Posted on February 6, 2009 by Jexley
Search Engine Land plopped an
into my inbox this morning and as I was leaving an insanely long comment on that blog, it occurred to me to just post it here.
I love the hand-flapping and red-flag waving that happens whenever the Googs seems to be messing with our lives.
Sometimes I wonder if they don’t necessarily do it under the auspices of a "better user experience" and only do some of this stuff to create columns like this and put all us poor SEOs in a panic.
I don’t, for one second, believe that Google would do something to their search results that would render their own Analytics tool less-capable. Nor do I believe that they would do anything that could do such damage to the analytics software industry.
Has no one wondered what their motivation for doing such a thing would be?
Seriously, when was the last time Google went and did something that so drastically mucked with all our lives that we got mad at them and lost money and clients and shaved all our cats? The Florida Update? From my memory of the experience, all that did was teach us to be a bit more scrupulous (or at least educated in Google’s "rules") in our search engine optimisation efforts.
So, at the risk of sounding too rational and pragmatic and not handflappy enough, I say "So what?"
Google is testing something and may change the entire way they do things…
So you may have to change the way you do things as well? So you may have to clean up a few of your processes and applications that you’ve long depended on?
Get real and adapt and adjust or die.
I know I’ll be fine, and No, that doesn’t mean I won’t have to do anything. I may have to work my ass off to get my systems to catch up to an all-AJAX SERP from Google, but that’s fine, because there’s probably a lesson in there about how to do things better.
Alrighty, my rant’s over. Catch you later, and have a good website.
Category: Around the Web, SEO, State of the Web | 4 Comments
Posted on August 14, 2008 by Jexley
In my time in this industry here in Perth, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. While I’m not naive enough to believe that it’s a new one, I’m still bothered by it.
I keep hearing from business owners, current and prospective clients mostly, that they are almost completely unaware of what kind of revenue their Web Marketing investments are bringing them.
This is not their fault.
Well, not completely anyway.
Again, maybe it’s just me being naive, but shouldn’t telling your client how you’re doing be just another part of the services you provide?
We work in an intimidating industry. Not as intimidating as Wall Street Brokeraging or Contract Killing, but what I mean is that most folks don’t understand 90% of what web professionals do, and the other 10% only know because they’ve either been burnt by a firm and wanted to learn for themselves or they used to actually work in the industry too.
As Web Professionals (web designers, web developers, web marketers) we swoop in and do things that the client doesn’t really understand nor have the time to learn and do themselves, and many have been using that to hide their actual level of service from the client.
Think about it, why is it the client’s responsibility to find out how well YOU are doing for THEM?
In another industry, well let’s take Stocks for example, your broker has to keep you up on how they’re doing for you, and they better be doing it well or you’ll dump them and find another one.
This industry should be no different.
As a Web Marketing Professional, I choose to not only give my clients all the information they ask for and make myself completely transparent to them, but I also suggest to them metrics and benchmarks that they might not have thought of and tell them they should measure me against those as well.
If I’m not getting them a good ROI, then they should know why. If it’s because I’m not doing my job well enough, they should dump me and move on, secure in the knowledge that they now have all the right questions and checklists for their next Web Marketer to ensure that they’re going to get their money’s worth out of them.
As I remarked to a higher-than-average potential client in a meeting earlier this week:
"You should always know how your website’s ROI, otherwise what’s the point in spending money on it?"
Surely I can’t be the only one that feels this way. Somewhere out there, there has to be ethical professionals that actively encourage their clients to be constantly ensuring their value to them.
Category: State of the Web | 2 Comments
Posted on July 24, 2008 by Jexley
Coule be a red herring, a ruse, a bait-and-switch, but I read an article that caught my eye for what basically amounts to the title above. As the rest of the article seemed to be more of a pimping of the company and possibly even they’re advertising scheme, I still liked the concept enough to write my thoughts on it.
Much the same as too much SEO work gets done with little attention paid to conversions, more focus in Pay-Per-Click is put on Impression/Click Through ratio rather than Click Throughs/Goal Pages conversion. Seemingly, the bottom line keeps getting forgotten:
Having your site work for you.
Whether that’s making you money through sales or making you money by driving customers to your shop, shouldn’t you be paying for people that are doing someting on your site other than clicking on it out of curiosity? You spent money on builiding your site and continue to spend money on it to market it, shouldn’t you be getting more than what you spent on it back in your pocket?
So what’s the best way to find out if this is happening?
Simple. Figure out how much you’ve spent vs. how much it’s earning you.
Yeah, I hear you, maybe not so simple. But it should be, and the people you’re paying to market your site should be helping you find out. If they’re not or can’t, sad as it seems it may not actually be an issue of them not wanting you to know if they’re proving their worth or not, it may actually be because they don’t even know how.
Something I’m working to push these days, as a business and as an individual in the industry, is transparency. Accountability goes along with this quite naturally, as does providing clear information and reporting, and both are part of an overall service that it seems so few offer.
So, here’s me telling you that you need to be telling your clients how worthwhile your efforts (and their budget) are clearly and effectively. If you happen to be my competition, then I hope you ignore this advice because it can only make your business stronger. If you’re a potential client, Welcome, I’m not going to hide anything from you.
Quite conversely, I’m going to tell you quite a lot that you didn’t know, and even some things that you didn’t know you didn’t know, know what I’m saying?
Category: State of the Web | No Comments
Posted on April 4, 2008 by Jexley
I’ve got an e-buddy who came up with this beauty over Christmas, The Original Social Network.Â While born for hilarity, it is no less true, and got me thinking about the social aspects of our e-work and how important it is to get back to basics once in a while.
So, when someone on the local nerd forum here in Perth suggested that we have a meetup for coffee as opposed to the pub fun that we can never seem to make it to (because we, unlike some of the others, decided to procreate, the efforts of which keeping us quite busy), I was excited.
At first, I was excited just for the fact that I would finally get to meet some of these people in person.Â Then, I thought about the networking opportunities and got so excited that I forgot to bring more than 3 business cards.Â Even though I didn’t think a huge amount of folks would be there, I figured on more than 3.Â We did have more than I thought, and that was awesome.Â So many, in fact, that I didn’t get a chance to sit and talk to everybody before they had to dash out and please demanding clients.
For those that I did talk to though,Â were most impressive.Â In my brief tenure as a small business owner, I’ve spent substantial time networking online, I’m signed up for all the techie accounts, I post in several forums, I comment on just about every blog I can find… I’m networking all over the place.
And yet here, in what is sometimes very reminiscent of a small town of Perth, is where I’ve found my “network”.Â It’s no, Original Social Network, as it’s got its online component, but I’m meeting people.Â People that now know me, in person, and have just that little bit more idea of what I do and how I do it.Â That knowledge, combined with my winning smile (notice I don’t mention what it would win) is sure to get me some business through these folks.
And all I had to do was sit, have a coffee, and shoot the breeze with some pretty interesting folks.Â That’s what I call Social Networking.
Next is beer and barbecue, THEN we’ll start talking about “social”.Â I can’t wait.
Category: State of the Web | 1 Comment
Posted on March 10, 2008 by Jexley
Jason Burby, another favourite over at ClickZ, recently wrote about Social Media and Web 2.0 and I am forced to echo his sentiments once again.
In times passed, I may or may not have been guilty of pushing the Web 2.0 aspect of site promotion a bit too hard, encouraging blogs and forums where they may not have been the absolute best solution. Now though, I can sum up my overall theories and beliefs on the best things for a site in one phrase:
Have a good website.
I say this quite often, I’m aware, but that’s because it’s so important to me. Part of the reason that SEO/SEM firms get such a bad rap about being snake-oil salesmen and scam artists is because so many of them push something purely because it’s working.
Social Media, sadly enough, is yet another victim of this. SEOs see that Digg and Reddit can drive traffic to a site and, as they’ve undoubtedly promised it already, they’ve got to deliver on some increases in traffic or end up looking inept. So, they throw a few articles in there, plug a few pages, and use these clever tools in ways that they weren’t originally intended.
Unfortunately, many Social Media sites are headed that direction, where they’re being used for the wrong purposes, and I fear they’re going to get burned by it.
The Social component to a site needs to be just that, social, and as soon as SEOs start making it too commercial then we’ve only given ourselves a bad name.