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Author: Naomi Dhillon

Are the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present Haunting your Google Analytics?

Are the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present Haunting your Google Analytics?

ghost-spam
If you’re in charge of your company’s Google Analytics reports, then you may or may not have heard about ghost spam. If you’ve heard of it, and are currently battling it – we salute you.

Ghost spam hijacks your Google Analytics ID (ex: UA-XXXXXXX-XX) and plops a fake visit in your analytics report. These visits don’t interact with your site at all, however, they bypass your site by requests of HTTP interactions to Google’s servers saying they did. This is why it’s called “Ghost Spam.”

This spam hikes up your site visits – which can totally make your day until you realize it’s all fake. Corrupt analytics data doesn’t help anyone, especially if you’re making important business decisions based on this information.

Where Can It Be Found?
Ghost spam typically presents itself as “referral spam” which can be found in the “Acquisition/Overview/Referrals” section in Google Analytics:

112916_ghost-spam_referral

In early November, companies started seeing a new kind of spam showing up in their “Language” panel:

112916_ghost-spam_language

Why Does Ghost Spam Exist?
Spammers try to target analytics managers through their reports to either get their attention for a specific service, spread malicious code, or simply to brag. If you’re trying to figure out what a suspicious URL is, you may be tempted to click on it. Once that happens, a spammer could be receiving a commission. That’s probably the last thing we want to do. Instead, perform a search for that URL or phrase. More than likely someone has already written about it.

You also don’t want to infect your computer if that link has malicious code. If you insist on clicking the link, I suggest you double-check that your antivirus program is updated and running.

Get Rid of the Spam
Thankfully you can clean up your analytics through filtering. Our buddies at Ohow.com have provided very useful step-by-step instructions via their Ultimate Guide: How to Get Rid of the Spam and Other Junk Traffic in Google Analytics. If you’re seeing the language spam in your analytics, hit up Analytics-Toolkit.com for their article on Language Spam – The Latest Google Analytics Spam.

Remember that bad data = bad decisions. We recommend using one of the guides above to help you clean house before you’re visited by the Ghost Spam of Christmas Future! If you need help, give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

INBOUND 2016: Tech Nerd Paradise

INBOUND 2016: Tech Nerd Paradise

  • Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, larger than my city block.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week in Boston and I’ve returned to Stanton Street with sore feet, a bag full of tchotchkes and many wicked cool ideas. The INBOUND 2016 conference had over 19K in attendance soaking up inspirational talks, educational breakout sessions, and opportunities to network with like-minded individuals from around the world.

My personal schedule included sessions on web design, sales & marketing, legal contracts, social media and most importantly… lunch. No joke peeps, my schedule was jam packed but I loved every minute of it.

Many of the underlying themes focused on the evolution of content consumption and how we are living in “Mark Zuckerberg’s World.” Attitudes toward social media have shifted and segmented making it harder to reach our target audiences. We must learn how to add value to the experience instead of extracting from it.

Topics ranged from marketing to consumers within a social media structure to reforming your communication through personalization. Website sessions included insights on providing a seamless journey for your users focusing on testing, data, and collaboration with clients.

Attitudes towards how we sell our products have also changed. People no longer want the hard sell or the cold call. They want quality, dependability, and knowledge. In addition, they want a “test drive” and the ability to customize or control their journey.

We were also given sets of tools to help us in our prospective businesses, many of which I’m hoping we can roll out to the El Paso market. I’m very excited to see the great things we can accomplish and I’m hoping you’ll come on this voyage with us.

Would you like to pick my brain? Know more about all of the goodies? Give me a call, we’ll do lunch.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Is Your Website Ready for the Future? It MUST be Mobile-First!

Is Your Website Ready for the Future? It MUST be Mobile-First!

As predicted, mobile devices are well on their way to surpassing desktop computer use… and with this fulfilled prophecy comes many changes to user experiences across the industry.

Mobile-First Design & Development
Thankfully, Stanton Street has been utilizing a mobile-first approach for a few years already. Many of our most recent custom website redesigns are optimized for viewing on a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Google Search Index
Remember searching for a topic on your smartphone then having to pinch and expand your way to knowledge? Or, maybe you exit out of the horror and search for a not-so-stressful experience. Either way, Google is about to change that. They are now actively pursuing a separate search index for mobile, meaning users on a mobile device will see different results than a user on a desktop. And luckily, those results promise to be less pinchy.

What Does This Mean for Businesses?

  • If you have a business website that isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s quite possible that you will see a decrease in traffic.
  • Do you have a separate mobile site? You will now be competing against yourself as you lose traffic to the mobile version of your site. Find out how you or your developer can serve structure markup for both versions.
  • If you already have a responsive site, then you earn two gold stars for being prepared. Your mobile-friendly ranking boost will be on its way.

Is My Site Mobile-Friendly?
If you’re not sure if your website is ready, Google has provided a pretty cool site where you can test your site performance. You’ll also receive recommendations on what to improve.

Long gone are the days of searching for something on your smartphone and getting unreadable results. This industry move couldn’t have come at a better time, my fingertips are sore.

Need advice on what to do? Give us a call at (915) 351-8440 or fill out our form!

***********

Read More:
Mashable, Why Google is retooling search to put mobile first
MarketingLand, All digital growth now coming from mobile usage — comScore
TheSEM Post, Google Search Switching to Mobile First Index from Desktop Index

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Meeting the Online Needs of Growing Companies

Meeting the Online Needs of Growing Companies

Hunt Companies Responsive Website

We have several clients that have been with us for a number of years and we’ve seen them grow from small corporations into worldwide conglomerates. Because of this, their online needs change requiring either new functionalities or a brand new design altogether. Hunt Companies is definitely one of those clients and thankfully, we’ve been able to answer the call every time.

The first step of their website redesign was re-identifying their goals and target audiences. Their current business structure more suitably resembles a holding company with subsidiaries versus the community development company from years ago. Targets are now more heavily shifted to Investors, Job Seekers then to Vendors and Employees.

Upon loading the site, users are immediately greeted by large, engaging photos of various business sectors that highlight the breadth and depth of the company. Intertwined within are images and statements of company representatives exhibiting the talent and diversity of its people. These images rotate upon page refresh capturing a user’s interest whether they’re viewing the site on a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

The main navigation was modified to feature leadership, information on core competencies and employment opportunities – all major components for a flourishing company. The Leadership section features principal contacts along with their bios and headshots. What We Do gives users insight into the business sectors and divisions such as: Real Estate Investments, Military Communities, Public Infrastructure and much more. Those looking for a career with Hunt can easily register, view and apply for jobs directly on the website.

Secondary navigation items such as contact information, vendor/employee portals and social media links are neatly packaged in the footer. Online forms capture essential information and route to the appropriate parties. A search bar at the very top of the site makes all content readily available for those seeking a specific skill set or individual.

We’re proud to be given the opportunity to partner with dynamic companies such as Hunt and can only hope that their business continues to thrive.

Are you looking for a web design company that will grow with your needs? Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440 and see what we can do for you!

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Developer Rides Off Into Sunset: Leaves Behind Broken Computer, Half-Eaten Avocado

Developer Rides Off Into Sunset: Leaves Behind Broken Computer, Half-Eaten Avocado

     

Who knew the day would come when we’d have to say farewell to our Legendary Lead Developer and Ranch Flavored Corn Nuts Fanatic, Simeon Williams. Ten years ago, a young developer strutted into Stanton Street with dreams of world domination. Today, he leaves our company for the big city.

As we each rifle through Simeon’s old desk, we’d each like to extend some well wishes to him:

Ball fights will never be the same. We will no longer cower in fear of your rocket arm.” – Tony

“Good riddance. Just kidding. I will make others cower in fear with my powerful throw; but it will be tough to find someone who can match your skill in the world of coding. You will be greatly missed!” – Amy

“Keep it real dawg.” – Mason

“I’ll miss the ‘Bring Your Kids to Work’ days. Your boys are so adorable mostly because they have such a patient and loving dad!” – Karen

“Simeon was (and still is!) a great developer and will be very missed here at Stanton Street. His shoes will take massive feet to fill.” – Chris

“I wanna wish that crazy kid the best of luck. I’m sorry we didn’t get to know each other better, but I hope you kick ass at your new job. P.S. Great beard.” – Eileen

“Thank you for over 10 years of dedication to our company and surviving! Best wishes on your future endeavors.”- Brian

“May you live long and have many goats. ¡Buena Suerte SWIL!” – Naomi

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

The Fountains at Farah’s New Website is Overflowing with Awesomeness!

The Fountains at Farah’s New Website is Overflowing with Awesomeness!

     
If you haven’t heard about The Fountains at Farah, then now is the time to check ‘em out via their dazzling new website! Designed and built by your favorite website development company, the new website houses the various shopping, dining, events, and entertainment happenings at this incredible location.

Built for viewing on any device, the site’s responsive format makes this site smartphone, iPad and desktop friendly so you can view at home or on the go. Simple navigation helps the user zip through the site to easily find what they are looking for.

Preparing for a mega-shopping-eating extravaganza? Click the Visit tab to get basic info such as hours, parking options or directions. And, plotting out your plan of attack has never been easier. The Directory contains an interactive map of the property displaying every store, eatery and event space including hours, phone numbers, photos and links to affiliated websites.

Adventure seekers can view the Event calendar for upcoming concerts, art shows, movies, and other special happenings. To find out more about an event, a band or artist, click the image for details and other related links.

Curious minds can learn more about The Fountains at Farah, by visiting the About page. Questions are reserved for the form located on the Contact Us page. Users can also call or email The Fountains at Farah with the information provided on this page.

Business owners interested in becoming a part of this “power/town center” experience can download a leasing package or contact the developer or leasing consultant to assist with getting the process started.

Interested in adding a splash of excitement to your online efforts? Fill out our contact form and we’ll make sure your website is on point. You can also give us a call at (915) 351-8440 to find out more.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Domain Name Registration, DNS & Web Hosting Googlymook

Domain Name Registration, DNS & Web Hosting Googlymook

Many times when we mention the terms DNS, domain name registration or web hosting, potential and existing clients’ eyes glaze over, heart rates increase and beads of sweat well up on their foreheads. Because we care about your comfort and welfare, we’ve rounded up some details to help explain the whole dealio in less stressful terms.

The Domain Name

Stanton Street URL
Example of a domain name

Domain names are part of the URL that is used to identify where your webpage is on the Internet. Each domain name is unique, that’s why it’s one of the first things we ask clients to set up if they don’t have one.

When selecting a domain name, make sure it’s related to your business, memorable and most importantly… available. A quick check on whois.com will reveal what names are up for grabs or not. If a domain name is available, then it’s important to claim it by registering it to your personal or company name.

Registering a Domain Name
Once you’ve selected a domain name and confirmed it is available, you need to register it. Registering it assures that once a customer types in your URL it will take them to your website and not somewhere else!

There are several domain name registrars available who will be more than happy to manage your sparkly new web address. Be sure to explore your options and select a service that is accredited within the country you are located in. Fees vary depending on what company and service package you select.

Once your domain name is selected and registered, it will then be translated into an IP address per the Domain Name System, or DNS. This happens because computers and servers don’t speak human and need to understand commands in order to exchange files. As a result, http://www.stantonstreet.com translates to: 98.129.229.188.

Web Hosting
Web hosting is a necessity because without it, a website wouldn’t exist. This is where all of your website files will be stored and managed. A majority of the time, a web developer can host your website and all of the associated files on their server. Since a website is renting space on a server, providers charge for that space. Those fees go toward server maintenance and updates.

How it All Comes Together
Once your domain name is registered and you have a host in place, a developer will create the site. When the site is finished and launched, it will be accessible through the designated URL which is translated to an IP address. Instead of boring you to tears with the full explanation, let me put this righhhht here:

How DNS Works
Click to view larger image

See? That wasn’t bad. Best part is that we can handle all of this for you! We can feel your stress levels decreasing already. Start the process by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Learn More:
Video: DNS Explained
Stanton Street’s Frequently Asked Questions
Domain Name Fumbles Equal Online Troubles

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

Reaching Your Customers with Messaging and Notifications

Reaching Your Customers with Messaging and Notifications

Mobile Notifications & MessagingDo you need to get the word out about an upcoming sale or send out a special message to your customers about your store’s changing hours? Communicating with them is no longer limited to direct mail pieces, phone calls or emails. Utilizing smartphones and updated browser technologies can give you a better, more efficient ways of reaching your audience.

Not sure where to start? There are several ways to keep your users “in the loop.” Before you dive in be sure that the approach you select fits not only with the type of messages you are sending, but with your audience too.

Getting Started
1. Identify Your Industry – If interactions and building relationships are vital to your success, you probably should be connecting with your customers across various touchpoints.

2. Determine the Content – What kind of information will you be sending to your users? Communications with customers should be to be segmented and personalized. If users aren’t interested or if it doesn’t relate to them directly, they’ll delete it or unsubscribe.

3. Evaluate Your Assets – Cultivating a relationship with your customers requires quite an investment of time. Take a quick look at your manpower and resources then determine who will lead this initiative. It will help if this person is great with words and grammar and not intimidated by technology.

4. Identify Your Audience – Do you consider your customers pretty technical? Are they using flip phones or have no mobile phone at all? A little demographic research can go a long way in saving time and effort.

5. Give Users Control – Allow users the control over the frequency, the content and what medium they’d like to be reached through. Also, having pause and/or temporarily unsubscribe features incorporated in your messaging strategy will build brownie points with any customer.

6. How Will You Track Success – How will you know if your messages are reaching your customers? You need a way to track them through analytics or adding code for automated reporting.

7. Follow the Law – If you’re planning on reaching out to customers, be sure it’s within the requirements of the law. If you don’t like fines, then get up to speed with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Delivery Method
Email Notifications
Slightly different than email newsletters, email alerts are quick communications focused on the content the user has requested notifications for. Similar to email newsletters, these alerts are sent through the email address a user has provided via a sign up form.

SMS Texts
SMS text notifications will display as a text message on a user’s registered phone number. These messages are typically relayed through a third-party system which will send out a bulk of text messages.

Rich Media Messaging
Similar to SMS, Rich Media Messaging can incorporate video, images, text and social sharing. These messages are also relayed through a third-party system which will send out the bulk messages.

Mobile Applications with Push Notifications
Mobile applications are downloadable applications for smartphones and compatible mobile devices. Applications can send push notifications to users who have downloaded and installed an app.

Browser with Push Notifications
Technically, notifications can also be programmed into a website to send messages to users who aren’t currently using it via their desktops or mobile devices. Unfortunately this type of messaging still needs tweaking since the notifications don’t work from some browsers. This is because each browser behaves differently and not all users access the web in the same way. Because of this, the code a developer writes may not be understood by all browsers.

In summary, notifications are a great way to reach your customers when they are properly planned and executed. The last thing you want is to lose revenue or customers because you missed the mark. If you’d like to know more about communication strategies for your customers, fill out our contact form or give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Read more about Notifications and Messaging:
5 Key Elements of User-Friendly Notifications – Design Modo
CAN-SPAM Act – Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
Notification Design Strategies – UX Booth
Push Mobile Marketing – App Notifications vs. Messaging – MarketingLand

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

FLFCU Lights Up the Internet With a Redesigned Website

FLFCU Lights Up the Internet With a Redesigned Website

We’ll be the first to admit that FirstLight Federal Credit Union needed a revamp of their old website to bring it into the next century. Back when it was designed in 2008 it was definitely snazzy, but as with all things web-related – technologies, styles and techniques change. Once we received the green light for a redesign, it was full steam ahead coding away the last days of 2014. We rang in 2015 by launching FLFCU’s fresh new digs.

  • Old Website Old Website
  • New Website New Website
     
The new homepage opens up with simple navigation in English with an option to view in Spanish. Looking for a job or want to contact FLFCU directly? The subnavigation sits directly above the main navigation highlighting that content and more. If you’re simply dropping in to login and manage your account, the secure login is perched prominently on the page.

Homepage banners feature the latest news and content displayed throughout the site. Users can also search for keywords or locate a nearby ATM or branch using the tools on the homepage. Rates, news and promotions are also readily available for users to interact with clicking over to their landing pages for more details. The “Become a Member” invitation soars at the top of the website inviting users to find out eligibility requirements for membership.

Subpages provide the user with key information on the programs, services and products FirstLight has to offer for individuals, investors and businesses. The content links to related information on either internal or external websites for further information. The Financial Resources section provides users with several tools to help them learn more about finances, calculate loan payments or simply read up on the latest events and news from FLFCU.

Does your website need a makeover? Fill out our contact form and we’ll make it snazzy. You can also give us a call at (915) 351-8440 to find out more.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.

One Source Federal Credit Union Website Redesign

One Source Federal Credit Union Website Redesign

  • Old Website Old Website
  • New Website New Website
     
One Source Federal Credit Union was founded in 1937 and has locations in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico with the purpose of helping members meet their financial goals. They needed their old website refreshed to better represent their services and appeal to their member-owners. Stanton Street was able to bring their vision to life with vibrant images, colors and easy-to-find information.

Serving both Spanish and English speakers, the new website delivers relevant and timely information for all member-owners. Users can select their desired language by clicking the orange button at the top of the site to view content specifically geared to them. The site is also built to display on various screen sizes. This means users can view the site on their desktop or any mobile device – like a smartphone.

Specific services and other important information is highlighted through rotating banner images on the homepage. Each banner is clickable, taking the user to a sub-page for additional details. The homepage also contains logins for various services that help member-owners manage their accounts.

The homepage also features a top level navigation and a main navigation. The top level navigation contains links for career, corporate logins, ATM searches and locations with maps and a contact form. The Career page displays all open positions within OSFCU and gives users the opportunity to apply online. The ATM search provides a list and location for all ATMs located within a certain vicinity. Simply type in the zip code or address, city and state to find the one nearest you! Locating an OSFCU branch or main office is a cinch with the Location/Contact Us feature. Have a question for a specific branch or main office? Submit it through the contact us form within each location tab.

The main navigation is home to the various services OSFCU provides. Here, potential and current member-owners can learn more about OSFCU and what they offer in regards to Membership, Accounts, E-Services, and Loans & Credit. Users can also look up current Rates, check out the FAQ’s or view the Quick Links to get to where they want to go in one click.

Are you in need of a 21st century website revamp? Fill out our contact form and we’ll help you rebuild and rebrand yourself! You can also reach us at (915) 351-8440 to find out more information.

Naomi Dhillon
Naomi Dhillon is an Account Executive at Stanton Street, an El Paso, Texas area website development company.

Contact Naomi Dhillon at (915) 351-8440.