• Outcome3 has a New Drupal Theme

    15 Jul
    Written by Alexa Booth
    Categorized in:
    Screenshot of the New Outcome3 Theme

    After some hard work, the new Outcome3 Drupal theme is up!

    How We Did it...

    jQuery, CCK and Views

    The new design's landing page highlights a jQuery Carousel, and some shiny new icons! This was implemented in combination with views, each sliding section as a separate custom node with CCK fields. The form section is from the module WebForm.

    jQuery is also used to hide and show the browse section, the dropdown on the primary navigation on mouse hover, an expandable section on the landing page, and on the searchbox.

    I'm pretty new with using javascript and jquery, but it was fun to finally have a project to be able to play around with it.

    Twitter Integration

    Using the Drupal's feed Aggregator, we imported our Twitter feed, and then themed the block, this required some php to override the default minimum number of feeds outputted, two- to our desired one post.

    Imagecache

    Imagecache was used in both generating profile images for blog posts, but also for Our Clients page and block.

    CSS3 and Battling with IE

    I decided to play around with some new supported CSS3 features for this design, mainly RGBA (alpha transparency) colours and border radius. This, is currently supported by Safari and Firefox, the downgraded version of this site will see non-rounded corners and regular backgrounds for most elements. In some cases, a transparent background was pretty essential, so transparent PNGs were used in place of.

    This theme also utilizes PNG fixes to enable support for ie6, (PS. thank you Google, maybe we can all follow in your example soon too!). Big Thank-Yous to: DillerDesign and TwinHelix

    Like it?

    Like the new design? Notice a bug? Want to learn more about us? Contact us!

  • How to Set Up Cost Per Click (CPC)

    03 Jul

    How to Manage a CPC Campaign - Cost Per Click 101

    Most people look at running a cpc campaign as a part of internet marketing that is as hard as brain surgery. This is not the case. It is as hard as the brain surgery the actors perform on Grey's Anatomy. Here are a few tips that can help anyone set up their account properly to get the most bang for their buck...after all, it is all about that ROI. Hopefully this will help you save some time and a little bit of money.  Don't get me wrong, it will still take time and effort to guarantee a successful campaign and you will always have to manage it to make it do well. But, there are ways to make the process of learning go much faster.

    Also, Google is really good at giving tutorials and they have a comprehensive guide to helping you set up right. Make sure you consult the Adwords Learning Center to gain more perspective on these tips.

    Keep Your Quality Score in Mind

    A quality score is assigned to your keywords and it measures the relevance your keywords have to the ad text and landing pages. It is also improved with a better click through rate (CTR). The higher your quality score, the cheaper it will be to get your ad to the top for certain keywords and vice versa. Make sure you create the proper ad-groups, ads and landing pages.

    Create the Proper Adgroups

    You want to have well thought out Ad-groups to help improve your quality score. This means getting a bunch of keywords that can be themed to your site's material and more importantly, your landing page's material. The more focused you can get your themes, the better. It is okay to create as many different ad-groups as you want and then pause the ones that don't do as well. You don't have to to go ad-group crazy, just make sure they are around the same subject. Generally put in about 30-50 keywords per group. By all means you can have more but it sometimes starts to make it less themed. 

    Landing Pages

    Your quality score will increase dramatically if you have the right landing pages filled with the right keywords and the proper ads directing users there. Relevance is key. It is not only a bonus for your Adwords campaign, optimized landing pages will also draw organic searches from search engine. All you need is a little link building and after a year or two, you might not need Adwords for some pages.

    Also, consider how this is your one chance to win over the viewer. If your landing page isn't set up to garner results, you are throwing that click money away.

    Ads

    I find the best ads are the ones that are straight forward and direct. Say exactly what is on your landing page and include the keywords that lead searcher to the page. Remember ad text basics: include your great offer, use enticing rhetoric, highlight the value proposition and a good call to action.

    These are the basics of a CPC, PPC and Paid Search Campaign. I will be going into more depth and detail in future blogs so stay tuned...to me , not Grey's!

     

     

  • Changes To Google Webmaster Tools and Sitemaps

    11 Jun
    Written by Lyal Avery

    Google has announced that along with their upcoming update to Webmaster Tools that they'll be extending the Google XML Sitemap format.

    The larger sitemap size is a bit of a funny announcement.  Previously the Google Spam team has criticized sites for having too many pages.  The webmaster team appears to recognize that some dynamic sites (such as MLS listing sites, or large aggregators) have *many* pages of content.  It's good to see Google supporting these properties, as they're an important part of the online landscape.  Here's to Google Spam getting on board!

    The processing and time to live feature will help a lot.  We've seen many of our customers setup an XML feed, and then wait for a few days before it gives feedback.  This means that many never return to this very useful tool!

    The biggest announcement our opinion is the change in the XML format to allow for more granular feature control.  This means that a good SEO company can better dictate the importance of a given page on a site.

    We're thinking of doing a review of the new features and a vidcast for effecient usage of Webmaster Tools.  If this is something you'd like to see, please let us know!

    Original link: here.

  • Keyword Density and Search Engine Optimization

    28 Apr
    Written by Anonymous

    How Can I Improve My Keyword Density?

    Having the proper keyword density mixed with keyword prominence will help search engines determine what words are the most important to your page. Search engines look at your density to conclude what words in your content stand out the most.

    Keyword density is usually calculated by taking the number of words on a page and then dividing the amount of times we see your keyword by the total. So if your word shows up 10 times and there are 200 words, that word’s density is %5. Seems pretty simple, huh.

    Where it gets tricky is when you are trying to capture the long tail keywords. All big companies who have a lot of money and a ton of web presence are always going to be able to monopolize the single keywords. The competition for these words is like going up against an 80’s Mr. T when you are a 90’s Pauly Shore (or a Pauly Shore at anytime). That is why you have to concentrate on getting the most searched long tail keyword terms. These are the mixes of your favorite terms that contain 2-4 words. So instead of going for search optimization, we might go for Vancouver search engine optimization.

    Now this is where keyword density gets a little harder. You want to keep your density around 5% for 2 words, 5% for 3 words and 4% for 4 words. But trying to do that and make it look organic can cause some problems. So for 2 word keyword terms, you take the total words on the page and divide that by 2. You then add up all the times you see your two word keyword term together. So if you see your 2 word term 5 times in 400 words you only see a density of %2.5…you might want to double the amount of times you include it in the copy.  

    There are many keyword tools out there to help you find what terms are the most prominent on your page. I recommend using a few different ones as some go through stages of being broken. Just search for keyword density tool and remember that comparing is always good.

     

  • How to Learn Copywriting

    31 Mar
    Written by Anonymous

    Creative Copywriting for the Web and

    Books that Help

     

    I have recently had the pleasure of taking a continuing studies class at SFU called The Art and Craft of Creative Selling taught by Hamish McIntosh. Hamish does a great job of mixing his vast professional experience with some of the technical aspects of copywriting and adds many examples of the different media where we see copy.

    Hamish's copywriting class had given me a lot of different ways to approach copy with creativity but he admittedly didn't touch too much on the technical side of the game (which I should have probably taken a class called Technical Aspects of Copywriting for). Hamish took a lot of gems from an interesting, amusing and informative book he recommended to us called Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan. I definitely recommend this read for a person trying to get their creativity bug buzzing.

    Copywriting book - Hey Whipple Squeeze This

    If you are trying to get into more of a technical mindset, I recommend reading Maria Veloso's book Web Copy that Sells. This book is far more technical and gets to the mechanical point of how to write copy for the web. It explains psychological triggers, the do's and don't, what words to use...etc.

    Webcopy book - Web Copy that Sells

    One thing to always remember is how we live in an age of scanning. No one has time to read anymore (especially online), so we have to cater the copy to someone who wants a few words to stand out and a summing up of the point. Gone are the days of putting things in context and the giving of substance to back our thoughts up. We want the goods, the meat and potaters(in this day and age, the "salmon and arugula") and we want them NOW.

    I will be going over these technical aspects in my next post entitled Copywriting for the Web - Writing Great Headlines.