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Archive for the ‘misc’ Category

Video on Email delivery in 2014

by in misc on Feb. 28, 2014

I’ve been out of the email game for a while and lost track of what type of things spam filters looks out for now. This is a good summary of what you need to do to get in to the inbox in 2014.

Festivals, drunks and management talk

by in misc on Feb. 13, 2014

Festivals are crazy places, with all the young people, drugs and alcohol, weird and wonderful things are going to happen. Take the video below from Sasquatch music festival 2009, a lone guy off his head starts a dance party. Its actually pretty cool.

Or this video, where a couple are making love at the same festival and don’t stop even when they realise everyone is watching!

Crazy things happen when drink and drugs are involved. So what’s this got to do with anything? Well, believe it or not, the first video is an example of great leadership. Watch the same video below with commentary.

If you look at the comments, there’s a good one,

This is utter drivel. We used to call dialogue like this ‘Psycho Babble’. HSBC uses this in their leadership team meetings as? part of their ‘Courageous Integrity’ values. It’s a drunken wally, having a laugh with people joining in and that’s all it is. Nothing to do with Courageous Integrity…HSBC are going to wish they never picked up on this.

I agree, it’s just some drunk guy having a laugh and it happens that he starts a big crowed dancing. He’s no more of a leader than the next drunk person at a festival that dances alone. Usually they just get laughed at and sit down eventually. That’s actually a great example of survivorship bias. Out of all the people that have danced drunk at a festival, how many of them have got a crowd? To make dancing like an idiot and getting a first follower like he did turn in to a big dance, its got to happen pretty regularly. I don’t have the statistics but I do a thought experiment, along the lines of which is more likely to happen if I started dancing drunk, start a mad dance or get tired and sit down? I think the latter.

Saying that first guy is a leader is farcical. I don’t think there’s any intent there. He’s just an idiot at a festival, lucky that it happened that way. They’ll be countless examples of people making fools of themselves at music festivals but usually nothing comes of them. Of course if you are dancing around by yourself you’re going to try get one person to join you to start with. Do you think he made any conscious choice or was it just another random idiot that joined him and he got lucky? In fact, it looks like his first follower is just mocking him rather than supporting him.

I can’t believe it make it to a TED talk.

If you want a good example of how to start a movement, dissect that ‘Invisible Children’ and Stop Kony campaign. That was genius. Pity the creator went mental or that could have gone a lot further. ‘Occupy’ was pretty good as well but that was way too ambitious and the end probably wasn’t desirable but you could learn a lot from studying that. Both of those movements are better than watching some drunk guy at a music festival if you want to know about starting a movement.

Money Niches and Blogging

by in misc on Feb. 4, 2014

I was in the pub last night with someone that wanted to make money writing. It is possible to make money blogging but making enough money to live on is tough. Paraphrase a bit for twitter here but this is the gist of my argument,

Certain niches monetise better than others. For the newbie internet marketer, it can be tough to decide. Follow your passion sounds like good advice but my advice is follow the money. You’ll become passionate about a topic if you are making £5 a click!

So where to start? Obvious topics are PPC and FIRE. PPC is Porn, Pills and Casino. FIRE is Finance, Insurance and Real Estate. Big money in those niches but it’ll be hard to rank for those types of terms.

You can piggy back on someone else’s research quite easily. Just find a parked domain and see what ads they show. eg

Put these in to the Google Keyword tool to see how much approximately the click prices are.

You’ll be able to see if you want to make good money, you are better off writing a blog about accident claims than leadership. If you put Adsense of your site, you can expect to get around 65% of the click price. I am actually surprised how much leadership and motivation terms cost. Maybe there is an opportunity to make money in that niche after all.

The takeaway from this post is never listen to a man in pub.

Why finding a good SEO company is so hard to do

by in misc on Jan. 28, 2014

This inforgraphic pretty much sums up my thoughts on client SEO work. If you are in any mildly competitive industry you’ll need to be doing it yourself. Practically all the good SEOs build their own sites. Its just simple economics, you can make X times more doing your own sites than doing client work.

Being a publisher SEO can be easier too. You can look at a SERP for a keyword and decide not to tackle it. If you are doing it for a client then its harder to just dismiss that keyword and move on to the next one.

Good client SEO work doesn’t scale very well. Its time consuming to research the ‘money keywords’. Any idiot can use the Adwords keyword tool to find some keywords but usually it takes some domain knowledge to know which ones will make the money. The smart SEO will spend his time researching these for his own sites rather than yours.

SEO Market for Lemons.

Marketing Infographic by SEO Book

Very Delicious Cheesecakes Delivered – Initial thoughts

by in misc on Jan. 22, 2014

Time for another web site review. This time its the website of an online cheesecake seller.

The first thing I noticed about this site is that its properly designed. The code is so clean, unlike some of the bloated wordpress sites I look at on a daily basis. It is so refreshing seeing a nicely designed but also functionally friendly website.

The only problem I saw with the functionality is that when you add a cheesecake to the basket, the visual cues are not there. It took me a while to work out that the cheesecake had been added to the basket. On a giant monitor, this isn’t much of a problem but 90% of people won’t be able to see the basket section being updated. I’d be tempted to have a bigger visual cue than the add to basket button change subtlety from red to green.

Very Delicious Cheesecakes Website

In terms of google rankings, it could struggle to rank due to the lack of indexable content. If you view as a bot, there isn’t much there to index. A lot of e-commerce sites struggle from this. I’d look at getting some type of review system implemented. This could provide content as well as social proof.

As its a brand new site it’s got no backlinks. Looking at the competition they don’t have many powerful links (in terms of Majestic’s AC Rank). Its not a big money vertical so ranking shouldn’t be too hard. As always, if there is enough budget for it, I’d test with Adwords first to get the site converting properly.

In terms of the cheesecake quality, I am fortunate enough to have eaten a fair chunk of the award winning raspberry cheesecake. I would recommend getting them for really special occasions. I don’t think I could justify paying the premium prices for just eating on an ordinary day but if you have something to celebrate, why not splash out?

Link to site Very Delicious Cheesecakes

Have a great stay – Sheffield hotel booking agency

by in misc on Jan. 19, 2014

It’s not often I provide feedback on other peoples’ websites. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I look back at some of my websites and they are shocking. That’s why I don’t believe that Google cares about clean code and tolerates a fair number of spelling mistakes, typos and false information.

Anyway, I recently did a SEO review for Have a great Stay. Most of these errors should be fixed now but it should give you an idea of the things that Quadd looks out for when doing client SEO work.

Have a great Stay Website

Problems found

  • No analytics installed. I always recommend getting some type of analytics installed on a website. Looking at server logs is OK for a quick look at what keywords are sending you traffic but if you are serious about your website, you need a professional analytics package. I recommend Google analytics or getclicky. I use both on this site.
  • Search engines blocked in the meta tag. If you have this in the meta tags of your site, you are basically telling Google not to include your site in it’s index. It’s a schoolboy error but I’ve made that before and seen some other seo professionals do the same.
  • Company details not displayed properly. Its a legal require for companies to list their registered address on their website.
  • Magic quotes in the copy. Not much of a problem in modern browsers but it can look nasty in older browsers.
  • Title tag not descriptive. After links and anchor text, the title tag is the most important part of your SEO.
  • Need to 301 the old site. May as well get that google juice flowing to the new site.

I have actually used the service to book a hotel room too and can recommend it. You can spend ages on or skyscanner booking a hotel. With Have a great stay, you just tell them your destination and dates. They’ll do the lookup for you and give you a list. You have a look at the reviews on Trip Advisor and decide which one you want to book. Have a Great Stay take care of it all. The price for the hotel I was looking at was cheaper than anything I found online myself. They have special deals with some hotels so you won’t be able to get the deals any cheaper even at the same hotel online.

Get in touch with them here