Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Brilliantly Creative Job Applications

This post on creative job applications has been one of our most popular ever, so we've recently added part II, with more on the subject. Check it out.

In the past year, LinkedIn received about 85,000 job applications and Facebook around 250,000. With the job market becoming more and more competitive, candidates need to go that extra distance to get to the interview stage in the application process. This means, certainly in the creative or online industries, your standard 2 page CV in 12 point Times New Roman just won't cut it.

Here are some of the applications that have caught our attention - for all the right reasons! Reaching out to employers in innovative new ways, showcasing your experience, creating a buzz just like you would for a marketing campaign, these methods are exciting and inspiring.

1. www.Googlepleasehire.me
Mathew Epstein (the guy with the moustache) is certainly keen on getting employed by Google. So much so he's created a digital marketing campaign, investing over $3,000. His website, cleverly designed to mirror Googles own, is filled with persuasive copy.... and many images of him in a James Bond Suit with a moustache.
He has now got a job... but is it with Google? All will be revealed on Friday, over on his blog.
"Armed only with a mustache and online marketing savvy, one man has set forth on an epic quest to land a job at Google. That man’s name is Matthew Epstein"



2. Innovative use of QR code
This custom QR code resume scored the author an internship at a Communications Agency. It consists of a QR code printed on the mouth of a face (on the back of the paper) - which a video from the candidate.... a speaking C.V, if you will!



3. Smart use of Google Adwords
This video is a little dated now - but the concept is so original it's still a great watch. Looking to catch the attention of creative directors at top ad agencies, Alec Brownstein created the "Google Job Experiment". Realising that top directors are probabley going to be Googling themselves, to find out what people are saying about them... an idea was born. He then bought ads pointing to his online CV- using the directors names as the keywords. The result? Many interviews and 2 job offers at top NYC agencies.



4. An e-commerce store selling....interviews?!
Mike Freeman, in his search for a job at Shopify, set up an e-commerce store as part of his cunning application. The product? An interview with himself - offering great free extras: "a firm handshake", "limited edition business card" and "Resume hard copies".  Praised as "the best resume it has ever received" by Shopify, yes, he got the job.


5. The "C.V.I.V"
That's Curriculam Vitae Interactive Video. Graeme Anthony ditched his paper CV and instead created this fun, interactive video. Described by Robin Grant from We Are Social as "possibly the best job application, ever", Graeme did indeed go on to find a perfect job!




Once you've found that perfect job at that great company, make sure you continue with online marketing that makes an impact. The team at Art Division can help with that.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Google Shakes Up Sitelinks for Brands: Tips & Advice

Last week, Google announced a change in the way sitelinks are displayed. Now, up to 12 links can be displayed on brand searches. According to Google, displaying more results allows visitors to quickly navigate to the section of the website they're looking for.

Here is the result for Art Division:
It certainly lets you dominate the search results - but only if you have that #1 ranking!

How have sitelinks evolved?
Launched in 2006, sitelinks are pages inside your site that Google displays for searches for your brand name - which are shown underneath your main result (normally your homepage). Once a single row of 4 links, they then evolved into 2 rows of up to 6 links.

From 2009, sitelinks were introduced to PPC Ads - which allowed advertisers to create more rich, targeted adds, driving more profitable traffic.

So, will all sites get extended sitelinks?
In short, no. The sites which currently have expanded listings: are older, and have a high level of traffic, a large amount of content and a deep navigational structure.
It also depends on the brand name. If there are multiple businesses with the same (or very similar) names, Google will not show such an extended listing for any (e.g. penguin where it is unclear what you are searching for, compared to penguin books).

How does Google select the specific sitelinks?
The process is completely automated. From Google:
"We only show sitelinks for results when we think they'll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn't allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don't think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user's query, we won't show them."
It is possible for site owners to remove specific site links for specific search queries via Google Webmaster.

What does it mean for business websites?
If you are benefitting from the new sitelink display, you can expect:
- more targeted traffic: with optimised sitelinks, you can potentially push visitors to specific sections of your site - for example to your bestsellers or "offer of the month". But don't expect more traffic - visitors already searching for a specific brand will click on a listing regardless of the size.
- reputation management: with your result taking up more space, it pushes any other results further down on the page. The other results might even be managed by you - for example your Facebook or Twitter pages. This allows you to be even more in control of the results displayed.

If your business search engine result has not changed:
- don't panic! Remember, this update is only for brand searches - visitors typing your company name into Google. This means they're already looking for you - and will click on your website regardless of the way the result is displayed.
- keep up the SEO work to ensure you get/keep that #1 result spot. Generally, it is easier to get a good result for your brand name (such as "Art Division" or "Tescos") than a broader searches like "graphic designer London" or "new toaster". Your need to be optimising your site for your brand name (the easiest way is to take the domain name of your company e.g. www.yourcompany.co.uk), and also for keywords/ phrases chosen with the help of an SEO specialist-  that reflect your business.

How to benefit from the new sitelink display?
- site architecture & design: the possibility of having up to 12 sitelinks displayed means that site architecture becomes more important than ever, as for site design. By using Googles Webmaster tools and considering how and which pages to optimise, you can influence which pages are displayed.
- control which sitelinks appear: blocking sites you don't want to appear is easily done using the Google Webmaster tool. But what about those you do want to emphasise? Have a look in analytics at your top landing pages (or perhaps those which generate the most sales or sign ups), and build on them by growing the inbound links to these pages. This means there's more chance they'll be displayed.
- PPC competitor brand bidding: as the new sitelink display means the top result takes up a large amount of space, it means that visitors see less alternatives (as the lower ranking results are further down the page). This could mean that the clickthrough rates of ads on branded searches increases.

For more help with your online marketing, feel free to contact us at Art division, http://www.artdivision.co.uk/.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Top Web Trends

1. Google is EVERYWHERE !
The launch of Google Plus has been subject to huge debate, but what about: their recent purchase of Motorola, launch of boutiques.com (to you help "you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers"),  Google web fonts, prize.org... the list goes on. This report on Googles monopolistic position online makes for interesting reading.
This funny video about making the decision between Facebook and Google+ reminds us just how much Google already controls our online browsing, with the tagline "Google. Don't fight it."



2. Social Media, going for location
Sure, it was start-ups such as FourSquare, Gowalla that made location based promotions a success in 2010 -  but now it seems like it will benefit the bigger players such as Facebook, Google and Groupon. Facebook Places is proving a powerful marketing tool for small and large businesses alike, through favourite places leaderboards, discounts for checkins and creating event-specific places.
It remains important on Google to claim your local business listing, as these can impact localised search results.


3. Web design for tactile screens
Just as green is the new black, touch is the new mouse. For over 20 years, humans used the practical keyboard and mouse to interact with computers. And indeed, many still do. But with millions of users now embracing new touch-screen platforms - such as iPhone, iPad or Android, it becomes important that your website is optimised for them. This could be in terms of icon size, page layout and efficient display of information.

4. Blogging IS BACK !
With the boom of microblogging and social networks, blogs seem to have been put on the backburner. Some website owners mistakenly believed that blogs were for the sole purpose of SEO - rather than a credible communication channel. Luckily, many seem to be realising the real power of blogging - and extensions (such as the Wordpress extension that makes a blog "mobile ready" ) mean that it's possible to satisfy the search, social and communication demands - without forgetting the true purpose of a blog!
Here is a look back at some of our favourite blogs.

5. Your life in the cloud*
With a growing amount of software available online (such as Salesforce.com, or Microsoft Office 365), why bother install and run your own servers? The "software as a service" concept often means a low ongoing cost, rather than a one-off payment.
The Centre of Economics and Business Research suggests that cloud computing could even "generate over €763 billion [or $1.2 trillion] of cumulative economic benefits over the period 2010 to 2015" for the UK, France, Germany Italy & Spain, as well as over 2.3 million new jobs.

Dropbox is currently replacing USB keys - could your digital life soon be found in the cloud?
* What is cloud computing?
6. Typography
A trend from 2010, and still growing. We're seeing more and more minimalistic sites, using large, bold paragraphs of text, giving the impression of a glossy brochure. Let's not forget the new upmarket digital magazines and literature applications for iPad, that have also been making full use the range of visual techniques. The launch of the 2011 Web Font Awards is excpected soon ( check out the video below). In the meantime, check out the Dmig5 or  Quipsologies sites.



7. The time for 3D is now
Arguably one of the most exciting developments in the world of performing arts, is the increasing popularity of 3D. Leading to the critical aclaim and box office success of Avatar by James Cameron, high definition television, and futuristic video games effects.

All requiring? 3D glasses. Just like this website (by digital agency Numiko), which we think may be the start of many to come. Built entirely in Flash, offering also an HTML version, the quality of the "illusion" is impressive.

Visit it now. But don't forget your glasses ;-)


8. The end of IE6?
With IE9 released earlier this year, everyone (including Microsoft!) is hoping to see the end of IE6. However,   currently used by 9.7% of the world, and with numerous public sectors depending on it (due to Windows 2000), it's possible it might just be around for a little longer...


If you have any questions, talk to our London web designers or just add your comment below.

Monday, 15 August 2011

World Bank Research Proves the Power of Blogs

A recent article from the World Bank has put the power of blogging firmly back on the map. Blog posts are shown as fuelling downloads and views of academic papers.

Senior economists studied the link between blog posts mentioning specific papers, to the amount of downloads of these papers. As to be expected, each time the papers were mentioned on a blog (such as Freakonomics, Marginal Revolution or Krugman), the amount of downloads peaked.

For example, when Freakonomics blogs about a paper:


So, evidently blog mentions have a positive impact on downloads. But more precisely, is it possible to measure the relationship between blog posts and downloads & abstract views?

The answer = yes.

By studying 94 papers that were linked to by 6 blogs, the study lead to the following results:

- blogging about a paper leads to a huge increase in downloads and abstract views in the same month the post was published (between 70 to 450, depending on the nature of the blogs readership).

- while the increase in downloads is massive, in % terms of the blogs readership, it is very small. The author suggests that just 1 - 2% of readers of the most popular blogs click through to see the paper - although with more specialised, research- focused blogs, this increases to around 4%.

Do you blog for business? Pleasure? Does it bring you the results you're looking for? Let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Our Favourite Social Media Jokes

The sun has finally come out in London! To celebrate, here are some of the posts that have made us chuckle while browsing the web recently. Time to get in the summer mood...

[IMAGES]

The Internet helps us be more productive
Facebook is...
In the next 20 years..

The future of Facebook?

The 1st tweet?

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