to see. Share these reviews directly on your social media profiles (shortening them if they are quite long) and adding a link to your website’s testimonials page if you have one.

8 Tips for Climbing the Ranks of Google

Let’s face it, you’re not the only one that wants their website at the top of Google search results. Every single one of your competitors would love that top spot on the first page just as much as you do. The thing is, reaching that top spot takes a lot of work and dedication, a lot more than simply having a “good-looking” website. You can have the most attractive, most beautiful website in the world, but if you show up on page 20 or 30 of Google search results, it’s very unlikely your target market will ever even see your website.

I have put together eight tips that will help you climb the rankings of Google and develop your online authority. Now, keep in mind there are tons of books, tutorials, videos and entire companies dedicated to improving online traffic and search engine rankings, so I’m obviously just scratching the surface with these eight tips; however, they are a great starting point and will definitely set you on the right path to getting closer to the top of Google’s search results.

Tip #1
Determine the keywords you want to compete for.

One of the most crucial parts of any marketing campaign or SEO strategy is determining the best keywords to reach your target market. A common mistake some make is focusing on keywords that are too broad, many times destroying your marketing campaign or SEO strategy before it even starts. There are several problems with focusing on keywords that are two broad. First of all, broad keywords can get very expensive, very quick, especially if they are the same keywords targeted by large companies, some of which have marketing budgets in the tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The more you narrow down your keywords, the better. Include local elements and more specific terms and services in order to focus on your target audience. For example, instead of going after ‘website’, or even ‘graphic design’, I work for ‘web design Barcelona’.

Hint: Before starting a new campaign I usually ask myself three things – who is my target audience, where are they located, and what do I think they be searching for on Google? This helps narrow down my keyword in order to target the audience I am after.

Tip #2
Optimize your website.

After determining which focus keywords you would like to compete for, it is now time to begin implementing these keywords into your website. These optimization elements help Google understand what each page is about. These are the elements you should optimize:

  • Page title – It is highly recommended that you use the primary keyword at least once in the page’s title, and then again in the text, as close as possible to the title.
  • Meta description – According to representatives from Google (and Bing), the meta description does not affect the search engine ranking algorithms, but it does show up in the search results under the title and url of the page, so it is part of what searchers consider when deciding whether or not to click on your website link.
  • H1 & H2 titles – The titles help break up the content and let Google what each section on a page is all about.
  • Image Alt attributes – This helps Google know what your image is about, and also offers an opportunity for your image to show up in image search results.
  • Keyword in content – Using the keyword throughout the content of the page helps Google know what the page is about, in turn increasing your search engine ranking score for the page. If possible, preferably if used in a statement or a phrase, it is also good to highlight the keyword by making bold.

Hint: Implement your focus keywords naturally and make sure to not over load your page. As Google’s algorithms continue to get smarter and smarter, they will eventually notice your attempt to over load a page with focus keywords that are not correlated with what the content is about or what the image is showing (which may cause Google to penalize you by dropping your ranking score).

Tip #3
Focus on quality over quantity.

The quality of your website and its content is very important when trying to climb the ranks of Google. Make sure to write well-written articles that are original, unique and full of useful information, and trust me, Google will reward you for your efforts. Be sure your content includes lots of detail, and be authoritative and professional when you write, but don’t overdo it. Don’t attempt to fill your website with content and keywords simply to increase your ranking score because Google’s algorithms will see this and drop your website to a lower position in search results.

Relevancy is everything with Google. If you can prove to Google that your website is worthy to be on the first page of search results, Google will give you a boost and help you reach that first page, but the only way of doing that is to have a website that is full of good, quality material. Remember, when it comes to determining your position in search results, quality beats quantity.

Hare representing quantity, being beaten by a tortoise representing quality

Tip #4
Implement a blog.

For those of you that blog, you already know how good it is for your business and how much it increases your website’s traffic. For those of you that haven’t started blogging, or have merely thought about it but not considered it to be a priority, you should rethink the power of a blog and the benefits it can have for your website. According to a study by Rick Burnes at HubSpot, companies who blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses without blogs. The same study also shows that companies that blog, on average, have 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages, both of which greatly boost your search engine ranking score and greatly increase your chances of getting found on search engines. Think about it, every new blog post you publish counts as a new indexed page on your website and each one can be promoted and shared on social media to drive additional traffic to your site.

What do I write about? As I mentioned in a previous blog post titled Does My Small Business Really Need A Website?, most people nowadays turn to the Internet to find solutions to their problems. A solution to these problems is a great way to attract potential customers to your website. You can also write about the kinds of things your potential clients may be interested in learning about. The important thing is to not be overly promotional about your own products and services and to focus on the industry in general.

Tip #5
Pay attention to inbound links.

As I mentioned already, relevancy is important for climbing the ranks of Google, and a great way to boost the relevance of your website on search engines is via inbound links. Inbound links, also known as backlinks, are created when other websites link back to your website in order to support content on their website. Obtaining links from other credible and authoritative business sites within your industry can really boost the relevance of your website on search engines.

Hint: Inbound links are another case of quality over quantity. Spend your time getting higher quality links, not simply more links. Target the sites you want to earn links from, contact their webmaster or marketing department with a link to an article which they may find useful and kindly ask them to add a backlink to your website.

Tip #6
Generate traffic to your website via social media.

It is still unclear how much inbound traffic from social networking sites affects your ranking, but still, social media is a great way to promote your site. A great deal of your traffic comes from social networks, so be sure to make your content “social friendly” – add images and give your content engaging titles, with the goal of your followers liking, commenting and sharing your articles to their followers.

Tip #7
Update the website regularly.

Google uses very high-tech programs to scan the Internet for the websites. These programs are referred to as web crawlers and they “index” sites based on a number of algorithmic factors determined by Google.

A site may be indexed based on a combination of incoming links to the site, focus keywords, and many other factors, including how often the site is updated. Every time you update your website, Google takes notice and re-arranges your site’s ranking. By keeping your website updated with new material, new content, new images, Google will reassess your website’s position on its index and reposition your website in search results.

Tip #8
Be patient.

Patience will be a huge part of your online success. Even after you apply all of the tips provided above, the results will take time to show. How much time? Unfortunately, the answer to that question can be rather “unsatisfying” for most since it’s hard to say. Keep in mind there is no magic formula for ranking a website on Google, making it impossible to determine exactly how long it will take your website to get to the first pages. For new websites, organic traffic from Google searches can take three to six months to kick in, while established websites that have been around longer will most likely see faster results, usually in one or two months. Search engines have a lot of data to sift through and it takes time for them to realize that you deserve a spot at the top of their rankings. As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The important thing is to be patient and to consider SEO as an investment, not a cost, because the results will take time to show.

15 Useful Tools & Websites For Web Designers

Like any profession, there are tools and resources available to make your life as web designer easier. The more useful and time-saving your tools, the more time you can focus on important tasks such as coding and designing. As for me personally, any tools I come across that help me do my job quicker, better and more efficiently,  I certainly save and refer back to. Here is a collection of 15 useful online tools and websites for web designers that I frequently use.

Adobe Color Wheel

Have a color you know you will be using in your web design project, maybe a color in the logo, but don’t know where to go from there in regards to creating the perfect color scheme for your project? Then Adobe Color CC is exactly the tool you are looking for. Adobe Color CC allows you to create and save various color schemes. Simply plugin a hex color code (for example, #0babc4) and then choose whether you would like the color scheme to be analogous, monochromatic, complementary, compound, etc etc. Extremely easy and useful.

Firebug website

Firebug is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox browser and an incredibly useful tool that allows you to debug and inspect HTML, CSS and Javascript. This tool is a must-have for anyone working in web development.

Screenshot of What's My Browser Size website

As straightforward as it sounds, this Web app shows you the current size of your browser window. This can be useful in designing responsive websites.

Screenshot of Hailpixel Color Dot website
Screenshot of Hailpixel Color Dot website with color setting options

Color by Hailpixel is the perfect tool for finding and exploring color combinations and color tones. Simply hover your mouse across your screen in order to see and admire the never-ending variations of colors. As soon as you come across the color you like, click on it and continue searching for the next color. The app provides you with all the hex color codes you selected, which is very convenient.

Screenshot of Brusheezy website

Brusheezy is the go-to place for Photoshop resources. There you will find an infinite array of Photoshop brushes, patterns, textures, PSDs and much much more – basically anything and everything Photoshop-related. All of the resources on Brusheezy are free to download and, depending on the license, free to use in your projects.

Screenshot of Google Fonts website

There are many font websites on the Web, but most of them you need to pay for the rights to use the fonts for commercial use. The wonderful thing about Google Fonts is that their entire catalog of fonts is free and open source, accessible to anyone for any project, both personal and commercial.

Screenshot of Unsplash website

Unsplash offers free high-resolution stock images that you can use in your web design projects. What’s great is that all the photos on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, meaning you can copy, modify, distribute and use them for free (including for commercial purposes), without having to ask permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.

Screenshot of Pixabay website

Like Unsplash, Pixabay is another great website and resource for free-to-use stock imagery for your web design projects.

Screenshot of Iconfinder website

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Iconfinder works with a community of local and international icon designers. They are continuously expanding and adding to their very large collection of icons available for download. Some of their icons are free to use without permission, others are free to use with attribution to the author, and others are for sale, but for very reasonable prices (usually $1 or $2).

Screenshot of website is very convenient for it allows to you create a favicon from scratch using their online app, or by uploading an image of your own and transforming it into a favicon. Compared to other favicon generators, I find to be one of the best for the simple fact that it’s easy to use and the quality of the favicon is high (and not super-grainy like the favicons created by other favicon generators on the Web).

Screenshot of Fontsquirrel website

Did you find an image with a beautiful font, but can’t figure out which font it is? Simply upload the image to Font Squirrel’s Font Identifier and their app will tell you the name of the font. Very easy and convenient.

Screenshot of Freepik website

Freepik is a great source for illustrations and graphic design. I have personally used to it to create very beautiful and detailed infographics. What’s great about Freepik is that the content can be used in both personal and commercial projects (with a link to Freepik).

LastPass Website

Remembering your own passwords is difficult enough, try remembering the passwords of all your clients’ websites. Mission impossible! For this I use a free app called LastPass. It is a password management tool that makes it very easy to save and manage your passwords. What’s great is that LastPass is cloud-based, so you can log in and a retrieve your passwords from wherever, whenever.

Screenshot of Awwwards websites

Need a little inspiration for your next project? Awwwards is a showcase of award-winning websites from the around the world. You can browse websites by award won (nominees, sites of the years, etc), by category (architecture, blog, ecommerce, fashion, etc), by color, and even by country.

Screenshot of Dribbble website

Another great source for inspiration, Dribbble is a community of designers that share with each other, other fellow designers, what they are working on. The community consists of web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, logo designers, icon artists, typographers, and other creatives which share screenshots of whatever project(s) they’re working on, making it a great destination for attaining new ideas for your projects.

Buildings in Barcelona from street perspective

Why I Decided to Move to Barcelona

Ten months ago, almost to the day, I found myself at LAX airport in Los Angeles boarding a flight to Barcelona. Two entire years had passed since I had seen my family, the longest period in my life thus far. There are a few reasons I decided to move back to Europe, one of the main reasons being to be closer to my family, which is all based in Italy. Traveling within Europe is relativity easy and inexpensive, so visiting my family in Italy at least a few times a year would be possible from most locations in Europe. For this reason, the question wasn’t whether or not I wanted to move back to Europe – the question was, where in Europe did I want to move to?

One of the great perks of working as a freelance web designer is the fact that I can work from anywhere – as long as I have Internet access, I can work. So I began evaluating several cities, some of which I had lived in before, others I had visited with friends in the past, and others I had merely read about or seen photos of.

After two years of living in San Diego, the southernmost city on California’s coast and, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in the United States, I wanted to continue living in a city by the beach. After six and a half years of living in Rome, I also wanted it to be a city rich in history and art. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of walking down the cobblestone streets of Rome, surrounded by buildings and ruins dating back hundreds, even thousands of years – complete bliss! A few years before moving to California I also lived in London (for about eight months), and like London, I wanted to live in a city that was (for the most part) clean and organized, with a great transit system. However, climate was also a top priority for me, so, unlike London, I wanted it to be a city with lots of sun and nice weather year-round. Being from Sicily, and after two years in San Diego, I didn’t want to return to live in a cold and rainy city like London. I have always been drawn to warmer climates and, let’s face it, the warmth of the sun seems to put people in a better mood. When all of my criteria was considered, critiqued and analyzed, everything seemed to point to one city – beautiful and sunny Barcelona, Spain.

So, while on a trip to Brazil visiting friends, I booked my flight from Los Angeles to Barcelona, and ten months after making the move I can openly say it was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made.

The more I live here, the more I fall in love with this city.

Part II – Top 10 Reasons I Love Living in Barcelona… Coming Soon

Follow me on Instagram to get a glimpse of my everyday life in Barcelona.

Barista waiting for customers to walk into his small business coffee shop

Does My Small Business Really Need a Website?

“Does my small business really need a website?” That is a question many small business owners often ask themselves, and quite frankly, it’s understandable why they would ask that. For many of these small business owners, the only expenditures they deem to be “necessary” are the ones needed to run the business. For them, a website seems unnecessary and a luxury they can afford to live without. Some even believe simply having a social media page is all the online presence they need, or that an ad in the local newspaper with their phone number is enough to get customers in the door. Well, that may have been true in the past, but in today’s modern world, a business website is like the new business card – a must-have for any business – and don’t think you need to offer ecommerce to have one. A website providing searchers with information about your business and what you can do for them is much more valuable than you can imagine.


Reason #1
A website builds credibility.

Have you ever searched for a business online and came up empty-handed? Not showing up in search engines (or on the Internet at all for that matter) can make some potential customers a little skeptical of your business. Is it a real business? It is a scam? Are they so small of a startup that they can’t even afford to have a website? These are some of the questions that first come to mind to consumers when search engines come up with zero results – all things you don’t want people thinking about your business! Having a website will most certainly add credibility to your business simply for being present online, it’s a simple as that. A well-structured, well-designed website shows potential customers that you are the real deal, and that you are ready to do business.

Reason #2
A website is an anchor for your marketing.

Before placing an ad in the local newspaper, or start printing advertising material, you need a website in order to give potential customers a place to attain additional information about you and your business. Whether they are online ads, or stationery marketing materials such as flyers and business cards, or even word-of-mouth referrals, a website will act as an anchor for the advertising you do, online and offline. All of your marketing efforts become much easier to handle when driving existing and potential customers to one place, your website.

Reason #3
A website provides a medium on which to showcase your work.

A website offers you the possibility to showcase to both regular customers and potential customers the products and services you offer. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate to customers what makes your business unique. Think of your website as an online brochure that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – always viewable, even when your store or office is closed.

Reason #4
A website allows you to quickly and easily update customers.

What is great about a website is that you can update the information instantaneously. Are you planning on running a big sale? Simply update your website and let your customers know. Did you recently complete a project and you would like to showcase it on your website? Update your portfolio and, voilà, it’s now on display for everyone to see. Below I have attached a screenshot of the Mango website to illustrate how they use their website as a tool to inform customers of a big sale.

Reason #5
A website helps you connect with new customers.

Let’s face it, in today’s world, if you have a problem of any sorts, most likely the first place you go to to find a solution is the Internet. With a professional website and good SEO (search engine optimization), you will show up in search engine results and position your business as a solution for customers’ needs. This will expose your business to new customers looking for solutions to their problems. Furthermore, even if your business is a physical brick and mortar store, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them your products and services. This can be done by making your professional website an online store (ecommerce) where they can make purchases directly on your website, or by simply providing these customers useful information that will convince them to come to your store to buy whatever it is they need to solve their problem.

Reason #6
A website has big benefits for local businesses.

An argument many small business owners make is that websites are needed only by national companies and worldwide corporations. That is false and very much a common misconception. In fact, the complete opposite is true – having a website is a great way to connect with locals. According to a new study by The Kelsey Group and ConStat,

“70 percent of U.S. households now use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services.”

Another advantage for local businesses is the fact that search engines often rank results based on location. In other words, if you’re looking for “clothing store near me,” Google won’t offer you some big, name-brand clothing store in London (unless of course you live in London). In a study done by The Google Mobile Playbook, 51% of mobile local searches resulted in a store visit, so it is pretty clear, an online presence has big benefits for small business who deal locally. An online presence will also give you a huge advantage over a local competitor without a website.

Reason #7
Not having a website was acceptable in the 90’s.

You may know the hit song by Calvin Harris, Acceptable in the 80’s. Well, modify the lyrics a bit and you’ve got…

  It was acceptable in the 90’s 
♫  It was acceptable at the time 

That is exactly how many people feel about businesses that still don’t have websites today in the 21st century. Let’s face it, if back in the mid or late-1990’s, when the Internet was still in its early stages, someone would have asked me, “Do I really need a website for my small business?”, most likely my answer would have been, “Not really.” Fast-forward to the mid-2000’s, when the Internet was beginning to take off, my answer to that same question probably would have been something like “Yes, a website would be good to have, but I wouldn’t say it’s “necessary””. Fast-forward to today and the answer to that same question is, “Yes! You most certainly need a website! Absolutely!” (for all the reasons I mentioned above). In today’s world, people expect businesses to have their own websites.

Benefits and Best Practices of a Multilingual Website

Benefits and Best Practices
of a Multilingual Website

The Internet encompasses the entire globe, it’s true. However, not everyone speaks and understands the same language. In fact, nowadays we have become so diverse that it is not uncommon to find countries with more than one official language.

In the United States, for example, English is the official national language, but a large portion of the population speaks Spanish. Depending on what part of Canada you’re in, the people will speak English, French, or both. In Switzerland, people speak German, French or Italian, depending on where they live (within the same relatively small country). Hong Kong recognizes both English and Cantonese as official languages, and many of its residents speak both. These are just a few examples of how two or more languages can be prevalent within one country. In fact, nowadays, it’s quite rare to come across a country where several languages aren’t accepted or spoken. So why not take advantage of this well-known fact in order to expand your potential client base to a larger group of people? A multilingual website will certainly help you attract new clients, both locally and overseas.

Benefits of a Multilingual Website

People prefer to browse websites – for obtaining information or for buying goods and services – that are in their native language. English may be the universal language, but that doesn’t mean everyone understands it. Research shows that 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language and that 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. Yes, you heard that right, over half of the consumers surveyed said they are willing to pay more if the information is in their own native language.

A multilingual website helps build trust. For many, making online purchases from a website in a foreign language requires a significant leap of faith, especially if the website is written in a language the user is not totally proficient in. People tend to feel more comfortable with and place more trust in brands that offer information in their language. Being able to read and comprehend what is written on the website greatly increases a user’s trust in the website. Plus, the fact you have gone out of your way to cater to their native language proves to them you are customer focused and truly do care.

A multilingual website offers the potential for increased sales. Every language you add to your website has the potential for dramatically increasing your sales. Besides targeting your local market, having a multilingual website will attract Internet users from other countries as well. While Internet penetration in countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Germany have nearly reached saturation, other countries such as Italy, France, Japan and many others are seeing a constant growth in Internet use, including online shopping. This is a tremendous opportunity for anyone interested in doing business overseas.

Multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In most of the Western world, search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing reign supreme. However, there are countries that have their very own native language search engines, and there’s no way for them to see and index your website unless it’s in their local language. With a multilingual website with multilingual SEO, your website will show up on their search engines, gaining you access to a whole new market.

Another benefit of having a multilingual website is the fact that your website will appear in Google search results in different languages, not just one.

A multilingual website will give you an edge over your competitors. There are many websites on the Internet, but not many that feature content in more than one language. A website in multiple languages will make yours stand out in a crowd and more likely for users to remember, more so than your competitors’ websites.

Best Practices for a Multilingual Website

Feature one language per page. Having content in more than one language on a single web page can be confusing for users and should be avoided. Instead, create separate pages for each language.

Enable users to easily toggle between languages. Provide clearly labeled links between different language content pages so that your users can make their own decision about which language they prefer. Users on this website, for example, can go back and forth between the English and Spanish pages without having to go through the home page.

Don’t change the URL between two different language pages – simply add a snippet to differentiate the pages. An example of this is…

As you can see, I didn’t translate “about” to “sobre mi” or something else. Instead I left the URL /about, and added es/.

Hire a competent translator to translate your website. Although Google, Bing and other websites will allow you to easily translate your website content into other languages, nothing beats a real person making sure there aren’t any grammatical mistakes (which look very unprofessional when present) or in the way something is worded – a phrase may make sense in one language, and when translated word-for-word, not make sense in another language.

What Are The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Other Social Media Sites?

What Are The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Other Social Media Sites?

In recent years, social media has become an integral part of our lives we share photos and videos of day-to-day activities, we tweet our personal thoughts and opinions, we pin inspiring images to our virtual pin boards, and we Instagram anything and everything around us. But what if you’re not using social media for personal use, but using it to promote a business?

Using social media for ecommerce is different than using social media for personal use. Social media for personal use is simply a way for you to connect with friends, old and new, a way to express personal ideas and opinions and a way to get inspired with the help of the images and videos of those you follow. On the other hand, social media for ecommerce is all about finding a way to capture the attention of your target audience. It is important that the content you share is engaging, but it is also important to know when your social media target audience is active.

So, when are the best times to post on social media?

The answer to that question will depend on a few variables including which social media platform you’re using, the demographics of your target audience (age, location, etc) and your content objectives (clicks versus shares).

After doing some research and gathering data from various sources, including Fast Company, CoSchedule, QuickSprout and HubSpot, I used the information to create this blog post. Think of the information below as a general guideline of the best and worst times to post on social media.

Facebook is a social media network that is frequently used both at home and at work, and accessed from both mobile devices and desktops. People tend to frequently get on Facebook on weekdays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., with 3 p.m. tending to be the very best time. Weekend mornings  and evenings, before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. tend to be the worst times to post on Facebook, for the simple fact, most people probably have better things to do during those hours.

clock-1-4BEST TIME
Thursdays & Fridays
1:00-4:00 p.m.
clock-12-1Saturdays & Sundays
12:00-1:00 p.m.


clock-3-4PEAK TIME
3:00-4:00 p.m.


clock-before-8WORST TIME
Before 8:00 a.m.
After 8:00 p.m.

Twitter logo with turquoise blue background

Twitter tends to be a very popular during breaks and commutes. Naturally, the best times to post on Twitter are when most people are on their lunch breaks, so from 12 p.m. to about 3 p.m., and then again at 5 p.m., when most people are getting off work and are going to be stuck in traffic on their way home.  Twitter is not very popular in the weekday evenings, so from 8 p.m and on, and not very popular on weekends either. Already on Fridays, from 3 p.m. and on, Twitter use drops and stays low for most of the weekend.

clock-12-3BEST TIME
12:00-3:00 p.m.
5:00-6:00 p.m.


clock-5-6PEAK TIME
5:00 p.m.


clock-after-8WORST TIME
After 8 p.m.
After 3 p.m.

Instagram logo with purple background

Instagram was designed principally for use on mobile devices. For this reason the best and worst times to post on Instagram are not as clear as they are for other social media networks, since most people tend to keep their mobile devices on them and use the Instagram app throughout most of the day. Research shows that Instagram engagement stays consistent throughout most of the week, with a slight advantage weekdays between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and a slight disadvantage weekdays between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

clock-8-9BEST TIME
8:00-9:00 a.m.


clock-3-4WORST TIME
3:00-4:00 p.m.

Linkedin logo with blue background

LinkedIn is a social media network used by professionals. Engagement from its users tends to be highest during the workweek just before the workday starts, and just after it ends, with the exception of Friday after work when most people are winding down their workweek and not necessarily interested on what’s going on on LinkedIn. The worst times to post on LinkedIn is at night, from about 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. when, even if awake at those hours, people tend to use other social media networks not involving work.

clock-12BEST TIME
Tuesdays → Thursdays
12:00 p.m.
clock-5-6Tuesdays → Thursdays
5:00 – 6:00


clock-5-6PEAK TIME
Tuesdays → Thursdays
5:00 – 6:00


clock-10-6WORST TIME
10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.

Pinterest is a very visually stimulating social media platform. Whether it be searching for new travel destinations, learning new and delicious recipes or shopping for new clothes, Pinterest is a great way to relax and pass the time. For this reason, it tends to be very popular on weekday evenings, so after 8 p.m., and also on weekends, especially Saturday mornings. The worst time to pin images on Pinterest is on weekdays during normal working hours, with the possible exception of lunchtime, when some will take a break from stress at work and browse photos of things that interest them.

clock-after-8BEST TIME
After 8:00 p.m.


clock-9-11PEAK TIME
9:00-11:00 a.m.


clock-9-5WORST TIME
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Google+ logo with orange-red background

Google+ users are early birds and tend to check-in first thing in the morning. They continue to use the social media network till about 11 a.m.; however, posting very early in the morning, before 8 a.m., is probably the worst time to post. Remember, with Google+, late mornings are good, early mornings are bad.

clock-9-11BEST TIME
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


clock-9PEAK TIME
9:00 a.m.


clock-before-8WORST TIME
Before 8 a.m.

28 Cleverly Funny & Creative 404 Error Pages

Whether you’re new to the web or an avid user that’s been using the Internet for years, at some point we’ve all stumbled upon one of those annoying 404 error pages!

A 404 error page is used to alert visitors that the page they were trying to find either no longer exists, never existed in the first place, or, what happens frequently, they mistyped or misspelled the URL.

Running into 404 error pages can be quite frustrating and a not-so-pleasant experience for visitors; however, transforming your boring and unpleasant 404 error page into something exciting and funny can sometimes make the difference between a visitor deciding to remain on your website, or not. Finding a creative 404 error page is almost like discovering a hidden gem, a treasure, something not everyone knows about, even if it is a website that is visited by many on a daily basis.

I have gathered what are, in my opinion, some of the funniest and most clever 404 error pages on the Internet today. Hopefully seeing these creative and unique 404 error pages will inspire you to create your very own bespoke 404 page!

Bluegg’s 404 page is annoying, yet so incredibly hilarious! The page features an embedded video of a goat screaming at the top of its lungs (sounding very much like a human’s voice), alerting you that the page you’re looking for doesn’t exist. Guaranteed you’ll watch it over and over again! Ahhhhhhhh!

South West Trains recently released a new website, and on their 404 page they cleverly placed a series of train tracks that spell out the number 404. Every few seconds the little train rolls on and off the page – very cool! All aboard!

Even with an entire family of wild ferrets looking for your site, it’s still nowhere to be found. Very creative, and very amusing video to watch.

For their 404 page, the designers at Mailchimp decided to transform the company’s cute, little chimpanzee into a big, green gorilla-type monster rising up from a marshy swamp, complete with animated smoke, in order to indicate you’ve reached a page that doesn’t exist. Very cool, creative and amusing 404 error page.

Simple yet creative and interactive, link shortening service uses their 404 page to inform people that their shortened urls include 4-6 characters and that they only include letters and numbers, as well as offering people that land on the page a little made-up creature to play with as it bobs up and down every time you click on it with your mouse.

I personally don’t know much about tennis, but I do know who Novak Djokovic is, and also that he has a great sense of humor. There are many videos of him joking with and imitating other tennis players, dressing up in funny costumes, dancing on the tennis court and one very nice and funny video that really says a lot about his personality, a video of him sharing the bench with the umbrella boy (video below). Knowing that he has such a great sense of humor, even before searching for it, I was more than certain his 404 error page wouldn’t be your normal error page and that it would include something funny – and, lo and behold, I was right!

One thing to notice about his 404 error page is that he makes it very easy for visitors to get back to his site, by placing links on the 404 error page itself. Smart.

Talk about an ingenious way to get your visitors to stay on your website, the 404 error page on the CoolFarm features a 1980’s-style video game! It does offer those that reached the page to either check out the contacts or head back home, but in the meantime, anyone with a little free time on their hands, will stay at least for one game (or two).

Hilariously over-dramatic, the 404 error page at Tinsanity features a cup with bloodshot eyes running across the screen and screaming – obviously poking fun at the fact that it’s not that big a deal to run into the 404 error page. What makes it even funnier is the intense and melodramatic music playing while all this is happening!

On their 404 error page, Cloud Sigma playfully introduces us to one of their team members  – a cute cat busy coding while staring at a computer screen. Very effective 404 error page for the simple fact it’s guaranteed to make you smile.

This 404 page is certainly one of the most creative on our list. It is beautifully animated, with sound and all, set in a deserted subway station with an empty train that rolls in, opens its doors, then closes them and rolls out. Daniel Karcher also uses the opportunity to showcase his portfolio of video work. Very smart.

Behind all the aesthetics there is always coding. This coding commonly remains hidden from viewers visiting your page; that is, till something breaks, and the code becomes visible. Well, for their 404 page, the guys at CSS Tricks have cleverly made it obvious something’s wrong by placing a ficticious hole in the middle of a blank white page, revealing the code behind it. Very ingenious.

Clean and aesthetically beautiful design by Blizzard Entertainment with their 404 page, which uses broken glass as a metaphor for a broken link. What I also find entertaining is the fact they blame you for breaking the link – Grats. You broke it. I like this because it makes the website a bit more personable, as though it’s a friend blaming you for breaking something.

The 404 error page on the Cooklet website is simple and delightfully charming.
You’re too late, there’s no food left!

No one wants to be standing on a small planet with an asteroid headed straight for it, the same way no one wants to end up on one of those aggravating 404 error pages!
Abort mission! Abort mission!

15. Tilt

You’ve reached a page that doesn’t exist and the Tilt Gorilla isn’t too happy about that – in fact, there’s a video of him going bananas over it! Check it out.

You must lost – but don’t worry, Margaret gets lost too. What a great 404 error page for American comedian Margaret Cho. It fits her sense of humor, her personality and her comedy perfectly!

Videotron uses its 404 error page to remind us that unicorns are fictional and that they do not exist, just like the page you were trying to reach. Thanks for reminding us Videotron!

Have you ever seen a polar bear wearing a big gold chain necklace while skateboarding? Well, if you haven’t, the 404 error page on the website offers you a glimpse of what that would look like, while reassuring you that they’re working on fixing the broken page you ran into. Wonderfully funny and random.

The 404 error page on the Good Dog Design is beautifully connected to the name of the company and its logo. It also cleverly features the company’s phone number, both in the US and in Australia, in case you decide to contact Good Dog Design to inquire about their services (or their black and white Border Collie)! Clever design (and idea).

On the Whitespark 404 error page, they graciously give you the option of deciding the fate of one of their employees. His fate and his future within the company lies in your hands – will you have him fired, or not?

21. Lego

Simple, cute and effective, even with no text – Lego uses humor, imagery and one of its most iconic characters, the little Lego man, to show viewers they’ve reached a page that doesn’t exist. You don’t always need words to say something, and Lego proves it with their ingenious 404 page.

The movie National Lampoon’s Vacation featured a guy named Lasky (John Candy), which was the Guard at Walleyworld, which stopped the family from entering the theme park because it was closed – much like the page you were looking for on the Centresource website. is a Russian site with a rather amusing 404 error page. They used the standard 404 error message, but in Russian, and added the image of a crying baby in a diaper leaning onto a computer tower. See what you did now? You went to a page that doesn’t exist, and made the baby cry!

Snow!? Well, you obviously ended up somewhere else other than Florida if that’s what you’re seeing. Smart and cool concept.

Similar to the Lego page, Hoppermagic’s reason for the page being broken is a fictional one – that reason being, rabbits nibbling on cables.

Like many things in life, sometimes the things we love simply break – including websites! That is the message HubSpot is conveying to us on their 404 error page, but hey, not to worry, most things that break can be fixed.

Your Internet is full, so you must drain it (obviously!)

Last but no least is the 404 error page of this website! Running into a 404 error page usually brings about a feeling of “being lost” and “what do I do now?” For the Inzone Design Studio 404 page I illustrated this feeling in the portrayal of someone lost, standing in the middle of a barren desert landscape – but don’t worry, there is a way out!

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

The Ultimate Battle: Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

The Ultimate Battle:
Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

Most businesses, both small and large, have a strong interest in attaining new customers, boosting sales and increasing leads. One of the most effective ways to accomplish those goals is to maximize visibility with online advertising. In the following post, we will face off the two biggest online marketing channels, Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads, and find out which one wins the battle as the supreme PPC (pay-per-click) advertising option for your business.

Google was the first search engine to incorporate PPC, cleverly taking advantage of its immense clientele base of individuals searching for information on their search engine. Advertising is a huge part of Google’s continued success and profitability, accounting for over 90% of its revenue in any given year.

Facebook, on the other hand, being a younger company and a different type of company, may not have as many active users as Google, but it most certainly has a lot of its users’ information. Facebook knows what we like, what we don’t like, where we live, who our friends are (and what they like), our relationship status, and many more details about each one of us that uses their social media platform. Facebook certainly knows a lot about its users, which is perfect for advertising products and/or services to those that would be most interested in them.

So the question is – where do I spend my advertising budget? Let’s compare these two online advertising giants side-by-side and see who comes out on top.

Round 1 | Reach

Google has an immense audience. It now handles 40,000 search queries every second! That translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. There’s no other search engine that even comes close to those numbers! Consider that every single one of those searches is someone looking for a product, a service, a photo, the answer to a question or some kind of information – so yes, the marketing potential is huge! In the United States alone, Google controls over 67.6% of the search market and through their Google Display Network, which is a collection of websites owned by Google (such as Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, Youtube and many others), you can reach 92% of all Internet users in the U.S. That is beyond astonishing.

It is most certainly impossible to reach all Google users, but with the use of keywords in Google Adwords  (Google’s online advertising service) and SEO, targeting your audience becomes much easier.

Facebook has over 1.71 billion users worldwide, and 1.31 billion of those users visit Facebook on a daily basis. In 2012 alone, 1 in 5 page views in the United States occurred on Facebook – that is an extraordinary percentage! Furthermore, as I mentioned previously, Facebook has a lot of information about its users (geographical location, interests, likes, dislikes, and many more details) giving it a massive marketing advantage over Google.

Round 2 | Targeting


Here’s how you can target your ads on Google:

Keyword targeting is pretty straightforward and is available both on Google search itself, as well as on partner sites that use Adsense. Keyword targeting involves choosing words or phrases relevant to your product or service so that your ads appear when customers search those terms.

Location targeting allows you to make your ads visible on queries coming from certain geographical locations – such as a country, a region, a city, even a postcode or a congressional district – wherever your customers are located. For example, you can decide to display an ad only to users in the United States, Germany and Japan. You can also exclude certain areas. An example of this would be setting up a global ad and forcing it to exclude Asia entirely.

Language targeting allows you to include or exclude certain languages from queries. Each country or region will have their default language. In the United States, the default language is English, but you can choose to have Google Adwords include Spanish or French queries, or any other language – whatever language most of your customers speak. An example would be, say you’re living in Italy (making the default search language Italian), but you’re only trying to target Americans living in Italy. You could then assign Italy as the location, but use English as your query language, while excluding Italian.

With device targeting you can limit your ads to only appear on certain devices – PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets, or a combination of any of them. You can also specify which devices to display ads on based on the location and time of day. For example, you can decide to target ads at PCs on weekdays during normal working hours, and smartphones and tablets during weekends and weekday evenings.

Audience targeting allows you to determine who to show your ads, with several options to choose from. One option is to target people that have visited your site before, thus creating a remarketing campaign. Another option is to target affinity audiences, which are users that have shown an interest in the type of products or services you are offering. The third option is to target users that could be interested in your product or service based on their general interests. For example, if you have a business selling fishing poles, you could target your ads to users with an interest in fishing boats.

Contextual targeting is available only on sites that use Adsense and are partnered with Google. Contextual targeting is not available for Google searches. In essence, in order to better target potential clients, you can place ads on sites that cover particular topics, such as travel, or fashion, or cars, or science – any topic that would interest your target audience. You can usually find these ads in headers, footers and sidebars, but also in other places that can be seen by viewers.

Similar to contextual targeting, topic targeting allows you to target various topics at once, instead of limiting you to only one topic. It allows you to reach a broad range of pages that focus on the topics chosen.

Placement targeting allows you to decide precisely which websites, apps and videos you would like to display your ads on. Since the location of the ads is chosen entirely by you, unlike contextual targeting and topic targeting, placement targeting doesn’t require keywords.


Here’s how you can target your ads on Facebook:

Location targeting allows you to reach customers in the areas where they live or where they do business. You can target your ads by country, city, region, county, postcode, or even specific areas around your business.

Targeting by demographics allows you to choose the audience for your ads based on their age, gender, interests and even languages spoken.

Targeting an audience based on their interests is a great way to advertise your product or service. If they are interested in your type of business, they are most likely to take action and click on your ad. You can choose from hundreds of categories such as music, movies, games, sports, shopping, fashion, and many more.

Behaviors are the activities people take part in online, both on and off Facebook. This may include purchase behaviours, shopping interests, travel preferences and many other activities. By analyzing a person’s activity on Facebook as well as their online activity off Facebook, you can target people that have shown interest in the product or service you are offering. Third-party partners provide the offline activity information to Facebook.

Custom Audience
Custom audience targeting uses information you already have to target different audiences. You can target these audiences in a few different ways. The first way is to target current customers by uploading a contact list of people you’d like to reach. The second way is to target people who are similar to your customers. This “lookalike audience” (as it is referred to) is generated from your Facebook page fans, customer lists and website visitors. The third way is to remarket to people on Facebook who’ve already visited your website.

Targeting Conclusion

Comparing the options for Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, you may have noticed some differences in the methods they offer to target customers. Google Adwords is more textual and based on an immediate need, while Facebook Ads is more visual and more closely connected to a person’s interests, not necessarily an immediate need. I will explain this a little more in detail in the conclusion of the post.

Round 3 | Cost

The average CPC (cost per click) for Google Adwords is between $1 and $2, while on Google Display Network the average is under $1. Being that Google Adwords is based on an auction system, highly competitive keywords with lifetime value customers, such as insurance, can cost up to $50 per click (or more). For this reason, the cost of running a online marketing campaign on Google can vary considerably.

The average CPC (cost per click) for Facebook Ads is between 25 cents and 30 cents (so considerably less than Google Adwords); however, this cost per click can also vary drastically depending on many factors, especially on which country you are in. For some countries, the average CPC can be up to 20 times higher than it is in others.

In my opinion, it isn’t very wise to determine whether to choose Facebook Ads or Google Adwords solely based on cost, because there are so many variables that affect each one – competitiveness of the keyword chosen, the geographical location, the quality of the ad, so on and so forth. The cost of Google Adwords may be higher at first, but the results (and the sales) are usually immediate since you are targeting people that are specifically looking for your product or service. Using Facebook for your online marketing will certainly cost less, but most of the people that will click on your ad aren’t necessarily looking for your product or service, when they click on it. A cat lover may click on your Facebook ad showing personalized kitty collars, and may even “like” your page, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re looking to buy one in that moment. On the other hand, someone that purposefully goes on Google and searches for online pet stores selling personalized kitty collars, is most likely looking to buy one in that moment, or in the very near future.

And the winner is...

After comparing these two online marketing giants, you may still be wondering, which one should I spend my marketing budget on? There are pros and cons to both, so the real question you should be asking yourself is, what is your goal or expected outcome for your ads?

The main difference between Google Adwords and Facebook Ads is search intent. When someone searches on Google, they are usually looking for something, whether it be the answer to a question, a solution to a problem or a specific product or service. On the other hand, Facebook Ads are shown to people based on their interests, so they’re not necessarily looking for something, but the fact that you are offering a product or service they may be interested could lead to future sales and brand loyalty. Google Adwords is about increasing immediate sales and revenue, while Facebook Ads is more about increasing brand awareness, lead generation and long-term traffic growth. Google Adwords is more short-term, while Facebook Ads is more long term. For this reason, they are both winners.

The 6 Principles of Design

Good design begins with a clear understanding of the basics. The six principles of design are guidelines for putting together elements in a way to create effective communication, through graphic design. The way in which these principles are applied affects the expressive content and the message of the work. It’s quite rare to see only one principle being used at a time, however, you do not necessarily need to use all six principles on one page – even the use of one helps in creating good design.


Balance is the visual weight distribution of objects, colors and space in your design. Keep in mind that it isn't necessary for a design to be symmetrical in order to be considered balanced, an asymmetrical design can also be balanced. For example, with symmetrical balance you would have one element on one side and the same element on the other side. Instead, with asymmetrical balance you could have a large element on one side and several smaller elements on the other side. The balance of the design is achieved entirely by the placement of the elements within that design.

Principles of design example of balance


Contrast in design is an accentuation of the differences between elements. Applying contrast to a design allows you to emphasize or highlight key elements. Although contrast is usually applied using opposite colors, contrast is in fact a juxtaposition of various elements of design, so even differences in textures (rough vs. smooth), shapes (large vs. small) and lines (thick vs. thin), just to name a few, also create contrast. The difference between the elements is what creates the visual interest.

Below are a few examples of how contrast can be applied to a design:

Principles of design examples of contrast


Proximity is the relationship of how objects fit together in a composition. The main purpose of proximity is to group related elements together in order to organize your design. By placing two or more elements in close proximity to one another, you are grouping them together as one cohesive group, instead of scattered and unrelated objects. This also greatly helps in creating focal points for viewers.

As shown in the illustration below, on the left, we see how individual objects that are scattered and have no relation to one another tend to create confusing and chaotic designs with no focal points. On the other hand, on the right, we see how, when placed in close proximity to one another, these exact same objects create organized, clean designs that create very distinct shapes.

Principles of design example of proximity


Repetition strengthens a design by repeating elements throughout the entire piece. It is a conscious effort to unify all parts of a design. This can be a particular format, a color, a shape, a bold font, even a texture - by repeating the element throughout the design you are creating consistency and continuity.

An example of where repetition should most certainly be used is the business package. By repeating certain elements throughout all the pieces that make up a business package (business cards, envelopes, letterheads, etc) you are solidifying your brand image and creating consistency.

Principles of design example of repetition

White Space

White space is the absence of text and graphics between elements. It is also referred to as “negative space”. Although it is called “white space”, it doesn’t necessarily need to be white, it can be any color (black, blue, red, yellow, etc) - whatever the background color is. White space is important because it provides visual breathing room for the eye by making a page feel less cramped.

As pictured below (left), we see a beautiful ad that's very clean and appealing, created by simply using the least amount of graphics and text as possible.

White space, or "negative space", is also a great way to be creative in the design of graphics and logos. You can give the illusion of an object being there by simply showing its contour, or part of its contour. This is shown in the illustration below (right). By cutting out a piece of each of the three circles in the design, the contour of a triangle becomes visible.

Principles of design example of white space and negative space


Alignment is one of the most basic and important principles of design. It helps unify the elements on a page by creating a visual connection between them. Even if those elements aren’t in close proximity to one another, when aligned an invisible line is created (both in your eye and in your mind) which connects them. By establishing a visual connection with something else on the page, alignment tells readers that the two elements belong to the same piece; this, in turn, creates a sharper, more organized design.

Principles of design example of alignment