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Google has been in the press again, this time involving a court-ruling earlier on in May which now has legal implications and Google launching a new service where people can request that personal information about them as individuals to be removed from Google search results.

With Google being the mama of internet sites, the art of ‘Googling’ has become almost a routine daily task for millions of people across the globe. If you want to know anything about anything, then tap in various words in the Google search bar and within a split second you’ll have answers that we’ve all come to trust. Even if you have a particular website name in mind, people often still type in Google rather than direct into their browser which will create more search results around that website.

It was only a matter of time before this kind of thing unfortunately became a problem as much as a help. Particularly when it comes to information about people as individuals, and information popping up to anyone who searches their name on the world wide web.

So Google now has a legal obligation to refine this so that only accurate information is shows in search results. Google will no look at “irrelevant” information about someone and will try to make a fair decision on what to then remove based upon "privacy rights of the individual with the public's right to know and distribute information"

Practically, you apply online and submit information for them to consider. It sounds like this will start kicking in later on in June, and there will be real humans deciding these cases rather than automated pieces of software. There also appears to be some basis of looking at decisions that are not deemed to be fair through “national data protection agencies”, and also covers the whole of Europe.

In terms of what kind of information people will need to submit in order support their claim, this includes:

• Links to the exact material they want removing
• Their country of origin
• A reason for this request
• A valid photo ID to help make sure this is not being misused by someone trying to act as you.

So what kind of information will be looked at? Google say, “Financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials” and it’s interesting to see how criminal convictions seems to be the popular reason why people are looking at this service at the moment.

If this is something you think may affect you at some point, then the best way is to simply type in your name in the Google search results every so often and see what comes up. Try different ways of writing your name, including with or without middle names and abbreviated or full names (e.g. Andy and Andrew). You may also want to try with and without the “ quote marks before and after your name, and also look at more general branding or business or company names for your interest.

A final point is to log out of any Google account on your computer so you use Google “cold” – Google is so clever now, that if you’re logged in to your account it will change search results based upon your own preferences and styles of searching.

Then keep an eye for anything said about you that’s wrong, and see if Google will accept your request to ‘forget’ it.

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It does make sense when you hear of survey results indicating that reading is on the decline, and is generally more popular with the more wealthy, but it’s still a pity when you see the hard fast results. A recent survey of 1500 by Booktrust outlines this, and how those with a richer-background not only do more reading but enjoy it, and see it as a positive thing that will enhance their life.

Infact this is one of the things that really stands out from the survey – that those who do read more genuinely want to and are satisfied in doing so, rather than seeing it as a chore. Another trend is the boredom factor, that those who for whatever reason don’t don’t stick at it for long and are easily drawn to more entertaining methods of education like TV and the internet.

Technology has of course played a big part in this, both directly and the types of devices now available to make reading more ‘easy’ or even bypass the need for reading, but also indirectly in the sense that gadgets and technology making people’s life better in other areas will have a knock on effect of them wanting to do less reading.

Personally, I think reading is under-rated, and we should all be making more of an effort to read, myself included. The reality of modern life though is that it does get side-tracked, missed, and ‘diluted’ in the way we do this. We probably need to work at advertising the merits of reading and make sure that it is easily done using modern means yet still trying to insist on the quality. So here’s a few radical ideas to maybe help achieve this:

1. Ban blatant false advertising. There’s one advertiser who’s message was that it was Ok to NOT be patient, that ‘impatience’ was a virtue. They were drilling into that readers/hearers the uncontrolable feeling to buy their product without waiting for things like being able to afford it – very wrong.

2. Make paper reading sexy. Not literally, but more per-zaz so that people like the idea and feel of a real book rather than using a screen and kindle. You can scribble your own notes, savour the smell and feel of the book, and easily keep them kicking around for easy reference.

3. Educate on the types of reading. So yes in some cases it’s important to scan-read things, and learn the ability to quickly glaze over information in this busy world, particularly in the internet and news. But in others it needs quality time, involving your own study and say reading several books on a matter rather than relying on an article from Google.

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Results have just been released concerning TV viewing figures last year by the Broadcast’s Audience Research Board (Barb), the main point being that TV-viewing on average fell in 2013 from 2012, by 9 minutes to be exact so to 3 hours 55 minutes and 30 second in 2013. Wow, that’s a huge amount of time that on average we spend watching TV, and with it being an average there will be those spending even more time watching TV day in and day out.

The reasons stated do make sense: that there were the Olympics in 2012 which boosted figures then, and we had a good sunny spell in 2013 which will have reduced the figures as people were outside more. A really important factor, as some friends from Australia a few years ago commented when in the UK that the culture of Australia of good weather, lots of space, and sport, helped encourage people away from TVs and computers and gadets to interaction and enjoyment in the great outdoors.

There are also 3 other trends identified in these findings:  

• Non-TV alternative gadgets like tablets and smart phones and PCs are only 1.5% of viewings. This seems very low, particularly when you see the stats for the general use of these products for internet use, which is why surveys like this are helpful to see actual trends and different patterns of use. Whilst these new gadgets are being used for internet-based queries and searches, they’re not quite taking the lime-light when it comes to stable good old-fashioned TV watching. I guess it’s only a matter of time though as people cotton on. 

• Linear TV is reducing – a technical phrase for TV which is basically live there-and-then, as opposed to pre-recorded to watch later on. As you might expect this has decreased, with people spending less time seeing programmes live but saving them for later on. Definitely something you can see increasing for the convenience factor.

• An average of 47 TV adverts are seen by us every day. Not only is this a high number anyway, but when you think of the nature of a TV advert that is huge marketing-exposure. Each advert is probably a few minutes long, with millions of people sat down and comfortable starring at the screen glued to the advert. Compare this to the fast-moving environment of the internet, and it’s a great opportunity particularly for larger big-budget companies who are looking to re-inforce the branding of their product or service. Two immediate sectors that spring to mind are the internet based greeting-card websites like Moonpig and Funky Pigeon which have ironically advertised0 an online website product, and the cash-loan products you continually see around.

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Two things happened last week which made me question the power and real-life value of the popular networking website Facebook.

Firstly, I read a news article saying that youth are using Facebook less. I think it was on the BBC news website, although I can’t find it now. It was one of those that caught my attention because it appeared to suggest the opposite to what you might expect – that social media and living online is still taking over the world, and therefore surely it’s getting more and more popular with the youngsters. Of course it may be one just one angle of research or a survey, but still it does make you think that maybe it’s at saturation point, and infact youth are understanding the importance of other ways of socialising and interacting other than Facebook, hopefully off line rather than just other popular online networks instead.  

The second was at a residents meeting I was chairing the other weekend for a housing estate. We didn’t know who would attend, and the expectation was that it would be around 20. Formal letters were sent out, and the word on the street set in motion. The final ingredient was Facebook of course – a residents group was already in operation so I braved a status update and prepared for any back lash. I had a call from residents the day before saying it has spread to other local resident groups on Facebook who thought that they were involved, and then when I turned up to the meeting venue the person who was managing the location had ‘heard’ on Facebook that maybe 150 people were stomping down to the meeting with all kinds of gripes. Yikes.  

In the end though we only had 6, and paired from each house so actually only 3 homes. We all concluded what a false world Facebook had created – interesting how people had vented their concerns, but nothing had materialised in terms of ‘off line’ action.   I think it re-iterates an important limitation and even danger of Facebook and other online social media mediums – they can spiral off and have little relevance to the issues at hand. Yes of course they can be a great way of effective and rapid communication to many people, and infact a great way for people to really say what they think rather than hiding behind things. But the down side is that they can create a false world and expectation, so much so that the momentum can imply a far greater ‘force’ then what happens in reality.

Maybe this is what youngsters today and instinctively sensing, who knows. The answer I guess is to know the limitations, and manage correctly.

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Yorkshire bank has released the results of a survey with SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) in the West Midlands area and their attitude towards business development and growth. It’s interesting to see what the expectations are of such businesses who are an important part of the economy, and what their plan is to grow and gain more business. Of course if you offer new work to any business on a plate then they’ll gladly accept in the majority of cases, although in some situations they will refuse maybe due to not being able to effectively manage the new work, or maybe not quite the type of work they do, or maybe even because the terms of payment are not right (these area  good signs that a business is acting with integrity and are wanting to fairly do the work rather than just get paid).  

But when it comes to gaining work itself, that’s when it gets a bit more interesting. Some businesses will be super-proactive, and spending all their energies on marketing, advertising, and business development with the clear intention of wanting to get more work, fees, and ultimately profit on the books and in the bank. On the other extreme there can be zero efforts for new business, and maybe even turning it away – maybe  because they just don’t want the hassle that comes with it, they just don’t want to ‘waste’ money on advertising that does not work and are confused and even cynical on what actually works, or maybe they just do a great job with what they already do and know that word will get around and work will naturally trickle in.  

Anyway, here’s a few stats from this survey which make an interesting observation about SMEs in the West Midlands:  

1. Over a fifth of SMEs do not seek business growth – at first a surprisingly high amount, although as above it’s amazing how many businesses there are who simply get on with things for whatever reason and don’t want to or have the luxury of not needing to worry about new business (small family businesses are a  good example).  

2. Two thirds of SMEs believe professional advice was important and therefore is established at least yearly. Nearly half of these were accountants and lawyers (we've spoted the same with the BEST Accountants In Walsall service), what you might say are typical professional businesses to make sure things are run correctly and legally – interesting in the sense that when it comes to gaining new business owners will still focus on the bread-and-butter types of advice that actually focuses more on maintaining what you already have rather than a pro-active marketing approach to getting new business. I guess some times this is right, to get things running correctly and more effectively, although in other circumstances you need to think more about what you don’t yet have. Also , 40% seek such advise at least monthly, which is actually a good things as often that steady and regular advice to help steer things is more helpful than a one-off blitz which can dazzle you with great ideas but leave you stranded with how on earth to action and monitor these changes.   

3. Businesses are looking to actively invest for the future -  93% are looking to invest in the next year, which suggests a clear intention to see greater results in the future, although with only a fifth wanting to seek actual business growth maybe shows that the intention for the majority is to just preserve what you have rather than expand.   

4. Existing support - approx. 50% thought that there was enough public and private sector support and help with growth, which I thought was surpassingly high as often you assume that businesses don’t think there is support around them and there is no hope, when in actual fact they probably do realise that in this modern age there is, it’s more a case of how to select the right advise and then effectively apply to your own situation.  

Which I think is the key here. The reality is that most business do want to grow, no matter how or in what capacity, and there is help around, but it’s applying it that because a nightmare. The answer is to get it  tailor-made, bespoke, fits-for-your-business, call it what you want – good solid advise that makes sense, you can understand, have a good ‘gut’ feel about, and which then delivers results.

Tagged in: internet marketing
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There was interesting news article on the BBC website recently about ten common dilemmas about sending Christmas cards at this time of year. According to the Greeting Card Association, £15 million per year is made by charities just by Christmas card sales. Therefore, this is a large and prosperous market where many will be attracted onto the bandwagon at this time of year to send out either privately or within a business context.

The article raises ten interesting dilemmas about this custom, including the risk of buying in bulk, and sending identical cards to other people that they spot, plus sending a round robin general letter and update on how life is generally going. It talks about how cost of sending a Christmas cards on an average basis is increased from £1.52 in 2011 to £1.62 in 2012, and how the art of sending a Christmas card and even Christmas card writing is potentially perceived as being dated. Also how the Christmas scene which referrers to the Christian faith therefore is accommodated by other faiths and non-believers.

It also risks the practical problem of actually having people's postal addresses in this world of virtual living, and whether an email alternative will do.   It's also card-and-present etiquette where a Christmas present without a card just doesn't appear right, and whether you go for a hand written message in the card or just leave the standard greeting. Finally, there is the issue of recycling with 952 million single non-multipack greeting cards sold in 2012, yet the Greeting Card Association claim that 90% of cards come from sustainably farmed trees.  

It got me thinking as to few pointers for contacting friends or business-contacts at Christmas and infact any other general or specific times, including:  

1. The point about collecting people's addresses is simple and shouldn't be missed. Any opportunity to take down good old fashion postal addresses with the correct post code as well a direct land line phone numbers and mobile phone number is essential and can easily be added to any mailing list database for sending out letters or cards.  

2. It’s worth looking at an email and postal combination to some degree and having the best of both worlds. So, maybe just a very short card or even a postcard which then has a website link on to go to a specific online message whether written or maybe even photos or a YouTube video with a message. You can also get special emails that send out audio or visual video messages.  

3. Give it a personal touch somewhere .So whether it's a quick handwritten note in it or whether using a handwritten envelope or even just a little gift will make it appear that much more special than just an automated response.  

4. The round robin letter is actually a good principle. So some kind of newsletter which helps update people with what's happening in your personal and/or business life. To make this effective in this day in age though it will need to be short and sweet and include other formats such as video links. It will also need to be adopted so that it is of benefit and help to the reader and not just a rant from the person who's writing it.

PS – after being ill over Christmas I can only post this after Christmas this year! Never mind – there’s now a year to plan for next year’s Christmas ‘cards’…

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Twitter is starting a service in the UK where services can immediately send emergency alerts and messages with their own special ‘flags’ on people’s twitter feeds. A cracking idea, after all twitter has been a serious tool in helping to improve communication for the immediate moment over the last few years, whether for the good or bad. By its nature twitter is fast and snappy and now popular, the perfect medium to get urgent and life-saving messages out there.

It’s good to see the tools of modern media used like this to help real life. Society is now familiar with the internet and social media that it’s almost taken for granted, like the electricity and gas to your building, and even telephone line – so why not start using it like this.

In the news article on the BBC news website there was an interesting stat with 75% of twitter users apparently accessing the website from the mobile phones – a mega shift in the use of the internet on mobile phones, only just being tapped into, and known as ‘mobile marketing’ in the industry. Smart phones with internet are becoming more important for using the internet, particularly for that instant communication that micro-blogging platform Twitter can bring.

Another interesting point is the format in which communication can take place, including text messages and push notifications.

Taking this principle of using modern media to help with communication (in this example rapid and important communication), here are a few more lessons we can all learn on the same lines when applying it to websites and the internet:

1. Are there important updates, news, ‘emergencies’ that our audience would like and infact need to know.

2. Can we simply re-communicate existing information but in a different means, rather than re-invent the wheel with new information. So as an example, a regular email newsletter simply summarising the important updates in a market place for easy consumption by the reader.

3. Can we improve the way we communicate through websites – a submit-information form rather than stumbling through sending an email, or a live-chat Skype-type talk option, or a good old fashioned phone number to call on the telephone (an important factor often missed)

4. Is there a particular type of social media or internet platform that will work better and that your target audience is basically using.

These are important factors to consider and get right at the beginning. I’ve said it before - it’s not so much the look of websites and internet nowadays that counts, it’s the way they are used and communicated and interacted with by people that counts.

Tagged in: internet marketing
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Not many people know that Google have given them a free webpage for their business – and will provide one if not already there.


If you type in a type of business (or actual business name) and your town in Google search box, for example “hairdressers Walsall”, you not only get your ‘normal’ search results of websites, but notice the list of actual real-life businesses at the top (or side) with a red flag next to them, and then a map to the right with these flags on it.


Now click on either a red flag or link below each one called “Google review” or “Google+ Page” and you’ll come to a page of information about that business on Google, including contact details, description, location map, and maybe even photos. You can also search under the “Maps” part of Google, and click the “more info” link on the pop-up box on the map.

This is Google being very clever – over the last few years it has collected data on every real offline business in the world with an address, and given them this opportunity to be online, whether or not they already have a website.

Even if they already have a normal website, it’s critical for every business to make sure they have their free Google Places page claimed and setup. One example of how useful this is. is when people search for your type of business online, and this Places page coming at the top of search results above the normal websites.

Another reason is that your Places page links to a Google Plus account, which is Google’s version of a social networking site like Facebook or LinkedIn. It can then help any social-media strategy you have.

Anyway, back to the Google Places page – here’s 5 critical things you need to do to claim and improve your free opportunity to be at the top of the world’s most popular online search engine:

1. Try and find your existing listing – then click the “manage this page” link on the right at the bottom near “Is this your business?”  to go through a procedure with Google to validate that this is really yours (this involves Google actually phoning you or sending a ‘code’ in the post to your address).


2. If you can’t find your business, click to create a new one, and go through a similar procedure with Google to validate that this is real.


3. Once you’ve claimed your Google Places page (by this time you’ll have needed to create your own Google account), then edit and update it, like your own profile on say Facebook. Add descriptions, new pictures, check contact details, even upload video clips of your business.


4. Keep an eye on who actually visits your Places page – there is a section of your page where you can see behind the scenes how it performs.


5. Keep updating it every so often, for example some new photos, and adding special offers you have on at the moment or ‘coupons’.


If you’d like any help and advice on this, then do contact me. I offer the ‘Google Place Pudding’ dessert from The Website Waiter ‘menu’ of services, which will help claim and correctly setup your Places page, and make sure that it is not only updated for people to look at but to be ‘optimised’ with Google so it appears more and more in people’s searches, and links nicely with any existing website or social-media profile you have.

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Designing a website for one business type like restaurants needs to be different to other business areas – although the basics will be the same, there will be unique changes and extras to make it function and appear correctly for that type of business.

I’ve recently been involved in restaurant website design, and fine-tuned some core factors – whether you’re tackling it yourself or you’re instructing a website designer, you need a tick list to make sure you don’t miss anything out.   So here are 12 (and a half) points to consider for the restaurant trade, whether high-end restaurants, bistros and cafes, or take-aways. They’re the same principles no matter what the size or type of restaurant business is, for example a small family business, or individual sandwich man, or corporate where you have a franchise and the ability to shape your own business and restaurant website design. 

To be pedantic, the last point is actually only half a point really, as it is more to do with how the website is operated afterwards rather than designed at the beginning – this is often a classic mistake where people assume that both the marketing and then operation of a website is the same as the initial design.

Restaurant Website Design Important Factors

OK, so here’s a quick summary of these 12 (and a half) points (Contact Me for a full report on these):

1. The Purpose – sounds too obvious to be true, but you need to be clear what you’re trying to achieve right from the start as this will shape what you do. So as an example, is the focus on an impressive website with lots of information about the food and service designed for existing customers, or does it need to be short-and-sweater to attract people looking for somewhere to eat on the internet

2. Your Website Name – again an obvious one as this will need to match your restaurant name, but you may want to deliberately keep the actual URL more genetic to attract the sort of phrases people are actually searching for online, for example

3. Hosting – this used to be a big expensive issue, but is now easier and cheaper, therefore make sure you don’t get fleeced – it should be easy to access, have features such as webmail accounts, and be able to cope with uploaded files like images and menus.

4. The Main Software Ingredient – the type of basic website design software is key. Years ago it used to be complicated bespoke software and ‘code’, whereas now you can actually use template and CMS-based systems. Ones to be wary of are those online or through software where you ‘design’ yourself as they can be quite restrictive both in the original design and on-going use.

5. Colour & Design – an important one in that it needs to match whatever logo or design your business already has, but an important factor is to also keep the restaurant website design as simple and plain as possible and let the writing and pictures do all the work to impress.

6.  Pictures & Images – they say a picture says a thousand words, and will really add something, whether real-life images of happy customers and a spotless-restaurant area, or special logos and images by a website graphic designer (a lot of the larger pub-chains are using these effectively on offers now)

7. Writing & Copy – you not only need to get the important information on the website, but more attractive wording or ‘copy’ to help sell your service, which includes layout changes such as titles and use of quotes and snippets of information.

8. Testimonials – to add as much feedback a possible from happy customers, whether it’s a short written quote or full paragraph, and ideally with a picture and their name to make authentic.

9. Menu & Services – some easy way to get to the bottom-line of what you serve, maybe even a quick download-PDF menu.

10. Regular Updates – the name of the game is to keep things fresh with maybe latest news and offers on to keep people interested.

11. Customer Interaction – mainly through Social Media, people like to interact, whether it’s liking or sharing or tweeting, or being able to leave reviews and comments on the website (links with the testimonials point above)

12. Video – becoming more important nowadays, a quick promo-video can help communicate something much better than written text.

12.5. The Stats (half) – not really a whole point because you can easily add the ‘code’ for stats on your websites nowadays; it’s the use of them afterwards which really counts as you can easily track what the bottom-line results are.  

We’ve also just created a product called ‘Out-The-Box Restaurant Website’Click Here to see more details. The idea is to help people who want to miss out the traditional website-design process and have something created that they can shape and design themselves within minutes not weeks. This will help save time, money, and general fathing-around with restaurant web site design – again Click here for more details.

Tagged in: website design
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There was an interesting article on the BBC news website this week (Click Here to view) all about self-published authors. With the help of the internet and ebooks, writers are now able to publish their writings direct to readers and by-pass the traditional methods of publishing and distribution.

One example provided where the tables were turned was with one writer where their work was doing so well that the traditional book publishers were chasing them for deals rather than vice-versa and the difficult task of every new writer of trying to get the serious attention of any publisher (similar story for other areas like acting).

I personally like the last few lines when it talks about people now have the opportunity to “live out their ream” and publish, and the “lucky few” then getting paid for it. These two issues of the actual writing and then the money for it are separate entities, although when you get the writing truly right and the other will naturally come.

So in short – just write. Write about anything you can and ideally love, whether it is a novel and actual book, or blogging and social media contributions on the net. Quality ‘content’ will never go out of fashion; it will always be needed – something that is fresh, unique, and adds something to the reader.

It’s also applicable to everyone, whether teenagers and students wanting to fine-tune their writing skills, or the elderly simply using their writing skills in modern means of communication. Also business owners who are able to keep their website and online information fresh to directly help people, and in due course see benefits such as social-media favour and SEO progression.

The problem then comes with the money. Well infact, there isn’t really a problem, but we can easily make it problem. In short, quality content will always get recognised and rewarded at some stage – with a gentle nudge and direction from marketing it can simply help jog things along. But marketing written material that is poor-quality will eventually fail, even after any temporary ‘success’.

So maybe it needs simply channelling in the right area – through an amazon ebook, or an online blog or Facebook page. Or maybe it needs packaging in the right form and style to receive people's attention who are genuinely looking for this, even if they don’t realise it themselves. Or maybe just marketing yourself in order to write for a direct payment – there are many outsourced sites where people will pay for good writing and content, and even offering to do for local and related businesses which will eventually pay off and gain you invaluable experience.

So get that computer-keyboard burning rubber.

By Andrew Duncan

Tagged in: online publishing
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I’ve just had some graphics created for the front of the website so they rotate around on the front page. This is through a local professional graphic designer in Walsall Birmingham I’ve started using for website image jobs like this, and helps add that depth to websites and any marketing materials.

This did get me thinking about the whole are of ‘graphic design’ for websites, as one trend I’ve noticed for a while is that websites are actually becoming simpler – less fuss and general activity, and often just clear plan colours backgrounds, simple text, and a few images. If you look at websites like Google or Facebook, they’re essentially just white backgrounds and coloured boxes and text – it’s the use and interaction that ‘makes’ the websites.

Graphics can make a huge impact, which is why I’ve wanted to simplify my own website and let good old graphics do the trick. Here are a few lessons I’ve learnt to help anyone in the same boat:

1. Get them matching your brand and existing colour and designs – sounds obvious, but show the graphic designer what you already have, any particular colours you need to dove-tail into, and any say fliers or other information you have (if only a hard copy, you can take a photo on your mobile phone and email or text it to them).

2. Show graphic designers some example – they have good ideas and imaginations and judgement, but they can’t mind read. If you’ve seen examples on other websites or on the internet send them a link, even if it’s just that part or colour of an image you like. For mine I actually looked at some popular pub and restaurant website images to pick out a few to send across in an effort to get the restaurant theme right with The Website Waiter.

3. Keep it simple – as above, I reckon simpler the better, maybe just a colour, some text, and a small image, or even a symbol. And if you simply change one of these elements on another images to help bring variety but yet consistency (so on mine, there is a difference in the whole background colours in each one)

4. Use text on images to inform people about something – so as well as the graphics helping to make the front of the website look pretty, I wanted to take the opportunity to communicate The Website Waite principle of serving ‘course’ like being at a restaurant. I thought of a quick video clip, and maybe text, but noticed on other websites that bold images with text in them can do this. The text then needs to be simple and straight to the point with clear statements as people look through them.

5. Use movement to quickly get the message across between different website images - so here I’ve placed them in a rotating slide show that automatically happens when people go on the website, and takes them through the slides in logical order to reinforce the message I want to communicate. Infact I’ve actually made these rotations happen quickly so as people read the simple text on one image within a few seconds they’re straight onto the next one in order to keep people’s attention for the whole sequence.

So as the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words – well worth looking into some fresh website images and graphics and asking a good graphic designer to help add that special something.

By Andrew Duncan

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Posted by on in The Website Waiter

Testing testing, 1, 2, 3. It feels a bit like when you see people testing a microphone and they say the famous ‘testing testing’ line to make sure it’s working OK. Well here’s my new blog on The Website Waiter’s website, and it feels the same and not immediately knowing what the first blog post should be about.

I’ve actually got lots if ideas that I can ramble about over time, it’s just the first one, and the rest will be easy. So I’ll keep it short – just to say that I’m starting to blog mainly to get in the habit of jotting down thoughts on any subject to do with website design or marketing on the internet which at some point will hopefully be helpful to someone as they come across it. And of course there will be all the vibes sent out in social-media world as well.

So if you’re reading this now, there’s going to be far more helpful posts than this! If you have any ideas or topics I can go into then do let me know. The whole website and internet world can be confusing, and my aim is to try and explain things is plainer English, and boil things down to what is actually needed to achieve whatever result you’re wanting.

Which is where the ‘waiter’ theme and brand came from – to try and easily explain how I can help in a better way than coming out with endless jargon, and to help people judge what stage of the process they're at and what ‘appetite’, or ‘diet’, or ‘budget’ they have to use the analogy of ordering a meal at a restaurant.

So there we are, let’s get going and crank out some juicy free ‘starters’.

By Andrew Duncan

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