Advanced

Advanced Tactics to Promote Your Brand Over Social Media

Facebook’s latest algorithm changes have prioritized posts by friends and families in user news feeds. Organic reach over Facebook had already been in decline since 2014, but Facebook’s latest algorithm change comes as a near death knell to organic social media marketing.

Of course, other platforms do exist, but Twitter is primarily a young person’s platform and 70% of Pinterest users are female. Finding the right platforms to market your content is only the first step. Actually reaching those customers over said platforms is much more difficult.

The old ways of sharing your content and letting it accrue shares naturally are gone. This is why we’ve outlined five advanced tactics that are sure to yield your brand greater reach and engagement over any social media platform.

Targeted Sharing

This is by far my favorite method for curating conversation over social media and getting your content in front of a large audience. There are few ways to conduct targeted sharing:

  • Tag a thought leader/influencer in a post snippet who would find interest in your content
  • Attribute a quote in your snippet to a thought leader and then tag them
  • Post content in community forums or on thought leader posts

Using these strategies, you can add authority to your posts and even begin a conversation over a topic in your industry with somebody who is respected. It’s the easiest way to get your content visibility in front of a large audience and also increase post engagement.

Influencer Marketing

Partnering with an influencer is also a great method to get your content in front a large, loyal audience. Just be sure the reviews of your content are favorable and that you reciprocate by sharing influencer content to your audience. Together you can grow your readership and customer base to massive proportions.

Filtering for Custom Audiences

Never overlook the efficacy of advertising your content or an event your brand is promoting. Use Facebook’s ‘Audience Insights’ or Twitter’s analytics tool to segment your audience by demographics and psychographics and target them with relevant content they are likely to engage with. This is also a great method for simply coming up topics or promotional ideas for content or products.

Remarketing

Have you ever posted a piece of video content that went viral? Well, why not retarget those same users with another piece of relevant content? Why not repurpose that same piece of content into an infographic or video to make it go viral again? Remarketing is a great strategy to nurture researcher intent and maybe even capture a few easy sales by finally convincing those skeptical customers.

Leverage Video

Finally, you should honestly post every piece of content as a video. According to one report, marketers who leveraged video were able to increase their revenue 49% more than marketers who didn’t. Video receives higher engagement over every single social media platform than text content and is in high demand.

Conclusion

Social media marketing is only one piece of the pie as hiring a mobile app developer and investing in email marketing can deliver equal returns. But as social media platforms limit their reach and focus more on the personal side of their experience, brands will have to get more creative to reach their customers and deliver a high return.

 

The post Advanced Tactics to Promote Your Brand Over Social Media appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

The Advanced SEO Formula That Helped Me Rank For 477,000 Keywords

seo neil patel

Can you guess how many keywords I rank for?

Well, you are probably going to say 477,000 because I used that number in the title of this post. 😉

And it’s true, just look at the screenshot from Ahrefs. It shows the number of keywords I rank for.

ahrefs keywords

But what’s crazy is that I am in a super competitive niche… digital marketing.

So, are you wondering how I did it?

Well, it starts with proper keyword research.

See most marketers start their keyword research with tools like SEMrush or Ubersuggest and they type in a keyword like “SEO”. You then get a list back with hundreds of keyword suggestions with cost per click and competition data.

ubersuggest seo

And once you have a list of keywords you like, you probably do what most marketers do, which is to start inserting them into your website or creating content around the keywords.

Does this process sound familiar?

Well, of course, it does because that’s what everyone has been teaching you to do.

But what’s wrong with this?

This process is like gambling… there’s no guarantee that you’ll rank for these new keywords. And even worse, those keywords may not generate you any leads, sales, or revenue.

But thankfully, I have a process for you that will not only help you rank for thousands of keywords, but it will also ensure that this new-found traffic converts into leads, sales, and more revenue.

Here’s the 5-step process that helped me rank for 477,000 keywords.

Step #1: Focus on the pages that drive revenue

Going after the right keywords won’t guarantee you success.

If you rank a page that isn’t converting well, you’ll get more traffic, but your revenue won’t go up.

Sure, you can eventually focus on conversion rate optimization and try to fix that over time, but you are better off driving traffic to pages that are already generating you revenue.

If you haven’t setup goal tracking, watch the video below as it will teach you how.

Assuming you set it correctly, let’s look for the pages that are driving your revenue.

google conversions

You can see from the image above, I sorted the results by conversions.

You now have a list of pages to focus on. But it isn’t as easy as just picking the top page and going from there.

For example, your top page could be a “check out” page, which, of course, won’t do any good if you rank it higher.

Instead, you should focus on:

  • Product pages
  • Service pages
  • Content pages

Once you have a final list of pages, you’ll want to take those URLs and look them up in your Google Search Console.

Step #2: Log into Google Search Console

Once you’re in Google Search Console, you’ll want to click on, “Search Traffic > Search Analysis”.

This will lead you to a report that looks something like this.

top pages

You’ll then want to click on the “Pages” option as it will sort the results by top pages.

At this point, you’ll have to go through your list of pages and find them within Google Search Console.

Once you find one of the pages, click on the URL and then select “Queries” at the top.

This will give you an overview of the specific terms that generate traffic to your high converting pages.

page keywords

Now let’s download the data in CSV format and open it with Excel.

Once you load it up, it should look something like this.

excel

I want you to first sort the data by impressions. Look for the keywords that are generating the highest impression count as those keywords have the potential to drive the most traffic.

If you feel those keywords are relevant to your product or service that you are offering, make sure you include them within the title tag of your website.

You won’t be able to add all of the keywords to your title tag because it is limited to roughly 60 characters, but adding a few of the most popular terms will ensure that you are going to get higher click-through rates, which will boost your overall search rankings.

Once you’ve adjusted your title tag, let’s do the same with your meta description.

Meta description is longer than the title tag. Google is ok with roughly 156 characters. So, feel free to sprinkle in a few more keywords, but make sure your meta description still flows in a readable sentence.

And before we get back to the Excel sheet, let’s expand your content by adding in some of the keywords you don’t rank high up on page 1 but should.

You can do this by adding more content to your page, or if you can insert the keywords without “stuffing” them in (just make sure your content flows and provides value).

Now let’s head back over to Excel. You should see a filter icon that looks something like this:

excel filter

Select column E, as this will select all of the keywords based on their rankings. Then click on the “sort & filter button” and then select “filter”.

You’ll see a table that pops up. Unselect any numbers that are 1, 2, or 3.

You’ll also want to unselect any number that is 11 or greater. This will show you all of the keywords ranking on page 1 that are NOT in position 1, 2 or 3.

excel filter results

These are the keywords that have the most potential as the top 3 positions generate 20.5%, 13.32%, and 13.14% of the clicks respectively. You want to be in the top 3 spots as that is where the majority of the clicks are happening.

By, having a list of keywords that are in position 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10… you can now focus on moving them up.

You’ve already done the hardest part which is getting on page 1. It’s not that much more work to get into the top 3 spots (at least for most keywords).

You’ll want to take all of the keywords that are relevant to your page and see if you can blend them into your content or headings without ruining the user experience.

This may mean that you’ll have to re-write your content and make it double the length.

Or if you have a product or service page that you are trying to rank higher, it may mean that you can’t include all of the keywords as it will ruin the user experience and hurt your conversion rate (but you can probably include a few more).

Over time you’ll find that your rankings will slowly climb for keywords that will bring in more revenue.

Step #3: Add in related keywords

You know what’s one thing I love about Google? They are really generous when it comes to giving marketers data. From Google Analytics to Google Search Console… Google has some amazing tools!

Another product I love (technically it’s more of a feature) is that Google shows you all of the related keywords to the ones you are already ranking for.

This is going to be a manual grind, but it’s worth it.

Log into Google Search Console and look at the top 10 keywords that you rank for. You can get this data by clicking on “Search Traffic > Search Analytics”.

search traffic analytics

Make sure you exclude any branded terms and compile a list of your top 10 terms.

Now go to Google, type in each of these keywords manually and scroll to the bottom where it says, “related keywords”.

related keywords

Google gives you a list of other popular terms that people are typing. What is beautiful about this list, is that these keywords are already related to the one you are ranking for and they are typically much easier to rank for.

So, for neilpatel.com, I already rank for the term “SEO.”

So Google is telling me that in addition to the word “SEO,” people are also searching for:

  • what is seo and how it works
  • seo definition
  • what is seo marketing
  • how to do seo
  • seo wiki
  • seo google
  • seo tutorial
  • seo company

As you can see I already integrated some of those phrases to the page on my website that already ranks for SEO.

You should do the same. It’s an easy way to rank for more relevant keywords, boost your traffic, and, eventually, your revenue.

If you do this for your top 10 keywords, you’ll have an additional list of 80 keywords (8 keywords per term).

And by integrating these terms into your site (only when it makes sense, don’t spam) you’ll quickly rank on page 1 for dozens of other terms.

If you want to go crazy like me, you can do this for 1,000 terms, which will then give you suggestions for an additional 80,000 keywords!

But again, don’t force it and ruin your user experience. This will hurt your conversion rate. You should only add keywords when it is natural and makes sense for the user.

And hopefully, you selected keywords from pages that are driving your revenue (remember Step 1!). The last thing you want is to spend time increasing your rankings and find that your revenue isn’t going up.

Step #4: Go after the low-hanging fruit

Have you noticed that there is a huge difference in traffic between the pages on your site that rank on page 2 compared to the content ranking on page 1?

Like most marketers, you probably don’t notice it because your pages that rank on page 2 of Google don’t get much traffic… which causes you to forget about them.

It’s sad but true.

So, let’s fix this!

Log into SEMrush, type in your domain name, and click on “Organic Research > Positions”.

semrush position

You’ll want to look for all of the terms that you rank number 11 or 12 for.

You can do this by using the filter setting (just copy the settings in the screenshot below).

semrush filters

You’ll have a list of keywords that are almost on page one.

Now just make sure those keywords are pointing to pages that are responsible for driving your sales, leads, and revenue (go back to step 1 if you don’t know how to do this).

semrush keywords

For the keywords that aren’t driving sales or leads, you can ignore them for now.

For one the ones pointing to pages that are driving sales or leads, perform a Google search for each of those keywords.

Now compile a list of web pages that are ranking above you.

Take those URLs and plug them into Ahrefs. Once you plug in each URL, click on “Backlinks” in the left navigation bar.

This will show you a list of sites linking to your competition.

ahrefs links

I want you to get in touch with each of those sites and beg for a link. Here’s an email template you can use (you’ll have to modify it to fit your site).

Hey [Insert website owners name],

I noticed that you are linking to [insert competing web page] from [insert the URL of on their website linking to the competition]. Did you know that the page you are linking to isn’t the best resource for your website readers?

It’s missing [insert multiple points on what that competing page lacks].

If you want to provide an even better experience for your website readers, you should consider linking to [insert your URL that you want to rank higher] as it has [insert why your web page better than the competition].

Cheers,

[Insert your name]

You’ll find that after emailing hundreds of sites that only 3% to 5% will link back to you assuming your page is comparable to the competition.

If you can’t get at least 3% to link back it means that you either didn’t do a good job modifying the email template or your page sucks compared to your competition. 🙁

I know this is tedious work, but it’s a great way to boost your traffic.

Just think about this stat when doing the link outreach… 91% of searches never go to page 2. Or as my sales team says, page 2 is the perfect place to bury a dead body.

Step #5: Attract buyers before they are ready to buy

Another reason I love Google is that they have this neat tool called Google Correlate.

google correlate

What Google Correlate does is shows you search patterns. In other words, they show you what your customers are typing in weeks or even months before they become customers.

And if you want to upsell your users, you can use Google Correlate to see what your customers type in weeks or months after they become a customer.

This will help you determine what products or services to offer assuming you want that upsell revenue.

Here’s how it works… let’s say you are selling beard oil. You type in “beard oil” into Google Correlate and you can see what people are typing in before they become customers.

beard oil minus 3

As you can see some of the keywords people are typing in are…

  • beard oil
  • beard oils
  • flannel outfits
  • trek farley
  • sweater crop
  • beard products
  • best beard oil
  • sweater crop top
  • acne studios
  • what is beard

To get those results I got, I selected “-3” weeks.

I am looking at what people typed in 3 weeks before they searched in beard oil. That’s why I put a “-” sign before the number 3 to see what they typed in before they searched for my main keyword.

If you want to attract more customers and build brand loyalty with people who may be interested in beard oil products, I would create content around the best beard oil or flannel outfits that go well with beards.

That’s what I got from the Google Correlate data.

And if I wanted to figure out what products to create in order to upsell my beard oil customers, I would perform the same search on Google Correlate but use a positive number such as “2 weeks.”

beard oil

Based on the data above, I would consider offering beard balm as an upsell as there seems to be a strong correlation.

The cool part about Google Correlate is that you can do this for any keyword and sort the results by the country you are targeting.

Conclusion

I know my method of keyword search is a pain in the butt, but it works.

Just think of it this way…

Creating content on new topics is hard because there is no guarantee a new page on your website will rank for competitive terms.

But if you take web pages that already have traction and you improve them using the techniques I described above, it’s a guaranteed way to generate more search traffic.

Now if you want to create content that focuses on new keywords, by all means, you should do so!

I am not saying that creating new content is a bad idea… heck, I do it all the time.

But consider creating new content after you modify your existing pages that are already driving your traffic and sales.

And when you do go after new terms, don’t forget to use Google Correlate as it will help you gain the right type of traffic (plus your competition isn’t doing it).

So, what do you think of my keyword research and SEO process that I used to rank for thousands of keywords?

The post The Advanced SEO Formula That Helped Me Rank For 477,000 Keywords appeared first on Neil Patel.


Blog – Neil Patel

14 Advanced SEO Tactics That Your Competition Doesn’t Know About

Believe it or not, SEO is still an ultra-powerful tool in 2016.

I posted recently that SEO isn’t dead—far from it. If Google is still taking it seriously after all these years, you should too.

In fact, SEO might be more powerful than ever, and for one simple reason: Most sites are neglecting their SEO.

A lot of people have convinced themselves that SEO isn’t worth pursuing. Others tell themselves it shouldn’t be a priority.

It’s an easy mistake to make, and believe me, I’ve been there. I wasted time not taking SEO seriously, and it hurt me.

What does that mean for you? If you pay attention to your SEO, you’ll see real results. It might take some time, but it’ll be worth every second.

And it doesn’t hurt to be in the know. If you do some simple research on little-known SEO techniques, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.

To get you started on the path to SEO mastery, here’s a list of 14 advanced SEO tactics your competition doesn’t know about.

1. Expand your presence

You’ve heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” That’s true for SEO, but so many people still focus on only one or two aspects of SEO.

For this tactic, you’ll concentrate on becoming more visible across multiple platforms.

One way is to create as many social media profiles as possible for your brand. In short, you need to be actively involved on as many networks as possible.

And don’t skip some channels because you think they’re unpopular. For example, you might not include Foursquare or Periscope in your current social media strategy, but if you do utilize them, you can reach an audience you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Think of this technique as marking your territory. Your SEO will organically improve because you’ll be in more places. It’s a simple yet powerful strategy you can start using today.

2. Create a mobile app

You probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out: creating a mobile app can help bolster your SEO.

Granted, this is a rather expensive option, but it’s also an investment.

How exactly can an app boost your SEO? Google is now indexing apps on Google search with Firebase App Indexing.

When people are searching for keywords in your niche, they could find your app, and that creates some juicy SEO.

Download this cheat sheet of 14 advanced SEO tactics that your competition doesn’t know about.

For example, when you search “reserve a restaurant” on Google, you’ll find an app on page one:

image04

When your app pops up on a Google search, it automatically becomes a valuable resource.

But back to the main point—you can see the benefits of having a high-ranking app on Google. Yes, it’s costly, but it’s so worth it.

3. Fix any crawl errors

According to Google, URL errors are “specific errors Google encountered when trying to crawl specific desktop or phone pages.” Some common examples are 404, DNS, and server errors.

image00

While these errors seem harmless, they have a big impact on your SEO. If you have any crawl errors, your SEO is hurting.

But don’t worry—crawl errors often have simple fixes. I highly recommend checking out Moz’s awesome article on fixing crawl errors.

4. Optimize your images

If you haven’t been optimizing your images for SEO, start now—there’s no time like the present.

And if your site is especially image-heavy, you need to put the extra work in here. As a result, you’ll get a faster-loading more SEO-friendly site.

Here are a few easy ways you can enhance your images’ SEO:

  • Give your images specific names (e.g., traffic-analysis-graph.jpg)
  • Give your images keyword-rich alt titles (but don’t go overboard!)
  • Use the smallest possible file sizes (but don’t sacrifice the quality)

5. Use latent semantic indexing (LSI)

Although latent semantic indexing (LSI) is very powerful, not very many sites are using it. And that’s a shame because LSI can give your site a serious SEO boost.

LSI is the process search engines use to find related keywords in addition to your main keywords. In other words, LSI finds synonyms for keywords.

For example, if you’re writing an article about Facebook, you’d include “social media network” as an LSI keyword.

Let’s take a look at LSI in action. When you Google “buy new laptop,” one of the first pages that pops up is this TechRadar post:

image01

Right away, you can see that “best laptops” is one of the post’s keywords.

You can see other keywords and phrases sprinkled throughout such as “budget” and “affordable.” And sure enough, when you Google “budget laptop” and “affordable laptop,” the post appears on page 1.

This article is a great example of how LSI can improve your SEO. Take it for a spin, and you’ll see just how effective it can be.

6. Optimize your landing pages

When you create your landing pages, are you thinking about SEO? If you’re not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

You’ll be driving tons of traffic to your landing pages, but if they’re not SEO optimized, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.

Let’s take a look at a landing page from Copyblogger that I analyzed on NeilPatel.com:

image05

Copyblogger’s landing pages perform so well only because the team put a lot of work into them. Here’s how you can do the same:

It’s not rocket science, but it does take effort. Put in the effort now, and reap the rewards later.

7. Spy on your competitors’ keywords

This is a sneaky trick that will put you way ahead of your competition.

By spying on your competitors’ keywords, you can see exactly what you’re up against and compare your own performance to that of your competition’s.

You can use SEMrush to easily find keywords. This is a crazy useful tool, and it’s free!

Enter the site of your choice (e.g., quicksprout.com), and you’ll see something like this:

image02

You can see the top organic keywords, their volume, and traffic amount. But I especially like that you can see a site’s main organic competitors as well.

If you scroll down, you can also see the top paid keywords and competitors. And if you need more detail, just click on “View full report.”

Don’t forget to enter your own site on SEMrush. Like I said, it’s a crazy useful tool, and you should use it regularly.

8. Fix your broken links

I use a lot of links in my blog posts. Unfortunately, linking isn’t a set-and-forget process. What’s new today is old tomorrow, and some links you use may die in the future.

If your site has lots of broken links, search engines will view your site as less accessible. That’s why you need to make sure all of your links, both internal and external, are alive and healthy.

I like using SEO Spider by Screaming Frog to check for broken links. Plus, it’s handy for a lot of other SEO areas.

image06

9. Sniff out unnecessary code

Code is good, but you know what they say about having too much of a good thing.

In this case, if your site has excess code, search engines will take longer to crawl your site, which is bad. On-page JavaScript and CSS are among the main offenders here.

Your code should be as lightweight as possible. This will also help your page load time, and a faster load time means better SEO.

10. Fix any errors in your code

Excess code is bad, but erroneous code is even worse.

Errors in your code will also cause search engines to take longer to crawl your site. Too many mistakes can signify that you have a poorly maintained site, which will cause your SEO to tank.

You can check for errors using W3’s markup and CSS validation services. Depending on the size of your site, it may take a while to fix the errors, but it’s well worth the effort.

11. Tell a story with your internal link structure

This idea comes from Ben Oren of Search Engine Journal. He says that your link structure should tell a story. In other words, when you read your anchors consecutively, you should get a clear idea of your site’s theme.

When you’re creating your anchors, make an anchor story of your own. Link from your newer posts to your older posts, and make sure you’re following internal linking best practices.

12. Join question-and-answer sites

People are hungry for knowledge. That’s why so many people post on Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora.

But there aren’t many answers out there. That’s where you come in.

The trick is to compose a thorough, well-written answer to someone’s question, preferably a question that doesn’t have many answers. You need to write the best answer possible and include links to your site when it’s relevant. (Don’t get spammy here!)

By doing this, you’re accomplishing two things at once. First, you’re helping the person asking. Second, you’re getting attention to your links, exposing them to countless readers. You’ll be seen as a valuable resource by the community, and people will be more likely to click your links.

13. Use infographics

Infographics pack a huge SEO punch. At Kissmetrics, we used infographics to generate over 2 million visitors and 41,142 backlinks. And our infographic strategy is still flourishing:

image03

For your infographics to be super powerful, you need two things: great design and great content. Don’t overlook the content when creating infographics. Lots of people do, and guess what? Their infographics don’t perform well.

I also recommend coupling your infographic with at least 2,000 words of high-quality content. That’s because Google won’t index the text on the infographic itself, so writing longform content will give you extra ranking power.

14. Consider making videos

Video marketing is relatively new, and it’s absolutely blowing up.

Marketing Land found that videos make up 62% of all Google searches. And it’s easier to get a video to rank on page 1 of Google than a site.

If you’re not making videos already, check out this post for more on enhancing your SEO using videos.

Conclusion

SEO is more alive than ever before.

If you want a thriving site in 2016 and beyond, you have to have a firm grasp of SEO principles. And if you go beyond the basics, it’s even better.

Need another reason to start taking SEO seriously? Here’s one: as SEO moves forward, many sites will stay in the past. They won’t pay attention to Google’s algorithm updates or the effect of mobile use on SEO.

But if you stay up-to-date with SEO, your site will improve by leaps and bounds while your competitors’ sites get left behind in the dust.

You can tell I’m a fan of SEO. That’s because I know the power of SEO. It’s not an outdated gimmick—it’s a long-term strategy with lasting benefits.

Put in the work to keep your SEO in tip-top shape. Trust me, it’s so worth it.

What’s your SEO strategy for out-hustling your competition?


Quick Sprout

Advanced Blogging: How to Make Your Blog Serve Your Business

Do you have a blog? Want to supercharge your content and increase email subscribers? To explore advanced techniques for improving blog content, collecting more email addresses, and promoting products and events, I interview Darren Rowse. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s […]

This post Advanced Blogging: How to Make Your Blog Serve Your Business first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Advanced Metrics for Content Marketing Experts

Advanced Metrics for Content Marketing Experts written by Alex Boyer read more at Duct Tape Marketing

business benchmarking benchmark measure company performance vector

Metrics can be tedious and overwhelming to some. I was never great at math in school, particularly calculus. So math and numbers are almost like a foreign language to me, and I’m sure many of you feel the same.

But like any foreign language, with a little bit of practice and training, you can learn to read it. Eventually, as you become fluent, you may even begin thinking and dreaming in your new language.

But to reach that level of fluency, sometimes you have to immerse yourself in the world of your new language. So let’s take a deep dive into the world of metrics with some advanced metrics for content marketers. These aren’t your basic stats like pageviews, shares and clicks. These are stats that add a deeper level of context to your marketing, and give you an idea of how you can improve.

Total Time Reading

Total Time Reading is a metric that has gained some steam over the past couple of years, and it is just as it sounds. This is the time an average customer spent on your page of content before converting.

The bottom line, the longer someone spends on your content, the more impactful it is. If these readers convert into leads, they’re doing so because they already trust you, your brand and your content. They aren’t just converting to download whatever freebies you may be offering in return. These are powerful leads.

The unfortunate thing is that there really isn’t a great way to measure Total Time Reading (yet.) But there are a handful of ways to “game” the system. Say you have a content upgrade or other downloadable lead capture tool installed in your post. You could place a webform high on your page and tag convertees as normal leads. Then bury the same conversion point in the text, maybe at the end of the post. These leads would have had to have spent more time reading the post, so they could be tagged differently in your CRM, and treated as warmer leads.

Visits per Visitor

“Visits per visitor” is pretty self-explanatory, but it is a really good metric for measuring the fandom and dedication of your audience. Business owners are often too focused on driving new traffic, but return visitors are much more likely to convert. Return visitors trust you, your content and your business. If you have a high return visitor rate, your content is drawing people back.

Goal Completions

Goal completions requires some set-up on Google Analytics, but this is how you measure conversions on any goal of your choosing. You can set Google Analytics to track your email registrations, sales, clicks to a particular landing page, almost anything. Here’s how to start a goal completion tracker with Google Analytics:

  1. Create a new goal
    1. Select the admin tab
    2. In the view column, click goals
    3. Click new goal
  2. Select Custom or Template goals (The Google Analytics Wizard will help walk you through this set up)

Once you have it set up, you can follow the goals right from your Google analytics dashboard, and save yourself some time calculating your conversion rate.

Metrics are a foreign language for many business owners. But with a little knowledge (and a little practice) you can become fluent.

Photo Credit: Dollar Photo Club

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443.jpgAlex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC


Blog – Duct Tape Marketing

6 Ways to Use Advanced Twitter Search for Increased Influence

bg-twitter-search-560

Do you want to be a recognized expert in your industry? Looking for relevant conversations to weigh in on? Using Twitter’s Advanced Search to monitor keywords and conversations can help you connect with influencers and uncover opportunities for thought leadership. In this article you’ll discover six ways to use Twitter’s Advanced Search to increase your […]

This post 6 Ways to Use Advanced Twitter Search for Increased Influence first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Modern Tools for Advanced CSS Development

Web development has taken a turn towards more candid and fluid information. More people are willing to release free open source code just to help the community and other developers working on similar projects. But aside from free code samples there are dozens of handy webapps, resources, tools, and programs built to enhance the frontend dev experience.

In this article I’d like to share the most helpful web-based tools for CSS development. Understanding CSS requires time and lots of practice. But once you have the basics down everything else comes a lot easier. Using proper tools can expedite the development process so that tasks are finished quicker and more accurately.

Reference Guides

Online guides can refer to a select number of resources. My personal favorite is the CSS3 Properties Explained infographic which displays content in a graphical format. This means you aren’t able to copy/paste any code samples, but you can check back like a book or manual for CSS3 web development. Other infographic topics include browser compatibility and the history of CSS.

Aside from large images there are also real websites designed as CSS reference guides. Most people know about W3 Schools which habitually ranks quite high in Google searches. A more detailed guide is CSS-Tricks which has free code samples and quick tutorials related to more complicated subjects on CSS.

More useful guides: 40 CSS Apps, Tools, and Resources

One of the most well-renowned references would be the Mozilla Developer Network. This features not just properties, but also pseudo-classes and obscure selectors. Mozilla has a lot of information related to CSS and JavaScript which explains browser support and proper syntax.

mozilla css reference guide properties

Browsing through that list could take a while since it’s a big reference guide. If you’re looking for something specific try searching the website or searching in Google with the keywords “mozilla developer”. For example the pseudo-classes list has its own page on the site with thorough descriptions and plenty of detail for even experienced developers.

Code Generators

Many free code generators have sprung up since the advent of CSS gradients, box shadows, and rounded corners. When these properties were first created it was bewildering to keep up with all the different browser prefixes. To this day there are still many prefixes which must be considered, especially for supporting older versions of Internet Explorer.

css3 me generator code webapp

One example of a code generator is CSS3.me. You can generate codes for opacity, border radius, box shadows, and background gradients. The output is meant to support as many browsers as possible. Another option is CSS Matic which also has a noise generation feature.

enjoy css generator webapp website

A much more detailed option would be something like Enjoy CSS. This is a web-based app with a graphical user interface. You can generate custom styles for input fields, buttons, blocks, really any major element on a webpage. Each project can be saved in the cloud and offers a dynamic check for browser support. You can even browse the Enjoy CSS gallery to check out what other developers have created.

If you’re into SASS & Compass you might also try Create CSS3. This webapp gives you the option of copying direct CSS3 properties or SASS code. Not as many developers have moved onto SASS but it is still one hell of a time saver when it comes to rewriting code.

CSS Grids

Modern CSS libraries have come a long way. The open source community is a driving factor with greater support for animations, UI kits, and full-blown libraries such as Bootstrap.

10 Useful CSS Grid Systems

I don’t want to just list the major grid systems because there are lots of articles on that topic. However the process of using a grid system is very important and sometimes confusing, so I’ll go over the basics. Not every project will require a grid but each grid library constructs a beautiful framework to build with.

Grid systems are usually created with a number of pre-determined classes. These classes represent containers for different columns which span a variety of widths. Fluid containers are more flexible so a 4-column container might have four even columns(25%), or a mix(one col 40% and three cols 20%). Many of these grids are also responsive which accommodate to media queries.

responsive grid system open source project

Modern grid libraries also work great with custom typography to organize paragraphs and headers in unison. Website typography is a complicated subject that some designers can spend years studying. Of course I would also recommend that everyone study grid typography just for the beneficial knowledge and how it applies to every field of design.

As your skills improve you might prefer developing your own custom grid library. But when it comes to rapidly building a design into HTML/CSS you can always rely on a handy-dandy grid system.

Testing & Packaging

Online tools related to testing and preparation are designed for code management. These tools won’t help you write the code, but they will help you deploy optimized CSS files.

CSS Lint is an online debugging webapp that parses through CSS code. It checks for duplicate selectors, properties, or misspelled words. This is based off similar tools like JS Lint for JavaScript development. If you’re struggling to debug a problem keep CSS Lint handy because a quick check never hurt anything(except bugs).

style neat css webapp code minimizer

Now in the realm of code management there are plenty of online minimizers, restylers, and cleaners. Styleneat is a brilliant tool that simplifies CSS code from an online URL, uploaded file, or code which is copied and pasted directly into the webapp. This can help with organization if you find yourself looking at a messy stylesheet.

Code Beautifier is another choice which offers a lot more in the way of customization. What I like about Code Beautifier is that you can also compress the CSS file down to it’s smallest filesize. This would remove all of the unnecessary whitespace to output the smallest file possible. The benefits are twofold in that (1)the file loads quicker, and (2)other developers would have a more difficult time stealing your code(assuming it’s not open source).

Closing

I certainly hope these tools prove useful to developers at any stage of the learning process. Understanding where to get started can be difficult, but learning CSS was a whole lot more difficult ten years ago. Take advantage of these resources to the fullest extent and push yourself to be a fountain of CSS knowledge. If there are other resources I forgot to include feel free to share in the comments section.

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