5 Awesome Chrome Extensions for The Everyday User & Designer

Beyond just the limitless amount of information to be discovered while on your Chrome browser, the extension app store is full of apps designed to make your everyday life a little easier.

These are just five of our favorite and most-used Chrome extensions: 

1. ColorPick Eyedropper

As not something typically used by the everyday, standard user, the ColorPick Eyedropper is a must have for artists and graphic designers. Cutting the need for attempting to locate color source simply click and drag to view the color codes you need. A perfect compliment to a web designers arsenal of tools. 

 

2. AdBlock Plus

If you're tired of the Ad overload online, AdBlock Plus may just be the extension you've been looking for. Its ease of use, including quick disabling from the extension bar, make it one of the better ad blockers available. However, as a note, websites, such as Forbes, will require a disable or to be opened Incognito to visit.  

 

3. Honey

Would you enjoy more savings at the online checkout? If the answer is yes, then Honey is an extension you're probably going to love. With just a click, Honey searches their online directory of coupons and savings codes. Best of all, Honey does all the work for you in trying each code. All you have to do is sit back, relax and watch the savings come in. 

 

4. Grammarly

Even as writing this, Grammarly is one of those things which happens to completely astonishing to watch. With nearly any text written on the screen, Grammarly is analyzing your written text for spelling and grammatical errors. I may need to write this company a thank you note for their assistance in teaching me all the things I failed to learn in high school English class.... 

 

5. Momentum

Momentum just happens to be one of those things solely designed to add a little peace to the user who may just feel a little stressed by the daily ins-and-outs. With a daily-changing image and inspirational quote, Momentum takes the place of your blank tab or new tab and provides a clean easy-to-use interface to display your local weather, Quicklinks and an ever-useful to-do list. 

 

Have a favorite you would like to add? Comment below! 

The Top Google Algorithm Updates (Updated for 2016)

Google has a long history of search algorithm updates and changes. Most of the 500-600 updates are minor. However, there are major algorithmic updates that Google occasionally rolls out every few months, which impacts search results in significant ways. Some of these massive changes include the Panda/Farmer and the Google Penguin.

With so much frequent updates, people sometimes find it difficult to keep up and stay current. But search marketers and SEO gurus know that keeping their heads above the water is critical to SEO and imperative to understanding organic web traffic and rankings fluctuations. In this light, keeping up with the algorithm changes and how these updates affect the SEO world is integral.

Below are the most notable Google algorithm updates and changes that have had the biggest impact on search since Google Panda.

The Top Google Algorithm Updates  – 2016 Version (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

History of Top Google Algorithm Updates

When people search… Google would like to give the most relevant answers.

This has been at the core of Google’s business since it began and has been going at it trying to improve the value search users get from their queries. They do this through search algorithm updates, doing it between 500 to 600 times each year. The following provides a brief history and overview of the top Google algorithm updates, the changes and the impact they posed for SEO and digital marketers.

History of Top Google Algorithm Updates (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

2016 Social Media Trends

Facebook reached new milestones in 2015, generating as much as 4 billion video views daily from more than 1.49 billion monthly active users and more than 1.31 billion users on their mobile devices.

YouTube is still at it and running strong from billions of views from its more than 1 billion active users. Live video streaming is picking up pace, now that related apps like Meerkat and Periscope has been launched. Other social media sites are also enjoying the same upward trends, like Instagram hitting the 300 million user mark and its Ads program going global.

With these figures and trends, it can now be said that social media has reached the point that it is no longer regarded as a mere fad but as a truly viable and effective tool for marketing products and services and for creating brand awareness. It is still continuously evolving and is expected to reach even new heights in 2016 and the periods to come.

So, what should business owners and digital marketers expect from the world of social media in 2016? Stay ahead of the social media marketing game by familiarizing yourself now with the following trends and new features that will be hitting it big this year – and beyond.

The Top 8 Social Media Trends to Watch Out For in 2016 (Infographic) - An Infographic from CJG Digital Marketing

Embedded from CJG Digital Marketing

Understanding What a Website Really Is

If you're a small business owner searching for a solution to creating a new website, chances are you've read, heard or encountered opposing theories on what you need, the platform to choose, the foundations of SEO it provides and a million different do's and don'ts for how to proceed. 

Here's what I have to tell you today...throw every last bit of this 'advice' out the window and begin at the fundamental root of what a website really is....a tool to display who you are and teach your consumers about the services you provide. 

If you're reading this chances are, you're not Google, you're not a CEO of a fortune 500 hundred company, and you just don't need to have a complex mapping of SEO back-end and never-ending knowledge to manipulate it into something of value to you. It just doesn't work and it's an entirely unnecessary expense. 

Here's the things which really should matter:

#1 - Quality

Being in the website industry for the last 15 years, I've heard it all...and every argument to coincide. First, websites were complex, difficult pieces of mastery requiring hours and hours of time to build. Then came the first website design aids, turning complex lines of code into manageable, visual pieces at the expense of effective design. Then finally, the first true light of hope for bottom-end small businesses, in the form of template themes powered by the likes of Wordpress. And now, we finally have the ability to create a website of perfection, if the person behind building it understands, and cares, to stay attuned to every last detail. That is where the art truly lies...in the art of the person who is creating the website to care and understand their platform enough to make it a work of art for you...because after all, your website is a reflection of you and your quality.  

#2 - Progression

There seems to be no end in sight to the ever-evolving, ever-changing world of websites, design and user experience. Understanding that your website will forever be in need of change, is your first step at understanding the true success of a website. It's not a thing which you create and should expect to sit for years to come. Fresh content, new images, an overall feeling of a busy, piping business is where the real value of its potential lies. Invest and plan to give to it what you give to your product and use it as a way to highlight all of those things which make you different from the rest. 

#3 - Manageability

Understand what it is that you are using. Ask questions, and trust the expert who is helping you. I say this with a heavy heart as in my profession, time and time again, I stumble across clients who have encountered the shifty ways of 'part-timers' only to find themselves within the investment of a project they don't fully understand and no way to fully relay the project to someone else when the pieces need put back in place. Ask for previous projects and really check into the functionality of these sites. Is the website complete? Does everything sit and flow together correctly? Is it designed in a way you enjoy? If the person you are working with fails to have created a website you like, why on earth would you want them missing the mark on your own and what you would like to accomplish?

#4 - Passion

I add this part because it is perhaps the most important element. I use it in terms of not only the creation of your website, but also in the passion you hold for yourself in what you do. There is absolutely no way to fully capture who you are without sharing the pieces of passion which turned you into who you are today. So share it, share it with your designer, share it in creating a bio of yourself, share it in images and share it with everyone you meet. 

In the end, understanding what creates the sole of a successful website is actually within the pieces of what you bring into it...and flawless design pulled in from a skillful designer. Shifting through lists of theories of advice more adaptable to power chain websites is an unbelievable financial burden and wasted expense. Choose carefully, be picky, and communicate often and effectively with your designer, share your passion, and d*** it, create a work of art! 

Become a Google AdWords Expert in 12 Steps – Infographic

Are Google AdWords on your mind because you did your best SEO and still the best just wasn’t good enough? Have you finally given in and now want to use paid advertising via AdWords, Google's advertising service, to push your brand to the front of Search Engine Page Results and drive more traffic to your site? These 12 simple steps will help turn you from a newbie into a Google AdWords Expert rock star.

It’s time to buckle up and learn AdWords the way experts do it. Learn from the experience of others and avoid amateur mistakes which could cost your business a lot of money. Here is an Infographic on 12 steps to work AdWords like an expert.

Understanding Transactional Emails vs. Commercial Emails

Whether you’re sending commercial or transactional emails, making sure your message gets where it’s going, gets read and makes an impression is of the highest priority. What’s the difference? Transactional emails are sent to a person as a result of an action triggered by the user. Commercial emails are promotional emails sent to a user without their consent.

By following a few simple best practices you can ensure both your commercial and transactional emails hit their targets and stay out of the spam folder.

SparkPost
Courtesy of: SparkPost

The Authority Building Machine

This Internet marketing infographic guides you through the key tactics that can be used to build authority for your website. These tactics fall into three major categories; link building, social media marketing and content marketing.

The Authority Building Machine also warns against using black hat practices that could land a website in search engine jail, a place that is not easy to escape. So stay on track and have fun!

Google's Giving Away the Nik Photo Editing Collection

We've all gotten a little used to Google's never-ending quest to provide free, useful tools to users everywhere. Google's announcement of the Nik Collection availability for download at no cost, is no exception. 

What is Nik?

Acquired by Google as part of a package deal including Snapseed, Nik has been a collection of image enhancement tools and filter plugins for Apple Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements. Prior to acquisition the suite could be purchased at a sticker cost of $500. However, shortly after Google's takeover, a drastic price drop to $150 preceded the March 24th free availability. 

What are the collections? 

There are seven components to the collection:

  • Analog Efex Pro - Applies the look and feel of classic cameras, films and lenses.
  • Color Efex Pro - A comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching and creative effects.
  • Silver Efex Pro - Master the art of black-and-white photography with darkroom-inspired controls. 
  • HDR Efex Pro - From natural to artistic, explore the full potential of HDR photography.
  • Dfine - Improves images with noise reduction tailored to your camera.
  • Viveza - Selectively adjusts the color and tonality of your images with complicated masks or selections. 
  • Sharpener Pro - Brings out hidden details consistently with the professional's choice for image sharpening. 

How do I install? 

If you're the proud owner of one of compatible programs listed above, you can install Nik by:

  • Visit Google's Nik Collection website
  • Make sure your compatible program is not running
  • Select 'Download Now' from the Google Nik website
  • Locate the downloaded installation file and double-click on it to start
  • The installer will then automatically locate the correct location

If you need more help, here's some helpful videos:

New to the Nik Collection? This video demonstrates how to install the Nik Collection by Google on a Mac.

New to the Nik Collection? This video demonstrates how to install the Nik Collection by Google on a PC

Are you kidding me? I purchased Nik earlier this year! 

In the normal Google fashion, anyone who purchased Nik in 2016 will receive a full refund on their purchase. 

The Future of Nik

While the news of the new free installation is great for photographers who haven't purchased Nik before or for those just coming into photography, it does mean the end of Nik. While Google promises to continue updating the software for new platforms, we are anticipating batches of improvements adding new features anytime soon. 

Checklist for Writing the Perfect Customer Service Email



A single mishap can destroy a business relationship. Maybe you’ve used many marketing channels to establish, maintain, and nurture long-term relationships with customers and leads – almost on a one-to-one basis. But that single miscommunication can completely destroy your marketing efforts. How? It often happens when customer service emails are mishandled. Our latest infographic provides best practices for building your company’s reputation and demonstrating reliability even in crisis situations.

The rules for customer support communications are simple and self-evident: to retain customers and safeguard your organization’s reputation, make sure your customer service emails are professional, helpful and emphatic.

But when a complaint requires an immediate response, the rules often escape us. So here’s a helpful refresher.

Writing the Perfect Customer Service Email #INFOGRAPHIC
Brought to you by GetResponse Email Marketing

How To Sell Through Email



Emails might have been around for a longer time than many new forms of on-line marketing, once you have a closer look at its specifics – you will make sure that to sell through email means to sell your best.

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Business emails? All around!

This infographic tells you basic facts about email sales and the opportunities email gives you for any business that decides to sell through email. When you think of 929 million email accounts run by businesses, it looks like you can’t be wrong setting up your own. But beware – there’s a huge flow of newsletters: over 100 billion daily. It’s a real challenge do stand out of this crowd. Luckily, there are easy and effective ways, all uncovered below.

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Sell through email with right timing

The first thing you need to know is when and how often to send emails. The infographic shows:

the best day of the week to sell through email (generating the highest revenue),
the optimal frequency of newsletters to increase open rate and raise your chance of customer’s proper response,
the amount of time it takes for the whole sales process, from opening the email to making the very purchase.
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Of course, the numbers we give are quite versatile, but feel free to test the best email timing for your business – we’re curious about the results you get!

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Creating a successful promotion

Next step to sell through email and obtain better results is to design a newsletter that encourages subscribers to interact and instruct them to perform a specific action. Think about the look and copy of your email:

find out what your audience is like and what they buy from you,
prepare the communication according to what you know about the audience,
pay attention to such details as email subject and call to action,
make the promotion unique by using different marketing techniques.
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Now, find out more from the infographic and sell more than you’ve ever expected!

How to Sell Through Email [Infographic]
Brought to you by GetResponse Email Marketing

2016 Web Design & UX Trends to Boost Conversions



With every new year, we eagerly anticipate the newest trends that emerge in web design. Most of these trends simply have to do with whichever visual style happens to be the most en vogue, but in this case, we at The Deep End have hand-picked the ones we can expect to see in 2016 that we have identified as being the most beneficial in terms of actually converting users.

If you use any combination of these trends, (in a way that makes sense for the site in question, of course,) you can count on boosting those conversion rates, whether you’re working on your own site, or on behalf of a client.

So check out the actual infographic below, or if you’d like a deeper dive into the trends discussed, we have an “infographic breakdown” video right after the image. Enjoy!

2016 Web Design Trends to Boost Conversions - An infographic by The Deep End Web Design

Top Ten Professional Jobs for 2016 & Their Salaries




The most sought-after jobs are constantly changing for various reasons, including a recovering economy, businesses’ newfound willingness to invest in their workforces, regulatory factors, new technologies, an aging population and more. With these reasons, along with our own staffing data, top of mind, we formed a new list of the 10 hottest jobs in office admin, non-clinical healthcare, HR and supply chain & logistics for 2016.

Source: Ajilon Professional Staffing

2016 Marketing Plan | Top Marketing Trends Consumers Love


Is your 2016 marketing plan on trend? It may seem like every time you turn around there's a new marketing trend to figure out. While it can be daunting to stay on top of what's new, it's important to realize which trends appeal to consumers - after all, they're the ones you are trying to reach with your marketing! So, take a look at some of the latest marketing trends that consumers love, and learn what your business can do to get your 2016 local marketing plan on trend.


Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Successful Linkedin Profile


What makes a successful LinkedIn profile? Ghergich has analyzed the anatomy of a successful LinkedIn profile page to find out. Follow this guide on how to maximize your presence on LinkedIn by updating your profile with the right information. Learn about the tips and tricks experts use to make their LinkedIn profile pages really pop.

Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Successful LinkedIn Profile
by Ghergich.
From Visually.