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This is the first edition of our annual Pi in the Face column. May many follow. Note: If you’re a marketer, this post will frustrate the hell out of you. I apologize. I needed a good rant. Plus, at a conference last week I heard a speaker say, “If it doesn’t generate ROI, we don’t do it.” I’ve been screaming in my head ever since.
Moving. I tried to come up with an analogy for something that incites misery, throws out your back and reduces you to a gibbering lunatic while forcing you to blog using your phone as a mobile hotspot. But, after much suffering, Portent has moved two blocks south of our old location. Our new address is: Portent, Inc.
Google’s discontinuing site search. OHGODOHMYGODWHATAREWEGOINGTODOHOLYCRAPOHGOD The Problem Google’s Site Search product has been around a long time. Pay $100, and you can embed a little Google search engine on your site. They’re keeping Google Custom Search. Sounds great, but there’s a problem: Ads? In my site search? I think not.
Marketing is exhausting. I’ve had my share of days when I’ve said: “Why the hell am I still doing this?” Getting one person after another from why to why not requires energy and patience. I run out of the latter more often than the former. Regardless: Exhausting. But now and then my team and I find that one lever—that one thing—that turns a client’s marketing campaign complet ...
Internet advertising is perilous. Your ads can show up in all sorts of places. Remarketing is particularly dangerous. This story is an example of how remarketing can go horribly, horribly wrong. I am, in case no one guessed, a left-leaning over-privileged pinko liberal. I’m a feminist. I’m pro-immigration. I like taxes. OK, that’s a lie, but I understand taxes.
I love marketing jargon as much as the next guy. It’s great fun when I’m at a family event. My family used to think I went into marketing because I couldn’t find anything else to do. But when I say “psychographics” my parents know all that college was worth it. If you’re plunking down tons of cash to hire an agency, though, some jargon is terrifying.
Site owners frequently tell me “I think we’re under a Panda Penalty.” Google does not have a “Panda penalty.” Understand that and you’ll understand how optimizing for Panda-type ranking factors can improve rankings. By the way, Panda is now part of Google’s core algorithm. It’s one way Google measures the value of content.
TL;DR: I wrote an ebook called Lean Content: Kick-ass Content Creation for Teams of One. Get it here. Yeah. I wrote two ebooks in two months. Yeah, I’m tired. This one is free, too: Lean Content: Kick-ass Content Creation for Teams of One Yes, I used “lean” in the title. It’s a buzzword. Deal with it. This book is my approach to content creation.
TL;DR: I wrote a technical SEO ebook. It’s free. You should get it here. You’re probably all wondering where the hell I’ve been. I haven’t written a blog post in, what, four weeks?! I’ve been working on two projects. The first one is a free ebook: Technical SEO Best Practices. I wrote it as something you can hand to a development team and say, “Please do all this.
These are the slides and links from my presentation at Digital Dealer Workshops. Enjoy! Distance from Perfect: Marketing w/ the Human Algorithm – DDW from Ian Lurie A few tools Bing webmaster tools Google PageSpeed Insights Grammarly Proofreading Software Hemi ...
I’ll be at Pubcon next week, speaking my brains out. Here are my sessions: Speed Baby Speed Tuesday, October 11 11:25am-12:30pm I’d say more but this page loaded too fast. All about making your site faster. Not just Google Page Speed. I’m on a panel with Fili Wiese and Jenny Halasz, with Barry Adams moderating Quora Wednesday, October 12 3:55-5:00pm Using Quora as a marketing tool.
Do you track your social media marketing results? Wondering how to make more sense of ROI? By tracking micro-conversions and attribution, you can connect a dollar value to your social media marketing efforts. In this article, you’ll discover how to track the return on social media clicks. Discover how to track the return of traffic on social media.
Yes, there’s a marketing lesson here. But when I tried to write “How Digital Marketing is Like Naming My Cat Isis” I almost punched myself in the throat. I have two cats, a dog, and a guinea pig. One of my cats, an insane, overweight Siamese, is named Isis. Yes. Isis. She was so named long before the terrorist organization popped up.
I know, I know. I piled on the tips and tools. It’s OK!!!! Here are the links, related content and slides from my Marketing Worldbuilding talk: 30 Tips For Better Content If you want a bunch of ideas for creating better places, check out this presentation and links Google Trends Compare trends around keywords. Figure out your audience’s language Answer The Public Question research.
There’s suddenly a lot of discussion (aka freaking out) about Rankbrain and word vectors. I could dwell on the fact that the recent spate of articles followed some excellent MozCon discussions on the topic, and why that makes me suspicious, but I won’t, because that would be cheap and low-class of me. Wait, I just did.
How do you write mind-blowing content about deodorant? It’s easy. I’m going to walk you through how I research content ideas. This stream-of-consciousness process has never failed me: Start With Questions I always start with questions. If the audience is asking a question, and you have an answer, you can help. My favorite questions research tool at the moment is Answerthepublic.com.
Earlier this year I wrote that any digital marketer must know how to write a blog post in HTML. I caught a little flak for that. I earned it. I should’ve been clearer: There are four HTML elements every digital marketer should know. If you know them, you can write a post using the code view of whatever CMS you use. Here they are: 1: Paragraphs Paragraphs are easy: <p> starts a paragraph.
This is a continuation of my rant about lean content and time management. You might want to read those, too. I once had to convert a Word document to a web page. Once. After spending hours deleting mso-style blocks and cleaning up thousands of lines of crap, I swore (and swore, and swore) that I’d never do that again. So I moved to Markdown.
Like any nerd worth a damn, I like to plan for the zombie apocalypse. I know whose house I’ll go to (he has guns and edged weapons). I know what vehicles I’ll take (bicycles, duh). I know my weapon of choice (a shovel – perfect for the spearing brain smash). But I have a new favorite activity: Planning for the Google apocalypse. Someday, somehow, someone’s going to crash Google.
Nothing gets taken out of context more than web content. Except maybe innocent remarks by public figures. Search engines pull bits and pieces from your page. People cut-and-paste. Aggregators grab headlines. We all tend to ignore the lack of context and write like we always have: We assume readers will see all our stuff together. I’ve frequently mocked the results.