The Digital Estate

Internet security has been a hot news topic over the past few months. A cascade of software vulnerabilities, account breaches, and security flaws produced a steady stream disclosures, apologies, and a few PR disasters. As a result, most of us are more aware than ever of the need to keep every piece of our online presence secure.

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Schema Markup for Chow-Bryant

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is a form of structured data that helps search engines understand what’s on a webpage. This markup is a community effort to create a universal vocabulary of tags and categories for the internet. An example of Schema markup in action is the Google Knowledge Graph. These are the cards on the right-hand side of some Google searches. These cards provide more information about your search, and are a collection of structured data snippets from all over the internet.

Chow-Bryant Knowledge Graph - Schema Markup

Laser cat sees your Schema!

Here you can see a snippet of Chow-Bryant’s card in Google’s Knowledge Graph. Some of this information is fed into Google’s Knowledge Graph using Schema markup on our website. For instance, the footer on our site features Schema for a local business.

Other Forms of Structured Data

In a nutshell, Schema markup is very similar to the Open Graph Protocol and Twitter Card Data. The main difference is that Schema markup isn’t unique to a specific social media platform. Instead, Schema is primarily used by webmasters, app developers and search engines. In fact, Schema markup is supported by Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex.

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It’s 11:30 p.m. After several last-minute targeting changes, your Google Display Network campaign is almost ready. You’ve set the targeting, and you’ve segmented out everything that needs to be segmented (of which there was a lot). Now all that’s left is uploading the ads so that they will start running at midnight as planned. All that’s left is adding the creative into the AdWords interface.

OH GOD NO.

AdWords just rejected your ads.

Your HTML5 ad is missing a primary .HTML file. Primary .HTML files include an Ad Size tag such as <meta name=”ad.size” content=”width=300,height=250″>. Make sure there is an .HTML file with an ad size tag in your HTML5 ad, and try again.

Now what? You’ve got 30 minutes to fix this, and both your designer and your developer left town for Vegas about two hours ago.

Tick-tock, Clarice. Read more

Wordfence Suspect Malware

Help! My Malware Scanner Says I’ve Been Hacked!

If you’re using the Enfold Theme for WordPress, or another theme developed by Kriesi, you’ll want to read this post. Today, around 4pm CST, Wordfence and other WordPress security tools started sending alert messages to site owners using the Enfold theme.  The messages informed them that a file on their site contained a link to suspected malware.

There was an increase in hacking attempts against WordPress sites in 2016, and it looks like 2017 will be no different. Fans of the Mass Effect video game series might feel like they’re struggling to “hold the line.”

Mass Effect Kirrahe Hold the Line

Our influence will stop hackers! In our battle today, we will hold the line!

But fear not! The amazing community of developers working on WordPress is always looking for ways to improve the CMS.

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A bad diagram of a house

Targeting Causes Bullseyes or Black Eyes

Digital display media is a popular channel for marketing brands. We often equate the term to website banner ads, but it also includes video ads, social media ads, audio ads via music sites and apps, in-app ads, search engine marketing and more. It seems like there is always something new under the digital media moniker. Most often, though, discussions center around best practices for banner design, messaging or placements. These are important factors in a successful media campaign, but digital media targeting can make or break a campaign. It’s crucial in ways many people do not realize, plus it affects every form of digital media marketing. Read more

Twitter Card Data

What is a Twitter Card?

When you share a link on Twitter, the link may automatically add an image, title, and description below your tweet. This information is called a Twitter Card, and it comes from some HTML tags on the webpage called a rich snippet. This markup lets site owners easily share additional information about their articles, images, videos, and even apps. Here’s an example of a Twitter Card for my article on The Cat Line. Read more

Digital Marketing Reporting

Marketing reporting and analysis can be a real pain, but not to worry. Prior to working as a digital marketer, I was the development reports writer for my university. If you’re not familiar with the Office of Development, you will be one day. That’s the office that does fundraising, and my job within it was to tell people where their money went. In that role, I learned a lot about how to write an effective and actionable report. I use this knowledge daily at Chow-Bryant, and there’s no reason that you can’t too.

Business Topics That Should Be Covered in a Report

For any effective business report, there are a handful of topics that are consistently useful:

  1. Who was touched by marketing efforts?
  2. What was marketed to them?
  3. What time period did this take place in? (Alternate: What is the campaign duration? When did the campaign start and end?)
  4. What reasons did you give the audience to care?
  5. Where was the money spent and why?

To be honest, things become tricky once you ask about budgets. People often are uncomfortable discussing money, but you must know the info to report accurately. Therefore, I recommend keeping detailed spend records within your department to make it easier on everyone.

No need to talk about money if we have documentation that does the speaking for us. Read more

The internet is full of robots, and their ranks are growing exponentially. In 2015 roughly half of all internet traffic was bots, so it’s important to pay attention to how robots interact with your site. These robots are software that automatically browse the internet. The most common kind of robot crawls the internet and indexes content from search engines, but there are also bad bots, which harvest emails or search for sites that are weak against mass hacking attempts. Luckily, you can use a robots.txt file to communicate with all of these non-human netizens, and in some cases even give them instructions on how to use your site. Read more

Twitch Logo

Lately, there’s been an increase in articles touting what a great branding and awareness platform live streaming is. This is true. If you have a winning personality and a talent for something visual, it’s kind of awesome. Anything goes as long as it’s not illegal on YouTube and Facebook Live. But we have an elephant in the live streaming studio: Twitch.

Twitch: Live Streaming with Restrictions

Twitch, purchased by Amazon in late 2014, is a live-streaming platform that was birthed out of Justin.tv (R.I.P.). Originally only “Let’s Play” style live streaming, its expanded parameters now also include Gaming Talk Shows, Poker, Music and Creative. It is important to note, though, that your stream must fall into one of the approved categories.

This platform is dominated by the ever-valuable 18-45 male demographic and comes with all their special quirks. This includes distrust of advertisers, use of ad blockers and an occasionally toxic outlook on the world. Much of the Twitch audience are also Redditors and/or on 4chan normalfags, /b/tards and shitposters. Most marketing blogs don’t use these terms. This is why I’m writing this: So you don’t look like a scrub when you try Twitch, which can be pretty willing to flay you alive if you don’t belong.

Welcome to the internet. Just call me Virgil. Read more