Mary Brown

Joined August 2020
Google recently announced it is changing one of its three Core Web Vitals metrics.

The Core Web Vitals report, commonly found in Google Search Console, measures how quickly site content loads and renders in a web browser, and how well it responds to user interaction. It's important because it shows how well (or not) your site shows up in search.*Previously, Core Web Vitals looked at:
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): how quickly your page...
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If you logged into Universal Analytics today you were likely greeted by this message:

On July 1, 2023, this property will stop processing data. Starting in March 2023, for continued website measurement, migrate your original property settings to a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property, or they'll be copied for you to an existing GA4 property, reusing existing site tags.

If you haven't yet read anything about GA4, that message might have scared the...
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I came across an interesting stat when doing some UX research recently: 35% of SaaS sites fail to make the service’s UI sufficiently prominent to prospects.

If people are researching a SaaS or digital subscription service that is going to be part of their regular routine, they'll want to get an idea of what it would be like to actually use it.

Seems like a no brainer, right?

Yet, according to Baymard's research, 35% of SaaS and digital...
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"For many of us effective multi-tasking is nothing more than just effective delusional thinking." - Brad Stuhlberg, Peak Performance

Ouch! For as long as I can remember, I've prided myself on being a professional multi-tasker, gaining pure satisfaction from how many boxes I could check off at the end of the day (and I know I'm not the only one). Yet no matter how many tasks I winded up touching in a week, I often found that I was still not...
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Mary Brown
Ugh  Janet Mendez  this hits hard. I've been guilty of multitasking for as long as I can remember. It's going to be tough to try and focus on one task at a time, but I can absolutely see why the effort will be worth it.

Thanks for sharing!
This is a question my team was asking this week. Since we were wondering about it, we figured some of you might be, too! Let's dive in.

Cookie scanning is a new beta offered by HubSpot. Reminder: Super admins can join betas by navigating to your portal dropdown > selecting Product Updates and > clicking Betas under Early Access.Here are the descriptions offered by HubSpot:

What is it?
HubSpot’s cookie scanner detects and categorizes all...
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HubSpot just released an update that allows your developer to have the ability to add a description to a HubDB table column to make it easier for content creators to understand how to use a column.

This is exciting as a developer for when you have a table that has quite a few columns to be able to add directly in the column what it is used for instead of creating a cheatsheet on the side.Who else is pumped for this update?
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Mary Brown
This is going to be so helpful!
As a manager, one of the areas I spend a lot of time focusing on with my direct reports is optimizing their day and giving them the space to do their best work.

One resource that I have been diving into to educate myself on this more is a book called Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness.

Chapter 7 explores the idea of discovering the best time of day for your own optimal performance. Scientists refer to those who work best in...
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Mary Brown
Super interesting,  Melanie Moore . I am definitely an owl so that's why you don't see me online first thing when you're up early!
Your website can be optimized better. How do I know this? Because the only thing constant is change. User trends change so your website should change with them. Heatmaps can help track user behavior and give you insights on how to better optimize the site's layout and content.

There are a variety of websites that provide heatmaps tools. Two of the most well-known are Hotjar and Lucky Orange. Both provide similar insights and features....
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Mary Brown
Sarah Bodman  I can't tell you how many times I looked at top elements in a heatmap and made a particular assumption, and then completely changed my view of the behavior after checking that assumption in the recordings. Such a powerful tool!
I hope you're not getting tired of Google Analytics 4 updates because we certainly haven't seen the last of them.

What's New

On November 3, the GA4 changelog noted an update to custom reports:
You can now add custom dimensions and metrics to your custom reports as primary dimensions, enabling you to more easily report on custom information that's important to your business. Additionally, the dimensions and metrics pickers in the Reports...
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These 10 insightful "micro-tips" do not require any UX experience or color theory, I promise.

Whether you are looking at a website redesign in your near future or just some easy ways to improve what you already have this article is a great place to start.What is one thing from this list you can implement?
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Mary Brown
Marcella Jalbert good stuff. 

I appreciated, "Before a user takes action, especially on some types of Calls to Action, make sure they’re not left in the dark as to what may happen next. Always keep the user well informed before an action is taken as to what they can expect when clicking on that shiny CTA of yours."

Setting clear expectations about what happens next instills trusts and trust makes users feel confident about taking the next step. 

Whether I'm looking for metadata on a webpage, troubleshooting Google tag implementations, or proofing content, Chrome extensions make my life so much easier.

For example, a few months ago I learned about an extension called Detailed SEO (details below). Thanks to this tool, instead of spending an hour using several convoluted processes to find key on-page SEO information, I suddenly had a trove of valuable insights with one click.

I realized...
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Mary Brown
+1 for Google Tag Assistant for exactly the reason you stated! Another one I like is GoFullPage for taking screenshots that require scrolling.
In the least surprising news ever, Google is changing something relating to mobile search results.

What's Changing
According to Search Engine Journal, Google has stopped showing full title tags in mobile search results and is now only showing the generic site name.

Why It's Changing
Google's official announcement explained that, “Search is introducing site names on mobile search results to make it easier to identify the website that’s...
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Google's recent Helpful Content Update means that we all need to be on our A-game when it comes to content writing. With Google's new machine learning algorithm, Google will be able to better identify sites that provide truly helpful information to its users. This means that content primarily written to rank for search engines will be less likely to perform well in search rankings.
So here are 5 things you should do in order to get the most...
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Mary Brown
Sure, I'm biased, but I feel like this update really favors They Ask, You Answer content. The TAYA framework boils down to the idea that educated prospects become happier, better customers. If your prospects are asking questions, you must answer them — openly and honestly — on your website. That idea speaks directly to point #2 and point #3 above! I'll be interested to see if we notice any change in search results for TAYA content. 
News from web world! At the end of September, Google announced five changes coming soon to mobile search:
  • Google Search Shortcuts: On the Google app for all iOS, you'll have tappable search shortcuts that help you search beyond typing in a text query.
  • Results in the Search Bar: Google will start populating results as you type, before you even hit submit, to get you to an answer faster.
  • Enhanced Query Refinements: When you type in your...
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Hi all :)
I've just started a business that I'm not sure how to create a price estimator for. To give a price range, I first need to do research and then walk the property to assess all the possible issues. I've been thinking as an alternative, I could offer a recommendation tool that helps people determine if they should even be talking to me or if they would benefit more from looking at other methods of selling their property. Any feedback...
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Mary Brown
Hi  Caitlin Hunter   ! Since it sounds like your price is variable depending on a number of factors, you could use the Berry Insurance approach: Transparency about pricing is crucial to establishing trust with potential customers. Some people think you can't talk about pricing if you don't have set costs, but sharing as much information as possible—including why providing set costs is so difficult—goes a long way toward building trust. 

On Berry’s page, they say that pricing isn’t straightforward and then explain why. They talk about the various factors that make pricing go up or down. They also provide ranges (and $700-$4,000 is a significant gap) so people can at least get an idea of what they might spend. After all of that, it’s clear they have nothing to hide. 

You might be able to do something similar. It sounds like you could talk about how different areas impacts price, talk about common issues you see with homes and how expensive those issues can be, and give some ranges. Is walking the property/giving an estimate free? That would be a great call to action on the page if so. 

As for a tool, you might be able to come up with a lead generation tool that gives a *rough* estimate without a visit. For example, part of the tool could provide a list of common issues you see in homes that they could check off. They should share their address so you could evaluate area. You could add in anything else that you know of that factors into an estimate that could be calculated automatically (e.g., How old is your roof? If less than 5 years old the cost is X, if older than 20 years, the cost is Y). This tool could be ungated for a rough estimate that has an accompanying message of: “For true cost, schedule an appointment…” with a form. 

If you wanted to do a gated lead generation tool, you could add space for them to add any issues that they know of. Maybe you could ask them to upload photos of specific parts of the home you’d want to see. They could submit all of that to you for an estimate that you would then process manually. The next step there would still be an appointment for a walkthrough. 

Do either of these ideas sound like they would be helpful to your prospects? 
I wonder how to integrate a pricing page when the price we quote is based upon the work we do for clients with a tax liability with the state or federal government. We specialize in tax resolution, helping folks with state and federal tax problems. The price range is too wide to feel comfortable posting it. Suggestions?
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Mary Brown
Great question Ali Schneider ! And ☒ has the right idea. You can put wide ranges of pricing on your site as long as you vanguard the messaging. One of my favorite examples of this is the pricing page for our client Berry Insurance: Here's a link to their pricing page

Before any numbers are introduced they start with, "...we prioritize honesty and education. We want to provide transparent answers..." which helps build trust. They then note that "...nothing about insurance is straightforward. Every policy is so complex, with unique factors determining the price." They even say, "Before you take the below numbers as gospel, we want to preface by saying, we’ve been doing insurance for decades and things still surprise us every day." By the time they finally do share those wide ranges (e.g, $700 - $4,000), expectations are properly set.