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I recently stumbled across a great source of practical, qualified and tailored advice for our company. He knows our business like no-one else, is an expert in his field, always has time for us, and is completely free. (Despite the publishing date of this post, this is not an April Fool’s Joke.)

Aaron and I recently had our annual get-together, where we carved out a few days to look at some of the bigger issues of our business and to plan the year ahead.

When we do this each year, magic happens. I don’t know if it’s because of the face-to-face real interaction (Aaron typically flies to the UK for this), or because we set time aside from the day-to-day practicalities of running our business. But it works, and most of our biggest successes over the years began in these meetings.

But there’s a problem. We often get stuck in a rut, and start to obsess over some of the minor issues and practicalities, instead of making progress on the bigger picture.

So this year we somehow came up with this two-pronged approach for maintaining our focus.

The first was that we kept reminding ourselves to take a step back. It’s too easy to get sucked into the nitty-gritty and minor details, and when this happens, the flow of ideas and creativity can come to a juddering halt.

Bertie

The second thing involved taking this idea even further. At the risk of sounding slightly deranged, we repeatedly called on a totally fictitious and slightly ruthless consultant who we named Bertie. (I honestly don’t know why.)

We kept asking what would Bertie say? For instance when we were looking at some of the more time consuming processes that take up our working hours, Bertie (who quite enjoys being blunt) would ask “obvious and reasonable” questions that an outsider might ask. “Why are you doing this when you could outsource it?“. “Why do you do that at the most productive time of your day?“. “You really spend that much time on this? Do you think that’s using your time wisely?” and so on.

Bertie was (actually is) more than just a devil’s advocate. He doesn’t only take the opposing view, he digs, probes and questions everything that we do. And it’s incredibly useful.

Bertie has already become an important member of our team, and as silly as the idea might seem, he might well prove to be equally useful for your company too.

Give Bertie a try. He’s free, understands your business and really does help bring some important issues to light.

As yourself: What Would Bertie Do?


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Tracking is deadly. It skews our perception of reality, gives us a dangerously false sense of security, and pushes us into making poor decisions.

In our own company, we track the work that we do to near-psychotic levels of accuracy. Note that isn’t a boast thinly veiled to look like criticism (I’m thinking of “my greatest weakness is my attention to detail”). We track our time to a truly pathological level. I’ll explain why with an example.

Right now we’ve been investing a great deal of time and effort building our online course on Search Engine Optimisation.

I myself spend an average of five hours per lesson, which includes preparing the content, filming and editing. Data can be deadly

There will be 12 lesson in the course, so we’re looking at around 65 hours just to create the content. Then we’ve also had to set up a payment and access system, video hosting, pricing, creating the launch content and the hundreds of other little things that have been involved in this particular adventure.

For the sake of this example, let’s say that the total number of hours spent on the project will be 100. And (hypothetically) let’s say that we sell access to the course for $500, and manage to sell to 50 people.

So we’d be looking at a revenue of $25,000 for 100 hours of work, working out at $250 per hour. Not bad.

So in this scenario, when I do my maths, I’m reasonably happy.

But what if I’d stripped out two of the lessons, saving ten hours, thereby generating the same revenue for $278 an hour?

And what if I then raised the price to $599, still managed to sell to 50 people, thereby generating a revenue of $29,950, working out at $332 an hour?

The time spent would have been identical, but with a healthier profit.

And let’s not stop there. What if the value of the videos was so incredibly high that 10 of the 50 original people told some of their friends about the course, half of whom then went ahead and purchased? What if the quality was so low that 10 of the original 50 asked for their money back?

The same principles can be applied to any sort of spend – whether time, effort, money or pretty much anything.

“Google AdWords doesn’t work for me” may be down to a poor landing page, the wrong product price, incorrect bid levels, poor value proposition, bad targeting or simply not knowing what on earth you’re doing with Google AdWords.

“Spending five hours creating a single one minute video blog post is crazy” depends on what you do with the video. If it’s little more than a rant about Google’s new look then you may be right, but if it impresses the person who then spends more than $2,000 a month on your service, then the time spent starts to look more effective.

Over the years I’ve spoken at many different conferences around the world, and we eventually drop the events that we get no value from. Value can mean new clients, new ideas, quality networking and more.

Yesterday I received an email from a person I met at a conference in 2004 who’s now ready to start working with our company. Ten years ago! If that person signs up for our services at $2,000 a month and even only remains with us for one year, that would be $24,000 from a person I would never have met without attending that event. If I’d decided the year before that this event wasn’t worthwhile, the meeting would never have happened.

So what should you do about it? Ignore data completely?

I’m not saying that tracking is a bad idea – far from it. But gathering data is only a small part of the process of analysing it. The information needs to be fully understand, flaws and weaknesses need to be identified and where possible quantified. Just having access to the data does not make a decision in any way more informed.

Care should be taken when using data to write in stone.


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As a service provider, who would you think is our biggest competitor? It’s not another SEO agency, and it’s not an AdWords agency. It’s the firm based near where you work, who can walk, drive or commute to where your business is run. This is ludicrous.

Historically it made a great deal of sense. Our parents and grandparents did business in a world where phone communication might be too limiting and travel was expensive. My Dad, for example, was a self-employed Optician who needed to meet quite regularly with his accountant. He couldn’t have considered someone who was based an hour away, let alone someone in a different country. More importantly, there were an abundance of people to choose from within his local community, so choosing from a set of local options made perfect sense.

Today we live in a world with a more diverse set of skills, many of which didn’t exist in our own childhood – if you’re as old as me anyway. And the internet has provided us with possibilities that were only considered in science fiction even one generation ago.

Which is why I am baffled when a company reaches out to us, likes what we say and admires our reputation, yet chooses instead to work with a local company. (Note: I’m only baffled when the main reason for doing so is their proximity.)

It's 2014 already

Don’t get me wrong – there’s no bitterness. Our company is generating enough profit to feed ourselves quite nicely, thank you. And I certainly don’t expect every sales quote I send out to be accepted.

Yet I find it difficult to understand when we lose to a local company. If you’re based in Silicon Valley, then there’s a reasonable chance that by choosing a local option you’re not limiting yourself too dramatically. Everyone else, however, are limiting their options to the services based within a small radius of where they happen to be located. If you insist on your SEO agency being located within an hour of your offices, how many options do you have to choose from? Five? Ten? Fifty? No matter where you’re based,I guarantee it’s less than the whole world.

Limiting the companies you work with means limiting your chances of growth and success. And all of this so that you can indulge in the formality of a handshake? Perhaps you also insist that they wear a suit and tie while optimising your content, or maybe even a three piece suit?

This is 2014. Our company has worked with more than 500 companies from more than 40 different countries. We communicate regularly with our clients using email, Basecamp, Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, the phone and yes, occasionally we even get on a plane to see them.

The price you pay for confining your options around the conventions of yesteryear might be enormous.


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Last week’s post on Why keywords are no longer relevant to SEO produced more of a reaction than anticipated. Today I’ll show you how to adapt to the new reality.

In a sense, Google have done the SEO world a favour, by forcing us away from a flawed model. Even ignoring the (not provided) issue, the fact is that different users not only have different needs but also use different terms to find what they are looking for.

Consider an over-simplified example of a fictional company selling anti-virus software – we’ll call their product KillVir.

I’ve never worked for such a company, but it’s a reasonable assumption that they receive a large number of visitors searching for quite different and distinct terms, despite all being potentially interested in the same application.

Some of the searches might include the following terms:

Is my computer infected with a virus?

realtime malware protection

how do I protect my computer?

low resources virus protection

And many more.

The old SEO model might start by looking in the Analytics data to see (1) how much traffic the website is getting for each term and (2) which pages they are landing on. Neither of which are possible today.

What we can do, however, is to take a step backwards and look at each phrase separately. The people searching for each are all potentially interested in KillVir, but not only are they searching for different phrases, they are also demonstrating very different personas.

Is my computer infected with a virus is more likely to be non-technical, realtime malware protection appears to have a greater level of knowledge and understanding, how do I protect my computer is probably of a non-technical nature, while low resources virus protection is someone with above-average technical knowledge with very specific needs.

If we were to score the technical expertise for each query, it might look like this:

keyword and technical signals

We can also add another layer of analysis, as the language used provides strong signals as to what the person searching is actually looking for or hoping to find:

keyword and requirements

And here’s where the old methodology does still carry some weight. We can include how many searches there are for each term using Google’s keyword planner:

keyword and data

So even with this over-simplified example using only four keywords, we already have some useful information. One obvious opportunity might be to create some very focused content for each.

For example the page addressing is my computer infected with a virus shouldn’t be a general page about anti-virus software, and certainly shouldn’t be a sales page with one short section of text that barely addresses the question. It should instead be a detailed article outlining precise steps that the user could take to determine whether or not their machine was infected. There would be lots of illustrations, lots of information, the overall tone would be very non-technical, and there would very little by the way of blatantly pushing KillVir.

Once the page was complete, it should then be linked in from the rest of the website, added to the sitemap.xml and submitted to Google for indexing. At the same time it should be circulated freely via the likes of the company blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others as a useful resource. Why? Because it is genuinely a useful resource, and not just yet another thinly veiled sales page.

With a little time and a little luck, the page should receive some reasonable incoming links, and should eventually start showing up in Analytics as a landing page for organic traffic.

The website owner would never know which precise keywords were sending traffic from Google, but this no longer matters. If the SEO does their job correctly, we can then trust Google to send visitors who are looking for what the page provides. More importantly, these invisible terms would change over time, but the page would be no less relevant, and would therefore adapt to the new keywords.

It’s a basic illustration, but once you get your head around the new “content for intent” model, it can truly work wonders. Welcome to SEO of 2014.


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SEOs have to take their fingers out of their collective arses. Apologies for the vulgarity (this was the toned-down version) but being an SEO in 2014 means you have to duck and weave with Google, fight web designers, combat the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality, and, depressingly, fight the never-ending wave of ignorance within the SEO industry.

I’ll take a deep breath. Let me explain. The reasons for my anger lie at the bottom of this post. But the more important, potentially life-changing idea (terms and conditions may apply) is more relevant. So here goes.

The age of keywords is more or less over.

Pointing fingers and accusing Google is pointless. Keyword data has gone and won’t be coming back any time soon.

There are still strategies to gain insight into your organic keyword data, but these are time consuming and inexact. And with time they’re likely to get less precise and more abstract. It’s time to look at a new approach.

The old model:

Step 1 – User went to Google and entered their search term.

Step 2 – Google displayed pages optimised for these terms.

Step 3 – Website owners were able to see how many people arrived at their website for those terms. Also which pages they landed on, how much time they spent, bounce rates, conversion rates etc.

We never realised how good we had it at the time. Until, that is, it was taken away from us.

The new model:

Step 1 – User goes to Google and enters their search terms.

Step 2 – Google interpret the intent behind the search.

Step 3 – Google display pages they think are relevant to their perception of the visitor’s intent.

Step 4 – Website owners have no real idea how many searches for the keyword came to their website, and no way at all to link this hazy data to performance, bounce rates, conversions etc.

In other words, Google don’t provide results for what the user has searched for, they provide results for what they think the user meant by what they searched for. And the results delivered aren’t based on what the content creator claims their page is about, but on Google’s interpretation of what they consider the subject of the page to be.

It’s not about evil, it’s about evolution:

Google aren’t taking keyword data away from us because they’re evil, and I don’t believe that privacy protection is the main reason either.

They’re taking away keyword data because the delivery of results has now moved far beyond the words on a page.

Also bear in mind the see-saw effect of complexity going on at the same time:

Proficient users of Google have become adept at entering our search terms. We strip out unnecessary words, and keep our searches as focused yet detailed as possible. So we don’t search for “how do I get from Brockenhurst to London“, instead we search for “travel directions Brockenhurst to London” and know that the first result will likely answer our search query.

This age is over. Our dinosaur skills are no longer required.

Our old style of search gets us an old style of results:

Travel directions Brockenhurt to London

The new way of searching, using simple conversational language gets us a far easier to understand set of results:

How do I get from Brockenhurst to London?

If you think of this as dumbing down, then you’re missing the point. Google have now adapted their interpretative technology to the point that keywords are only one single factor signalling intent. Hence the see-saw effect: search terms are becoming simpler and more varied; search results are becoming more complex and laser-focused.

The question is no longer how we find our keywords, but rather how we adapt to the new intent-based model.

The answer is surprisingly simple. Watch this space for next week’s post. You’ll like it.

Background on the reason for the angry intro:

I recently attended the SES London conference with a view to keeping myself up to date and learning new skills. Like many SEO conferences, the quality balance was around 60% awful, 20% good and 20% incredible.

One of the sessions that I attended had two professionals who spent in the region of 5-10 minutes debating the importance and relevance of (not provided), and why it actually matters. The whole (not provided) issue was announced by Google almost two and a half years ago, and SEOs with any real understanding of their profession soon realised what lay ahead.

To listen to SEO professionals debate the loss of keyword data in February 2014 is incredible. To hear over-used and insubstantial solutions such as “look at your paid traffic keywords” is jaw-dropping.

As an industry we have to do far better.


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It’s 2014 and I just turned 44 years old. I think it’s time to stop chewing over the SEO vs. AdWords debate. Here’s why.

Google have long argued an absolute separation of their organic and paid search results, at least from the point of view of the factors and variables involved. Yet the two sets of results have, over the years, moved closer to each other, both in terms of spacing and appearance.

Google’s position is an interesting one, as the majority of their visitors are probably more interested in the organic results than the ads. Google’s revenue, of course, comes from the clicks on the ads. So while the organic results (and underlying data) act as the bait to draw the masses in to Google’s network, it’s the ads themselves that feed the very infrastructure that supports them.

This balancing point is incredibly fine. If Google get it wrong, they risk either alienating and losing their clicking customers, or losing and alienating their clicking customers. Caught between a rock and a rock in other words.

The question for many businesses is where to invest their resources – in organic search engine optimisation/optimization or in AdWords.

There are many who are convinced that Google’s party line on organic and paid separation is little more than a lie, designed to make you reach for your credit cards, but they’re wrong. Dr Pete Myers put together an excellent Mathographic on correlation vs. causation – the internet would be a better place if more people printed it out and put it on the walls by their computers.

But returning to the main question: organic vs. paid. The bottom line is that while the effects of changes can be measured, I’m yet to see a complete understanding of the precise causes of the overall impact.

balsamiq score twice!

Consider the following example:

If a person searches for wireframing software in Google, the first few results show one company – Balsamiq – being represented both in the ads and organic results. It doesn’t take the most astute of marketing minds to appreciate that being shown twice in a relatively small amount of space increases the exposure and subsequent chance of being noticed. It’s impossible to say with any degree of accuracy precisely how much each option is effectively being strengthened. It is, however, almost certain that either the ad, the organic listing or (most likely) both are more likely to be clicked. It’s also extremely likely that the balsamiq listings are more likely to be clicked than their comparitively under-represented competition.

Failure to optimise your website for Google and/or failure to effectively compete in AdWords takes away or even eliminates this competitive advantage.

For me there’s nothing to weigh up between AdWords and SEO. It’s both.


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Retaining customers has a lot in common with getting more exercise. We know how important it is, we sometimes feel powerless to affect it, and it often takes a crisis to make us actually do something constructive about it.

One of the reasons for this is the apparent lack of tangible data points for us to latch on to.

Every Wednesday evening I go climbing, and I admit that it sometimes usually takes a lot of willpower to get myself there. For instance I might have to weigh up the pleasure of putting my feet up and watching TV with my wife, with driving half an hour in the rain to ignore the screams of my muscles and tendons while I haul my body up an abrasive, cold and very unfriendly climbing wall. If things have been busy (they usually are) and I’m feeling tired at the end of the work day (I usually am), then the couch makes a far more compelling case than the climbing wall.

If, however, I knew that every minute I spent climbing improved my quality of life by X and extended my probable lifespan by Y, while the couch-and-popcorn option decreased them both by the same amount, the decision may be easier. In theory at least.

Many people take exercise and a healthy lifestyle a lot more seriously after a health scare, yet the benefits of doing so remain the same. Only the perception of the value changes.

Losing a customer may be based on any number of possible factors, and every product will have its own unique mix. Yet most products would see an overlap of common reasons that would include need for the product, performance, price and support.

Crucially, these are not of equal importance. Let’s consider an example.

As a long-time user of Evernote, I can’t imagine switching to a competing application, even though there’s no shortage of options to choose from. This doesn’t mean that I would never switch – far from it.

If I were to assign a value from one to five for each of the above aspects of Evernote, where one is the least happiest and five the most, I would probably apply the following:

Need for product – 5

Performance – 5

Price – 5

Support – 3

If I were then to combine these to produce a happiness index, I wouldn’t simply add the figures together, as I believe that my need for the product is by far the most important, and the performance is of greater relevance than the price and support.

So my happiness index formula might look something like this:

The formula for happiness

The interesting aspect of this is that provider of the software, in this case Evernote, has the potential to directly influence any of these factors. So when it comes to retaining me as a customer, they’re as far as you can get from powerless, and in face are in almost complete control.

If Evernote take the time to understand me – my needs and how I use their software – they can clearly identify that all things considered equal, it makes the most sense for them to focus on my need for their solution. Note that this doesn’t necessarily involve adding more features – I’m already happy with what I have.

Assuming I’m consistently happy with the software – how I use it, what I can do with it and how it performs, then a small (reasonable) price raise won’t push me away from the product.

If, however, the performance of the software plummeted dramatically in a future release, this could turn into a far more significant issue for me, especially as I don’t rate their support too highly.

Being able to identify and quantify the happiness factors for the majority of your customers is of immense importance. It allows you to not only focus on retaining your customers by directly addressing their needs, but also in effect provide a road map for expanding your customer base by building on your existing strengths.

I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the above, and am especially interested in the factors that drive your own customers happiness index.


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We just discovered a bug in Google Analytics. In itself that’s worrying enough, but Google appear quite adamant that this isn’t an issue. I strongly disagree. Here’s what happened.

While recently reviewing organic search traffic in Google Analytics, we noticed that some of what Google was identifying as organic was actually coming from AdWords. When we looked further, Analytics identified this traffic as being from Google, and that it wasn’t from AdWords at all, but Google organic. There were two problems with this – it was incorrect and also impossible.

The fact is that you can’t manipulate this data. Let me rephrase that. You shouldn’t be able to manipulate this data. Google should be able to determine with 100% accuracy what is AdWords traffic and what is organic traffic. Even if you were to tag your URLs saying that it was from Google organic, for example http://www.softwarepromotions.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic, Google Analytics should ignore that.

Let me make this clear though. We were not doing that.

We manually tag destination URLs within AdWords as well as using the AdWords auto tagging system. It’s true that using manual tagging as well as auto tagging can cause conflicts, however we are not using the UTM manual tagging system. We use our own tagging system in the following format; ?source=adwords&campaign=my-search-campaign&adgroup=my-adgroup&adnum=001

This is what the issue looks like within Google Analytics:

Google Analytics - landing pages for non-paid search traffic

Note that this is for landing pages. This simply shouldn’t be possible.

If this were correct information, it would mean that Google had indexed those URLs. They would never have done so, because Google don’t want to index URLs with identical content. And as you can see, all the URLs in the screenshot are of the identical home page.

We have contacted Google about this issue and have received conflicting comments, so far with no real solutions. One Google rep said the following:

“After checking with our specialist, they confirmed that due to source and medium not being specified as google and cpc respectively, this could be the reason for Analytics not being able to attribute the visit to Google paid traffic. Additionally, we’re unable to troubleshoot further into this due to the use of auto-tagging and query string tag on your ads destination URLs. We recommend using either one and not both.”

This particular rep is implying that any form of tagging will conflict with AdWords auto tagging. As you can see, we are not using UTM tagging, so Google Analytics would ignore our tags as they do across numerous other accounts that we deal with.

Another rep we spoke with over the phone agreed with our assessment. Our unique form of tagging shouldn’t and wouldn’t cause this problem, as we are not using the Google Analytics UTM tags. 

We have never seen anything like this in any other account that we have come across. Have you?

If you have seen this issue, or something like it, I’d really appreciate if you would let me know. Either contact me through email or give me a shout on Twitter.

Update: Another reply from Google. They now seem to partly understand the issue, but their explanation is bordering on insane:

Thanks for your response.

Sincere apologies for the confusion caused.

I checked this with our specialist once again and you were right, your pages such as this: /?source=adwords&campaign=XXX&adgroup=YYY&adnum=ZZZ isn’t using the manual UTM tagging, hence, it is fine to use these pages together with AdWords auto-tagging. Once again, I do apologize for the confusion caused due to this.

As for this pages such as /?source=adwords&campaign=XXX-search&adgroup=YYY&adnum=ZZZ getting reported as coming from non paid search. If you’re using these pages only as AdWords ads landing pages and not on any other online sources or advertising mediums, it’s possible that users who previously visited these pages through an ad click had bookmarked this page or send the link to another friend, so those visits will not necessarily get attributed to Google cpc (if the cpc cookie has expired or user cleared cookies) and will instead get reported to the actual traffic that brought in the visit.

Hope this helps. Do let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with.

Good grief.


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An enormous amount of time is usually spent naming a product or service, but is this necessary or justified?

Conventional marketing thinking certainly thinks so, but I’m starting to think that this may not matter as much as it once did.

There are the obvious blunders to avoid – names that are too easily mispronounced, misspelt, have sexual connotations or mean something else in other languages. Yet aside from the obvious hurdles to avoid, many products nowadays seem to grow into their often relatively uninspiring names, in the same way that most children make their names appear to mould perfectly around their personality. “She is SUCH an Aubergine.

Looking back at childhood sweets and chocolates here in the UK, they seemed to have better thought-out and evocative names: Mars bars, Juicy Fruit Chewing Gum, Refreshers, Double Dip, Flying Saucers, Flumps and more. All mouth-wateringly inviting and compelling to the young (then) cavity-free child of the 70s. And they were bigger than they are today too.

my name is whatever you want it to be

Today’s sweets not only avoid quite so many brazenly toxic chemicals, but also seem to have less inspiring names like Soft Eating Liquorice, Gummy Pizza, Fruit Chew, Candy Cones, Pink Pigs, Bubbly, Apple Belts, Gum Sticks, Star Mix and more.

Maybe it’s just me, but todays don’t seem as inviting or as evocative as they used to. Back in the 70s Mars Bars were huge, thick and gloriously heavy – so you can see why they were named after the second smallest planet in the solar system…

It might just be that todays names are targeting a very different audience than me. Or it might be that todays brands grow into their names and transform them into something with a life of their own.

exciting PC names

The first real smartphone (arguably) was from BlackBerry, which was then more or less destroyed by Apple. Neither of which should win any awards for their brilliance in naming, yet both have transformed and more or less taken over the once-dominant contexts of fruit.

PC manufacturers seem more excited by acronyms and numbers than resonant names, while Apple seem to have carved out their own direction. Macbook Air and Mac Pro are cool, self-assured and consistent. They’re also significantly different from Dell’s Optiplex, Inspiron, XPS and Precision ranges.

But does it matter?

The HTC One is essentially an extremely uninspiring name for an incredibly popular phone. Would it have fared any better (or worse) had it been been named Clarity, Connected or Helium? (If the latter is used by Apple for the next release of their MacBook or iPad, remember you read it first here.)

And it’s not just electronic devices that are affected.

The SEO industry has managed to gain the most horrendous reputation over the last ten years. Many people continue to believe that SEO is dying, but I don’t. And the figures from Google Trends suggest that it’s not yet time to write to eulogy:

SEO over time

Yet many companies selling SEO products and services now choose to label their discipline as the relatively new and untainted inbound marketing. And it’s taking off:

inbound marketing over time

Does it matter what you call your next product as long as it’s memorable and easy to spell?

Consider some of the dominant names and brands of today: Twitter, Facebook, HSBC, Nike, Tesco, Boeing, Wal-Mart, Cadburys, Phillips, Sony, Ford, Verizon and hundreds more.

Few of these names mean anything beyond their associations, yet most have become household names and truly integrated into what they do, what they make and what they are known for.

So next time you get stuck on the name for your new book, application, course, system, song or any kind of product, it might make a lot more sense to grab at the first thing that springs to mind, carry out some basic research and just run with it. Terms and conditions may apply, but you hopefully get my point.


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You’re almost certainly running Google Analytics on your website. But have you ever stopped to question why? Most likely it’s down to one of the following:

Because it’s free.

If so then you might want to question the wisdom of choosing a solution that monitors your website, analyses your online efforts and essentially directs and evaluates all of your digital activities based on price.

Totally pointless image of Hannibal Lecter

Because it’s already there.

You really don’t have time to find a new solution, set it up, start collecting data and give up all of that precious old data. It would be a poor investment of your time, and you couldn’t possibly pay someone else to do that for you. Right.

Because it’s the standard.

Is that how you run other aspects of your business?

Because it’s easy to install and use.

Analytics is no easier to install than any other solution. And while it used to be easy to find what you were looking for in a short amount of time, the new and constantly changing interface nicely destroyed that particular strength.

Because it’s easier to stick with the devil you know.

This one is probably the most common reason for most people continuing to use Google Analytics, but we you don’t want to admit it.

Because Google have conquered the market and destroyed their competitors.

As good as Google are at conquering markets, they’re also quite good  when it comes to serving up solutions.  Try a search for alternatives to Google analytics for example.

If you’re still stuck for reasons, you might also want to consider the following:

1 – A poor interface and rampant feature-bloat have resulted in Analytics becoming a major black-hole of time and productivity. Ask yourself how much time you spend in Analytics a month, and what you have to show for it.

2 – I love Google and most things that they do – I’m even wearing a Google cardigan as I type this. (See? That much.) But I’m getting uncomfortable as to how much Google know about all of us. It’s bordering on worrying. (Brit-speak for “starting to scare the crap out of me).

3 – The dominant product of every market at some point begins to rest on their laurels. They become too aware of the reasons that most people are continuing to remain with them, so they start to get complacent. Their competition, on the other hand, are hungry and desperately eager to please. Now may be a good time to try them.

Note: This isn’t an attack on Google Analytics as such. This is history repeating itself. The once-mighty King becomes complacent, lazy and starts to indulge his whims. Sooner or later someone will come for his crown.

Are you going to follow the gout-ridden King of yesteryear, or the brave new contender for the throne?


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