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Tammy Lee
Tammy Lee

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5 Ways to Make Marketing Happy Right NOW!

I've spent nearly half my career working for digital marketing agencies. You pick up a few things working in that sort of environment that you probably don't learn in a software or dev shop.

Here is my list of the top 5 things a developer can do, right now, that will make a digital marketer happy:

  1. Tel links are formatted correctly!
  2. No JavaScript errors.
  3. Semantic HTML.
  4. Every 'page' has a unique URL that can be linked to directly
  5. FORM submissions trigger a submit event OR redirect to a thank-you page.

Tel Links

Tel links should be a default if you're building an app or a web site or a web app. Here you go, straight from Google:

  1. Wrap all phone numbers in hyperlinks with the tel: schema.
  2. Always use the international dialing format.

This is what a tel link should look like:
<a href="tel:+1-303-499-7111">+1 (303) 499-7111</a>

  • It is an anchor tag, not a button.
  • The href attribute value has tel: as a prefix and there are no spaces or parentheses.
  • It's straight up semantic HTML and there is no onClick event with an e.preventDefault() going on here.

Semantic HTML

Speaking of semantic HTML... USE IT! This is a nice introduction to why you would want to use semantic HTML and here is a key quote:

To understand why this is important, we really have to empathize with the machines reading our content.

Machines like, oh, say web crawlers? Spiders? Whatever the heck Google and Bing and Yahoo etc are calling their processes that read the content from a webpage and tries to figure out how to rank it. Yeah. Those machines.

By making web pages that are easier for machines to read you are contributing to digital marketing success for your client.

No JavaScript Errors

Sweet googly moogly this is a big one! Savvy digital marketers these days will be using Google Tag Manager (GTM) to track things on a web page or app. GTM is JS-based and is injected onto your page. If there is an error in your JS on the page that stops any other JS from executing well, thbbbpt, there goes your GTM events and triggers.

The same is true for any JS that gets injected via GTM! This is just one of the many reasons why it's important for development and marketing to communicate.

Unique URLs

Most web pages have their own URL but with the popularity of JS-built sites and single-page applications, we sometimes see page content being replaced without a corresponding change in URL. This is naughty-naughty from a digital marketing perspective!

For example, how can a digital marketer link to a landing page from a campaign ad?

This is an old article but it's a good place to start when thinking about these things. It may be a bit outdated (I have no clue when it was published.) but it has a wealth of knowledge including how to test if your JS-based site/app is crawlable by Google.
The Basics of JavaScript Framework SEO

Form Submissions

I have left the most frustrating and difficult bit of tracking for last; tracking form submissions.

I have spent hours trying to get GTM to detect a form submission to no avail but don't let me lob anecdotal evidence at you, learn from the master, Simo Ahava:
Track Form Engagement With Google Tag Manager

The TLDR version of his excellent article is that there are only TWO things required to make a form submission detectable by GTM:

  1. The form must dispatch a valid submit browser event.
  2. This event must not be prevented from propagating to the document node.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? WRONG! THIS IS A DIFFICULT LEMON! APPARENTLY, THE CITRUS FRUSTRATION IS SO BAD I HAVE TO USE ALL-CAPS!

(At least 23 of my grey hairs are from trying to track form submissions.)

When we try to keep digital marketing in mind, we get to build cool stuff and they get to track user engagement of said cool stuff! We both win and everybody is happy!

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Discussion (3)

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Tammy Lee Author

Oh ho! If it is email marketing info you're interested in... mjml.io/ is an excellent framework to code your emails in. It has its own markup language that you compile with either a node module or you can use their desktop builder. It compiles into cross-platform compliant code for all email clients!

I also get the newsletter from reallygoodemails.com/. They often have good ideas!

Now you have me wanting to do a writeup about things I had learned from having my own web services corporation!