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I’ve never had an “in-house” SEO job.

Believe it or not, even with all that experience, I’m still constantly surprised by new scenarios in the agency/client relationship.

That being said, there are things most folks who haven’t spent time in an agency wouldn’t think about in the day-to-day that goes on between agency and client.

I’m about to shed light on a few of those things.

Being A Punching Bag Is Part Of The Job

The image of the shiny, modern glass building on Madison Avenue has lured many young hopefuls into learning about account management, traffic, media buying, and even search.

But there is a dark side to the agency world.

I answered client questions on my honeymoon.

I’ve been fired for the results of campaigns that I never even touched.

When my phone rings, no matter where I am I look at the caller ID – and if it’s a client I won’t ever relax until I call them back.

If you work in an agency, your time ceases to be your own.

The proverbial “bovine waste” tends to roll downhill when you work at an agency, and unfortunately, you’re at the bottom of the hill.

I’ve been told that life in an agency isn’t for the old and weak.

I may be approaching the former, but I’m still far from the latter.

The biggest mistake I see clients make with an agency is coming in the door with a big bluster and immediately ordering agency personnel around.

It’s typically not quite at forward as the stereotype of the yelling client.

It’s more subtle, with lots of passive-aggressive tones and mentions of how the last agency was fired.

But don’t be fooled – the agency personnel is judging you in the first meeting as much as you are judging them – and later in the column, we’ll talk about why that’s important.

Nice Clients Finish First

Anyone who has ever been in the agency when assignments are made will attest to the “underground lobbying” that goes into what team gets a particular client.

Clients that are interesting will be very popular with agency staff at first – at least until the people involved in the account truly reveal themselves.

Trust me, you want account personnel who want to work on your account.

If you are nice, you will have the best account people lobbying to work on your account.

This is a really big deal if you work with a larger agency.

Larger agencies are great and have some of the best people, but they also have some of the worst account people.

The team you work with can be directly related to how well you treat the staff you initially interact with.

I’m not saying you can’t hold your agency accountable – in fact, quite the opposite.

Your agency wants you to tell them how they are doing in your eyes – trust me, it’s not always obvious.

Over the years, I’ve been fired from an agency more times than I can count when I didn’t see the problem coming because the client never told me about it.

No, accountability is rarely ever the problem.

Communicate and be nice.

You’ll be surprised how much those two things will affect your results.

Squeaky Wheel Gets The Work

We’ve already established that nice clients tend to get better work than clients who are mean.

But being nice doesn’t mean being quiet.

Even when working with an agency that employs rigid discipline and defined processes, a silent client can be forgotten.

Every week I go through each client with my team.

The first thing I look at is if a client’s hours are all being used efficiently.

Even though our firm has more than 15 years of established processes and practices, I still see times when quiet clients don’t get all the time they deserve.

It’s not because the work was done – the work is never done.

It’s not because they weren’t nice – right now all of my clients are nice!

It’s because these clients didn’t want a regular check-in call.

It’s because these clients never give feedback on their reports.

We assume, in many cases correctly, that a quiet client is a happy client.

But we’d rather have a client that gives us feedback.

And yes, clients that communicate get better service.

Especially when they are nice.

Clients Typically Judge The Wrong Results

I get concerned when an inexperienced client starts digging through analytics.

It can be quite stressful and comical at the same time.

I encourage this behavior at the beginning of an engagement before we’ve done work.

That way, when the client becomes livid about results they don’t truly understand, they are mad at their last agency, not me.

Just kidding – kind of.

I will say that an educated client is typically better than an uneducated one.

But even educated clients tend to fixate on the wrong things.

I’m not saying we in the agency world are perfect.

Far from it.

But we do have the privilege of seeing how a lot of websites work.

We get to see the good, the bad, and the ugly (if I could only unsee some of the sites I’ve seen).

When you judge months of SEO work by the fluctuating rankings of one keyword – even if it’s an important keyword – show me that you don’t get what we’re trying to do.

And I can guarantee you that if you are a client of mine, intellectually you know that chasing single keyword rankings is a waste of time in most cases.

But even though my clients know this, I see the excitement in their eyes when that keyword jumps in the rankings and I know I’m more likely to get fired when the keyword drops.

Even if traffic from search has skyrocketed and resulted in an unbelievable return on investment.

Frankly, as an agency what we want to be judged on is how well we help you achieve goals that we set throughout our relationship.

If you aren’t setting goals with your agency, you will never truly know if they are doing a good job.

So set the goals and let the agency do the work.

If the agency is as good as you thought they were when you hired them, you’ll reach your goals.

If they aren’t, be nice but find a new agency.

At the end of the day, it is about which agency you work with best.

And as long as you reach those goals, the relationships can look very different from client to client.

More resources:

Featured Image: Cast Of Thousands/Shutterstock

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In 2008, Your Network Will Know Who You Are, What You Want

In 1949, George Orwell published his masterpiece novel 1984. Even if they haven’t read it, most people remember the book’s key takeaway: Big Brother is watching.

Fast forward to 2008 and Big Brother really is watching. The vehicle that makes Big Brother’s omniscience possible is the network.

The network: that mass of boxes, interface cards, cables and antennae that when combined become a platform for every type of human interaction and collaboration on the planet Earth (and beyond).

Let’s take a look at how the networking world of 2008 will become all-knowing and all-seeing — a silicon- and fiber-based Big Brother, if you will.

Network smarts

for the smart network.

Today, networks at a basic level are no longer “dumb” pipes that transport information. The networks of 2008 will build on recent and coming innovations to become application- and user-aware — they’ll know who you are and what you are allowed to do (or what you’re prohibited from doing).

Intelligence in 2008 will arrive in the form of more Ethernet standards that provide increasing amounts of information about data types. Intelligence will also come in the form of smarter quality-of-service (QoS) and bandwidth-management offerings that intelligently provision the right bandwidth at the right QoS for users and their applications.

Network security

The smarter network of 2008 will rely strongly on Network Access Control (NAC). While NAC has been a buzzword for several years, NAC will go mainstream in the coming year thanks to Microsoft.

A key component of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is what it terms Network Access Protection, or NAP. The cornerstone of the technology is pre-admission control: A NAP server will first validate the health of an endpoint (a user or machine, for instance) before allowing admission to the network.

Microsoft’s Windows XP Service Pack 3, as well as Windows Vista, are both ready to serve as NAP endpoints. Due to Windows’s massive installed base, Microsoft’s NAP will be something that enterprises can activate out of the box to begin to secure their networks.

The power of access control for the smart network of 2008 cannot be understated. If hundreds of millions of Windows users are using NAP, it may end up being the single most important security innovation since the invention of the firewall.

dirty deeds. What a wonderful world it would be.

Network identity

The smart network of 2008 isn’t just more secure, it also knows who you are and what you need access to. While directories such as Microsoft’s ActiveDirectory have been used for identity for years, they’re not enough. The 2008 network will have identity built into the framework of the network itself.

The big push for network identity in 2008 will come from Cisco, with its TrustSec initiative. Instead of a user needing to enter multiple passwords for each and every application they need to visit, a TrustSec-powered network essentially will know who they are, what their business function is and where they’re allowed to go.

From a Big Brother-auditing point of view, TrustSec, and its various competitive implementations from vendors other than Cisco, also will offer a full audit trail of a user’s activities at both a network level and the application level.

By embedding identity into the network layer, the network will have better understanding and control over what users are doing.

Next page: Networks will become faster and more pervasive.

6 Reasons Your Seo Agency Is Losing Clients & What To Do About It

Acquiring new clients is no picnic. SEO agencies invest plenty of time and resources to sign up new accounts.

Ongoing clients are an agency’s greatest asset. And while some are successful in retaining the majority of their clients, many others struggle to keep good clients on board.

Oft-cited research from Bain & Company shows that improving client retention by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Keeping your current clients happy is essential for your profitability and growth.

If boosing retention is on your agenda, consider these six common reasons SEO agencies lose clients and learn what to do about each one below.

1. Misaligned Expectations

One of the main reasons SEO agencies lose clients is a failure to set realistic expectations right from the start.

Mark Williams-Cook, Director at Candour & Founder of chúng tôi explains:

“Having worked at several agencies, I think the root cause of most client loss is incorrectly setting expectations at the start. This happens for a variety of reasons, ranging from sales teams making promises on performance to not challenging unreasonable targets that the client sets.

Those honest conversations mean you win or proceed with slightly fewer pitches, but it’s the best long-term strategy in my opinion.”

Ask yourself, are you overpromising and underdelivering? If it’s not a perfect match, it should be the other way around.

Also, many times clients will come through your door not knowing how SEO works and carrying very high expectations.

Don’t say yes if you know you won’t be able to deliver.

2. A Failure to Educate the Client

I’ve often encountered clients who, despite having worked previously with one or two SEO agencies for a while, have absolutely no idea how SEO works.

People appreciate being informed, and they will trust you more, as well. Building this level of trust with your clients is essential for the health of your long-term relationship.

I sent an email to one of my clients the other day, explaining to them that Google released a new update and we would need to do a review of their website. Their response was:

Appreciated for being informed.

Gratitude that we keep them up-to-date with industry trends and changes.

Understanding of the work that needed to be done and that it could lead to changes.

Educating your clients isn’t a one-and-done. It means communicating with them regularly in a way that reflects your expertise and adds value to them.

It positions you as their go-to expert for any questions or concerns they have, which is exactly where you want them to turn (not to random “SEO gurus” they may encounter online).

3. Lack of Value for Money

Clients want to see the value of their SEO investment as soon as possible. It’s a perpetual challenge for SEO professionals because good SEO can take time.

Daniel Foley Carter, Director at Assertive, says:

“A lot of SEO agencies lose clients primarily because of a lack of ‘value for money.’ Many clients will try to benchmark SEO ROI in a similar fashion to PPC despite SEO generally being a channel that takes longer to yield results.”

One way to approach this, depending on the client’s business goals, is to agree on long-term goals. For example, if your client is a publisher, you may suggest a goal to achieve an increase of 50% in traffic in 24 months.”

While we know for sure that you may hit the 50% increase in traffic way earlier (remember always under promise and overdeliver), this gives your client a tangible, measurable expectation of value.

Make sure you are showing your clients how your SEO efforts are positively impacting revenue and conversions, and not just traffic and rankings.

Jonathan Berthold, VP of Customer Acquisition at Path IQ, says:

“SEO agencies tend to lose clients due to misalignment on milestones and deliverables. Agencies that rely on merely trotting out reports showing increases in traffic & rankings will have difficulty retaining clients if there’s no clear tangible increase in revenue generation — or at the very least, a roadmap to increasing conversions.

Rather than focusing on quick wins that inflate traffic counts or preparing audits with no substance, agencies are better suited for long-term success by exhibiting how organic search can propel revenue generation. Make sure both parties are aligned on what’s expected over the course of the mandate.”

4. Your Clients Don’t Know What You’re Doing

Don’t leave clients to guess at the work you’re doing and the effort you’re putting in for them. Keep them aware of what’s happening now, as well as the next steps.

For example, you might create a monthly email that includes:

Performance report.

Summary of work done and deliverables.

Next steps.

Check in once a week with a quick update on any major initiatives or to share a recent win.

Make sure they understand the direct line between the SEO action taken and any measurable business outcomes.

You may also want to create a roadmap at the start of the contract with the client, and update it every month to show the progress.

These regular communications go a long way in keeping your clients informed on what you are doing. It also reflects structure and accountability, and clients appreciate both.

Some agencies report the number of hours dedicated to SEO work for a client every month, even though they are not charging clients per hour. This helps reflect the amount of work put into each task and deliverable.

5. No Visible Results

So your clients stayed the duration of their six or 12-month contract with you, and they cannot see results.

We have to assume here that it’s not for a lack of actually producing anything. If that’s the case, you have bigger issues than we can address in this column.

For the rest of you…

Check Your Internal SEO Processes Set Up

Even agencies that do great work for others may lack clear processes and internal templates of their own.

This is a recipe for failure.

Build your own tried and tested process. It’s part of the value you offer clients.

Make Sure You Have a Solid Project Management Tool Setup

If you are not using one, it will be very hard to keep organized and execute SEO strategy properly at any sort of scale.

Review Your Process on a Regular Basis

For example, hold team meetings every three or six months to discuss your processes.

When there’s a new Google update, work with your team to see how this will be incorporated into your standard processes.

Train, Train, and Train Some More

Always seek opportunities to train your team.

You don’t necessarily need to sign them up for a course, but make sure there’s a scheduled bi-weekly or monthly meetup where you all discuss the latest and greatest news and tips in the SEO world.

Give team members the opportunity to identify when there are skills or new areas they want to learn, and make sure they have the time and budget allocated to do so.

6. The Product Just Wasn’t Ready for SEO

Is SEO always a good channel for all businesses?

Most of the time, SEO is a great channel for generating revenue. If you have a good product, there’s definitely an opportunity for your business to grow with SEO.

But if your business is not ready yet, no amount of SEO is going to help.

So the real question is: are you in the right stage of your business for SEO?

Sam Wright, founder of Blink, says:

“Lots of SEO campaigns fail for strategic reasons; it could be a lack of product market fit, pricing, or poor positioning or categorization. SMEs (particularly in the ecommerce space) often don’t put the time into this side of the business before jumping on to the tactical execution of something like SEO.

This means they are on shaky foundations – it’s hard to make a campaign work in these circumstances. However, a lot of SEO agencies plow on ahead regardless, either because they are unaware or lack the skills or experience to change things from the top down. Often bad results follow, the client gets frustrated and the relationship ends.

Changing this is partly a question of client education – we now make market analysis and positioning/categorization the first step of nearly every project. This is something traditional marketing agencies have been doing for years, but it’s still a bit unusual for an SEO-focused business like ours.

However, it is important to show that tactics don’t work unless the strategy is right to start with.”

With all of the above said, every single SEO agency loses clients. It’s not because the agency is incompetent — it’s part of the industry.

Jeff Ferguson, Partner/Head of Production at Amplitude Digital, leaves us with his parting thoughts:

“Client loss is always a mixed bag. It’s easy to beat yourself up about losing a client. In my experience, nine times out of ten, it’s for a reason out of your control – there’s a new CMO (or lower), a new investment group, or something similar – but it had nothing to do with you and everything to do with a regime change.”

The real goal is to minimize those losses and improve customer retention by understanding why they’re happening, recognizing when the relationship is at risk, and knowing how to right the ship.

More Resources:

Featured image: fizkes/Shutterstock

What A Saas Seo Agency Can Benefit From Advanced Technologies

See the benefits of SaaS SEO agencies

SEO for SaaS: What is It?

Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is a process that increases the number and quality of websites that are found on search engines. SEO for SaaS (Software as a Service), is also a process to increase traffic to a SaaS company’s website by achieving top rankings. Clients can achieve this quickly and easily with a SaaS-SEO agency.

What are Advanced Technologies for SaaS Search Engine Optimization? Natural Language Processing

SSL Certificate Labelling to Improve User Trust

Sometimes security can be overlooked in SEO for SaaS. SSL certificate labeling should be a key SEO trend that businesses should take into consideration. It has been proven to be a crucial ranking factor for Google, and other search engines because it shows that users can trust your site. This requirement has been met by continuous innovation in SEO.

What’s Next?

Modern technologies enable continuous work and processes through digitalization and ever-changing tools. SaaS companies must keep up with changing times. It is crucial to stay current. SaaS companies must ensure that their services are always up-to-date so that users can benefit from the improvements and updates without any downtime.

Should You Choose A Ppc Agency Or In

I recently received a call from a prospective client who was looking for temporary assistance with their PPC program. Their in-house marketing manager had resigned and, so far, they had been unable to find a suitable replacement. In the meantime, the CMO was covering the position.

They didn’t want to make a rushed hiring decision just to resolve the issue. But they desperately needed some help.

So they asked if my agency might step in temporarily to bridge the gap — this in spite of the company having a strict “no agency” policy due to past bad experiences. Because my agency doesn’t require long-term contracts, we agreed.

But when we opened the account, we uncovered many issues.

For example:

The account was in desperate need of a restructure. Many campaigns had hundreds of mixed themed ad groups.

Almost every ad group contained plural and singular versions of keywords and was riddled with duplicates.

I suspect that these problems were the result of work overload rather than incompetency. As I understand it, previous account managers had their hands full managing multiple marketing tasks, not just PPC.

This whole situation got me thinking.

Which approach is better to avoid problems of work overload and poor management: in-house PPC management or agency PPC management? Or some combination of the two?

Pros of In-House PPC Management

The most obvious benefit of in-house PPC management is that your PPC manager is entrenched in your business. By being part of your organization, they’ll acquire insights and understanding almost by osmosis.

They’ll sit in meetings, be privy to internal communications, and be much more plugged into the strategic direction of the company. And, as an employee, they may also have more loyalty and commitment to the company.

Cons of In-House PPC Management

As we’ve seen, a “con” of in-house management is that the PPC manager can become overloaded with responsibilities.

PPC managers are rarely left to manage PPC alone. More likely, they’re also in charge of SEO, email marketing and all things digital.

Each of these areas alone can require a lot of time to perform well.

This arrangement leaves little room for specialization or development of expert knowledge. It’s difficult for one person to master all of them.

It also isn’t uncommon for in-house executives to not recognize or prioritize the training needed to keep up these demands. They may think that “throwing up an ad” isn’t so hard. And it can be difficult to persuade them otherwise when you’re more junior.

In-house PPC management also comes with a cost. It requires additional headcount, a long-term commitment, and lots of training to get the employee up to speed.

Pros of Working with PPC Agencies

It’s the job of agency reps to be experts in their field. They have to be excellent at optimizing and managing accounts or (at least in theory) they won’t stay in business.

Cons of Working with PPC Agencies

As alluded to above, communication between agency and client can sometimes be a problem. We have some clients we’re in almost constant contact with. They respond quickly to our calls and emails, and we have standing meetings for updates, feedback, and approvals.

But we also have clients where communication isn’t so robust. We struggle to get approvals and feel disconnected from what’s going on.

For the agency-client relationship to work well, both sides must be committed to open and regular communication. And usually, this means appointing someone on your staff to act as a point person.

Hiring an agency also comes with risks. Picking the wrong PPC agency (i.e., they’re either inept or not a good fit) can be detrimental to the business. If you leave everything to an agency and things go off the rails, you won’t have the in-house expertise you’ll need to see the problem developing and change course.

The Best of Both: In-House & Agency PPC Management

Sometimes we get too strict in delineating agency versus in-house PPC management models.

Clearly, there are pros and cons to both. But, by combining the two, you can get the best of both worlds.

I can see this playing out in two ways, depending on the resources you have in-house.

For example, if you have a junior PPC person in-house, then the agency can provide direction and support. The agency could set strategy and conduct quarterly reviews to identify issues.

The agency could even provide training to the junior person on an ad hoc basis for the performance of daily tasks.

I’ve seen this work in practice. I know of one company in a high tech field that struggled to find the right in-house PPC person. An agency worked with the company to find the right person, including sitting in on applicant interviews! Once an in-house person was hired, the agency continued to provide support until the new hire got up to speed.

A different scenario may apply if your in-house team is strong in marketing leadership and strategy, but weak in day-to-day admin. Here, the in-house team could set the direction, and the agency could use its resources for day to day management.

These scenarios will only work if there’s trust between the agency and the in house team. The in-house team has to be open to the input of the agency. And the agency can’t use the arrangement as a backdoor way to get more of the client’s business.

Get Creative with Your PPC Management

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to PPC management. So don’t limit yourself to the two traditional models of agency or in-house.

With the right agency by your side, you can develop a hybrid solution that will give you the most positive aspects of both.

More PPC Management Resources:

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Building Your Android Ui: Everything You Need To Know About Views

What is a View, exactly?


<TextView android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="Hello World!" app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent" app:layout_constraintLeft_toLeftOf="parent" app:layout_constraintRight_toRightOf="parent"


//Create a TextView programmatically// TextView tv = new TextView(getApplicationContext()); LayoutParams lp = new LinearLayout.LayoutParams( LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT, LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT); tv.setLayoutParams(lp); tv.setText("Hello World!"); rl.addView(tv); } }

Note that you may be able to declare your app’s default layout in XML, and then modify some of its properties at runtime.

Working with Views: Common XML attributes

When creating a View, you’ll need to define various View properties, using XML attributes. Some of these attributes will be unique to that particular View, but there are a number of XML attributes that you’ll encounter over and over again, regardless of the kind of View you’re working with.

Identifying your Views

Every View must have an integer ID that uniquely identifies that particular View. You define integer IDs in your layout files, for example:



The + symbol signifies that this is a new name that must be created and added to your project’s chúng tôi file.

When you need to work with a View, you can reference it using its View ID. Typically, you’ll reference a View by creating an instance of that View object in your Activity’s onCreate() method, for example:


TextView myTextView = (TextView) findViewById(;

The ID integer technically doesn’t need to be unique throughout the entire tree, just within the part of the tree you’re searching. However, to avoid conflicts and confusion it’s recommended that you use completely unique View IDs, wherever possible.

Layout parameters: Width and height

XML attributes that start with “layout_” define a View’s layout parameters. Android supports a variety of layout parameters, but as a minimum you must define a width and height using the layout_width and layout_height attributes.

Android devices have screens of varying dimensions and pixel densities, so 10 pixels doesn’t translate to the same physical size across every device. If you define a View’s width and height using exact measurements, then this can result in user interfaces that only display and function correctly on devices with specific screens, so you should never use any exact measurements when creating your Views.

Instead, you can define a View’s width and height, using any of the following relative measurements:

wrap_content. This View should be just big enough to display its content, plus any padding.

match_parent. This View should be as big as its parent ViewGroup will allow.

dp. If you need more control over a View’s sizing, then you can provide a density-independent pixel measurement, for example android:layout_width=”50dp.” Note that one dp is roughly equal to one pixel on a “baseline” medium-density screen.

sp. If you want to size text using a density-independent pixel measurement, then you should use scalable pixels (sp), for example: android:textSize=”20sp.” Scalable pixels ensure that your app’s text respects the device’s selected text size, so your text will appear bigger on devices that are set to display Large text, and smaller on devices that are set to display Small text.

Give your content some breathing space!

android:padding. Adds extra space to all four edges. If you define a android:padding value, then it’ll take precedence over any edge-specific values, such as paddingLeft and paddingTop, but it won’t override paddingStart or paddingEnd.

android:paddingBottom. Adds extra space to the bottom edge.

android:paddingEnd. Adds extra space to the end edge.

android:paddingHorizontal. Adds extra space to the left and right edges. If you define a android:paddingHorizontal value then it’ll take precedence over paddingLeft and paddingRight, but not paddingStart or paddingEnd.

android:paddingLeft. Adds extra space to the left edge.

android:paddingRight. Adds extra space to the right edge.

android:paddingStart. Adds extra space to the start edge.

android:paddingTop. Adds extra space to the top edge.

android:paddingVertical. Adds extra space to the top and bottom edges. If you define a android:paddingVertical value, then it’ll take precedence over paddingTop and paddingBottom.

Margins: Adding space around your Views

android:layout_margin. Adds extra space to the left, top, right and bottom sides of a View, for example android:layout_marginRight=”10dp.” If you define a layout_margin value, then it’ll take precedence over any edge-specific values.

android:layout_marginBottom. Adds extra space to the bottom side of the View.

android:layout_marginEnd. Adds extra space to the end side of the View.

android:layout_marginHorizontal. Adds extra space to the left and right sides of the View. Declaring a layout_marginHorizontal value is equivalent to declaring a layout_marginLeft and a layout_marginRight value. A layout_marginHorizontal value will take precedence over any edge-specific values.

android:layout_marginLeft. Adds extra space to the left side of the View.

android:layout_marginRight. Adds extra space to the right side of the View.

android:layout_marginStart. Adds extra space to the start side of the View.

android:layout_marginTop. Adds extra space to the top side of the View.

android:layout_marginVertical. Adds extra space to the top and bottom sides of the View. Declaring a layout_marginVertical value is equivalent to declaring a layout_marginTop and a layout_marginBottom value. A layout_marginVertical value will take precedence over any edge-specific values.

What Android Views can I use?

Now we’ve covered some common layout attributes, let’s take a closer look at some of the Views that are provided as part of the Android SDK.

Displaying text, with TextViews


<TextView android:id="@+id/hello_world" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:layout_width="wrap_content"


public class MainActivity extends Activity { protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) { super.onCreate(savedInstanceState); setContentView(R.layout.activity_main); final TextView helloWorldTextView = (TextView) findViewById(; helloWorldTextView.setText(R.string.new_text); } }

You can also style your text, using elements such as android:textColor, android:fontFamily, and android:textStyle, which has possible values of bold, italic, and bolditalic.

EditTexts: Creating editable, interactive text


<EditText android:id="@+id/phoneNumber" android:layout_width="fill_parent" android:layout_height="wrap_content"


android:inputType= Displaying PNGs, JPGs and GIFs


<ImageView android:id="@+id/myImage" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content"

In Asset type, select Clip Art.

Select the Clip Art button, which displays the Android logo by default.

Choose any of the Material design icons; I’m using “done.”

Open your project’s drawable folder and you should see a new XML file that defines your chosen Material icon as a vector drawable. Here’s the contents of my vector drawable resource:

android:width="24dp" android:height="24dp" android:viewportWidth="24.0" <path android:fillColor="#FF000000" Buttons and ImageButtons


<Button android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content"


<ImageButton android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content"

android:drawableLeft. Position the drawable to the left of the text.

android:drawableRight. Position the drawable to the right of the text.

android:drawableStart. Position the drawable to the start of the text.

android:drawableEnd. Position the drawable to the end of the text.

android:drawableTop. Position the drawable above the text.

android:drawableBottom. Position the drawable below the text.

Here, we’re creating a button_icon drawable and placing it at the start of the Button’s button_label text:


<Button android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="@string/button_label"


<Button android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="@string/button_label"


public void displayToast(View view) { Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, "Your Message", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show(); } Give your users options, with CheckBoxes


<CheckBox android:id="@+id/yes" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="@string/yes" boolean checked = ((CheckBox) view).isChecked(); switch(view.getId()) { case if (checked) else Break; case if (checked) Views and ViewGroups: Creating RadioButtons

RadioButtons allow the user to choose from a set of mutually-exclusive options, such as the Agree/Disagree buttons commonly found on Terms and Conditions forms.

android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="wrap_content" <RadioButton android:id="@+id/radio_confirm" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="@string/confirm" <RadioButton android:id="@+id/radio_deny" android:layout_width="wrap_content" android:layout_height="wrap_content" android:text="@string/deny" boolean checked = ((RadioButton) view).isChecked(); switch(view.getId()) { case if (checked) Break; case if (checked) Spinner

A data source that supplies your Spinner with some information; I’ll be using a simple String Array.

An ArrayAdapter that converts your data into View items, ready to be displayed in your Spinner.

<LinearLayout android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="match_parent" <Spinner android:id="@+id/location_spinner" android:layout_width="fill_parent"

Create an ArrayAdapter from the String Array, using the createFromResource() method.

Specify a layout resource that defines how the user’s chosen item should appear in the Spinner. Android provides a simple_spinner_item layout that you should use unless you specifically require a custom layout.

Use setDropDownViewResource(int) to specify which layout the Adapter should use for the Spinner dropdown menu. Once again, Android provides a ready-made layout (simple_spinner_dropdown_item) that should be suitable for most projects.

Apply the Adapter to your Spinner, by calling setAdapter().

Here’s my completed code:


Spinner spinner = (Spinner) findViewById(; R.array.location_array, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item); adapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item); spinner.setAdapter(adapter);

The Spinner will receive an onItemSelected event every time the user selects an item from the dropdown. To process this event, you’ll need to use the AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener interface to define an onItemSelected() callback method.

In the following code, I’m displaying a toast every time onItemSelected() is invoked, and incorporating the name of the newly-selected item into my toast. I’m also defining a onNothingSelected() callback method, as this is also required by the AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener interface.

Here’s the completed Activity:


import; import android.os.Bundle; import android.view.View; import android.widget.AdapterView; import android.widget.ArrayAdapter; import android.widget.Spinner; import android.widget.Toast; public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity implements AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener { @Override protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) { super.onCreate(savedInstanceState); setContentView(R.layout.activity_main); Spinner spinner = (Spinner) findViewById(; spinner.setOnItemSelectedListener(this); R.array.location_array, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item); adapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item); spinner.setAdapter(adapter); } int pos, long id) { Toast.makeText(parent.getContext(), "You've selected n" + parent.getItemAtPosition(pos).toString(), Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show(); } @Override } }

You can download this complete project from GitHub.

ListViews: Displaying your data as scrollable lists

android:orientation="vertical" android:layout_width="fill_parent" <ListView android:layout_width="fill_parent" android:layout_height="fill_parent"


import; import android.widget.AdapterView; import android.widget.ArrayAdapter; import android.os.Bundle; import android.widget.ListView; import android.view.View; import android.widget.Toast; public class MainActivity extends Activity { String[] countryArray = {"Argentina" , "Armenia", "Australia", "Belgium" ,"Brazil" ,"Canada" , "China" , "Denmark" , "Estonia" , "Finland" , "France" , "Greece" , "Hungary" , "Iceland" , "India" , "Indonesia" , "Italy" , "Japan" , "Kenya" , "Latvia"}; @Override protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) { super.onCreate(savedInstanceState); setContentView(R.layout.activity_main); final ListView listView = (ListView)findViewById(; listView.setAdapter(adapter); @Override Toast.makeText(parent.getContext(), "You've selected n" + parent.getItemAtPosition(position).toString(), Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show(); } } ) ; }}

You can download this completed ListView project from GitHub.

Designing unique experiences: Creating custom Views Wrapping up

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