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Posts tagged with James Gurd

Does investment in paid search brand campaigns deliver incremental revenue?

For this month’s post I thought I’d share a practical example of how you can use testing to validate the impact of your paid search campaigns.

This is aimed at client-side digital marketing teams and agency staff who are learning the paid search ropes and might not fully understand the interaction between SEO and PPC.

The example I’m using is a test plan that seeks to answer the question “Does investment in brand keywords cannibalise or deliver incremental sales?” 

This is based on the most common form of paid search, Google Adwords.

23 comments

Paid search should be driven by goals not keywords

Setting goals for PPCI’ve often been asked the question, “What keywords should I target for paid search?”. I don’t think this is the right way to approach paid search investment.

Focusing on keywords first risks making your paid search program untargeted and alienating it from your overall business goals.

I prefer the question: “How can paid search support my business goals?”.

When I first looked at PPC (probably back in 2002), I thought in terms of keywords because I didn’t appreciate where paid search fitted in to the direct channel. Now I think in terms of goals. How can paid search support e-commerce goals and what do we want to achieve?

This blog is my explanation for why you should start your paid search project by defining goals and KPIs, and then let the keywords follow.

15 comments

How to use Pinterest for link building and blogger outreach

Pinterest is the current darling of social media, and for good reason. According to Experian Hitwise, it is the third most popular social network in the US in terms of total visits (21.5m visits in one week in January 2012, 30 fold increase vs. July 2011).

Pinterest is primarily considered part of an overall social media strategy, but whilst doing some SEO planning for a Client the other day I realised how well it could also fit within the SEO framework.

This blog gives my approach to using Pinterest to identify potential domains for link building and find relevant bloggers/influencers to build relationships with.

It’s deliberately simple because simple ideas are quicker to implement.

26 comments

Managing relationships with e-commerce platform providers: five key challenges

Why is it that so much effort goes into selecting a platform vendor for an e-commerce website, yet often so little into maintaining the partnership and ensuring service delivery is to the highest standards?

This blog looks at five common errors that I've seen made frequently by e-commerce teams, usually down to lack of commercial experience in managing complex partnerships.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't made similar mistakes back in my client-side days, and I'm sure I've been guilty of some account management indiscretions when agency side.

The wonderful thing is you learn more from your mistakes. I'm hoping that by sharing this insight I can help you avoid or at least mitigate the risk of making such mistakes.

6 comments

Keeping product data clean: five steps for quality and consistency

Clearing data rubbishWhether you’re in B2C or B2B, product data influences buyer behaviour. The quality and clarity of your data will influence the decision making success of website visitors.

Good decisions require high quality data. The more complex the purchase decision, the higher the demand for detailed product information.

There is a direct cost to poor product data; someone has to retroactively go back and make changes, which can be incredibly time consuming.

In previous roles, I have spent long evenings correcting data mistakes because it wasn’t done properly in the first place. Not a good use of anyone’s time.

5 comments

Short vs long form: hitting the target with landing page depth

Landing page targeting

It's an emotive debate this long vs short landing page one. I have read a lot of tirades against annoying sale pages that scroll and scroll forever.

However, I have seen enough of these long form pages (Here's Econsultancy's landing page) to know that people are using them for a reason. It can't be coincidence. 

And some of the companies using long form are respected brands (e.g. Amazon) with digital pedigree, so why would they contravene the basic tenets of usability and user experience?

This blog looks at the approaches and tools you can use to optimise your landing pages and take the emotion out of design and decision making.

22 comments

Mistakes I’ve made managing agency relationships

It’s a long road this path to digital enlightenment, and it involves many crossroads and epiphanies.

In the past 10 years I’ve been implementing digital campaigns, defining e-commerce strategy and I’ve been agency-side responsible for a challenging set of retail accounts. I’ve been on both sides of the fence when dealing with agency relationships.

This blog takes a peek at the wonderful mistakes I’ve made that today put me in a position of strength and confidence. You might well recognise some of these from your own experience, you might be able to suggest some more; we’re human after all.

10 comments

Nine lessons I've learned managing e-commerce teams

When I was a boy, I thought like a boy. It's true. When I first managed people in e-commerce, I didn't really know what good management was.

I had some good and bad experiences with my own managers but had never stopped to think what my team thought of my leadership style. Ironically it took the worst Director I've ever worked for to show me how to improve my management skills.

This blog offers nine techniques that, from personal experience, I know to be effective in managing and motivating a team. Management is about people, pure and simple. Forget the numbers; if you can't lead, motivate, support and inspire, those targets are history. Please take a read and then share your thoughts.

14 comments

Six handy tips for small charities to promote their websites

I’ve been working with small charities and have been struck by the struggle they face when planning what do to with their websites. The big brand national charities have the luxury of employing web managers but smaller local charities don’t have the budget and there is often no in-house experience. So what should they do?

A website is essential to get mindshare even if it’s not driving direct revenue, so I started to think of a hit list small charities could work from to get their websites beyond the purely functional.

15 comments

Six rules for producing optimised web content

Content is king for many reasons but principally because content helps satisfy your visitors’ information needs, driving conversion, and it enables search engines to include your webpages in SERPs for relevant keywords and phrases.

So why do many web owners fail to keep their websites fresh and leave old content hanging around waiting to be put out to pasture? The common theme I’ve picked up on is that web teams struggle to know what content to produce and how to prove that the time invested has an ROI, so it becomes their bete-noire.

This blog tackles the first dilemma and sets out simple rules that will help structure the creation of relevant content.

11 comments

The importance of knowing how to use web analytics tools

Web analytics confusion

Web analytics is still a missing art in many businesses, not just retail. Analytics is the last station on the investment train ride and is often compromised to pump more money into direct revenue generating digital marketing like PPC.

But why would any sane person put more money into something they don't fully understand and for which KPIs may not be optimised? It seems a strange decision.

My gut feeling is that there are too few optimisation specialists Client-side who really get web analytics 2.0. Dashboards are created and reports circulated to tick the analysis box yet limited insight is provided.

If conversion for referral traffic has dropped off the cliff, is that good or bad? I don't know. Even your data doesn't know but hidden within are nuggets of insight, you just need the focus and perseverance to find them.

This blog looks at a few examples of how data can be turned into insight to drive commercial decisions.

7 comments

Using a framework to manage your website optimisation

website optimisationIt’s essential to understand what influences website visibility in search engine results. Algorithms update frequently and strive to provide the best customer experience, so the demands on website owners to match this aspiration has increased accordingly.

Site optimisation is more than pure SEO: it is a blend of technical, marketing and customer service skills that aim to satisfy the demands of search engines and customers.

0 comments