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How to Manage Blogs Strategically

Strategically Managing Blog Content

Why Risdall Deleted 390 Blogs and Why You Should Consider the Same Content marketers and bloggers are often told to focus on generating new content for their blog. It’s easy to forget about the pre-existing content on the website and how it could be impacting the organization. While the focus is on the freshest content, old blogs on the website are still generating traffic and creating impressions of your organization. Recently, Risdall went through over seven years of blogs. We deleted nearly 400 posts. Why would we do this if content is king? What are the benefits of deleting a

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Design Trends for 2016 Business-to-Business Websites

Successful B2B Web Design Strategies for 2016

The internet is a titanic mass of boundless information. Upload content and it can easily get lost if it isn’t noteworthy. Making a website stand out among waves of information is important for B2B companies. By taking a look at these modern and effective web fashions, B2B companies can model their websites to appeal to their customers and facilitate positive business experiences. Content First Design Early website design used to be like the lunch trays from elementary school. Content would be placed into a predetermined template, limiting the personality of a site and standardizing the place of content. Today’s web design

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Risdall Anniversaries

5 Risdallians Celebrated Work Anniversaries in December

This December Risdall honored 5 Risdall employees on their work anniversaries. Maggie Thompkins, Beth Anderson, Michelle Peterson, Pete Fabian and Lauren Westling have scootered through another year of yummy homemade cookies, Risdall BINGO and of course, candy! To celebrate the anniversaries, CEO Ted Risdall gave these  Risdallians a rose for each year they’ve spent with our team. “We are lucky to have an incredible and dedicated batch of people who work here. I’d like to think of  Risdall as a place where people can grow and have a meaningful career. Both Michelle and Lauren started here as interns before becoming

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Constant Variables

Using Constant Variables in Tag Manager to Save Time

Did you know that Google Tag Manager can remember your Google Analytics Tracking ID for you? Doing this saves time, energy and value. Your Google Analytics tracking ID is that number that looks like UA-1234567-1 that needs to be entered over and over again into tags put into Tag Manager. Create a Constant Variable in the Tag Manager to Remember Your Google Analytics Tracking ID Here is a tip on how to instruct the Tag Manager to remember this for you: Navigate to the Variables section of Tag Manager. Scroll down and click the red “New” button near the bottom

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Here’s to a SWEET 2016! New Year’s Tidings from CEO Ted Risdall

With SWEET ‘2016’ as our new theme, we are busy refilling our hundreds of candy jars to power our brains for another year of Growth. Powered by Risdall! We go into this year continuing to help organizations figure out how marketing, communication and reputation can help them grow. As we navigate the biggest communication revolution ever, we love applying the digital tools of today along with tried and true marketing strategies.           Our Expertise as Great Gifts to Share It’s a privilege to hear our clients share their gratitude when Risdall solves their business challenges. Each task requires

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3 Public Relations Resolutions to Make This New Year’s Eve

No matter where you are in your public relations career, there is always room for improvement. Take a few minutes this New Year’s to decide what you will do to build on your PR skills to pave the path for a productive 2016. Step up your PR game next year with these three ideas: 1. Interact with journalists on social media Social media’s role in media relations is quickly increasing. To build and maintain relationships with journalists, we need to join the conversations where they are taking place. Twitter is one of the social media platforms that journalists use most frequently. If

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Frustrations with Ad Blockers and Content Marketing

Frustrations with Ad Blockers and Content Marketing Share This Common Trait

Recently, there was a flood of articles and opinion posts on how ad blockers signaled the end of digital advertising. Digital ads won’t go anywhere. Around the same time, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) released its annual B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report. The report showed a decrease in how effective B2B marketers see content marketing. Because of this, many people are now writing drafts of their “content marketing is dead” posts. It’s not. Underneath the statistics and flood of opinions are real signals showing us what to focus on in our 2016 digital

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Big Data Analytics Image

How to Force Campaign Parameters to Lowercase

I recently read an excellent post by Krista Seiden titled Three Google Analytics Filters You Should Be Using Today. Her three basic filters include spam bot filtering, excluding traffic from internal IP addresses, and forcing URLs to lowercase. I couldn’t agree more, these three filters are simple to set-up, and make your data so much more valuable. In fact, if you’re a Risdall client and our digital marketing team manages your Google Analytics, you’ve got these filters and more in place already in at least one of your views. Three Additional Filters to Apply Krista’s post reminded me that there

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PR Jargon

20 PR Jargon Words that Turn Your Pitch into a #PRFail

If you’re on Twitter, you may be familiar with the #PRFail hashtag people use to share the worst public relations communications they find. If you’re not familiar with it, #PRFail is a hashtag that categorizes the worst public relations misfires that journalists and industry professionals come across. Take a look at the examples below: As a public relations professional, I find these tweets somewhat offensive, pretty hilarious and extremely helpful. Even though our journalist counterparts are poking fun at us, when they share these tweets, we learn what not to say or do when pitching. One practice to avoid when

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9 Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Press Releases

Press releases exist as a way to announce newsworthy information to media channels. As public relations professionals, it is important to construct clear, meaningful and direct releases that inform audiences about relevant information. News releases are subject to the mercy of an outside party, such as a journalist, in order to receive coverage. In order to increase the chances of earning coverage for your clients or company, consider the following during construction: First off, don’t forget the 5 basics: Who is the news release pertaining to? A company, an individual or a product? Who will the release affect directly or

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Risdall Celebrates 2 Risdallians’ Work Anniversaries This November

This November two people are celebrating another year of being apart the Risdallian team. Tina Karelson and Josh Dahmes have discoed through another year of neon lights and candy jars! In celebration of their anniversaries, CEO Ted Risdall presented both  Risdallians with a rose for each year they’ve spent with our team. Risdall “It’s always exciting to see people reach another year with the agency. Tina has been apart of our team since 1986, and Josh has been here since 2005. I’m happy that we have found individuals with expertise in their fields who share Risdall’s passion for building partnerships with our clients. Between these two Risdallians,

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Thanksgiving Cranberries

There Is Always Be Something To Be Thankful For

A very happy Thanksgiving to all! As I’ve said before, feeling thankful to so many and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. 2015 marks our 43rd year of being in business and I am thankful for the folks that have made this possible, especially our wonderful clients. I am thankful for the Risdallian team. Powered by our supreme work ethic – plus endless jars of candy and daredevil scooter laps around the building – we have worked tirelessly to make a difference for our clients and our community. I am also thankful that we

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Remembering Pat Fallon

Remembering Pat Fallon & His Advertising Legacy

Last week, the Twin Cities advertising community lost one of its icons, Pat Fallon. Fallon is one of only three Minnesotans to be inducted into the Advertising Hall-of-Fame and is one of the reasons Minneapolis was put on the map for remarkable advertising. Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a full-page ad featuring Risdall and 39 of our Twin Cities agency peers, to show the appreciation for the impact Pat Fallon has had across the community.   Pat Fallon’s Personal Connections with Risdall Like many of our peers, Risdall has personal and professional connections to Fallon. “Pat Fallon was one of my

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BlueSky Online Blog Banner

BlueSky Online School’s Growth. Powered by Risdall.

At Risdall, we’re lucky to have the opportunity to work with businesses that make a difference in people’s lives. As a full-service agency, our different departments team up together to work with clients in a variety of industries. To share our client’s stories, we started a blog series called “Growth. Powered by Risdall.” We highlight the accomplishments of a client, industry and marketing service to demonstrate how clients have bloomed with Risdall and achieved growth in their businesses. Last month we introduced our client, VISION EASE, a Minnesota-based company that is a leading manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses. Almost every department

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Tracking PDF Page View in Google Tag Manager Blog Feature Image

How to Track PDF Page Views Using Google Tag Manager

It seems intuitive that you should be able to log into Google Analytics, navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and find a page view count for your URLs ending in .pdf. However, Google Analytics page view tracking has to be applied a little differently than one may expect. This is because a PDF is a document that is hosted on your website. Not an actual page on your website built with html code or built using your website page templates. At Risdall, we like to provide our clients with event tracking, implemented through the Google Tag Manager,

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Video Recording Cameras on Tripods for Screen Capture Video Blog

How to Create A Screen Capture Video Using A MacBook Air and QuickTime

The first step is to open the QuickTime application along with which ever presentation platform—like PowerPoint for Prezi—you are using. When you have both of these applications open head over to the QuickTime Application, then up to the file tab in the menu bar and select new screen recording. Once you select a new screen recording a mini menu box will appear. In the center of it is the recording button. Immediately to the right of the recording button is a carrot. This is for your audio options make whether or not you’re using a microphone. The volume bar underneath

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Risdall Anniversaries

Celebrating 5 Risdallians’ Work Anniversaries This September and October

This month at Risdall, five people are celebrating another year of working at the agency. To recognize these achievements, CEO Ted Risdall presented each anniversary celebrant with as many roses as they have years with Risdall. Judy Becker, Beth Varela, Dave Dougherty, Melissa Holte and Rick Johnson have thrived with another year of candy, scooters and “Mad Men” parties! “In September and October we celebrated the old and the new with our Risdall anniversaries. Judy has been part of the Risdall team since we opened our doors in 1972, while Beth and Dave added their online marketing expertise to Risdall just last

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Higher Education Communications Strategy

How to Perfect Your Communications Strategy

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily to-do list of emails, social posts, meetings and even remembering to eat. During this frenzy, have you taken time to really get to know the people you’re communicating with? Our experience in marketing communications has taught us a few simple things that can help you develop a solid strategy and make it easy to implement. Your communications will be much more effective if you invest the time upfront. These include: Identifying your audience(s) Building audience personas Reaching your audience exactly where they are You Don’t Have A Communications Strategy If You

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Ad Blocking and Marketing

What Ad Blockers Teach Us About Marketing

A reporter recently contacted me to ask for thoughts about the rise of ad blocking technology and what it means for B2B firms. The publication was interested in how ads would need to be tailored differently in the future or what marketers can do to combat ad blocking. The inquiry itself goes against our general marketing philosophy here at Risdall. I thought I’d share a few thoughts today on this topic, as well as share with you an actionable step you can take to better understand the rise of ad blocking. Commit to Creating Useful, Engaging Content Many of us

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Brand Hierarchy Creative Commons

Building Higher Education Brand Strength With a Brand Hierarchy

In today’s perfect marketing storm of stiff competition and information overload, more colleges and universities recognize the critical need for strategic branding. Those who’ve already done the hard work of developing a strong, core-brand identity are ahead of the game. But they still have work to do. Most higher education institutions are, by necessity, complex organizations that serve many diverse and distinct communities and interests. That means a lot of communication is pouring out, and when multiple departments, programs, schools, sports teams and offices try to reach nuanced audiences through the same brand bullhorn, it can get murky fast. Problems

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Coffee Wine & Chocolate Analytics Blog

Set Up Cross-Domain Tracking with the Google Tag Manager in 3 Easy Steps

Our main business website is Most of the time, when we need to add information to our website on a new page, we put it in a subfolder page, which in turn churns out a URL such as (for example). When we do this, we make sure that our Google Tag Manager container is added to our page and analytics data is easily collected. However, in some instances, we need to track a sub-domain page as if it were a part of our regular domain. An example of a sub-domain URL is Because the word coffee comes before, it is considered a different domain,

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Standing out with your higher education branding

Why Higher Education Needs Branding

What does your organization stand for? What is the reputation you currently hold in the eyes of your target consumer? These are critical questions to answer to form the basic foundation of your organization’s brand. There are many components of a brand and it is much more than a logo or tagline. A brand exists only in the mind of the consumer. A brand is the perception they have which determines what they think they know about your organization—driving an emotional reaction. When your audience believes in what you stand for, a loyal relationship is formed. Then it is in

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Financial Marketing

Six Reasons Why Every Credit Union Should Work With a Full-Service Marketing Agency

I’m taking a detour today from my usual analytics topics, and writing today about my experience working with federal credit unions. The Risdall agency works with a number of organizations in the finance industry, and while every organization is unique, I’ve noticed some things, industry-wide, that I believe are the top six reasons why every credit union should work with a full-service marketing agency.   1.) Website Health Your website is often the first impression of your organization to potential members. I notice that in the federal credit union space there are websites that make me as a visitor feel

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Risdall and Clients Win 18 WebAwards in International Competition

We’d like to congratulate our clients and our Risdall team members on winning 18 awards in this year’s international WebAwards competition! Risdall provides clients with the latest technology and a team of industry-leading experts who love what they do, and when you love what you do, you can’t help but produce amazing work. These awards represent clients across a variety of industries and earned Risdall the title of Outstanding Website Developer. “Gaining peer recognition of Risdall’s ability to create beautiful, functional websites is an honor,” said Joel Koenigs, chief technology officer at Risdall. “These awards are not only an achievement

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Millennial Consumer Flickr Creative Commons Higher Education Blog

Targeting Your Higher Education Marketing

Marketers Still Love Millennials But Make Room for Generation Z Just as marketers are getting the hang of courting Millennials, along comes Generation Z. Opinions differ on the exact age range, but it’s generally safe to consider Gen Zers as anyone born in 1995 or after. Millennials will remain the focus of brands for at least another decade, as they maintain earning and spending supremacy. That gives brands time to adjust as they learn, but higher education institutions don’t have that luxury. Generation Z is their target now. What Makes Generation Z Tick and What Do They Want? “Generation Z

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Organic and Referral Traffic from

Why is Showing as a Referral Source Instead of Organic?

Over the summer we saw a few cases of decreased organic search traffic from Bing. After investigating, we also found an increase in referral traffic coming from Why this shift in reporting? And what can we as analysts do to fix our channel grouping? This post will explain what’s happening, and provide steps for a fix. Traffic From In June, 2015, Bing announced that the search engine giant will be moving to encrypt search traffic by default (instead of simply providing the option to select to encrypt search traffic in user settings). In laymen’s terms this means that traffic

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Higher Education Website Digital Marketing

Get Your Digital House in Order

Imagine you’re having a housewarming party. What if I told you I could set up a way to know what each of your friends thought of your new place, how they moved through your house as they showed themselves around, how many of the people you invited actually came and what they are saying about your house to your face and behind your back? Wouldn’t you be interested in learning about this? With the digital tools in today’s marketing environment, the potential is there to do this with your digital house: your website. Like your home, your website is the

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New Google Search Page Branding

Google Rebrands Itself

Happy September! It’s my birthday month, and Google is celebrating by launching its rebrand, complete with a new logo! Well, okay maybe Google didn’t launch its new suite of logos and brand guidelines especially for my birthday, but I’m certain they had my toddler son in mind (the majority of the reactions I’ve seen say that the new font looks like a children’s toy font). This rebrand comes a month after Google announced a major restructuring including the creation of Google’s new parent company, Alphabet. Hey… this appealing to toddlers thing is making a little too much sense. In an

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Risdall Anniversaries

Celebrating 4 Risdallians’ Work Anniversaries This August

Each month, we like to celebrate the Risdallians who have put in another year at the agency. Ted Risdall, CEO and Chairman, gifts each person who celebrates a work anniversary with as many roses as they have years at Risdall. Thank you to Jennifer Risdall, Bill Helgeson, Joel Koenigs and Don Eitel for spending another great year working with us. “I’d like to thank Jennifer, Bill, Joel and Don for their continued work to make Risdall one of the top 10 advertising agencies in the Twin Cities,” said Ted. “These four Risdallians represent 40 years of combined marketing experience at

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Referral Spam Featured Image

Add A Spam Referral Source to Your Custom Segment Filter

In my last post, I shared my custom segment that filters out many known spam referral sources. New spam referral sources pop up every day, and you may wish to update the segment to include some of your worst offenders. Here’s a guide on how to update my Segment for your own uses. In the reporting tab, click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Referral, this should reveal a list of referral sources, and you should be able to identify if there is a spam referral source that you’d like to remove. Take note of that source, because

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Referral Spam Traffic_Featured Image

Remove Referral Spam from your Google Analytics Reports

Have you gotten excited that your website is receiving a lot of traffic from referring websites, only to realize when you dig deeper that the referral traffic reported in Google Analytics is spam referrals? In this post, I’ll explain what referral traffic is, and how to remove spammy referral traffic from your reports. What is Spam Referral Traffic? Firstly, referral traffic is traffic to your website that has been referred from another website. In other words, it’s traffic that comes from a hyperlink on a website that leads to your website. In general referral traffic is really good! It not only

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Vision-Ease Featured Image_Growth. Powered by Risdall.

Vision Ease’s Growth. Powered by Risdall.

At Risdall clients are our lifeblood, and we enjoy helping them grow their businesses through tailored marketing plans. Since we have a wide range of clients, many unique stories come out of the challenges we help them solve. To share these stories, we started a blog series called Growth. Powered by Risdall. to highlight a new client and industry every month. In July, we featured The University of Texas at Tyler, a higher education institution that found the perfect combination of online marketing tactics to reach its target audience and encourage enrollment. In August, we would like to introduce a long-term

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Redirect Mapping Featured Image

Redirect Mapping – An Easy Way to Carry Over Page Authority when Redesigning Your Website

So you’re launching a new website soon, and you want to do everything you can to optimize the new site for search. Redirect mapping is something on our SEO checklist that is simple to complete, and very necessary. Why should I create a redirect map? Your current, soon to be old, website has a structure to it. We’re referring to all of it’s pages, organized into folders, presented in menu items, and ultimately represented by URLs. When an outside source hyperlinks to one of your pages, you get a little bit of domain and page authority, which is good for

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Digital Marketing Terms_Featured Image

Necessary Digital Marketing Terms for Beginning Marketers

Understanding digital marketing is necessary for the modern marketer. However, the language of digital marketing can be confusing because it combines technological, financial and advertising lingo into lengthy terms that are often abbreviated with acronyms. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 essential terms every beginning marketer needs to understand for digital marketing. Ten Important Digital Marketing Terms CTA (Call to Action): An offer a visitor to a site clicks to indicate they would like more information about an organization or would like to purchase a product or service. This often takes the form of a survey or product demo.

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AP style guide rules for online marketing

AP Style Rules to Remember for Better Online Writing

Grammar is critical to how smoothly an article reads. While not every reader will be a stickler for grammar, inconsistencies and mistakes can still throw off their ability to understand content. When writing for the web, whether for journalism or marketing, AP style is the guide to abide by. Following these rules strengthens readability no matter the medium. Below are some explanations of the more confusing AP style rules that typically impact the readability of the writing. 9 of the Most Important AP Style Rules Rules for Titles of Media Publications such as journals or newspapers are only capitalized. Anything

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Risdall Anniversaries

Celebrating 4 Risdallians’ Work Anniversaries This July

Every month we take a moment to celebrate the work anniversaries of our fellow Risdallians. Ted Risdall, our CEO, gives everyone with an anniversary a rose for each year he or she has spent at the agency. This month Deb Fisher, Joel Swanson, Brad Murray and Dave Folkens received roses. We want to send a special thank you to these individuals for sharing their preeminent expertise with our team and our clients! “Between Deb, Joel, Brad and Dave, we have 54 years of collected experience with Risdall,” said Ted. “Out of those 54 years, Deb accounts for 33 years alone! The passion

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Business Wire Featured Image

Measure the ROI of News Releases with Business Wire’s Report

Measuring the return on investment (ROI) for public relations activities has been a long-debated subject. It is difficult to determine which sales can be attributed as a direct result of public relations since many PR activities plant long-term seeds that result in increased sales over time. Fortunately, as technology advances, the challenge of measuring public relations’ ROI is becoming easier. The Business Wire Market Impact Report Business Wire’s “Market Impact Report” helps businesses see how their company-issued press release affects their stock trading. The report provides a detailed analysis of a company’s stock performance metrics including price change, volume impact and

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Manufacturing Marketing Featured IMage

How to Move Offline Activities Online in Manufacturing Marketing

Risdall’s June seminar, “The Power of Marketing for Manufacturing,” featured industry expertise tailored to manufacturing marketing. In this final blog in the series, we share ideas and examples on moving offline activities into the realm of online marketing. Custom Landing Pages Encourage Conversions Landing pages can lead visitors to your website from many sources, and clicking on different ads may lead to their own landing pages. If you’re going to a trade show, creating a landing page tailored to the show will help visitors who find you at the show connect with you through a page structured to their interests

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Manufacturing Marketing Featured IMage

Implementing Your Manufacturing Marketing Content Strategy

Risdall held “The Power of Manufacturing for Marketing” in June, a seminar to help manufacturers get the most out of their content. In our previous blog posts about the seminar, we have discussed how to create that content. Here, we explain how to show your content to the world. Organizing Your Content Strategy Organizational structure and your team’s capacity are key. First you need to decide how many people need to be involved in any given activity and who will be included on the content marketing team. Next you can come up with a plan for your process and your

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Manufacturing Marketing Featured IMage

Content Creation Best Practices for Manufacturing Marketing

In June, Risdall held “The Power of Marketing for Manufacturing,” a seminar on content marketing strategies useful in the manufacturing industry. Creating content should be an ever-present goal, and several best practices exist as a guide. Best Practices for Manufacturing Marketing Identify the questions your customers are asking. Using the buyer personas you’ve created, you will be able to identify questions your customers are asking. You want to make sure that all the content you’ve created aligns with the information you’re seeking. Match up your content plan to your expertise and your resources. Use the people you have and highlight their

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