Let’s face it: social media can be a little baffling when it comes to getting the word out about your business or your products.

You know your customers are out there somewhere, but on the wide open web they can sometimes feel a little difficult to find. You know you should be building up a presence on social media, but on which sites? What does “building up a presence” even mean?

According to Pew Research, 73% of online adults use a social media site, and 42% of them use more than one. Although Facebook is still the reigning champion when it comes to social media, other sites are gaining speed. Just take a look at how social sites grew between 2012 and 2013:

social-media-sites-2012-2013

Fortunately, these users tend to flock to social sites in demographically predictable ways – which means that with a good understanding of your customer base, you can almost always start off your social media marketing on the right foot. Here’s how to target 73% of online adults with your social media marketing.

We are truly living in the age of the selfie.

Named the 2013 Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year and proven powerful enough to crash Twitter, the selfie trend just seems to keep growing with no end. It’s now common to buy phones with front-facing cameras, and there’s even a song about selfies (appropriately titled “#SELFIE”).

Although they seem like harmless fun, is it possible that that selfies say something about the people who post them? Do people who post selfies have less fulfilling relationships with others? Are they more likely to obsess over their appearance? Are selfie-takers just having a good time, or are they narcissists? Our newest infographic explores the science behind selfies, and the results we found may surprise you.

Stop, Thief! 5 Steps to Wipe Out Stolen Website Content

Stop, Thief! 5 Steps to Wipe Out Stolen Website Content

If someone steals something from your house or store, you probably know exactly what to do. You call the police, describe what was taken, file an insurance claim, and try to get on with your life.

But how do you deal with the theft of something online?

Content theft happens every day, and the amount of stolen, lifted, and scraped content on the web is increasing. With content marketing a hotter topic than ever and websites desperate to rank, some unsavory individuals may choose to copy your hard work instead of doing their own.

I’ve had my content stolen in the past, and getting a pat on the back and being told “imitation is the highest form of flattery” just made me even more upset. But what could I do? Call the police and say “hey, some guy stole my blog post” or “this girl on the internet copied my short story”? I felt helpless and unsupported.

You shouldn’t have to feel that way. That’s why I put together this simple five step guide to dealing with stolen website content. Follow along to learn how you can quickly and easily resolve this unfortunately common problem.

Google Analytics: Visits and Visitors Now Sessions and Users

Google Analytics: Visits and Visitors Now Sessions and Users

Last night, Google once again snuck an update past us and right onto our Google Analytics Dashboards. For the majority of users, it likely won’t make a huge difference. However, the change in terminology has thrown many webmasters for a loop today.

Sessions and Users

What the heck are “sessions” and “users”?

The biggest change you’ll notice is the switch from “visits” and “visitors” to sessions and users. No longer will you see the term “visit” in Google Analytics. The switch in wording is something you will just have to get used to. The data itself isn’t going to change, though. A session is still the period in which a visitor (user) is engaged in your website, and a user is anyone who has had at least one session on your website.

Google Analytics Sessions and Users

From now on, this is what visits and visitors will be called.

Why the change in terminology?

The main reason, explained by Google, is to accommodate a combination of app and web data.

If you have an app that you track data with in Google Analytics, in addition to your main website, you know that the two were formerly separate Google Analytics properties. Formerly, the app data included active users rather than visitors. Apps don’t necessarily have “visitors,” since an app requires a user to download the app and actually “use” it. This made it frustrating for marketers, as the ability to combine the two properties to give an overall view of total “users” was difficult without the use of third party applications.

Google now makes it possible to combine your app and web analytics. This move allows you to focus on your conversion data and view exactly how your “users” are interacting with your product or service. The ability to view app data on its own is still possible, but it’s through the use of filters instead of separate properties.

How this affects the regular webmaster

For regular website owners and marketers that don’t have an app, things won’t change much. The only thing you really have to worry about is the change in terminology.

In time, this terminology change may reflect more accurate data as Google gets better and better at determining what users are, exactly. For instance, Google is one step closer to being able to track the same person going to your website from three different devices. Before, this was three different “visitors” as each hit was from a different device and/or browser. But those visitors might have been all the same user. Overall, this hasn’t been implemented yet, but Google is setting us up for more accurate data in the future.

Apps rejoice!

Google also mentioned that they added some more app specific fields to the analytics.js library:

  • screen name
  • app name
  • app version
  • exception tracking

All this does is further distinguish the app data from the web data, but also allows it to be combined. You will be able to drill down to just app data, or just web data, to further analyze what your users are doing. Filters can be created to designate the separate views. The main advantage is seeing a combined view as total conversions and ecommerce tracking will sum both app and web data, giving you a bigger picture of your online presence.

The full explanation from Google below:

image via

The 10 Worst SEO Practices on the Web

The 10 Worst SEO Practices on the Web

Knowing how to ethically and strategically craft a solid SEO campaign is kind of like knowing another language. Speaking to search engines through title tags, links, and quality content is all part of the conversation.

But when black hat SEOs try to trick search crawlers into ranking their websites higher than they deserve, it’s pretty easy for the search engines to tell they’re dealing with an impostor:

brad-pitt

Search engines like Google and Bing can easily pick out less-than-stellar SEO strategies and can penalize the offending site as punishment.

We know you would never use such unethical practices, but just in case you got some bad information from an online “SEO guru,” you might want to make sure you’re not using any of the bad SEO tactics in this list.

Revenge of the Pop-Ups: Does Your Website Need One?

Revenge of the Pop-Ups: Does Your Website Need One?

Ready or not, here they come. Pop-ups are officially back.

Once scorned by the collective Internet as an annoying, intrusive advertising method, and despised enough to prompt the integration of pop-up blockers into several browsers, pop-up advertisements have made a rather dramatic return in the last few months. I first noticed one on Quicksprout:

But then they started appearing everywhere else, like on ecommerce sites:

oldnavypopup

They’re getting clever, too. Some of them seem like they want to guilt trip you into clicking “yes” or “download”…

xl-popup

So pop-ups are everywhere again. Sure, they’re a little different this time around – technically, they’re browser overlays, not separate windows, and I haven’t yet seen one that plays music or says you’re the lucky 1000th website visitor – but why are they back if the majority of the Internet hates them?