Facebook Ads and Metrics: New Research for Marketers

Wondering if Facebook is still a relevant platform for marketing? Interested in how your colleagues and peers will use Facebook in the coming year? In this article, you’ll discover new insights that show where Facebook marketers are focusing their attention and how you can best take advantage of ads on the platform. #1: Facebook Advertising Spend

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How to Turn Video Content into Conversions

How to Turn Video Content into Conversions

The first electronic television was introduced to the world 90 years ago. Right off the bat, everyone knew it was love at first sight.

Fast forward to the present day, and video content is projected to account for more than 80 percent of the world’s internet traffic.

That being said, it seems like every brand on the market is pulling out the stops to invest in video content as a prime vehicle for conversions. However, standing out in the crowd requires a great deal of planning. Let’s talk about how you can turn your branded videos into a cornerstone of your entire promotional strategy.

Know Your Consumers

Nearly every aspect of business success, and the ability to convert customers, comes down to one common denominator: knowing the audience.

Conducting business is a constant game of meeting popular demand. First and foremost, you should always critically evaluate why exactly you are producing a video and what you want to achieve with it. Once there are clear-cut goals in mind, you need to gauge your audience down to the granular details. At the end of the day, conversions occur when you put the right content in front of the right eyes.

For inspiration, start by getting a feel for the trending topics across the web. Using content monitoring tools like BuzzSumo, you can search brand names, industries, or specific keywords and find out the most popular and relevant topics for your industry in real-time.

Video content BuzzSumo

Using these insights, you will have a good idea of what issues to craft your videos around, and which channels would be most optimal for distribution.

Keep in mind that monitoring tools are only the tip of the iceberg. For instance, if you are in retail, there is a whole new dimension of preparation you need to consider when creating video content. The last thing you want is to release your branded content with a disorganized inventory. You need to know exactly what your demand scope is prior to distribution.

In these cases, predictive analytics are a necessity. If you have the crucial ecommerce numbers, such as historical sales rank, pricing data, and order volume, you can combine them with the trending issues you found through web monitoring, learn what kind of topics to address in the near-term, build promotional content in the appropriate form, and prepare your inventory accordingly.

Focus on Educating, Not Selling

In recent decades, it seems as though the very definition of promotion has changed. For example, it’s becoming painfully obvious that traditional forms of marketing are no longer as effective as they once were. Today’s audiences (especially millennials) do not like seeing intrusive ads with deals or coupons. They want brands to be authentic in a way they can relate to. Keeping this in mind, powerful video content these days is not blatantly focused on selling, but rather on educating.

Everything you produce should be properly synced up to the buyer’s cycle:

buyer cycle

All too often, brands commit the deadly sin of creating content for themselves, not the viewer. Missing the mark in any area in the buyer’s cycle will almost always lead to disconnect further down the road.

In many cases, the most important piece of the puzzle is creating a high level of trust between brands and consumers. To do this properly, you need to place a priority on solidifying your status as an industry expert. Producing educational content in the early stages of the cycle is a must.

Depending on the nature of your business, consider creating how-to videos or webinars for this area. ClickMeeting is a video conferencing tool for preparing and hosting these types of sessions. With interactive “webinar rooms” designed for the everyday user, you’re able to answer questions and share educational content in a matter of clicks.

Clickmeeting

All too often, brands commit the deadly sin of creating content for themselves, not the viewer.
Click To Tweet

Regardless of your campaign goals, ClickMeeting is extremely useful in nurturing leads and guiding users through the sales funnel, as you can send out customized invitations and conduct interactive meetings or seminars targeted at customers along each stage of the funnel. With insights gleaned from intuitive engagement analytics, you can build lifetime relationships with your audience.

Once you achieve success in educating your prospects and showcasing authority in your field, the sales will begin to roll in.

Keep It Short and Sweet

One of the common observations attached to the rise of the internet is that attention spans are notoriously short these days. People don’t typically want to sift through extensive content to get what they need. They want instant gratification. For proof of this phenomenon, look at the success of Snapchat, Instagram, and other popular outlets for social video.

For the sake of conversions, it’s good practice to get straight to the point. Wistia, an online video hosting solution, includes a turnstile feature where lead capture forms are embedded within the content. They conducted a study of over 15,000 videos with turnstiles and found that the highest conversion rates occurred in the first 10 to 20 percent of the video’s duration.

Nowadays, you must keep in mind that many viewers consume content on mobile devices. In fact, it’s been a full three years since mobile became the primary browsing channel over the desktop.

With this knowledge, you need to do your best to create compelling content with only the most essential information. Upon completion, take a close look and decide if the message can be properly deciphered with a mobile, on-the-go mentality.

If you want to drive conversions, you need to captivate the audience with your messaging right out of the gate. Anyone can make a video, but producing ones that drive significant action can be quite a challenge. The key is to create videos that speak to every aspect of the sales funnel and provide value that people cannot get anywhere else. Once you solidify a reputation for authentic content that genuinely improves lives, conversions will be inevitable.

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11 Effective Ways to Use Facebook Ads

Do you need to use Facebook ads more effectively? Have you considered narrowing the goal for each of your ads? In this article, you’ll discover 11 examples of results-oriented Facebook ads you can use as models for your own business. #1: Remarket to Potential Customers Who Abandon Carts This Bluehost ad gets Facebook advertising right

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How Social Media is Shaping the Future of Public Relations

How Social Media is Shaping the Future of Public Relations

Social Media and Public Relations have been intertwined for a number of years. PR-enabling phenomena such as selfies, Instagram and Snapchat filters, Facebook Live and Periscope, have become completely ingrained into our day-to-day lives.

Increasingly, the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, are taking on larger roles in PR agencies. PRs have to change the way they think and operate, and agencies need to adapt quickly or risk being left behind.

This post examines the role that social media will play in the future of PR, and how the industry needs to adapt and account for its ever-increasing influence.

Impact of social media on traditional PR

Before delving into the future of social media and PR, it’s important to note that social media has already changed the course of public relations, almost beyond recognition.

Social media affords individuals an opportunity to show a different side of themselves and allows a brand to show more of its personality.

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5 Steps to More Creative and Effective Social Media Campaigns

5 Steps to More Creative and Effective Social Media Campaigns

Are you experiencing a creative drought? Or are you bursting with creative ideas for your social media campaigns, but stumped about ways to validate these ideas? Here are five ways you can come up with more creative campaigns to achieve your business goals today, no matter where you are in the campaign planning process.

1. Spend Time Listening

Listening to your friends comes naturally. You want to hear what they have to say, and it’s easy: They’re sitting across the table from you at brunch, or you’re texting up a storm, back and forth. Because you are involved in this seamless exchange of information, and listening intently, you know as much about many of your friends as you do about yourself. The same is not true of your relationship with your social audience.

With our social audiences, we tend to push out information (owned content) and measure the effect of that content. Sometimes we forget to begin by listening to our audiences and building content around what they actually care about. We end up pushing out content that just isn’t quite right. It’s like your friend telling you about a Golden Retriever puppy she wants to adopt and asking for your advice, and you responding by listing out your favorite qualities of Labradoodles—tangentially related, but not quite right. We marketers fall into this trap an awful lot. Here’s how you can begin to shift your thinking.

Build Your Empathy

Building empathy happens when you pay attention and listen deeply. This tends to come naturally in friendships: If your friend is hurting, you’re hurting. You wouldn’t scroll through your Instagram feed while your friend shared the painful news of his divorce, would you? The same concept can be applied to your relationship with your customers and/or social audience. Don’t busy yourself so much with your owned content (what your brand has to say) that you miss out on what your audience is saying and feeling on social, forums, and blogs.

Volume and sentiment from Simply Measured Listening

Volume and sentiment from Simply Measured Listening

By building a solid foundation of empathy for your audience’s wants and needs—and how those wants and needs evolve throughout the customer journey—you’re also building better content, responses, and, ultimately, sentiment around your brand.

Volume spikes and alerts from Simply Measured ListeningKnow the History

One reason you’re able to understand your closest friends so easily is that you have a shared history. You’ve heard the story about Johnny chipping his tooth on a parmesan rind back in college a million times. You were there when Linda got to party with Snoop Dogg on her bachelorette trip. The same level of historical knowledge is important when it comes to your customers.

When has your brand experienced the greatest spikes in reach, engagement, and volume? Which tactics and channels have historically worked for you (or your competition), and which have been misses? This is another common mistake for marketers: We commit to a campaign, regard it as a success or failure, and then move on too quickly to learn and document valuable lessons that can help us do better in the future. Don’t fall into this trap! Continue adding to your (separate) lists of customer knowledge and self-knowledge regularly as time passes and the data keeps rolling in.

Share a Common Language

You and your best friend have an endless assortment of inside jokes and maybe even made-up words and phrases that only you two understand. It’s kind of annoying, TBH. But shared experience means shared language. The same is true for listening to your customers on social.

Word cloud from Simply Measured Listening

Word cloud from Simply Measured Listening

If you understand the slang and solutions that your audience throws at one another without you hovering in the room, you’ll eventually be able to learn their language and use it to better reach them.

Top emojis used in relation to a brand from Simply Measured Listening

Top emojis used in relation to a brand from Simply Measured Listening

Shared experience means shared language, in life and with customers.
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Prioritization

As you grow up, you stop making time for friends who don’t give you the same level of attention as you give them. This can also be applied to your social media program. Understand how your audience prioritizes you, and you’ll be able to adjust your brand’s behavior accordingly.

Simply Measured listening solution chart

Simply Measured listening solution chart

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop targeting customers or potential customers who like another brand over your brand. But it does mean that you might go more aggressively after one customer segment and veer away from another, or that you might spend more time doing competitive campaigning against one particular brand on social. The only way you’ll be able to prioritize correctly is by understanding where you sit in relationship to competitors in your (target) audience’s eyes.

Go Deep

The best conversations with your friends happen after a glass of wine or two, when you go deep into your fears and hopes and vulnerabilities. Don’t miss out on the most important, in-depth information about your customers by staying on the surface. Take the time to look at the most buzz-generating comments around your brand and/or industry on social at least once a day. This will give you the level of depth you need to move forward and make better choices.

2. Consult an Expert

Take a marketer you know and admire out to lunch, or approach them on social and ask for a quick chat. Come prepared with a set of questions, as specific as possible. We recommend choosing a particular campaign you were floored by, and digging deep to find out what you can learn for your own brand.

3. Talk to a Customer

This may take the form of jumping on a call or running a survey, depending on your business. However you consume this feedback, know that it is one of the most important things you can do to understand how people who give you money actually think and feel about not only your product, but your industry at large.

4. Learn from Innovative CMOs and Marketers

Doing your research on how marketing executives (including your own!) think and operate is essential. Read interviews with CMOs from best-in-class brands, and pay attention to the initiatives being emphasized on a broader level at your company. The strategies and messaging set at a high level always impact marching orders departmentally—if not now, then next quarter. Understand bold, innovative visions, and you’ll be able to come up with and execute creative campaigns that accomplish business goals in your organization.

5. Face the Larger Climate Head-On

Both Cadillac and Airbnb have done an excellent job of addressing 2017’s divisive political climate in ways that both face the climate head-on and reinforce their brand message. This is a tricky balance to strike, since by addressing political themes, brands often experience pushback. It’s not a good strategy for every brand. Before putting together a campaign around this, do four things:

  1. Run an audience analysis to understand whether your audience will be positive, neutral, or negative in response to content of this nature.
  2. Remember to stay focused on general emotional connection and stay away from specific political topics or personalities.
  3. Weigh the risk of negative feedback versus a major awareness boost.
  4. Consider your resources. It’s not worth doing this unless you can do it well (and, preferably, with video).

Want to learn more about how you can use social analytics—listening included—to achieve your business goals? Head to the Simply Measured blog or give our product a spin today.

This post is part of a paid sponsorship between Simply Measured and Convince & Convert.

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JavaScript & SEO: Making Your Bot Experience As Good As Your User Experience

Posted by alexis-sanders

Understanding JavaScript and its potential impact on search performance is a core skillset of the modern SEO professional. If search engines can’t crawl a site or can’t parse and understand the content, nothing is going to get indexed and the site is not going to rank.

The most important questions for an SEO relating to JavaScript: Can search engines see the content and grasp the website experience? If not, what solutions can be leveraged to fix this?

FundamentalsWhat is JavaScript?

When creating a modern web page, there are three major components:

  1. HTML – Hypertext Markup Language serves as the backbone, or organizer of content, on a site. It is the structure of the website (e.g. headings, paragraphs, list elements, etc.) and defining static content.
  2. CSS – Cascading Style Sheets are the design, glitz, glam, and style added to a website. It makes up the presentation layer of the page.
  3. JavaScript – JavaScript is the interactivity and a core component of the dynamic web.

Learn more about webpage development and how to code basic JavaScript.

javacssseo.gif

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

JavaScript is either placed in the HTML document within <script> tags (i.e., it is embedded in the HTML) or linked/referenced. There are currently a plethora of JavaScript libraries and frameworks, including jQuery, AngularJS, ReactJS, EmberJS, etc.

JavaScript libraries and frameworks:

What is AJAX?

AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is a set of web development techniques combining JavaScript and XML that allows web applications to communicate with a server in the background without interfering with the current page. Asynchronous means that other functions or lines of code can run while the async script is running. XML used to be the primary language to pass data; however, the term AJAX is used for all types of data transfers (including JSON; I guess “AJAJ” doesn’t sound as clean as “AJAX” [pun intended]).

A common use of AJAX is to update the content or layout of a webpage without initiating a full page refresh. Normally, when a page loads, all the assets on the page must be requested and fetched from the server and then rendered on the page. However, with AJAX, only the assets that differ between pages need to be loaded, which improves the user experience as they do not have to refresh the entire page.

One can think of AJAX as mini server calls. A good example of AJAX in action is Google Maps. The page updates without a full page reload (i.e., mini server calls are being used to load content as the user navigates).

Related image

Image source

What is the Document Object Model (DOM)?

As an SEO professional, you need to understand what the DOM is, because it’s what Google is using to analyze and understand webpages.

The DOM is what you see when you “Inspect Element” in a browser. Simply put, you can think of the DOM as the steps the browser takes after receiving the HTML document to render the page.

The first thing the browser receives is the HTML document. After that, it will start parsing the content within this document and fetch additional resources, such as images, CSS, and JavaScript files.

The DOM is what forms from this parsing of information and resources. One can think of it as a structured, organized version of the webpage’s code.

Nowadays the DOM is often very different from the initial HTML document, due to what’s collectively called dynamic HTML. Dynamic HTML is the ability for a page to change its content depending on user input, environmental conditions (e.g. time of day), and other variables, leveraging HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Simple example with a <title> tag that is populated through JavaScript:

HTML source

DOM

What is headless browsing?

Headless browsing is simply the action of fetching webpages without the user interface. It is important to understand because Google, and now Baidu, leverage headless browsing to gain a better understanding of the user’s experience and the content of webpages.

PhantomJS and Zombie.js are scripted headless browsers, typically used for automating web interaction for testing purposes, and rendering static HTML snapshots for initial requests (pre-rendering).

Why can JavaScript be challenging for SEO? (and how to fix issues)

There are three (3) primary reasons to be concerned about JavaScript on your site:

  1. Crawlability: Bots’ ability to crawl your site.
  2. Obtainability: Bots’ ability to access information and parse your content.
  3. Perceived site latency: AKA the Critical Rendering Path.

Crawlability

Are bots able to find URLs and understand your site’s architecture? There are two important elements here:

  1. Blocking search engines from your JavaScript (even accidentally).
  2. Proper internal linking, not leveraging JavaScript events as a replacement for HTML tags.

Why is blocking JavaScript such a big deal?

If search engines are blocked from crawling JavaScript, they will not be receiving your site’s full experience. This means search engines are not seeing what the end user is seeing. This can reduce your site’s appeal to search engines and could eventually be considered cloaking (if the intent is indeed malicious).

Fetch as Google and TechnicalSEO.com’s robots.txt and Fetch and Render testing tools can help to identify resources that Googlebot is blocked from.

The easiest way to solve this problem is through providing search engines access to the resources they need to understand your user experience.

!!! Important note: Work with your development team to determine which files should and should not be accessible to search engines.

Internal linking

Internal linking should be implemented with regular anchor tags within the HTML or the DOM (using an HTML tag) versus leveraging JavaScript functions to allow the user to traverse the site.

Essentially: Don’t use JavaScript’s onclick events as a replacement for internal linking. While end URLs might be found and crawled (through strings in JavaScript code or XML sitemaps), they won’t be associated with the global navigation of the site.

Internal linking is a strong signal to search engines regarding the site’s architecture and importance of pages. In fact, internal links are so strong that they can (in certain situations) override “SEO hints” such as canonical tags.

URL structure

Historically, JavaScript-based websites (aka “AJAX sites”) were using fragment identifiers (#) within URLs.

  • Not recommended:

    • The Lone Hash (#) – The lone pound symbol is not crawlable. It is used to identify anchor link (aka jump links). These are the links that allow one to jump to a piece of content on a page. Anything after the lone hash portion of the URL is never sent to the server and will cause the page to automatically scroll to the first element with a matching ID (or the first <a> element with a name of the following information). Google recommends avoiding the use of “#” in URLs.
    • Hashbang (#!) (and escaped_fragments URLs) – Hashbang URLs were a hack to support crawlers (Google wants to avoid now and only Bing supports). Many a moon ago, Google and Bing developed a complicated AJAX solution, whereby a pretty (#!) URL with the UX co-existed with an equivalent escaped_fragment HTML-based experience for bots. Google has since backtracked on this recommendation, preferring to receive the exact user experience. In escaped fragments, there are two experiences here:

      • Original Experience (aka Pretty URL): This URL must either have a #! (hashbang) within the URL to indicate that there is an escaped fragment or a meta element indicating that an escaped fragment exists (<meta name=”fragment” content=”!”>).
      • Escaped Fragment (aka Ugly URL, HTML snapshot): This URL replace the hashbang (#!) with “_escaped_fragment_” and serves the HTML snapshot. It is called the ugly URL because it’s long and looks like (and for all intents and purposes is) a hack.

Image result

Image source

  • Recommended:

    • pushState History API – PushState is navigation-based and part of the History API (think: your web browsing history). Essentially, pushState updates the URL in the address bar and only what needs to change on the page is updated. It allows JS sites to leverage “clean” URLs. PushState is currently supported by Google, when supporting browser navigation for client-side or hybrid rendering.

      • A good use of pushState is for infinite scroll (i.e., as the user hits new parts of the page the URL will update). Ideally, if the user refreshes the page, the experience will land them in the exact same spot. However, they do not need to refresh the page, as the content updates as they scroll down, while the URL is updated in the address bar.
      • Example: A good example of a search engine-friendly infinite scroll implementation, created by Google’s John Mueller (go figure), can be found here. He technically leverages the replaceState(), which doesn’t include the same back button functionality as pushState.
      • Read more: Mozilla PushState History API Documents

Obtainability

Search engines have been shown to employ headless browsing to render the DOM to gain a better understanding of the user’s experience and the content on page. That is to say, Google can process some JavaScript and uses the DOM (instead of the HTML document).

At the same time, there are situations where search engines struggle to comprehend JavaScript. Nobody wants a Hulu situation to happen to their site or a client’s site. It is crucial to understand how bots are interacting with your onsite content. When you aren’t sure, test.

Assuming we’re talking about a search engine bot that executes JavaScript, there are a few important elements for search engines to be able to obtain content:

  • If the user must interact for something to fire, search engines probably aren’t seeing it.
    • Google is a lazy user. It doesn’t click, it doesn’t scroll, and it doesn’t log in. If the full UX demands action from the user, special precautions should be taken to ensure that bots are receiving an equivalent experience.
  • If the JavaScript occurs after the JavaScript load event fires plus ~5-seconds*, search engines may not be seeing it.
    • *John Mueller mentioned that there is no specific timeout value; however, sites should aim to load within five seconds.
    • *Screaming Frog tests show a correlation to five seconds to render content.
    • *The load event plus five seconds is what Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Mobile Friendliness Tool, and Fetch as Google use; check out Max Prin’s test timer.
  • If there are errors within the JavaScript, both browsers and search engines won’t be able to go through and potentially miss sections of pages if the entire code is not executed.

How to make sure Google and other search engines can get your content1. TEST

The most popular solution to resolving JavaScript is probably not resolving anything (grab a coffee and let Google work its algorithmic brilliance). Providing Google with the same experience as searchers is Google’s preferred scenario.

Google first announced being able to “better understand the web (i.e., JavaScript)” in May 2014. Industry experts suggested that Google could crawl JavaScript way before this announcement. The iPullRank team offered two great pieces on this in 2011: Googlebot is Chrome and How smart are Googlebots? (thank you, Josh and Mike). Adam Audette’s Google can crawl JavaScript and leverages the DOM in 2015 confirmed. Therefore, if you can see your content in the DOM, chances are your content is being parsed by Google.

adamaudette - I don't always JavaScript, but when I do, I know google can crawl the dom and dynamically generated HTML

Recently, Barry Goralewicz performed a cool experiment testing a combination of various JavaScript libraries and frameworks to determine how Google interacts with the pages (e.g., are they indexing URL/content? How does GSC interact? Etc.). It ultimately showed that Google is able to interact with many forms of JavaScript and highlighted certain frameworks as perhaps more challenging. John Mueller even started a JavaScript search group (from what I’ve read, it’s fairly therapeutic).

All of these studies are amazing and help SEOs understand when to be concerned and take a proactive role. However, before you determine that sitting back is the right solution for your site, I recommend being actively cautious by experimenting with small section Think: Jim Collin’s “bullets, then cannonballs” philosophy from his book Great by Choice:

“A bullet is an empirical test aimed at learning what works and meets three criteria: a bullet must be low-cost, low-risk, and low-distraction… 10Xers use bullets to empirically validate what will actually work. Based on that empirical validation, they then concentrate their resources to fire a cannonball, enabling large returns from concentrated bets.”

Consider testing and reviewing through the following:

  1. Confirm that your content is appearing within the DOM.
  2. Test a subset of pages to see if Google can index content.
  • Manually check quotes from your content.
  • Fetch with Google and see if content appears.
  • Fetch with Google supposedly occurs around the load event or before timeout. It’s a great test to check to see if Google will be able to see your content and whether or not you’re blocking JavaScript in your robots.txt. Although Fetch with Google is not foolproof, it’s a good starting point.
  • Note: If you aren’t verified in GSC, try Technicalseo.com’s Fetch and Render As Any Bot Tool.

After you’ve tested all this, what if something’s not working and search engines and bots are struggling to index and obtain your content? Perhaps you’re concerned about alternative search engines (DuckDuckGo, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), or maybe you’re leveraging meta information that needs to be parsed by other bots, such as Twitter summary cards or Facebook Open Graph tags. If any of this is identified in testing or presents itself as a concern, an HTML snapshot may be the only decision.

2. HTML SNAPSHOTSWhat are HTmL snapshots?

HTML snapshots are a fully rendered page (as one might see in the DOM) that can be returned to search engine bots (think: a static HTML version of the DOM).

Google introduced HTML snapshots 2009, deprecated (but still supported) them in 2015, and awkwardly mentioned them as an element to “avoid” in late 2016. HTML snapshots are a contentious topic with Google. However, they’re important to understand, because in certain situations they’re necessary.

If search engines (or sites like Facebook) cannot grasp your JavaScript, it’s better to return an HTML snapshot than not to have your content indexed and understood at all. Ideally, your site would leverage some form of user-agent detection on the server side and return the HTML snapshot to the bot.

At the same time, one must recognize that Google wants the same experience as the user (i.e., only provide Google with an HTML snapshot if the tests are dire and the JavaScript search group cannot provide support for your situation).

Considerations

When considering HTML snapshots, you must consider that Google has deprecated this AJAX recommendation. Although Google technically still supports it, Google recommends avoiding it. Yes, Google changed its mind and now want to receive the same experience as the user. This direction makes sense, as it allows the bot to receive an experience more true to the user experience.

A second consideration factor relates to the risk of cloaking. If the HTML snapshots are found to not represent the experience on the page, it’s considered a cloaking risk. Straight from the source:

“The HTML snapshot must contain the same content as the end user would see in a browser. If this is not the case, it may be considered cloaking.”
Google Developer AJAX Crawling FAQs

Benefits

Despite the considerations, HTML snapshots have powerful advantages:

  1. Knowledge that search engines and crawlers will be able to understand the experience.
    • Certain types of JavaScript may be harder for Google to grasp (cough… Angular (also colloquially referred to as AngularJS 2) …cough).
  2. Other search engines and crawlers (think: Bing, Facebook) will be able to understand the experience.
    • Bing, among other search engines, has not stated that it can crawl and index JavaScript. HTML snapshots may be the only solution for a JavaScript-heavy site. As always, test to make sure that this is the case before diving in.

"It's not just Google understanding your JavaScript. It's also about the speed." -DOM - "It's not just about Google understanding your Javascript. it's also about your perceived latency." -DOM

Site latency

When browsers receive an HTML document and create the DOM (although there is some level of pre-scanning), most resources are loaded as they appear within the HTML document. This means that if you have a huge file toward the top of your HTML document, a browser will load that immense file first.

The concept of Google’s critical rendering path is to load what the user needs as soon as possible, which can be translated to → “get everything above-the-fold in front of the user, ASAP.”

Critical Rendering Path – Optimized Rendering Loads Progressively ASAP:

progressive page rendering

Image source

However, if you have unnecessary resources or JavaScript files clogging up the page’s ability to load, you get “render-blocking JavaScript.” Meaning: your JavaScript is blocking the page’s potential to appear as if it’s loading faster (also called: perceived latency).

Render-blocking JavaScript – Solutions

If you analyze your page speed results (through tools like Page Speed Insights Tool, WebPageTest.org, CatchPoint, etc.) and determine that there is a render-blocking JavaScript issue, here are three potential solutions:

  1. Inline: Add the JavaScript in the HTML document.
  2. Async: Make JavaScript asynchronous (i.e., add “async” attribute to HTML tag).
  3. Defer: By placing JavaScript lower within the HTML.

!!! Important note: It’s important to understand that scripts must be arranged in order of precedence. Scripts that are used to load the above-the-fold content must be prioritized and should not be deferred. Also, any script that references another file can only be used after the referenced file has loaded. Make sure to work closely with your development team to confirm that there are no interruptions to the user’s experience.

Read more: Google Developer’s Speed Documentation

TL;DR – Moral of the story

Crawlers and search engines will do their best to crawl, execute, and interpret your JavaScript, but it is not guaranteed. Make sure your content is crawlable, obtainable, and isn’t developing site latency obstructions. The key = every situation demands testing. Based on the results, evaluate potential solutions.

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How AI, Millennials, and Generation Z Are Shaking Up the Workforce

How AI, Millennials, and Generation Z Are Shaking Up the Workforce

I’ve been working in digital pretty much since digital became a thing in the early 90s. At that point, the internet and associated new technologies were only being used by the cutting-edge trendsetters and super nerdy IT folks. Now, every company is using some form of technology in their business and the internet is pervasive.

And whether you like it or not, your workforce is evolving. Figuring out how to work with millennials is a major pain point right now for executives and managers who want to bring in new blood, but it’s not just millennials that are coming to wreak havoc on your company. There is not one, but two new generations in town for you to worry about:

  • Generation Z (born 2001 – now)
  • Artificial intelligence

What is it going to be like to manage these in addition to the three other generations you’ve already got?

Alan Lepofsky is the VP and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, which focuses on collaboration and helping companies improve the way work gets done.

Jeanne Meister is a Partner at Future Workplace, a firm dedicated to rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing the workplace.

Steven ZoBell is the Chief Product & Technology Officer at Workfront, a pioneer in work management software (and a partner of Convince & Convert).

Together on Tuesday, June 27th at 12pm ET/9am PT, they will present a compelling webinar that, frankly, anyone who works anywhere can benefit from, but especially managers the employ a wide range of people.

Engaging 5 Generations in the Future Workplace

From baby boomers to robots and everyone in between, this webinar will clear up the facts related to each generation that’s involved in our growing workforce today and answer a few really important questions that are on everyone’s mind as technology booms.

1. Is Artificial Intelligence Coming For My Job?

You’ve seen the sci-fi movies where the humans create the robots to help them out and then the robots become too intelligent, rebel against their creators, and then someone like Arnold has to save the day.

The creation of artificial intelligence and its prevalence today has got many workers worried that they’ll be replaced. But we always need to remember that automation has been happening for decades, even centuries. People are always trying to find ways to make work more efficient. And sometimes that means automating or using artificial intelligence to take tasks and make them happen more quickly.

Now, we all hope that the growing automation and adoption of AI will only help us do our jobs better, not take them away, but some of us will need to worry about whether we’ll get outpaced and outnumbered by AI and automation activities. If that’s the case, the next point may be your saving grace.

2. What Skills Do I Need to Thrive?

New generations have a very different level of comfort when it comes to adopting and utilizing new technologies to help them get things done. A Millennial or Gen Z-er might have an easy time picking up an iPhone whereas a Baby Boomer may still have trouble figuring out a keyboard shortcut.

Still, however, evolution is happening and every time a new piece of technology enters the marketplace, employees need to figure out how to adopt it. The new skill set required to thrive in an ever-growing, ever-changing economy isn’t something that only new workers need to adopt. Even the older professionals will need to adapt or be pushed out.

3. What Will the Future of Work Look Like?

A famous trait of millennials these days is their need for independence at work. They want to work from home, they want to work flexible hours, and they want to learn new skills to help propel their careers. Many businesses have evolved as a result, and smartly, in my opinion, because you can’t stop change. You must embrace it. And as a manager, it’s your job to understand the needs of your team, figure out which ones benefit the company, and advocate for them to the powers that be.

Now, this is an ongoing process. People are special snowflakes and will always have different needs. Of course, you don’t need to play into all of them, but you need to be prepared with an understanding how to maximize these needs while still making sure your team is productive, focused, and ready to take on new challenges.

I hope you’ll join Workfront on June 27th for a rousing discussion on this incredibly relevant and interesting topic. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Deciphering the 5 Levels of Social Media Influence and Content

Deciphering the 5 Levels of Social Media Influence and Content

In 2014 I began to develop my own version of Maslow’s hierarchical pyramid of needs, adapted to social media. My goal was to be able to identify more precisely when influencers stand out and reveal themselves in the learning and adoption curve of social networks and different platforms.

Based on the idea that the hierarchical needs theory (which is still taught in marketing and communications schools) also adapts to the social media adoption curve, Use of the GlobalWebIndex media to transpose and compare the level of maturity of users – consumers on one side (left) with that of the influencers (right).

I published an analysis of my research on my blog (in French) and on Maximize Social Business. A new approach that once again demonstrated that in the digital age, Maslow’s pyramid could also be adapted to all areas of professional activity.

In 2015, I accepted the invitation of the Canadian Education Association (CEA) to update the pyramid, and the results were published in the winter of 2015-2016 in the fourth-annual pan-Canadian magazine Education Canada.

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How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Stories

Do you want to drive more Instagram traffic to your website? Wondering how to create swipeable Instagram Stories links? In this article, you’ll discover how to add links to your Instagram stories and find ways to incorporate story links into your Instagram marketing. Who Has Access to Adding Links in Instagram Stories? Like many marketing

This post How to Add a Link to Your Instagram Stories first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Snapchat Marketing Features, Facebook Video Covers, and Twitter Changes

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore new Snapchat marketing features, Facebook page video covers, Twitter changes, and other breaking social

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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