October 21, 2014

Social Media

Social Media is all about community and like-interests finding each other online. RavenWood Creative can help you find your place in all the social media environments available.

So if you’re struggling to figure out how your business should use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social networking tool, contact us, and we’ll get to work on a social media communication plan.

    Share

    Graphic Design

    image_graphicdesign_150Graphic Design. It’s where we shine, we combine compelling, tightly written words with the right visual element without having to jump back and forth between separate designers and writers.

    First impressions – everyone knows they’re important, your customers are making up their minds when they look at your logo – is this the kind of organization I want to do business with? Let us create a professional and powerful first impression for your organization.

    • logos
    • publications
    • web images

    Share

    A Sad Day

    I don’t feel much like working today. My constant companion, office mate and friend is gone. On April 4th, my wife and I made the heart-wrenching decision to put down our 12-year-old, Neapolitan Mastiff, Cosmo. She was very sick and at her advanced age we didn’t want to prolong her suffering. Despite her male-sounding name, Cosmo was in fact a female and was named before we rescued her from the Montgomery County, PA SPCA. She was four at the time when we brought her home in 2001.

    Cosmo

    Cosmo

    She had a hard first four years of life, the vet thinks she was bred too much, and lucky for us was surrendered to the SPCA during a not very active time, as she had stayed at the SPCA for several months before we found her.  She was under weight but always willing to eat and she soon flourished in our home. She became a constant in our home, and when I started my business was my office mate day in and day out, taking her spot on the couch in the office to “work” hard at sleeping and nudging me to be petted when I started talking on the phone.

    Cosmo hard at work

    Cosmo hard at work

    Today, she’s gone. I will miss my office mate, our other dog, Ally the Bloodhound goes to doggie daycare three times a week, so I’ll have her keeping me company a few times a week, but there’s an energy missing from our home and office now. I’m sure eventually life will intrude again, we’ll get busy, and we’ll continue to remember and miss Cosmo lovingly, and it won’t hurt as much as it does today. Dogs have a fantastic way of making all of us slow down in life and take time to enjoy it. Often it’s just the wag of a tail or the look in their eyes that help us do that. I encourage anyone out there looking to get a dog, to please check your local rescue or SPCA and help a dog out. I know in my heart that Cosmo was eternally grateful for what we did for her and she became a part of our family, the ultimate protector of our home, my wife and the neighborhood as we went on our daily walks, and she was our friend.

    Goodbye Cosmo.

    Share

    Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization SEO

    As a web designer, I often get asked by clients and other I speak with at events, “How do I get my site to be higher in the search results?” I often tell them that it usually only requires a few simple steps to help move the ranking in the right direction. But as with most things, if you start with garbage in you’ll get garbage out. It often comes down to redesigning the site to clean out years of either neglect or too much attention (i.e. too much content that is dis-organized and lacks focus).

    It’s what the industry has come to know as Search Engine Optimization or SEO. The Internet is filled with companies promising you results by using their SEO plans. But with a little education on such matters most problems can be addressed before calling on professionals to help. Google recently published a 20 some page starter guide to SEO. Its a starter guide to SEO, that covers such topics as:

    • page titles and the importance of accurately titling your pages
    • descriptive meta tags
    • friendly URL structures
    • using sitemaps to construct easy-to-navigate sites
    • custom 404 error pages
    • quality content
    • using anchor text effectively
    • using “alt” text for images
    • and using robots.txt files

    While most of the information in the guide should be old hat for your web designer, I’ve found that I educate the site owner a bit, they can focus on the areas of their site that need help.

    Google has put together a good guide to help those outside the web development world to understand “this SEO thing” a bit better. Even though some of the guide could be deemed contrary to what Google has promoted in the past, such as the statement, “Search engine optimization affects only organic search results, not paid or “sponsored” results such as Google AdWords”, most of the information is right on target. Hopefully, Google will address the contrasts of in future version of the SEO guide.

    Until next time, Tim

    Share

    Web sites I’ve designed, how best to feature them on my own site?

    Recently, I’ve been wanting to redesign my own web site www.ravenwoodcreative.com. I’ve been so busy building other people’s sites lately that my own site has been neglected.

    So I ask you what’s the best way to feature various sites on my own web site? Do I use Flash, or thumbnails with links, or some combination I haven’t thought of yet? I want something that looks cool but remains easy to update and change.

    What do you recommend?

    They cover a variety of businesses, from non-profit to a conceirge or architecture business.

    TabithaHarrierConcierge.com

    Flourtown Fire Company

    Schaefer Design, LLC

    Flourtown Businesspersons Association

    and others.

    Let me know, until next time, Tim

    Share

    What’s the best corporate gift you ever gave or received?

    Today, I’ve been working on the gift RavenWood Creative is sending its clients for the holidays. It’s been a struggle to devise something that properly thanks our clients for their business, but also represents our brand.

    I realize now what I should have done was ask you. Maybe you can help. What was the best corporate/business gift you ever gave or received in your career? Let me know, and maybe we can compile a cool list for people to reference. Also when is the proper time to send the gifts around which holiday? What’s your opinion?

    Until next time, Tim

    Share

    LinkedIn Grows and SEO Comes of Age

    There’s an interesting thing going on out on the Net, social media and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are both coming of age. I was reading a cool new blog recently from Dinkum Interactive where its head was discussing his thoughts on how News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch were toying with the idea of buying LinkedIn. This business-centered networking site, where you can keep “connected” with present co-workers, past co-workers, college-buddies, and just friends or colleagues, is growing so rapidly (currently 6th biggest of its type and gaining) and its successful that it’s attracted the attention of big business and the media.

    I’m a member of LinkedIn – View Tim Ernst's profile on LinkedIn and see if we know anyone in common, it’s that simple. The ability to keep connected to people you know is very powerful, I know when I started RavenWood Creative, it was daunting to think, “Okay, I have started this business, but how do I start doing business.” Well, networking and social media has taken a lot of that fear away, people want to connect, people want to do business with nice people, and I’ve found that through cyber-networking and old-fashioned shaking of hands people want to see other people succeed and do well. Friends want to help friends and my friends have certainly helped me. Thanks Regina, Marci and of course, Eileen, and the countless others who have given me words of encouragement and support.

    As for SEO, I’m off to a luncheon meeting today of the local Rotary, another great way to network, and the speaker, the head of Dinkum Interactive … I’ll let you know what he has to say about SEO in its coming of age in the next entry.

    In the meantime, how do you network? What sites do you use to network? What do you think of LinkedIn? Please share your thoughts … until next time, Tim

    Share

    Hello and Welcome to Corvus!

    Welcome to my blog – Corvus – named after the genus name that the Raven falls under in the animal kingdom. As president of RavenWood Creative, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you about, the communication industry, the effects of social media on the industry, graphic design, viral video and the events of the day.

    First things first, I get asked all the time, “why the name RavenWood Creative?” Well, when I decided to start my own communication consultancy, I wanted to avoid the usual route and name the business after myself. In my opinion, there’s nothing original in doing that. Unless you have a cool name to play off – Ernst – doesn’t cut it.

    So I thought about my passions in life. There’s volunteering, I’m a certified volunteer firefighter here in Pennsylvania. Yes, I’m one of the many “crazy folks” that run into a burning building, but we, of course, don the proper gear. I’ve been doing it over 12 years now, and enjoy the camaraderie and helping people. And, I also volunteer in restoring an 18th century flour/grain mill in my township here in Southeast PA, right outside Philadelphia. It’s a slow process, but we have big plans. But naming a communication consultancy after fire and flour didn’t make sense to me.

    Then I thought about two other passions of mine, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, while I’m no expert, I’ve always been fascinated by his creativity, his angst, and his era. While some say he was an opium addict/drunk, I say yes, and a creative one at that.  I also have a hobby (among many) I enjoy very much, woodworking. I’ve built some of the furniture in my house and it came in handy when my wife and I renovated our almost 100-year-old home.

    So I took my two passions Poe’s “The Raven” being my favorite poem and woodworking and combined theminto my third passion business communication – and with an apology to Edgar – “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I ponder a name for my business, that was neither weak nor weary – I arrived at RavenWood Creative.” Remember, I apologized first before doing that. I hope you continue to check in here and spread the word about RavenWood Creative and contact us if you need help in writing that article or designing that graphic that helps you grow your business. As technology carves it’s way through the communication industry, I plan on RavenWood Creative to be there helping its clients use these tools to their advantage.

    Til next time, Tim

    Share