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What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Audience Optimization Tool

In the past, when Facebook has rolled out new features such as updates to user news feeds, user profiles Facebook for business or the Ads manager - there's been collective groan by millions around the world. Well, Facebook is messing with our stuff again.  

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to work on a few different website projects that all engage with different and unique industries. As different and unique as each of these projects were, the one thing that remained constant was the need for a simpler, more condensed navigation menu. Some of these projects had massive navigational menus with multiple sub-menus and even a sub-sub menu (don’t ever go sub-sub, that’s just too far). Regardless of the size of the current menu, the challenge was the same.

As a marketer, you've been hit over the head with the value and importance of a well-rounded content strategy for a few years.  It's the topic of conversation because it's one of the most critical pieces of a sound inbound marketing strategy. In Digital Marketing, it's an arms race to get eyeballs and no matter what your weapon of choice you're going to need ammo, and there's no cheat code for unlimited ammunition (if there IS a cheat code, drop me a line). Suffice it to say, having to reload your content comes with the territory.

Bon Voyage Lance

Today is bittersweet for us at emfluence: One of our own is pursuing a wonderful opportunity. That happens to also mean that he won’t be working at emfluence. Today we say goodbye to Lance!

It’s been a year full of knowledge on our emfluence blog page where we covered everything from Email send best practices to Minions! If you missed some of our top posts from this year now is your chance to get caught up. Below you will find a quick recap of our top 10 ranked blog posts of the year and links to the original articles, enjoy!

When we talk about landing pages in digital marketing, it’s usually from an SEO perspective – which page did people land on first when they arrived at your website? Ideally this is the page that most closely matches what the consumer is looking for, so that their path to conversion is as short as possible. If you’re a retailer, you want consumers to land on the product order page within one or a few clicks. If you’re a thought leader in your industry, you’re probably sending out links to your news articles or blog posts so consumers can quickly engage with relevant content.

If you’re like me, and check Instagram a few (hundred) times a day, you have probably noticed that your feed has included a lot more “Sponsored” posts, aka “ads,” recently. That’s because, in September 2015, Instagram gave access to all brands to advertise on their platform, opening up a new way for companies to engage in the social space. Its no longer just a way to build a brand by having a profile; it now allows brands to push products and promote themselves to just about anyone.

A coworker came across an excellent article by Ben Nadel called The User Experience of Pagination [http://www.bennadel.com/blog/2951-the-user-experience-ux-of-pagination.htm] that got us wanting to dive deeper into the subject of pagination and really take a practical look at determining how you present data.

I’m writing this blog post because I just can’t hold in my excitement. Let’s Encrypt has just entered public beta! Read on for technical details.

Emfluence relaunched an awesome Magento theme update for our client Instore Design Display last week, and this got me thinking about the do's and don't of redirects. I started to list a few how-to's when I realized that this would be much more fun with a theme. Since redirecting and canonicalizing can ruin an otherwise successful site relaunch, what better theme than the 10 Commandments?

No matter what your situation is, no matter how large or small your company is, viewing the big picture is key to creating an all encompassing content strategy.

Search Engine Optimization…yes, it might sound daunting and intimidating, but did you know there are a few quick and easy ways you can improve your site’s SEO?  Today, we are going to get crafty by sharing some do it yourself optimizing. Let’s begin!

Yesterday, a few members of the emfluence crew took a trip out to KC Pet Project to volunteer at their no-kill shelter. The basement of KC Pet Project houses all of the donations (food, toys, medical supplies, cleaning supplies), and is overseen by a very sweet woman named Mary. Mary works diligently to keep all the donation areas clean and navigable, and the emfluence crew was happy to help her with some of the projects that required more heavy lifting.

If you’re a web development agency like us, hosting a growing number of clients in the cloud, you may sometimes feel like this guy with the balls in the 

It’s been quite a year for emfluence in the award category! We won a total of 15 awards this year, 13 of them were from the KCDMA AMBIT awards, and 2 were SMCKC AMPS awards. The AMBIT awards are judged on measurable goals and results with the AMPS awards being judged by social media professionals. 

2015 Awards: Ambit:

Not too long ago (a decade or so), being in SEO meant figuring out the best “link farms” to submit your site to as well as trying to load each of your pages with as many keywords as possible. While some of these strategies are still around, they are usually not recommended. Keywords still play a very important part in your SEO strategy and, of course, having the right links to and from your site is critical, but not in the way it used to be. It is no longer about trying to trick search engines into finding your site, but rather informing them on why your site is the best.

heatmap analysis

Customer acquisition is only a small piece of your audience’s marketing journey. Oftentimes, marketing efforts are successful in bringing customers onto a website, but your website isn’t grabbing the baton when it’s time to finish the race. This is where an oftentimes overlooked piece of digital marketing comes in, conversion optimization. Many people know the phrase, but believe this part of strategy can only be accessed by user experience pros.

It’s time we take the veil off of conversion optimization. Here are 5 useful tips to use during your website relaunch.

Over the last year, I’ve attended a few banking conferences and a hot topic that’s often brought up is the future of the bank branch. In a recent survey performed by Javelin Strategy and Research, 23% of consumers said they prefer to bank online over the in-branch experience. 40% of millennials would consider banking without a branch, according to Accenture. While banks have responded to the growing demand for online banking preferences, such as mobile deposit, the big question is what is to become of branch banking?

Spark is a PHP micro-framework that follows the Action-Domain-Responder (ADR) system. It is PSR-1, PSR-2, PSR-4 and PSR-7 compliant. Spark allows a developer to fairly quickly create a RESTful API as you'll see in this article.

In this article, we'll be using Composer to install Spark and other dependencies.

Initial Setup

Using Composer, pull down the Spark project using the following command. This will pull the latest version of the project from Github and place it into a new folder called 'spark-project'.

Zoho

With Techweek concluding recently, here is a run-down on some cool tools you can use for your business with helpful advice from Techweek speakers.

Sumo Rank image

Buzzsumo, a content research platform, recently released a new feature in their arsenal of content measurement called SumoRank. This new addition aims to fill a gap in content research by allowing you to search your own company Facebook page. 

A key part of any brand is consistency. We regularly work with brands to help ensure their voice, image, and communication mediums are reliable. The key to consistency is standards - easy to find, understand, and follow. If you don’t keep it simple, you’re bound for failure. That’s why an early part of any web development project should be establish the style guide for your project.

On September 1st, Google made an interesting statement regarding websites that showcase annoying lightboxes urging users to install the mobile app version of the site (ie. every news site). This has been teased for a while now in the SEO community, but seems the threat has finally come to light.

KC Skyline for Instagram

Instagram recently issued an update on their picture sharing capabilities saying that you will now be able to change the formatting of your pictures and videos!

Amazon Web Services console dashboard

Are you an all day every day user of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) management console? Do you represent a number of clients, each with their own AWS assets and separate AWS accounts? Do you find yourself managing dozens of AWS account credentials and juggling logins just to make small changes throughout your day? Are you tired of jumping through hoops before you can even start your work?

Roasterie One-Page Checkout

You got your customer to your site, helped them find what they were looking for, and now they’re ready to order. Nice work!

Digital Analytics Dashboard

In this age of data, endless supplies of information can be accessed with just a click of a button. But most of us have no idea what to do with all of the information available. One area confusing marketers is how to grab actionable insights from our site data. Whether you are a Google Analytics pro or novice, we all know that surfing through analytics can be difficult. Let’s do a quick test of our Google Analytics prowess:

How time logs can save you money

An interesting email arrived the other day that has caused me to rethink how I document the work we do for clients.

From: emfluence Accounting

To: Me

Just received this from [our client’s controller]. We will need to make changes to the invoice descriptions…

Ok, sometimes clients want more details. Normally, the project and ticket names are enough, but there are some clients who want more. No problem - let’s check who it is, and what kind of details they are after.

Infographic Creation Tools

At the intersection of relevance and creativity, it is easy to get frustrated with how much work can be involved in creating compelling visual content. Fortunately, there are tools to help alleviate some of your stress and provide you with high quality content all at once! Below, you will find a list of my top 5 tools for creating infographics (although there are many more out there) and the ways that each of them varies. Each of them has something special to offer with increasing features and involvement as you go down the list.

Using Email to Drive Social Interactions

Brands too often forget the importance of using their email audience to drive social interactions. Just putting share buttons on your blog, or promoting individual blog posts via social media isn’t enough. By sending targeted email campaigns that feature content from your website, you’re more likely to see a spike in shares, especially if you include share options within the email itself.

For example, this is a graph of social shares from a client’s website. Can you guess which day the email was sent?

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