Skip to main content

Your Daily Budget In Google Ads

What is the Google Ads daily budget?

Google Ads allows you to control your costs by setting a daily budget for your ad campaigns. If you are running a search campaign, this means that Google will continue to run your text ads for search queries that trigger your keyword bids until your budget is exceeded. At that point, your ads will no longer be served for the rest of the day.

However – there are cases when Google may overspend. It is important to understand that setting a daily budget does not guarantee an exact spend – or even a spending limit.

Google may decide to “dip into your daily budget”!

Good old Google is always trying to help you get more clicks. According to its support site, it may “dip into your daily budget” and end up spending more than the amount you’ve told Google you’d like to spend.

“Dipping into your daily budget for other days in the month helps to optimize the performance of your campaigns and helps make sure that your ads can run a little more on days when they’re very popular.”

In other words, if there is a high volume search day, Google may overspend on your campaign to compensate for other days in the week when search volume is lower. In a statement in their Help documentation, Google poetically explains the reason behind this change:

“Internet traffic is like an ocean. Some days, there will be small waves. Other days, there will be great big ones. So, if your ads don’t show up much because of low traffic, then we’ll make up for that by showing them more when traffic’s higher.”

Ok, fine. But how much will they overspend? I’m afraid there’s worrying news on that count:

That’s right – Google may overspend 2x your daily budget to “help” you.

While this might make sense for a consistent monthly advertiser who has their keyword buys dialed in and optimized – it is frustrating for a new Google Ads user who is trying different strategies in short bursts to see what works for their business. Now a failed experiment may cost 2x what you expected it to.

I believe this should be an option – and not a default setting. Regularly exceeding daily budgets set by its customers does not create a sense of trust.

Help! I went over my daily budget!

While Google may decide to exceed your daily budget on a particular day, they claim that they will not exceed your monthly charging limit (Your daily budget * 30.4) over the course of the month. This means that if Google does overspend on one day, they might underspend on another day to compensate. This doesn’t help you if you’re running a shorter duration campaign – but it is some small consolation.

In short – your daily budget is an important tool to control your costs – but you must understand when and why Google might exceed it – and adjust as appropriate.

But what if I’m running a short campaign?

If you are running a campaign of limited duration (under 20 days), the implications of this new change are that you should either plan on spending up to 2x your stated daily budget – or set it to a lower amount as much as 50% under what you’d like to spend. Google has reportedly said that it is “highly unlikely” that a short campaign would consistently overdeliver by 2x the daily budget – but it remains to be seen how that plays out in reality.

Where can I find more information about this change?

Complete coverage of the implications of this change can be found in Ginny Marvin’s excellent article on Search Engine Land.

Got Comment Spam? Akismet to the Rescue!

Akismet is a WordPress plugin that protects you from comment spam. This begs the questions: “What is Comment Spam?” and “Why do you need protecting from it?”

What is Comment Spam?

The bane of bloggers everywhere is an incipient form of spam known as comment spam. Comment spammers will post seemingly genuine comments to your blog posts which praise the quality of your blog post.

Seems harmless, right? It sounds like they love your blog! Unfortunately, you’re being played.

Why Spammers Leave Comments

These commenters will include links to sketchy-sounding websites (such as 136710.claimapplewatch.com in the above example) on their commenting profiles. If comments are approved and published, they will provide that sketchy website with a backlink – which is an essential criteria in Google’s famous PageRank algorithm.

The more comments they leave (and which you and other bloggers approve to be published), the higher their sketchy website could rank on Google organic searches. It doesn’t matter to them if no one ever clicks on their link – just the fact that it is published on your site could be enough to generate higher organic rankings – and thus, more organic traffic.

The Real Annoyance

While you can moderate comments to prevent spammy comments from being automatically published, comment moderation can start to take a lot of time. Over time, you might start getting hundreds of comments a weeek – all of which need to be manually moderated. That’s when spammy comments can really start to become a major annoyance.

Manually deleting comments is no fun at all. It takes time away that you could be using to create more awesome content!

Enter Akismet

Akismet will automatically send obvious comment spam into instant obscurity so you won’t have to give it a second thought. You won’t be bothered by 99.9% of comment spam again – and if Akismet isn’t quite sure whether a comment is spam or not – it will give you the choice and let you decide.

Sound like a good deal? Ok – let’s get it hooked up!

Activate Akismet

Akismet is pre-installed as a plugin for every UNI blog that we’ve created for this class. You’ll just need to activate it by clicking on the blue “Activate” link in your Plugins directory.

Once you activate the Akismet plugin, you’ll need to set up your account. This is a little tricky, so follow along closely!

Log in to Akismet using Google

Akismet uses WordPress.com account logins to authenticate – but we are not using WordPress.com and the last thing we need is yet another account to keep track of. Fortunately, you can also authenticate with a Google account – first click on “Already have a WordPress.com account? Log in now.” link at the bottom of this page:

Ok, so that was a lie – we don’t have a wordpress.com account. But look at the next page – it gives you the option to log in with your Google account at the bottom of the page!

Name Your Price

Choose a pricing plan. When you get rich and famous you can get a commercial account and give Akismet big bucks for protecting you from comment spam. For now, just choose the Personal “Name Your Price” plan.

On the next page, it will allow you to name your price. Since you are a student and your blog is not a commercial business, choose $0.

Activate Your Site and Enter Your API Key

Logged in? Good. Now you’ll be asked to “activate” your site and may need to enter your blog URL. Once you do so, you will receive your very own Akismet API key, which you can now enter in WordPress:

Enter your API key and click “Connect with API key”. Akismet will now be active and will start blocking spam immediately. If you’re curious, you can check in from time to time and see just how much spam Akismet is blocking.

Three Reasons to Join AAF (American Advertising Federation) at UNI

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) is the only national organization that includes members across all disciplines and career levels in the advertising industry. In addition to professional chapters all across the country in every major metropolitan area, AAF also has hundreds of college chapters – including one right here at UNI.

If you’re a UNI student with a passion for advertising, digital media, and creative ideas, here are three big reasons why AAF is the best student organization for you.

3. You will expand your network of industry professionals

AAF-UNI visiting global agency VML in Kansas City

Why wait until after you graduate to get to know professionals in the advertising industry?  At AAF we believe in making connections now.

  • You’ll visit advertising agencies in Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Minneapolis and Chicago.
  • You’ll hear guest speakers from local and regional advertising agencies, tech firms, design studios, and digital agencies.
  • You’ll get to hear a panel of ad pros speak about how they got into the industry at our annual “Meet the Pros” event.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to attend a career fair in Chicago sponsored by global ad agency Leo Burnett.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to learn about advertising internships – including the Stickell Internship program.

2. You’ll work on real advertising campaigns

The district-winning 2015 Pizza Hut NSAC team from UNI. We placed 13th nationally!

The highlight of our year is working on a national ad campaign for a big name client through AAF’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). NSAC is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss out on. This year, we’ll develop a multimillion campaign for Wienerschnitzel Hot Dogs and pitch it in Kansas City at the District competition. Past clients have included:

  • Pizza Hut
  • Nissan
  • Snapple
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries

1. You’ll make lifelong friends and meet cool new people

 

The award-winning 2017 Tai Pei NSAC pitch team.

AAF-UNI gives you the opportunity to start making valuable professional connections across a multitude of disciplines that will be beneficial in your career in advertising.

At real ad agencies, creative designers work in teams with business analysts. Social media marketers work with copywriters. AAF gives you the opportunity to work with UNI students in other majors who you’ll likely be working with in the future!

Last Thought

If you think a career in advertising sounds like a blast – you should know something: It is. But you should also know that it’s a tough industry to get into – and you’ll need the experiences, professional contacts, and opportunities that AAF provides to get your foot in the door.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m the faculty advisor for AAF at UNI? ^_^

Like AAF-UNI on Facebook

Learn more about AAF-UNI on our website.

Exporting your UNI Digital Advertising WordPress blog

Some of my #unidigadv students continue their personal branding blog after the project is complete – a few just like to have it online to refer to on their resume or portfolio site. While it is not possible to archive them forever on the UNI server, it is easy to export your blog to another online location where it can live as long as you’d like it to.

This blog post will take you through the steps needed to migrate your WordPress blog from the UNI server to a new location that you will control and maintain.

1. Get a Web Hosting Plan and a domain name (URL)

The first thing you need to do is to get a shared web hosting plan. Shared web hosting means you get space on a shared web server. In addition to your WordPress blog, you could also host other websites for yourself (e.g. a portfolio site), your projects, or for clients.

Dreamhost offers the best shared hosting package that I’ve found. It includes no storage or bandwidth limitations, unlimited domain hosting, and one-click WordPress installations. They also include a free domain registration with an annual plan. For month-to-month billing the cost is $10.95 / month – but if you prepay for 1 or 3 years in advance, the cost comes down to $9.95 or $7.95 a month respectively.

If you Google “Dreamhost coupon” or “dreamhost discount” often you can find special deals on hosting plans that make it even more affordable.

Often hosting plans will include a domain name registration. You’ll want to select a domain that is relevant to your personal brand or your name. Note that many fun Top Level Domains (TLDs) are now available besides the common .COM, .ORG, and .NET.

Once you have a hosting plan and domain in place, you’re ready to install WordPress.

2. Install WordPress

Once you are set up with your Dreamhost account and custom domain, you need to install WordPress. Fortunately, Dreamhost offers a one-click installer for WordPress in the “Goodies” section of their web hosting control panel.

You’ll just need to fill out the domain and subdirectory (if applicable) that you wish to install WordPress into and click “install it for me now”.

For more information on this step, consult Dreamhost’s help article on installing WordPress with a one-click installer.

3. Export your WordPress blog

Log in to your UNI WordPress account and view your dashboard. Under the “Tools” menu you’ll find an option called “Export”.

When you export your blog, it will create an XML file that you will download to your computer.

If you select “All content”, this file will contain all of your posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and media (images).

4. Import XML file into your new WordPress installation

Now log back in to your WordPress site hosted on your new Dreamhost account. Under the “Tools” menu click on the “import” option.

Click “Run Importer” – you will get a screen asking you to find the XML file that you had exported from step 3. Click on “Choose File” and navigate to the exported XML file. Then click “Upload file and import”.

It may take a little time, so be patient as it imports.

5. Check your imported content

Generally, I have found that exporting and importing works pretty flawlessly as far as the content goes – but you may have to do a few things to bring your site back to its former perfection:

  • If you used a custom theme, you’ll need to install and apply that theme on your new WordPress installation.
  • If you tweaked your theme’s customization options on the old site, you may need to re-apply those changes manually to your new site.

Once you’ve double-checked that all of your content imported correctly and that your site’s theme looks correct again, you can delete your old #unidigadv blog.

6. Delete your old WordPress site on the UNI server

While logged in to your old WordPress site, go to your WordPress dashboard and select “Delete Site” under the Tools menu.

Check the box and, after taking a moment of silence to honor your personal brand, click “Delete My Site Permanently”.

That’s it! You now have a new WordPress installation with all of your old content running on a shared hosting environment.

How to Customize WordPress Theme Type Styles Using Google Fonts

If you’re using WordPress and want to easily customize the type styles in a pre-built WordPress Theme using the many open source typefaces in Google Fonts, you’ll want to utilize the Easy Google Fonts plugin.

For example, let’s say you’ve installed the Baskerville theme but aren’t crazy about the header typeface. How do you change it?

Using a test site that I created for demonstration purposes, let’s walk through the process.

Find the Style

The first thing you need to do is identify the CSS style that controls that headline text in the HTML file code. If you “view source” on the home page of your blog and search for the words “The awesome test site” you’ll find it in the code:

You’ll notice in the code that the header text “The awesome test site” is surrounded by an H1 tag that contains an inline style assigned the class “blog-title”. To view the current settings for this style, we’ll need to find and view the CSS file for the Baskerville theme.

In the same source code, do another search for the words “.css” to see all of the associated stylesheets on this page.

As you see, there is a stylesheet associated with the Baskerville theme embedded in the HTML code. Click on the link for that CSS code and load it up in a separate tab. Search for the style “blog-title”.

Bingo! There it is. Currently it has assigned the typeface “Pacifico” to the blog title style. Copy the style name here (“.blog-title”).

Create a Font Control

Now we’ll create a custom font control using the Google Fonts plugin that will allow us to modify this style. Back in your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the Google Fonts section under the Settings menu.

Here, you’ll want to create a new font control with the name Blog Title. In the “Add CSS Selectors” box, paste in the exact style name that you copied from the CSS file (i.e. “.blog-title”). Save this font control.

Customize Your Style!

Now if you navigate to the Appearance/Customize/Typography settings, you will see a new option available.

If you click on Theme Typography you should now see the font control you just created. Click “edit font” to modify the settings for this style. All the available Google Fonts will be available in the Font Family menu. I chose a typeface called “Didact Gothic”, which is similar to the Futura typeface.

You should see your changes in real time in the preview pane on the righthand side of the screen. Once you are happy with your typeface choice, save and publish your set. Your blog will now have a custom header typeface!

 

Use Google Analytics with your WordPress Blog with the MonsterInsights plugin

Google Analytics is used by tens of millions of websites worldwide – it is a free tool to help you track and analyze the traffic on your WordPress blog or website. This post will guide you step-by-step through the process of setting up a Google Analytics account and connecting it to start tracking your WordPress blog traffic using the very awesome MonsterInsights WordPress plugin.

You’ll need to have a functioning WordPress site available at a public URL to complete these steps. Note that these instructions are for installations using WordPress.org platform – not the commercial version at WordPress.com.

Ok, so let’s do this!

1. Create a Google Analytics Account

(If you already have one, skip to step 2)

Creating a Google Analytics account is quick, easy, and free. You’ll need to navigate your browser to http://analytics.google.com/ and log in using a Google account.

2. Create a Web Property

Once you have signed in, you’ll need five key pieces of information to create your first web property to monitor using Google Analytics:

  • An account name (e.g. “Matthew’s Sites”)
  • Your website name (e.g. “UNI Digital Advertising Blog”)
  • Your website URL (e.g. “ids.uni.edu/advertising”)
  • An industry category (Pick one that fits)
  • Your time zone (Central Time)

Once you have your web property created, you will be assigned a Tracking ID by Google. This Tracking ID is all you will need to connect your WordPress blog.

Write down your tracking ID and open a new tab. Navigate to your WordPress blog and sign in.

3. Configure the MonsterInsights plugin

Now we will configure the MonsterInsights plugin in WordPress (If you don’t have this plugin, you’ll need to install it into your version of WordPress).

For UNI Digital Advertising students, this plugin is pre-installed for you – you can find it by clicking on “Insights” at the bottom of the left navigation menu.

You’ll have to authenticate your Google account to be able to configure Google Analytics to track your blog and to access your web property from WordPress.

Authentication involves signing in to your Google Account and pasting the authentication code into the MonsterInsights dialog box, then clicking “next”.

 

Once you have pasted the code and clicked “next”, you’ll choose the web property you want to associate with your WordPress blog. Choose the web property you just set up.

 

Cool – Google Analytics should be tracking your blog now!

4. Confirm that Google Analytics is Working Correctly

This is a fun one – kind of the equivalent of looking in the mirror to see if you’re really there.  Go back to Google Analytics and select the “Real Time” clock icon on the left hand navigational menu.

Click on the Real-Time “Overview”.  Now open a new browser tab and navigate to your blog url (the one you are trying to track).  Once your blog’s home page loads up, go back to Google Analytics tab and look at the real time overview report.  You should see this:

Nice work.  You’re watching yourself read your own blog.  This proves that it works and that everything is set up correctly.  You’re done – go do something fun, like find animated GIFs of people clapping!


If you see 0 active users – something is not right.  Go back to step three.

Update: You can also use the excellent Google Tag Assistant Chrome plugin or the Ghostery browser extension to check to ensure that the Google Analytics code is properly working.

 

Social Media Projects, Spring 2017

Every semester, my UNI Digital Advertising students work very hard on a massive project: To develop a professional brand based on their personal interests using social media.

Let’s take a moment to praise their work and note a few special honors.

The Big Picture

It’s always astounding to me what my classes can accomplish in little under three months.  By measuring our activity and engagement on social media, we can quickly evaluate our performance with quantitative metrics.

From mid-January through April 15, 2017, my 48 #unidigadv students accomplished the following:

  • Posted a total of 5,724 tweets on Twitter
  • Gained a total of 4,194 followers on Twitter
  • Added 3,528 connections on LinkedIn
  • Published 477 WordPress blog posts
  • Earned 27,707 pageviews from 11,346 visitors to their blogs

 

TWITTER

Most Prolific

Tweeting is one of those things that seems very easy at first glance – until you do it every day in support of a professional brand.  That’s hard work!  Here are the top three #unidigadv Tweeps by Tweet volume (I only counted original tweets for this – retweets did not count!):
  1. Asmir Nuhanovic @TechnoAlternati – 160 Tweets
  2. Cal Gruening @apresskibum – 157 Tweets
  3. Brandon Wiederin @ChiroDigital – 131 Tweets
Most Followers Gained
If you want to wield influence on Twitter, you need followers.  Here are the students who added the most followers during the semester.
  1. Rachel Broghammer @unfazed_fitness – added 512 followers
  2. Brandon Wiederin @ChiroDigital – added 280 followers
  3. Madison Dickinson @marketonfleek – added 258 followers

LINKEDIN

Most Connections Gained
When job hunting, who you know is often as important as who you are.  Here are the class members who gained the most connections on LinkedIn during this project:

  1. Joel Allison +635 connections
  2. Dawson Jones +416 connections
  3. Sydney Owen +232 connections

Highest Quality Profiles

A high quality Linkedin profile can help you stand out to potential employers.  The following students had outstanding profiles:
Most Recommended
This student had the greatest number of recommendations by others on LinkedIn:


BLOGS

The real content was being generated on student blogs, where students developed unique and original posts related to their professional brand.  They then attempted to organically attract an audience of readers – a difficult challenge!

Most Visited Blogs 

We had two students who earned over 1,500 pageviews to their blog during the course of the semester – they did a fantastic job attracting and engaging their visitors.  Browse through their blogs and see what they came up with:
  1. Rachel Mae Demmer – Rachel Mae We All – 2,987 pageviews
  2. Christina Andorf – Strength is Beauty – 1,635 pageviews

Special Honors

Best Tech Blog
Brady Shively
ShivoTech
Brady’s blog focused on technical development (.NET, SQL, VB, etc) and often effectively used video tutorials to illustrate concepts or do technical walk-throughs. For example, he taught me how to run Windows 10 on my Mac using Oracle’s Virtualbox. I tried it – IT WORKED! Thanks, Brady!

Most Fashionable
Brooke Baumann
Girl Boss Fashion
I welcome any blog to help professionals dress more fashionably – and Brooke’s blog did that in a fun and lighthearted manner that is a welcome change from more stern and serious approaches. I will note that French cuffs were conspicuously absent from her post on Guy Boss Fashion.

Best Engagement
Annie GoodellA Good Cause
Annie’s blog on cause marketing stuck up for TOMS after a professor in another class questioned whether their business model truly created shared value. Annie’s blog post advocating for TOMS not only engaged the professor in the comments, but also attracted the attention of TOMS on Twitter – who thanked her for her support.

Best Sports Blog
Ryan DoserPinseeker Media
Ryan did a great job exploring the world of PGA golf and social media. His posts often utilized embedded social content and images to add visual interest and social integration.

Most Passion and Enthusiasm
Christina AndorfStrength is Beauty
Christina was so passionate about exercise, health, and fitness that even I started calculating my macronutrients and planning out cardio workouts.

Personal Favorite
Michael Duede – Recording Tech
As a musician and amateur audio engineer myself, I thought Michael did a nice job introducing several audio concepts and giving examples from his studio work. A very helpful blog to anyone starting out doing audio recording in a home studio.

Other Faves
There were many other great blogs – here are a few more: 
Madeline Meyer
 – A Culture of Wearables
Jonah EideBusiness Intelligence Incubator
Matthew FishelIowa Outdoorsmen
Sydney OwenMarvelous Marketing
Kaila PachecoHip Hop Anime
I could go on…

Thanks again for a great semester – if you get nostalgic you can always tune into #unidigadv on Twitter and help the newbies out!

Did you have a favorite blog this semester that I didn’t mention?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Using Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

Implementing SEO best practices with your WordPress blog has gotten super easy since the development of the excellent Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin allows you to write and manage title, meta description, and open graph protocol tags all in one interface.

The Yoast SEO plugin is pre-installed on our class WordPress blogs. You can find it on the left hand nav menu – it is called “SEO”. First, we’ll be working with Search Appearance.

screen shot of SEO menu

Search Appearance

If you don’t know what title and meta description tags are, you’ll first want to read my blog post about them. In the Yoast SEO submenu, you can select the “Search Appearance” option.

The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at the title and description for your home page. The title is coded to dynamically add content from your current site name, page name, and site description – but you can change this based on Google’s requirement that a title should be unique, descriptive, and accurate. 

Write a description for your site that is also unique, descriptive, and accurate that further describes to a potential reader what your blog is about. Think about keywords you want your blog to be associated with. 

When you’re done, click “Save Changes”. Next, you’ll enable Facebook Open Graph Protocol tags.

Facebook Open Graph Protocol Tags

Before you complete this step, you should read my blog post on Open Graph Protocol (You can ignore the part about Blogger code – that was what students in the past had to deal with).

Once you’re open graph enlightened, go ahead and select the “Social” option from the Yoast SEO Plugin submenu.


You’ll want to make sure that under the “Facebook” tab, that Open Graph meta data is set to “Enabled.” This will automatically use the title and meta description tags you wrote from the previous step and add open graph tags that use the same data.

If you want to customize the title or description of your home page, you can do so in the section called “Frontpage settings”.  You can also upload a preview image to use for your blog’s home page. This image should conform to Facebook preview image standards.

  • For best display, use an image that is 1200 x 630 pixels.
  • Note that images in other sizes and aspect ratios may get cropped.
  • Next best image size is 600 x 315 pixels. Images smaller than this will appear in a smaller preview size.
  • Facebook will not display a preview image smaller than 200 x 200 pixels.

Ok – now you’re ready to write title and meta description tags for your individual blog posts. There isn’t a submenu option for that. You’ll do that while you’re editing the post itself.

Adding Titles & Meta tags to WordPress Blog Posts

Go to one of your blog posts and scroll down past your post copy. You should see a Yoast SEO content area:

This gives you a “Snippet Preview” of what your blog post’s google listing will look like. As you can see, WordPress has automatically created a title based on the post title – and has autofilled the meta description with the first paragraph of your post. Let’s make that a bit more readable by clicking “Edit Snippet”.

You should make the title and description unique, accurate, and descriptive – while piquing the curiosity of the reader to get them interested in clicking on the post in Google Search results. For example, this is a better description than the first paragraph of the article:

You can also designate a Focus Keyword for each post. A focus keyword is a word or phrase that you want your post to be associated with. In the example above, we might designate a focus keyword like “productivity apps”.

The plugin gives you feedback on how well your page content and SEO tags relate to your focus keyword.

In general, you should fix things with red or orange dots until as many dots as possible are green.

Get into the practice and discipline of doing this for every blog post you write for maximum SEO benefit.

Ready to check your work? 

SEO Tools To Check Your Tags

First you should check your title and meta description tags by using the SEOCentro Meta Tag Analyzer.

Then check your open graph tags with the Facebook Open Graph Object Debugger

Social Media Project Roundup, Spring 2016

Every semester, my UNI Digital Advertising students work very hard on a massive project: To develop a professional brand based on their personal interests using social media. 

Let’s take a moment to praise their work and note a few special honors.

The Big Picture

It’s always astounding to me what my classes can accomplish in little under three months.  By measuring our activity and engagement on social media, we can quickly evaluate our performance with quantitative metrics.

From mid-January through April 18, 2016, my 48 #unidigadv students accomplished the following:

  • Posted a total of 5,634 tweets on Twitter
  • Gained a total of 6,278 followers on Twitter
  • Earned an average score of 40 on Klout
  • Added 2,766 connections on LinkedIn
  • Published 450 blog posts on Blogger or WordPress blogs
  • Earned 28,586 pageviews from 10,471 visitors to their blogs

    TWITTER

    Most Prolific

    Tweeting is one of those things that seems very easy at first glance – until you do it every day in support of a professional brand.  That’s hard work!  Here are the top five #unidigadv Tweeps by Tweet volume (I only counted original tweets for this – retweets did not count!):
    1. Travis Miller @securegadgets – 219 Tweets
    2. Wendy Grimm @Grimmw20Travel213 Tweets
    3. Olivia Jaschen @SocialSlopes – 200 Tweets
    4. Janiece Banks @mompreneurs1 – 178 Tweets
    5. Kaylee Tritle @TravelTourTech – 166 Tweets
    Most Followers Gained
    If you want to wield influence on Twitter, you need followers.  Here are the students who added the most followers during the semester.
    1. Elizabeth Stokely @DMAdAgencies – added 400 followers
    2. Tanner Bernhard @About_The_Brand – added 376 followers
    3. Kaylee Tritle @TravelTourTech – added 370 followers
    4. Simeon Moes @CeyboardComedy – added 345 followers
    5. Travis Miller @securegadgets – added 316 followers
       

    LINKEDIN

    Most Connections Gained
    When job hunting, who you know is often as important as who you are.  Here are the class members who gained the most connections on LinkedIn during this project:

    1. Tanner Bernhard +200 connections
    2. Sloan Beninga +149 connections
    3. Yobel Ande +140 connections
    4. Weston Merrill +130 connections
    5. Justin Klieman +111 connections
    Most Overall Connections
    Some students already had a huge network of professional contacts on Linkedin. Here are the most well-connected class members overall:

    1. Weston Merrill – 545 connections
    2. Stephanie Boardman518 connections
    3. Tanner Bernhard – 412 connections
    4. Kelli Alexander409 connections
    5. Seth Trautmann394 connections

    Highest Quality Profiles

    A high quality Linkedin profile can help you stand out to potential employers.  The following students had outstanding profiles:
    Most Recommended
    These two students had the greatest number of recommendations by others on LinkedIn:


    BLOGS

    The real content was being generated on student blogs, where students developed unique and original posts related to their professional brand.  They then attempted to organically attract an audience of readers – a difficult challenge!

    Most Visited Blogs 

    We had FOUR students who earned over 1,500 pageviews to their blog during the course of the semester – they did a fantastic job attracting and engaging their visitors.  Browse through their blogs and see what they came up with:
    1. Tanner Lawman – Loud Sound Logic – 2,099 pageviews
    2. Stephanie Boardman – New Adventures Events – 1,720 pageviews 
    3. Justin Klieman – First Order Kicks – 1,549 pageviews
    4. Yobel Ande – Underground Panther – 1,500 pageviews

    Special Honors

    Most Integrated Brand
    Stephanie Boardman – New Adventures Events 
    Stephanie’s impressive brand (created for her event planning business) integrated not only her Twitter profile, but also branded presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

    Most Helevant Blog (Three way TIE)
    “Helevant” is a term I coined that means both helpful and relevant. Sort of like “hella relevant”. This is the type of blog that is sure to earn hundreds (if not thousands) of additional pageviews in the coming years due to organic search traffic.

    Joel West – Teach Me Cocoa
    If you’re interested in iOS development, I’d encourage you to watch Joel’s excellent video tutorial series, which has content for both beginner and intermediate coders who want to learn about . 

    Weston Merrill – Behind the Screen Sales
    Weston’s blog focused on building a business by selling items on Amazon. Lots of excellent tips for those wanting to get product ideas, private label products, list products and sell them on Amazon.

    Travis Miller – Secure Gadgets
    Travis’ blog tackled the very current topic of security on internet-enabled gadgets such as smartphones, smartwatches, and other devices. 


    Best Design

    Bailey Nielsen – Graphic Design Trends

    A well-designed blog about the latest and greatest in graphic design trends.


    Best Brand Mascot (TIE)
    Weston Merrill – Behind the Screen Sales
    Maicol Josephs – Squeegee Grafx
    Both Weston and Maicol came up with awesome and memorable brand mascots.

    Personal Favorite
    Yobel Ande – Underground Panther
    I’m a big fan of local underground music and loved Yobel’s blog detailing some of the interesting musicians and cultural events happening in the CV this spring.

    Thanks again for a great semester – if you get nostalgic you can always tune into #unidigadv on Twitter and help the newbies out!

    Did you have a favorite blog this semester that I didn’t mention?  Tell me about it in the comments!

    Create Your Own Branded Favicon

    What are Favicons?

    Ever notice that some websites have neat little custom icons next to them in your browser tabs when you load them up?

    These icons add an element of unique branding to websites, giving them a professional appearance. 

    They’re known as favicons.



    Favicons are literally “favorite icons” – short for when bookmarks for websites were called “favorites”.  They are very small (usually 16 x 16 pixels). In addition to appearing in the address bar, favicons also appear in browser tabs, bookmarks, and the links bar.

    How do you Create Favicons?

    Traditional favicons are saved in the ICO graphic file format (used for old school Windows icons). Photoshop used to be able to save to this format, but no longer does. Not to worry – just create a 16×16 pixel GIF or PNG and use the icon utility ConvertIcon.



    There are even online tools like favicon.cc or the favicon generator to help you create and save them.  

    A newer type of icon is the Site Icon, used by WordPress. The Site Icon can be a PNG or GIF up to 512 x 512 pixels. Once uploaded, WordPress automatically creates a favicon, along with many other icon sizes in between for various mobile devices.

    Once you have your custom 16×16 favicon in the ICO format (or 512×512 Site Icon), here are some instructions on how to get them working on your site or blog:

    Favicons on websites

    Favicons can be hand coded into any HTML file with a single line of code in the HEAD section:



    However, doing this for every page in a site is tedious and prone to inevitable error. An easy workaround is that most browsers will automatically look for a file called favicon.ico at the root level of your site. If you simply copy your favicon file to your root level, you should be good to go.

    Favicons on Blogger blogs

    Easy. Go to the Blogger admin page and click on Layout. You’ll see on the top left of your layout an area called Favicon where you can upload your ICO file by clicking on “Edit”.

    Site Icons on WordPress blogs

    WordPress users have it a little easier – they can use PNG or GIF files that are 512 x 512 pixels. WordPress will resize as needed. Just go into Appearance / Customize in your WordPress admin page. Most themes will allow you to customize your “Site Identity” which includes a custom site icon. Just click on “Select Image” and upload your 512 x 512 PNG or GIF image. WordPress takes care of the rest.

    Now that you know what favicons are and how to create them – why don’t you make one for your blog?