Topic: Social

Reputation Social

UX/UI Designer 0

UX/UI Designer

Vendasta Technologies, Saskatoon SK

Career Description

As a UX/UI Designer, you will play an active role in one of our products, doing tactical and strategic work. You should have strong UX skills and a passion for brainstorming, developing, and testing a wide range of design solutions. The ideal candidate should love nothing more than testing solutions with real users and iterating based on feedback.

Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Product Manager to implement and evolve the vision for the product
  • Represent the design work and passionately advocate for user-centered needs
  • Develop low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes that translate the product vision into clean and intuitive experiences
  • Support/perform user research, story mapping sessions, and usability testing to understand behaviour and explore opportunities
  • Design experiences that can effectively combine product and service offerings into a cohesive concept for our target personas
  • Ensure consistency with the platform standards and cross-product dependencies
  • Collaborates with team members and stakeholders to deliver a compelling and cohesive end-to-end user experience across all applications
  • Manages relationships with internal and external stakeholders to ensure relevant information is shared, effectively communicated and issues are followed up and addressed
  • Perform competitive analysis and keep up with usability standards

Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with the process of building and testing UI prototypes
  • Experience with user testing design solutions and gathering quantitative and qualitative feedback
  • Experience with graphic design and common graphic design tools
  • Knowledge of user research and usability testing techniques and methods, and applying user findings to UX design solutions
  • Excellent feel for beautiful aesthetics of software user interfaces
  • Strong conceptualization ability, strong visual communication ability, drawing skills and sketchbook technique
  • Strong working knowledge and experience with user interface design patterns and methodologies
  • Ability to work with product managers and teams to understand detailed requirements and design UX solutions that meet needs and vision
  • Understanding of Agile; experience working directly in one or more Agile frameworks would be a plus (e.g., Scrum)
  • Ability to work efficiently and meet/exceed deadlines under pressure

Why Vendasta

Vendasta is a software company that is driving local economies. Headquartered in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, we build a platform that helps B2B companies sell digital solutions to local businesses. Through our partners around the world, we’re helping more than 650,000 local businesses thrive and succeed—and we love what we do.

Learn more about Vendasta

The post UX/UI Designer appeared first on Vendasta.


Source: Vendasta

7 Mobile-Friendly Navigation Best Practices 0

7 Mobile-Friendly Navigation Best Practices was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

It’s now 2018, and we are officially living in a mobile-first world. In fact, Google has begun the switch to a mobile-first index — which means Google will rank your website based on your mobile content, relevance and UX.

Your mobile navigation (menus and internal links) contribute to all three and must work for users and for SEO.

Good mobile navigation makes it easy for people to find what they need, without bogging down page speed or cluttering the screen. It also needs to keep PageRank flowing to the important pages that you want to rank well in search.

Site navigations historically included everything on a site in huge, multi-tiered lists. On mobile, that approach doesn’t work. It looks cluttered. It requires scrolling. And it causes your visitors to bounce away.

Make life easier for people visiting your business site on a mobile device.

Here are seven mobile-friendly navigation best practices:

  1. Keep mobile navigation short and sweet.
  2. List the most important pages first.
  3. Think of search as part of your navigation.
  4. Make your navigation intuitive.
  5. Be thoughtful about fonts and contrast.
  6. Design for touch.
  7. Design for the multi-screen mobile user.

Note: All of the mobile navigation tips mentioned in this article are equally applicable to separate mobile sites, responsive design sites, and sites that dynamically serve web pages. If you’re not sure what that means, or which mobile platform is best for you, read our Cheat Sheet for Mobile Design.

7 Mobile Navigation Best Practices for UX & SEO

1. Keep Mobile Navigation Short and Sweet

Many mobile phone screens are only 720 pixels wide in portrait mode.

Designing mobile navigation means designing for a small screen size. With limited real estate available, there’s no room for clutter. Get right to the point then cut the fat.

Ask yourself, what links need to be included to help your user complete priority tasks? What elements from the desktop navigation aren’t relevant in the mobile environment?

To save your user from decision paralysis, we recommend you limit your mobile navigation to four to eight items on the top level. Your mobile navigation menu is not the place to link to every page in your site.

To keep it short and sweet, you may even consider adding a top-of-page logo that navigates to the homepage and leaving the Home button out of your navigation all together (as on the BCI website, below).

BCI's desktop and mobile navigation

Comparison of BCI’s desktop and mobile navigation

Some mobile navigations require multi-level navigation to aid user experience. This is more common with ecommerce websites. If you must go there, keep it as simple as possible. Don’t add more than one sublevel of dropdown functionality.

If your navigation must include more items, a vertically oriented navigation activated from a menu icon is the best option.

If your mobile user’s typical needs are very limited, consider using a static navigation that runs across the top of your design, like we see on the GameStop mobile site:

GameStop mobile view icons

GameStop uses static navigation across the top of its mobile-friendly view.

A navigation that requires horizontal scrolling probably won’t be mobile-friendly. Some sites have the resources to design a sleek image-based carousel type of interface, such as what Google uses for certain search results. That might be an exception, but consider your audience.

2. List the Most Important Pages First

Your website users don’t have a lot of time — or patience. How can you help them get to the right place faster?

To design your mobile site navigation, first think about:

The answers to these questions influence not just which items go in your main menu, but also which links and calls to action you should put on each page.

You’ll want to keep your main navigation menu consistent throughout the site. It should point to the top four to eight landing pages (such as main category pages).

A short-and-sweet mobile nav is a win-win for SEO and your users. It preserves the flow of link equity to your most important pages while also helping users get around.

Once users arrive on a page, contextual links can move them to wherever makes sense. These links can be added within the body content of each page in a comfortable way.

For instance, a long blog post may have multiple sections and thousands of words. Have mercy on your mobile users — don’t make them scroll to find what may be pertinent to them. Some ideas:

  • Show a TL;DR summary at the top of a long article. If readers want more detail, they’ll scroll down.
  • Give anchor links at the top that jump a reader to the different sections below (as I did at the top of this article).
  • Include useful calls to action and links to related pages within the body copy, where they make sense.

The mobile navigation model I’m describing — a short, consistent main menu coupled with contextual links that vary per page — actually supports siloing better than the massive structured menus of old. A parent only links to its children, maintaining a clear hierarchy and intuitive flow. Internal links allow PageRank to flow to topically related pages naturally.


This mobile navigation model — a short, consistent main menu coupled with contextual links that vary per page — actually supports siloing better than a massive, multi-tiered menu.
Click To Tweet


When it comes to mobile users, quicker is always better! It will take some work for you to make each page deliver the most appropriate navigation options. But you’ll improve user experience and no doubt your ROI by giving visitors a more direct path to what they need.

While we’re on the topic of “quicker,” remember that fast mobile pages make for a better user experience. Google announced that page load speed can factor into your Google search rankings, so a streamlined navigation helps with mobile SEO.

You can test your mobile page speed with Google’s mobile speed test (or use our SEOToolSet™).

3. Think of Search as Part of Your Navigation

Mobile users look at search as navigation, and you should too.

Consider Amazon.com. On mobile, Amazon doesn’t even bother with the category dropdown (although it’s there under “Departments” if someone wants it). What’s prominent at the top of the mobile view is a simple “Search” box.

Even with its massive catalog, Amazon doesn’t expect users to navigate through menus to find what they need. Most of the time, customers just type in a product name and go directly to buy it.

Amazon search box

The Search box is Amazon’s most mobile-friendly navigation option.

On mobile, your search box is often the most direct route to what a user needs.

Set it up and make sure it works well!

4. Make your Navigation Intuitive

Your customers work hard enough; navigating your site should not be work.

To make your navigation intuitive, menu language should always be written in a way that lets the user know what to expect. It should be clear what the item does if it’s a dropdown, and exactly where it goes if it’s a link.

If you are using symbols to convey information to your users, make sure they are clear, conventional symbols. For instance, if your menu items drop down, use an intuitive symbol like a plus sign (+) or an arrow (>) to let your users know a click will reveal more options.

Another best practice example would be using a magnifying glass to indicate a search feature.

If you are using a toggle menu, use three stacked lines — the icon highlighted in the example below — to help the user locate and access your main nav.

REI mobile site menu icon

REI’s menu opens from a hamburger icon.

TIP: A hamburger-style menu icon like this often gets more clicks if it also has the word “menu” below it (according to A/B testing. If your design has room, you might test this to see if it makes your mobile site more intuitive and increases clicks/conversions.

The goal is for your mobile navigation to make life easier by limiting thinking, scrolling and clicking.

About Breadcrumbs in SERPs
It’s worth noting that since 2015, Google has displayed URLs in its mobile search results differently than it does in desktop SERPs. The change replaces a web page’s URL with a description of the page’s location in a breadcrumbs-like format. If this doesn’t scream of the importance of siloing and clear hierarchy, nothing does!

Now, rather than showing a page URL, Google’s mobile search results display a breadcrumb path beneath each title.

For example, mobile search results for “history of Google” include a Wikipedia result showing how the URL appeared in the past versus the current breadcrumb style:

Before and after URLs in Google mobile search

How Google’s mobile search result URLs have changed

TIP: You can control how your breadcrumb URLs appear if you add schema markup to the HTML on your pages. Refer to Schema.org’s breadcrumbs structured data for details and Google’s help file on breadcrumbs. (For more on this update and what it means, see our post Google’s New Mobile Breadcrumb URLs: Making the Most of Your Site Name & URL Structure.)

5. Be Thoughtful about Fonts and Contrast

Your website users shouldn’t have to zoom to read any of the text on your mobile website, including the text within your navigation.

Tiny text that requires zooming creates a bad user experience, and neither your website users nor Google or Bing like poor user experiences.

All of the text on your mobile site needs to be large enough to be read on a variety of devices without zooming. This principle needs to be a top priority that you consider as you build your mobile-friendly CSS (cascading style sheets) to control the appearance of text on various devices.

To make your navigation text easy to read, choose a font that naturally adds enough space to distinguish between letters and is tall enough to be clearly read in a menu.

Your font size and style also depend on your brand’s style guide and what fits your unique demographic. For instance, a young audience may not struggle with smaller or condensed fonts as much as an older demographic would. The way you handle formatting such as bullet styles, capitalization, margins, captioning, and so on should also reflect what’s attractive to your audience and comfortable for them to read.

Once you decide, set up your CSS and create a written style guide to keep your content consistent.

For designing the look of your mobile navigation, best practices can’t give you a one-size-fits-all recommendation. What’s important is that every word on your mobile site can be read easily without zooming. I recommend you perform user testing to see first-hand whether your font is tripping up users.

Also, make sure there’s sufficient contrast between your text and its background. WebAIM guidelines offer rules for color contrast (recommending a minimum ratio of 4.5 to 1). You can try their contrast checker tool to see how your text treatment measures up.

Google gives a few examples of what different contrast ratios look like:

Examples of text-to-background contrast ratios

Text needs contrast against the background for readability on a phone. (Per Google)

In addition, Google points out that “classic readability theory suggests that an ideal column should contain 70 to 80 characters per line (about 8 to 10 words in English). Thus, each time the width of a text block grows past about 10 words, consider adding a breakpoint.”

This tip applies to body text; consider a shorter maximum length for your menu options.

Not sure if your text is easy to read? Run your site through Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool.

6. Design for Touch

Tablet and smartphone users rely on touchscreens to get them around websites. While a pointy mouse arrow allows users to precisely select items in tight spaces, the average finger requires a larger target to press. Many users don’t hit a touchscreen exactly where they are aiming.

Google recommends building mobile pages with a minimum touch target size of 48 pixels with a properly set viewport (more on that later). And touch targets should be spaced about 32 pixels apart, both horizontally and vertically.

Mobile touch target diagram

Buttons and touch targets should be big enough to be mobile friendly. (Per Google)

Build navigation buttons with a target smaller than 40 pixels and your user experience plummets. Visitors end up sloppily navigating to the category above or below the one they want.

Don’t frustrate your users!

Since people are so bad at hitting their tap mark much of the time, it can also help to incorporate touch feedback into your navigation. Your feedback could be a color change, a blink of color, a font change or another visual cue.

Even if it’s subtle, this feedback can improve user experience by helping to reassure users that they’ve selected the right item. Take a look at the example below from Search Engine Land:

SearchEngineLand.com's color-change touch feedback

Color changes show which menu item is touched on SearchEngineLand.com.

If you are using multi-tier navigation, it’s also important that you make sure your dropdowns are activated by touch — not mouse over. Clearly, hover navigations work just fine in the desktop experience, where hovering is a possibility, but they leave mobile users stuck.

Another touch-friendly option is to design a supplementary navigation that uses images and exaggerated graphic buttons. This type of navigation can be a great homepage asset that gets your visitor headed in the right direction quickly.

Graphic buttons example

Vintage clothing site RustyZipper.com uses large graphic “button” with text labels for mobile-friendly navigation.

It’s important to note that graphic buttons like these should only be a supplemental option used alongside a toggle navigation or a static top navigation. You need to have a consistent navigation that the user can access at the top of every page.

While you may be able to include this graphic navigation at the bottom of your mobile pages, it’s not optimal or practical to use these big graphic buttons as your primary navigation. And always consider the load-time performance impact of images and buttons.

Be Careful with Popups
You also want to avoid intrusive interstitials — those popups that monopolize the screen when a visitor clicks through from a search result. In January 2017, Google rolled out an intrusive interstitial penalty for mobile search.

Per Google, “Since screen real-estate on mobile devices is limited, any interstitial negatively impacts the user’s experience.”

intrusive interstitial popup example

Example of an intrusive interstitial popup (credit: Google)

Be careful to use interactive forms and popups courteously. Some best practices for these include:

  • Apply a delay or time interval between views so you don’t annoy your visitors.
  • Reduce the amount of screen space your element covers.
  • Try a bar or box that scrolls in from the bottom or side.
  • Avoid covering the middle of the mobile screen or obstructing your navigation elements at the top.
  • Let no be no. If a user closes a form, don’t display it again within a reasonable period of time (perhaps a week later).

7. Design for the Multi-Screen Mobile User

Chances are good that interested website visitors come to your website using multiple devices over a short period of time.

To help them feel confident they’re in the right place, it’s smart to give your mobile and desktop sites a consistent visual theme.

Your mobile and desktop navigation, however, do not have to be — and sometimes should not be — identical twins.

While the colors, fonts and themes you use for your mobile and desktop navigation need to be consistent to reinforce your branding, the similarity may end there.

Your mobile navigation needs to help users navigate around your website and accomplish tasks. Consider the content your smartphone users need and the tasks they are looking to accomplish, and then build your mobile navigation specifically for a smartphone user.

  • What mobile-specific calls to action need to be built into your navigation to aid user experience?
  • Does it make sense to include a “Call” button or a store locator?
  • Can a mobile user easily find essential information like your address, directions, phone number, hours of operation, or other facts?

Remember: Space is limited, mobile needs are unique, and on-the-go patience is minimal.

Because website visitors will use a variety of devices and screen sizes, specify a viewport using the viewport meta tag.

Meta viewport mistake on mobile screens

Websites need a scalable meta viewport for correct display on smartphones.

Common mobile mistakes include having a fixed-width viewport that doesn’t scale for all devices, or assuming too wide of a viewport, which forces users on small screens to scroll horizontally.

Mobile-Friendly is Customer-Friendly

Creating a mobile-friendly navigation means creating a customer-friendly navigation that gets your personas moving in the right direction right away.

If you build an intuitive navigation that is easy to use, your website users will be headed toward conversion happiness in no time. Build a navigation that is frustrating or confusing, and they’ll be headed back to the search results and straight toward someone else’s website.

To keep your inbound visitors smiling, follow these best practices to make your mobile-friendly navigation:

✔ Short and sweet whenever possible
✔ Easy to read
✔ Task-oriented
✔ Prioritized with what’s most important listed first
✔ Accessible and placed consistently across all pages
✔ Clear, straightforward and expected
✔ Vertical if scrolling is required (never use horizontal scrolling!)
✔ Easy on the eyes
✔ Finger-friendly
✔ Fast

Be a leader — share this post with friends or colleagues who are as interested in UX as you are. For more resources like this one, subscribe to our blog.

Editor’s note: This article is based on an earlier post written by Chelsea Adams for the Bruce Clay Blog.

mobile-seo-and-design-checklist


Source: Bruce Clay

Bruce Clay’s Predictions for Digital Marketing in 2018 0

Bruce Clay’s Predictions for Digital Marketing in 2018 was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Do you remember the buzz and flurry of activity around Y2K? Possibly not, but it was a fire drill of activity to avoid disaster. This year may seem similar as things evolve rapidly in the realm of search.

For example, sites that have put off mobile readiness — thinking that most of their traffic comes from desktop, so why bother with mobile? — will find themselves in crisis this year.

Marketing teams across the board will face receding budgets as the C-suite becomes increasingly unwilling to dole out money without solid proof that it delivers results (per Gartner’s Oct. 2017 CMO survey).

As a result, I expect to see a focus on attribution tools and better data reporting as the industry scrambles to connect the dots of customer journeys and justify marketing spend.

Predictions for digital marketing in 2018 are fairly easy to make — at least compared to the last 13 years of annual prediction posts I’ve written. I am sure that most in the SEO industry who follow Google see these trends already progressing.

In a nutshell, the hot buttons SEOs know now will stay hot.

checkers move

Make the right moves this year, informed by Bruce Clay’s 2018 digital marketing predictions.

Here are my predictions for mobile first, voice search, content, linking, speed, SEO, ecommerce, machine learning, virtual reality and video, to help you make more informed decisions this year.

My Digital Marketing Predictions for 2018


Mobile First: Google’s mobile-first index will become a bigger player starting around February. I expect that there will be a significant “disturbance in the force” when companies that have rested on their brand realize that the indexed content has changed enough to disturb their rankings.

For sites that are not mobile friendly, Google may continue to index the desktop version and hold off moving it to the mobile-first index. However, I don’t expect their rankings to hold since mobile user experience is the search engine’s top priority.

I anticipate Google will roll out mobile-first faster than expected. But even the preparation for it is changing the search engine’s index — which impacts rankings.

For instance, businesses trying to speed up their sites may remove large images, eliminate non-essential content, and modify other elements including links. Just altering the navigation menu to simplify it for mobile users changes a lot. All of this fluctuating content will affect the index and (combined with other changes) potentially create a flurry of lost-traffic panic.


Sites that have put off mobile readiness — thinking that most of their traffic comes from desktop, so why bother with mobile? — will find themselves in crisis this year.
Click To Tweet



Voice Search: Right behind mobile, I predict voice search will be a major SEO focus in 2018. This is not because it impacts ecommerce so much as it impacts information and news sites.

Users will ask questions, and many sites are not well optimized to provide answers to questions. The traditional phrase-centric search will become archaic, and optimization will need to be about spoken Q&A instead of who used the keyword best.

Virtual assistants (such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant) and smart devices (such as Amazon Echo, Google Home) will continue improving their ability to interpret spoken language through machine learning. That’s a given.

But voice searches are still imprecise in many cases, and users often have to restate questions in different ways to get useful information. For example, try this:

  • Can you find your product with a voice search if you don’t mention your brand name?
  • When you do a voice search for your business or products by name, are they correctly understood or mistaken for something else?

Businesses should test voice searches and make sure their online information is sufficient to give people multiple ways to find them (by name, by type of business, by location, by specialty, etc.). In addition to all the local SEO factors, local businesses in particular need to consider how to be found for various descriptive terms through voice search while the technology is maturing.


Businesses should test voice searches and make sure their online info is sufficient to give people multiple ways to find them.
Click To Tweet



Content Focus: Content is next in line for a major 2018 emphasis, but now more of the same. The creation of intelligent content that answers people’s needs is the role of the content writer (more so than the SEO), so empowered content teams with SEO tools will dominate this area.

This will be a period of significant growth in the development of content teams with tools and training, enabling an army of writers many times larger than the SEO team to start doing SEO themselves as the content is created.

As a sidebar, I expect the usage of WordPress, which currently runs 29.3% of all websites, to multiply this year, with a massive number of sites redesigned using WordPress. There will soon be a new era of Active WordPress Plugins (AWPPs, to coin a term), which actively give guidance while you’re working in WordPress (like a digital assistant for WP). They will empower content writers to do more SEO themselves, leading to better-optimized content on WordPress sites.

This improvement will be countered by the possible late-2018 release of WP Gutenberg, a new editor interface for WordPress that’s currently in the testing phase. In my opinion, it will be difficult for Gutenberg to gain favorable recommendations for use if it takes away plugin-derived revenue from the web design and hosting companies.


Linking: Links have always been a headache for Google — they empower the search results, but they are also heavily spammed.

As good as the Penguin filter is, which has been running within Google’s core algorithm for over a year now, we see that unnatural links still work way too often in the search results. There’s room for improvement.


Unnatural links still work way too often in the search results. There’s room for improvement.
Click To Tweet


I predict Google will issue a major update to the algorithm sections that deal with links to better filter spammy, off-topic links.

Search engines will also be adjusting to a diminished number of links from and within mobile sites (due to sites becoming more efficient for mobile, as discussed under Mobile-First, above) as well as other undisclosed mobile-first algorithmic factors. I predict Google will examine the speed and popularity of the linking page to determine the probability of the link’s being seen and clicked. Eliminating any link unlikely to be clicked because of poor performance will become critical as the link patterns are reviewed. All of this certainly should change how we acquire links in 2018.


Speed: Another factor for digital marketing in 2018 will be the increased adoption of Progressive Web App (PWA) technology to achieve faster site speed. Both app and website developers will embrace this hybrid approach that is easier to maintain and promote while delivering impressive speed for users. There’s a lot of resources out there for details on PWAs; this
recent post by Cindy Krum is one of my favorites.

Coupled with a rise in PWA usage will be a diminishing regard for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), certainly wherever bandwidth is acceptable. If pages are fast enough and fully responsive, then AMP is not needed (a point Google’s Gary Illyes made during a keynote in June).

By the holiday season a year from now, I predict AMP will be a non-issue for most websites. The AMP project was all about speed anyhow, and as internet speed in general increases, the need for AMP will diminish — even if, as Google has promised, the odious problem of masking the publisher’s URL in search results gets fixed in the second half of the year.


Coupled with a rise in PWA usage will be a diminishing regard for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Click To Tweet


I expect speed to be seen as a cloud issue this year, as well.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and similar cloud-based platforms will expand. Meanwhile, Content Delivery Network (CDN) usage will decrease. Serving up a website’s static resources from the cloud provides greater speed and efficiency than doing it from nodes, as CDNs do, except for sites with a significant quantity of large files (such as high resolution images). CDNs are certainly becoming less important, and by year end, CDNs will be seldom used. While CDNs solved a significant conversion issue in the past, with higher speed networks and server technology changes, they will be unnecessary by the end of the year.


SEO: So what about traditional technical SEO?

It continues and actually becomes more important. As easy links stop working, companies will increasingly turn to other parts of the algorithms — specifically content as well as on-page structure, navigation, internal linking and better compliance with SEO practices.

Building a site’s expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T) will dominate this focus and become more critical across the board. The winning companies will be the ones with the best trained staff already working on an SEO-aligned content-based strategy aggressively. Between equally helpful content, the tie-breaker will be E-A-T, and we’ll see fewer sites ranking without it. This is likely to benefit established brands in the rankings.

As cited above, there will be considerable activity impacting the content in the Google index. A great amount of the algorithm is based upon the index’s having a reasonably large and steady population of content pages. The advent of the mobile-first index, query changes towards questions, a massive SEO content change (in kinds, volume and number of competitors), the diminishing access to links both internally and inbound (backlinks), and other easily identified factors all add up to a massive index change this year — and that will destabilize rankings.


Factors all add up to a massive index change this year — and that will destabilize rankings.
Click To Tweet



Ecommerce: Google will step up as a major competitor in ecommerce this year. Google’s ecommerce site Express.Google.com has a network of manufacturers and resellers already in place. I believe it is poised to rival Amazon.

I order a lot of products online, and I think there is room for a second major service. Consider that as Amazon gains usage, people are going straight to Amazon.com. That threatens Google’s search business.


Machine Learning: Due to machine learning, Google’s ability to figure out what the user wants is advancing at lightning speed.

As Google’s algorithm learns to map user intent to each search query more and more accurately, sites must match that intent in order to rank.

Consider this – as Google figures out that a query requires purely information, your ecommerce site will lose rankings for that keyword. Sites that used to perform well for head terms need to pay attention to what is being ranked and forget what used to rank, including themselves. Getting an ecommerce site to rank for an information keyword is much harder now.

As a result of Google’s machine learning, rankings lost may be next to impossible to regain. In a competitive keyword field, the profile of the website silo (associated themed pages), and not just the ranking page, must match user intent.


As a result of Google’s machine learning, rankings lost may be next to impossible to regain.
Click To Tweet


I’ll give a personal illustration. Google recently upended its search rankings for the query [search engine optimization]. This query is popular with do it yourself (DIY)-minded searchers, rather than people looking to consume SEO services. The algorithm detected this in 2017 and rapidly shifted rankings to favor news and information sites, not just the most in-depth answer to the query. As a result, our SEO Tutorial hub page fell from the middle of Page 1 to #15 in just a few months for this specific query.

Marketers will need to take user-intent cues from Google by watching what results are shown as the SERPs fluctuate this year. Doing so will help you avoid futile keyword targets and find new search queries to optimize for in order to match your site content to the right user intent.


VR: Virtual reality (VR) and especially EEG controls will continue to grow throughout 2018. The technology enables remote conversations to feel like everyone’s in the same room.

Beyond chat rooms (e.g., Facebook’s experimenting with a VR hangout app), imagine business meetings leveraging VR to pull remote workers together in one place. Conversations and examples would jump to life better; collaboration could be virtually face-to-face, all without travel expenses. It will be the business applications that monetize VR and propel it forward, so watch for opportunities there. We are considering it for our classroom SEO Training course.


Video: It’s about time for Google to seriously leverage the revenue opportunity of YouTube (which it owns). I expect to see many more video results co-mingled with organic listings this year.


I expect to see many more video results co-mingled with organic listings this year.
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Video production for marketing purposes will grow exponentially. Video has been expanding as a marketing tool for years now, ever since Google first started blending results in Universal Search.

But companies in every niche are now investing in video production at record levels. A mid-2017 HubSpot survey found that the top two content distribution channels that respondents planned to add during the next year were both for video: YouTube and Facebook Video. We’re considering this as an option for our training materials, too.

Last thoughts as we launch into 2018

Bruce Clay, PresidentGoogle is in the business of making money, and they are banking on/assuming that search advertising is primarily how that happens. On a mobile device, that could mean less exposure for organic results. I expect PPC to be taking budget from SEO when this occurs.

As for how marketing is going to do in a year of shrinking budgets, that is a tough situation. Digital marketing is getting more complex, and ROI is still difficult to measure. Social media is a big cause of the current wariness, since companies have tired of throwing money across various social sites without seeing tangible results. The attribution problem is still not solved, and companies will require more proof that marketing is working.

If results can be measured, then digital marketing will get more buy-in and more investment.

That is enough new for now. If you would like a hand with your digital marketing strategy for 2018, let’s talk.

If you like this post, please share it with your friends or colleagues. For more like this, subscribe to our blog.



Source: Bruce Clay

Sales Analyst 0

Sales Analyst

Distribution, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Description

Sales analysts are responsible for the collection and analysis of sales data. They do this in order to increase sales productivity and customer satisfaction as well as reduce sales barriers and low revenue levels. They create standardized and customized reports that analyze everything from quantitative data to sales funnel flows to future needs forecasts.

They will report directly to the individuals prioritizing their work (Director of Partner Success as well as the CRO and Sr. Dir. of Revenue). You will leverage the interdepartmental analyst group to review, develop and share information and analyses. You will contribute to all steps of the data analysis process including hypothesis generation, exploring and cleaning data, modeling, interpreting, communicating results and measuring the implementation.

 

Responsibilities

  • Respond to ad hoc requests from various stakeholders
  • Build, maintain & monitor internal dashboards
  • Work closely with our Sales Enablement team to to understand our metrics and processes and see where they can be optimized, improved, and automated.
  • Team member will need to assist in current Sales Administration tasks with goal of understanding where improvements can be made to streamline
  • Provide promptly reports weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly on team metrics and KPIs
  • Discover, learn, develop and teach new techniques & methodologies
  • Help prioritize tasks based on business value and urgency
  • Develop and foster a working relationship with other analysts, sales, marketing, and executive.
  • Follow Vendasta’s analysis workflow
  • Hypothesis Generation: Work with stakeholders to refine and transform questions into hypotheses
  • Exploratory Data Analysis: Gather, clean, and explore large data sets
  • Model Building: Create a visual and/or mathematical representation of the real world
  • Interpret Results: Understand the conclusions that can be reached and know the implications
  • Communicate Results: Deliver findings to stakeholders
  • Follow-up: Ensure that the data was effectively implemented and measure results

 

Skills & Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree; Business and/or Computer Science focus preferred.
  • Experience in a sales or sales support role preferred.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks effectively.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment.
  • Adept at project management and cross-functional collaboration.
  • Creative and strategic thinker.
  • Strong statistical knowledge
  • Competent in cleaning and formatting data
  • Proven ability to analyze and model data
  • Experience with user & SaaS Analytics desired, but not mandatory.
  • Familiarity with databases and various querying techniques (SQL, NoSQL, API) is an asset

Why Vendasta

Vendasta is a software company that believes in local, and is driving local economies. Located downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, we build a online platform that helps B2B companies sell digital solutions to local businesses. Through our partners around the world, we’re helping more than 650,000 local businesses thrive and succeed—and we love what we do.

Learn more about Vendasta

The post Sales Analyst appeared first on Vendasta.


Source: Vendasta

Technical Product Manager 0

Technical Product Manager

Marketplace, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Description

Do you want to help shape the future of Marketplace? www.vendasta.com/marketplace
Through familiarity with open APIs, portals, 3rd Party vendors, fulfillment, webhooks, SSO, payment gateways and other methods of integration, you will continue to innovate our open Marketplace to engage current and new Vendors. With new methods of integrating Vendors, enable our Partners to engage with compelling products and services by the most trusted and engaged Vendors in the industry.
As a Product Manager, you will guide the strategy and execution of the vendor-enabling UI/UX, flows and experience within the Marketplace. You will build features and products from existing ideas, and help to deliver new innovation based iterative experiments/releases through your contact with stakeholders, customers, and prospects. We’re looking for a pace setter with a blend of business and technical savvy; a big-picture vision, and the drive to make that vision a reality. You should enjoy spending time with internal teams, users, and potentially in the market to understand their problems, and find innovative solutions for the broader ecosystem.

You’ll represent the Vendor development side of the Marketplace and must be able to communicate and engage all areas of the company. Working alongside the development teams to define, and with the Product Owner to refine product release requirements. You will work with a product marketing specialist to define the go-to-market strategy, helping them understand the product vision, go-to-market, target customer and competitive landscape. You will also serve as the subject matter expert and internal and external evangelist for your product and platform offering, occasionally working with the sales channel and key customers
Reports to the Product Manager/Owner for Marketplace.

Role & Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to gather key insights, including but not limited to Partners, users, Sales, Success, Support, Digital Agency, and the Executive
  • Conduct business and technical strategy, working closely with R&D and tech leads
  • Define the problem and scope for a given epic, and present backlog items and key milestones to make up product roadmap
  • Facilitate backlog refinement sessions (PBR) with development teams and stakeholders
  • Write and edit backlog items in our issue tracking software
  • Deeply understands and clearly communicates the business value
  • Develop key user goals and funnels to define metrics of success
  • Work with development teams to ensure software is built according to the
    acceptance criteria defined in the backlog item
  • Design, develop, and manage project plans in a complex, dynamic environment

 

Skills & Qualifications

  • Able to make a confident recommendation based on data, customer insight and ongoing stakeholder engagement, sometimes under tight deadlines
  • Exceptional problem solving skills, ensuring trade-offs or alternatives are offered as opposed to (just) bad news
  • Possesses strong leadership traits as outlined in Vendasta’s Leadership Principles and motivates a team to be creative about finding a solution
  • Software/product management experience

Why Vendasta

Vendasta is a software company that believes in local, and is driving local economies. Located downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, we build a online platform that helps B2B companies sell digital solutions to local businesses. Through our partners around the world, we’re helping more than 650,000 local businesses thrive and succeed—and we love what we do.

Learn more about Vendasta

The post Technical Product Manager appeared first on Vendasta.


Source: Vendasta