I get hit up by recruiters 3-5 times a week. I usually share the positions with a close network of friends.
I took a break from writing 3 years ago after ClickEquations was sold. It was easier to keep up with articles as a B2B marketer where content is part of the job description. I’ve been reading and tweeting, but an update was due.
After Channel Intelligence acquired us, I decided it was time to make 2 big changes: move to New York and switch to B2C marketing. Philly is a great starter city, but the options for a career in digital marketing are limited. After 8 years in the same place, 4 years at the same company, and an acquisition, it seemed like a natural break personally and professionally.
I moved during Hurricane Irene, quickly dropping all of my plans to catch the only Amtrak out of town, and started a job at H.Bloom — makers of lovely flowers for businesses and consumers.
Last January, I took a new position at Seamless handling digital on the customer acquisition team. It was a big change in a lot of ways. I had been mostly working as a team of one for 6 years. My roles were largely that of a generalist. I had reported into CEO’s the entire time and never had a team.
It was also a company size change. When I joined, Seamless was around 300 people. It was the middle of the busy season (winter), and the start of a fast trajectory. In the year and a half since I’ve been there, we merged with GrubHub, combined teams, and had an IPO. The company is a blast to work for and I’ve grown tremendously as both a marketer and team member, due in no small part to a supportive team of smart marketers and excellent leadership.
New York has been what I expected and more. There’s a palpable difference in the quantity and quality of ideas and professionals here. If it works in New York, it usually works elsewhere. Not a lot works in New York. That distinct combination births a fascinating number of choices, at a speed that accomplishes in 1 year what often happens elsewhere in 5 or 10.
Professionally, I keep my feet in both waters — growth companies and startups. The startup scene is fascinating to follow, but being at a growth company has helped me expand my skillset with resource and opportunities that smaller companies can’t provide. I still enjoy testing every possible new service and app that comes out, so much so that even the Genius Bar employee was shocked at how many apps I had downloaded.
I’ll write, less so, but hopefully with better quality. I spend time in the marketing community, but less so, also hopefully with better quality. If you’d like to say hi, send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a New Year which means… resolutions! I’m trying to skip the meaningless, aspirational goals that I usually dream up. Instead, I’m digging down into the things that I can really commit to. I’m making 8 resolutions for Digital Alex and ClickEquations.com (which I’m responsible for).
- I will integrate my data. People come to my site. Then, they become leads, customers and retained customers. I really want to make decisions about where to spend my money based on who is the most valuable. That means I have to connect the clicks to the customers with extra site and campaign tagging.
- I will QA my data at least once a month. I’m going to totally level with you here. I’m guilty of some web analytics sloth. Sometimes I’ll QA data once, make the fixes and only deal with spot issues. We all know data is dirty and I just can’t assume it’s right. Bad data happens! This is especially true on B2B sites (see above). I resolve to do a more thorough review at least monthly and act swiftly.
- I won’t have an ego about my website. In the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, I concede that I do not know everything. That’s why it’s probably better for me to rely on what customers care about what the data says. Multivariate testing and voice of customer, here I come!
- I will prioritize speed over perfection. I’ve been accused of a “shoot first, aim later” style and, frankly, I’ll embrace the label. In my opinion, it’s better to ask forgiveness instead of permission. To me, it’s all about speed. The same is true in online marketing, design and analytics. It’s easy to obsess to the point of inaction. I’m not saying to be sloppy, but I am say that something launched at 80% is better than nothing launched at 95%. Speed has a tremendous value. I will analyze until the answers are good enough and then correct. Continue reading
I’m spending the holiday with my family, but much of my time is spend with my digital family — the folks who keep me informed online. I’m creating a Twitter Wreath — a ring of links to some great people I follow on Twitter with the hopes that they’ll share their favorite Tweeters (twits?) as well.
I’ve listed some of the savvy professionals whose updates I track through Twitter. Am I missing you or someone good? Please comment with a link to your/their Twitter profile! Better yet, make your own Twitter Wreath.
-Alex (aka @digitalalex)
- @clickequations – http://twitter.com/clickequations | www.clickequations.com/blog
- @kintecap – http://twitter.com/kineticap
- @johnleeclark – http://twitter.com/jonleeclark | http://www.ppcforhire.com/
- @eelco_van_kuik – http://twitter.com/eelco_van_kuik
- @kittygux – http://twitter.com/kittygux
- @ppchero – http://twitter.com/ppchero | http://www.ppchero.com/
- @dylanlewis – http://twitter.com/dylanlewis
- @webmetricsguru – http://twitter.com/webmetricsguru | http://www.webmetricsguru.com/
- @bobpage – http://twitter.com/bobpage | http://bobpage.net/
- @tealeaf – http://twitter.com/tealeaf | http://tealeaf.com/
- @semoe – http://twitter.com/SEMOE | http://www.semoe.com/
- @avinashkaushik – http://twitter.com/avinashkaushik | http://kaushik.net/avinash
- @ivinay – http://twitter.com/iVinay | http://www.juretic.com/
- @lucindadh – http://twitter.com/LucindaDH | www.clickequations.com
- @billysblog – http://twitter.com/billysblog | http://testingblog.widemile.com/
- @dennismortensen – http://twitter.com/DennisMortensen | http://visualrevenue.com/blog
- @TheGrok – http://twitter.com/TheGrok | http://www.grokdotcom.com/
- @randfish – http://twitter.com/randfish | http://www.seomoz.org/
- @erictpeterson – http://twitter.com/erictpeterson | http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/
- @greggorio – http://twitter.com/greggorio | http://www.semgeek.com/
- @cgrantski – http://twitter.com/cgrantski
- @jdersh – http://twitter.com/jdersh | http://june.typepad.com/
- @jenniferlaycock – http://twitter.com/JenniferLaycock | http://www.searchengineguide.com/
- @dannysullivan – http://twitter.com/dannysullivan | http://daggle.com/
- @skellie – http://twitter.com/skellie | http://skelliewag.org/
- @mjasra – http://twitter.com/mjasra | http://www.webanalyticsworld.net/
- @storyspinner – http://twitter.com/storyspinner | http://www.searchmarketinggurus.com/
- @jimsterne – http://twitter.com/jimsterne | http://www.emetrics.org/
Every year, I go back to Villanova University to give a presentaiton at the same class I taught. This year, I gave a web analytics presentation titled “Web Analytics 101″. It’s an extremely basic introduction to web analytics with a heavy emphasis on how to break into the industry. The presentation is available on this page after the “read more…” link (to keep load time down) and on Slideshare.
I recommend a few web analytics websites and resources in the tool, which I’ll list here too :-)
- Starting a Web Analytics Blog
- Web Analytics Community
- Networking with Web Analysts
- Web Analytics Training
- Web Analytics Recruiters
- Web Analytics Job Sites
- Philadelphia Area Internet Marketing Jobs
Full presentation after the link!
As part of the worldwide series of Global Entrepreneurship Week events, I presented at Princeton University to a room of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
My presentation, “Fast + Furious: How to Use Internet Marketing to Launch Your Business” highlighted how internet marketing, specifically paid search advertising, web analytics and website testing, can save startup time and money. Take a look:
Here a list of the free tools I highlighted at the end of the presentation. Please feel free to download and share!
- www.ClickEquations.com – 30 day trial for qualified companies
- www.ClickEquations.com/blog – Paid search advice
- http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics (user group)
I’m here in San Francisco for X Change, the practitioner’s web analytics conference. It’s an intimate gathering of measurement professionals to share stories, brainstorm and talk shop.
You can get live updates from the ClickEquations twitter account. I may have a few on my twitter account as well.
Also, check out the X Change tweme, marked as #xchange.
Joining me at the conference are:
- Craig Danuloff, ClickEquations
- Jacques Warren, WAO Analytics
- Eric Peterson, Web Analytics Demystified
- Jim Sterne, eMetrics
- Gary Angel, SEMPhonic
- June Dershewitz, SEMPhonic
- Marshall Sponder, WebMetricsGuru
- Judah Phillips, Reed Business
- Bob Page, Yahoo!
- Aaron Gray, WebTrends
- Bill Gassman, Gartner Analyst
Those are just a few of the people at the conference. Leave a comment if you’re there and I missed you.
Paid search managers do it.
So, why aren’t you doing it?
I’m talking about looking at search query volume, of course. As you plot out your search marketing strategy, you’re looking for the intersection of high volume, low competition and strong user intent.
Getting at the volume part of that estimate can be tricky business. Typically, this involves using any number of keyword discovery tools, such as Trellian. 3rd party tools pull from an amalgamation of sources and the absolute number you get is dubious at best. Relationships, however, still hold true.
Better Search Query Volume Estimates
Now, Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool has finally pulled back the curtain and included search query volume in their reports (it used to be a graphical scale). Take a look at this example for web analytics phrases.
Just a couple quick things to keep in mind:
- You can change your match type. I used exact in that image.
- Hide and unhide the columns you need. I think the search trends is really great for understanding seasonality:
From a paid search marketing perspective, more exact volume data will help you plan budgets and campaigns better (especially for larger projects where volume can be tricky within constraints).
SEO’s now have another sources of search query (aka keyword) volume data. I’m sure there are weaknesses associated with these data as well, but it does come straight from the source. It’s also much more granular than Google Trends.
For the web analysts in the audience, this will help you:
- Gauge your search query/keyword share for targeted terms
- Analyze whether trends in search results are due to seasonality
- Complement your web analytics and internal site search data to help see how well your site users your customers’ language.
Which tools do you prefer?
By now, you might be thinking about changes, maybe even a redesign. It’s important, however, to use all the tools at your disposal to make sure your changes are right for your customer and business.
I was reading June’s Twitter feed to follow her coverage of eMetrics. I was struck by her Tweet that eBay uses qualitative data to plan a redesign and quantitative to confirm.
That got me thinking about…
Ecommerce Tip #6 – Test Your Redesigns
In a magical marketing world, we’d have all the info about what our customers want/need to purchase and ego would never be a part of the design process.
In reality, insight is imperfect and sporadic. Creative, marketing and the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) often cloud the process and lead to sub-optimal sites. Instead, I’d like to propose a new way to plan your website redesign.
I’m breaking this into 4 parts:
1. Assess Your Current Website
Business outcomes are straightforward: are you meeting your goals or not? If your forecasting and planning are reasonable (and that’s a big if), you can get a quick read of whether you need to reallocate budget among tactics or squeeze more performance out of your site.
Assuming you’ve already audited your acquisition tactics for areas to improve, then the gap could be in the persuasive ability of your site. Traditional web analytics can help you see, among many other things:
- Where people are dropping out in the conversion process
- How far people explore after landing pages (if at all)
- Pages with above and below average contribution to sale, lead, etc.
The goal here is to start to identify some of the major barriers in your site. That will allow you to identify key goals for the redesign.
2. Listen To Your Customers
Assessing your website will help you prioritize the areas you need to redesign, i.e. the “what”. To dig deeper into the source of the trouble, you’ll need some qualitative data. With VOC, you can help uncover the “why” behind barriers to sale. This should help you plan smarter redesigns.
Getting at this data takes time and resources. You can work from readily available local knowledge to more resource intensive external information.
There are 3 good sources of information:
- Marketing Input
- Best Practices
- Custom Qualitative Data
1. Marketing Input
Depending on how large your company is, the marketing team might have access to demographic and pyschographic data about your target customers. Any primary research, such as focus groups, can help you get into the minds of your consumer. Competitive insight, which sites are winning and why, and positioning make it easier to map out where your site is strong and weak.