Google is Now Showing ‘Missing’ Keywords in SERPs

This looks like it just popped up today, but in Google’s search results, there is now a line under what looks like the first two or three results that says ‘missing:’ and shows what search term you had that these sites didn’t show.
surfarama wordpress theme ads   Google Search

What’s interesting about this, is that recently Google’s been showing search results with the full keyword below and then having one or two terms crossed out that it didn’t find on those pages. The idea is that Google wants to show you some results that may not have all the keywords you wanted, but still may be relevant. This new look suggests that it is going for a more streamlined approach to showing results, as per the Hummingbird update.

This is probably only one of the changes we’ll see over the next year as the new algorithm slowly pushes into Google’s search pages.

Changing the Howdy Message in the WordPress Admin Bar

When developing a WordPress site when the client will have backend access, sometimes you want to customize parts of it to make it more targeted towards the client.

howdyThe ‘Howdy, [username]‘ part of the admin bar has always annoyed me because of how unprofessional it is. As well, it doesn’t give an inexperienced user a hint that there is a menu under it. I’ve had many clients who are trying out WordPress on their own ask how to log out, and most never even though to click/hover over that Howdy message.

So, when setting up a site for a client, here’s the easy way to change this message just using a functions.php code.

Here’s the full code:

//change Howdy Message
add_action( 'admin_bar_menu', 'wp_admin_bar_howdygone', 11 );

function wp_admin_bar_howdygone( $wp_admin_bar ) {
$user_id = get_current_user_id();
$current_user = wp_get_current_user();
$profile_url = get_edit_profile_url( $user_id );

if ( 0 != $user_id ) {
/* Add the menu */
$avatar = get_avatar( $user_id, 28 );
$howdy = sprintf( __('Profile/Logout, %1$s'), $current_user->display_name );
$class = empty( $avatar ) ? '' : 'with-avatar';

$wp_admin_bar->add_menu( array(
'id' => 'my-account',
'parent' => 'top-secondary',
'title' => $howdy . $avatar,
'href' => $profile_url,
'meta' => array(
'class' => $class,
'title'     => __('My Account Info'),
),
) );

}
}

For the most part, this just calls up the action of rendering the admin bar using the hook ‘admin_bar_menu’.

Steps To Make The Change

So first step is to open your functions.php file within your theme’s folder (need ftp access, or just in your admin editor under Appearance).  Then copy the code above, and paste at the bottom of the functions.php file.

The ‘$howdy’ part is really the only area that we need to be concerned with as its where you change the text that shows up in that area. Just change the [Profile/Logout,] part (minus the square brackets) to whatever you want it to say in the code. Many people just use ‘Welcome,’ instead of the Howdy part, but for when you need to be really straightforward with the users, i’d go with the basic ‘Profile/Logout’.  Be sure to leave the ‘%1$s’ part in there after the text you want, and before the apostrophe and bracket.

howdygone

Change the Hover Title

The part that says

'title' => __('My Account Info'),

is the popup that shows up when you hover over the menu, and you can change the text in those quotes to whatever you want as well.

Remove The Avatar

Finally, if your users don’t use avatars, you’ll just have the standard blank WordPress box there. So, if you want to quickly just get rid of that area, change this line

'title' => $howdy . $avatar,

to this:

'title' => $howdy,

and the little avatar is gone!

Canada gets Adwords Targeting via Postal Code

Google’s Adwords have been working hard to allow for very specific targeting recently. I’ve been impressed with the number of small Canadian towns that show up in it’s targeting settings, as I set up campaigns for local companies. To be even more specific, they now have added targeting by postal code to the type of targeting you can do.

Most people may not find this interesting, and may just think that ‘why not just target by city?’, but the real benefit of this is to partner PPC ads with physical admail. You know, those flyers, postcards, etc that you get in the mail? Those, if unaddressed, are normally sent out in groups based on postal codes. Most cities have known general demographic areas, where the majority of people living there are categorized together. For example, where I live in Brights Grove, is know to be a more ‘senior’ area. So marketing companies target certain postal codes with physical mailers.

Where the new targeting with adwords comes in, is that if I have a mailer going out that promotes a paintball company, and I’m targeting certain postal codes with my mailer, then it makes sense for me to keep the branding/messaging targeted to those people. If they see an ad online for a product/service/brand that they also just saw in the mail, then it strengthens the marketing.

I wouldn’t use this targeting for most campaigns, but when we are going for mail-based specific areas, then I really see this as an easy advantage for using Adwords.

How to Add a Header Image to Twitter

Today Twitter announced some new design changes to its profile pages. One especially big change is that you can now add a header image to  your profile. More specifically, you can add an image under your photo/bio, which makes me think that in the next while things will still change more, as the header image is kind of hidden still.

Anyway, for those looking to get your own header image, here are steps to do it:

  1. Log into Twitter.com 
  2. Click on the little gear in the top right, beside the Search Box, and click on ‘Settings’
  3. From the left menu, select ‘Design’
  4. In the second section down, under the ‘Customize your own’ title, there is now a Header upload area.
  5. Find an image you want (has to be max 1200px wide by 600px high), and upload it.
  6. The next screen will let you shift the image how you want, in case the dimensions are not correct. Note, that your profile image and bio text is right in the middle of this, so try to keep any major graphics to the top, bottom or sides. See twitter.com/aaron_robb for how i did mine.
Have a cool image for a header? Link here to your profile for others to check out!!

7 Online Listing Tips for Real Estate Agents

We’ve been in the process of buying a house and over the past few months I’ve realized that many agents don’t really know how to use MLS (Canadian home listings) to it’s best. When your target buyers are becoming more computer and tech savvy, you must make sure the listings are up to par.

 

So here is a list of a few tips that I came up with while browsing the listings:

1. Communication is key. If your phone number and email are on the listing, then answer your phone and respond to emails fast! And better yet, make sure those emails/numbers actually work!
(True story: I once had to do some googling to find the owner of a house we wanted to see and contacted them directly after numerous attempts
to call the agent failed because they didn’t respond to emails and the phone number listed was actually a fax number.)

2. If you’re listing a house online, include photos! And I don’t mean just the outside shot, but every room. And get all those images before it goes online otherwise it looks like you’re hiding something. It’s not that hard to delay a day or two to just get a photographer there!

3. Find and invest in a good photographer. With the amount of quality media available to people online, and the very high definition screens, we expect photos to look good.

4. Don’t BS the listing description. We know that ‘cozy’ means small, ‘unique’ means odd layout, etc. I know it has to sound good, but keep it honest.

5. LEARN WHAT CAPS MEAN TO COMPUTER USERS!

6. List all the rooms and proper dimensions. We can’t always visualize the size of rooms from photos and we can’t read your mind about what rooms exist but aren’t listed.

7. Realize that automated mapping systems are not perfect. Check your map placement after adding. I’ve found homes that were a good kilometer off of where they actually were.

Have you had your own thoughts on listings? I’d love to hear them!