Tag Archives: history

Debugging CSS Grid Layouts With Firefox Grid Inspector

You may have heard quite a bit of talk about a CSS feature called “Grid” this year. If you are someone who cringes when you hear the words “CSS” and “grid” in the same sentence, then I highly suggest you check out this new CSS module called CSS Grid.
Browsers render HTML elements as boxes according to the CSS box model, and CSS Grid is a new layout model that provides authors the ability to control the size and position of these boxes and their contents.

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Debugging CSS Grid Layouts With Firefox Grid Inspector

Product Manager – Mobile Applications – Heni Publishing – (London) – FullTime

The Company:
Heni Publishing is a boutique, fast-growing, arts business based in the heart of Soho. We work with leading artists and estates across publishing, art reproductions, photography, website development, events and art research. For further information, please visit our website www.henipublishing.com.
The Role:
You will be a confident Product Manager with broad experience of working in Agile environments across Web and Mobile Products. Working primarily with external developers, in this role you will be a key part of technical and design events including planning, refinement, review, retrospective, the sprint and daily scrum.

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Product Manager – Mobile Applications – Heni Publishing – (London) – FullTime

Challenge Yourself More Often By Creating Artwork Every Day

Whether you’re into good ol’ drawing and painting, or quick editing in Photoshop or Illustrator, one thing’s for sure: they’re all creativity’s best friends. Some draw pictures all day, while others find their inspiration in uncommon sources in order to break out of the box. Whatever it is that you decide to do, it’s good to challenge yourself more often and get out of your comfort zone. If you don’t, you may never discover something that you love doing, or perhaps even worse, never learn a whole lot about yourself.

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Challenge Yourself More Often By Creating Artwork Every Day

Intrusive Interstitials: Guidelines To Avoiding Google’s Penalty

In 2015, Google announced that mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in at least 10 countries. 56% of traffic on major websites comes from mobile. In light of this, Google’s decision to improve the mobile user experience by various means, such as AMP pages and a dedicated mobile index, comes across as a sound business move.
More than half of the 2 trillion searches Google processes each year come from mobile devices.

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Intrusive Interstitials: Guidelines To Avoiding Google’s Penalty

Are Your Keyword Rankings You See On Google Correct?

Google Search Results Differ

Have you ever doubted Google? When it comes to the keyword ranking accuracy, we can be skeptical about rank tracker tools we use or SEOs we hired. But when we check rankings manually, we trust our eyes and Google. But you shouldn’t be so careless. Google is clever and agile. They have a massive list of factors that affect the search results they display for you. Even if you see your website in the Number 1 position, it doesn’t mean you really are on top of the world. Your customers may see a very different Top 10. Fortunately, you can…

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Are Your Keyword Rankings You See On Google Correct?

Strategies You Need To Try in 2017, According to 13 Digital Marketing Experts

Image via Shutterstock.

Has anyone in the history of the world ever kept a New Year’s resolution?

I know I haven’t. But that doesn’t stop me from making them year after year and convincing myself that this will be the year for life-altering change. And then my credit card gets charged for my monthly gym membership and I realize I haven’t been in three months… (Where did the time go?)

The problem is, New Year’s resolutions are frequently impulse decisions — we take on ambitious goals without considering how they fit into our day to day lives.

Similarly, it’s easy to walk away from a marketing article with the intention of implementing X tactic. But without taking a step back and seeing how it fits into your overall strategy, you’re about as likely to actually do the work as I am to actually do my workout.

When we spoke to 13 of North America’s most influential digital marketing experts about their plans for 2017, a lot of them shared plans to take a step back and rethink their marketing strategy from a new perspective — rather than take on more tactics.

Here’s some of what they shared.

Scrutinize then optimize your current channels

You may be open to experimenting with new channels, but how often do you take stock of the ones you’ve been using forever? Why did you start using them in the first place?

The answer may be that you’re using them simply because you always have and don’t know anything else…

When we spoke to our digital marketing experts, many of them shared their plans to pull the plug completely on certain channels so they could focus on experimenting with new ones.

Larry Kim, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Wordstream and Inc columnist, spoke of his experiments with using LinkedIn Ads for lead generation:

larry-kimUnfortunately it didn’t work because the cost per click was around $10 and very limited ad targeting options (e.g., no remarketing or custom list support).

But there were other channels that worked well:

There were many new channels that we tried out or doubled down on that worked spectacularly well for us – and I wrote them all up, including our approach and the results – the new channels included the use of RLSA, Facebook and Twitter Ads, posting content to Medium, changing our SEO tactics, and experimenting with off-topic content.

John Rampton, CEO of Due, was disappointed in the results from Facebook advertising campaigns, but it’s worth noting that he suspects it may have had more to do with targeting oversights:

john-ramptonIn 2016, the most underwhelming marketing tactic we tried were Facebook ads, but I think this was because our target audience of small businesses was not on Facebook searching for business solutions.

Similarly, Moz last year experimented with pumping more money into paid advertising, according to co-founder Rand Fishkin. Moz nearly tripled its advertising budget with Facebook, AdWords and retargeting on various platforms.

Rand’s big takeaway from it all?

rand-fishkinBroad targeted advertising is nearly useless. Unless someone has already been to our website, is familiar with our brand and/or is specifically searching for us or a handful of tightly connected search phrases, digital ads produce very little lift in new signups.

Moz has since cut back spend massively and is focused on optimizing its targeting instead.

Jay Baer of Convince and Convert experimented with some free marketing channels in 2016 – notably, cross-posting from his blog to Medium. And while the effort for posting to Medium is minimal, so too have been the returns:

jay-baerSo far, the readership just hasn’t been there. Curiously, I have 53,000+ followers on Medium now, but generate just 3,000-4,000 views across four different posts per month.

These channels may or may not be effective for your audience, but the lesson here is to survey what’s working for you and what’s not.

And then don’t be afraid to kill your darlings (the channels that just aren’t working).

Out with the old, in with the new.

Build genuine relationships with a small group of influencers

It’s easy to get caught up in the dozens of tasks you have to do each day, but if you’re not currently making time to network and build relationships with your peers, 2017 is a great time to start.

It’s the secret sauce of Aaron Orendorff, prolific blogger and Forbes Top 25 Marketing Influencer. Here’s what he told us:

aaron-orendoorfMarketing is not a single player sport. I dug deep on collaboration this year and combined it with unique story angles. This approach created Unbounce’s [highest traffic] post of the year: Clinton vs. Trump: 18 CROs Tear Down the Highest Stakes Marketing Campaigns in US History.

The key to this approach, Aaron explained, is twofold:

First, you have to have killer idea (and, no, “What’s the best blogging tip?” doesn’t count). Second, roll contributions into each other. What I mean is, start with who you know and once you get initial buy-in use their name to get the next one… or just ask if they’ll connect you.

While this personalized approach has worked for Aaron, many marketers are still taking a cold approach, without much success.

Peep Laja of ConversionXL explained that reaching out cold won’t cut it:

1v26cpfbI myself get bombarded many times a day with all kinds of requests (“we linked to you/we mentioned you/give me feedback”), and I totally ignore them.

How do you avoid getting ignored? For starters, quit it with the canned messages.

Sujan Patel of digital marketing agency Web Profits explained that if you’re going to reach out to influencers, you should be doing it for the right reasons — to start relationships:

sujan-patelBegin with just five to ten people… choose people who appeal to you on a personal level – people you think you will genuinely get along with. Look for signs that you share the same interests (outside of your work) and sense of humor.

In other words, reach out only if your intention is to build genuine relationships. You wouldn’t ignore an email from an actual friend, would you?

Pair great content with great (dynamic) visuals

Since 2015, the content marketing world has been abuzz with Rand Fishkin’s concept of 10x content — the idea that you pick a topic and set out to create something 10x better than anything currently out there on the subject.

But with marketers everywhere striving to create 10x content, how then can you continue to stand out from the crowd?

For Sujan Patel, the marketers who will stand out in 2017 are those who pay special mind to design:

10x content isn’t new, but what will differentiate content in 2017 and beyond is content that directly incorporates design and formatting, instead of relying on great content in a long-form blog post.

As an example, Sujan shared a piece of content he created for a client: a guide to building a personal brand, where the content is inextricable from the design. He’s found that the time they spent on visuals is really paying off:

We see email optin rates over 25% and huge share numbers and backlinks from this type of content.

Ian Lurie of digital marketing agency Portent has similar plans to emphasize aesthetics in the New Year:

ian-lurieIn 2017, I’ll be leaning more towards complex layouts and a greater emphasis on graphics. I’ll also be segmenting by screen resolution.

If the prospect of dialling up your visual content production feels daunting, Nadya Khoja of Venngage has some advice:

nadya-khojaI recommend starting out by visiting your top performing content and repurposing it into engaging visuals. You can do this by pinpointing the main takeaways and tips that are highlighted in that content. Use a tool to create the animated graphics or finding a freelancer on a site like Upwork who can quickly transform that information into a compelling video or motion graphic.

Devote more time and tools to understanding your customers’ motives

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

Abe wasn’t a marketer, but he would have been an excellent one — in this blog post, Michael Aagaard, Senior Conversion Optimizer at Unbounce, explained why: you should never start a marketing campaign (chop down a tree) without doing your research (sharpening your axe).

That’s why Michael spends so much of his time conducting customer research and understanding the psychology of decision making. But this year, he took it a step further by socializing his findings to the team:

vubr6m3I spent a good deal of time sharing the insights and results internally so more of our employees could see the value in conducting real customer research rather than relying on assumptions or trends.

And Aagaard can’t stop, won’t stop:

In 2017, I’m going to ramp this up even more – both in terms of the hands-on CRO work I do at Unbounce and in relation to educating our employees and our customers.

Steve Olenski, Sr. Content Strategist at Oracle Marketing Cloud, urged marketers to look into mobile data management platforms (DMPs). He explained that they’re a critical part of the modern marketer’s stack because they enable us to better understand customer behavior:

steve-olenskiWith a mobile DMP, brands can harness and analyze the massive amount of customer data generated by mobile devices — including intent, geolocation, and purchase behavior to better target ads across multiple mobile devices and platforms, from in-app ads on smartphones to mobile web ads and tablet-specific campaigns.

In 2017, commit to collecting more customer information. Because at the end of the day, understanding your audience empowers you to give them more of what they want.

And that keeps them coming back for more.

Be part of the AI and AR conversations

Okay, this one’s a tall order, but it’s one that can’t be ignored for much longer.

Some of the digital marketing experts we spoke to emphasized the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse of cutting edge technology — notably, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Today, machine learning systems are being applied to everything from filtering spam emails, to making recommendations for what you should buy or watch (or who you should date).

Unbounce has been investing in applying machine learning to our product — here’s what CEO Rick Perrault had to say:

rick-perrault2016 marked the launch of our effort to apply machine learning to improving conversion results.  We’ve now built machine learning models that can predict conversion rates with reasonable accuracy, and our efforts to create models that provide actionable advice on improving conversion rates are coming along.

Jayson DeMers, CEO of AudienceBloom, has been keeping a close watch on augmented reality, especially after the breakout success of Pokemon Go this year:

jayson-demersxqAR print ads are starting to catch on, with Macallan Whiskey in Esquire Magazine, and Vespa Scooter ads being standout examples here. Axe/Lynx even took things a step further with an interactive “fallen angel” ad in a busy public location. This is a technology in its infancy that’s finally starting to take off.

Whoever innovates here – and does so quickly, early in 2017 – stands to win big.

While you may not necessarily be able to invest in this cutting edge stuff, the least you can do is keep your finger on the pulse of what others are doing. As these technologies progress, they become increasingly affordable and accessible — and you don’t want to be playing catch up when they become ubiquitous.

Down with New Year’s resolutions

I’d like to encourage you to not make a New Year’s resolution this year.

In 2017, make strategic decisions that will actually bring you results.

Over to you — what new things will you test at work in the New Year?

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Strategies You Need To Try in 2017, According to 13 Digital Marketing Experts

10 Things We Can Learn about Social Media from the 2016 Presidential Campaign

This presidential campaign may be the craziest, most divisive one in the history of the United States. At least that’s what social media would have us believe. Don’t worry. I’m not going to get all political in this post. My forte is marketing, not politics. Let’s face it, though. Politics is on people’s minds right now. Between the candidates and their numerous supporters, you’d be hard pressed to get on social media these days without hearing someone’s political views. It used to be that TV, radio, and print ads were the primary means for candidates to debate each other and…

The post 10 Things We Can Learn about Social Media from the 2016 Presidential Campaign appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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10 Things We Can Learn about Social Media from the 2016 Presidential Campaign

The Aesthetic Of Non-Opinionated Content Management: A Beginner’s Guide To ProcessWire

Systems for managing content are more often than not rather opinionated. For example, most of them expect a certain rigid content structure for inputting data and then have a specific engraved way of accessing and outputting that data, whether or not it makes sense. Additionally, they rarely offer effective tools to break out of the predefined trails if a case requires it.

The Aesthetic Of Non-Opinionated Content Management: A Beginner’s Guide To ProcessWire

ProcessWire is a content management system (CMS) distributed under the Mozilla Public License version 2.0 (MPL) and MIT License. It is designed from the ground up to tackle the issues caused by exactly this kind of opinionatedness (which, inevitably, results in frustrated developers and users) by being — you guessed it — non-opinionated. At its heart, it is based on a few simple core concepts and offers an exceptionally easy-to-use and powerful API to handle content of any kind. Let’s get right into it!

The post The Aesthetic Of Non-Opinionated Content Management: A Beginner’s Guide To ProcessWire appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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The Aesthetic Of Non-Opinionated Content Management: A Beginner’s Guide To ProcessWire

How to A/B test for long-term success (don’t underestimate insights!)

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Imagine you’re a factory manager.

You’re under pressure from your new boss to produce big results this quarter. (Results were underwhelming last quarter). You have a good team with high-end equipment, and can meet her demands if you ramp up your production speed over the coming months.


You’re eager to impress her and you know if you reduce the time you spend on machine maintenance you can make up for the lacklustre results from last quarter.

Flash forward: The end of the Q3 rolls around, and you’ve met your output goals! You were able to meet your production levels by continuing to run the equipment during scheduled down-time periods. You’ve achieved numbers that impress your boss…

…but in order to maintain this level of output you will have to continue to sacrifice maintenance.

In Q4, disaster strikes! One of your 3 machines breaks down leaving you with zero output, and no way to move the needle forward for your department. Your boss gets on your back for your lack of foresight, and eventually your job is given to the young hot-shot on your team and you are left searching for a new gig.

A sad turn of events, right? Many people would label this a familiar tale of poor management (and correctly so!). Yet, when it comes to conversion optimization, there are many companies making the same mistake.

Optimizers are so often under pressure to satisfy the speed side of the equation that they are sacrificing its equally important counterpart…


Consider the following graphic.

The spectrum ranges from straight forward growth-driving A/B tests, to multivariate insight-driving tests.

If you’ve got Amazon-level traffic and proper Design of Experiments (DOE), you may not have to choose between growth and insights. But in smaller organizations this can be a zero-sum equation. If you want fast wins, you sacrifice insights, and if you want insights, you may have to sacrifice a win or two.

Sustainable, optimal progress for any organization will fall somewhere in the middle. Companies often put so much emphasis on reaching certain testing velocities that they shoot themselves in the foot for long-term success.

Maximum velocity does not equal maximum impact

Sacrificing insights in the short-term may lead to higher testing output this quarter, but it will leave you at a roadblock later. (Sound familiar?) One 10% win without insights may turn heads your direction now, but a test that delivers insights can turn into five 10% wins down the line. It’s similar to the compounding effect: collecting insights now can mean massive payouts over time.

As with factory production, the key to sustainable output is to find a balance between short-term (maximum testing speed) and long-term (data collection/insights).

Growth vs. Insights

Christopher Columbus had an exploration mindset.

He set sail looking to find a better trade-route to India. He had no expectation of what that was going to look like, but he was open to anything he discovered and his sense of adventure rewarded him with what is likely the largest geographical discovery in History.

Have a Christopher Columbus mindset: test in pursuit of unforeseeable insights.

Exploration often leads to the biggest discoveries. Yet this is not what most companies are doing when it comes to conversion optimization. Why not?

Organizations tend to view testing solely as a growth-driving process— a way of settling long-term discussions between two firmly held opinions. No doubt growth is an important part of testing, but you can’t overlook exploration.

This is the testing that will propel your business forward and lead to the kind of conversion rate lift you keep reading about in case studies. Those companies aren’t achieving that level of lift on their first try; it’s typically the result of a series of insight-driving experiments that help the tester land on the big insight.

At WiderFunnel we classify A/B tests into two buckets: growth-driving and insight-driving…and we consider them equally important!

Growth-driving experiments (Case study here)

During our partnership with Annie Selke, a retailer of home-ware goods, we ran a test featuring a round of insight-driving variations. We were testing different sections on the product category page for sensitivity: Were users sensitive to changes to the left-hand filter? How might users respond to new ‘Sort By’ functionality?

Round I of testing for Annie Selke: Note the left-hand filter and ‘Sort By’ functionality.

Neither of our variations led to a conversion rate lift. In fact, both lost to the Control page. But the results of this first round of testing revealed key, actionable insights ― namely that the changes we had made to the left-hand filter might actually be worth significant lift, had they not been negatively impacted by other changes.

We took these insights and, combined with supplementary heatmap data, we designed a follow-up experiment. We knew exactly what to test and we knew what the projected lift would be. And we were right. In the end, we turned insights into results, getting a 23.6% lift in conversion rate for Annie Selke.

In Round II of testing, we reverted to the original 'Sort By' functionality.
In Round II of testing, we reverted to the original ‘Sort By’ functionality.

For more on the testing we did with Annie Selke, you should read this post >> “A-ha! Isolations turn a losing experiment into a winner

This follow-up test is what we call a growth-driving experiment. We were armed with compelling evidence and we had a strong hypothesis which proved to be true.

But as any optimizer knows, it can be tough to gather compelling evidence to inform every hypothesis. And this is where a tester must be brave and turn their attention to exploration. Be like Christopher.

Insight-driving experiments

The initial round of testing we did for Annie Selke, where we were looking for sensitivities, is a perfect example of an insight-driving experiment. In insight-driving experiments, the primary purpose of your test is to answer a question, and lifting conversion rates is a secondary goal.

This doesn’t mean that the two cannot go hand-in-hand. They can. But when you’re conducting insight-driving experiments, you should be asking “Did we learn what we wanted to?” before asking “What was the lift?”. This is your factory down-time, the time during which you restock the cupboard with ideas, and put those ideas into your testing piggy-bank.

We’ve seen entire organizations get totally caught up on the question “How is this test going to move the needle?”

But here’s the kicker: Often the right answer is “It’s not.”

At least not right away. This type of testing has a different purpose. With insight-driving experiments, you’re setting out on a quest for your unicorn insight.

unicorn insight
What’s your unicorn insight?

These are the ideas that aren’t applicable to any other business. You can’t borrow them from industry-leading websites, and they’re not ideas a competitor can steal.

Your unicorn insight is unique to your business. It could be finding that magic word that helps users convert all over your site, or discovering that key value proposition that keeps customers coming back. Every business has a unicorn insight, but you are not going to find it by testing in your regular wheelhouse. It’s important to think differently, and approach problem solving in new ways.

We sometimes run a test for our clients where we take the homepage and isolate, removing every section of that page individually. Are we expecting this test to deliver a big lift? Nope, but we are expecting this test to teach us something.

We know that this is the fastest possible way to answer the question “What do users care about most on this page?” After this type of experiment, we suddenly have a lot of answers to our questions.

That’s right: no lift, but we have insights and clear next steps. We can then rank the importance of every element on the page and start to leverage the things that seem to be important to users on the homepage on other areas of a site. Does this sound like a losing test to you?

Rather than guessing at what we think users are going to respond to best, we run an insight-driving test and let the users give us the insights that can then be applied all over a site.

The key is to manage your expectations during a test like this. This variation won’t be your homepage for eternity. Rather, it should be considered a temporary experiment to generate learning for your business. By definition it is an experiment.

Optimization is an infinite process, and what your page looks like today is not what it will look like in a few months.

Proper Design of Experiments (DOE)

It’s important to note that these experimental categories do have grey lines. With proper DOE and high enough traffic levels, both growth-driving and insight-driving strategies can be executed simultaneously. This is what we call “Factorial Design”.

Factorial design
Factorial design allows you to test with both growth and insights in mind.

Factorial design allows you to test more than one element change within the same experiment, without forcing you to test every possible combination of changes.

Rather than creating a variation for every combination of changed elements (as you would with multivariate testing), you can design a test to focus on specific isolations that you hypothesize will have the biggest impact or drive insights.

How to get started with Factorial Design

Start by making a cluster of changes in one variation (producing variations that are significantly different from the control), and then isolate these changes within subsequent variations (to identify the elements that are having the greatest impact). This hybrid test, using both “variable cluster” with “isolation” variations gives you the best of both worlds: radical change options and the ability to gain insights from the results.

For more on proper Design of Experiments, you should read this post >> “Design your A/B tests to get consistently better results

We see Optimization Managers make the same mistakes over and over again, discounting the future for results today. If you overlook testing “down-time” (those insight-driving experiments), you’ll prevent your testing program from reaching its full potential.

You wouldn’t run a factory without down-time, you don’t collect a paycheck without saving for the future, so why would you run a testing program without investing in insight exploration?

Rather, find the balance between speed and insights with proper factorial design that promises growth now as well as in the future.

How do you ensure your optimization program is testing for both growth and insights? Let us know in the comments!

The post How to A/B test for long-term success (don’t underestimate insights!) appeared first on WiderFunnel Conversion Optimization.

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How to A/B test for long-term success (don’t underestimate insights!)

The Evolution Of Media – Design Or Get Undesigned

What would a page look like if it had no designer? This odd question occurred to me in the 1980s, while overseeing the transition from lead-based typesetting to phototypesetting of an Indian newspaper. The Patriot’s distinctive design seemed to emerge, not from a designer, but the tactile interaction between lead and the illiterate villager who assembled the pages. This article examines how design has changed as materials have evolved, and underlines how the need for deliberate design is greater than it has ever been.

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The Evolution Of Media – Design Or Get Undesigned