Inbound Marketing: SEO, AdWords, and Content Strategy

The State of Web Analytics

Posted: November 12th, 2008 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: Daily Dilly, Google Analytics | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Eric T. Peterson had a great post today about how recession-proof the field of web analytics might or might not be. Not only does Peterson provide an overview of the business functionality of web analytics, as well as industry trends and marketing survey, he also provides a ton of links and a mini action plan for those interested in/devoted to the practice.

Peterson states that the recession-proof-ness of the web analytics profession might be overblown, despite the huge contributions to ROI, as well as showing the path to business opportunities. I could very well agree with this because one can see the mistakes that so many businesses are making during this period of economic contraction. The fact is that companies can not manufacture or otherwise innovate their way out of a recession – they market themselves out of a recession. The problem is that since marketing initiatives, promotion, ad buying, etc. are not fixed costs like salary or product inventory, they are frequently the first on the chopping block.

It’s a predictable pattern. Slash marketing budgets in order to save jobs, only to watch business contract further, thus resulting in inevitable layoffs. How about otherwise cutting salaries across the board, or eliminating some production positions, but expanding marketing efforts? You won’t maintain sales by communicating to fewer people. That has never worked in the history of business. You can only maintain/expand revenues in a downturn by connecting with more people, not less.

Business owners and management boards, pay heed and don’t fall into what has become a typical business downward spiral. If you choose not to, just pay attention to the companies that not only survive, but who excel and expand during these tought times – I guarantee you that they expanded their marketing efforts.

‘The Back of the Napkin’ by Dan Roam

Posted: October 21st, 2008 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: Book Review, Daily Dilly | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Finished reading Dan Roam’s visual thinking tome, “The Back of the Napkin”. I really enjoyed his description of the process by which he came to “discover” visual thinking for himself – that he possessed this ability to communicate with others via simple pictures and graphics.

It was a fun enough read and while I understand why the dimensions of the book are to illustrate a literal “back of the napkin”, the format was incredibly annoying for anyone who uses an LED reading light or if you need to stash it in a way that it doesn’t get damaged. The 1×1 dimensions made it an unwieldy book which was a one of its few drawbacks.

To get the book, click on the cover below to get to Roam’s booksite.

Some quick notes:

Step-by-Step: Very Helpful

Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

Example case: Not so helpful, felt restricted after a while.

The Visual Thinking Codex chart on page 141 is awesome but doesn’t reproduce well.

The key is in the summary/conclusion, if there’s something to memorize or remember with this book, it’s the following bullet points:

The Visual Thinking Swiss Army Knife:

Our Three Visual Thinking Tools:

  • Our Eyes
  • Our Mind’s Eye
  • Our Hand-Eye Coordination

The Four Steps of Visual Thinking Process:

  • Look
  • See
  • Imagine
  • Show

SQVID – The Five Questions that Open Our Mind’s Eye:

  • Simple vs. Elaborate
  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative
  • Vision vs. Execution
  • Individual vs. Comparison
  • Change (Delta) vs. Status Quo

The Six Ways We See:

  • Who/What
  • How Much
  • Where
  • When
  • How
  • Why

The Daily Dilly – Great Links Tutorial on SEOmoz

Posted: October 14th, 2008 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: Daily Dilly, SEO | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Yes, this post on SEOmoz is all about their Linkscape product but you could pretty much ignore most of the post and head for the first tutorial video halfway into the post and get a primer on how links work, their importance to search engines, and how search engines dissect links and their distribution. A lot of it is basic stuff but it’s presented here in a well put-together conversation.

The second video does get into fully-qualified domain and pay-level domain discussion which had some value in it. The third video starts getting into mozRank (SEOmoz’s “page rank” equivalent) and despite being informative starts getting hairy after a little while. Perhaps if it was broken into two shorter videos (vs 19 minutes) that were a bit better organized.

Still, these videos are part of an education series by SEOmoz and I hope they keep it up! Very helpful!

The Daily Dilly

Posted: October 3rd, 2008 | Author: Tom Lewis | Filed under: Daily Dilly | Tags: , | No Comments »

A great post on SEOMOZ today about how to investigate if the website/domain/company you are working for has been engaging in “black hat” SEO games. SEOMOZ is calling this SEO forensics and it’s an apropriate designation as it involves data gathering, investigation, experimentation, and documentation. I’ve been extremely fortunate in working at companies for the last 10+ years that were just getting their websites off the ground when I became a part of the team and then knew whether or not they were being legit in their web presence.

It does raise the spectre of moving to a new company as either a web analyst or consultant and then being responsible for a domain that has been using circumspect tactics. It was only a couple years ago that was banned by Google for practices that they frowned upon.

Can you imagine starting up a job somewhere and being faced with the task of salvaging a company’s reputation without knowing that’s what you were in for? SEOMOZ provides a forensic methodology to see how deep the problem might be before you sign off on the responsibility. You can find out fairly quickly if you are in for trouble.

The Daily Dilly

Posted: October 2nd, 2008 | Author: Tom Lewis | Filed under: Daily Dilly, Google Analytics | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Today’s most actionable post comes from Avangate’s Claudiu Murariu: 4 Tools to Get More from Your Google Analytics

Of the four tools offered, these two made the most sense:

  • “Google Analytics Report Enhancer by RoiRevolution. Brings up tens of new reports in Google Analytics. It also calculates for you “True Time on Site”, which is the average time spent on site, excluding all bounces.
  • Google Analytics Downloader by Juice Analytics. Adds a highly valuable button to your keywords and referrers reports, stating who sent you unusual traffic. Really great info can be brought out of it.”

On that post there’s also a link to Avangate’s Analytics miniBible for Software Vendors which is well worth reading. I was introduced to Avangate by Adriana Iordan who began following my Twitterfeed at the Business of Software Conference in September.  Check out the article I wrote on that conference at Bostonist.