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'Net Features



Discover recent digital developments and practical expert guidance in the Website Magazine Net Features weblog.



 



Show Fewer Ads, Increase AdSense Earnings?

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:30:00 GMT

Google is introducing a new service that will enable AdSense publishers to show fewer ads on a particular website.

The "Show fewer ads" functionality was previously limited to those participating in AdSense Labs, but is now available under the "My ads" tab under the new "Ad balance" name.

Google software engineers Spandana Raj Babbula, Rikard Lundmark and Dongcai Shen wrote in a blog post that while showing the best-performing ads may result in a minimal drop in earnings, it may also result in an overall earnings increase since an improvement of the user experience often leads to users staying longer on a website and engaging with more of content.

The feature essentially makes it possible for AdSense publishers to figure out how changes in the number of advertisements displayed will impact revenue.

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Making YouTube 'Better' for Advertisers & Consumers

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:15:00 GMT

Google announced changes that will allow advertisers and agencies to better measure their campaigns and reach their intended audience on YouTube (and in a multi-screen world).

The company indicated that over the course of the coming year it will be developing a new cloud-based measurement solution that will provide advertisers with access to more and better insights from their YouTube campaigns occurring across desktop and mobile devices. How do they plan to do that? The new offering will make it possible for advertisers to use information from activity associated with users' Google accounts (including demographic information and past searches) to influence the ads users see on YouTube.

Further, when this information is coupled with Customer Match initiatives, retail advertisers could, for instance, reach customers that signed up to receive special offers in their stores. It's a significant upgrade to what's available today and will likely be well received by brands.

This is an important step for YouTube, particularly as Facebook continues to make headway in the video space. While pixels and cookies are still a factor for advertisers in the broader digital ecosystem, these changes will make consistent measurement and more relevant ads a possibility for both advertisers and consumers.

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Real-Time Alerts for Email Deliverability Problems

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:00:00 GMT

From poor sender reputation and list hygiene issues to spam complaints and blacklisting, countless factors can impact email deliverability.

Return Path has announced a new addition to its Mission Control Dashboard, called Smart Alerts. The new feature offers customizable, real-time notifications to help marketers recognize deliverability problems as they occur, pinpoint the source and take appropriate steps toward quick resolution. 

“Most marketers don’t immediately recognize when they’re having deliverability issues, and that lack of visibility can mean the difference between success and failure of an email program,” said Dave Wilby, Return Path’s chief operating officer. “With Smart Alerts, marketers can not only diagnose deliverability problems in the moment, but also understand the best path to resolution.”

The Smart Alerts launch comes on the heels of new offerings from Return Path like enhancements to Email Client Monitor (to track the time and location in which an email was opened, as well as the device that was used and the length of time the subscriber interacted with the email), Geo Email Monitor (a free tool that provides the basic functionality of Email Client Monitor, see image) and Pick Your Previews (a new feature to see how email renders across email clients and browsers), among other updates.

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“Having access to cutting-edge tools is critical to our customers’ success,” said Wilby. “With these new innovations, we’re working to ensure that marketers have the customized data, recommendations, and resources they need to build and maintain an effective email program.”

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Five Ways to Make 2017 the Year of the Customer

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:45:00 GMT

:: By Patrick Salyer, Gigya :: Just when you thought articles predicting technology trends in 2017 were on the wane, we’ve got one more for you. This article is one we hope you can actually use to plan your customer strategy — especially if your company recognizes customer identity as an indispensable tool to deliver a unified, secure and engaging customer experience. Following are five trends predicted to pop this year, and how organizations should respond. 1. Customer identity management (CIM) will become central to the marketing technology stack. (Image source) Don’t look now, but your customer profiles may be fragmented. When you store and manage individual sets of customer data in customer relationship management (CRM) software, a content management system (CMS), a data management platform (DMP) or other solutions that are siloed, your customers’ identities end up scattered throughout your marketing stack in small chunks, preventing you from building consistent user profiles. Because of this, you are unable to engage customers across channels (online and off) in a consistent and relevant manner, or ensure that they give consent for the data collected and retain control of its use. The result is a broken experience for customers and some well-deserved mistrust.  Customer-obsessed organizations will move away from “DIY” systems to manage customer data, and they will place customer identity at the center of their system with a CIM hub. By doing this, organizations will have more accurate and complete user profiles that can be built and managed over time. Also, connecting marketing systems to a centralized platform enables marketers to gain deeper customer insights and deliver personalized content. Meanwhile, your customers experience transparency, consistency, and a sense of control over their profiles and preferences. 2. Customer identity will be built progressively. A trending strategy for winning and keeping more customers can be summed up simply: When first engaging with consumers, less is more. To be competitive in the digital world, you must establish direct relationships with your customers, which traditionally has meant coaxing consumers into filling out forms for online accounts or subscriptions. But people don’t like friction in their mobile and online experiences. And, they are increasingly wary of divulging personal information.  Businesses will incentivize users to sign up for accounts with simple value propositions and the smallest ask. A single piece of information is all that’s needed to get the ball rolling — an email address, mobile number or permission to use someone’s existing social media credentials. With contact established, you can then move the conversation forward by using behavioral insights about individuals to offer something of value to encourage their return. When they do, there’s a new opportunity for you to exchange value for information. A free trial for a social referral, points for joining a loyalty program — the possibilities are endless. This gradual collection of permission-based information is called “progressive profiling.” Just remember that, as the relationship grows, customers must feel confident that their information is secure and won’t be abused. 3. Permission-based marketing will help eliminate the creepiness in personalization. Have you ever bought something at an e-commerce site, only to have that brand follow you around the Internet for weeks, surfacing ads for a product you already own?  This kind of “personalization” has traditionally been driven by marketers using browser cookies and mobile IDs to track behavior, or with third-party lists purchased from data brokers. But this is changing fast. Most people like having their individual interests catered to, but nobody likes being “stalked.” Increasingly, consumers are driving a trend away from the cookie and[...]



High Anxiety in the Post-Purchase Experience

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:30:00 GMT

What feeling do you get when you purchase something online? If it is any level of anxiety, know that you're not alone.

According to the State of Post-Purchase Experience Report published by post-purchase experience platform Narvar recently, shoppers are increasingly frustrated or anxious with online purchases and express concerns about damaged packages, on-time delivery, returns and more after they click buy. Almost half of shoppers (49 percent) worry about their package being damaged while in transit, and 42 percent of shoppers don't trust that the package will arrive on time..


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"Shopping today can feel like a lot of work, and no longer delivers that sense of wonder or excitement it once had. This study shows that after people purchase is a critical time for brands to make sure the experience is completely effortless," says Amit Sharma, CEO of Narvar. "When done right, savvy retailers will be able inspire greater customer loyalty and repeat sales as a result."

What Narvar found in its study is that shoppers are holding all retailers (including Amazon) to high standards, demanding effortless and engaging experiences. The report revealed that:

+ Both high-frequency and infrequent Amazon shoppers share the same preferences for post-purchase experience, spanning delivery expectations, returns process and communication channels.

+ Having an item arrive on time is the No. 1 thing people said would make them a repeat customer of a brand, with 72 percent of people saying this would be a contributing factor.

+ After getting an item on time, the next thing people care about most is being able to return it easily, with 70 percent of consumers saying an easy return or exchange is likely to make them a repeat customer.

 

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Fearless Review Management: Defining a Dominant Yelp User

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:15:00 GMT

:: By Miriam Ellis, Moz :: “Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.” - Usman B. Asif Local business owners often have a very common fear of reputation management. Some owners are so overwhelmed by the fear of negative reviews that they hesitate to embark on a review acquisition campaign and may even deliberately avoid looking at their reviews on Yelp, Google My Business and other major platforms. But taking a realistic, statistical portrait of reviewers’ characteristics, businesses can significantly improve both client customer service  and success.  This isn’t difficult to do, and when it comes to review giant Yelp, the prospects are actually extremely bright. Embracing Reviews Rather Than Fearing Them On the surface review anxiety makes a lot of senses. From a business owner’s vantage point, the concerns may be mounting: ● Entire livelihoods are at stake; it’s right to fear failure when reviews have the ability to impact a business as well as its employees and families ● Many business owners  may have personal issues with handling criticism  ● Dubious information around the Web about negative reviews can amplify review fear Like any fear, however, it’s important to acknowledge it as such and move on. Many owners feel some fear of reviews, but in 2017, the time has come to embrace them. Review management is one of the most powerful vehicles available for guaranteeing business success. Google Paints the Big Picture In defining the past year in search, Google states: “Marketers must find ways to reassure consumers and position their brands as trustworthy. And in order to succeed, they'll need to be relevant during the moments that, together, will add up to another big year in search.” In other words, reviews and their associated owner responses are one of the best ways to demonstrate trustworthiness at crucial micro-moments in which consumers are researching local businesses. Reviews have become a cornerstone of virtually all local search marketing campaigns because of their direct impact on: 1) Rankings - the number of reviews a business earns can influence visibility both in Google’s local search results and in the internal rankings of a platform like Yelp. 2) Reputation - the positive sentiment in reviews can convert new customers, and if handled properly, the negative sentiment a business receives can often be improved via a deft owner response that resolves complaints. 3) Revenue - a steady flow of legitimate, positive reviews on a variety of platforms increases the likelihood of a continuous stream of transactions from consumers who have been influenced to try out a business, based on third-party reviews Now that you’ve presented the client with a factual depiction of the importance of reviews, he may feel somewhat more nervous understanding the specifics of what is hanging in the balance. It’s time to deliver some heartening news. Yelp Statistics Paint the Positive Picture According to Yelp, 68 percent of the reviews on their platform are either 4 star or 5 star reviews. Only 15 percent are 1 star reviews. That is, the majority of Yelpers are there to reward great businesses rather than call out struggling ones.  Yelp depicts its dominant user base as: ● Between the ages of 18-34 (42.2 percent)  ● College educated (61 percent)  ● Earning $100,000+ a year (46.1 percent) No well-run local business should feel intimidated by a platform that is favored by young, educated or financially solvent reviewers. Yelp is frequented by a nice crowd - nothing to be afraid of. These are, in fact, customers almost any local business would love to serve. If that data wasn’t enough, one survey found that: ● 33 percent of consumers only bother to write reviews if their experience at a business was really good or really bad. In other words, eating the best pizza eve[...]



Recent Movers & Shakers: Wix and Flok, Oracle and Apiary

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:00:00 GMT

There was plenty of acquisition and investment activity last week to keep industry watchers busy.

Let's take a closer look at some of the more interesting developments and get a better directional understanding of the digital software and solutions market.


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+ Rightside Sells Enom to Tucows

Rightside Group, Ltd. (NAME), today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of eNom to Tucows Inc. (TCX) for $83.5 million, less a net working capital adjustment of $6.8 million, resulting in net cash at closing of $76.7 million. eNom has approximately 14.5 million domains under management and generated approximately $116.5 million in revenue through Q3 2016, primarily from its wholesale registrar business. As part of Tucows, eNom will continue to be a distribution partner for Rightside’s new gTLDs. The acquisition of eNom will add 14.5 million domains under management and 28,000 active resellers. That will give Tucows a total network of over 40,000 resellers globally and 29 million domains under management, making it the second largest domain registrar in the world.

+ Wix Acquires Customer & Loyalty Platform Flok

Wix announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire flok, a customer loyalty and engagement platform. Flok's solutions are designed to increase customer value, generate organic referrals and boost small and medium businesses' online presence and reputation. The move supports Wix's strategic plan to further increase its portfolio of business technology solutions to give small and medium businesses easy ways to engage and reward their customers.  The acquisition will provide Wix with stronger mobile CRM capabilities, a critical component for many local enterprises, and core to the company's revenues.

+ Oracle Buys Apiary

Oracle announced plans to acquire Apiary, a startup that makes tools for developing application programming interfaces for cloud software. Apiary is best known for the APIFlow platform which enables developers to build, test and monitor their APIs. The acquisition would enable Oracle better manage the complexities surrounding connectivity and API proliferation in general. From an enterprise development perspective, this could be considered one of the most important acquisitions of the year, considering that it provides Oracle access to millions of developers, not to mention the APIs used most often. 

+ AppsFlyer Raises $56 Million

Mobile applications continue to dominate the share of time spent by users on their smartphones, and it's driving developers to be increasingly concerned with measuring the interactions that are taking place, creating an excellent investment opportunity. Mobile attribution and data analytics solution AppsFlyer, for example, has raised an additional $56 million in Series C financing, bringing its total to $84 million. The company reportedly grew revenues by 500 percent and increased staff from 40 to 240 in two years. 

Are you associated with a mover (or a shaker)? Get in touch with Website Magazine editors to share your news and stories! 

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How to Attract More Qualified Job Applicants Through Your Site

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:00:00 GMT

:: By Larry Alton, @LarryAlton3 :: The main purposes of your website are to increase brand awareness, attract new customers and earn more sales from the customers you have. There’s another function that many business owners tend to overlook, however: recruiting. By building a designated page or section of your site to attract talent, you could diversify your pool and attract a steady stream of applicants who are ready to fill your open positions.  Opening up your job application process to the world could mean having to sort through lots of unqualified candidates, though. So what can you do to make sure the applicants who turn up are suitably qualified?  Strategies to Attract Solid Talent These are just some of the things you can do to draw better incoming talent via your website:  1. Make sure your site works and speaks to your target audience. Just as you need to write copy that appeals to your target customer, you ought to make design and writing choices that appeal to your ideal job candidates if you want good people to apply. For example, if you’re targeting millennial job candidates, you’ll want to make sure your site is easy to use on mobile devices, and take some time to show off your company culture and what it stands for.  2. Have a dedicated Careers page. It’s in your best interest to have a Careers page focused exclusively on attracting talent. If any job applicants might look at your site with an eye to applying, this makes everything more obvious and easier to find. You’ll also have an opportunity to explain a little about what it’s like to work for your operation, and you can list all your open positions on one page. Your Careers page will be more effective and easier to manage.  3. Add full job descriptions. Exhibiting detailed job descriptions is worthwhile if you want to attract good fits for your open positions. A basic job title will filter out some potential applicants, but if you want candidates to be a closer fit, try to be very specific about the demands and perks of the job in question. The more detailed you get, the fewer responses you’ll elicit, but the quality will more likely be higher. You’ll also save some time in the interview process, since you were proactive in describing your expectations.  4. Mandate minimum criteria. Only 2 percent of online job applicants ever get to the interview stage. This is most likely because the vast majority of them weren’t what the employer was looking for. You can spare yourself and prospective candidates a ton of time by being clear about your minimum criteria. Let them know you aren’t interested in hiring anyone who doesn’t have at least these qualifications.  5. Add helpful tips. You want candidates to apply, and you want them to be successful. Including a helpful tips section can provide some clues about what you’re looking for. For example, you might list some of the skills or experience that would make candidates stand out; or request a response to a prompt, such as: “What’s the hardest challenge you’ve overcome in recent memory?” 6. Restrict types of submissions. Of course, some people will fail to follow your instructions, possess the minimum requirements, or heed your tips (even though you’re trying to help them succeed). In these cases, it’s a good idea to set some restrictions on what types of applications you’ll accept. You might reduce and systematize the application process to a series of questions and answers on your site to avoid in-box clutter. Updating and Refining Chances are, if you’re interested in recruiting online at all, you’ll experience a recurring need for new hires. It also means your information -- such as which positions are available and what your minimum requirements are[...]



The Month of Returns [and How to Fix It]

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:52:00 GMT

Free shipping, free returns - two critical offers that help online shoppers make a decision whether to buy from a retailer or not.

The costs of these offerings, however, have to go somewhere. January is likely the month that e-commerce merchants are feeling the brunt of returns, following the holiday season, so it's a good time to re-evaluate what people are seeing on the site versus what they are getting in real life. According to PowerReviews, the key is to make sure shoppers know exactly what to expect from the products they order. That way there are no surprises when the item arrives on their doorstep. A study from Shorr Packaging found that the top reason shoppers return merchandise is because the product wasn’t what they expected. 

PowerReviews provides three tips for reducing returns.

1. Feature Ratings and Reviews

A consumer who shops in-store has the benefit of experiencing a product firsthand before making a purchase. With more and more consumers craving the convenience of online shopping, brands need to bring this comprehensive product information online. Ratings and reviews are one of the best ways to provide this important so consumers can get information and feedback from real shoppers.

2. Allow Shoppers to Submit Photos and Videos

Visual content is quickly becoming an expected part of the purchase journey. While professional photos and videos are important, a growing number of shoppers specifically look for visual content from other consumers. In fact, a recent PowerReviews study found that 88 percent of consumers seek out user generated photos and images when browsing for products. Allowing shoppers to submit photos and videos as part of their reviews helps future shoppers make the best purchase decisions. 

3. Allow Your Customers to Ask Questions

Regardless of how thorough product descriptions are, shoppers will likely still have questions. This is especially true if they’re shopping for products that require a higher level of consideration, due to factors such as cost and lack of familiarity. Implementing a Q&A solution provides shoppers with a way to get their questions answered and identify the products that will best fit their needs. Well informed purchases mean less returns — and therefore fewer shipping expenses.

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Threaded Replies Arrive at SLACK

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:38:00 GMT

Collaboration and productivity platform Slack has introduced threaded replies, one of the most often requested features of the solution.

What's unique about the roll out of this feature is how Slack is actually handling the replies. Instead of embedding them in the order they were received beneath the original message, Slack is showing the threads in the sidebar pane. Replies in the thread are arranged chronologically, not sorted based on relevance to the user.

Any user is able to follow a thread and notifications are given to the original poster and those who reply, get tagged, or subscribe to know more (it's also possible to unfollow a specific threat).

In the past, Slack users were forced to use @mention which would interrupt the conversion and throw everything out of order and make it difficult to follow. Now Slack users can just select the "start a thread" option from the same menu where they'd add a reach. Then, type in your message in the pane that appears and that's it - the original message will be marked with a label indicating there's a reply and also who is participating in that side conversation.

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13 Techies Share Must-Have Website Tech [Essential Tech Part 4]

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:35:00 GMT

Website Magazine recently asked 'Net professionals what technology their Web-based business cannot operate without. From analytics to virtual assistants, the answers were as diverse as they were interesting. This week, we're releasing their answers by category: social and mobile technology (found here), development and infrastructure (found below), analytics and optimization solutions (found here), content management systems (found here) and other software types to run your digital business (coming soon).  Bubble.is "Our rapid development agency is built on a technology called Bubble (bubble.is), which allows us to build Web and mobile apps for clients in a fraction of the time it takes conventional developers. It is absolutely essential to our business. We’re pioneering a new approach to software development by replacing armies of coding engineers and managers with business-savvy builders. By using Bubble, an all-purpose DIY Web-building platform, AirDev can create its end products within five days, a fraction of the time of traditional shops." + Andrew Haller, Co-Founder of AirDev Amazon Web Services “At Caredash we utilize an AWS infrastructure and layer our own Docker deployment architecture components for portability. AWS provides stability of the underlying server configurations critical for uptime reliability. Our Docker infrastructure allows required flexibility to our website allowing for portable operations across different providers. It also ensures that we are engineering and subsequently deploying the identical software and environment we have tested in.” + Mike Feldman, Chief Technical Officer of CareDash.com CloudFlare "We use CloudFlare to make sure we are fast wherever our users are around the globe. They make it super easy to work with your hosting and have a great support team. They also just released Google AMP support to be even faster. It's an awesome service." + Max Page, Founder of CouponHippo Trustwave "We can't live without our Trustwave Extended Validation SSL Certificate. It secures our site to SHA256 CA, Level 1 and ensures that our customers see the green bar in their browser. It's another layer of trust and gives added peace of mind. As a result, we have seen less abandoned shopping carts and more conversions. Our EV SSL allows all our visitors to browse our site via a secure connection, learn that our business exists and not have to worry about fraud." + Brandon Ackroyd, Founder of TigerMobiles Sucuri "As our website grew, we started suffering from a series of attempted hacks and attacks that crippled our ability to go about business as usual. We started using Sucuri - a hybrid CDN/Firewall which mitigates everything from DDoS to XSS hacks all while upping our performance. Best purchase we made this year." + Jonathan Kerns, Co-Founder of Comparakeet Cloud Computing "We can't imagine running Pricebaba without cloud computing infrastructure, be it Amazon or DigitalOcean. If it wasn't for them, our technology team cost would be up by good 40 percent. So scalable horsepower, storage, CDN, email backend... everything is easy, we get to focus on our product not infra!" + Annkur Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of Pricebaba.com Cloudways "Cloudways is my go-to for great hosting, they provide a dashboard that allows anyone to easily manage AWS and Digital Ocean virtual servers without needing a whole lot of technical expertise." + Travis Bennett, Founder of Studio Digita MaxCDN "Search engine exposure is paramount to our success and user experience mandates sites load fast, which is why our CDN is so critical, and beloved by us. We switched to MaxCDN in 2012, and have had under two second load times since[...]



My Essential Analytics & Optimization Tools [Essential Tech Part 3]

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:45:00 GMT

Website Magazine recently asked 'Net professionals what technology their Web-based business cannot operate without. From analytics to virtual assistants, the answers were as diverse as they were interesting. This week, we're releasing their answers by category: social and mobile technology (found here), development and infrastructure (found here), content management systems (found here), analytics and optimization (found below) solutions and other software types (coming soon) to run your digital business.  Google Analytics, HotJar & Others "A Web based business imperatively needs Google Analytics which is a widely used analytics tool. Crazy Egg, Piwik or Woopra can also be useful. SpyFu, SEMrush or others may be used to monitor competitor activities. MailChimp, AWeber or Listrak are few email marketing tools used to monitor email campaigns." + Swapnil Bhagwat, Senior Manager at Orchestrate Technologies "For us and our clients, Google Analytics is hands-down the most important piece of technology we use. Without understanding from where users are coming, what traffic is converting to sales or leads, and what is working to bring traffic in, you can't know what is working!" + Matthew Sockolov, Mindful Marketing "We cannot imagine living without our Google Analytics suite of tools. We use Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Google Optimize to meet our analytics challenges, delivering us with actionable insights about our users motivations and behaviors." + Michael Reddy, Founder & Chief Analytics Officer at Digital Acumen "In my 10-plus years’ experience into online business, I have tried countless technologies and tools. But, one tool that I simply cannot imagine doing a Web-based business without is Google Analytics. It helps you get a 360-degree view of your site’s performance and get right inside of your customers’ experience." + Jitesh Keswani, CEO of e-Intelligence.in "One component that gets frequently overlooked is analytics. We use a combination of Google Analytics, internal analytics dashboards and Amplitude. We have tracking set up across the site to measure funnel conversion rates, ensure optimal user experience and to understand what actions users take that lead them to success." + Phillip Alexeev, Head of Growth at Sketchfab "If I can't see how my content and layout are performing I might as well close up shop. I can't operate effectively without Google Analytics, Google AdWords (specifically the Keyword Search Term Report) and Hotjar. Without these tools, my business is flying blind." + Daniel Davidson, Owner of ByDan Salient Theme on WP "Hands down the best tool I have is the Salient Theme on WordPress. It's a super flexible theme, perfect for rapidly testing designs and it doesn't take a lot of coding to optimize this theme to blazing fast load speeds." + Mason Pelt, Owner of Push ROI Optimizely "Optimizely is crucial for the success of my online business. It's an AB testing platform that I use to test different offers for my audience. I've used it to increase conversion rates 20 percent or more and I've learned so much about my customers in the process. Can't recommend enough." + Cynthia Brown, Founder and Chief Editor at Only Top Reviews Read: Essential Tech Part 1, Essential Tech Part 2 and Essential Tech Part 4  Request Website Magazine's Free Weekly Newsletters [...]



QUICK HIT: Google Buys Twitter (Sort of)

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:31:00 GMT

Google has reportedly purchased Twitter's Fabric developer platform this week.

Fabric, which developers use to build apps and includes tools like Crashlytics, Answers and Fastlane, will become part of Google's Developer Products division.

Twitter revealed that over 580,000 developers have used Fabric's tools since the platform was introduced in 2014, but managed to only power apps on some 2.5 million mobile devices.

How will Google integrate and offer Fabric's suite of offerings? Sound off with a comment below.

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LinkedIn Engagement Insights for Data-Driven Marketers

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:59:00 GMT

DataSift has announced a partnership with LinkedIn that will provide marketers with insights into the activities and interests of the professional network's nearly 470 million users.

LinkedIn Engagement Insights, powered by DataSift's PYLON technology, is an analytics offering that offers marketers an in-depth understanding of key audiences, their interests and engagement with content, and how they interact with brands on LinkedIn. With these insights, marketers can inform and optimize advertising planning and measurement, brand building activities, and content marketing on LinkedIn. 

"Partnering with DataSift will enable LinkedIn to provide access to better data-driven insights so that marketers and agencies can improve engagement with their target audiences and deliver positive ROI on LinkedIn -- all in a way that respects member privacy," said Russell Glass, VP of Products at LinkedIn. "LinkedIn Engagement Insights is a major milestone in our efforts to empower marketers to make more informed media planning decisions that can help them be more successful on our platform."

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Front-End Frameworks and Bootstrap Alternatives

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:53:00 GMT

Bootstrap took the Web by storm several years ago, as a whole generation of designers starting embracing the mobile-first and responsive demands of 'Net users.

While Bootstrap and its many framework alternatives have their proponents and opponents, one thing is clear, designers demand greater control, and today's design opportunities provide just that.

There are many alternatives to Bootstrap however, and designers looking for alternatives have come to the right place.

Take a look at some of the more popular bootstrap alternatives, some frameworks and some not, powerful enough to serve as the HTML and CSS foundation of digital initiatives.

Semantic UI is a relatively new development framework for creating responsive layouts but it's a rather powerful one. The framework offers up concise HTML, intuitive JavaScript, and simplified debugging among other features and is increasingly popular with designers not afraid to get their digital hands dirty with some coding.

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Foundation is arguably the leading responsive front-end framework (for both sites and email) and for good reason - it's semantic, readable, flexible, and totally and completely customizable. What's even better is that new resources and code snippets are continually being added - including templates.

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HTML5 Boilerplate is one of the most popular Bootstrap alternatives for those looking to build Web apps or websites. The front end-template has numerous useful features and benefits, including being designed with progressive enhancement in mind, including special Apache Server Configs that improve performance and security, as well as an optimized version of Google Universal Analytics snippet and much more.

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Semantic UI, Foundation and HTML5 Boilerplate are well respected in the design community but these are just three of the solutions that designers can consider. Comparable and equally powerful offerings include UIkit and ArtDesign. There are also several front-end responsive development frameworks focused on material design including Material Design Lite and Materialize that can provide designers an opportunity to roll out Web apps and websites quickly and easily.

It's becoming clear that designers are avoiding pricey and often overly complicated software offerings in favor of a less is more approach.

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