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smartphone photos, better photos with your phone

Take Professional Looking Photos On Your Phone

How Do You Take Professional-looking Photos From Your Smartphone?

Anyone with a smartphone has the potential to take fantastic photos, right from their phones. Smartphone technology has quickly developed into an all-in-one compact computer equipped with cameras exceeding some professional gear like Cannon and Nikon. Here are 5 easy tips for getting professional quality photos from your phone.

1. Gridlines

camera phone photography, gridlines, better phone pictures
Gridlines are like a blueprint for balancing out the photo. Gridlines are a series of lines that divide the shot into 9 sections. Don’t worry, your photos won’t end up with lines through them. The photo doesn’t capture the gridlines, they are simply a guide that shows up on the screen as you take your picture. When taking a photo, use the gridlines to take a straight photo, center it or balance the focus.

How do I get the gridlines on an iPhone:

To turn on the Camera gridlines, open Settings and scroll down and Tap on Photos & Camera. Then scroll down to Grid. Tap the toggle for on and off.

How do I get the gridlines on an Android:

Open the camera, Tap Settings (gear cog icon) in the upper right corner and scroll down to Grid lines. Tap to toggle on and off. *According to Softwares using Android 9.0 Pie*

2. Clean Your Lens

A clean and clear lens can make a huge difference when taking a photo on your phone. Many people forget to clean them but your fingers tend to touch the lens a lot especially if your phone has the finger scanner on the back, like mine. If your phone is in a protective case like OtterBox, you will get a cleaner image if you take your phone out of the case for the shot as well.

3. Get Different Angles

It’s all in perspective with photography. Try taking photos low to the ground while focusing on the background. Most camera phones will focus on the items you want by tapping on it. This will create a foreground, middle, and background so your viewer doesn’t get stuck on one single point of view in the photo. Always take multiple pictures, in case the phone shakes and you get a blurry picture.

baby in grass, perspective photography, camera phone pics
rally subaru, foreground photography, smartphone pictures

4. Using Filters & HDR

You can get a great photo without using filters or HDR mode, but that can depend on lighting. Light is how photos are created so keeping in mind lighting when taking a photo. Be careful of shadows, light beams, and reflective surfaces. If the lighting is low or creating dark shadows, try moving around or create more light. After you take the photo, you can always add a filter later. If you take a photo with a filter, the filter cannot be removed and you’ll be stuck with it.

5. Keep It Simple

sunset palm tree, camera phone pictures, sail boat hawaii
Professional phone photos tend to look best if they are clean and simple. Take time to stage your photo by removing anything from the frame and background to keep it clutter free. If the photo is set up well at the time of the photo, photoshop time can seriously decrease. You can always crop your images to get rid of unwanted, excess areas.

There you go! 5 easy steps to help improve your photos taken on your phones to get a professional feel. Use them on social media, website, or print!  Customers want to see real photos of your business, products or community presences.

Need help with Social Media? We can help with that. Contact us Contact Us for Social Media Pricing.
web design, websites, business websites

Do I Really Need a Website?

Yes, you do. Many small business owners report they simply lack the time, skills and money to build a website. While some businesses say they don’t need one. The fact is, you need a website if you plan to have a successful business in the future.

Your company’s website can be an effective marketing tool that can also be cost-efficient. Let’s take a look at the benefits.

Available 24/7

The best part about a website is they are always available and ready to serve your customers. Whether its relaying information, collecting leads or sell a product. It will be there when you are closed.

Creates Exposure

People search for services and products before they get to the “buying stage”. If you don’t have a website, you essentially don’t exist because you won’t show up in their search. Statistics show a website can increase your business’s revenue by 25% just by exposing your services and products to more people. That’s a huge chunk of customers you’re ignoring.

Want to dip into that 25% of customers you’re missing out on? Let’s build your first website!

Builds Trust

Building trust with new clients can be difficult. Having a website can verify your business and give reassurance that you are who you say you are. 64% of customers will not use a business if they cant research them first online.

Get Found on Google

In addition to getting a website, its best to incorporate SEO. Search Engine Optimization sets your website up to be found on Google. People who search for relevant keywords, services you offer, or products you sell are more likely to find you with SEO.

Sell your Products & Services

If you sell a product, share it with the world. There are unlimited opportunities to increase your revenue from an online store.  79% of U.S. consumers shop online or their phones according to Pew Research. That’s 8 out of 10 people who can’t see your products.

Services are fairly the same, the only difference is the viewer hasn’t given you the money yet. Though many consumers will research service in their area 3 times before making a decision, don’t be taken out of the running because you don’t have a website.

Convenient for your Customer

You may want your customers to call you. Facts are 67% of consumers prefer email or text than talking on the phone. Having a website can funnel customers to communicate with you whenever it’s convenient for them.

 

seo tips, learn seo, seo company

Tips & Secrets for SEO

Online Marketing is crucial to any type of business, big or small. If you are a fortune 500 company or a local dentist trying to get new patients, online marketing can take your company to a whole new level. Though there are many Types of Online Marketing, we will be focusing on SEO Tips, Search Engine Optimization.

Since every company is different, these tips for SEO may not work exactly for your business. For a complete evaluation of your company and how to improve your SEO, we offer Free SEO Evaluations.

Learn SEO – M.A.D.A.M.S.

Since there is so much involved in SEO, we will stick it to some of the basic. These SEO secrets can provide a great foundation for any starting website.

Metadata – Page Titles & Descriptions

Metadata is the text search engines use to index your page. Like categorizing a page about Poodle into the Dogs category. This is the place you can put relevant keywords targeting your page in order to be found in search. Titles are the most important element in the metadata. Metadata Titles influence the most when Google Indexes your website. Descriptions are supporting text to the page titles. It’s best to place some keywords here but make it readable so viewer know more clearly the subject of the page.

Architecture – Website Structure

Everything from your code to your content is crawled by search engines. Google looks at your website structure to determine what things are important and less important. Navigation hierarchy is a great example. Have a page listing in the top navigation indicates to Google it’s important to your website topic. Now if you had a page buried in sub navigations where people are less likely to find it, Google may take that as a less important page. Another great example of the proper structure is organization. Countless times I find website have these issues where rogue pages are out of place making it difficult for people to find them or even transition to other relative topics on your website. Which leads us into our next section, Creating a fluid User Experience.

Design – User Experience

Google takes User Experience seriously. From navigating the website to color contrast, Google crawls every bit of code and text on your website. When a website is not Mobile Friendly, more likely people are going to leave the website. On average, 46% of the population search using their phones. When they click on a site that does not display properly, chances are they will leave the site entirely. Every website has its own goal either gain leads, sell a product or educate. When building a website keep this in mind to serve your target audience better.

Need Help Building a Website? We build websites tailored for you. Your success is our success! Contact Us Today

Authority – Link building – Directories – Business Listing

Building authority for a website is not easy. The best way is to encourage Google to trust your website. Here’s how…

Directories are great since they act as another venue to discover a business through search. Though in many cases, the information can be inconsistent. Making sure the information is correct will help Google trust the information it finds on the web. Link building is much like building friendships. Creating a referral to the website in order to increase traffic and authority. Lastly, and the most important… Google Business Listing. If the business doesn’t have one, hasn’t claimed or verified it then they are already losing customers. Zero-clicks means people find the business before even entering the website, most times through a Knowledge Graph. We can help you create, optimize, claim & verify your business listing. Contact us about SEO Services.

Make it your own – Content – Relevant – Unique

In the SEO world, content is gold. Always create content that is written for your audience and is relevant. If the business is not able to provide content in their own words, SEO content writing is available.

Copying content from the internet or Web Design Marketing Agencies who use the same content for all their clients can seriously hurt a business’s website.

Site Speed – Loading

A fast loading website is a productive website. 56% of all online traffic is done through mobile phones. Which is why Google decided in 2018 to crawl mobile-friendly websites as ranking factors before the desktop version. Here is why site speed is important. 53% of mobile users abandoned a site if the mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. Every one-second delay in site load time can decrease conversions by 12%.  Making sure the websites mobile load time is 3 seconds or less to prevent losing customer.

Hiring an SEO Company

Though you may feel confident to do SEO on your own, these are only a few tips in best practice SEO. Unfortunately, there is no “cookie cutter” way to SEO as every business is different and has different needs. When hiring an SEO Specialist or SEO Company makes sure the goals are realistic. I see countless companies promise “Rank 1 guarantee” when realistically there is no guarantee with SEO.

 

 

 

Searching online, SEO, Santa Rosa SEO

Why is SEO Important in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa, CA to some may be on the smaller size for a city, but it’s actually fairly large in competition.

When researching a cities competitive nature, a few things go into the equation:

  • Population
  • Competition
  • Consumer Behavior

Population

With a large Population, the reach is much larger.  Imagine talking to an audience of over 100k people, without a microphone. The first few rows might be able to hear but anything beyond that probably won’t. Having a website without SEO in a larger city is like not having that microphone. You’ll reach some but will fall short after a certain point. Get SEO on your website to expand that reach.

Competition

Competition plays a factor since other business may offer the same services. Competition helps drive consumers to do research about products or services before purchasing and discover you online.

Don’t get stuck behind. We offer SEO Packages that can fit your business’s needs. Get SEO and back in the competition.

Consumer Behavior

Lastly Consumer Behavior can be a large reason to get SEO. Statistics show consumers do research 3 times before they make a final purchase. This means a company can be searched for multiple times in order to close a sale. Where do people search? Google. What influences Google Search Ranking? SEO.

The Facts About Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa has a population of 175k people with 56% white, 30% Hispanic and the rest make of Asian, Black and mixed. This is your local reach in Santa Rosa. Building a marketing strategy that caters to this demographics is ideal since these are your potential customers. Demographic research is a huge part in Local SEO for Businesses in Santa Rosa. Find out how well you rank in your local market with a SEO Audit. It’s Free.

secure website, HTTPS, get your website secure

Is Your Website Secure?

As we launch ourselves into the 21st century with high-speed internet, mobile web searching and tablet browsing. Have you ever thought that the information you enter on a website could be compromised? Online security has become a huge priority within the last couple years for websites that collect data, requires a password, conduct purchases or have private information that some may want to keep confidential. Build trust with a secure website and give your customers the peace of mind to purchase, browse and submit their information without the worry it will be shared.

How Do I Make My Website Secure?

A secure website is marked with HTTPS at the beginning of the url. Chrome has launched a new update this July to alert visitors if the website they’re visiting is secure or “Not Secure”. This can be scary for people looking to make a purchase on a website as identity theft is a real thing. To get HTTPS, you will need to contact your website hosting provider and get a SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and encrypts information passed through the internet like transmitting passwords, credit cards or other personal information to and from your website’s server.

What Is HTTPS?

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.

How Does HTTPS Impact My Business?

Chrome dominates 59% of the market share of GlobalStats which leads into a recent consumer survey saying 82% would leave a website if it was not secure according the HubSpot Research. This means 8 out of 10 people would leave your website because it wasn’t secure. Another way SSL impacts your business is Google has announced SSL is now a ranking factor in Google Search.

website services, secure your website, websites for business

 

Do you need help getting your website secure? Get website services to secure your website and protect your customers information. Contact us about getting your website protected.

How to get more Google Reviews

Google has pretty much dominated the online search category, but how important are the reviews left on Google?

Extremely important! Google likes to use it’s own products to help in how well your business shows up in search. A great example would be Google Maps Listings.

5 helpful tips on increasing Google Reviews

Ask for them: Ask and you shall receive, well sometimes. There is no shame in asking a happy customer to leave a review on Google.

Scan a QR code: Have a QR code created to go directly to your Google Review Page. Google requires a gmail account in order to leave a review. Great thing about android users is they have to create a gmail account in order to use apps. With android taking up 46% of the market, this is an easy way to get those users to leave a review.

Link it on your website: Create a link to your Google Review Page from your website.

Don’t have a website? Laced Media can help. Get a web design quote

Email: Email blasting still exists so collecting customers information is still important. Follow-up emails, new products or newsletter. Don’t forget to ask in the email leave a review and provide a link to your Google Reviews Page makes it easy to do since a lot of people check their emails from their phones.

Don’t forget friends and family: Asking your friends and family to leave a review is ok in the eyes of Google. Fake accounts can be detected and Google will know if they are fake and deem them as spam.

Google reviews tie into your Google Business Listings which show in organic search. Local business listing need optimization to be visible in search. Contact us to see how we can get your business visible.

mobile page speed, slow loading website

Page Speed, Waiting to Load

Have you ever sat staring at your phone waiting for a website to load? Clicking the refresh button, toggling your Wifi to get a better connection. Don’t worry, it’s not you… it’s them. On average, a user will look at their phone a total of 4 hours a day! The way people use their phones now have seriously changed within the past 10 years and is the vessel of obtaining information.

So Why Does Having a Fast Website Matter?

Users tend to be impatient in a world of instant gratification. Web pages that take longer than 6 seconds to load are prone to loss their audience. 1 to 3 seconds could lose 30%, 3 to 5 seconds may lose 95%.

70% of phone connections will be at 3G or slower thru 2020 (information provided by thinkwithgoogle.com)

How Slow is My Website

Check your website for Desktop and Mobile PageSpeed: Google PageSpeed Tool

If your website is producing some low numbers, you may consider a website redesign. LacedMedia offers many types of packages that are affordable and specific to your business goal.

frustrated man over a computer, yelp doesnt show reviews

Yelp’s Algorithm & Why Your Reviews Don’t Show

One of the biggest consumer review platform online is filtering your reviews. Yelp developed its own algorithm in hopes to filter out fake or spam reviews in order to publish a more reliable customer review source. Unfortunately, some of those positive “legit” reviews are being filtered out as well.

Why Does Yelp Filter Reviews?

Yelp tries to filter reviews that it thinks are likely to be fake or spam. These could be reviews Yelp thinks are malicious, inside influenced, an individual who has never visited the business, or a competitors attempting to damage the businesses reputation. Yelp will filter out reviews good and bad based on some of these factors:

  • Reviewer with no photos, profile info or profile picture
  • Lack of details in the review
  • Reviewer with only 1 review
  • Reviews from an account consisting of all 1 star or 5 stars
  • Frequency of reviews

Consumer Reviews are highly important to any business and can heavily influence a potential customer to choose you, or look elsewhere.

How Do I Get My Yelp Reviews to Show?

A few recommendations you can try to help get those customer reviews to show on your Yelp listing:

  • Click the buttons: Cool, Useful or Funny for the 5 star reviews – normally located at the bottom of the review
  • Add the reviewer as a friend
  • Send a message to the reviewer
  • Respond to the review – I always recommend replying to your reviews, especially the harmful 1 star reviews

Interacting with the reviews and the Reviewers tell Yelp these are “legit” and hopefully sway them to start showing. You’ll want to focus on the 5 star reviews to interact with since this encourages the visibility. The more people to do this, the better. The customer can also increase the power of their opinion as well with the suggestions below.

How to Show Yelp My Reviews are Legitimate

As a consumer, I would want my review I spent time writing to show. Here are a few recommendations to share with your customers to beat the Yelp Filter:

  • Write more reviews ( a lot more)
  • Fill out your profile and add photos
  • Connect with other members on Yelp
  • Write more details in your review
  • Leave “Tips” for the business your reviewing too
  • Become apart of Yelp Elite

Though doing these will never guarantee your reviews will show but it’s a step in the write (pun intended) direction!

Google Search, SEO santa rosa

Why Googling yourself is BAD

Many companies will Google themselves to see where they stand in organic search. The major problem is it does not create a reliable judgment on how well your customers see you in their searches.

How does Google Search work?

Google’s has refined their search results in such a way that it uses data you never thought it would. The goal for Google search is to deliver an answer to a questions or provide the best possible result to a search. So, Google will use information it has collected over time and include it in any of the future searches. Keywords Googled, phrases, or even websites visited.

What is Google’s Algorithm?

Google algorithms is a computer programming that is set to deliver information in a very complex and specific way. Google’s search engine returns millions of results for you to choose from but how does it know what to list and what order to list it in? An algorithm.

Google search has an extremely complex algorithm. Its purpose is to index (record and categorize) the world wide web. There are a lot of variables that go into how Google will return a search results list. Google is very hush hush on their algorithm though sometimes someone spills the beans and
here are a few examples of what may impact page rank in the results for certain keywords:

  • MetaData, Descriptions, Headings and Titles
  • Previous searches and relative keywords
  • A well structured website with link building
  • GeoLocation in reference to what is searched
  • and endless more factors…

Tips

When Googling yourself, try using a Private Window or Incognito. This will eliminate some factors Google will typically use in search to make the results more relevant. Though this is not an indefinite way to see how you truly show for your potential customers but it’s closer to what they may see when Googling services you offer.

Need SEO on your website? Contact us for a free SEO Audit