smarter marketing is achieved when creative ideas and powerful web technology collide to produce the most engaging customer experience
404 Error Pages: Best Practices

404 Error Pages: Best Practices


by Logan Ray | March  08, 2016


Ya know what grinds my gears?! When I click a link (internal or external) and I get one of these: You know what I do? Leave. And so do 99.9999% of everyone else that hits an error like this. So how do you avoid this? Add a custom 404 page using these best practices: Your [...] read more »

Web Marketing
Two Reasons for Missing Transactions in Google Analytics

Two Reasons for Missing Transactions in Google Analytics


by Ashley Agee | March  03, 2016


How closely have you looked at your transaction data in Google Analytics? Have you seen where sometimes there are missing transactions in GA? Here is an example of what I mean:   Notice, in this example transaction numbers that are missing are: W000051, W000050, W000043. Can you guess why they might be missing? Alright don’t [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Google’s New SERP Layout: How It Affects You

Google’s New SERP Layout: How It Affects You


by Jordan Burleson | March  01, 2016


What Happened With The SERPS? Starting February 18th, Google issued a worldwide roll-out of a ad placement format: 4 paid ads will now display on top of desktop SERPs (search engine results pages), instead of the usual 3. In addition, they are also removing paid ads on the right-hand side of SERPs with the bottom of the [...] read more »

Beacon Alerts
Veeam Backup and Replication: Configuring custom synthetic full backups schedule instead of just default Monday-Sunday

Veeam Backup and Replication: Configuring custom synthetic full backups schedule instead of just default Monday-Sunday


by Mike Ratcliffe | February  29, 2016


When backing up large VMs and keeping a high number of restore points with Forever Incremental it is important to have the occasional full backup to minimize the time it takes to restore data. For the sake of speed, Synthetic full backups are the obvious choice. Unfortunately the Veeam Backup and Replication UI only allows [...] read more »

System Administration
Build A Mega Menu Like Amazon

Build A Mega Menu Like Amazon


by Zedric Myers | February  17, 2016


This is a great code set if you want to create a mega menu with a hover method. This AIM script adds in code that senses if you enter another top navigation link without meaning to do so and keeping the mega menu you’re on without losing it. It requires Javascript, but well worth it [...] read more »

Web Development
How to Identify Stolen Content and Take Action!

How to Identify Stolen Content and Take Action!


by Jordan Lowry | February  09, 2016


Imagine that you and your staff have spent countless hours creating engaging content for your website, only to discover that much of it has been stolen and repurposed by others – without your consent. The appearance of duplicate content could adversely affect your website search rankings, making it more difficult for prospective students, alumni and [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
3 reasons to give Microsoft’s newest browser more than just a second look…

3 reasons to give Microsoft’s newest browser more than just a second look…


by Jason Canter | February  03, 2016


If you’re one of the many people that’s already made the switch to Windows 10, you’ve probably already gotten over your initial curiosity of Microsoft’s newest operating system. You might have even double clicked on the iconic blue E, surfed the web for a bit and then went back to your browser of choice. But [...] read more »

Web Development
How to find Bot traffic and segment it out in Google Analytics

How to find Bot traffic and segment it out in Google Analytics


by Ashley Agee | February  01, 2016


Recently, I had a client come to me with this question (and mind you, we don’t manage Google Analytics for them. They were consulting with us on this problem): “My traffic for Q1 has grown 86% YOY but they are not buying on my site. Is there something wrong?”  My first thought: 86% – Whoa! – [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Beacon employee (and her dog) light up web

Beacon employee (and her dog) light up web


by Mark Dirks | January  28, 2016


Gotta share this amazing story. In our “work life”, we know our colleagues mostly by their talents in the office from 9-5.  But, on the 5-9 flipside, there’s a world of other talents, interests and activities.  I love it when people step up to a challenge, or opportunity, and take action.  I call it “walking [...] read more »

Beacon Team
Hand Over Your Browser. You’ve been Scroll-Jacked!

Hand Over Your Browser. You’ve been Scroll-Jacked!


by AJ Pope | January  25, 2016


New websites are all about upgrading your look and having the smoothest, most intuitive experience possible for your users. Would you ever think to yourself, “What can I possibly do to massacre my User Experience and make my site frustrating to navigate?” No? Surprisingly, many sites are still doing that in a design trend that [...] read more »

Web Development
How to Set up a Custom Report for eComm Conversion Rate per User

How to Set up a Custom Report for eComm Conversion Rate per User


by Ashley Agee | January  20, 2016


I love analytics and all the information that can be extracted from the data. I happen to work with quite a few ecommerce clients and we are always looking for ways to improve online revenue. Each month we comb through the data and most of the time are always concentrating on revenue and eCommerce conversion [...] read more »

Google Analytics
RankBrain in 2016

RankBrain in 2016


by Jeff Pickle | January  18, 2016


Google has used word frequency, word distance, and world knowledge based on co-occurrences to connect the many relations between words to serve up answers to search queries. But now, due to the recent breakthroughs in language translation and image recognition, Google has turned to powerful neural networks that have the ability to connect the best [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
New & Notable in Digital Marketing: December 2015

New & Notable in Digital Marketing: December 2015


by Andrea Cole | January  14, 2016


With the holidays past and a fresh, new year upon us let’s reflect on the happenings in digital marketing that were important but may have squeaked by us amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Here’s your monthly dose of what was new and notable in digital marketing this past December. SEO Google [...] read more »

Web Marketing
What’s New in Web Design for 2016?

What’s New in Web Design for 2016?


by Alan Horwatt | January  12, 2016


As we plunge into 2016, many designers and developers are excited to see what innovative ideas will arise. It is up to us to deliver fresh and atypical ideas which provide a foundation for the progressive nature of our industry. Many are looking ahead and predicting different trends we may see in 2016. Some of [...] read more »

Web Development
2015 Flew By and Beacon was Having Fun!

2015 Flew By and Beacon was Having Fun!


by Mark Dirks | January  12, 2016


Was 2015 shorter than normal?  Time flies and yes, we were having fun! What a year!  We traveled around the U.S. to many new client locations, trade shows, speaking engagements and conferences.  We worked hard to meet deadlines and budgets.  We were there for our customers when they needed us.  We delivered results and quality [...] read more »

Beacon News
Google Analytics for Higher Ed – Audience Segmentation

Google Analytics for Higher Ed – Audience Segmentation


by Gus Kroustalis | January  05, 2016


Higher education websites face a difficult challenge that websites in many other industries do not have to endure: Catering to a handful of audiences with one website. The typical list of audiences that frequent a university or college website includes: Prospective Students: The most critical audience for higher education websites, especially considering the impact of [...] read more »

Higher Education
Top 15 Beacon Blog Posts of 2015

Top 15 Beacon Blog Posts of 2015


by Beacon News | December  31, 2015


It’s the last day of 2015!  What a year… and what a great collection of informative blog posts from the Beacon staff!  In case you missed them, here are all the top-rated posts from 2015.  Congrats to our Top 15 authors! Happy New Year and Happy Reading from Beacon! The Top 15 Blog Posts Of 2015 [...] read more »

Beacon News
Have a Holly, Jolly Website!

Have a Holly, Jolly Website!


by Mark Dirks | December  17, 2015


Check out this year’s jingle and Happy Holidays from the entire Beacon Team!  I hope you enjoy the season with family and friends.    

Beacon News
New & Notable in Digital Marketing: November 2015

New & Notable in Digital Marketing: November 2015


by Andrea Cole | December  10, 2015


Happy Holidays! November 2015 was chock full of interesting and important updates in the land of SEO and PPC. Here’s your monthly dose of what was new and notable in digital marketing this past November 2015. SEO Next Google algorithm update for links (Penguin v 4.0) should happen by the end of the year. This algo [...] read more »

Web Marketing
Input Field Placeholder HTML5 Attribute

Input Field Placeholder HTML5 Attribute


by Zedric Myers | December  09, 2015


Input Field Placeholder HTML5 Attribute There are a few ways to create a placeholder for an input field or setup a hint method. One method is to use javascript for a more controlled experience and fallback for older browsers. However, if the user doesn’t for any reason have javascript activated, they can use the HTML [...] read more »

Web Development
How-To: Robots.txt Disaster Prevention

How-To: Robots.txt Disaster Prevention


by Logan Ray | December  01, 2015


It’s any SEO‘s worst nightmare. The Production robots file got overwritten with the Test version. Now all your pages have been ‘disallowed’ and are dropping out of the index. And to make it worse, you didn’t notice it immediately, because how would you? Wouldn’t it be great if you could prevent robots.txt file disasters? Or  [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
It’s Thanksgiving! “Never Delay Gratitude”

It’s Thanksgiving! “Never Delay Gratitude”


by Mark Dirks | November  23, 2015


Several years ago, I had the privilege of taking my son, Ryan, to Wake Forest’s Father-Son basketball camp.  Now that he is older, in college, and no longer a part of my day-to-day life, I become more and more thankful to have had those 2 days with him, “one on one”, so to speak.  The [...] read more »

Beacon News
How to Craft a Social Media Content Strategy

How to Craft a Social Media Content Strategy


by Jordan Lowry | November  19, 2015


  It is true that social media can be beneficial to a business, but it can also cause a migraine at the same time. If not implemented properly it can damage your business’ reputation or become a waste of time. Here are some important steps to keep in mind when developing a social media content [...] read more »

Social Media Marketing
Securing Your Business through Data Destruction

Securing Your Business through Data Destruction


by Cody Earp | November  17, 2015


Your computer is at the end of its illustrious life and it is time to get a newer, more powerful, model.  But what are you going to do with your old one.  Give it to charity?  Sell it to get some final value out of it?  Just dump it in the dumpster out back?  Not [...] read more »

Beacon ITS
Why You Need Bing Paid Search Marketing

Why You Need Bing Paid Search Marketing


by Amy Mason | November  13, 2015


Google may be king of the mountain for paid search marketing; but Bing is building it’s empire to challenge Google. Have you considered advertising on Bing Ads? If you haven’t, you should. According to comScore, Bing’s desktop search market share is over 20%, or one in five searches. In addition to this benchmark, currently Bing’s [...] read more »

Web Marketing
Aggressive Timelines – The Cohesion of Web Design, Web Development, and Testing

Aggressive Timelines – The Cohesion of Web Design, Web Development, and Testing


by Darin Humbard | November  09, 2015


Where do you start on the importance of the synergy between design, development, and testing when faced with an aggressive timeline when their importance has been written about for years? A good place to start is to discuss the real life impacts of testing on E-Commerce and site redesign projects. Beacon recently completed an e-commerce [...] read more »

Web Development
Top Reasons You May Need a Managed Service Partner (MSP)

Top Reasons You May Need a Managed Service Partner (MSP)


by John Scaramuzzo | November  05, 2015


We understand and know that managing technology and users is an everyday task. However, for many business owners, managing the IT infrastructure that keeps their business running can be a very complex and intimidating undertaking. This is when partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be extremely beneficial as they can focus on managing [...] read more »

Beacon ITS
Beacon Supports Kids Path

Beacon Supports Kids Path


by Emily Ledbetter | November  01, 2015


Earlier this month, Jordan Burleson and Emily Ledbetter delivered a donation from Beacon to Kids Path, a program of Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro.  Beacon raised funds for Kids Path through our hole sponsorship at the 2015 North Carolina Technology Association Golf Tournament. Tournament participants were able to take part in our longest drive [...] read more »

Beacon News
Google and Its Book Scanning Initiative – Trick or Treat?

Google and Its Book Scanning Initiative – Trick or Treat?


by Richard Rossi | October  29, 2015


This Halloween, Google has toilet papered your entire yard and the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals just rang the doorbell, left a flaming bag of you-know what on your doorstep and ran like a bat outta’ Hell. Who are you? You’re an author with a career worth of product, mostly published offline through traditional [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
How to Get Started with Social Media and Win Followers

How to Get Started with Social Media and Win Followers


by Jordan Lowry | October  21, 2015


How to Get Started with Social Media and Win Followers  Social Media can be a valuable tool to connect with customers and develop brand awareness along with relationships. Unfortunately, it can at times be a difficult and daunting task that can very easily become overwhelming. Thanks to the ever-growing list of social media platforms, it [...] read more »

Social Media Marketing
How to Properly Handle Pagination for SEO [Free Tool Included]

How to Properly Handle Pagination for SEO [Free Tool Included]


by Logan Ray | October  18, 2015


Let’s start out by defining what I mean by ‘pagination’. This mostly applies to ecommerce sites where there are multiple pages of products in a given category, but it can occasionally be seen on lead-gen sites as well. Here’s an example of what this might look like: http://www.freakerusa.com/collections/all http://www.freakerusa.com/collections/all?page=1 http://www.freakerusa.com/collections/all?page=2 http://www.freakerusa.com/collections/all?page=3 http://www.freakerusa.com/collections/all?page=4 (pages 3 & [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
Avoiding Duplicate Content – Get the Most From Your SEO Efforts

Avoiding Duplicate Content – Get the Most From Your SEO Efforts


by Richard Rossi | October  14, 2015


The Panda algorithm is just another example of Google’s effort to identify “thin” content and enhance the user experience. To clarify, the actual quality of the copy is secondary. The objective is to add content that is of value to the user. Quality of copy and value of content can mean two very different things. [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
Should I Use Canonicals or 301 Redirects?

Should I Use Canonicals or 301 Redirects?


by Logan Ray | October  08, 2015


Should you 301 redirect that page to another, or should you use a rel=canonical tag? There are tons of reason why you might have some redundancy on your site. If it’s an eCommerce site, you’re probably displaying product listing pages a few different ways (sort by price, color, rating, etc.), or you might have navigation [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
Triple Constraint – Customer Satisfaction within Scope, Budget, Time

Triple Constraint – Customer Satisfaction within Scope, Budget, Time


by Deb Paylor | September  30, 2015


The triple constraint in Project Management refers to the scope, timeline, and budget of a project. Change one and you impact the others. But where does customer satisfaction fit into that triangle? Without it, can a project be considered a success? Here are 7 ways to satisfy your customer while staying within budget, within scope, [...] read more »

Web Development
Case Study: International Furniture Company Leverages Pinterest to Increase ROI

Case Study: International Furniture Company Leverages Pinterest to Increase ROI


by Logan Ray | September  24, 2015


Generating Web Traffic and Revenue through New Social Bookmarking Platform, Pinterest. Challenge: Along with companies investing in more traditional web marketing activities like SEO, PPC and conversion optimization, Social Media has become a major component to the overall marketing strategy . Beacon Technologies began social media efforts for an International Furniture Retailer in early 2010. As new [...] read more »

Case Studies
CSS Box Sizing

CSS Box Sizing


by Zedric Myers | September  22, 2015


If you want to create a great HTML frame structure or a simple CSS box without worrying about padding and margin percentages for responsive sites, this CSS snippet does the trick. This is an example snippet: .div-example { border: 1px solid #000; box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; height: auto; padding: 20px; width: 50%; } W3schools also goes into [...] read more »

Mobile / Responsive Design
Style Guides for Web Design and Development

Style Guides for Web Design and Development


by Keana Lynch | September  17, 2015


Developers, designers and web administrators are always looking for ways to improve how they manage the look, feel and complexity when building a web site. This can be difficult when we have multiple team members or new members involved in ongoing projects. So how can we help maintain global branding and development patterns for sites [...] read more »

Cascade Server
How to Track Adwords Sitelink Extensions

How to Track Adwords Sitelink Extensions


by Ashley Agee | September  14, 2015


Do you use sitelink extensions in your Google Adwords Account? If so, how do you track how they are doing in Google Analytics? Did you know they are not automatically tagged like ads are and therefore in order to see their performance in GA, you have to do a couple things different with them? Here are the [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Case Study: Online Retailer Increases Brand Visibility by Utilizing Visually Stunning Info-Graphics

Case Study: Online Retailer Increases Brand Visibility by Utilizing Visually Stunning Info-Graphics


by Logan Ray | September  08, 2015


Beacon’s Digital Marketing and Design Departments Pair Up to Boost a Client’s Back Link Profile and Improve Their Social Media Engagement Levels. Challenge: Our client, a healthcare product online retailer, was seeing an erosion of their back link portfolio. They were losing links to their site through attrition as normally is the case with any website. However, they [...] read more »

Case Studies
Google Analytics Goal Conversion and eCommerce Transaction Counting

Google Analytics Goal Conversion and eCommerce Transaction Counting


by Gus Kroustalis | September  08, 2015


Did you know that goal conversions and eCommerce transactions are counted differently in Google Analytics? Goal Conversions Each Google Analytics goal conversion will count a maximum of one time per user per session. While the All Pages report may show three pageviews of the goal URL by the same user, there will only be one [...] read more »

Web Development
Maintaining Data Integrity in CRM Systems

Maintaining Data Integrity in CRM Systems


by Sheryl Wardman | September  02, 2015


CRM Systems are dependent on data integrity.   There’s truth to the proverbial ‘garbage in, garbage out’.  Data becomes stale, incomplete or inaccurate and the CRM system loses its value.  With leads uploaded into the system and multiple parties working within the CRM system, it’s a constant challenge to maintain the data quality and accuracy. So how [...] read more »

Web Development
Case Study: Online Ecommerce Site Doubles Lead Capture and Conversion Rate

Case Study: Online Ecommerce Site Doubles Lead Capture and Conversion Rate


by Logan Ray | August  27, 2015


Looking for an Effective Strategy to Capture Leads, An Online Retailer of Niche Products Looks to Beacon to Generate New Business Opportunities. Challenge: Our client, a healthcare product online retailer, was seeing an erosion of their back link portfolio. They were losing links to their site through attrition as normally is the case with any website. However, they were [...] read more »

Case Studies
A Man Wrote Content To Get Clicks…What Google Did Next Will Blow Your Mind

A Man Wrote Content To Get Clicks…What Google Did Next Will Blow Your Mind


by Jordan Burleson | August  24, 2015


I’m sure by now most of you have seen, clicked, heard about and even hidden clickbait articles from your social feeds, emails and search results. The prevalence of articles that use emotion, sex, animals, quizzes and worst of all, tragedy, to get clicks has prompted search engines and social networks to crack down and even [...] read more »

Search Engine Optimization
301 Redirects and UTM Parameters

301 Redirects and UTM Parameters


by Logan Ray | August  19, 2015


If you’re a web developer, webmaster, or digital marketer, chances are pretty good that you’ve been involved in 301 redirects at one point or another. Whether it’s another domain you’ve purchased, a dead page, or products being removed from your eCommerce site, there are plenty of reasons to implement a 301. Users still get where [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Smart Stuff – The Internet Of Things

Smart Stuff – The Internet Of Things


by Gary Synan | August  17, 2015


An  internet revolution is almost upon us and like many technological breakthroughs, it has already begun without much fanfare and is more of a curiosity and novelty than life changing. But before you know it, the avalanche of change  will alter the way we live.  This new paradigm is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) or [...] read more »

Web Development