Google-work-for-you

Put Google To Work For Your Nonprofit With Google Ad Grants

Are the rumors really true? Google gives $10k a month in free advertising to eligible nonprofits just for asking?

Yes, it’s true. But are there limitations? Yes. How can you get your hands on this money and make the most of it? Read on.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first back up and explain a few key elements about Google’s generosity.

Ads: Click ’em or Skip ’em – Benefits of PPC

“Are pay-per-click ads beneficial?” This may be a question you have asked yourself many times when thinking about starting a PPC campaign.

Pay Per Click (PPC) ads are beneficial for businesses of all sizes. Paid search allows you to pay a fee to have your website be displayed on search result pages when someone types in a specific keyword or phrase to the search engine. You only pay when someone clicks.

You may not even recognize a pay-per-click ad when you see them in the search results. If you are a native to the web, you have certainly seen them. PPC ads can be found across the top of a search result page, as well as along the side.

Benefits of PPC

Here are some top reasons why PPC may be beneficial to your business.

Keep in mind, WebFX is a full-service marketing agency that provides services to clients across the country. So whether you need digital marketing services in Orlando or a marketing campaign in Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably already aware that there are a huge number of business benefits to being on Google+. It’s great for your position in Google’s results and to increase word-of-mouth. But have you heard of Google+ Hangouts?

This casually-named video conferencing feature is more than just a web-bound version of Skype. Host a video conference with up to nine other people (or 14 others if you activate “premium features”) or broadcast your conversation to the world. Use multiple cameras to capture your Hangout exactly how you imagined it. Screen share or pass documents back and forth. There’s even an API with which developers have built tools to use Hangouts in new ways.

Should Designers Join Pinterest?

A Crash Course on Pinterest

For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a form of social bookmarking service (specifically, an image social bookmarking site).

Pinterest home page

You find an image or video you like on the Internet, and then pin it to your account. So it’s basically an online version of a pin board.

Within your account, you can arrange your pins into separate boards. Your boards are your own categorization scheme for your pins. For example, you can organize your pins into boards like "Photography", "Infographics", "My Wedding Plan", and so on. You aren’t required organize your pins or create boards, but this is a key feature of the site.

People can follow your account or just your boards. You can also follow other Pinterest users and their boards.

With so many other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook demanding your attention, is it really worth it to carve extra time out of your day for Pinterest?

Yes! Here are 10 reasons why.

1. It’s a Great Source of Design Inspiration

When you’re stuck on a design project, you can browse Pinterest and look at what other people are designing and creating. You can just start pinning to generate ideas and concepts as you browse around the site.

For example, let’s say you’re stuck on the typesetting for a project. You can use Pinterest to find out what fonts your favorite designers have discovered recently. For instance, check out this "Free Fonts" board by Vladimir Prochazka.

Design Inspiration

Here’s an idea: You can use a Pinterest board as mood boards to develop your design ideas and concepts, or even as a presentation tool to show your clients.

2. Organize the Unorganizable

With Pinterest, you can create separate boards for different themes or ideas. Then when you come across something online that strikes your fancy, you can pin it to the appropriate board.

This saves you time later on because instead of having to sort through an entire browser history or bookmark list, you can simply go to the board for that subject and find the thing you need.

For example, you can create a board for Photoshop tutorials that you’ve found helpful, like this one by Julie Bode.

Pinterest Photoshop Tutorials

3. It’s a Good Source of Traffic for Your Site

Allowing people to pin your pages, blog posts, photos, etc., will help your design work reach more eyes.

Pinterest is social — people follow each other and are notified when someone they follow pins something. So, when someone pins or repins (the equivalent of retweets) your stuff, the people who follow that person will see it as well.

Let’s take as an example your online portfolio. Adding a Pinterest button for visitors of your portfolio can allow them to pin your design work for their social network to see.

If you’d like to integrate a Pinterest button on your site, they have a nifty widget builder tool for easily doing that.

Pinterest Widget Builder

4. It’s a Good Learning Tool

What do you want to learn about today? Do you remember when you used to be able to go to Yahoo! and simply choose a category of sites to surf through?

Those days are over for that search engine, but they’re alive and well on Pinterest.

Let’s say you’re very proficient in Photoshop but aren’t sure you want to pay the monthly subscription fee for the Creative Cloud subscription, so you decide to learn GIMP.

You can use Pinterest’s search to find the best Gimp tutorials.

Pinterest GIMP tutorials

5. You Can Promote Your Design Work Through It

In addition to being able to have links to your own sites and projects in your Pinterest account profile, you can set up boards that relate to those sites and projects.

One technique that has become quite popular is to create two specific boards.

One board is for your work that has been commissioned by other people, or things you design that you think your followers will find interesting.

The other board is for pages, posts, photos, etc., that mention or feature you and/or your work.

That way you promote yourself, you promote your clients, and you promote those who promote you!

Pinterest as a Design Portfolio

Here’s an idea: If you don’t have an online portfolio yet, you can consider creating a Pinterest board for pinning your design work on that you can show or link to clients. Though this isn’t what Pinterest is designed for — and there are plenty of free hosted online portfolio services out there that have specialized features for displaying your design work — it’s worth a ponder.

6. There’s a Real Sense of Community

In addition to creating your own boards on which to pin things to, you can also join group boards that allow pinning by multiple Pinterest users.

Pinterest Group board

Group boards help put you in touch with other people who are interested in the same things that you’re interested in.

It’s sort of like networking, but more fun. And with more rabbit holes to fall down into.

7. It’s Low Maintenance

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest has no messaging capability (yet). This means that you don’t have to check or worry about responding to messages from other people. You simply pin and re-pin, and that’s it!

8. You Can Sell Your Designs on Pinterest

According to a 2012 Social Shopping Survey, 59% of Pinterest users have purchased something they saw on the site. When compared to Facebook users, Pinterest users are almost 80% more likely to buy something that’s been pinned. This is particularly good news if you’re trying to sell design work (like posters and printed material) independently!

Pinterest vs. Facebook

9. It Isn’t Overrun by Social Media Marketers (Yet)

How often do sponsored posts turn up in your Facebook and Twitter feeds? This hasn’t started happening on Pinterest yet.

While people have started using this social platform to promote their wares, the number of marketers on there is still relatively low.

This means you can feel sure that someone is pinning something because they genuinely like it, not because they want you to buy it from them.

10. Everybody Else is Doing It

Normally this is not a good reason to do something — but when it comes to social media — it’s actually a very good reason.

Wrapping Up

I’m still figuring out my own Pinterest boards. I went crazy pinning social media badges there a while ago when I wanted to dress up my own blog a little bit.

And, of course, all of my friends talk incessantly about the great recipes they find through the site.

Exploring the system has been really fun and is definitely something you should think of doing as well.

30 Beautiful Dark Websites for Inspiration

1. Weyland Industries

Dark website example: Weyland Industries

2. Etch

Dark website example: Etch

3. Hexaedro

Dark website example: Hexaedro

4. Jack Daniel’s

Dark website example: Jack Daniel's

5. Ascensión Latorre

Dark website example: Ascensión Latorre

6. HYT

Dark website example: HYT

7. Rune Werner Molnes

Dark website example: Rune Werner Molnes

8. Holler

Dark website example: Holler

9. The NoMad Hotel

Dark website example: The NoMad Hotel

10. eyegix

Dark website example: eyegix

11. 76 Synthesizer

Dark website example: 76 Synthesizer

12. Diehl Group Architects

Dark website example: Diehl Group Architects

13. Julien Renvoye

Dark website example: Julien Renvoye

14. Dark Prayers

Dark website example: Dark Prayers

15. SpritePad

Dark website example: SpritePad

16. Welikesmall

Dark website example: Welikesmall

17. Legendary Entertainment

Dark website example: Legendary Entertainment

18. Ignition Creative

Dark website example: Ignition Creative

19. Creative9

Dark website example: Creative9

20. Formfett

Dark website example: Formfett

21. RED Interactive

Dark website example: RED Interactive

22. TAG Interativa

Dark website example: TAG Interativa

23. Nelson Cash

Dark website example: Nelson Cash

24. Jess & Russ

Dark website example: Jess & Russ

25. Mercedes-Benz

Dark website example: Mercedes-Benz

26. Rooftop Cinema

Dark website example: Rooftop Cinema

27. Vool

Dark website example: Vool

28. Ghost Games

Dark website example: Ghost Games

29. Plain

Dark website example: Plain

30. Planet Propaganda

Dark website example: Planet Propaganda

More Beautiful Dark Websites for Inspiration

Want to see more dark websites? Check these other showcases out:

30 Beautiful Landing Pages Optimized for Converting Visitors into Users

1. Code School

Code School

2. Stripe

19. Stripe

3. Gift Rocket

Gift Rocket

4. Instagrille

Instagrille

5. Tiny Letter

Tiny Letter

6. LightCMS

LightCMS

7. Path

5. Path

8. Square

Square

9. Treehouse

Treehouse

10. Shopify

Shopify

11. Mixpanel

Mix Panel

12. Rapportive

Rapportive

13. Rdio

dio

14. Simple

Simple

15. Tips and Trip

Tips and Trip

16. Trello

Trello

17. Clean My Mac

Clean My Mac

18. Yesware

Yesware

19. Wufoo

Wufoo

20. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

21. Daily Mile

Daily Mile

22. Noded

Noded

23. FreshBooks

FreshBooks

24. Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer

25. New Relic

New Relic

26. Odoro

Odoro

27. WePay

WePay

28. Huli Health

Huli Health

29. Mobile Web Book

Mobile Web Book

30. Fitocracy

Fitocracy

Resources on Optimizing Landing Pages

If you’re looking to improve the performance of your landing pages in terms of converting your site visitors into users, check out the articles listed below: