Friday, 23 September 2016

How to Embed a PowerPoint Presentation into a Web page or Blog

Recently, a client asked whether they could include a PowerPoint presentation to run within their website....

How easy this is for each application depends on your website or blog platform and whether you currently update your blog or website content. Below are the instructions for WordPress website pages or posts and Google Blogger. They are based on having a MicroSoft account and a One Drive account - it's easy to set them up and if you have Windows 10, you are probably already set up. The terminology we are using refers to a Windows-based computer with MicroSoft Office, rather than a Mac or iPad.

You can choose an existing PPT file or create a new one and copy, move or save it, as appropriate, to a OneDrive folder, in exactly the same way as you would store a file on your PC. The One Drive folders should be visible in the left column of Windows Explorer, as shown below.


Log into your Microsoft account and go to OneDrive in your browser. Tick the box in the upper-right corner of the file to select the file you want to embed. Click Embed on the top of the page, and then choose Generate.

click to enlarge image to make it readable

Copy and paste the resulting code into the HTML window of your website or blog... et voilĂ !

Please click through our test presentation, below.



Get in touch if you get stuck and we'll try to help (no charge, no obligation).



For more insights on how to engage with your readers, peruse our post about adding videos to your blog or website. The principle is similar, using third party media such as YouTube.

Further information: PowerPoint WebApp & SkyDrive-OneDrive / PowerPoint and Office 365-SharePoint

Friday, 9 September 2016

Don't Scoff! Social Media is now paramount in Business

For those who think Google has it all their own way in determining the rise and fall of a website's popularity, be aware that Social Media is giving it a good run for its money. Small Businesses that focus on Google alone would be well advised to pay more attention to at least two forms of social media. Depending on your product or service and potential client base, you need to determine the best media for you - Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google+ even Tumblr, Instagram or Pinterest. 


First of all, a warning about some of the statistics you are likely to see: they are often non-UK-specific. This matters a great deal if you are primarily a local business that rarely exports.

In the UK (as in the whole world) Facebook is the most widely used social media. Pfft! I hear you say - Facebook is just for chit-chat and sharing silly photos and videos. Consider, though, that we are not courting friends via our personal accounts, we are sharing insights and promoting products via our Facebook BUSINESS page. It's completely different! Good photos do work well though.

Facebook posts, when popular (i.e. liked and shared) often pop back into timelines a few times over the course of a couple of days. You can link a Facebook page to automatically link to a twitter page too, that's one less job to do.

Twitter is widely used by businesses and is more the equivalent of throw-away comments - send the same message several times, using different words if possible, several times a week. Add relevant hash-tags and occasional images. In between tweeting your own stuff, try to like and re-tweet other interesting content - this will usually encourage interaction from the account who posted the original (unless, of course, it's someone like 'the official account of the Duke of London' - is there one?).

A study of UK users of Facebook and Twitter revealed some interesting stats. Between 60%-70% claimed to follow accounts to keep up to date with the latest news from those accounts - and not to share nice pictures of their coffee and snacks!

One of our clients is getting far better results from advertising on Facebook for £10 per day than from advertising with Google Adwords for £30 per day. This may not last forever but it works for now.

Linked In is nowhere near as popular as FB or Twitter but it's definitely worth a try as you are likely to have a completely different set of followers.

The problem is that. unless you interact with your followers on any of these media, you will not know how to build on the benefits. Small business owners usually fall into three categories: they don't have time to spend on managing social media, they don't have the inclination, and 'other'. At The BPc, we can  definitely assist with the first two and may be able to help with the 'other' category. Ideally, we work with you rather than doing it all for you, so you still have to be slightly social but just with us!

We're not about mass tweets, we are about interaction; quality not quantity. If that sounds like the way you want to work, get in touch! You can comment on here or send a message via Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, 27 June 2016

How SEO has Attained Adulthood

Social networking
Hats off to Google!

Whilst I still believe the search-engine giants to be manipulative and to favour businesses who can afford to pay for advertising and high profile professional promotional services, this is just the way that business has always been done. Throughout history, money generates money, most of the time.

However, Google has taken a moral stand against some kinds of 'cheating' and has patiently trained website owners to work with them, rather than against them. To be fair on website owners, most of them are not bad, just naiive, and Google was a bit heavy-booted at first.

Still, we're on fairly stable ground now and SEO practices are, to some extent, standardised. In the world of small businesses (SMEs), this has been assisted in some part by the standardisation of website and e-commerce developer packages and their recommended themes and popular add-ons. For example, the use of WordPress to create a website with Yoast or similar plug-ins as basic SEO guides.
  • It is easier for website developers to create good quality, standardised - but unique - website for clients
  • It is easier for website owners/managers to maintain current data on their websites
  • it is easier to integrate Social Networking - the primary source of links to SME websites
With equal availability of low-cost tools and general knowledge, it is less easy to get an edge over competitors who have more muscle, even if you have a 'better' product or service.

SEO on a Budget

If you can't afford to get ahead, at least try to stay in the game. Whether you do it yourself or farm it out, there are certain practices you should follow.
  • Website page content should be full of interesting information for your potential clients/customers. For clarity (and SEO) use the product name rather than 'it' (but don't over-do it!) and try to write at least 300 words per page/topic. Include images (with alt-tags) where appropriate - it helps to make text more readable. Use keywords or phrases that your clients might use in their searches and, when there is more information available on another page, link to it with meaningful text.
  • Linking to your website from other websites is best when the pages that are linked from and to contain similar keywords. Remember that quality generally overrides quantity (although there are plenty of examples where this seems not to be the case). Forum sites with genuine links to your website are doubly useful as they are valued by users and produce good quality human traffic.
  • Social Media is underrated by many website owners. Primarily, for business, the top three are considered to be Twitter, Linked-In and Facebook. However, depending on your business, you may have good results from Pinterest, YouTube and Google+. If you don't have time or inclination to run your social media accounts properly, there are several inexpensive third parties who will manage them for you for a reasonable monthly fee.

Once the foregoing is in place, your next consideration is to include a blog.
  • Typically, off-site (Google blogger or Wordpress) or integrated into your WordPress website;
  • May be used for news, case-studies, discussion topics, guest posts, "thought leadership" etc.

Link to Blog-related posts.

Links to The BPc on Social Media: TWITTER - BPcUK  | PINTEREST IMAGES | FACEBOOK PAGE | GOOGLE+PLUS 

Should you require our services, please let us know. 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tips: Photos for your Website

If you are taking your own photographs to include in your website design, here are some tips to keep your website designer happy and achieve a more professional finish.

Set up your Camera

Whether you are using a digital SLR or a smartphone, set your camera to at least 5Megapixels (2592x1552), preferably 8Megapixels (3264x1952) or more.

Set up your Shot 

Unless you have a specific requirement for "portrait" (tall) images, you should take your photographs with a "landscape" orientation. It is surprising how many people forget this when using their smartphones.


takng photographs and cropping

Leave more room around the edges than you think you need, keeping the subject central - the edges can be cropped and often edited (to remove objects or repeat scenery) as required, without stretching to increase the width. This is especially important if using wide banner header images on your website. Also, try to keep horizons horizontal - photographs can have tilt correction during editing if there is sufficient space around the main image.

Cropping and Editing

If you are cropping or editing the image yourself, remember to store the original full size photograph and work on a copy - give the copy a meaningful name rather than pic-01 (see below). You can then use the original to generate several different shapes and sizes at any time.

Images for Websites

When your website designer asks for images, offer to send a copy of the original photograph or the specific size that is requested. If you are uploading images yourself to update your WordPress website, check the maximum size necessary - uploading several images at 5600pixels wide will slow down the website's performance - usually a 2000-ish pixel width is adequate.

Before you upload images, ensure that they have meaningful titles, e.g. pink trainers rather than img-01, and add a descriptive Alt-title or Alt-text when using images on your website or blog, which helps search engines to index them properly.

Twitter@BPcUK
Facebook/TheBPcUK
Thanks to Professional Solutions (website design-and-build) #Herts for inspiring this post.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Beware - Your FaceBook Page Will Be Disabled

No It Won't! 

This old phishing scam is still around - it has just appeared as a notification on a client's FaceBook page. The post (now deleted) was shared by the page https://www.facebook.com/Conf%C4%B1rm-Your-Page-611618968994599/timeline **UPDATE: Facebook has now removed this Page**

You can see a number of random shared posts, all showing the same message:

THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL FACEBOOK NOTIFICATION so why hasn't FaceBook done anything about it? Well, probably because this particular post has only been phishing for about an hour so hopefully it'll be gone soon. I'm just off to report this to Facebook. **UPDATE: credit where it's due - Facebook has taken action**

The point is that this will undoubtedly be set up under another guise so please be aware - don't click on any of the links and report the phishing scam to Facebook without delay!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Send Us Your CV (Spring 2016)

Please send your CV if you think you'd like to work with us. 

We are a small business that covers a wide number of internet, marketing, design and support services to other businesses and organisations.


Usually, we are fairly busy but for the past couple of years, we have been very busy. It's time to find some help for the unique combination of services we provide to clients. You don't have to cover the whole spectrum but if you are able to help out with some of the projects or tasks, we'd love to discuss working together. Some of its component parts, in no particular order of importance, are as follows:

Social Media:

planning a social media strategy for a client ~ posting on Facebook for clients ~ managing a client's twitter account (tweets, likes, re-tweets, follows) ~ posting to Pinterest ~ posting to Google+

Blogging: 

ideas for blog posts ~ researching topics for blog posts ~ writing blog posts (using Word or direct input to WordPress or Google Blogger) ~ submit articles to third party publishing sites (occasionally)

WordPress/website updates: 

update blog posts and page content for clients ~ upload images/files to media library ~ use SEO tools ~ edit widget areas, menus and other aspects of WordPress websites

Client liaison: 

manage all aspects or one aspect of a clients' account ~ train/support clients (occasionally)

Internet/SEO tasks: 

test clients' websites against a set of Google webmaster guidelines ~ research clients' industry sector ~compare competitors' website performance ~ use Google Analytics and Search tools

Design/print projects:

website design ~ graphic design ~ logo design ~ stationery design ~ advertisement design ~ leaflet design ~ brochure design ~ pre-print preparation

Additional optional tasks:

Image editing ~ video editing ~ video uploads to YouTube ~ embed videos into blogs - create PDF files and upload to WordPress media library ~ anything, really, that our clients need and we have the ability to provide (that's why we're so busy!)

 

Working with The BPc - is this for you?

None of us are employees, we are self-employed individuals who work together on client projects under The BPc banner. We each have our own client base, some of whom we share, depending on who has the better skills for a particular task - sharing is all about honesty, integrity, reliability, common sense and a sense of humour.

The person we want to hear from may already have a small business in one of the above-listed sectors or a complementary one (such as email marketing, document translation, virtual office assistant) or may be looking to start up a business. You will most likely be working from home (if not now, then soon) and will definitely have a computer and are not afraid to use it!

You won't know whether this is for you until you find out more, which will cost you nothing. We can start with email then skype or 'phone and you can ask whatever you like. If you live locally, maybe we can meet up.

Please send your CV if you think you'd like to work with us. 






The BPc,
North Hertfordshire.



Friday, 26 February 2016

Websites recently launched and under construction.

Recently Launched Websites: Designer Villas, NDC Utilities, Roseground


Newbuild House for sale in Denia Spain
DesignerVillas.co.uk is a website owned by SunSeeker Villas who markets individual, detached, non-estate, built-to-order homes in the Denia region of Spain's Costa Blanca. These are designed and built by a second-generation family-owned construction company with an excellent reputation throughout the region.

From specifying your villa and signing appropriate legal documents, you can expect to move into your completed home in under a year. Prices start around £200,000 - take a look at the available designs and plans on the website and decide which new house to buy in Denia.

Construction Connection Services
NDC Utility Services supplies essential services to housing developments, hotels and holiday villages, retail and industrial parks, health and educational facilities, etc., in the form of lighting and electrical connections.

As an independent connections supplier, NDC Utilities can help large, medium and small businesses to set up their offices, workshops or industrial units. See their website at www.ndcutilityservices.co.uk

Industrial refurbishments & construcitonworks
Roseground is a construction company that specialises in commercial and industrial projects, such as office refurbishments, workshop and industrial refurbishments, canteen re-fits plus specialist projects such as high speed roller doors, large space resin floors, remedial works to roadway infrastructures, secure areas and cleanrooms.

A selection of their projects is on their website, www.roseground.co.uk.



Under Construction: Accountants in Herts & London; UK Investment Fund.


Unfortunately, we can't say much about these until after launch but we have been working with two companies whose websites are nearing completion.

We have redesigned the website for an Accounting company based in St. Albans and London W1, retaining the understated company style. The main purpose of the website is to improve its visibility in search engines and, as an added bonus, developing in WordPress means that future content changes can be easily and quickly updated without knowledge of html coding.

The Investment Fund website is totally hush-hush until launch! It is a brand new site for a property company. We'll let you know more when we are allowed.