Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Increase Facebook Engagement with Images

The Webmaster Info Spot has been on a roll lately with informative posts on using/editing photos. To cap off the unofficial series, I wanted to share this good-to-know tidbit of Facebook advice:

Posts with images will receive higher engagement than posts without. did some research, and they discovered that “images have been the No.1 driver of engagement on a page since timeline launched.” That means that images beat out links, videos and text-only status updates for the top spot. And this means that images catch the eye of your Facebook fans more than anything else.

“Posts including a photo album or a picture can generate two times more engagement than other post types,” reports

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Video Formats… What Works and What Doesn’t

Videos make a great addition to your Region website and can make it more entertaining and educational (and possibly educational) for your visitors. The National Office has a YouTube channel with videos available for Regions to put on their websites.

YouTube videos are easy to embed on your website. All you need to do is go to the video and click on the embed link. Copy the code and paste it where you want it on your website.

If you would like to use your own videos that are not on YouTube, you might want to follow some of these guidelines:

File Format – There are some common file formats that work universally for the most part. MOV (or Quicktime) files work in any browser and on any iPhone or iPad. FLV is a good format for the web, as it loads quickly and tends to have smaller file sizes. It, however, does not work on iPhone and iPad, so if your audience includes users on these devices, I would opt for another format. MP4 is another QuickTime format that works on all devices and browsers.

Friday, February 22, 2013

SUPER Simple Photo Editing

For the more experienced Webmaster, you probably have a photo editing tool/software that you know and love. For those on the more inexperienced side, like myself, (I try to stick to writing, editing and social media), we need a simple, easy-to-use photo editor that can get the basic things done quickly.

If I ever need to quickly edit a photo for a Facebook post, inclusion in an e-newsletter, etc., I usually hop on

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Choosing the Right Images for your Website

Images say a lot about a website and we want to make sure you use the right kind of images to get the mission and vision of AYSO out to your Regions.

Images can be difficult to come across, especially when you have to worry about permissions and copyrights. We discourage using images from google, since you can’t show any sort of ownership or rights for that image. Here are some places to find appropriate images and guidelines to use when choosing photos:

Use Your Own Images

If you’re using your own images, make sure they are lit properly and well composed (meaning that people aren’t cut off in the images, and they aren’t oddly lopsided) and don't have any names or contain anything offensive (ex: no alcohol, tobacco, weapons, etc.). Please try to follow our Safe Haven guidelines to make sure the photos are appropriate for AYSO. If faces appear in the images, make sure that you have a release from each person in the images so you don’t get in trouble for posting their picture on the website. To make this part easier, you could have every parent sign a release form for themselves and their child when they register or before they play their first game. It will assure you that every person in the photos have a release signed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Planning Social Media Promotions for 2014

As you know, AYSO turns 50 next year, and the National Office is busily getting ready for the celebration and all its festivities. 

Have you started thinking of ways to modify your Region's website and social media presence on our Golden Anniversary? Here a couple easy ideas:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hop on the “Mobile Friendly” Bandwagon

Many people are short on time these days and tend to do their websurfing on their phones or tablets. You want to make sure that your site looks good and is easily accessible on a mobile phone or tablet, especially with the thousands of young parents in AYSO.

You can easily make a separate style sheet that is mobile friendly for your Region website. This style sheet would reduce the use of images and adjust the width to that of whatever device the user is using to surf your site. If this is the route you’d like to take with your website, you can view a full list of tips here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brand New Facebook Tools Now Available

The AYSO National Office wants to help make running your Region's Facebook page as fun and easy-to-manage as possible, so we've added a new section to AYSO's Region Toolkit called Facebook Tools.

Featured in the new section are tools to make your Region's Facebook page interesting, interactive and consistent with AYSO's national branding campaigns.

It includes...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Embrace Browser Testing

Browser testing is important to ensure that your viewer audience can view your website accurately. It’s difficult to test in all browsers on one computer, since you can’t have them all installed on one single computer. There are tools out there to help with testing, and here are a few that I’ve used:

Adobe BrowserLab

Adobe BrowserLab is an amazing tool. I have used this tool so much when it comes to testing a website. It has every major browser AND lets you set up a custom list of browsers you want to test in. It even gives you the option to onion skin the displays between browser so you can easily compare what’s different in each browser. This tool is free to use as long as you have an Adobe account, which is free to create. It’s all web based, so you can use it anywhere without downloading anything. The only downside of BrowserLab is that it renders the website to an image, so you cannot test functionality. You can learn more about this great tool here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Make Your Site Say AYSO!

Branding is important in AYSO so that parents know it’s a large, nationwide organization. We have a great selection of branding items available in the Region Toolkit on Anything you can add to your site that will help it look professional and maintain AYSO branding, will make parents feel that they have chosen a quality soccer organization for their children.

Logo Usage
It’s a good idea to use the National AYSO logo as much as you can in conjunction with your Region logo. We have a logo frame that has been created to help with this venture. It is simple to download and add your Region logo. It helps parents and families see that your local Region is part of a larger national organization that is committed to youth soccer across the country. The logo frame can be found in the Region Toolkit under the AYSO Logo section.

AYSO Colors
It’s also important that the colors used on your website are the correct AYSO colors, and not an offshoot of those colors. You want to make sure that the red and the blue match the colors in the AYSO traditional logo to maintain consistency throughout your website. Below are the color codes that can be used for the AYSO red and AYSO blue:

HEX CODE #EF3E33 #034EA2
RGB CODE rgb(239, 62, 51) rgb(3, 78, 162)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Where Are My Web Stats?

Web stats are an easy way to track your Region site and see if your hard work is getting you the traffic you want. If your Region’s website is hosted with a provider like Go Daddy or Yahoo, you might already have site statics on your site (or available for activation). If you don’t know where to find your site statistics, you can contact your hosting provider and they will show you how to access it.

If you don’t have access to site statistics through your provider, you can use Google Analytics. All you need is a Google account to get started. Once you set up your account, they’ll give you a code that you paste into the header section of your website. You’ll have to place the code on every page you want to track. It takes about 24 hours for statistics to start showing up in your account after you install the code.

Google Analytics is a comprehensive and free tracking solution. You can view visits, unique visits, browser types, what country the visitor is from, how long they spend on your site and much more. By installing analytics, you can see which pages are your most popular and which ones you should spruce up or make easier to find. It can show you what topics people are interested in and what keywords people are using to search for your Region.

You can learn more about how to add Google Analytics to your website here.

If you have any questions about how analytics or stats work, ask away in the comments!