Aztek Blog
Aztek is a web design, web application development, and digital marketing agency in Cleveland, Ohio who blogs about those very same topics.

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3 Steps to Create A Predictable Lead Generation Model Online

The ultimate goal for your company is to put in place a predictable revenue model which will enable it to accurately forecast quarterly and annual revenue based on your marketing and sales activity.

 Image of a sign that says, drink, boogie, repeat. Do you know if your online efforts are bringing you predictable quality leads? Read for three steps to find out.

First, your company has to outline activity. This typically consists of calls, networking events, tradeshows and industry conferences, partnerships, and digital marketing. Second, you have to analyze how many qualified leads each of these activities produces as well as the average channel cost. Third, you need to calculate the sales and revenue you have received from all the leads acquired through the outlined activity. Once you have the revenue numbers you'll know what you need to do in terms of the activity in order to sustain or increase the revenue.

Are You Generating Predictable Revenue Online?


Making Space For Creativity In An Open Office

Open offices can be great for group collaboration and pair programming, but they are not always so great for idea generation. Noise levels and a constant flow of interruptions can really interfere with the act of creation. For many people, creativity happens in solitude; when they are able to focus on a project or idea with no distractions. So if you work in a creative industry that has an open plan design, you may find it difficult to find the space to be creative.

We asked our team for some tips and tricks for how they do it.

6 Tips For Making Space To Be Creative

#1 Put on some headphones

Headphones are the easiest way to block out unwanted noise (assuming you are listening to music) and let others know you are trying to stay focused on a project. I must confess, I've put on headphones without music just to keep people from tapping me on the shoulder.


#2 Work remotely


The Positives of Negative Keywords

How do you prevent your Google Search ads from showing to users who aren't interested?

By using negative keywords.

Say you’re a travel agent who wants to reach users booking a dream vacation to the island of Java in Indonesia. “Java” has multiple meanings and associations, like Java Software or coffee or song titles, and Google is looking to show results that are relevant to the particular user who typed “java” into their search bar. The travel agent advertiser would want to use negative keywords like “software” or “coffee” to help Google filter out those users who aren’t looking to book a hotel in Jakarta.

Java, Java, Java, and also Java.

How do you put together a negative keyword list?

You have to have pretty good general knowledge of the industry and the business you are advertising. Start by doing research, using keyword tools, and, most importantly, checking the actual search terms that trigger your ads.

One of our clients creates custom products like gaskets and seals from rubber materials. Monitoring actual search term queries showed that users searching for rubber catsuits were clicking on their ads because Google was broad matching our keywords for custom made rubber products.


13 Reasons Why a New Developer Should Attend CodeMash

TL;DR – GO TO CODEMASH! It’s worth it.

ZAGG Studios, Ltd.: After Dark &emdash;

The New Year’s buzz is over, vacations are over, and the dead of winter is right around the corner. If only there was some way to kick start your January. Why don’t you start off this year the RIGHT way and travel to Sandusky, Ohio!

“Sandusky, Ohio? That’s where Cedar Point is, right?!?! I love riding coasters! Brilliant!”

Well, sorry to break the news, but it’s closed. You won't be riding roller coasters. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 and wait till May (don’t worry, I’m right there with you #Valraven ).

“But what else is going on in Sandusky that could possibly be that interesting?”

What if GitHub blocked a region of Sandusky? Or, what if it was the top trending on twitter? Or if it has 2.2TB of internet traffic per day? Does that sound interesting?

“Ok I’m interested”

What if I added 2,500 people over four days and 280 sessions all geared around technology and development?

“Ok it's better but I’m still not sold”

You get out of the office for a while?

“Yeah, but it’s just a conference. Big deal…”

It’s at an indoor water park!



What I am talking about is CodeMash and it is not what you would think of as a regular conference. It's a fun and creative learning event for developers by developers.

Being a junior developer I was hesitant about going because I thought it was going to be over my head. But boy was I wrong! If you're you a new developer who's thinking about attending CodeMash. You should, and here's 13 reasons why.

1. Location

Seriously, CodeMash is hosted at the wonderful Kalahari Resorts. This includes America's largest indoor water park, hotel suites, and a massive convention center. There is no shortage of fun while on the Kalahari property. Plus, people trek from all over the world this event. Here is an HTTP2 talk by Ole Michaelis from Germany. How about a Node.js talk by David Neal from Georgia. Or even Aztek's very own Michael Hagesfeld!


9 A/B Experiences from CodeMash

After decompressing from the latest CodeMash, the giant tech conference in Sandusky Ohio, our team realized there are certain immutable truths about everyone's experience. We've tried to summarize our feelings, high and low, good and bad, hungry and stuffed, into pictures below.

1. When you get there Thursday to check in

Photo Credit: A Million People Waiting in Line, Geekfill


When you checked in Wednesday night and see the Thursday line



Website Design Process Checklist For the Client (2015 Edition)

Back in 2010 we wrote our original website project checklist for the client. Now some time has passed and we felt it was time for an update. So here it is, the client website project checklist, 2015 edition.

Illustration for client website project checklist

Domain Names

No website runs without a domain name ( Some even run with more than one.

  • Do you have a list of all relevant domain names?
    • Your company may have multiple, be sure to do some digging to make sure that if you are updating our website or moving to a new host that nothing gets left behind/off.
  • Does your company own the domain(s) and have access to the domain registration info?
    • Sometimes companies let other parties purchase a domain for them only to find out later they don't have access to the account that owns the domain.
  • How many domains point to this website?
    • You might be surprised to learn that it's not just that points to your website. Someone else at your company may also have pointed to the same spot.
  • Would changing any of those domains impact other areas of your business such as company email?
  • If a domain changes host and we don't pay attention to how other resources (like email) are configured, moving the website could have unintended consequences.

Site Security


Mind Your Forms and Thank Yous: 10 Tips for Form Optimization

Forms are all around you

Let's walk through your morning routine:

You pour a big cup of coffee, sit at your desk, log in to your computer, sign in to your email account, browse Instagram, and Google funny memes to share with co-workers. 

Notice all those forms?

A form is a web page with boxes you can type into. You use forms all the time. Well-designed and tested forms you probably don't notice. But I'm sure you'll recognize a bad form when you run into one.

Bad forms make people frustrated. And bad forms can have consequences for your users. They stop filling them out. They leave your site. They use fake information. They abandon the cart. This is not good for your website or for your business.

A form is a conversation between you and your website visitors


Forms completed on your website can be an important element to help measure the success of marketing campaigns, online sales, and more (depending on your strategy). Just like in real life, you want your conversations to leave a good impression.

Improving your forms can increase conversions while maintaining the quality of leads.

One contact form study showed that reducing the number of fields from eleven to four increased the conversions by 120 percent

We want your forms to be successful too, so we're sharing some tips about how to create forms that are usable and will help you increase your conversions.


Rustbelt Refresh Recap 2015

The @aztekweb crew attended one of our favorite industry conferences Rust Belt Refresh for the third year in a row. For those of you who don't know about Rust Belt Refresh, it's one of the most informative and well-run web conferences you can attend. And best of all, it's held right in the heart of Downtown Cleveland (so we can walk there).

Here is a recap of some of our favorite takeaways: