Performance Marketing Tips

Let's Get Down to Business

Foxy SEO Tool, Firefox’s Growing SEO Add-On

leave a comment »

firefoxI installed Foxy SEO last week to help with search optimization and analysis.  While I haven’t tapped it’s full potential I have been using it quite a bit to check backlinks and Google Pagerank.  Aside from the usual search engines (Yahoo!, bing, Ask), it includes menu options for directories like the Yahoo! Directory and dmoz, research tools like Alexa and Compete, and social media options like Twitter, digg, Yahoo! Answers and more.

Foxy SEO Tool has some helpful page analysis tools which analyzes keyword density, looks for 404 errors, meta tags, robot.txt files and sitemaps.

While Foxy SEO has been out for just over a year it looks like most of the meat was added in 2009.  As such I think it’s still a bit of a work in progress but if you’re an SEO professional it’s worth checking out.

Advertisements

Written by Greg M

October 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Tools

Tagged with , , , , , ,

The Book of Odds, by Kurani Interactive, Launches tomorrow!

leave a comment »

BOOSince I have a number of friends over at Kurani Interactive, I’ve been hearing about the Book of Odds for some time now.  I actually had a demo a few weeks ago while it was in user testing and really had a lot of fun with site.  The Book of Odds presents ‘the odds of everyday life’ in a compelling way.

The Visual Browse tool (shown above) is essentially a very cool form of data visualization.  Select your keywords and related odds appear to the right.  The site also contains articles written by the folks at the Book of Odds, which helps tie together some related themes.freakonomics

Not long ago I made a post about Freakonomics and today found out that they are on the Book of Odds bandwagon too.  Check out Ryan Hagen’s introduction of the Book of Odds on the Freakonomics blog at the NY Times.  If the Book of Odds team (including Kurani Interactive) could join up with Freakonomics I think I’d think we’d see a complete revolution on the use of data and data visualization.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Freakonomics on Amazon or setup a Free account on the Book of Odds website.

Written by Greg M

October 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Websites

Tagged with ,

Interview: Analytics Tool Getting a Refresh with Crazzy Egg 2.0

leave a comment »

crazzy egg drop downA few weeks back I talked about Crazy Egg’s Confetti as a great analytics tool for data visualization and thought it worth some follow up.  Amee over at Crazy Egg came through with the inside scope on Crazy Egg 2.0 as well as some insights on data visualization.  To the left is the new drop down menu – some nice new options.

PMT – How have you seen the need for data visualization change/evolve in recent years?

CE – Because of the vast amount of data out there, it can be hard for companies to comprehend the data. Visualizations that provide an insight about users and more importantly actionable data, make it easier for companies to understand their data.
Similar to what some analytics companies are doing now, I think over the next few years companies are going to concentrate and create more useful visuals and not just pretty ones.

PMT – How do data visualization tools fit with typical analytics platforms like Omniture?  What’s the best way to create synergy between the two?

CE – Well, they help you understand the data in a different way. Some people are visual while others prefer crunching numbers. I think analytics companies are going to have to meet the needs of both type of users.

PMT – What’s new with the upcoming Confetti release?

CE – The best way to create a synergy is through deep integration. This way the user experience is seamless.
Crazy Egg 2.0:
• Completely rewritten from the ground up
• Improved stability, performance, and reliability throughout the whole system
• Reports are always available
• Reports load much quicker
• Improved tracking reliability
• Improved tracking accuracy
• Added many more dimensions of data to Confetti and Overlay, including custom user variables
• Higher-resolution heatmaps
• New snapshot creation UI
• Ability to fine-tune URL matching URLs for snapshots
• Ability to edit running tests
• Improved screenshots (better font rendering)
• Improved error handling and messaging
• Better tools for our users to diagnose potential installation/configuration issues
Coming soon…
• Regular expressions for URL matching rules
• Ability to handle template trackingweb analytics an hour a day
• Ability to track login-protected pages
• Export to CSV
• Downloadable Heatmaps
• IP Address blocking (existing 1.0 feature)
• Ability to track custom elements

To brush up on your analytics, pick up a copy of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day

Written by Greg M

September 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Interviews

Tagged with ,

Book Review: Freakonomics

leave a comment »

freakonomicsI really had fun reading Freakonomics as the author’s attempt to answer questions about the real world with a data driven approach.  Kind of like a Moneyball approach to non-baseball topics.  Freakonomics discusses how people name their children, sumo wrestling, the drop in crime rate, the profitability of crack dealers and real estate among other things.

The global takeaway from the book is incentives.  Whether it’s big carrots, big sticks or some combination, every action is taken by people based on how they are incentivized.  On an individual scale or larger society actions are dictated by these incentives and if inappropriate or undesired action is being taken it is invariably because the incentives are in the wrong place.  Freakonomics uses data to try and assess where the incentives really are and their effectiveness.

To read more, pick up a copy of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) for yourself at Amazon.com.

Written by Greg M

September 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Books

Tagged with ,

Confetti, Analytics Tool Gets High Praise from Avinash

leave a comment »

confettiOn Occam’s Razor this week Avinash talked about some of his favorite supplemental analytic tools and covered Confetti by Crazy Egg. I’ve actually seen this tool before and now have a project where an overlay like this would be really helpful in understanding user behavior.

I actually spoke with the people at Crazy Egg and they say a new version is coming out next month whweb analytics an hour a dayich will be their first serious update in about 3 years. In its present form Confetti track x,y coordinates and then uses different colors to show referring segments. I’m a big fan of data visualization tools and it’s capabilities exceed typical analytics capabilities. The best part is that Confetti starts at $9 per month for up to 10 pages.

To learn more about web analytics check out Avinash’s blog, Occam’s Razor or pick up a copy of his book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, at Amazon.com!

Written by Greg M

August 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Blog Posts, Tools

Tagged with ,

Book Review: Hot Text, Web Writing that Works

leave a comment »

hot textI picked up a copy of Hot Text over a year ago but it sat on my shelf until recently.  I’m currently leading a CPA program which includes writing copy for SEM ad text, landing pages, a microsite and editing copy for a content site.  Hot Text is a solid end to end solution for web writing tips but at nearly 500 pages not the type of book that you’ll read cover to cover.  However, I’ve found it incredibly useful to skip and scan the ideas that are most important to my current project.

Some random highlights from Hot Text include:

  • Case studies on FAQs, Help, and Privacy Policies
  • Tips for making your keywords stand out in text as readers scan your page
  • Recommendations for removing unnecessary copy with lots of before and after examples
  • Step by Step guidelines for press releases, email responses, and email newsletters

Pick up a copy of Hot Text: Web Writing that Works for your next copy writing assignment

Written by Greg M

August 25, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Books

Tagged with , , ,

SEM Ad Text, What to Test First?

leave a comment »

ad text

I’m starting work on develop an SEM campaign and in the process of writing copy started wrestling with some different testing options for the ad text.  My testing options are limited in two ways.  First, we’ll also be conducting an A/B landing page test for each ad group shortly as soon as possible once the campaign launches.  Secondly, since it’s a new campaign we intend to ramp up slowly so the initial focus will be on the long tail, greatly limiting our volume and quest for statistical significance.

It’s imperative that we start of with an ad text test but it will need to be small.  The options seem to be a 3×1 or 2×2 test matrix – 3 headlines and 1 body copy for 3 total combinations or 2 headlines mixed with 2 sets of body copy for a total of 4 combinations.  Best practices suggest that the headline copy tends to be much more effective than body copy so I’m leaning toward the 3×1 option.  With fewer combinations than the 2×2 test we’ll be able to roll into the landing page test more quickly as well.winning results with google ad words

Another short cut I’m considering is combing the ad text results across the engines.  No doubt Google, bing and Ask would have some performance nuances with regard to ad text click through rate but I’m willing to assume they’re constant for the sake of speed.  Yet another example of the digital marketer balancing speed and accuracy!

To learn more pick up a copy of Winning Results with Google AdWords, Second Edition at Amazon.com

Written by Greg M

August 25, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Tips

Tagged with , , , , ,