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70 Web Design and Development Terms We Wish You Knew, Part One

We’ve been designing and developing websites for 16+ years. So, naturally, we use a good bit of jargon. Sometimes it’s shorthand but the majority of the time we use these terms because they are the best way to describe a thing we do, need, etc.
So, I asked our creative and development directors to send me the terms they wish our clients knew. Our intentions are honorable here, I promise. We simply want to make sure you understand us when we “speak geek.” Or at least our brand of Geek.
We’re always happy to explain what a term means. But, maybe this list will help us all be even more productive.
And, if there are any terms we’ve missed, please let me know. We’re breaking this into two part because let’s face it, 70 definitions is a lot for one sitting.
Here’s a quick view of our vernacular and their definitions (sources at the end of the post) followed by a Wood Street clarification or further explanation as needed…
301 redirect
Definition: “A permanent redirect from one URL to another, usually from your old website to the new website. (e.g.“website.com/about-us” now redirects visitors to “website.com/our-company” on the new website.”1
Wood Street: Basically, when you redesign a website, some links will change. So, make sure Google can still find the content. 301 redirect rules give Google instructions for finding your new pages.
404
Definition: “An error page that a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on your website. Usually, this is due to a visitor mistyping the URL or attempting to access a page that has been deleted from the site. An effective 404 error page should communicate why the page doesn’t exist and what users can do next.”1
Wood Street: Users will see this page if the link they’re using no longer exists. Create a 404 page that acts as a directory to redirect the user so they stay on your website. Here’s our 404 page…

Accessibility / 508 Compliance
Definition: “Website accessibility concerns making a website accessible by people with disabilities. All websites built should follow guidelines outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”1
Wood Street: Also known as 508 Compliance, there is a list of rules on a website run by the GSA. Basically, make sure that people with disabilities can access and use your website. So, fonts need to be clear and legible, images must be labeled for people who are visually impaired so the name of the image can be read to them. 508 compliance is still only “required” for government websites. That said, it’s always a good idea to make sure your website is as compliant as possible. There are lots of tools to check for this. Your webmaster should be able to run a quick report to let you know what issues need to be resolved to get your site in compliance.
Agile
Definition: “A is for agile, a major buzzword across the entire tech industry right now. Agile web development essentially refers to a particular way of working, and you’ll often hear this term in the startup world. In an agile team, web developers will work according to weekly or biweekly sprints. A sprint usually consists of five phases: design, develop, test, deploy and review.”2
Wood Street: Agile means you are developing and deploying features as they are completed. So, you’d launch with something much sooner and make adjustments and improvements to a live website or app. This initial launch is known as the minimal viable product/website/app. Agile is growing in popularity and is the preferred method of most developers. That said, it’s not always preferred by clients who want a fixed price and fixed deliverables.
Algorithm
Definition: “An algorithm is basically a set of steps for carrying out certain tasks. In computer programming, algorithms are a key part of problem-solving. When creating an algorithm, developers will document all the necessary steps it took to arrive at a solution to a problem, and what each step involved.”2
Wood Street: An algorithm is a programmatic solution to a problem. It’s the code equivalent to an instruction manual.
ALT tag
Definition: “Alternate descriptive text that is displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading. ALT text plays a role in optimizing a website for ADA compliance [see above], helps with SEO ranking, and overall web accessibility.”1
Wood Street: It’s the text associated with an image that displays when an image isn’t loaded or able to be seen. You may have seen something similar in an email before you download or show the images.
API
Definition: API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API enables two different programs to communicate with each other by making some parts of the website code available to developers. Developers can use this code, i.e. the API, to build tools and widgets that can be connected to that particular website.”2
Wood Street: Let’s say you have a WordPress or Drupal website and you need your contact form to connect to your email marketing solution, say MailChimp or ConstantContact. An API would facilitate that connection. Whenever a developer mentions an API, they are looking for a way to connect two pieces of software for a singular purpose.
Application
Definition: “Software that is used for business or entertainment. The terms “application,” “application program,” “software application” and simply “app” may refer to virtually any type of program from spreadsheets such as Excel to media players such as iTunes to virtual reality games such as Second Life. However, the term specifically excludes essential control software such as the operating system .”3
Wood Street: An app is a standalone piece of software. Google Chrome is an example of software that can function as a web app, desktop app, and mobile app.
Back-end
Definition: “Back-end development essentially refers to everything that goes on behind the scenes. What happens at the back-end — or server-side — powers what happens at the front-end, i.e. what the user sees and interacts with. Back-end development can be broken down into four main components of a software stack: the server, the database, the operating system, and the software.”2
Wood Street: Basically, if you cannot see it happen, it is likely a back-end function. For example, the interface where you type in a search in Google is the front-end. The back-end is what happens after you hit enter.
Breakpoints
Definition: “The points at which a website’s content will adjust to accommodate various screen sizes to provide the user with the best possible layout to view content. In responsive design (see term below), breakpoints are often defined by common device widths, such as smartphone, tablet, and desktops above 1024px.”1
Wood Street: These are the sizes where a design layout will change, ie a desktop view, tablet view, mobile view, etc.
Bootstrap
Definition: “Bootstrap is a free, open-source front-end framework for designing websites and web apps. It was developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter in order to encourage consistency across internal tools. Bootstrap includes HTML and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, tables, navigation, modals and more, plus JavaScript plugins.”2
Wood Street: Bootstrap is a bunch of pre-written code that front-end developers use to turn a design into a functional website. At Wood Street, we have a similar framework we created to streamline our front-end development.
Browser
Definition: “A web browser is the software used to access the internet and display web pages. When you type a web address or URL into the browser, you are effectively sending out a series of requests. The browser will gather all the different elements that make up that particular webpage, such as images, ads, and content, from wherever they are stored (i.e. different directories or servers) in order to display the page that you see. The most common browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari for Apple, and Opera.”2
Wood Street: Every device uses a browser to access the internet. When we ask what browser you are using, it is usually one of the ones listed above in the definition. We need to know this because all browsers are different and can display a website differently than the others. We need specific browser information so we can replicate the bug (see below) you are seeing and fix it.
Bug
Definition: “A bug is an error that prevents a website or app from running as it should.”2
Wood Street: When we are debugging code, we are literally looking for errors in the code. Sometimes a bug could be missed during initial testing. This occurs because some bugs don’t reveal themselves until someone performs a unique action. That’s why when you encounter an error, it’s important that you recount the steps it took to get to that point and relay those back to us in detail. This way we can recreate the issue and fix the bug. Otherwise, it could be a matter of reviewing thousands of lines of code to find the bug.
Caching
Definition: “A cache is a temporary data storage mechanism that aids in site speed by storing relevant information on your computer the first time you visit a website so that your computer does not have to reload that information each time you access the site again.”2
Wood Street: We will often ask you to clear your cache when we’ve posted a change for you to review. The reason for this is, as you see in the definition above, your browser has stored elements of a website so they load faster the next time you go there. If you go to see a change and it isn’t there, you’ll need to clear your cache. You can do this by pressing CTRL/CMMD + F5 while in your browser.
Call to Action (CTA)
Definition: “Specific text, image, banner or button that uses action-oriented language that urges a visitor on a website to act. CTAs are designed to move a visitor from one page to the next and persuade them to take an expected, predetermined action. (e.g. Download a Whitepaper, Register for a Webinar, Contact Us, Learn More, etc.).”1
Wood Street: A CTA should be clear and obvious. You want your most important CTAs to appear “above the fold.” You can see two examples in this desktop view of a website we designed for JoJo’s Restaurant and Tap House in Frederick, MD…

Code
Definition: “Code is essentially what web developers write using programming languages. To see exactly what code looks like, right-click on your internet browser window and click ‘view page source.’ You’ll then be able to see the code that’s behind this particular website.”2
Wood Street: We develop in a few different types of code (definitions in this list): HTML/CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and jQuery.
CSS
Definition: “CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a markup language responsible for the visual elements of a website. HTML (another markup language) is used to determine the structure and content of the webpage. Web developers will then use CSS to style this content; in other words, CSS tells the browser how the HTML elements should be displayed. CSS is used to apply colors and to determine font, text size and alignment, to name just a few.”2
Wood Street: You may have gone to a website and it looks like it went through a “Way Back Machine.” All the images are gone, the text is very plain, and the links are all underlined and blue. This usually means the CSS is not loading properly as CSS is what controls how the information is displayed. Without CSS, the browser will simply show the basics. Not all CSS is created equal. Some can be poorly written or bloated causing a website to load slowly and not display properly. Wood Street’s CSS is, of course, good stuff!
Content Management System (CMS)
Definition: “A software system that is used to edit the content on your website. This allows you to login into the “back-end” of your website to edit the text and images. Some examples include WordPress and Drupal. A CMS is designed to simplify the publication of website content, without requiring technical knowledge of code.”1
Wood Street: Universal access to open source content management systems like WordPress and Drupal have revolutionized digital marketing. A CMS allows an organization to make all website edits themselves. It’s a time and money saver but, more importantly, it means you can manage your own content. This removes any bottleneck so you can be agile with your marketing efforts. If you have a CMS but do not know how to use it, get training. If you don’t have a CMS, we highly recommend upgrading to one. We have yet to find an organization that can’t benefit from a CMS.
Conversion
Definition: “When a user takes a specific desired action related to online marketing and lead generation. This includes completing a web form, submitting a request for information, subscribing to a newsletter or making an e-commerce purchase.”1
Wood Street: You would use a CTA (see above) to drive conversion. The success of your website will be, more than likely, dependant on how many conversions occur within a given period. This is the most effective way for you to measure ROI. If your conversion rate is low, you may want to consider implementing some CRO or conversion rate optimization.
Cookies
Definition: “A small text file (up to 4KB) created by a website that is stored in the user’s computer either temporarily for that session only or permanently on the hard disk (persistent cookie). Cookies provide a way for the website to recognize you and keep track of your preferences.”3
Wood Street: Cookies have gotten a bad rap over the years. Yes, cookies can be used for nefarious purposes, but for the most part, they are used to improve the user’s experience. Cookies can be used to reduce load times or to keep users from having to enter data multiple times. Trust us when we tell you that cookies are your friend. Don’t believe me? Delete all the cookies stored in your browser and then talk to me after you’ve had to fill out a bunch of forms, etc again on sites you use all the time.
Domain Name
Definition: “An Internet domain name is a unique name of an organization or person on the Internet. The name is combined with a generic top-level domain (gTLD), such as .com or .org. For example, computerlanguage.com is the domain name for the publisher of this encyclopedia. By 2019, there were more than 300 million registered domain names.”3
Wood Street: A website can have multiple domain names but only one is the primary. The other domains can be set to point to the primary.
DNS
Definition: “Domain Name Servers (DNS) are like the Internet’s version of a phone book, controlling your domain name’s website and email settings. When a user visits your website address, the DNS settings control which server to point them to.”1
Wood Street: Please, please, make sure you know where your domain is hosted. And please be certain that you’ve set the account to “auto-renew.” We’ve seen too many companies either lose track of their login, or the account was setup with an ex-employee’s Yahoo email. This is how you lose your domain. Take this seriously as it is the #1 way that people find your company. Here’s a useful article on DNS.
Dots per inch (DPI)
Definition: “DPI is used to measure the resolution of an image both on screen and in print. As the name suggests, the DPI measures how many dots fit into a linear inch. Therefore, the higher the DPI, the more detail can be shown in an image. It should be noted that DPI is not dots per square inch. Since a 600 dpi printer can print 600 dots both horizontally and vertically per inch, it actually prints 360,000 (600 x 600) dots per square inch.”4
Wood Street: Oftentimes we will ask you for “high-resolution images.” This is what we’re referring to. So, even though the web only requires 72 DPI images, we prefer to start with 300 DPI images so we have enough space/resolution to crop or manipulate the image to work with your new website.
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
Definition: “EPS is a PostScript image file format that is compatible with PostScript printers and is often used for transferring files between various graphics applications. EPS files will print identically on all PostScript-compatible printers and will appear the same in all applications that can read the PostScript format. PostScript code is used for storing font and vector image information. Vector images are usually drawings created by programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. EPS files may also include a rasterized version of the image used for previewing the contents of the file.”4
Wood Street: As you can see, an EPS is so much more than just a graphics file. When we design your website or create collateral materials for you, we need your logo in an EPS format. We can ensure the logo will display properly if we start with an EPS. The graphic designer who designed your logo should have provided you with an EPS format of that logo design. If not, ask if you can get one and then store it somewhere safe that can be easily accessed by those who might need it.
Favicon
Definition: “A small icon image, often a company logo, that displays on the title bar or tab of a browser.”1
Wood Street: This is a small but very meaningful little piece of design. If you’re anything like me, you keep a lot of tabs open on your desktop. So, it helps to have a favicon in your tab so users can easily go back your website when they’re in another tab. Here’s our favicon…

And here it is with a bunch of other favicons…

Fluid Layout
Definition: “A fluid layout is a type of webpage design in which layout of the page resizes as the window size is changed. This is accomplished by defining areas of the page using percentages instead of fixed pixel widths.”4
Wood Street: We present our designs to clients as a flat JPG file at first. Sometimes, clients are confused and wonder why the design looks different in various browsers or on different computers. Our explanation is usually something about this being a flat JPG and that the functional website will be fluid and fill the screen appropriately. This is what we’re referring to.
Fonts (True type / Postscript / OpenType /Sans Serif / Serif)
Definition: There are a few here to define…

TrueType Fonts: TrueType is an outline font standard developed by Apple and Microsoft in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe’s Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. It has become the most common format for fonts on the classic Mac OS, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.5
PostScript Fonts: PostScript fonts are font files encoded in outline font specifications developed by Adobe Systems for professional digital typesetting. This system uses the PostScript file format to encode font information. “PostScript fonts” may also separately be used to refer to a basic set of fonts included as standards in the PostScript system, such as Times, Helvetica and Avant-Garde.5
OpenType Fonts: OpenType is a file format for scalable (outline) font files that extends the existing TrueType font file format used by Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. OpenType was developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe and allows an Adobe postscript file to be part of a TrueType font file.5
Serif and San Serif: In typography, a serif is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. Times New Roman is a serif font. Arial is a sans serif font.6

Wood Street: We included all of these different definitions so you understand how complex typography can be. This is just scratching the surface. For most of our websites, we use Google Fonts unless the client has a specific request. Some clients will have purchased the rights to use a specific group of fonts so that their website can stay on brand.
(The) Fold (or Above the Fold)
Definition: Above the fold is also used in website design (along with “above the scroll”) to refer to the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling. As screen sizes vary drastically there is no set definition for the number of pixels that define the fold.5
Wood Street: The fold is literally a moving target. A “fold” on a person’s computer screen may be completely different on someone else’s. Remember, users will scroll. If you focus too much on getting things “above the fold” you may miss some users who scroll automatically and zoom right past your targeted content. Instead, focus on the user experience and use design and technology to drive conversion instead of thinking of your website as a newspaper… because that’s where the term “the fold” comes from. Get with the times, man.
After I wrote this I came across a post on Facebook that is just perfect.

When you are scrolling through a website, this is how it goes. Think about things in terms of weight and visibility and less about ordering.
Frameworks
Definition: “Frameworks were invented to make the process of building a website faster and easier. You can think of a framework as a collection of solutions, tools, and components that you can access in one central location — rather than seeking them all out separately each time. Some common frameworks include Ruby on Rails, Bootstrap, and AngularJS.”2
Wood Street: We use Laravel for a lot of our larger builds. For the front-end (see below), we actually have our own internal framework which helps to speed up development. That said, we can develop in Bootstrap if desired. Bootstrap is a front-end framework. It helps to know your project framework in the event that you need to move from one developer to another. For example, your developer quit, or joined the circus, or went on a Magic The Gathering Quest and is no longer servicing your custom application. A new developer may ask what framework the application was built in. Knowing this answer will help speed up your search for a new team. And you’ll be able to make a selection based on their level of experience with that framework.
Front-end
Definition: “Remember how the back-end is everything that goes on behind the scenes, and powers what goes on at the front-end? The front-end of a website, also known as client-side, is what the end user sees and interacts with. Front-end languages include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which all have a hand in determining the visual output of a website.”2
Wood Street: Front-end code is what makes a website a website. Without this code, a website would be nothing but a useless image or text with no functionality. Front-end code and frameworks continue to improve which is why it’s important to overhaul your design and UX every 3 years, give or take.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Definition: “It is a user interface that includes graphical elements, such as windows, icons, and buttons. The term was created in the 1970s to distinguish graphical interfaces from text-based ones, such as command line interfaces. However, today nearly all digital interfaces are GUIs.”4
Wood Street: GUI made computers accessible to everyone. Without GUI, only coders would be able to use computers in any meaningful way. So, thanks to Jobs and Woz for putting that Xerox GUI to good use!
Hosting
Definition: “The web servers where your website files are housed, served, and maintained. A web server is a computer running web server software connected to the internet that allows visitors to access a website through an Internet-connected web browser or mobile device.”1
Wood Street: Where you host your website is very important. We recommend you host on a business class server with excellent ratings and super fast speed. If you host on a cheap hosting platform, just remember, you get what you pay for.

How Deep Linking Benefits Your Mobile Strategy

People spent an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their mobile phones in 2018. The heavier of users even went over 4 hours glued to their devices. Mobile is steadily taking over as the medium of choice for entertainment and is at pace to eclipse traditional media like TV.
As the market shifts, more companies are now forced to shore up their mobile presence. This has only upped the competition in the mobile space. Users can now find an app for just about anything and it isn’t uncommon to have hundreds of apps performing that same functions. For your mobile strategy to succeed, you have to offer something superior to what your competitors offer.
In parallel, the number of searches conducted from mobile devices have exceeded those made from desktops and laptops. Google’s official figures put the share of mobile searches at 60% (amounting to more than 50 billion in number). And here’s an industry-wise breakdown of that share:

Image source
At the same time, app developers are having an increasingly hard time getting people to install (and use) their apps. Even if some of your content that can be best viewed on your mobile app is visible and discoverable via organic search, installing the app just to view the content is a huge leap that few users are willing to take.
If you’re a company with an app, you must optimize visitors’ mobile experience and effectively employ techniques like “deep linking” to serve targeted content to users, creating more frictionless experiences. Apple’s Universal Links and Android App Links allow for a seamless transition from web search to content in the app, by opening up the corresponding screen within the app when a user clicks on a search result, provided they’ve installed the app on their phone.
To the uninitiated, deep linking sounds like some obscure practice that’s best left to those with a higher tech quotient. However, with Google rolling out its “mobile-first” index, all businesses need to sit up and take notice right now, if they haven’t already.
So what exactly are deep links and how do they relate to your mobile strategy?
What Are Deep Links?
To get a grasp of what deep links are, you must first understand the concept of a link. If you’re viewing this article on a browser, simply look at the address bar and you’d see this page’s address or universal resource locator (URL). It directs users to an exact location of this particular content on the internet. Other web pages can use this link to this URL in their content so that when a user clicks on the link, they will be sent directly to this page.
A link such as https://www.facebook.com/business2community can be broken down as follows:

https:// – The protocol
www – The subdomain
facebook – The domain name
com – The top level domain
business2community – The path

Any link that points to a path or any page “deeper” than the home page (in this case: http://www.facebook.com) is technically a deep link. Deep links are typically used to point users to specific content. Retailers, for example, may use deep links in marketing emails or ad banners to drive users to particular product pages.
How Do They Work on Mobile?
It’s a bit rare to hear about deep links as a term used in the context of webpages. Links on web browsers are pretty straightforward — when a link is clicked, the browser goes straight to the linked page. These days, the deep links are more often encountered in discussions surrounding mobile. Partly, it’s because links work a bit differently in mobile.
When you click a deep link on a mobile browser, what happens next depends on the specific configuration of the device and the apps available on it. If the website doesn’t have an associated app, clicking a deep link might simply open the page on the browser. If it does have an app, the deep link might launch the app and open the specific content within it.
However, for this to happen, apps have to be properly configured to handle deep links. The process is unique for Android and iOS, so developers have to factor these in the app’s design. Yelp is a company that does this well:

Image source
There may also be instances when a user hasn’t installed the relevant app yet. If properly configured, the deep link will open the app’s App Store page and prompt the user to install the app first. If deferred deep linking is used, the specific content will open within the app as soon as it is installed.
What Advantages Do They Bring?
The key idea behind deep links in mobile is that they help facilitate the flow of a user’s content consumption or transaction from one step to the next. Deep links are particularly useful in creating more integrated user experiences.
For instance, a retail company might send a user an email about its latest sale. The user reads the message in the app’s email app. The user gets interested in a particular product and clicks on the deep link within the email. If deep links are properly set, the user would automatically be sent to the ecommerce app and directly to the specific product’s page.
Through these seamless transitions, users are likely to proceed with their purchase. If such configurations aren’t properly set for the app, companies may stand to lose out on potential conversions as the flow essentially breaks down.
Other benefits include

personalized screens that pick up from their previous browsing points
more engagement and usage
better tracking and attribution
additional channel for marketing and remarketing
faster navigation to desired customer action
better context to nudge conversions
prevention of installation fraud

Why Should You Care?
Deep linking in mobile is something all companies with a mobile presence should consider. To start with, it provides a frictionless experience for the user. This is essential for companies that have complex funnels involving customer stories, such as the ecommerce and travel niches. Using deep links, you can chain together touchpoints and usher users towards their desired ends.
Fortunately for businesses, deep linking in mobile is often available packaged with mobile attribution services, as the technology that underpins both are the same. So if you’re already implementing analytics using mobile attribution, chances are you can hit two birds with one stone. By combining both, you could create analytics-driven campaigns that effectively utilize channels like web app banners, emails, social media, SMS, and even QR codes to achieve optimal conversion.
Over to You
Considering how critical it is to capture and sustain users’ interest for mobile success, companies must be able to leverage available means to improve engagement. Deep linking is one of the clear ways you can achieve this. The implementation of deep links is complex, but once you get it right, the advantages will more than compensate for the resources invested.

SEO Tips: How to Write a Title That Google Will Love

Every business owner knows having a recognizable business title is a major attributing factor when it comes to the growth and success of your small business. In fact, your business title will determine whether or not your business can be easily found online.
Even though you may have an easily searchable business title for direct traffic, content is what will drive the rest of your customers to your business. If you can create useful content, you’ll bring in more traffic and more potential customers. Now, the tricky part is writing a title for search engine optimization (SEO).
Below, we share some useful tips for writing effective SEO titles Google, and your readers, will love.

Google Search Ranking Signals
Google uses ranking signals to determine in what order its search engine results appear. There are hundreds of ranking signals and their importance change with every update. As there are multiple, small updates to Google’s search algorithm every single day, SEO experts tend to only focus their attention on major updates, as too should you.
In its latest search algorithm update, on March 12, 2019, Google announced changes to its Broad Core Algorithm. The details of the changes made are still not made public; however, most speculate the changes were made in order to better serve user satisfaction. This means Google is looking to see how well your search result answers a particular search query.
If that’s the case, which many experts believe it to be, the first place to begin improving user search satisfaction is with your title.
Understand User Search Intent
In order to understand user search intent, you have to know why people search online in the first place.
Online searches can be grouped into three categories such as transactional “Do,” Informative “Know,” and Navigational “Go” queries. For all information regarding queries, check out our Digital Marketing: Keyword Research 101 blog post.
All of the above search categories correspond to a level in your sales funnel, where informative searches are top of funnel and transactional and navigational searches comprise bottom of funnel.
Each funnel will have types and topics of content that perform best to incentivize users to complete an action or engage with your content. Content pages using the best performing topics and structures, at their respective stage in the funnel, matching a query will be ranked higher in search because Google believes users who interact with your content are satisfied. In turn, the type and topic of content will inform the title as well.
For example, if the query is informative in nature, its aim will be to qualify customers to enter deeper into your funnel through providing more detail around a topic where you also provide a product or service. As is, E-books are effective forms of content for engaging users when they conduct informative based searches. This means you should include an E-book on your new content page, presumably in exchange for an email. As this type of content play will be the draw for your page, you’ll then know to include the word “E-book” and the topic it covers in your title.
Create a Title Your Audience is Searching For

Always remember the results of your users’ search queries come with a direct effect on how your meta titles will appear within Google.
When keywords within a user search query matches with your title, Google will rank your website higher on various search results and will also bold the matching phrases and words in your meta title.
This means that in order to greatly benefit from these matching title results, you will need to make a great effort to create your title based on what the potential customers will likely be looking for.
With Google Keyword Planner, you can fine-tune your SEO titles to match perfectly what your targeted audience is searching for.
To find keywords and keyword phrase combination ideas to best match with user searches, create a free Google Keyword Planner account. After you’ve set-up your free account, click on the left box, “Discover new Keywords” to find new keyword ideas.

Type in a keyword or keyword phrase relating your business. For this example, we’re going to use, “paint store.”

As an alternative to entering a keyword, you can enter the domain page of one of your competitors to see which keywords they rank for. All you have to do is copy their home page URL and paste it into the search bar, click entire site (unless you want to examine keywords on a certain page) and click the “Get Started” button.

You’ll see both branded and non-branded keywords populate. Since you’re company won’t share the same name as your competition, you’ll be looking to see which non-branded keywords they’re using to drive traffic to their website. Pay particular attention to any keywords denoting specialized forms of products, as it’s here where you can find ideas to separate yourself from your competition.
Also, don’t ignore branded keywords entirely. They can be a great way of understanding what branded search terms your business can steal from your competition. Simply replace your business’ name with theirs and test how well your new traffic performs.
An additional note, URLs will appear as green bubbles instead of blue.
Proceeding from our initial keyword search of “paint store,” a list of related keywords will populate.

Look for keywords that have high search volumes and low to medium competition. These will be the keywords you want to target most. Unfortunately, unless you have an active spending Google AdWords account, you will see that your average monthly searches do no give you exact search numbers. You can see that Google shows you an estimate of the search between a select range of numbers. This won’t give you much to go on; however, there is a work-around.
Select the keywords you want by clicking on the box directly to their left and a drop down menu in blue will appear. From that new menu, click on the match type drop down window and select “Exact match.”

Now, select “Add to plan” from its drop down window (it’s selected by default) and click on “ADD KEYWORDS.” Head over to the keywords menu from the left column navigation.

Now you can see exactly how many impressions and clicks each keywords gets. This will help inform which words you use in your titles.
Spend time looking for keywords that get a good mix of impressions and clicks. Also, don’t forget to calculate click-through rates (CTR) to find which keywords perform the best. You can learn a keyword’s CTR by dividing its number of impressions by its number of clicks.
Keyword research such as this can help your business find keyword and keyword phrase searches to create content around in order to increase your business’ traffic and, more importantly, better fulfill search intent.
Make Search Titles Accurate

Accuracy is very important when trying to make your page title compliant with Google Search satisfaction because it gives a clear expectation for your audience.
Understand your titles need to accurately reflect your content. One way to ensure accuracy is to add a division in your headline after you insert your focus keyword to better clarify your topic from your business.
There are four distinct ways in which you can better clarify the content of your headline: vertical lines, dashes, brackets and colons.
If you take a few minutes to look at the top search results, you’ll likely see they are short and clear about which topic they are writing to and subsequently use a division (in the form of the one of the four above) to separate the name of their business or the type of content.

As you can see, every search result uses a form of division to indicate either what the content is, what form the content will take, which niche it belongs to, and which company its from.
It’s these kinds of headlines or titles with clarification, on average, that perform better than those without.
In addition, it’s all about setting high and clear expectations because readers will know exactly what they are getting themselves into before clicking.
Keep SEO Titles Precise

There are no clear rules as to how short or long a title should be. However, it depends on where it will appear and what your goals are.
For instance, if you want your post to rank high on search engines, then your title should have less than 70 characters. Optimizing your SEO titles for social sharing entails a different requirement.
However, titles between 8 and 12 words in length are believed to get the most social shares and likes on average. It’s therefore a good idea to run some tests to determine what exactly works better for your target audience on search and social.
Conclusion
If your plan is to get your business seen on Google Search, you need to be able to write titles its algorithm loves. Remember, to do this, all you need is some basic keyword research, content title divisions, and precise word choice.

Google Gallery Ads are Coming – Are You Ready?

In February, Google started testing its new Gallery Ads for search. The goal of this ad format is to enable advertisers to combine search intent with a more interactive visual format, and they are expected to deliver in a huge way in terms of Google Ads ROIs.

In this post, we will take you through everything you need to know about Google’s Gallery Ads, which are expected to roll out later this year, answering these important questions:

What are Google Gallery Ads and how will they work?
What are the benefits of Gallery Ads?
How will you pay for Gallery Ads?
Why should you care about Gallery Ads?

Let’s jump in!
What are Google Gallery Ads and How Will They Work?
Gallery Ads are described as interactive ads with swipeable carousel images. Meaning Google services will be able to either swipe through the images of your Gallery Ad or click each image to expand to a vertical view, which they can then swipe down. At the end of the Gallery, searchers will be able to see your CTA, which, when clicked, will take them to your Gallery Ad landing page.

As you can see from the Gallery Ad example above, advertisers will need additional taglines of up to 70 characters for each image in their Gallery, which will include four to eight images. Advertisers will also be able to add three main headline options that will be tested to find the best-performing one.
As it stands now, Gallery Ads will only be eligible to show for those top Google search result spots on mobile devices, with Google saying they will test them on desktop and in other Google products further down the line.
Additionally, it is important to note that they will be a new ad format – not a unique campaign type – and will, therefore, compete with other Search Ads in the same auction.
What are the Benefits of Google Gallery Ads?
It’s reported that the Gallery Ads being tested right now are yielding 25% more interactions (clicks or swipes) on top SERP mobile listings. That’s a huge jump!
By integrating visuals into the power of search, Gallery Ads will improve how you communicate the value of your products to potential shoppers. In a nutshell: they will drive search engagement like never before. How? By enabling advertisers to visually tell their brand story, launch a new product or introduce a new category, Gallery Ads will take search to the next level.
How will you pay for Gallery Ads?
Google will be charging for Gallery Ad integrations in two different ways:

Either you will pay for clicks. As with traditional search ads, you will be charged for the click when a searcher clicks the ad headline, which then sends them to the ad URL.
Or you will be charged when the post has at least three Gallery Ad swipe interactions. In other words, if a searcher swipes through three (out of the minimum four) or more images in your gallery.

Why should you care about Gallery Ads?
We all know how powerful strong imagery can be in terms of paid advertising; and Gallery Ads will bring that power to your search campaigns. There is no doubt that this new Google ad format will be packing a punch. Ultimately helping brands stand out from the digital noise, to increase branding, search engagement and impact. Revolutionizing search in the same way that Google did with Google Shopping or Facebook did with their Dynamic Product Ads.

The early bird catches the worm, as they say. Gallery Ads may not be here yet, but as you can see from this post, you want to be ready for them. They are currently in beta, but StoreYa clients will get first dibs before other businesses on this powerful ad format.
Be sure to stay tuned to find out when Google is planning to release Gallery Ad formats in your country and get in early for big rewards.

12 Critical Items to Check Off Your List Before Launching a New Website

If you’ve been involved in a website project before, you know how nerve-racking it can be to finally give the go-ahead to “flip the switch” from the old website to the new one. There are a lot of things that need to be tested, double-checked and implemented before launch to ensure a smooth transition.
Your web development partner will have a pre-launch and a post-launch website checklist of their own, but you and your team have an important to-do list, too. Here is a list of items that need to be checked off before the big launch.
1. Cross browser testing
When you use a certain browser every day, you might assume that everyone else uses the same one and can see exactly what you see on your computer. This, however, is not the case, as not all browsers work the same way, and your website may display and act differently on each one. Therefore you need to thoroughly test your website on all browsers (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.) and all different mobile devices (i.e. iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.). The best way to go about testing is to share the staging site link for your website with a few people on your team and ask them to click through every page and every link, making note of anything that seems off or broken. It’s important that one person doesn’t do all the testing by themselves so that you don’t miss anything! Then, this process needs to be repeated after the website goes live to be sure nothing broke during the launch process.
2. Proofread content
Most websites today are set up with a content management system, and copy changes can be made quickly and easily – but no one wants to launch a website with a spelling error. So be sure you and your web team proofread the website thoroughly before launch. It’s a good idea to get another set of eyes who wasn’t directly involved in the process to review the copy as well. In addition to spelling errors, check that all phone numbers, addresses and other contact information is correct.
3. Test forms
During testing, make sure you fill out and test all of the forms on the site, such as contact forms, job applications or email subscriptions. To test, change the notification email to your own and then fill out each form on all desktop, tablet and mobile versions. Just because a form works in one place doesn’t always mean that it works everywhere. If the forms are integrated with a third-party tool such as CRM, marketing automation or email marketing, you want to make sure that all fields are properly pushing information into those platforms. After testing, don’t forget to change back all of the form notifications to alert the right people. There’s nothing worse than a prospect filling out a form on your website but no one knows because you forgot to set up the notifications.
4. Implement necessary SEO
It’s essential to set your website up for search engine optimization (SEO) success before launch. One of the most important aspects of SEO is making sure each page of your website has a unique title tag and meta description. This helps tell the search engines what content is on the page so people can search for your firm and your capabilities. Another common SEO oversight is the omission of image ALT tags, robots.txt and other technical factors. Here are some important SEO practices to remember when launching a site.
5. Set up 301 redirects
Creating a new website or redesigning your current one means that some of your page URLs will change. For example, your old website might have the URL ‘/team’ for all of your team member bios but use ‘/professionals’ on your new site. Making sure that those URLs redirect correctly after launch is critical to ensure that your users don’t land on any 404 error pages. It also helps with SEO because adding 301 redirects triggers search engines to remove the old page and only index the new page, therefore helping it rank organically. Before your old website goes away, be sure to record all of the current URLs in an excel spreadsheet and then designate the page on the new website where each URL to redirect.
6. Upload a favicon
Favicons are a small, but very important detail on any website. They are the little image of your logo or brand that appears in the address bar and tabs of your browser beside your page title. Favicons are important because they help with the credibility of your website and provide some additional branding for your company, improving user experience.
7. Page speed optimization
Your website’s page speed is just as important as the visual design and content. If a user visits your website and the page is slow to load, they more than likely will leave right away. The biggest cause of a slow website is related to image size and quality. Make sure that your images are compressed but still really good quality. The Imagify plugin on WordPress websites will do all the compressing for you and is very easy to use. Another way to help improve page speed is to enable a caching plugin such as WP Rocket. Caching plugins generate HTML pages of your website and save it on the server so that when a user accesses your site, it will pull the simple HTML instead of the heavy loaded PHP scripts.
8. Create a sitemap
When you launch a new website, search engines aren’t automatically aware of this change. In order to get them to correctly index your site and recognize the new pages you have published, you will need to create an XML sitemap. This is a specific file that lists all of the pages of your website, helping search engines understand your website’s structure and what pages are important. There are many SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO for WordPress, that will automate the creation and maintenance of XML sitemaps.
9. Install tracking codes
Your beautiful new website just launched, but do you know how users are finding it and what pages they’re landing on the most? That is where Google Analytics comes into play. Any firm should utilize Google Analytics since it’s free and easy to set up, and it’s a powerful tool to help you better understand your website’s performance. It tracks the number of visitors that come to the website, what pages they are visiting, how long they are on certain pages, etc. There are also some really great paid tracking services, such as HotJar or marketing automation platforms, that can be added to provide even more in-depth analytics for websites. Each of these tools have a unique tracking code you’ll need to add to the code of your website in order to collect data. Add these right after launch to make sure you capture all data from the start of your new site!
10. Purchase SSL certificate
Making sure your website is secure is more important now than ever. An SSL certificate not only protects your website and keeps the data between the servers and your browsers private, but Google will penalize your site and mark it as “not secure” on its search results page if you don’t have an SSL, which deters users from visiting your site. Your business is credible and secure, so you want to make sure users know that when they view your website.
11. Update the Time To Live
Time To Live (TTL) is a very important setting in your DNS record because it tells the server how long the DNS information should be cached. This should always be checked before launching your new website because it will affect how long it takes the new site to propagate on the servers. You’ll want to communicate to your web person or your IT company where your domain is registered and how short you want to set the TTL. Ideally, you want to make sure that the TTL is set as short as possible—typically 30 seconds to a few minutes.
12. Website privacy/robots
Once the website has launched, it is critical that the privacy of the website is turned to public. During development, your website is normally set to “private,” which tells search engine robots not to index your website while its under development. However, once the website is ready, it’s incredibly important to make sure this is turned to public so that people can find your new website and search engines can begin to crawl your newly created sitemap to help you show up on search engines.
Launch with confidence
Communicating with your web development partner during the launch phase is extremely important. They should have their own detailed launch list that has the technical items that are typically beyond the marketing team’s understanding. And once the site is live, be sure that you or your development partner have a plan for properly maintaining the website moving forward. Depending on the complexity of the website, there could be more items on this pre-launch checklist, but this is a comprehensive list of items that tend to apply to the majority of website projects and will set you up for a smooth and successful launch!

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Brand Awareness in PPC

In my last article on this blog, I described how brand awareness in PPC is sometimes viewed as less important than PPC performance.
Unfortunately, too many companies put all their attention on the performance of their paid search campaigns — and undervalue their brand awareness campaigns.
Which is unfortunate because brand awareness is often a major driver of performance!
Why is this the case? Because when your product or service is expensive and/or complex, you have to lay some foundation before you can get a conversion. You have to give potential customers the opportunity to get to know you and what you bring to the table.
Brand awareness lies at the heart of this kind of foundation building. But by the time you get to the end of your conversion process, you’re too busy celebrating to remember all of the groundwork that went before. So your performance campaigns take all the credit.
Therefore, in the first part of this blog post, I will highlight some of the metrics that will help you see how you’re doing with brand awareness.
In the second part, I’ll look at a real life example.

Brand Awareness Metrics
So what metrics should you look at as a measure of brand awareness?
Here are some good places to start:
Traffic Metrics
Traffic metrics don’t tell the whole story of brand awareness. But they are a good indicator.
1. % New visitors
Ideally, you want to see a good percentage of new visitors coming to your site. A higher percentage of new visitors means that people are discovering and learning about you.
In essence, new visitors mean new business. So you want to see a slow, steady increase.
If you’re only getting returning visitors, that’s a major red flag.
2. Direct traffic
How are people finding your website? Is it through referrals, organic search, paid search or direct traffic?
Direct traffic is when people either type in your URL or reach it via a browser bookmark. For this to happen, people must already be familiar with your brand and website.
Therefore, direct traffic is a metric that reflects brand awareness.
Again, this a place where you want to see steady growth.
3. Number of visits from your branded campaign
There’s no set number of visits that you’re going for here. But you do want to see this number increase over time.
If people are finding and clicking on your ads that featured your branded terms, that could be a sign that your brand awareness campaigns are working. Otherwise, they would be less reluctant to click on those ads.
Engagement Metrics
1. Pages per session
How many website pages are people visiting (on average) during each session?
The more pages people visit per session, they more engaged they are. More pages means they’re truly interested in your site and want to explore it.
2. Average session duration
Similar to the above, the amount of time each visitor spends on your site is another good indicator of engagement. The more time they spend, the more engaged they are.
Form Completion Metrics
Form completion is more often thought of as a performance metric. But it can also be a brand awareness metric.
For example, we have a client whose brand awareness campaigns is driving form completions (and leads). Form completion wasn’t our primary goal. But we’ll take it as a bonus!
A Nursing Home Example
What do these metrics look like in reality? Let’s use a real life example to illustrate.
We have a nursing home client that specializes in providing support for a particular type of degenerative disease.
We’ve been running their PPC campaigns for awhile. But we haven’t been getting many leads (a performance metric). So does that mean these campaigns aren’t working?
Not at all. There are a number of factors to consider.
First, for a number of reasons (some of which are technical), the client hasn’t been able to set up phone call tracking. So it could be that we’re getting more conversions than we know — but they’re happening over the phone and we can’t quantify them.
Second, our PPC campaigns are still their best marketing channel. So there’s that.
Third, think about the nature of this client’s “product.” Moving a loved one to a nursing home is a big, complex, expensive decision. It requires a lot of research and thought.
So how likely is it that someone will be motivated by an online ad to make an immediate commitment?
Not likely.
In this kind of situation, you need to start with brand awareness. You need to help prospective clients get to know you and what you offer. You have to build trust.
Part of this heavy lifting can be done through brand awareness campaigns.
So if you evaluate your PPC campaigns purely by performance metrics, such as signing a contract or setting up an appointment, you’ll be disappointed.
But if you evaluate these campaigns by brand awareness metrics, such as traffic, new visitors, time on site, etc., then you’ll start to see that these campaigns are laying the groundwork for an eventual conversion or sale.
Here’s a screenshot from Google Analytics for this client. It shows some of the brand awareness metrics discussed above:

As you can see, the average time on page for this client is impressive. Over 2.5 minutes! That’s a clear sign of engagement.
The number of page views also looks good.
So I argued (and the client agreed) that we would be wise to continue our brand awareness campaigns.
Unfortunately, not all clients come around to this way of thinking.
We typically run both performance and brand awareness campaigns for our clients. But sometimes, when performance metrics go up (likely driven by brand awareness activities), some clients will say, “Oh good! Performance is up. So now we can cut back on brand awareness.”
This response is understandable. But it’s also short-term thinking.
Other clients will say, “Oh good! Performance is up. Our brand awareness campaigns are starting to pay off. Let’s put even more into these campaigns so we can continue to grow our results.”
Of course, no business has an unlimited budget for advertising. And so, you may need to adjust the percentage of PPC budget that goes to brand awareness vs. performance over time.
But the percentage that goes to brand awareness should never fall to zero.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Brand Awareness
Brand awareness has an important role to play in your business, even if that role is sometimes “behind the scenes.”
So don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can cut brand awareness and rely solely on your performance activities.
Because if you jeopardize the foundation, the entire house may fall.

7 Reasons You’re Not Maximizing Traffic To Your Website

mohamed_hassan / PixabayThere are dozens of easy fixes you can make to increase the traffic on your website. Even if you’re only missing one of these strategies-you’re missing out on potential traffic that could be bringing you more clients. Here are 7 potential reasons you can instantly increase the number of visitors your website receives:

Your on-page optimization is non-existent
Lack of a keyword strategy
Inaccurate content strategy
Posts and pages are not interlinking
No authority or “yes votes”
You haven’t been blogging
Ineffective headlines

On-page optimization is non-existent
On-page optimization contains a plethora of ranking factors that signal to search engines what your page is about. Without on page optimization, your page isn’t clearly communicating what it offers.
On-page optimization includes having the main keyword or key phrase in your title, and URL. To enhance the content you will need to use LSI keywords throughout the body and in the subtitles to support the main keyword. The images should have alt tags filled out, captions if applicable and the file name of an image or video can also be optimized by including a keyword.
Lack of a keyword strategy
A popular discussion found in many marketing circles is whether keywords are dead. When Google implemented the Hummingbird Update it solidified the method for the contextual assessment of websites. Website owners became more liable for the quality of content and with this adjustment, keyword strategy evolved.
It is no longer necessary to reinforce the optimization of a page by repeating a keyword throughout an article. We don’t need separate pages to rank separate keywords. We need only establish search intent as the main focus of our optimization and provide the relevant details that satisfy search intent in a single piece of content.
A keyword strategy helps to shape how we build our pages by bringing to light related facets of an idea. By incorporating different variations of our keyword (LSI keywords) we also uncover more issues that may not have been so obvious in relation to our main keyword focus.
Inaccurate content strategy
The lack of a keyword strategy leads to an inaccurate content strategy. Without establishing the search intent for specific search terms in our keyword research our content production becomes random, unorganized and ineffective at addressing the demands of the person searching.
Keyword research leads us to identify what forms of content are performing for a specific keyword or phrase. If you’re writing articles for a search term that displays a video in the featured snippet (position zero), your content strategy is completely ineffective and inaccurate since it’s obvious that Google had deemed a video to be the best method of satisfying search intent.
Posts and pages are not interlinked
The structure of your content should be to use a “pillar page” as a page that performs for your main keyword. This page also serves as a hub for topics that are related to your keyword and discussed in more depth and detail to create a broader understanding of your main service or product. Connect your pages by linking from your posts back to the pillar page with anchor text that enhances the optimization of our money key phrases. In the same respect, you can link out from your pillar page for more detail on a specific idea or topic. Interlinking your pages and posts will enhance the optimization of your website which contributes to a higher ranking and more traffic.
No authority or “yes votes”
Authority is a value that is assigned to a domain based on the number and quality of referring domains. Moz uses DA (domain authority) as a measure of 1-100 to help compare values between websites. Backlinks from external websites are like “yes votes” from third parties that confirm your credibility with the link they are giving to your website. Moz estimates that Google weights the importance of backlinks at 27.94% of its localized ranking assessment.
When a website accumulates backlinks it also accumulates authority which increases the DA and the ability to outrank competing websites. When competing for a top position in the search results your success will be heavily be influenced by the DA of your site in comparison to your competitions. Establishing a link building strategy will improve the authority of your website and lift your ranking to more competitive positions.
You haven’t been blogging
Publishing articles and building a blog can mean the difference between generating massive streams of traffic and producing tiny trickles. When you are able to provide visitors with helpful advice or additional information about your services or products, you are encouraging them to return to your site for more resourceful information. Blogs build relationships with visitors by providing value and insight into issues that affect their lives. The Renovation Method is a way of producing high-quality content that is highly relevant and developed to perform well in your blogging and guest posting efforts.
Blog posts are used to support the pillar pages by explaining related topics in more detail. The articles you produce in your blog optimize your website by supporting the main key phrases through the related content. If you haven’t been blogging you have been missing a major aspect of generating traffic to your site.
Ineffective headlines
Headlines are what draws your audience in to read your article and if they aren’t enticing enough, people won’t read them. A headline not only needs to explain to the reader what they will receive within the contents but needs to elicit interest and stand out from other competing search results. Coschedule published an article claiming that catchy blog titles can increase traffic by 438%.
Using keywords within your headline is one way to improve the click-through rate of your article. When people see the same search term they typed within your title it’s going to get their attention. Tell them exactly what they are going to receive using numbers, power words, and a stated outcome to maximize interest, click-throughs and overall traffic to your site.
Maximizing the traffic your website receives isn’t something that can be done overnight. Incorporate a systematic approach and tackle every issue proven to be effective in order to see your total monthly volume of traffic rise.

Progressive Web Applications – The Best of the Web, Plus the Best of Native Apps

Nowadays, every business realizes the need for establishing their business on mobile devices. And for the entire market, the question is no longer, “If they should work on a mobile app” but the question now is “What kind of mobile app”.
Well, a business that targets a mobile-based customer has three options:

to develop a Responsive Website

to develop a Native App
to create a Progressive Web App (PWA)

Mobile websites are fast and light, but they are less efficient in terms of user experience. While native apps offer the finest user experience, but these are limited to certain devices and have restrictions in terms of adoption. Native apps need to be downloaded that means the buy-in from the consumer is implemented and the impulse behavior is lost. And PWAs is the amalgamation of the two. It combines the best elements of mobile sites and native apps while eliminating their disadvantages. In the words of Alex Russell –
“PWA is just a website that took all the right vitamins.”
The problem with native apps is that we do not find most of the app worth downloading, sometimes our device might be short of space, or the available data isn’t sufficient.
It is seen that people are turning away from Android/iOS apps because users do not want to flood their phones with all kinds of apps. This is where a progressive web app takes advantage of what the web has to offer.
Ola – One of India’s most highly valued startups, Ola completes more than a million daily rides. Ola developed PWA just 200KB of data to install, the PWA is at least 300X smaller than downloading the Android app and 500X smaller than downloading their iOS app. And the conversion rates are 30% higher on the PWA.
Features of PWA
1. Progressive –It works for every user, regardless of the choice of browser.
2. Responsive –Automatically adjustable to any device.
3. Secure –Served via HTTPS.
4. Load Time -Lesser load time; instantly available.
5. Fresh –Always up-to-date; the app doesn’t require updation like native apps.
6. Installable – App installed directly to the home screen without visiting the app store.
7. Linkable –Easily shared through URL
Twitter Lite – Twitter Lite was developed to deliver a more robust experience, with explicit goals for instant loading, user engagement, and lower data consumption. PWA has increased 65% in pages per session, 75% more Tweets sent, and 20% decrease in bounce rate.
Functionality of PWA
1.Web-App manifest
It is the very first component of a PWA, it controls the way an app is displayed to the user, and how it can be launched. The file consists of starting URL, an app’s full and short name, links to icons and icons’ sizes, type, and location.
2. Service Worker
The service worker consists of the main features of a progressive web app – the background syncs, offline work mode, and push notification.
These features respond to the users’ interaction.
self.addEventListener('activate', function(event) {

// Perform some task

});
Source: developers.google.com
a) Offline work mode –
This helps application interface to load faster and the needed dynamic content is refreshed every time the connection is back.Source: developers.google.com
b) Push Notification –
This is an efficient tool for user-engagement through the content and prompt updates from the website. PWA can send notification even when the browser is closed, and the app isn’t active.

Source: developers.google.com
c) Background Sync –
Background Sync delays action until stable connectivity isn’t back. This is done so that the server can send periodical updates to the app enabling it to refresh itself when the connection is back.
Source: developers.google.com
d) Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Transport Layer Security is the standard of secure and robust data exchange between two applications. This ensures highest security for the user and site data.
Benefits of PWAs
1. Cost-Efficient
PWAs are built on the web stack. The approach takes less time and effort making it cost-efficient.
Developers do not need to build the app for multiple platforms because a single progressive app can work on both Android and iOS platforms.
2. Less Installation friction
One of the main features of PWA is discover-ability. This is a big advantage as the user does not need to install an app and do not reduce the number of potential users by 20%.
As PWA does not require an app to be downloaded via the App Store, it makes the customer’s several steps closer to the launching phase. They do not have to visit the app store, click on install, accept various licenses and permissions, and then wait for it to get installed. For PWAs, the user just needs to visit the website, add it to the home screen, and simply open PWA.
3. Increased User Engagement
It is seen that 80% of mobile users move their apps to the home screen. And PWA’s ability to add themselves to the home screen makes them more competitive. Also with accessibility, PWA also offers the frequency of use by 61 %, the simplicity of access by 54% and the speed of access by 49%. Additionally, Push notifications also fuel user interest in the app.
4. Easy Updations
PWA users are free from app updations for every time the developer releases a new version. This feature allows enterprises to avoid the difficulty referred to as software fragmentation when they have to support old versions of apps or jeopardize the loss of users until they begin the update.
To Conclude
Your users have switched to mobile, and you should also follow it to hold a conversation with your audience more effectively. And Progressive web apps can solve two main problems of the users. Firstly, Users who do not want to overcrowd their device’s space can be part of this community. Thus it can significantly increase the number of user engagements.
Secondly, as people rely on a wireless network and mobile connections they are are more likely to prefer websites and apps that use less data.
PWA, in short, offers benefits like greater performance and functionality, development time frames and costs, and ultimate user experience.

How to Define and Develop Your Project Workflows

Project workflows bring order and structure to your agency’s operations. Learn how to create your own workflows in this guide.
When lay people think of creative work, they usually think of sparks of brilliance and inspirational “Eureka!” moments.
The truth is that creative work requires a lot of structure, especially if you want to stabilize and scale it.
This “structure” of creative work – or any other work – is defined by project workflows.
Project workflows help you map the steps necessary to take an item from start to finish. The meaning is in the term itself – workflow: the movement of data and activity.
Understanding and developing clear project workflows is crucial if you want to become better at running your agency. Complement your creativity and industry expertise with workflows and you’ll be able to deliver top-notch solutions consistently.
This guide will help you understand project workflows. You’ll learn why they’re important, what categories they fall into, and how to develop your own workflows.
What is a Project Workflow?
A workflow can be defined as “orchestrated and repeatable pattern of activity”.
A project workflow, thus, defines the sequence of activities, responsibilities, and data that must be exchanged or completed to move forward a project. Project workflows usually define a set of repeatable, well-structured activities, not one-off endeavors.
Think of it as an advanced version of a checklist. While a checklist is purely sequential, a workflow contains complex if-then logic to define the right sequence of events.
An easy way to understand workflows is to recall your last trip to the grocery store. “Buy two dozen eggs and a loaf of bread” is a checklist. But “If bread is less than $2, buy two loaves. Else buy only two dozen eggs” is an example of a workflow since it contains multiple logic-based steps.

What is Not a Workflow
For a sequence to qualify as a workflow, there must be some interaction or dependencies between the steps.
If Step #2 has no correlation to Step #1, you can’t really call it a workflow. At best, you can call it a checklist.
The following, for instance, is a workflow:

Create blog post
Share blog post URL on Twitter

In this case, you can’t share the blog post URL until you actually create the blog post. Thus, Step #2 has a direct dependency on Step #1.
The following, however, can’t be classified as a workflow:

Create blog post
Share URL of last week’s featured post on Twitter

Why? Because Step #2 has no interaction with Step #1. You can share last week’s blog URL even before you’ve created the post for this week’s content.
Workflows vs Processes
Workflows are, by and large, task oriented. They define the activities that need to be performed and in what order.
A ‘process’, on the other hand, is a broader term and defines all the data, decision-making, reports, notifications, etc. that are necessary to take a task from start to finish.
For example, in a content marketing campaign, ‘Write draft’ > ‘Publish post’ > ‘Promote post’ is a workflow. It only defines what tasks must be completed to take a blog post from idea to live asset.
However, before you can write a draft, you also have to choose the right person to create it. And before that, you have to gather requirements and brainstorm a content strategy.
Once the post is published, you have to align your promotion with your PR and social media teams. Finally, post-publishing, you’ll have to send a report to your key stakeholders.
This list of events defines a “process”. Processes are deeper, more complex, and look at all the steps – tangible and intangible – necessary to produce a deliverable. Whereas workflows only consider the superficial sequence of steps from start to final delivery.
In other words, workflows are contained within processes, i.e. the former is a subset of the latter.
Why Workflows Matter
Project workflows change the way you approach project management. Instead of going about in a haphazard, ad-hoc fashion, they give you structure and order.
Let’s look at some of the specific, tangible benefits of adopting project workflows in your PM strategy:
1. Improve project management
A project workflow defines all the steps – including if-then logic – that go into creating a deliverable. They tell managers and employees exactly what needs to be done and in what order.
This brings much-needed structure to your project management. More importantly, they make it easier for new hires to get up to speed with your project execution approach. You don’t have to hold hands and show a new hire what to do next; the project workflow will guide them.
Furthermore, project workflows build predictability and scalability into your operations. Once you’ve mapped out the workflow for a deliverable, every project can use it. If you want to grow beyond a boutique agency, you’ll need this consistency and scalability.
2. More accurate cost and time estimates
A common pitfall of running an agency is inaccurate cost and time estimates. Deliverables that take longer than expected to produce or need more than the estimated resources can easily derail your agency.
Since project workflows define every step in the production process, they help you estimate your resource and time requirements better.
For instance, the project workflow for a blog post shows that you need an editor, a writer, and a strategist. Based on your prior experience and industry standards, you can also estimate how long each resource would take to create their part of the deliverable.

The result is better estimating, which, as you know, is crucial for a healthy agency.
3. More efficient operations
Are you using the most efficient path to create your deliverables?
Unless you map out your path, you won’t really know the answer to this question.
This is where project workflows help immensely. Once you’ve mapped out your workflow, you can spot inefficiencies and alter your path to remove them.
For instance, you might find that two steps in the process can be carried out simultaneously, such as content ideation and creating content calendars. Or you might find that a single resource can carry out multiple steps instead of handing it over to another team member.
The processes you use to create your work isn’t necessarily the best one. By mapping and reviewing your workflows, you can often find faster and more streamlined ways of doing things.
That’s not all. Project workflows also help you identify risks. Once you’ve mapped your path, you might realize that you’re overdependent on an outside contractor for a key step in the process. Or that you’re relying too heavily on a poorly maintained third-party framework.
You can then take remedial steps to avoid these risk events.
How to Use Project Workflows in Your Agency
Project workflows bring structure to your operations, help you identify risks, and improve the accuracy of your estimates.
But how exactly do you use them? What step-by-step process should you follow to add them to your project management approach?
I’ll share some answers below.
Types of Project Workflows
Project workflows can be broadly divided into two categories:
1. Process workflows
These workflows define a set of tasks that are predictable and repetitive. That is, before an item starts the workflow, you know exactly what path it should take.
Creating a blog post based on a title and creative brief would be a ‘process workflow’. That’s because you already know what steps you would take to create the post based on your past experience.
2. Case workflows
In a case workflow, you know what you’re going to create, but the path to reach final delivery isn’t always clear. You need to gather resources, conduct research, and understand requirements further before you can map out the workflow.
Building an app that you’ve never developed before is an example of a case workflow. You know what the end product looks like, but you don’t know which frameworks you’ll use and what resources you’ll utilize.
Which is to say, a case workflow is evaluated on a “case by case” basis.
Case workflows are rare in agencies. Most of the times, you’ll know what path you’ll take to produce the deliverable. Nonetheless, you can still speed up the execution of case workflows by developing templates to plug into the workflow.
Developing Your Own Project Workflows
Now that you know the two major types of workflows, it’s time to use them in your projects.
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you get started:
1. Make a list of services and deliverables
Start by making a list of all the services you provide and the deliverables associated with them. Usually, you’ll need to create several sub-deliverables before you can deliver the final project.
For instance, before you can create a final landing page, you need to create a mockup. And before you can create a mockup, you need to gather requirements through a creative brief.
Your goal in this step is to understand everything that you create in the process of taking a project from start to finish.
For example, a content marketing project might have the following deliverables:

Creative brief
Content marketing strategy document
Content calendar
Content style guide
Blog post templates
Blog posts
eBooks

Some of these might be internal (i.e. meant for your own teams) while some will be external (i.e. meant for clients). A style guide, for instance, would be consumed internally, while a finished blog post would be shared with clients.
There will be dependencies between deliverables (a blog post, for instance, needs a creative brief), but we’ll get to that in the next step.
Make sure to follow the work breakdown structure guidelines and list only deliverables and not the activities associated with them. An easy way to understand the difference is to think in terms of nouns and verbs. If the item can be described via a noun, it is a deliverable. Else, it’s an activity.

“Blog post template”, thus, is a deliverable. While “gather requirements for blog post template” is an activity.
Do this for all the services you provide. An additional benefit of this exercise is that it helps you understand your own agency’s operations better.
2. Map the Processes Used to Create Each Deliverable
For each of the deliverables you identified above, map the path you usually take to move the item from start to finish.
For instance, to create a blog post, you might take the following steps:

Gather requirements from the client in the form of a creative brief
Use takeaways from creative brief to create a style guide
Create a content strategy based on creative brief and project requirements
Brainstorm blog post topics and create a content calendar based on content strategy
Create and approve an outline for each blog post
Send approved outline to freelance writer
Approve the first draft and send it to CMS (Content Management System)
Edit draft in CMS and schedule for publishing
Share finished URL with client

You’ll find that the dependencies for each deliverable are either:

Deliverable-specific, i.e. completing the deliverable requires completing a prior step in the process. For example, before you can create a blog post, you need to create an outline. This outline will be unique to each blog post (the deliverable in question).
Project-specific, i.e. the deliverable depends on an item that is universal to all deliverables in the project. For example, you need a creative brief before you can create any content – blog posts, eBooks, etc.

In the above example, you can map the entire process visually as follows. Note that the project-specific dependencies are highlighted separately. You need to only create them once and they can be used for all deliverables in the project.

3. Create Project Workflows
The above exercise should give you a good handle on the path you need to follow to create an item. Think of it as a “proto project workflow”.
The next step is to map out all the resources, time, and paths the deliverable might take to go from start to finish.
What happens if the editor doesn’t sign-off on an outline? Or if the client does not approve the final post? Or if a freelancer drops out at the last moment and you have to find a replacement?
All these “if-then” scenarios are a part of the project workflow.
The best way to map out your workflows is to do it visually. Use software such as Microsoft Visio and Draw.io to draw out all these scenarios. Also, make sure to identify the resources you’ll need at each step in the workflow.
For instance, “creating a blog post” might have the following workflow:

As the above diagram shows, if a freelancer drops out, you have an alternative in the form of an in-house writer. If an editor doesn’t approve an outline, the writer waits two days and goes ahead with the draft anyway.
Not only does this help you map out what resources you’ll need, but it’s also a fantastic way to manage risk. A beginner to your agency can use this workflow and know exactly what steps need to be completed and in what order to create a deliverable.
4. Optimize Workflows
The final step in the project workflow creation process is to optimize everything for better efficiency.
Look closely at the workflow you charted above. Is this truly the best path to create the deliverable? Are there steps you can remove? Resources that can be clubbed for better results? Tasks that can be completed simultaneously?
In particular, look for steps that can be automated. In the above example, you can set up an automated system to share the URL of the published post with your marketing team or client. Or you can bounce an unopened request email back to your inbox after 3 days of no response.

While you’re doing this optimization exercise, also think of how you can facilitate collaboration between and across teams. Is there a workflow that makes collaboration easier? If yes, make sure to prioritize it.
In the above example, getting content strategists and writers to collaborate on the blog post outline upfront can avoid much of the back-and-forth that happens when only writers create the outline.
Thus, a workflow that places strategist-writer collaboration before the outline creation might result in better work.
Optimization can be a tricky exercise. You have to be careful not to overdo it. Club too many steps together and you might find that your resources are exhausted. Ask the same resource to complete multiple steps simultaneously and you might end up paying the penalty for task switching.
Keep revisiting your workflows over time. Always ask: what can you do to improve efficiency? What steps can you eliminate or automate?
The more optimized your project workflows, the more efficient your agency.
While project workflows are necessary for better agency operations, you also need a robust agency management system. Try out a proven system such as Workamajig to transform how you run your agency. Workamajig’s scalable, consistent approach to management can drastically improve your productivity and lead to better results – creatively and financially.

Can Blogging Improve Your SEO? 5 Reasons Posting Blogs Helps Your Rankings

Blogging? Why bother?
For some businesses, writing blogs may seem like a waste of time, however, when done properly, regularly posting can benefit your company in many ways.
For starters, blogging can help to improve your SEO— with the long-game goals of building brand awareness or increasing your sales.
We’ve got five reasons why maintaining an active blog can benefit your ranking strategy:
1. Blogging Gives Your Website “Freshness”
A “fresh” webpage is one that’s been recently published, or recently updated— and publishing new or editing old blogs can add freshness to help improve your SEO. That’s because your content’s present-day relevance counts as an important ranking factor, according to the world’s largest search engine.
Data, technology and our understanding of matters changes regularly, and it’s vital to make alterations to provide searchers with the most factual, timely information.
That’s why Google’s algorithm accounts for freshness, with the search engine going as far as to say it frequently interprets fresh posts as more relevant, or “as a signal that up-to-date information might be (more) useful than older pages.”
Unfortunately, many webpages can be written and left untouched for months or years. In certain industries, this information can remain accurate. However, competitors might get an edge over you by adding additional information your content now lacks. Stay relevant in your industry by posting frequent articles, or by updating old posts.
2. Blog Posts Are a Great Place to Share Internal Links
Internal links are hyperlinks that send you to the same domain as the source page. To put it simply, interlinking is the practice of linking to your own webpages within the content of individual pages of your site. For instance, us linking to our article blog post length here is us practicing interlinking.
Interlinking on your site helps to give your domain a thing called “link equity,” or link “juice,” as SEOs call it. This gives your website depth and helps users to navigate through your site architecture or to other relevant sources on your site, which Google likes! (Spoiler alert: Google likes anything that helps improve the user-experience).

you don’t want to anger the users
You leading site visitors to other relevant links helps searchers get their answers. It also helps Google to categorize related items and to better understand the hierarchy of your website, so it can properly rank your pages. And your blog posts are the perfect place to spread and share relevant link love!
Fun fact: Did you know that linking to new posts on your homepage gives those articles more “link value?” Learn more from Yoast.
3. Blogging Helps with Link Building
When another company embeds a link to your site on theirs, it’s their way of saying, “Don’t believe me? This other reputable site agrees!” or, “I don’t have all the answers, but you can dig deeper here.”
Link building, or the practice of acquiring links from other domains, shows Google that other people think your content is great and worthy of mention. The cool thing about external linking is that it goes both ways: you can link to other domains and other domains can link to you. Blogs are a terrific linkable asset for both.
Blog posts are an enticing source to link to because they often contain valuable data or a unique theory/point-of-view— and are so easy to share (just copy the link and add some anchor text). So if you write bomb-ass content, and other sites link to it, they are helping to boost your SEO!

Google even affirms it, saying on the Search Console Help Center that, “links help our crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results.” They compare someone linking to you as that source “voting” for you. The search engine continues to say, “votes cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily and help to make other pages ‘important.’”
What does that mean? When “important” sites, i.e. sites with high domain/page authorities and low spam score) link to you, you’ll get some of that link juice lovin’ too!
Plus, you can help your SEO by linking to other relevant sources in your own content. Google loves it when you reference other sites that it already ranks. It affirms the search engine’s notion that their results are credible— and that you, in turn, are also credible, since you reference their already algorithmically-relevant sources.
Increasing Your Domain & Page Authority
Ever heard of Moz? These SEO wizards developed two powerful SEO metrics called domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA). These search engine ranking scores range from 1 through 100— just like a test grade— and can help to predict how well a website may rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
While Google itself doesn’t use domain/page authority directly in their ranking algorithms, DA and PA scores can still give you a rough estimate of a site’s “ranking strength.” Each score is determined mainly by the number of quality links you have, and can be used in tandem with other SEOs tools to check how your blog is ranking.
Generally speaking, building more powerful inbound links on other domains can help to increase these ratings, which helps build your SEO cred’. Plus, authority goes beyond a set score and extends to establishing you as a strong contender in your industry. Learn more about creating a sense of authority here.
4. Blogging Helps You Utilize More Keywords
SEO is all about optimizing your website for search, which requires an understanding of how Google uses keywords to help categorize and serve content on its search engine results pages.
If you’ve done your keyword research properly, you’ll know which terms you can target to get more organic traffic to your website. Simply put, your blog is just another place to weave in those keywords— and each post is another page that can rank.
Want a few examples? One article that we published on our Impulse Creative blog is organically ranking for 651 keywords, as of the date of publishing this post. This article— 8 Reasons Your Business Doesn’t Appear on the First Page of Google Search— ranks on page one of Google’s SERPs for queries like “why doesn’t my business show up on Google search?” and “how to make my business appear on Google search first,” according to data pulled by SEMRush.
Your business can start attracting visitors to your domain too, with the right keywords in your blog posts. Invest in doing keyword research to create posts that gain steady traffic over time, on their own. According to HubSpot, 75% of their blog views and 90% of blog leads come from old posts.
Check out our article on Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool to discover what people are searching in your industry, and to generate content to answer searchers questions.
5. Blogs Help to Increase Traffic/Site Views & Your Source Diversity
Not only can your blog posts bring in more organic traffic if they rank on Google’s SERPs, articles can also generate traffic from other methods, including:

Direct traffic. This is typically when someone types your exact URL into the search. They are sent “directly” to your site, without needing to find you on the SERPs. Or, sometimes people bookmark your URL for quick access and can click the shortcut to ping your web address.
Social media traffic. When you post a link to your blog post on social media, users can click through from your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn to your site.
Referral traffic. If another user is linking out to your blog post, a searcher can click the link on their site to hop over to your domain. AKA the searcher is being “referred” to you from this original reference.
Email marketing traffic. If you send out email correspondence, you can share a link to your blog post with your customers or clients. If they are sent to your site from this email, you’ll receive a view count, often labeled “email marketing.”

Simply put, your blog posts are getting more eyeballs to your domain, giving users an easy way to click through to other pages on you navigation bar.
If you host your blog on a different domain than your main site’s URL— let’s say “blog.samplesite.com” instead of “samplesite.com/blog,”— it’s not going to be as easy for someone to click through to other pages as it would be reading your content on your main site. Because of this, if you have your blog hosted on a separate domain, you’ll want to make sure you’re embedding links to your main site inside of your post.
Google likes to see diversity in the traffic sources you gain, because it demonstrates authenticity. Think about it. If all your traffic came from just one source, wouldn’t that seem odd?
Getting hits from one source is a huge tip-off to Google that you’re getting fake traffic, or paying for a traffic exchange program. In terms of your AdWords account, Google says this type of channeled traffic can “result in your account being disabled,” (hint hint: because they want you to pay for their ads).
Why do you think Google Analytics shows you where your traffic is coming from? The world’s largest search engine cares about where your views are coming from, and you should too.
Improve Your Blog Ranking with Help from Impulse Creative
Do you see the value of blogging now? Not only is it an incredible way to improve your SEO, but maintaining a powerful blogging strategy can help you gain more leads and customers.
Creating a blog for the first time? We have the perfect guide for you. Download our Beginner’s Guide to Blogging for Business for insights on which topics to blog about, how to optimize your posts and more.