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Pure CSS Masonry Layout

by Zedric Myers | November  16, 2016

If you need a really simple Masonry layout for your website, than this is easy as it gets without jQuery. This below code is slightly modified from the original to work for some cross browser support and responsive layout. This allows your content that don’t line up exactly to fill the empty spaces and wrap [...] read more »

Web Development
A Great Time at HighEdWeb 2016

by Gus Kroustalis | October  25, 2016

Earlier this month I joined a couple of my Beacon colleagues at HighEdWeb 2016 in Memphis, TN. They told me many times leading up to it that HighEdWeb is a great conference. Having experienced the conference for the first time now, I wholeheartedly agree. Good morning, Memphis! Looking forward to #heweb16. About to start off [...] read more »

Beacon News
How to Zero In On The Consumer Purchase Funnel

by Jordan Lowry | October  24, 2016

Search Engine Optimization is tricky and to make it harder consumers are constantly in various stages of the buying process. Fortunately, we can craft content to appeal to searchers at various stages of the customer buying cycle. By digging into the consumer journey and considering searcher intent within the funnel we can tailor our content [...] read more »

SEO
Google Analytics Most Underused Report – Network Visits

by Ashley Agee | October  19, 2016

Assuming your familiar with Google Analytics, then you know that GA has many valuable reports and lots of great information related to your website. At the basic level you can get sessions, pageviews, bounce rates and more. With advanced tracking you can get engagement metrics, goal conversions, offline data and more. However, did you know [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Subdomain Tracking for Higher Education Websites- Universal Analytics

by Liz Pagano | October  11, 2016

One of the most common issues we see with Higher Education websites is incomplete tracking across all subdomains. Because colleges and universities often have different departments or interest groups run by different decision-makers, it is incredibly common to see multiple subdomains created to cater to these individual topics; think: athletics.myuniversity.edu, or admissions.myuniversity.edu. More often than [...] read more »

Higher Education
How to Avoid Common Pitfalls During a Redesign

by Gus Kroustalis | October  10, 2016

When redesigning a website the focus tends to be centered on overhauling the aesthetic appearance. The goal tends to revolve around developing a modern-day look that delivers great user experience, and rightly so. However, while working with colleges and universities throughout the country, we have found that many client-defined project scopes routinely overlook important steps [...] read more »

Higher Education
Gary Synan Retires!

by Mark Dirks | September  29, 2016

Today is Gary Synan’s last day at Beacon. Retirement and the beach have wooed him away after 12 years of dedicated service with my company. It’s bittersweet. He has played an important role as a web application developer, serving hundreds of Beacon’s clients over the years, but especially with the many Bassett Furniture projects. His technical [...] read more »

Beacon News
Wow! Lees McRae College Launches New Website

by Mark Dirks | September  28, 2016

We are proud to announce the launch of the new Lees McRae College website.  The college is truly brought to life through the new highly visual design and unique features that are inviting and engaging to students, parents, faculty and alumni, especially when you compare it to the old site (see below).  While emphasizing Lees McRae’s [...] read more »

Cascade CMS
HTML5 and Javascript Charts

by Zedric Myers | September  23, 2016

If you need a nice chart for your website for things such as charity drives or school donations, these are some great resources. Some are easy to install and some require knowledge of javascript. CanvasJS Chart Types – Includes many chart types and covers all most any time of chart you could need. Chart.js – [...] read more »

Cascade CMS
How To Create Remarketing Campaigns That Work

by Jordan Burleson | September  13, 2016

Whether you’re looking to drive sales, increase registrations, bolster applications, or promote awareness of your brand, remarketing can be an extremely effective component of your marketing strategy. Remarketing lets you show ads to people who’ve visited your website before or who have interacted with your site using their email. When people leave your website without taking [...] read more »

PPC
Dig Deeper into your Data with Advanced Segments

by Ashley Agee | September  01, 2016

I love Google Analytics. I love that you’re able to easily dig deep into data to discover hidden secrets about your website that might not be obvious with the basic reports in GA. In order to do this deeper analysis, you’ve got to use advanced segments. It can be scary at first for the average [...] read more »

Google Analytics
How To Use Annotations in Google Analytics

by Liz Pagano | August  23, 2016

Picture this: you’re checking out your website data in Google Analytics, and decide to look at your monthly traffic year-over-year. You see a huge spike in traffic on a single day last year, but you aren’t quite sure what caused it. Were you running a special that day? Perhaps a new TV commercial aired? Or [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Benefits of Upgrading to Universal Analytics

by Gus Kroustalis | August  19, 2016

Yes, Google Analytics announced their Universal version way back in 2012. It made sense to hold off on upgrading back then so that many eventual bugs could be worked through. I occasionally come across websites that have yet to upgrade. If your website is still using the Async version, it is time to upgrade to [...] read more »

Google Analytics
How To Convert Standard Text Ads To Expanded Text Ads In Google Adwords

by Jordan Burleson | August  16, 2016

Expanded Text Ads Are Available Now The way users search for products, brands and services online have changed. Businesses can no longer avoid or ignore the shift to searching on mobile devices. Because of this Google and Google AdWords have rolled out both responsive ads and expanded text ads across their advertising platform. Earlier in [...] read more »

PPC
eCommerce Analysis: Using Google Analytics to Identify Your Whales and Minnows

by Logan Ray | August  12, 2016

If you manage an eCommerce site, you probably spend a lot of time in Google Analytics. There’s a ton of great metrics and reports to check out, like mutli-channel attribution, average order values by channel, eComm conversion rates, and so on. You’ve probably even segmented data by demographic, device type, or geography. All of this [...] read more »

Ecommerce
Multiple Department Higher Ed Analytics Setup

by Gus Kroustalis | August  05, 2016

Are you a Higher Education institution who is concerned about: What visitors are doing/looking for on your site? Looking at analytics by a department and/or field of study? Having multiple stakeholders view Analytics for one or more departments ONLY? How to better organize your Google Analytics account? If you answered yes to one or all [...] read more »

Higher Education
Here’s How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Search Results Appearance

by Logan Ray | July  25, 2016

It’s not everyday that the SEO world catches a break from Google, but they’ve recently connected two of their greatest resources for us. You may have noticed a new tool in the  Acquisition section of your Google Analytics reporting – the Search Console Beta. This report closes the gap between Search Console and Google Analytics, [...] read more »

SEO
Higher Ed SEO Tips to Power Up Online Visibility

by Jordan Lowry | June  17, 2016

Higher education institutions are beginning to realize the true value of SEO. Unfortunately, the SEO landscape is volatile and ever changing. However, there are some best practices which have been fairly consistent over the last couple of years. We believe that these best practices will continue to be relevant throughout 2016 and work to improve [...] read more »

Higher Education
IE Edge CSS Coding Tips

by Zedric Myers | April  25, 2016

There are a few things to watch when testing your CSS and HTML pages for IE Edge on Windows 10. Borders and background colors on hover – Watch for border and background colors used together on an element. In some cases on hover the border will disappear. This only seems to be the case when [...] read more »

Web Development
Making PDFs Accessible (Section 508 Compliant)

by John Vine | April  21, 2016

As 508 compliance becomes more and more crucial for higher ed and ecommerce sites, many developers are encountering Priority 1 issues regarding PDFs. Depending on who owns the document it might seem prudent to send the PDFs to a separate department (those content people who write words good) as the task of tagging each img [...] read more »

Web Development
Four Ways that a Google Analytics Session Could Break

by Gus Kroustalis | April  13, 2016

Google Analytics provides great tools for data collection and reporting. One of the critical aspects of analytics for your business, though, is ensuring that you have clean data. An issue that I come across occasionally is a lack of session continuity. This means that a visitor’s session on your website is split into two or more website [...] read more »

Google Analytics
Bacon Back to Beacon

by Mark Dirks | April  04, 2016

We hope you all enjoyed our April Fool’s fun last Friday.  We certainly did.  Members of my digital marketing team had the idea about a year ago, so incredibly funny concepts have been tossed around for a long time.  Got to give lots of credit to Jordan Burleson (Digital Marketing Strategist), Logan Ray (Digital Marketing [...] read more »

Beacon News
Beacon changes name, adds services.

by Mark Dirks | April  01, 2016

GREENSBORO NC.  Since the company’s inception in 1998, Beacon Technologies has always advised its clients to “Listen to your customers,” when developing their websites or conducting online marketing.  Now Beacon is finally practicing what it has preached for all these years.  Mark Dirks, Beacon’s President, announced today that the company will operate under a new [...] read more »

Beacon News
Bacon Poll: What’s the Best Kind of Bacon?

by Keana Lynch | April  01, 2016

With our new branding changes, we really want to get a feel for what our clients and partners think is the BEST kind of bacon out there? There are so many to choose from, but in the end, we had to narrow it down to just a few. Tell us your favorite by participating in [...] read more »

Web Development
Google’s Latest Algorithm Update: Bacon

by Logan Ray | April  01, 2016

The sizzling algorithm update you probably haven’t heard about: Bacon. It’s no secret that Google releases dozens or hundreds of updates to their ranking algorithm every year. Of course, some of these updates have a larger impact on search results than others, you may be familiar with the Panda or Penguin updates, which targeted content [...] read more »

SEO
Microsoft Names Kevin Bacon New CEO

by Jordan Burleson | April  01, 2016

In a momentous move by the search giant, Microsoft has named Kevin Bacon as their new chief executive officer (CEO), succeeding Satya Nadella and Steve Ballmer. After increasing pressure from the likes of Google, Yahoo and upstarts AskJeeves, DuckDuckGo and DogPile, Microsoft has made a historic move to land Bacon and push the company to new heights, especially in [...] read more »

Digital Marketing
Beacon Kicks Off 2016 Conference Season with HighEdWeb New England!

by Rick Boccard | March  14, 2016

Beacon is excited to kickoff our 2016 conference season with a return to Mt. Holyoke College for HighEdWeb’s New England regional conference.  The regional conferences always provide a friendly format to learn how folks within the area are improving the web experience for their audiences.  The one day schedule is going to be chock full of [...] read more »

Beacon News
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 »

Digital Marketing
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

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 »

PPC
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!

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 »

SEO
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

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 News
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

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

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 »

SEO
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 »

Digital Marketing
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!

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

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

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!

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

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 »

Digital Marketing
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