Thursday, March 28, 2013

How's Your Region's Homepage Doing?

How's your Region's homepage doing? I suggest using Google Analytics to check out your homepage's activity. This will help you figure out what's getting the attention of your visitors, and what's getting overlooked.

The screenshot above (click to make bigger) is an example of's anayltics. You'll see that every link has a percentage; this is the percentage of total homepage clicks that the link has received. If you hover over the percentage, it'll give you more information such as the exact number of clicks and the URL it's listed under.

We all know that the homepage is one of the most important pages of your site - it's the visitor's first impression and may determine whether or not they choose to learn more about your Region. Study your analytics and make some changes.

Here's a few examples of what may need to be changed:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Best Free Software for Webmasters

Designing and maintaining websites can be expensive with all of the software required – photo editing software, graphics software and HTML editors. Below are a few programs you can download for free that will help you get your website up and running. (If it isn’t already!)

CoffeeCup HTML Editor (PC)
This is a nice HTML editor that color codes your code for you, making it easier to see what you’re doing. It also includes a “design” editor, making it easier for non-programmers to edit a webpage.

Smultron HTML Editor (Mac)
The software has syntax highlighting features which include over 90 different languages. You can also create new documents stored in your iCloud account to retrieve from any computer. This is easy to grab right off the Mac App Store and it’s great for developers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is Your Region on YouTube?

YouTube announced today that it has reached 1 billion unique monthly users. In other words, YouTube is still a big deal! If your Region isn’t currently on YouTube, it might be something to think about.

Here’s what YouTube said in their blog post:

What does 1 billion people tuning into YouTube look like?
•    Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube.
•    Our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences.
•    If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third-largest in the world, after China and India.
•    Psy and Madonna would have to repeat their Madison Square Garden performance in front of a packed house 200,000 more times. That’s a lot of Gangnam Style!

Don’t let the idea of needing to create videos scare you away! YouTube can be simple if that’s the way you choose to utilize it. If your Region decides to join YouTube, here are things you could feature in your account:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Learn SEO From the Professionals

Case studies are always a good way to get an insiders look into how something comes to fruition. They let you see how things are done in the real world, by the big wigs.

With this case study, the designer/programmer of the landing page for ConvertKit takes you on a step-by-step copywriting venture to show how he has taken on the world of metrics (also known as search engine optimization). This case study includes lots of advice and feedback on conversion rate optimization and copywriting, to help you make the most out of your website.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Social Media Can Do for Your Region's Sponsors

Once you build a sizable and engaged social media audience (for a typical-sized Region, I would say this is about 300 Facebook and/or Twitter followers), your online presence can be a useful asset to your Region’s local sponsors.

Whether you’re trying to please your current sponsors, or looking to bag a few new ones, here are a few ways to use social media to promote your Region’s sponsors (or potential sponsors).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stuck and Need Help? Google is Your Friend.

We all get stuck when it comes to creating webpages, whether it’s related to programming, or something isn’t working quite right. That’s when you turn to Google. There is an abundant supply of resources online just waiting for you to find them.

The W3C has an extensive website with resources on every programming language out there (web-based anyway). Whether you need help understanding HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP or ASP, their website can help you out. They break down every element of the code, tell you what it does and gives you examples of how to use it. Some of the pages even have a section where you can test it for yourself in real time. It’s a great resource if you’re just learning or don’t understand a certain component of any type of code.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Advanced Twitter Searching

People on Twitter are always talking – about their weekend plans, their favorite teams, even what they ate for dinner. If you’re ever curious as to what the “Twitter-verse” is saying about AYSO, there are ways to find out.

The first step is going to the “#Discover” section and typing in AYSO in the search box. These will give you the top results of people using #AYSO in their tweets. After a quick browse, click “All” too see all of the unfiltered, unranked responses.

Note: If you’ve promoted a custom hashtag in your Region, i.e., #AYSORegion22, try using that as your search term instead.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Using Fonts on the Web

It’s fun to go through all of the fonts on your computer and use them on your Region website. However, keep in mind thatnot everyone will have your fun font on their computer. So, it’s a good idea to use fonts that the majority of people will have and can view. You should also have a back-up font declared so that everyone can see your Region website the way it was meant to be seen..

Declaring Your Fonts

You can declare your fonts in CSS. Follow the format below:
font-family: Geneva, Arial, sans-serif;

You can add as many fonts to your declaration as you like. The first font is what will be displayed. Each font listed after that will be the fallback if the first font doesn’t work. So, say the user doesn’t have Geneva on their computer. It will try to display the page in Arial. If they don’t have Arial either, it will use the basic sans-serif font on the computer’s system.

Common Web Fonts

Choosing a font can be difficult because users work on different types of computers. Macs and Linux have different fonts than regular PCs, so even if your font is a "normal" font on a Mac, it might not be visible for a user on a PC. Here is a list of fonts that render on all computer formats: