Website helps kids with cancer

Desktop Solutions is proud to announce the completion of our latest project, a website for  Happiness Is Camping, a camp dedicated to helping kids with cancer. Located in beautiful Hardwick New Jersey, the camp sits on 150 pristine acres of woodland, fields, streams, and ponds. Supported by donations and volunteer staff members, the camp is free to all who attend. Campers, ages 6-15 attend our overnight camp staying from one week or all summer depending on their medical condition and the level of care required. The camp is also available for the siblings of the campers as well. Sibling’s ages 6-15 are allowed to attend camp for the same sessions as their brother/sister with cancer.

Camp activities include canoeing and fishing on our pond, swimming in our pool, arts and
crafts, theater, nature, volleyball, basketball, high and low ropes courses, a climbing tower, archery, a giant swing, and a zip line that crosses over the pond. Happiness Is Camping has a fully-staffed health center, with volunteer doctors and nurses from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Montefiore Medical Center.

As a non-profit camp, Happiness Is Camping depends on individual contributions from people who care about the kids they serve. To make a tax- deductible donation to this worthwhile organization, please click here.


Why Mobile Compatibility is Now a Necessity

Google recently confirmed that more users are now searching via mobile devices than on traditional desktop or laptop computers. That, combined with Google’s recent preference for sites optimized for  mobile devices, means that all businesses, even small ones, can no longer afford to ignore how their site looks on an iPhone.

Click here to see if your site meets Google’s mobile-friendly test.

If you find your site is not mobile-friendly, what should you do?

  1. Determine whether you need a respsonsive design or mobile-friendly site.

For more information on how to make sure your site is compatible with mobile devices, please visit

Using Video to Promote Your Site

Why Video?

Many marketers ignore video promotion as a method to surpass competitors in the search results. However, in website promotion video has several advantages:

  • Relatively low competition
  • Links to videos stand out sharply against the standard text links
  • Creating a video is not so difficult and expensive as it seems
  • People readily share links to good videos

Video Content

Video topics should be interesting. If the topic is broad, make a series of short videos.Below are several examples of video plots and titles.

  • Educational videos: “How to” type videos attract many users, especially in specific industries
  • Demonstration videos work well for sport, tourism, household appliances, or mobile devices
  • Tips on how to use complicated product or service
  • Product reviews
  • Specialists’ comments on news or events

Video Length

Size matters. The longer the video is, the less probable it is people will start watching it and watch it to the end. That is why it is advisable to make videos no longer than 3-5 minutes.

What’s in a Name?

Another important factor is a video title. When writing a title, try to choose two or three keywords which your video potential viewers might type and then append the “video” word to it. You can use Google Keyword Tool for this purpose. Make sure to test your video potential title — put it in quotes and search for such keyword on Google. For example, “how to choose the right tires”. Use only unique titles for your video; unique title is more important than the title stuffed with right keywords. Limit the title length to 55- 60 characters – in this case the user will be able to see it in full in the search results, which in turn will increase Click Through Rates.

Search Engine Optimization

Apart from keywords research for the search engines, you can also use special tags containing important queries. This will help search engines understand what your video is about and rank it higher than similar videos of your competitors without tags. YouTube allows publishing text subtitles to the video, and here you can freely incorporate keywords along with company name. During its ranking process Google prefers pages with large chunks of useful and unique content.

Where to Upload?
Should you upload a video to your own website or opt for popular video hosting services such as YouTube or Vimeo?

There is no definite answer to this question. However, using video hosting services has some advantages. Firstly, cost saving. If you have a lot of videos you may need very expensive hosting resources. Secondly, if you experiment with several search queries, it becomes obvious that “common” websites share is extremely small in comparison with YouTube. There is explanation for it: YouTube service belongs to Google, besides, it has what optimization specialists call “trust”. That is why even in the beginning YouTube video has some advantages. If you do decide to host your video on Youtube, Vimeo, or a similar site — make sure your web developer does not send people off-site to see the video. You should also consider that people may discover your company first by searching through the videos in Youtube. In this case you should simultaneously interact with the audience by gently offering your services and inviting them to your website.

How to attract users to your website
If the your company was originally discovered through a video hosting service, how to make the user who has watched the video to click through to your website? If possible, mention your company name at the beginning and at the end of the video. If not, show your logo. The best option is to have your site name and/or address displayed during the whole video. It is important, however, not to overload video with logos and links, as it will distract the viewer and make the video too pushy and promotional.

Some large video hosting services, such as YouTube and Vimeo, allow embedding your site link into the video description. If on top of that you have your own video channel on these websites, make sure it contains your brand name.

Tips to Build Your Email List

  1. Ask everyone that comes to your place of business for their email address. Put a sign-up sheet at your register or reception desk. Ask callers on the phone. If you’re a webbased operation, send a follow-up after an order asking if they’d like to continue to hear from you. Have your employees and staff ask too. Don’t be shy! Studies have shown that over half of people will provide their email addresses if asked.
  2. Ask people you meet in professional settings. There’s a lot of networking going on at trade shows, conferences, seminars, and industry events—tell your new contacts about your email newsletter and ask them to subscribe, too!
  3. Many email marketing programs, like Constant Contact, have special features to make it easy for users to sign people up. There are also easy-to-use buttons and widgets to help you capture people’s interest in you. Put them on your website, Facebook page, blog, LinkedIn profile and in your outgoing emails. They’re easy to use. People just click on the link or button to access your sign-up page. Their email goes automatically into your contact database. Couldn’t be easier!
  4. Don’t forget about social media. People love to share information. Use a Social Share bar so your subscribers can forward your newsletter, put it on Facebook, or Tweet it—and make it easy for their friends to join your list!
  5. Cross-promote yourself with a related business or organization. Got a good relationship with a business that’s complementary to yours (such as florists and chocolate stores; theaters and neighborhood bistros). Promote each other in your respective newsletters by being “guest contributors” and writing a newsletter article for their audience, either one time or on an ongoing basis. You’ll also benefit by the perceived endorsement from the other business, making their subscribers more willing to join your list.
  6. Use incentives to get new signups. Offer a monthly prize drawing or freebie like a guide, discount, or giveaway to entice people to leave their email address. If you have employees, run a contest (with a great motivating prize, of course!) to see who gets the most new names in a certain period of time.
  7. Promote your email newsletter in all your printed collateral. Put a simple message on your business cards, brochures, advertisements, sales kits, and direct mail letters.
  8. Some ideas include:
  • “Sign up for our email newsletter for insider information and discounts at [your URL].”
  • “Get our monthly newsletters with tips on how to get more business.”
  • “Receive our weekly email newsletter for exclusive coupons.”
  • “Let’s stay in touch often. Sign up for our email newsletter.”
  • “Ask us about our email newsletter.”