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2020 – The year we unlearned everything we learned

Five facts to bear in mind as we prepare for the New Year.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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One view of the future of events: niche and hybrid

There are still many questions to be answered about the events landscape post-COVID.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

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How to Detect and Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization

Keywords are king when it comes to engaging users and increasing your search engine ranking.

As a result, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a multi-million dollar business with a host of experts offering advice on how best to move up the search engine results page (SERP) and claim the coveted number one spot.

Most actionable SEO advice boils down to a few solid suggestions: Do your market research so you know which keywords are relevant to your target audience, and create content that’s timely and relevant.

Something that doesn’t make the SEO rounds quite so often is keyword cannibalization. While this unpleasant-sounding issue won’t sink your website, it can cause your pages and posts to rank lower than they should and — if left unchecked — could harm the overall reputation of your site.

Here’s what you need to know about finding, evaluating, and eliminating keyword cannibalization.

What is Keyword Cannibalization in SEO?

Keyword cannibalization occurs when two or more pages on your website end up competing for the same keyword.

Let’s say your company sells roof shingles. Your blog content will likely include posts about how to extend shingle life through proper care and maintenance — with the right combination of authority and actionable insight, this kind of content can attract the attention of your target audience and lead them to purchase shingles from your site when their home requires repair or replacement.

To ensure you’re capturing the right audience, you do a keyword search and find that “roof shingle prices” ranks extremely high. You then create multiple pages that all leverage this keyword — one piece might deal with the most costly shingle types, another with less-expensive options, and a third with the costs of potential repairs if shingles are damaged.

The problem? By using the same keyword for each page, you’re essentially stealing search engine rankings from yourself.

Here’s why: From the perspective of search engines each of these pages is its own separate entity with its own authority and page ranking, meaning your pages are fighting for SEO attention.

What’s more, these similar-but-different pages will split your click-through rate (CTR) across multiple links, in turn decreasing the value of each page. As a result, these three pages might rank sixth, seventh, and eighth in SERPs while a single page could rank second or even first.

How to Detect Keyword Cannibalization

The simplest way to detect keyword cannibalization is to create a spreadsheet containing the keyword(s) for any content you create.

Before making a new post, check your spreadsheet and see if you’ve already used the same keyword. If so, consider tweaking your content to focus on another keyword or ensure that the content you’re creating is substantially different than that of previous posts.

You can also check for keyword cannibalization with a quick online search of your most relevant keywords. If you see multiple pages from your site listed close to one another in SERPs for the same keyword, you have a cannibalization problem.

In addition, keyword cannibalization checker tools can help ensure you’re not missing potential overlap — better to know ASAP and modify your content before it gets pushed down the search rankings by more targeted posts from your competitors.

How to Eliminate Keyword Cannibalization

So what happens if you discover keyword cannibalization on your site?

First, take a look at the content on each page. Wherever possible, combine the information from both pages into a single post to boost search rankings and increase authority.

In the case of our shingle company, for example, it’s worth combining the “most costly” and “least expensive” shingle pages into a single post that targets the “roof shingle prices” keyword. If there are particular aspects of low-cost or high-priced shingles that could help customers make their decision, create new posts with new keywords, and link to them in the original post.

In other cases, you may find that older posts on your site are still ranking highly thanks to targeted keyword use but are no longer relevant to your company’s product line or service offering. Here, it’s a good idea to integrate any useful data from older posts into newer content and then delete the original, in turn allowing search engines to rank up your most relevant post.

Worth noting? As with anything in SEO, there are exceptions to the keyword cannibalization rule.

For example, if you have two posts with the same keyword that are both highly ranked and their ranking position isn’t fluctuating, there’s no need to combine them.

If competitors’ pages start to rank higher, however, or if your top-ranked page stops delivering sustained click-through rates, this could indicate the need for action.

Keyword Cannibalization Checker Tools

While keeping a spreadsheet of page URLs, metadata, and keyword use can help reduce the risk of unintentional cannibalization, this becomes prohibitively complex as sites scale up.

Consider an ecommerce site that sells multiple types of winter jackets — with a product page for each jacket, category pages for each jacket type, and blog posts around jacket care, storage, and repair, it’s easy for keywords to overlap and SERP to suffer.

Keyword cannibalization checker tools can help streamline this process and reduce the risk of missing a potential keyword problem. Some popular options include:

1. Keylogs Keyword Cannibalization Checker

The Keylogs Cannibalization Checker offers a free trial — simply log in with a Google account that’s connected to your website(s) and the Checker does the rest.

You’ll get results about any pages on your site that are competing for the same ranked keyword along with strategies to resolve the issue. Worth noting? The free tier of this tool only tracks three keywords across one site. Paid plans are required for multiple sites and unlimited keyword tracking.

2. SEMrush Position Tracking Tool

SEMrush is a popular SEO tracking and monitoring toolset. With a paid plan, site owners have access to a Cannibalization report within the SEMrush Position Tracking Tool, which provides a cannibalization score for the keywords entered.

A 100% score means no cannibalization has been detected — lower scores indicate potential problems and will specify both affected keywords and cannibal pages.

3. Google Search Console

Using the performance report section of Google Search Console lets you view the queries that have earned your site impressions and clicks from Google searches.

Drill down into these queries with the “pages” tab to see a list of URLs that rank for specific keywords and queries — if you see more than one URL from your site listed for the same keyword, you may have a cannibalization issue.

4. SEOScout Cannibalization Checker

SEOScout’s Cannibalization Checker offers an alternative to managing keyword spreadsheets. Simply create an account for a 7-day free trial, enter your site’s domain and the tool will create a report detailing any duplicate keyword rankings, allowing you to quickly track down and eliminate cannibal content.

5. Moz Keyword Explorer

The Moz Keyword Explorer lets you find ranking keywords, determine page ranking positions, and make decisions about which pages to keep and which ones need to be reworked or eliminated. Moz also makes it easy to download CSV spreadsheet files which can then be analyzed offline for duplicate keyword listings.

Staying Aware of Keyword Cannibalization

For site owners and admins, cannibal keyword content is problematic — multiple URLs ranking for the same keyword can negatively impact page authority, frustrate potential customers, and reduce SERPs.

Solve for keyword cannibalization by finding duplicate keyword use, then combining or deleting content as needed to ensure your most relevant content earns the highest SERP placement with popular search engines.

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Unlock actionable tactics to measure search marketing success

Join us online SMX Report, February 23, 2021.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Google Search Console brings back request indexing tool

After 69 days of it not working, it is now back up and running.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Align Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy With The Sales Team

One B2B paid media pro reflects on all of the important questions to ask your Sales and Marketing teams to drive alignment and improve paid media performance.


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Seven essential enterprise SEO skills to master in 2021

30-second summary:

  • SEO holds the keys to digital success.
  • Managing SEO across large enterprises or multiple sites requires many skills.
  • SEO can be time-consuming and gets increasingly harder by the day.
  • A combination of talent and technology is needed for Enterprise SEO success.

From a global pandemic to the continuing economic, environmental, and leadership crises we’ve seen throughout 2020, brands are being challenged now to rise up and rethink ‘business as usual’. Unprecedented shifts in consumer expectations and behavior, placing digital convenience and personalization at the top of the must-have list, present an opportunity unseen to date for those who can master enterprise SEO skills to deliver for increasingly demanding consumers and clients.

As we head into 2021, the importance of SEO as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy cannot be understated. SEO holds the keys to digital success; from the insights and context, it delivers to the content it optimizes and the results it facilitates. SEO is the most viable and cost-effective channel for enterprises today.

One quick note on the term ‘enterprise SEO’ before we dig in. Enterprise SEO pertains to large companies with complex organizational structures and various lines of business and products, and that is the most common definition of it. Yet enterprise SEO may be practiced by smaller companies and agencies, as well—particularly those managing large or multiple sites. It’s a common misconception that size is a prerequisite for enterprise SEO success. At its core, enterprise SEO is the management of digital campaigns (search and content) holistically. A platform of integrated tools and features, including monetary, productivity and customer relationship management, enterprise SEO platforms take digital strategy from the page to the personal – and what business couldn’t benefit from that?

Organizations of all sizes can leverage enterprise SEO to deliver meaningful, personalized experiences to their customers in real-time. Managing SEO across large enterprises or multiple sites requires many skills, and for those new to the world of enterprise SEO deciding which skills to focus on first can seem a daunting task. But an innovative, technologically-savvy SEO knows there’s always room to grow.

As the ongoing evolution of SEO fuels careers (and creativity), this developing industry presents endless learning opportunities. Here are seven essential skills for SEO success in 2021.

1. Industry and market-specific knowledge

Whether your agency-side or in-house, the depth, and breadth of your knowledge about the industry determine how you interpret the data SEO and analytics tools provide. In short, enterprise SEO strategies are only as good as the thinking behind them.

AI-powered technology can help deepen your knowledge and understanding of the company’s place in the market, particularly its place in SERPs. But truly keeping ahead of the curve means understanding what your customers need and want, then translating that industry and market-specific knowledge into action supported by SEO. There really is no one-size-fits-all approach. The more you know about your industry and target market, the better equipped you’ll be to leverage searcher intent as the driving force behind your SEO strategy, delivering the right resources to satisfy consumer curiosities and secure sales.

2. Data-driven digital awareness

SEOs must understand the comprehensive digital marketing ecosystem and where SEO fits in. Data-driven digital awareness enables you to collaborate and strategize with the wider marketing and communications teams including paid search, social media and community managers, copywriters, and producers, and provide real value. How you continually support one another from insight sharing to process optimization is the key to holistic digital marketing.

Data-driven digital awareness can support ongoing ideation and optimization, allowing businesses to maximize spend and execute pivots to plans in real-time. Once we understand that set-and-forget strategies simply no longer meet the need, the question becomes simply where to start.

Consider for a moment your content marketing strategy. Designed to engage consumers and answer questions at each stage of the buying process, ultimately earning the consumers business, it’s only as good as the insights behind it. With the right collaboration and reporting support, the types of content your team develops can evolve to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. What’s more, AI can help drive dynamic content optimizations that meet each customer’s needs in real-time.

Keen awareness combined with the right data and analysis can help you to connect and remain engaged with prospects, saving time, and directing resources more efficiently.

3. Multi-tasking and big picture thinking

SEOs wear a number of hats. It’s important that you understand what’s going on at other points of the customer journey and have that big picture view of what each person and channel is doing to support content discoverability, engagement, and conversion.

Take a step back and think about cross-departmental collaboration, from sales to service and everything in between—how often are you coming together (virtually or otherwise) to ideate and strategize? As consumers are increasingly demanding more from the companies they choose to do business with, seamless experience is key, and that demands collaboration across teams. Your ability to see the bigger picture and map the customer journey, understanding pain points, and optimizing experience along the way, will set you apart from the pack.

Be curious, ask questions of your colleagues, and think outside the box in terms of the sorts of solutions SEO can help to support. You’re only limited by your imagination.

4. Technical proficiency

Knowing how, why, and when to utilize technology and automation is key. Technology isn’t just about automating certain tasks; it has the power to dramatically impact the customer experience.

More than simply moving consumers through a generic funnel approach, for example, once equipped with the right knowledge—from demographics to buyer traits and behaviors—and the right technical expertise, a savvy enterprise SEO can leverage the technology to deliver on market opportunities by triggering meaningful real-time personalized experiences for consumers. Technical proficiency alone isn’t enough but combining your skills with strategic thinking and the right vision can provide incredible value.

5. Management skills

How skilled are you at inspiring, motivating, and building up those around you?

As an enterprise SEO, you’re dealing with multiple stakeholders at every level. It is critical that you understand and play well within the organizational hierarchy so you’re able to advocate for SEO, win buy-in for SEO initiatives, defend budgets, and generally communicate the importance of this incredible tool.

Being a leader means cross-functional collaboration. Now more than ever before, SEO has an opportunity to step in and lead by providing insights and analysis to inform the customer, and indeed employee, experience.

6. Excellent communication skills

Throughout the enterprise, communication skills are key. You need to be just as comfortable in the boardroom as in conversations with engineers and developers. Strong communication skills, and an understanding of your audiences and their priorities, are critical to delivering engaging presentations, market research, and background data.

From brand reputation to pay-per-click monitoring and management, SEOs who keep optimization of results top of mind and provide insightful and easy to understand reporting are communicators to learn from. Keep it simple, harness the data and insights SEO provides, and share your knowledge with the wider organization every chance you get.

7. Multimedia skills

You don’t have to be a writer by day and a video editor by night, but a top enterprise SEO needs to know how great content comes together whether that’s in video, graphic, text or another format. You may be responsible for managing teams of creatives or outsourcing content creation, so you need to know what you’re asking of people, how much it should cost, and how to evaluate and improve upon it.

Combining your data and insights with an understanding of each of the components of the digital marketing mix – and the creative that supports them – goes a long way in managing workflows and resource allocation. Once you have a multimedia foundation, your insights can help to ensure that your creative team is driving prospective clients to your website, and engaging those prospects in conversation, in the most efficient way.

Talent + Technology = Winning SEO Strategy

As the world continues to adapt and shift consumers will increasingly prioritize convenience while craving seamless and personalized experiences from the companies they choose to have relationships with. Ultimately, it’s about leveraging the right data to serve up the right offers to the right people, in the right places, at the right time.

SEO is time-consuming and gets increasingly harder by the day. SEO’s can use an average of 6 tools cobbled together and 4 hours a day on research, reporting, and analysis.

Smart SEOs look to platforms that can save them time on research, reporting, and analysis. This makes it easier for them to find the time to actually make the most important SEO changes and drive strategy.

Enterprise SEO is the best way to deliver the digital experience consumers now demand, and with these seven essential enterprise SEO skills in your toolbox, you’ll be well-positioned to identify opportunities and deliver business results for your clients.

Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise SEO and content performance platform.

The post Seven essential enterprise SEO skills to master in 2021 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Ring in the New Year with Free, Animated Email Templates

So much time and energy goes into strategizing, planning, and executing Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday email promotions. But have you thought about what happens when the gifts are wrapped and shopping is done?

Well, the holidays aren’t quite over just yet. The New Year celebration brings yet another new opportunity to meet your year-end sales goals. 

Plus, running a New Year email campaign can be a great way to connect with your customers and thank them for their patronage this year. 

To help you save time this holiday season, AWeber’s design team created email templates with a bit of extra sparkle just for your New Year’s email campaigns. Plus, they’re  animated!

Log in to your AWeber account — or get started with a free AWeber account today — to access the templates. 

Examples of New Year’s Email Newsletters 

Animated Seasons Greetings

Animation is eye-catching, particularly when combined with fresh, simple graphics. The shimmering tree animation is simple but effective without being overly distracting from your message.

Seasons Greeting email templates with animated snow.
The “Seasons Greetings” template is located in the template gallery under Holiday

Animated Happy New Year’s

The confetti animation is guaranteed to bring a smile to your subscribers’ faces. In this template, there are two different design options to select from with different font treatments and icon options. Choose whichever version works for your brand. 

Happy New Year’s Fireworks

If animation isn’t your thing, don’t fret. Sometimes, your audience prefers simpler email design (remember to A/B test your messages to uncover what content your audience loves!) 

The New Year’s fireworks email complements a clean and crisp, uncluttered layout with eye-catching graphics that will get your reader’s attention.

Happy New Years firework template
The “New Years” template is located in the template gallery under Holiday

Rooftop Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

It’s not too late to send a holiday message to your audience. The “Wishing You a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” email template series is festive enough to work for both holidays.  There are two color variations to choose from depending on your preferred color palette. 

Get your New Year’s email ready today!

New Year’s emails can be full of glitz and confetti or just a simple, genuine seasonal greeting.  A New Year’s email campaign is a perfect opportunity to connect to your audience, offer a special end of year discount,  and share how much their support has meant to you and your business.

{ “@context”: “”, “@type”: “BreadcrumbList”, “itemListElement”: [{ “@type”: “ListItem”, “position”: 1, “name”: “”, “item”: “” },{ “@type”: “ListItem”, “position”: 2, “name”: “AWeber Blogs”, “item”: “” },{ “@type”: “ListItem”, “position”: 3, “name”: “Ring in the New Year with Free, Animated Email Templates”, “item”: “” }] }

The post Ring in the New Year with Free, Animated Email Templates appeared first on AWeber.

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SMX 2021 will provide the most comprehensive search marketing education available

6 events, actionable tactics, affordable for all marketers

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Counting Down To Bundles Of Smashing Joy And Workshops In 2021

This year has been quite a ride — all the more reason to look forward to a new year with new beginnings, right? Well, we’ll never really know what awaits us in the next months to come, but what I do know is that everyone on this planet can do only so much and really just the best they can to pull through. It’s certainly been a year of less ups and more downs for so many people around the world, and we hope that with everything we’ve been doing at Smashing has helped make life at least a lil’ bit easier.

Plan Your Year Ahead With Online Workshops

Have you attended one of our workshops yet? The Smashing Events team is thrilled each and every time they run a workshop with all of the wonderful attendees from all over the world coming together to learn together. So many ideas have been brought to life thanks to the live design and coding sessions, and there are many folks that have found new friends, too!

It gets even better: We now have workshop bundles from which you can choose three, five or even ten workshop tickets for the workshops of your choice — ongoing, upcoming or the ones happening in the future!

Jan. 5 – Jan. 19 Build, Ship and Extend GraphQL APIs from Scratch Christian Nwamba Dev
Jan. 19 – Jan. 27 Form Design Masterclass Adam Silver Dev
Jan. 21 – Feb. 5 New Adventures In Front-End, 2021 Edition Vitaly Friedman Design & UX
Feb. 2 – Feb. 10 Building Modern HTML Emails Rémi Parmentier Dev
Feb. 11 – Feb. 26 The SVG Animation Masterclass Cassie Evans Dev
Feb. 16 – Feb. 17 The CSS Layout Masterclass Rachel Andrew Dev
Feb. 23 – Mar. 9 Successful Design Systems Brad Frost Dev
Mar. 4 – Mar. 12 Psychology For UX and Product Design Joe Leech Design & UX
Mar. 16 – Mar. 24 Finding Clients Masterclass Paul Boag Design & UX
Mar. 18 – Apr. 1 Behavioral Design Susan & Guthrie Weinschenk Design & UX
Mar. 30 – Mar. 31 Designing The Perfect Navigation Vitaly Friedman Design & UX

We hope you’ll find at least one workshop in the list above that fits your projects and career path, and if not, please do get in touch with us on Twitter and we promise to do our best to make it happen. Also, feel free to subscribe here if you’d like to be one of the first folks to be notified when new workshops come up, and get access to early-bird prices as well — we’ll have lots of goodies coming your way very soon!

Members Get Access To Videos And More

We’re proud to have a steadily growing Membership family who love good content, appreciate friendly discounts, and are an active part of our lovely web community. If you’re not involved yet, we’d love for you to join in and become a member, too! There are constant discounts on printed books, job postings, conference tickets, and your support really helps us pay the bills. ❤️

Smashing Podcast: Tune In And Get Inspired

This year, we’ve published a new Smashing Podcast episode every two weeks, and the feedback has been awesome! With over 56k downloads (just over a thousand per week, and growing!), we’ve had 34 guests on the podcast with different backgrounds and so much to share!

If you don’t see a topic you’d like to hear and learn more about, please don’t hesitate to reach out to host Drew McLellan or get in touch via Twitter anytime — we’d love to hear from you!

1. What Is Art Direction? 2. What’s So Great About Freelancing?
3. What Are Design Tokens? 4. What Are Inclusive Components?
5. What Are Variable Fonts? 6. What Are Micro-Frontends?
7. What Is A Government Design System? 8. What’s New In Microsoft Edge?
9. How Can I Work With UI Frameworks? 10. What Is Ethical Design?
11. What Is Sourcebit? 12. What Is Conversion Optimization?
13. What Is Online Privacy? 14. How Can I Run Online Workshops?
15. How Can I Build An App In 10 Days? 16. How Can I Optimize My Home Workspace?
17. What’s New In Drupal 9? 18. How Can I Learn React?
19. What Is CUBE CSS? 20. What Is Gatsby?
21. Are Modern Best Practices Bad For The Web? 22. What Is Serverless?
23. What Is Next.js? 24. What Is SVG Animation?
25. What Is RedwoodJS? 26. What’s New In Vue 3.0?
27. What Is TypeScript? 28. What Is Eleventy?
29. How Does Netlify Dogfood The Jamstack? 30. What Is Product Design?
31. What Is GraphQL? 32. Coming up on December 29

Stay tuned for the next episode coming out very soon!

Smashing Newsletter: Best Picks

With our weekly newsletter, we aim to bring you useful content and share all the cool things that folks are working on in the web industry. There are so many talented folks out there working on brilliant projects, and we’d appreciate it if you could help spread the word and give them the credit they deserve!

Also, by subscribing, there are no third-party mailings or hidden advertising involved, and your support really helps us pay the bills. ❤️

Interested in sponsoring? Feel free to check out our partnership options and get in touch with the team anytime — they’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as they can.

Preventing Layout Shifts With CSS Grid

It’s no news that CSS Grid is a fantastic tool to build complex layouts. But did you know that it can help you prevent layout shifts, too? When Hubert Sablonnière discovered a layout shift problem with a toggling state on a UI component he worked on, he came up with a solution: the “Anti Layout Shift Grid Stacking Technique”.

Compared to solving the layout shift with absolute positioning, Hubert’s Grid-based technique supports complex situations that require more than two panels. Another benefit: You don’t need to assume which panel should guide the size of the whole component. If you want to dive in deeper, Hubert wrote up everything you need to know to prevent both vertical and horizontal shifts in a practical blog post. (cm)

Fixing Headers And Jump Links

Jump links in combination with fixed headers can cause quite some frustration. Maybe you’ve run into the same issue before: When clicked, your jump link takes you to the desired element, but a fixed header is hiding it. In the past, wild hacks were required to solve the issue. Luckily, there’s now a straightforward and well-supported CSS solution.

The trick: scroll-margin-top. Assign it to your headers, and the position: fixed header won’t get into their way anymore when you navigate to them with a jump link. A short line of code that makes a huge difference. (cm)

Fluid Typography With clamp()

When it comes to fluid scaling, CSS has some exciting new features: clamp(), min(), and max(). They cap and scale values as the browser grows and shrinks. min() and max() return the respective minimum and maximum values at any given time while clamp lets you you pass in both a minimum and maximum plus a preferred size for the browser to use.

As Trys Mudford points out, clamp() comes in particularly handy when you want broadly fluid typography without being 100% specific about the relationship between the varying sizes. In his in-depth article about the new feature, he shares valuable hands-on tips for using clamp() effectively. (cm)

Open-Source Screen Recorder And Annotation Tool

If you’ve been looking for a free and easy-to-use tool to record your screen, it might be hard to find something more powerful than Alyssa X’s open-source screen recorder Screenity.

No matter if you want to give contextual feedback on a project, provide detailed explanations, or showcase your product to potential customers, Screenity offers a number of practical features to capture, annotate, and edit your recordings — without any time limit. You can draw on the screen and add text and arrows, for example, highlight clicks and focus on the mouse, push to talk, and much more. Screenity is available for Chrome. (cm)

A Human-Friendly Date Picker

Date pickers can be hard to get right. A beautiful example of a human-friendly and fully accessible date picker comes from Tommy Feldt.

Thanks to Chrono.js, it supports natural language inputs, so that a user can type something like “tomorrow”, “December 2”, or “in 5 days” to select a date. Shortcut buttons also help to select the most common dates. The date picker is fully accessible with the keyboard and screen readers (there’s even an on-demand help feature for screen reader and keyboard users) and degrades gracefully when JavaScript or CSS aren’t available. A very inspiring proof of concept. (cm)

Become A Jamstack Explorer

The Jamstack is still unexplored territory for you? Jamstack Explorers helps change that. Its mission: teaching you about building for the web with modern tools and techniques.

You can choose from three courses, track your progress, and earn rewards as you proceed through the Jamstack universe. Tara Z. Manicsic leads you through the wilds of Angular, Phil Hawksworth teaches you how to serve and track multiple versions of your site with Netlify, and Cassidy Williams guides you through all the essentials of Next.js. Once you’ve completed the three missions, there’s not only a certificate waiting, but you can call yourself a Jamstack Explorer, ready to use the newest tools to build experiences that are robust, performant, and secure. (cm)

Making Remote Design Work

Design reviews, sprints, feedback — design is a collaborative effort that brings along quite some challenges when doing it remotely. The folks at InVision put together a collection of handy resources to help you and your team master these challenges.

The content covers three of the most trickiest aspects of working remotely: fostering creativity, aiding collaboration, and staying focused. For more best practices for running a remote design team, InVision also published a free eBook drawing from their own experience of working remotely with 700 employees spread across 30 countries and no single office. (cm)

Full-Screen Countdown Timer To Stay On Track

Sticking to the schedule can be tricky when you are running a long video call or are giving a talk or workshop. To help you make sure the session stays on track, Koos Looijesteijn built Big Timer.

The bold yet minimalist timer counts down the remaining minutes right in your browser window — and even if you accidentally close the browser tab or need to restart your device, it will take the disruption into account. Keyboard shortcuts make it easy to adjust the duration and pause or stop the countdown. One for the bookmarks. (cm)

Sounds And Music To Help You Focus

Are you the type of person who can’t focus when it’s quiet around them? Then one of the following tools might help you become more productive. If you’re missing the familiar office sounds when working from home, I Miss The Office brings some office atmosphere into your home office — with virtual colleagues who produce typical sounds like typing, squeaking chairs, or the occasional bubbling of the watercooler.

Office sounds have always distracted you more than helped you focus? Then Noizio could be for you. The app lets you mix nature and city sounds to create your personal ambient sound. Another approach to increasing focus with sound comes from Their team of scientists, musicians, and developers designs functional music that affects the brain to achieve the desired mental state. Last but not least, [email protected] is also based on neuroscience and helps increase focus by changing the characteristics of music at the right time intervals. Promising alternatives to your usual playlist. (cm)

The Web Almanac 2020

Looking back at 2020, what’s the state of the web this year? The yearly Web Almanac gives in-depth answers to this question, combining the raw stats and trends of the HTTP Archive with the expertise of the web community. The results are backed up by real data taken from more than 7.5 million websites and trusted web experts.

22 chapters make up this years’ almanac. They are divided into four parts — content, experience, publishing, distribution —, and each one of them is explored from different angles. An insightful look into the state of performance is included, too, of course. (cm)

Generate A Request Map Of Your Site

Where do all the transmitted bytes on your site come from? Analyzing third-party components in detail is a time-consuming task, but it’s already a good start to know which third parties are on your site — and how they got there.

Simon Hearne’s request map generator tool visualizes a node map of all the requests on a page for any given URL. The size of the nodes on the map is proportional to the percentage of total bytes, and, when you hover over a node, you’ll get information on its size, response and load times. No more bad surprises. (cm)

Let’s Tweak Our JavaScript Bundles!

Chances are high that with your JavaScript code being around for a while, your JavaScript bundles are a little bit outdated. You might have some outdated polyfills, or you might be using a slightly outdated JavaScript syntax. But now there is a little tool that helps you identify those bottlenecks and fix them for good.

EStimator calculates the size and performance improvement a site could achieve by switching to modern JavaScript syntax. It shows which bundles could be improved, and what impact this change would have on your overall performance. The source code is also available on GitHub. (vf)

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