Bryan Lindenberger

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Free Resources Any Digital Media Manager Should Use

Digital media managers constantly switch gears between strategy and tactics. You produce narratives for a campaign and meta-narratives for a brand. You do it across social media channels, digital ads, blogs, and websites, tying them to press releases, video, print ads, and events. But the next moment, you’re deep in the technical logistics of not only what appears, but how it appears.
While far from a complete list, here are some resources I find myself referencing time and again, many permanently bookmarked in my browser.
Set a feature image for your page
Rather than rely on chance as to what image or images appear when sharing a page on social, set the image you choose as a meta property. You can even host it especially for your social media sharing without it appearing on the page. Using an example from my hobby website, it looks like this: <meta property="og:image" content="http://www." />
Scrub that meta data away
Note: must be logged into Facebook. I’ve often forgotten to set an image, or I used the wrong one. Or I changed some text. Unfortunately, updating it on your web page doesn’t change what renders (or fails to render) on Facebook as it draws from a cache. The developer tool linked above, when logged in, allows you to scrub or reset the Facebook cache to pull in your replacement image and text.
Social Media Image Size Guides
You can find these with a quick Google of course, but it amazes me how many people don’t tailor their images to the respective social platforms at all. This is the guide I keep bookmarked. It’s comprehensive, up-to-date, and easy to navigate with anchors to take you to the social media you want to investigate.
Your Webhost’s Control Panel
Yes, we all use Google Analytics and it’s great, especially now that Search Console is integrated. What if I told you it’s not all that accurate? Some of those quirks you noticed aren’t your imagination. Without going into detail, your best resource is your hosting service. I use SPRHost out of New Mexico. Yes, that’s an unpaid plug. Their hosting, speed, security, and service are amazing if you’re seeking an alternative to GoDaddy. More to the point, the analytics are far more accurate direct from your server, and you’ll find other useful tools while you’re there!
Site Speed Test
Sure, you could just search engine this. But many people don’t know to. I worked for a large company that – while fussing over SEO strategy – allowed an 8-second load time to sit on our index page for months. Talk about a ranking killer! No one on staff noticed because, of course, we’re all loading our own pages from a cache. You need to check your load times. Pingdom offers the best with great performance insights.
SiteMap Generator
This is particularly necessary if you’re starting a new website or have a major restructure of your old. Don’t let the paid plan scare you off (unless you want to use it of course) as I’ve made great use of this for years, free.
Broken Link Checker
A major ranking killer is broken links, and more so because broken links are a major pain for people using assistive technology. (Imagine being blind and coming to a door that leads nowhere…disconcerting, right?) This checker not only gives you the link and the page, but also the source so you can find it in the html or code if you choose. For a major college, I found over 300 broken links! I just checked my own site…and I found FOUR broken links – external sites get you every time. Guess I’ll stop here and fix those!
I hope you find these useful, and please comment if you have other free services you would like to add!
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