“You should test that.” It’s a phrase that Chris Goward, founder and CEO of marketing optimization agency WiderFunnel, has probably uttered at least a thousand times. Having participated on a number of conference panels with Chris over the years — a real treat, by the way, if you ever have the opportunity to hear him present — I’ve personally heard him give that answer to a number of great questions from the audience. Should I use complementary colors for my call-to-action buttons? Should I have site navigation on my landing page? Should I use a product image or a photo of a person for my hero shot? “You should test that,” is what Chris would say. And it’s the right answer because it’s really the only one that’s universally true. Of course, there’s more to it than those four words. Chris wrote an excellent, 300-page book, You Should Test That — with a foreword by analytics guru Avinash Kaushik — that … [Read more...] about No, Really, You Should Test That
Universal truths about human nature
You know what you’re doing, right? We are all rational beings. We are all blessed with huge neocortexes and use them on a regular basis. This is especially so when we do something as thoughtful as use a search engine. Our rational loop is kicked into high gear. Right? Well, I hate to break it to you, but you’re not as rational as you think you are. Even the emotionally sparse act of using a search engine is driven largely by subconscious behavior. We are a bundle of pre-written scripts, which play out with little interference from our conscious minds. So, for this entry in the Human Hardware series, I want to spend some time exploring the theory of the illusion of conscious will, to borrow the name of a book by Daniel Wegner, the same person who advanced the theory of transactive memory. Unfortunately for Descartes, it’s not so much a case of “I think, therefore I am” as much as it is “I do, therefore I am.” But how can this be? We know when we … [Read more...] about The Illusion Of Conscious Searching
If your reputation hasn’t been damaged in some way online, then you may never have thought about whether search engines could be responsible. After all, they seem pretty neutral in many ways — other people create Web pages, images, videos and social media posts, and search engines merely display the content for associated keyword searches. But there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. Google, Bing and other search engines could bear part of the responsibility if those search results are harming you. First, if someone intentionally creates and publishes material specifically intended to lie about or misrepresent you, and thus damages your reputation — whether it be your business or you personally — then it’s obvious that this person is directly responsible. Under generally accepted business laws in the United States and Europe, that person may be considered liable for the damage they’ve done, and they might be compelled to assist you in … [Read more...] about Are Search Engines Responsible For Reputation? Yes, Virginia, They Are. Big Time!
As digital marketers, we often become neurotically focused on how we market our products and services. We tend to overlook what we’re marketing, how the consumer or prospective client perceives our brand and the overall experience we provide them. According to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes just two tenths of a second for a website visitor to form a first impression of your company. And what about after that initial fraction of a second? How seamlessly does your conversion funnel guide someone through the sales process? How professional is your sales team? How truly valuable is your product in the eyes of your target audience? In other words, how honest is the perception you are creating? These are important questions to answer, and it would take nothing short of a miracle to develop, launch, and maintain a successful digital advertising campaign without assiduously attending to every detail of your digital experience. Before I take on … [Read more...] about Are You Paying Attention to All PPC Details?
How might Google be broken up into various companies? The story below explores the idea, in the guise of a chapter from a fictional book about how a Google break-up might have come about and the results from it. It explores the idea of a Search Engine Reform Act that breaks-up the company, as well as a Search Commerce Commission that oversees the search space. The Birth Of The Baby Googles Previous chapters have covered how the growth of Google and fears of how it was reshaping the communication landscape led to the application of existing anti-trust laws along with new ones to force a Google breakup in 2010. This chapter looks at the immediate aftermath: the “Baby Googles” or “Googlets” thatwere formed in the name of greater competition and consumer choice. Google (Search Products) The Google brand name remained with the company’s first product, search. Virtually all search-related products were kept part of Google, including enterprise search. Google … [Read more...] about What Would A Google Antitrust Breakup Look Like?