Mobilegeddon for Websites

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Honestly, most of the sites that are going to be adversely affected by Google’s algorithm change to favor mobile-friendly sites don’t rank well already.

I see it everyday in my work with churches and non-profits whose sites date back to 2006 or 2007 and are mostly using static designs or a host that charges extra for mobile-friendliness. They don’t rank well in Google and want to know why.

So, do your due diligence and you’ll be fine…

THE timing is awkward, to say the least. On April 21st Google, the world’s biggest online-search engine, will start implementing another major overhaul of its mobile-search algorithm. This is likely to penalise many websites, which is why some have called the change “mobilegeddon”. This comes less than a week after the European Union accused the firm’s search engine of systematically giving favourable treatment to Google Shopping, its price-comparison service.

via Google: Mobilegeddon | The Economist.

Kerning Matters

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Ladies and Gentlemen: Your Marco Rubio for President logo.

A photo posted by Ed O’Keefe (@edatpost) on

Kerning. You probably haven’t heard of it, but oh does it matter. It’s why you hire professionals to make your logo. Like myself. *cough* And don’t get me started on why this logo doesn’t include Hawaii or Alaska…

What we have here is a kerning problem. “Kerning” refers to the spacing between letters. It’s easy to see when you have slanted letters like A and W right next to each other. Here’s an example I made in Microsoft Word without kerning.

Rubio’s odd-looking campaign logo is teaching us an important lesson about typography – Vox.

Who Do You Say I Am?

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My old (well he’s not old, but our friendship is) friend Thomas wrote a great piece in response to a question about why he still blogs in 2015 given that we have tools such as Facebook, Twitter etc to make our points.

What he says is not only applicable to academics, but also to non-profits, religious orgs, and for profit companies. Whether we like to grapple with the issue, you or your company or your group or your church has a “brand” that is being perceived by those who come into contact with you. Being aware of that is crucial.

You should be thinking of these things if you or your group wants to participate on the internet (beyond a Facebook page):

Related to this is the larger idea of controlling my “brand.” Though many academics have resisted the move toward “branding,” it has long been a part of academia. One’s credentials, what they’ve written, and where they’ve taught make up their brand and determine, to a large extent, who reads them, who assigns them, and who thinks of them for panel invitations and professional society nominations. Branding has only become more important with the ubiquity of information readily available on the internet. It is important for me, as an academic in general but also as someone on the job market, that when someone searches for me on the internet, they find me and find what I want them to find about me (namely, my website, my work for other outlets, etc.). Moreover, as I think about my personal brand, it forces me to think about where my priorities are and what impression I want people to get of me. This is, of course, no different than how we should be thinking even sans internet (the same thinking goes into job application materials, for instance).

via Why I Blog — Thomas J. Whitley.

Ad Agencies Are In Real Trouble

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Mad-Men

Advertising agencies haven’t changed very much since the 1950’s. Sure, most of the larger agencies have tacked on “digital” departments and made a number of acquisitions in the past decade to make themselves more agile and responsive to evolving client needs.

However, I was watching MadMen with my wife last night, and I remarked on how similar some of the agencies I work with act as if they were Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce rather than an agency responsive to 2015 needs. The “rebate” is just one of a number of issues facing larger agencies and their feeder smaller agencies in the coming decade as clients and marketers wise up and demand more transparencies…

The rebates stem from the arrangements that some agencies have in place with media sellers that reward them for spending more. If the agency chooses to direct more of their clients’ budgets to specific vendors, the agency may receive lower ad rates, free ad space or even cash.

“Emerging concerns among marketers around different forms of agency rebates in the United States causes us to partially (if slightly) re-assess some of our views on long-term holding company growth,” Mr. Wieser wrote in the research note. “With a drumbeat of negativity to come from marketers only now learning about the issue, we recommend investors move to sidelines or exit the sector for the time being.”

via Ad Agencies Downgraded by Pivotal Research on Rebate Concerns – CMO Today – WSJ.

Oddly, Microsoft and Dropbox Just Made It Easier to Use My Chromebook

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My team primarily uses Dropbox for our file storage and sharing. It was a back-and-forth battle for a while between Google Drive (since we use Google Apps for email, calendars etc) and Dropbox, and we still do use Drive for some project management. Even a few of our clients prefer it as they are already using Drive and Google Apps themselves.

However, our official party line is on the Dropbox side now because of its integration with other apps that we also rely on to get things done like Podio, Slack, and Freshbooks.

The biggest downside of going with Dropbox over Drive for me (#firstworldproblem) has been when I’m traveling or doing some quick catch up work at home outside of the office. That’s because I typically take my Chromebook (currently a Toshiba Chromebook 2 but that new Pixel is wearing on my will power) during those times. Editing a Word document or Excel sheet from a client or team member is definitely not as smooth on a Chromebook as working on a shared Google Doc or Sheet. So, I would resort to downloading the document from Dropbox and opening it as a Google Doc then redownloading when I was finished and reuploading it to the appropriate Dropbox folder. I also kept a zombie copy of many working docs in my Google Drive just so I could access them on the road, but they weren’t always up-to-date and current. It was a subtle pain that always annoyed me.

Until this announcement this week. I’ve tried it a few times now and it’s seamless and works great.

Thanks, Dropbox and Microsoft, you solved my workflow issue! Looks like I’ll be using Office Online a great deal more in the coming months…

What does that mean for you? For starters, you don’t need the desktop versions of Microsoft Office — or even your own computer — to update any Office files stored in your Dropbox. Just click the ‘Open’ button when you’re previewing a Dropbox file on the web, and you can edit the file right from your browser via Office Online. Any changes will automatically be saved back to your Dropbox.

You’ll also be able to access your Dropbox directly from Office Online, so you can open any of your Dropbox files — and save new files to Dropbox — without leaving Office Online.

via Dropbox launches integration with Microsoft Office Online | Dropbox Blog.

Growing Your Business with Email

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We handle dozens of email marketing campaigns every week. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of marketing for me, to be honest (I got my start in marketing doing email in 2003 or so). Email marketing is part science, part art, part analytics overload, part psychology, and part gut intuition. When done right, it’s an amazing augment to a wider marketing plan.

Even the popular payment taker Square is getting in on the act.

Here’s a nice intro to email marketing for businesses and groups that are looking to get started…

More than 90 percent of the world’s 2.4 billion email users checked their email at least once a day last year and received over 180 billion emails, according to vero. How are you going to make sure you stand out from the crowd? Marketing is a science and email marketing gives you access to a wealth of data that you can use to grow your results.

Every step in the process – including database segmentation, send number, time of send, subject line, content of email and landing page – is up for testing and analysis.

via How To Hack Your Email For Growth.

Going Viral on Twitter Just Got More Difficult

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Yesterday, Twitter released an anticipated new feature that allows users to retweet without using any of the precious 140 characters available. The new feature is only available on the official Twitter app for iOS now, but expected to roll out to Android and desktop apps soon.

In essence, this sounds like a win for users as well as marketers who use the (lucrative) Twitter experience to get their messages out there. The original concept of a retweet goes back to March 2007 when users were searching for a way to share a tweet someone else had published. Originally called an “echo,” retweets became quickly recognizable using the “RT” convention, much like the concept of using # to denote “hashtags” developed from the bottom-up by users. Twitter incorporated RT into its official platform and now provides a means to retweet without having to include RT as it has gained mainstream adoption (though some of us old timers that were there from the beginning still prefer this method).

However, marketers should be aware of a few issues with the new retweet convention as it makes its way into wider adoption. Good post here with some things to think about regarding sharing, stats, images, and “virality” (which is still very important on Twitter)…

Going viral on Twitter? It’s harder. The first retweet with comment is not a disaster, but the subsequent retweet with comment is. Few chances to get one more retweet.The previous Retweet button was a bad choice for marketers. The new one is even worse.

via Retweet with Comment Punches Marketers in the Face | Adrian Jock’s Internet Marketing Tips.