12 Essential Dynamic Site Guidelines

Here is a quick checklist to ensure your website meets a modern site's requirements.

  1. Conform to W3C and Accessibility Standards.
  2. Should be template and style driven (means site can be easily restyled if wanted in future).
  3. Should be Data-driven - that is have at the very least a method for capturing leads from a website (client database) but ideally should be a full blown relational database.
  4. Should have a good search facility.
  5. Have meaningful, well written text and ideally lots of it to help get indexed by the various search engines and directories in particular Google and provide the reason why a visitor will keep visiting (they might not buy or log their details with you on the first visit, so you need to provide a reason for them to return).
  6. A means to communicate with your existing and potential clients - newsletter or e-marketing.
  7. Should be modular to allow for expansion of the site without having to re-do the site.
  8. Should, if required, provide the client with the ability to update the content.
  9. Should fundamentally be well-designed with an intuitive user interface.
  10. Easy to use.
  11. Always have descriptions and keywords on EACH page of content.
  12. Always have site statistics enabled and/ or Google Analytics and tracking for email communications.

There are of course many other things which make a web site stand out but essentially it should be a powerful marketing tool - bringing business to your site whether it is new potential clients or to sell a product. If your site is NOT working for you (brochureware) then you are missing out.

Continue reading

Action & Danger of Analysis

One thing I’ve noticed about business owners over the years is how they fall into two camps: those who think this marketing thing is a good idea; and those who think this marketing thing is a good idea… and then actually DO something with it.

Many people spend so much time thinking about and analysing what they should and shouldn’t do, they replace “action” with analysis. You can get away with this in a normal economy. We can't get away with it now. We need to fight the recession with massive action. So here’s a foolproof system you can use to kick-start your marketing and avoid the analysis paralysis. Believe me, no matter how many good ideas you have swirling around inside your head, not one of them is worth a penny to you until you actually take action on it.

1. Make a list of your top 7 marketing ideas. These are the 7 different things you think have the best chance of working for you. Bear in mind you cannot possibly KNOW for sure until you test, so let go of any fear of “future” you might have. In marketing, there is no such thing as “future”. There is only a result. And this is why we test small- no more than 1000 mailed pieces to a list and only one run of an ad (and make it a small one), until we have some actual statistics on how it performs.

2. Start working on the first idea and stick with it until you’ve either completed it or you can go no further. Then move onto number 2. The trick here is not to get into the situation where you’re getting diminishing returns. The 80/20 rules apply here. For example, if you think it's going to take you 20 hours at the keyboard for your website, the truth is you’re going to have it roughly 80% right after the first 4 hours. The remaining 16 hours you work on it are largely a waste of time because they’re responsible for such a small return. So, decide how long you think it's going to take you, and then whatever you’ve got after, say, 25% of the time, you run with it. Get a kitchen timer, set it, and be strict with yourself.

3. Don’t waste time working out whether something will or will not work. When I used to do consulting work, I would sit around board tables with business owners and their managers and listen to hours of mass debate about whether a certain strategy I had recommended would work. I can assure you that many years on, some of these companies are still having the same discussion. Being great at marketing is not about trying to predict the future. It’s about testing new methods and finding what works best. And wealthy business owners know it’s also about finding out what does not work, so you can move on to the next approach.

4. Don’t do things one at a time if there are three new things you want to try to get more customers, do them all at the same time. It will triple your effectiveness because you’ll get the results so much faster. We’ve been conditioned to do things one at a time. That’s boring. Life’s too short.

So take action. Take massive action and do it all at the same time. That will make you so much more effective then the competition, it’s breathtaking

Continue reading

Adobe Acrobat Pro Bookmarks

Adobe Acrobat Pro has a whole host of short-cuts waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re wanting to add to the tools that are displayed as Quick Tools or using keyboard commands instead of mouse clicks, this tutorial covers some useful Acrobat Pro short-cuts available to you. In this tutorial we will cover the various options available to you for speeding up the process of adding bookmarks to your PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat Pro Version X onwards.

Adobe Acrobat Pro has a whole host of short-cuts waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re wanting to add to the tools that are displayed as Quick Tools or using keyboard commands instead of mouse clicks, this tutorial covers some useful Acrobat Pro short-cuts available to you. In this tutorial we will cover the various options available to you for speeding up the process of adding bookmarks to your PDF documents, using Adobe Acrobat Pro Version X onwards.

Options for Inserting a Single Bookmark

  1. Navigate to the page where you want to take readers to. Open up the bookmark pane in the PDF bookmark. Click on the new bookmark icon (blue flag with the yellow round symbol) and an untitled bookmark will appear.
  2. Another way of inserting a bookmark quickly is to you CTRL + B on Windows or CMD + B on a Mac.

Whether you choose to use the icon or the keyboard shortcut method is a matter of personal preference.

Inserting a Bookmark short cut tip:

If you are going to be inserting a bookmark in a number of different PDFs then why not use the following Inserting a Bookmark short cut tip to automate the process by adding the bookmark icon to your Quick Tools List, so it appears in your toolbar.
Click on the Customise Quick Tools Icon in your toolbar - the grey cog. Then click on the Content arrow in the lefthand pane (Choose Quick Tools to Add) to open up all the Content icons, then click on Add Bookmark and simply click the forward arrow symbol to transfer this to the Quick Tools to Show pane.

 Acrobat Pro - Adding a Bookmark to the Quick Tools bar

If you want to re-order where it appears in the tool bar use the up arrow to the right of the pane. Then press ok to save your changes. The blue flag symbol will now show alongside your other Quick Tools icons whenever you open up any PDF in Acrobat Pro. From now on, just click on this icon in your toolbar to automatically open up the Bookmarks pane and add a new untitled bookmark in one short step.

Options for Inserting a multiple bookmarks

When inserting multiple bookmarks, for each one you insert, it is essential to first navigate to the section of text you wish to bookmark otherwise any subsequent bookmark that you insert will simply take you to the same place on the page as the previous bookmark.

If you want to ensure that the next bookmark does not show any of the text from the previous bookmark, you will need to ensure that your article or section title is at the top of the page before you insert your new bookmark.

Acrobat Pro - Adding multiple bookmarks

Then simply follow one of the options outlined above for single bookmarks.

Multiple bookmarks - Short Cut Tip

You can speed up the process of inserting multiple bookmarks if you enable scrolling and then use the down arrow to jump to the next section heading or title that you want to bookmark. Then simply adjust the position of this by scrolling it to the top of the page.

Then follow one of the options outlined above for inserting single bookmarks.

Naming your new Bookmark

To name your new untitled bookmark, simply click on the bookmark and type in the name that you want. Depending on the document in question, this will usually be the same as the heading for that particular section or article title. However, it could be the name of a particular phrase or word that has been used, within say a paragraph of the document that you want your readers to be able to navigate to.

Naming your new Bookmark short cut tip:

If you have a particularly long bookmark title, rather than typing in the name of the bookmark, there are a number of options available to speed up the process.

You may choose to simply click into the text to activate the text cursor, then double click on the section or article title you want to copy and then paste this into a bookmark you have already created.

Acrobat Pro - Adding a single Bookmark

Alternatively, copy the text first and then click the bookmark icon in your Quick Tools tool bar and then paste the text into the new bookmark.

If clicking into the text does not activate the text cursor then you will have to select the Edit Document Text icon, then select the text you want and copy and paste it into the bookmark.

To help speed up the process further you will find it easier to add the Edit Document Text icon to your Quick Tools bar - just follow the Inserting a Bookmark short cut tip above but select this icon instead.

CGT offers a number of bespoke Adobe software training courses all designed to meet your business needs, so that you can get the most out of using their creative software. Thus saving you time and money. Contact us TODAY on 01732 833 004 for advice and to discuss your training requirements.

Continue reading

Why Use Video on Your Landing Pages?

We all know that content is king when it comes to both user engagement and search engine optimization. If a picture paints a thousand words, just think what the impact of a carefully considered digital video on your landing pages could be. Video is a valuable visual rich marketing tool for your landing pages that can engage visitors and help get you message across to potential customers.

Continue reading

About Us

Computer Graphics Training has been providing skills training, consultancy and design services to a diverse range of companies for over 25 years.