Do your posts stand out in a crowd?

These tools help you decide what to say

With the amount of distributed content growing larger than ever - 4.75 BILLION pieces per day on Facebook alone - how do you decide what to post? Great content can increase the size of your audience, and your revenue. Why risk missing the mark with outdated information? Check out these tools for selecting relevant content that your audience will love:

BuzzSumo.com

This tool shows you what content has been shared the most in the last 24 hours, week, month, 6 months or even the past year. By entering a keyword and filtering by the content type, this tool can flesh out exactly what your followers have been -- and will be -- most engaged in. This means whether your audience wants to see articles about the most recent baseball game, or the latest developments in applications software, you can deliver. Choose to share one of the articles displayed, or decide to jump on the trending bandwagon and write about the topic yourself. Either way, BuzzSumo will give you the necessary insight.

Keyhole.co

Keyhole offers real-time tracking of URLs, keywords and hashtags. This means you can see the history of the popularity of a topic, website or hashtag, while analyzing whether or not the traffic is continuing to rise. If the tweets about the latest version of IOS show no signs of stopping, publishing a piece with your own take on the software may be worth considering. However, if you're on the tail end of a trend, it may be better to look ahead. Keyhole not only shows the number of times a hashtag or keyword is used, but also how many likes, retweets and shares are involved. Download or print charts with data, including data about YOUR website, and take a deeper look at how well your company, and content, is performing.

SEMRush.com

This tool can provide insight on everything from SEO Keywords to specific domains. Search results can be filtered by country, and provide information such as the data on organic search results, stats on paid advertisements, related keywords, and the performance over time. This is an excellent tool to use when trying to decide if your content is "trending" or if it is evergreen information. The ability to sort by country also makes a large impact, particularly for individuals with international connections. Finding out what content is popular across the globe increases awareness, and also increases the opportunity to reach beyond your U.S. audience.

March 2016 Edition

Social Media

Struggling with managing social media
for your business?

 

"No time" is one of the top reasons why businesses miss out on engaging with their clients online.

Here at McG, we can handle all or part of your social media program for you, or start by helping YOU feel comfortable with whatever your biggest challenges are:

  • Deciding which social networks will make the biggest impact on YOUR followers.

  • Setting up your social media accounts and write authentic content for your profiles.

  • Designing a posting plan, specific to your industry and your company's goals. 

  • Generating and posting original and curated content that represents your brand.

Talk things over with Madisyn Collier, our Content & Social Media Specialist, at mcollier@mccarygroup.com.
 


Website Design

Tips & Tricks

How to: Create Anchor Links for SquareSpace

Image Courtesy of WIRED

Image Courtesy of WIRED

If you didn't already know Squarespace, you may have noticed their commercials during the Superbowl.  Squarespace’s presence is steadily growing in 2016. Maybe you've already decided to give one of their web design templates a try, rather than starting your site from scratch.

A well-designed template is a beautiful thing, and can save you considerable frustration. However, even the best templates can leave you feeling limited - particularly when it comes to creativity.

If any of this sounds familiar, read on!


We will walk you through the concept of anchor links and how to put them to work in your Squarespace site. 

What are anchor links?

- An anchor link is used to bring a visitor to a specific place on a webpage.

For an example, visit our home page here. Try clicking on "Custom Software" under our main image, and notice how the link will bring you to our "Web & Mobile App Dev" section on the "Software Development" page.

Why should I use anchor links?

- Primarily, to enhance the user experience! This saves your visitor from having to scroll through an entire page of content, and allows for a better organized website overall.

How do I add anchor links to my SquareSpace website?

1.) Add the text you will use as the link.

 

2.) Highlight the text and "Edit Link" To create your new link, begin with a hashtag (#) and then your unique link title - no spaces!

Image courtesy of Squarespace

 

3.) Find your desired "landing place" on the page, and insert a "Code" content block.
     <p > Hello, World! </p>   will appear

 

4.) Replace "Hello World" with the text you want displayed, and insert: id="your unique link."

 

Have questions about how to create or further improve your website?  We can help.


McG People

"Developer Insider"

Managing Your Passwords, Simplified.
with Jeff Slater, McG Lead Senior Developer

Having strong, unique passwords for every online service you use is important; reusing passwords with multiple accounts, while convenient & easy, provides an outsider with access to all accounts if just ONE is compromised. Although having a different password for every login is preferable, remembering all of them can become difficult to manage.

Using a password manager, such as 1Password, can greatly simplify login security. It can securely store your passwords (as well as other information, such as credit cards, passports, and social security number), and allow access to them across all of your devices.

It can also generate randomized passwords with a variety of options (such as XyfDaqaFkALX7zwBx>%F6pAFKBC34Mu/mtEiY=Rx or lacunae,dentist,awry,cheroot,farrier) whenever you register a new online account, so that every login of yours has a strong password, unique to the account.

In addition to managing your passwords, many online services offer a feature called "Two Factor Authentication", which requires you to enter an additional code when logging in, for an additional layer of security. Many will text you the additional code, though most will also allow you to generate these codes using an app on your phone; 1Password is able to generate these codes for you as well.

What really sets 1Password apart is that, not only can it keep your logins safe and secure, it can also notify you when a service you use has been compromised. If you enable it, 1Password's Watchtower service will notify you if you have any logins that should be updated. In addition, it can create lists of duplicated, old or weak passwords and recommend those be updated as well.

All of your data stored in 1Password is encrypted using a master password you'll choose when setting it up, and is completely inaccessible without this password, so you can rest assured that your data is safe. Your data can be synced using Dropbox, iCloud, or between your devices over wi-fi. The developer of 1Password has also recently launched online services for sharing amongst workplaces (1Password for Teams) and families (1Password for Families), so that it can be accessible to you wherever you are.
The McCary Group uses 1Password every day to keep our online accounts safe, and we recommend you do the same!



Have a security question for Jeff? Reach out at info@mccarygroup.com.


Password Management with 1Password

Account Protection Simplified, with Jeff Slater, McG Lead Senior Developer


Image courtesy of customsystems.com

Image courtesy of customsystems.com

Having strong, unique passwords for every online service you use is important; reusing passwords with multiple accounts, while convenient & easy, provides an outsider with access to all accounts if just one is compromised. Although having a different password for every login is preferable, remembering all of them can become difficult to manage.

Using a password manager, such as 1Password, can greatly simplify login security. It can securely store your passwords (as well as other information, such as credit cards, passports, and social security number), and allow access to them across all of your devices.

It can also generate randomized passwords with a variety of options (such as XyfDaqaFkALX7zwBx>%F6pAFKBC34Mu/mtEiY=Rx or lacunae,dentist,awry,cheroot,farrier) whenever you register a new online account, so that every login of yours has a strong password, unique to the account.

In addition to managing your passwords, many online services offer a feature called "Two Factor Authentication", which requires you to enter an additional code when logging in, for an additional layer of security. Many will text you the additional code, though most will also allow you to generate these codes using an app on your phone; 1Password is able to generate these codes for you as well.

What really sets 1Password apart is that, not only can it keep your logins safe and secure, it can also notify you when a service you use has been compromised. If you enable it, 1Password's Watchtower service will notify you if you have any logins that should be updated. In addition, it can create lists of duplicated, old or weak passwords and recommend those be updated as well.

All of your data stored in 1Password is encrypted using a master password you'll choose when setting it up, and is completely inaccessible without this password, so you can rest assured that your data is safe. Your data can be synced using Dropbox, iCloud, or between your devices over wi-fi. The developer of 1Password has also recently launched online services for sharing amongst workplaces (1Password for Teams) and families (1Password for Families), so that it can be accessible to you wherever you are.

The McCary Group uses 1Password every day to keep our online accounts safe, and we recommend you do the same!

February 2016 Edition

Content | Creative

On Trend

Image Courtesy of Mint Design

Image Courtesy of Mint Design

Evolving web technology, and bolder moves by businesses, are enabling a number of “hot web design trends” predicted for 2016. These two caught our attention:

What: Bolder use of color and typography
Why:   Color and typography are languages in their own right. Just add the right words for an unbeatable trifecta of brand storytelling and audience engagement.

What: Original illustrations will edge out photography
Why: Illustrations allow users to invent their own interpretations. The result, instantly more relatable messaging than stock photos.
Source: creativebloq.com

Have questions about how to brand-refresh your website or tell your brand story? We can help


Our Work

TDG-logo.png


Better lives, businesses, planet, through better choices
thedecencygroup.com

The multidisciplinary professionals of The Decency Group recently enlisted us to redesign their new web presence. Grounded in the principles of "Radical Decency," “TDG’s” experts are experienced practitioners in psychotherapy, finance, health and nutrition, career coaching, and legal services. They collaboratively work directly with both individuals and business owner-operators.

Membership in the "Decency Community" is open to everyone.  Members enjoy rich resources and benefits to support personal and business growth.

Meet TDG's professionals and find out more about the Decency Community
.

Services Provided by McG:

 

  • Website redesign utilizing the robust SquareSpace platform
  • UX/UI: User Journey
  • Integrations: MailChimp Workflows, SentryLogin, Stripe, Zapier

McG People

Developer Insider

Tips & Tech Obsessions with Nick Schirmer, McG Senior Developer

 

Q. You enjoy troubleshooting and teaching other developers. What kinds of problems are you frequently asked about?
A. I’ve had other developers ask me to help them figure out why some certain thing on a webpage they’re wiring up is not working correctly. While it’s encouraged you build test cases and a robust debug system, a lot of the time developers simply don’t do that. There’s a really easy way to quickly debug something that’s not doing what you want, though: the browser’s developer console.

When it comes to writing JavaScript, usually the browser’s Console tab is what you want to look at, as it will output JavaScript errors. You could also dump some console.log (“message”) lines throughout the area of your code you’re working on to get a sense of what is running correctly and where it’s failing. Outputting some of your variable values, for example, is one suggestion. There’s of course an even better way to handle JavaScript debugging, but it may take some more getting used to -- using the Debugger tab. This allows you to create breakpoints in your script so you can quickly inspect local scope variables and such before allowing the process to continue running.

When it comes to debugging why something in the backend (PHP) isn’t going according to plan, my quick suggestion is to start dumping data out with a print, print_r, or var_dump, to get a sense of what’s going on. This way you can make sure that variable is what you were expecting it to be, find out whether a certain part of the code is never being reached, etc. Note that you never want to have code like this in production code though, because dumping out debug text is a good way to break things or include things in the output you don’t want to. You could also have it write to a file by opening a flat file at the beginning of your script and writing to it at each step (you could channel that through a function you create so that it can include other useful information such as a timestamp to know how long it took to get to each step). Again, only do this when developing and testing!

Note that the console comes in handy when debugging backend code if your script is being requested with XHR/Ajax — You would simply open the console, go to the Resources or Network tab, and inspect the XHR request to see what data/headers are being sent, and what the response from the server was.

When it comes to discovering something is not working right, no matter how much you’ve tried to replicate the issue, the above steps are just as useful. You can open the Console and look to see if there are any red error messages, instruct inspect the XHR request to see the response, or write data to a file for you to view after you've experienced the issue again.

Chrome’s console writeup: https://developer.chrome.com/devtools/docs/console

MDN's console writeup: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/Browser_Console



Q. What’s your latest tech obsession?
A. A month or two ago, I bought a device from Automatic. It’s a dongle you plug in to your car’s diagnostic port and it sends information over to your phone via Bluetooth. This info is curated a bit by Automatic and allows you to see the trips you’ve made, what your driving score is, mileage, gas usage, etc. I then set up some IFTTT recipes to send various information over to Numerous, which is a number-recording app that I discovered around the same time. So now whenever I turn my car on, Automatic pings IFTTT which then increases my “Ignition on” number in Numerous, so I can see how many times I’ve turned my car on. Likewise, whenever my car is turned off, other information is sent over to Numerous, such as total # of miles, # of miles daily, and average gas mileage!


Have a troubleshooting question for Nick? Reach out at info@mccarygroup.com.

December 2015 Edition


Development | Mobile

Google's Mobile Friendliness Update May be Costing You

(Is it disrupting your search rankings?)

Google’s recent “mobile friendliness” update has the potential to negatively impact traffic to your site and your overall online visibility – that is, if your site isn’t designed with mobile in mind.

And this is important because? While the update only affects search results on mobile devices, mobile has surpassed desktop usage.

The update boosts the rankings of mobile optimized pages in Google search results. Risking not knowing where your site stands could mean the difference between being featured on page one, or page ten, in a Google search.

Here are just a few aspects that Google uses to measure the “mobile worthiness” of your site:

  • Lack of quality and relevancy of web page
  • Unplayable content
  • Tapping/zooming required to navigate pages
  • Horizontal scrolling on mobile site

These aspects may display differently on various mobile devices and screen sizes. So, without proper testing, a web page may only appear to be in compliance on one device. The result: the site will still be downgraded in rank and could be buried in search results.
 
We can help you determine how your site measures up, and recommend what’s needed to optimize your site’s standing. Reach out to Jeff McCary at jmccary@mccarygroup.com.


McG People

 
 

Madisyn Collier
Social Media & Content Specialist

Madisyn is McG’s Social Media & Content Specialist. Along with helping clients tap into social media marketing potential, this “digital-first generation” pro is working on an undergrad degree in Finance while furthering her training in marketing and public relations.
 
Madisyn is feeling social media’s huge untapped potential for marketing. It’s something she’s passionate about.
 
“Everyone uses social media, but using it well to drive business results takes strategy, great content, and sustained execution.”
 
Madisyn’s knack for marketing appeared at age 12 when she began promoting her photography services, then personal training services at age 17.
 
At every opportunity, Madisyn loves flexing her penchant for urban and product photography, adventurous travel, and using her Spanish speaking skills.


Content | Creative

"McG" Essential Marketing Services for a Digital World

(You asked… we delivered!)

By request, we’ve been helping many of our development-side clients for a while now with content development and social marketing. Now it’s officially part of our services offerings.

More about "Content Care by McG"