It’s true—meet the newest members of our team, Mikky and Grant. They’re here to help us drive strategy, foster strong client relationships, come up with smart ways to make search marketing work for businesses, and bring their marketing know-how to the table.
Mikky Wright, Senior Account Manager
As someone who has owned his own successful businesses in Chicago, Mikky’s marketing strategy and management skills are invaluable when it comes to working with the clients to help them grow their business. He absorbs any and all information he can get his hands on, giving him a well-versed scope on any project he undertakes. It’s no wonder, then, that some of his favorite things to do outside the office cover a variety of activities: sculpting, painting, playing baseball, and dream analysis.
Grant Sabatier, SEO/SEM Account Manager
Grant comes to Chicago via Washington, D.C. with seven years of experience in online marketing and SEO/SEM work. Here at envisionit media, he’s responsible for developing sound SEO and SEM strategies for our clients. In his downtime, he collects guitars (17 at last count) and enjoys the fine sounds of electronic ambient music, which he says goes well with SEO work.
Last week, Google announced yet another update as to the extent of what they can and will index in a Flash file. Google says they are now able to understand and index “almost any text a user can see as they interact with a SWF file on your site.” For years, they have been working with Adobe to better improve upon their indexing capabilities. Last year they were able to index almost all content in a Flash file, and now all the text and links in that file are now included. What does that mean to you? Content as well as Flash buttons and menus can be indexed. Googlebots can now follow URLs that are embedded in Flash files and index that page. They also can easier extract meta data from those files and recognize video. Here are some quick tips for getting your Flash files indexed:
Create meta data for your Flash files
Create unique links for each page that is linked from your Flash file
Submit a Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
Oh and one last thing – this still does not mean we recommend going out and building a whole site in Flash. Google still has a long way to go before we can determine that an all-Flash site is not the biggest SEO mistake you can make!! To learn more, visit the Google Blog here.
Jill, Blaire, and Winston have been with us for a short time now, but they’ve done so much in those months that we can’t remember what it was like without them. Technical genius, organizational flair, and expert snack-making are just a few of the skills these guys have to offer.
Jill Fruhwirth, Associate Project Manager
Jill enjoys staying busy. She honed her management skills overseeing the Marketplace at Sears.com and can now be found running around our office working with the interactive, account, and creative teams to make sure projects stay on schedule. In her downtime, she’s likely running around outside—playing soccer, volleyball, golf, skiing, biking—and brushing up on her Spanish.
Blaire Peroff, Traffic Manager
Our traffic manager Blaire is a “lifetime Hoosier,” zealous concert-goer, and lover of dogs. She’s also responsible for managing the entire workflow at EIM, mapping out schedules, and overseeing quality control—basically, she makes sure projects don’t catch fire. It’s a tough job, but Blaire’s been at it for many years now, and the fact that nothing’s caught fire yet is a testament to her dexterity.
Winston Tsao, Senior Web Developer
Winston is multilingual: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, ASP.NET, C#, and ActionScript, just to name a few. Working with computers has been a passion of his since he was a teenager, and now he works his magic on any and all programming at EIM—making sure technical aspects of our clients’ websites are functioning properly. After the workday is over, his toddler twin daughters boss him around.
This month Google released “Adwords Call Metrics,” a call tracking service for Adwords campaigns. The service is free for Adwords account holders and integrates a Google Voice number into ads on both computers and mobile devices. Google Voice is the free service that allows Google account holders set-up a phone number from any area code in the United States. For the purpose of Adwords, users can set up either a local phone number or a toll-free number. Users are then able redirect the number to any phone. The total number of calls and average duration of the calls can be tracked in the Adwords dashboard.
The same Google Voice number used in Adwords can also be used on other marketing materials or a website for increased tracking through Adwords, although we recommend setting up a separate Google Voice number for each campaign. Separate numbers allow for more targeted conversion tracking.
Although this service is still in BETA, there is an incredible amount of potential for the Google Voice/Adwords integration. First, “Adwords Call Metrics” creates another way for Adwords users to reach customers, track offline conversions, and measure the success of their ads. Also, there is a lot of speculation that Google will introduce a pay per call metric, very similar to the pay per click metric. In the future Google might also offer increased call metric capabilities for Adwords, such as recording, transcription, and enhanced analytics capabilities.
Currently Google is offering the service to a limited number of customers, but as they test the service and refine the features it will be released to more customers. You can tell if you have the option of “Adwords Call Metrics” by looking under the Ad Extensions tab in your Adwords account.
Creating and maintaining beautiful, functional landscapes is why James Martin Associates is among the most highly regarded landscaping companies in Illinois. When the 33-year-old landscaping firm wanted to overhaul their website so it reflected the quality work they create, they turned to us to make it happen.
The JMA website was an interesting project for our team, because, like a landscape improvement project, the site required an immense amount of customization to meet JMA’s needs. They wanted to put the focus on their completed projects, so we needed an effective way to show off their work. We created extensive landscaping portfolios, each of which feature a number of shots for each individual job, and can be viewed as a full-screen slide show.
We love how the site turned out and are honored that JMA chose us to build their website. Plus, we always know who to call when we’re snowed in!
We love logos and layouts. We love drop-down menus and Ruby on Rails. But we not only love content, we rely on it.
When chefs conceptualize meals, they start with protein. Not plating, not sauces—protein. Beef, chicken, pork, fish, or tofu should come first. Sometimes, it isn’t necessarily the most interesting element of a dish, but it’s what fills you up. Content is the same way.
That’s why smart content strategy is essential to a successful website. What is your website supposed to communicate about your brand and your business? How will people find your website? Why would someone care about what you have to say? And why would a person come back for more information? Those are all content-related questions you need to answer before a website is born. Or sautéed, or pan-fried, or what have you.
Once the initial questions are answered, developing your content strategy is really quite simple—if you’re a person who could simultaneously make a consommé and knit a fair-isle sweater at age five. Sure, you just balance the messaging, structure, upkeep, current content, channels, process, and name the people who are going to oversee it all, and you’re good to go. Right?
Yeah. This is where people like us come in. We help you figure out the best way to plan, create, maintain, update, and govern your content—and then we design, code, and generally make a website better than the other guy’s.
We can’t, however, cook you dinner. There are limitations to the magic.
For the first time, Social Media stepped to the forefront as a conduit of information, interactivity and instantaneous updates for voters, candidates and traditional media alike. How did this happen? When did Twitter, Facebook and even Foursquare become such relevant communicative devices with these participants? How is conceding an election via Twitter an acceptable method for candidates? When did Foursquare become a conduit for reporting voter fraud? How did a former Governor use these outlets to endorse candidates and turn them into national personalities?
In many broadcast newsrooms around the country, pundits were relying heavily on social media to augment their reporting – live interaction with voters and candidates alike. Foursquare offered an “I Voted” badge while Facebook had an auto Live Feed feature giving their users the same option. Independent and even International news outlets participated with live online video broadcast and blog feeds. Akamai Technologies Inc., which delivers about 20 percent of the world’s Internet traffic, showed rising traffic on Tuesday afternoon. Around 5 p.m. EDT, traffic was peaking at over 4.6 million global page views per minute. Based on GMA news, one of Akamai’s highest rates of traffic in its five years of measurement. To compare, Obama’s election night speech in 2008 at Grant Park had 4.3 million global page views.
An important and relevant trend has been brewing; Viewership & consumer online participation has increased for most of the current 4,600+ online reporting agency websites every year through 2009 (Nielsen Net Ratings). For the most part, these online new organizations have taken advantage of new social media technologies to connect and engage the viewer. Since the majority of online viewers “grazing” the internet for news rather than staying with one source, it’s important these online entities engross the viewer and interact via Twitter feeds, Facebook announcements and the like.
The weather may have suddenly dropped to those Arctic temperatures we know and tolerate, but winter in Chicago means Chicago Blackhawks.
We teamed up with Binny’s Beverage Depot to film a series of five commercials to air during the 2010-2011 Hawks season on Comcast Sportsnet. Filmed at the new Lincoln Park Binny’s store, the ads feature actual Binny’s beverage connoisseurs—and Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito.
Check out the ads below! And let’s hear some Chelsea Dagger.
We were very excited when we found out our new favorite Banh Mi client made an appearance on Check Please! In a city where food takes center stage, Ba Le, a modern eatery located in Uptown, is really making a name for its self. With traditional Vietnamese ingredients stuffed into deliciously fresh baked French bread, it’s easy to see why Banh Mis are sweeping foodies across the country. And the Bubble Teas alone (smoothies with tapioca balls at the bottom) are enough to keep people coming back to Ba Le for nothing more than a sweet treat!
Stop by Ba Le for a contemporary twist on a traditional meal, at a price that can’t be beat (most sandwiches are under $4). EIM recommends: BBQ Pork Banh Mi and a Strawberry-Pineapple Bubble Tea!
If you haven’t heard the latest news, Google has released their brand new Television/ Internet viewing 1-2 punch, so cleverly dubbed: Google TV. Here’s a little video courtesy of Google for a little run-down of Google TV’s features and functionality.
Pretty cool, right? So basically what Google TV does is seamlessly integrates the internet and your television together as one, to provide you with the ultimate viewing experience right from your couch.
Why optimize for TV?
As new platforms continue to emerge, we find ourselves constantly adjusting so we can provide our users with the best experience possible. Just as more people are releasing mobile versions of their site for all those users accessing the internet from their mobile phone, it may now be just as important to start optimizing your site for TV as well.
Since Google TV has a full web browser already built in, almost every site that currently exists should already work. But to provide the user with the best TV experience, you might want to create what Google calls a “10-foot User Interface” version of your site. Seeing as Google TV users will be viewing the website from their couch about ten feet away (instead of inches), and (instead of a mouse) they will be using a remote and a keyboard, it is very important that they are able to navigate through your website easily, and actually be able to see what they are navigating through from 10 feet away. (Simplicity is key here)