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December 15 2010

Anatomy Of A Perfect Landing Page

Although there is no exact formula to making a perfect landing page, there are some common rules of thumb to increase your chances of making a winning one. If you’re looking for ideas on where to start with your next landing page design, the infographic below is a great place to begin. And remember, after you build your first landing page you must continually test variations to improve your conversion metrics.

Landing Page Design
via Formstack

View an enlarged version of this Infographic »

Reposted bythatsridicarusjrbmstrzadmn

How to get smarter, sleep more, and get more sex - today

Some stories are easier to tell than others.

We learn not to touch a hot burner because it hurts like hell. It’s obvious.

Sleep is not obvious. It wastes you away slowly if you don’t get it, and half the time you won’t even notice because we’re too hopped up on caffeine.

When the guys at Zeo sent me a Personal Sleep Coach, I already knew a lot about sleep. But I knew there was a bigger idea here. So we made this infographic for you that tells the whole story, and why it matters.

Oh! I also convinced them to give away a free Zeo, which Tim Ferriss talks about (along with paleo diets, etc.) in the 4 Hour Body.

Tweet

Click to see the whole thing!

December 14 2010

“Un artiste n’est pas uniquement un idiot doué d’un talent artistique” Seb Farran, manager de NTM

Il est de ces rencontres qui vous marquent véritablement. C’est ce qu’il s’est passé avec Seb Farran. Tout ce que je fais, je le fais avec la naiveté de penser qu’en donnant un maximum d’infos aux artistes, ils pourront ainsi devenir plus indépendants. Je ne suis pas partisane, je ne suis pas militante, et je n’ai aucune certitude. Comment peut-on seulement en avoir dans ce métier?

Et j’ai rencontré quelqu’un qui vit, travaille et porte ces principes. On le connait bien entendu comme manager de NTM, grande gueule, et qui a fait Popstars. Moi j’ai rencontré le patron de Lickshot, la probablement seule agence de management de France, qui se consacre pleinement aux développements de ses artistes. Quelqu’un qui rame, qui se pose constamment des questions sur la place (injuste) de l’artiste, et de comment on peut améliorer et défendre ce statut. Quelqu’un de passionné, et qui continue à avancer, malgré le manque de reconnaissance, malgré tout. Et quelqu’un qui est loin d’avoir la langue de bois. Et voir verbaliser par quelqu’un comme Seb Farran tout ce que je tente de dire depuis des mois, ça fait du bien…..

Comme Seb avait beaucoup de choses à dire, j’ai découpé l’interview en deux parties. Aujourd’hui, dans cette première partie, Seb nous parle de son métier de manager, des maisons de disques, de Lickshot son agence de management…Dans la deuxième, il parlera du statut de l’artiste, de “l’avenir” de la musique…..Et ça dépote.

Le rôle du manager?


Le rôle pour lequel on est là ? « The Show must go on ». ça n’a pas changé depuis les années 70 et Malcom Mac Laren. Dans le quotidien de l’artiste, nous sommes là pour faire en sorte qu’il puisse continuer à avancer, au mieux.

Le management c’est aussi un vrai métier, ça s’apprend, il faut avoir une connaissance des différents métiers qui composent l’industrie musicale, il faut supporter le poids des responsabilités, la famille ou le copain du groupe qui le manage pour dépanner. Au début ça aide, mais ça ne dure pas et c’est quelque chose qu’on ne voit pas en Angleterre ou aux Etats-Unis.

Un manager doit avoir une vision à long terme de l’avenir de ses artistes, et il doit le conforter en ce sens, l’orienter dans ses choix financiers et commerciaux.

Un artiste n’est pas uniquement un idiot doué d’un talent artistique. Pourquoi un artiste ne devrait-il pas parler argent ? En quoi l’artiste ne doit pas se voir comme une marque ?

Le rôle du manager, donc de l’homme d’affaires au sens littéral du terme est tout à fait justifié. Un artiste se doit d’être rémunéré pour ses créations, son image, ses prestations et son talent. Le manager est là pour l’en assurer.

L’artiste est comme une entreprise, et simplement il faut en assurer la direction artistique et la direction commerciale. C’est un peu laid de le dire comme ça, mais c’est parlant. Et ça serait plus sain et simple de le voir comme ça.

Aujourd’hui, vous croyez vraiment que des artistes comme Vanessa Paradis, Alain Souchon, Joey Starr pourraient se permettre d’évoluer sans soutien de management ?  Prenez Brian Message, le patron d’ATC management, manager de Radiohead, Kate Nash, Faithless, qui assume très bien d’être le mec qui fait des business plans. Il le dit. Et les artistes dont il gère la carrière ne s’en portent pas plus mal.

Peut être que la France voit encore la musique et les Artistes comme une organisation artisanale de saltimbanques ou une réunion de troubadours comme à l’époque.  Il est temps que ça change. Aujourd’hui on peut se rendre compte dans des pays où le marché local n’est pas prépondérant que le métier de manager est bien mieux considéré (comme en Belgique par exemple).

En ce qui concerne la rémunération du manager, il existe deux possibilités, le « forfait » ou la commission, mais aucune de ces deux possibilités n’est vraiment établie, ce qui peut laisser libre cours à toutes sortes d’aberrations.

Pour moi le manager doit percevoir un pourcentage de l’ensemble des activités de l’Artiste pour lequel il travaille, ce pourcentage se situe entre 15 et 20% des sommes nettes perçues par l’Artiste à quelque titre que ce soit.

On entend souvent en France qu’il est illogique que l’Artiste lorsqu’il est Auteur reverse une commission à son manager sur les droits SACEM, je n’ai jamais compris pourquoi. Si Joey Starr fait 300 concerts dans l’année c’est aussi grâce à mon travail, s’il vend 300.000 albums, c’est aussi grâce à mon travail, en quoi je ne devrais pas être payé là dessus ?

Le métier de manager est un vrai problème en France, comparativement aux US et aux UK, il n’y a aucune fédération, pas de syndicats, pas d’organisations, pas d’alternatives, en gros un Artiste peut congédier son manager sans la moindre difficulté.

Clairement, on a la vie dure. Nous n’avons jamais eu une place très importante dans l’administration de la musique, et je pense pourtant qu’il y a un besoin.

En France, c’est quand même le ministère de la culture qui vient nous donner des leçons sur la manière dont on doit consommer la musique, ce qui ne serait jamais accepté dans un autre secteur

Que penser des relations maisons de disques et artistes?


Je suis bien évidemment perplexe face à l’attitude des majors aujourd’hui et particulièrement vis à vis des artistes. Les contrats d’exclusivité sont restés les mêmes alors que l’ensemble de l’économie du métier a changé.

Les français achètent de moins en moins de CD, de plus en plus vite le gros des ventes se fera par des téléchargements même si la France est particulièrement en retard et que les contrats liés à toutes ces évolutions ne sont pas assez précis sur la question.

Les investissements marketing et autres des labels ont évidemment baissé mais les royautés attribuées aux Artistes n’ont pas évolué.

Globalement le métier est en pleine transition mais attention à ce que cela ne se fasse pas au détriment d’une qualité artistique, le développement ne semble plus être une priorité et le débat n’est d’ailleurs déjà plus vraiment d’actualité.

L’Etat de son côté, par le biais des subventions et des crédits d’impôts pallie à une partie de la crise du disque mais l’Artiste ne bénéficie lui d’aucun changement de statut.

Parallèlement à ça, il faut reconnaître que l’invasion du web ouvre une clientèle considérable pour l’ensemble des nouveaux talents, les médias classiques ne sont plus l’unique voie de promotion pour un nouvel Artiste. Par exemple, si je prends l’exemple de Cocoon que nous avons managé un an, ils sont arrivés d’un coup car plus d’1 200 000 personnes ont cliqué sur leur MySpace. Ce que les maisons de disques ont dû mal à savoir faire.

Aujourd’hui les labels cherchent moins à développer de nouveaux contenus qu’à rééditer sans cesse des valeurs sûres, mais la « musique » n’a jamais fonctionné comme ça, d’une manière uniforme, s’il n’y a pas d’audace, pas de surprises, le public se jettera sur une autre activité.

Dans un créneau musical que je connais bien, le rap,  il n’y  a plus de nouvelles signatures alors que les ventes  ne se portent pas plus mal que les autres, en revanche les artistes confirmés sont encore très présents. Je pense à Booba, Rohff, Sexion d’Assaut …

Comment définir ton agence de management Lickshot ?


Nous sommes une des seules agence de management. Mais je rame.

Il n’y a plus qu’un seul salarié dans la structure. On fonctionne en prestations avec le reste de l’équipe.

Ce problème de non-reconnaissance du statut de manager est réel,  on se demande souvent ce que je suis finalement. C’est vrai, Farran, il fait quoi à part grande gueule. C’est quoi son métier ?

Déjà je suis connu comme manager de rap, pour NTM. Alors que je fais aussi plein d’autres choses. Izia, Etienne de Crécy, Adam Kesher, Toma …Mais voilà, je suis manager de rap, donc je suis grande gueule.


Je sais que j’ai du poids. On me rappelle, où que j’appelle. J’ai une certaine reconnaissance. Et bêtement, Popstars n’y a pas été pour rien. Ça a permis de montrer que je savais aussi parler. Avoir un avis.

Mais en France, qui est manager. Je veux dire vraiment manager ?

Un secrétaire d’artiste, ce n’est pas un manager. Une agence de management, si elle ne s’engage pas à faire du développement, ce n’est pas du management. Et c’est pour ça qu’il n’y en pas. Parce qu’aucune ne sait le faire. Ou ne veut prendre le risque de le faire. Une agence de management devrait faire du développement et devrait être aidée pour ça.

Ce n’est pas aux majors de faire du développement. Elles ne savent pas faire. Il faut le reconnaître et avancer. C’est à nous de le faire, et de leur apporter les artistes.

C’est ce qu’il se passe à NY et Londres, d’où cette créativité artistique plus poussée. On est créatif en France mais personne n’est là pour développer.

Je me suis vraiment fait assigner en justice l’année dernière avec l’annulation de la tournée des festivals NTM quand Joey a été condamné. Les 400 000 euros, je me les suis pris vraiment dans la tête. On n’est toujours pas loin du dépôt de bilan sur la boîte de concerts. J’ai entendu des  « mais monsieur, vous avez qu’à mieux choisir les gens avec qui vous travaillez ».

Je reste positif,  Joey est un mec génial et ça reste unique de travailler avec lui. Là pour le coup l’artistique est tellement à son paroxysme. Avec tous ses travers, ses problèmes, ses histoires, il a fait beaucoup pour les artistes. On va s’en sortir.

Et puis autre chose, c’est bien simple sur nos projets, on ne peut pas avoir de subventions. Car comme on réinvestit toujours notre argent sur les projets, on est donc constamment en décalage, donc on ne cadre pas avec les règles établies pour obtenir des subventions. C’est une injustice latente….et nous ne sommes pas les seuls. Le résultat, c’est que certains managers vont monter des boites en Angleterre parce qu’ils ne peuvent plus développer en France.

Sur les artistes avec lesquels je travaille, j’ai un côté un peu compliqué, je ne passe que par des rencontres. Etienne de Crécy, Izia, c’est une vraie histoire. En fait, tous ceux avec qui ça se passe vraiment bien, c’est ceux avec qui le contrat est clair « je te donne tant » et on s’occupe du reste.

Il y a une vraie logique à avoir un management, l’artiste est complètement libre. Beaucoup plus que lorsqu’il n’a pas de manager.

On décide aussi de s’arrêter pour de bonnes raisons. C’est ce qu’il s’est passé avec Tété. On n’est pas obligé de faire toute la carrière de quelqu’un. On n’est pas là pour brûler les égos des artistes.

La suite jeudi…Seb s’exprimera sur le statut des artistes et “l’Avenir..”…

Illustration photo “We want more”.

December 07 2010

GA As Networking Tool

Talk about organic...Read about incredible organic growth below, and how Analytics helped enable it. We love to share these types of stories because they show practical usage cases of finding success with analytics. Enjoy.

Turning a hobby into a full-time job isn’t always an easy feat. Zach Weiner started drawing comics in high school and he never expected he’d make a career of his clever anecdotes. When his talent agency coworker asked him why he didn’t do his comics full-time, Weiner was inspired. He quit the agency a few months later to launch Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC). The daily webcomic now has over 150,000 daily visits.

Weiner uses Google Analytics to better understand those 150,000+ daily visitors. After founding SMBC in 2005, Weiner installed Google Analytics in 2008. "At that time, my traffic was starting to take off, and my old trackers couldn't keep up," says Weiner. "And the other trackers we used couldn't keep up with the quantity of visitors and began reporting absurd numbers. I had heard good things about Analytics so I decided to switch over."

Since making the switch to Google Analytics, Weiner has used the information to track the referral path to his site. By analyzing referrals to his site, he ensures he is not missing out on business opportunities. Because the livelihood of the comic is completely dependent on visitation, it’s crucial for Weiner to open as many doors as possible.

"I have enough traffic now that I might miss the fact that a large blog linked me," says Weiner. "With Analytics, I can find those sorts of links and make contact with the Blogger." In this way, Weiner is able to build relationships with key Bloggers. As an example, Weiner noticed that Reddit.com was routing a significant amount of traffic to SMBC and he gave Reddit a shout out on his blog. Soon after, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian contacted Weiner and is now his publisher. Who knew Analytics could also be a networking tool?


Weiner also uses the Analytics data to build out new entry points. "I can find out which aggregators people use and try to make these aggregators more accessible. For example, I recently added a simple Facebook button under each comic after noticing how much of my traffic arrives from Facebook." To collect this information, Weiner checks the last year of referrals day over day to see what sources are spiking or dwindling.

Weiner’s attention to his Analytics data has also allowed him to make changes to his AdWords targeting. "I recently found that, for reasons unclear to me, Anime blogs tend to produce high quality traffic to SMBC," says Weiner. "I recently ran ads on an Anime site that, according to Analytics, sent about 35 page views per visitor!"

The author of SMBC is now a self-admitted Analytics addict -- he has to give himself a limit on the amount of time he spends in Analytics each day. By monitoring Analytics for crucial information about referral sites, Weiner has been able to open several new doors to his site and he’s built new relationships with other members of the online comic world. Make sure you get your daily dose of cereal!

Posted by Maren Bean, Google Analytics Team

December 06 2010

Do you need a Chief Revenue Officer?

In today’s still-challenging economic environment, where growth is the number one priority for most companies, the strategy of Revenue Performance Management is gaining traction. One outcome of this shifting focus is the steady emergence of the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), a new C-level appointment with responsibility for all aspects of revenue performance. Recently, I spent some time talking with industry analysts as well as individuals who are serving in this role about the growth of the Chief Revenue Officer title and the responsibilities of this position. The following are some of my observations based on those discussions.

First and foremost, one needs to look at the current business environment to understand why this new role has been emerging. In this post-recessionary environment, companies are facing an urgent growth imperative, having gone as far as they can go with cost-cutting measures to improve the bottom line. As the old saying goes, you can’t cut your way to marketplace leadership. Achieving greater and sustained revenue growth is the order of the day, and that has heightened the need for companies to put a laser focus on their revenue creation and management operations.

Second, many CEOs don’t believe in their current revenue model, as evidenced by a recent Frost & Sullivan CEO survey, which  found that 80 percent of CEOs did not have confidence in their organizations’ abilities to achieve above industry-average sustainable growth rates. The reason frequently lies within their sales and marketing operations, which tend to be disconnected and sub-optimized in today’s web-driven marketplace where the buyer is increasingly in control.

These massive business and competitive changes have caused companies to rethink all facets of how their sales and marketing departments collectively create, drive, and manage revenue. This self-assessment inevitably has spurred the need to put someone in charge of driving the overall revenue strategy and mapping it out across the marketing and sales teams. Enter the Chief Revenue Officer.

The CRO is not simply an expanded role for the VP of Sales or Marketing. A CRO’s role is to look at ways to generate and retain revenue across multiple channels with a long-term perspective, rather than the short-term horizon usually embraced by sales departments. The CRO takes a unified view of customer interactions across marketing and sales teams and puts the right strategies, tools, and metrics in place that will have the greatest positive impact on revenue growth.

The most productive CROs are transforming the way their sales and marketing departments work – and work together. They have adopted a strategy and discipline that applies similar principles and processes as Six Sigma did many years ago for the supply chain to ensure coordination and maximum revenue performance across the buying cycle. These processes include:

  • Establishing an infrastructure where sales and marketing are fully integrated and equally responsible for revenue generation;
  • Measuring and analyzing sales and marketing productivity across the entire revenue cycle;
  • Identifying and removing defects to increase sales and marketing effectiveness and efficiency; and
  • Implementing a systematic process of continuous improvement in ways that are repeatable and predictable.

Many individuals I have talked to agree that these revenue-related changes require a fundamental shift in both operations and organization, and companies need to understand that it is not something to be taken lightly. Because sales and marketing are extremely different functions – each requiring different personalities, skills and experience to master – there are very few people who are groomed to manage and understand both. The best CROs understand and embrace the differences between marketing and sales to get the best of both functions, while at the same time establishing the processes to ensure coordination across the revenue cycle.

Revenue Performance Management requires some profound shifts in the way we do business. As part of this strategy, companies are adopting the CRO role for varying reasons – some very good, some probably not so good. Ultimately, the CRO role can have an important impact on a company’s growth and profitability. But, adopting the CRO approach should be done strategically, and in the context of a broader re-engineering of the traditional structures and strategies that businesses rely on to generate and manage the revenue growth process.

If structured properly and with the right talent, the new CRO role will bridge both sales and marketing functions and ultimately maximize companies’ ability to manage revenue in a much more effective and efficient way.


Do you need a Chief Revenue Officer? was posted at Modern B2B Marketing - Marketo Best Practices Blog. | http://blog.marketo.com

Is Permission Marketing Dead?

Spam
From big brands to new BFFs, spam is on the rise in your Inbox. 

Over 10 years ago, Seth Godin sent a shot over the bow with his book Permission Marketing.  He made the point that when you don't have permission to interrupt someone, you are hurting your brand and not likely converting much business either.  He argued that the key is to first ask for permission to add someone to a marketing list, then make offers to them until they decide to retract it.  For a period of time, big brands of all types took this seriously, some even requiring opt-in selection by potential list recipients. 

Recently, it's all changed, though, as companies of all sizes boldly started to add anyone to any list without any type of permission.  I realized this when I decided to clean up by bloated Inbox.  I noticed that I was receiving dozens of newsletters and announcements every week that I never asked for.   I patiently opened each one, clicked on the unsubscribe link and then flagged the email as Junk. What really surprised me was this: The biggest spammers were companies I did business with, but never gave permission to add me to their lists.  Joe's Jeans, Amazon, Roku, Participant Films, Target, Apple (yes, Apple) and about two dozen other companies that had required an email from me as part of an e-commerce transaction.  NOT ONCE did I select (add me to the list) and every time, I deselected it when it was presented to me.  In several cases, cashiers at retail stores asked for my email address, but never explained why.  Now I know.  

What does this mean?  A new generation of marketing decision makers have decided we don't have anymore privacy rights, so they are adding names to lists as fast as possible, and building a new eCatalog model to make our Inboxes as unwieldy as our mail boxes.  It's not just the .com sites or the spammers anymore, it's the marketers.  What they fail to realize is that when you require a consumer to unsubscribe from you or flag you as Junk Mail, you are weakening your brand to them - making it even harder for future/legit marketing to convert.  That was the point that Seth stressed to marketers with his book: Earn permission, it's an asset and a brand of it's own. 

In my case, I never add someone to my email newsletter.  They must choose to do so via visiting my site.  Often I offer book lists, downloads, etc. during my conference talks.  I could easily grow my newsletter from its current size (around 8,000) to about 20,000 or 30,000 if I was willing to break the rules - but I don't because I know it would be a violation of trust.  And I also know that it wouldn't be good personal branding when these unsuspecting folks start to receive my newsletter out of the blue.  Sure, I may reply to an old email from a fan with a single message about a new book, but that's a far cry from sticking them on a list distribution (to receive countless emails over time).

Audit your own company's policies here, making sure you aren't one of them too.  Sergio Zyman, former CMO of Coke, argued that good marketing "is a service, that adds value when you buy, consume or own a product."  Interruption without permission isn't a service, it's an annoyance, and can only reflect poorly on a company's marketing acumen.  

I'm no longer going to give my email address to stores I shop at.  I've got a Yahoo email address for eCommerce transactions, so I can still get my confirmations of a successful transaction or shipping information without having my regular email Inbox spammed.  I'm going to boycott companies that insist on adding me to their lists, or refusing to unsubscribe me when I ask.  Pass it on. 

 

Writing is a Critical B2B Marketing Skill

I was reading an article written by Denny Hatch (a long-time copywriting expert) discussing why professional copywriting is critical for marketing where he shared this story he recalled:

"What do you do?" a guy at a cocktail party was asked.

"I'm a brain surgeon," was the reply. "What do you do?"

"I'm a writer."

"Ah," said the brain surgeon. "I've often thought that when I retire I'd like to try some writing."

"And when I retire," said the writer, "I plan try a little brain surgery."

The story resonated with me for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because I see a lot of B2B marketers without the passion or skill for developing content. I'm not talking about branding or corporate positioning as such. I'm talking about content creation and development that keeps pace with the demands of prospects and customers across their buying process or lifetime relationship with the company.

Writing is a skill. It's a skill that gets rusty if you don't practice it...a lot. The last few years, the role of marketing has changed from that of a conductor to the need to become an active participant. Instead of coordinating external sources for short-term campaign execution, marketers need to take real-time action. That means writing.

Things like blog posts, commenting in discussion groups, sharing on social media, creating articles for nurturing programs, email messaging and more. Sure, you can still outsource writing projects, but some of these arenas for participation require real-time content development with a personalized touch.

For example, if an immediate informational need arises and your agency says - sure, I can have that for you in two weeks - you've just missed an opportunity if you can't step up to the plate and write engaging content that can be published now.

[If you don't believe me, David Meerman Scott just published a book about Real-Time Marketing. Ann Handley's book Content Rules has also just been released making it a bit difficult to ignore the momentum heading in this direction.]

The other consideration is that there are certain mediums that require you to paricipate directly, without the help of a writer. LinkedIn is a case in point. Although not formal, the way you write is still a reflection on both you and your company.

All of this said, here are 4 things I think may be stopping marketers from improving their writing skills:

  • Thinking every content asset must be a masterpiece of formatting and graphic design.
  • Lack of understanding that short article formats work well if the content provides meaty, useful insights. An 800 word, tightly-focused article is more than ample for engagement and asks for less time than a bigger piece. Your prospects and customers are crazy-busy. You know that, right?
  • Not knowing buyers and customers well enough to write for them — being unsure how to flip focus from company and products to address their needs can be a huge obstacle marketers need to overcome.
  • Unsure of where to start. Think of this as blank-page syndrome that results from a lack of content strategy.
  • Being crazy-busy yourselves.

Yes, that last one will likely rise to the top. But here's the thing. Writing isn't optional. If marketers are going to succeed with content marketing and marketing on the Internet, we're going to have to close the writing gap and step up.

Marketing is driven by content. The Internet, publishing technology and social media will only demand more fuel (content) to feed the beast. Your best plan of action is to start tuning up your keyboards and flex those writing muscles. You're going to need them in top form to create competitive advantage for your company.

December 04 2010

Moo.com, ou comment créer une vraie relation client dans un processus d'achat automatisé

Cet article fait suite à des échanges sur Twitter avec Stephanie Booth sur Twitter.

Moo.com est un site permettant de faire imprimer des cartes de visite, cartes postales etc… qui s’est fait connaître par le format inédit de ses cartes, aujourd’hui communément appelées moo cards et la possibilité d’uploader une photo pour le dos de chacune des cartes commandées. L’autre particularité de Moo.com, c’est Little Moo, le programme de gestion de commandes du site, qui représente le parti pris d’une automatisation assumée de l’expérience client. Étude de ce qui pourrait bien devenir un cas d’école.

Moo.com et ses moo cards

Pour être rentable, un service comme Moo.com doit être entièrement automatisé, de la prise de commande à l’impression en passant par le dispatching. Paradoxalement, la possibilité de personnaliser chaque carte de visite, ou des lots de X cartes de visite implique une souplesse quasi manuelle dans le traitement des commandes.

Little Moo vient donc se positionner dans le processus de communication entre les clients et la société en s’adressant à lui au moins trois fois lors de sa commande, à travers trois emails envoyés automatiquement aux trois étapes clés du processus d’achat :

  1. Au moment de la confirmation de la commande.
  2. Au moment de l’envoi de la commande.
  3. 24 heures après la date de réception planifiée de la commande afin de recueillir le feedback client

Établir la relation avec le client

Le message transmis par les mails de Little Moo est très important : il signifie bien que notre service soit entièrement automatisé, nous nous adressons tout de même à vous de manière chaleureuse et humaine.

À ce titre, le premier mail envoyé par Little Moo est le plus important, et j’en retiendrai particulièrement le premier et le dernier paragraphe.

Hello

I’m Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s done and on its way to you.

Cette première partie du mail introduit Little Moo et Big Moo, ainsi que leurs champs d’action. Cette démarche permet d’humaniser le programme de traitement des commandes et la chaîne d’impression en créant une relation de personne à personne avec le client.

Remember, I’m just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions at:

http://www.moo.com/help/faq/

and if you’re still not sure, contact customer services (who are real people) at:

http://www.moo.com/help/contact-us.html

Bien que se présentant comme le principal interlocuteur du client, Little Moo tient aussi à le rassurer : bien qu’il ne soit qu’un programme informatique, il est également aidé par de véritables êtres humains qui pourront prendre le relais le cas échéant. Le client est rassuré car la chaîne de traitement n’est donc pas totalement déshumanisée.

Little Moo relance toutefois la relation de personne à personne avec le client en signant son e-mail comme un véritable être humain :

Thanks,

Little MOO, Print Robot

Permettre au client de contrôler le processus de commande

L’envoi du mail de confirmation d’envoi de la commande est devenu une pratique courante sur la très grande majorité des sites d’e-commerce. Moo.com l’utilise de manière habile à la fois pour rappeler le contenu de sa commande, la date de livraison prévue, et pour maintenir le lien avec son client en utilisant un mode de communication direct, une fois encore de personne à personne.

Hello,

it’s Little MOO again. I thought you’d like to know, the following items from your order are now in the mail:

Le rappel de la nature informatique de Little Moo et l’utilisation de la signature pour rétablir le contact sont à nouveau utilisés dans ce mail.

Le plus important dans ce second mail est de donner l’impression au client qu’il contrôle le processus de commande malgré l’automatisation, mais dans le cadre d’une relation informelle.

Amener le client à rentrer dans le processus de feedback

Le dernier mail de Little Moo intervient deux jours après la date de livraison programmée de la commande. Il y traite de deux aspects fondamentaux de la commande :

  1. La satisfaction client : amener le client à donner son feedback sur sa commande s’il l’a bien reçue.
  2. Le suivi de commande en cas de retard.

Hello Frédéric de Villamil.

We’ve met before, I’m Little MOO, the piece of software that manages your order with moo.com. I hope you’ve now received - and are happy with - your most recent purchase with us. If it hasn’t arrived yet please don’t worry, you can check-up on your order here:
https://secure.moo.com/account

As you know, we like to think our customers are happy with the things they’ve made at MOO, and the best way to find out is to ask. If you have time, we’d love it if you could answer just 3 short questions about your most recent experience with us, it’ll help us make things better for everyone:

Thank you for your help, Little MOO

Cette fois, Little Moo reprend la relation de manière formelle en rappelant ses précédentes missives. Le ton reste très conversationnel comme le montre le post scriptum, qui vient remplacer les traditionnels paragraphes légal de désinscription impersonnels qu’envoient les autres services d’e-commerce.

PS You’ve received this email as a standard part of the MOO order process. If you’d rather I didn’t ask for your feedback on future orders, you can take yourself off the list at the following url:

Thanks, and sorry to bother you

Pourquoi ça marche ?

Le concept Little Moo et Big Moo, c’est à dire la personnalisation et la personnification d’un processus d’achat entièrement automatisé fonctionne principalement pour deux raisons.

La première est le côté “mignon” du nom des personnages, qui tranche avec le ton généralement très formel et impersonnel des emails de confirmation sur les sites de e-commerce et leur permet d’utiliser le ton de la conversation.

La seconde, et la plus importante à mes yeux est que le concept ne s’applique qu’à une communication unidirectionnelle. Le client n’a pas besoin de répondre à Little Moo. C’est capital, car les gens ont encore du mal à communiquer avec des programmes informatiques, comme le montrent les échecs plus ou moins marqués des processus automatisés, notamment au téléphone. C’est dû d’une part aux limites techniques de ces programmes, et surtout au fait que les gens se sentent diminués quand ils doivent communiquer avec un interlocuteur non humain. Or, en dehors de certaines marques de luxe qui prennent le parti de diminuer ses clients, lui permettre de se sentir valorisé est la base d’une bonne relation client.

Pourquoi ça ne marchera pas chez vous ?

Si Little Moo et Big Moo sont pour moi des cas d’école, ils ne peuvent pas s’appliquer partout, et tenter de plaquer ce modèle à votre procédure de vente risque fort de produire l’inverse de l’effet escompté.

En vrac, quelques raisons pour lesquelles ça ne fonctionnera pas :

Si votre marché a pour habitude d’un mode de communication très formel, le conversationnel ne passera pas du tout et pourra au contraire passer pour de l’amateurisme, voire pour de la déconsidération. Le modèle “client copain” ne fonctionne pas partout.

De même si le montant des articles commandés – et non le montant des commandes – dépasse un certain seuil, le traitement de cette dernière sur le ton de la conversation peut passer pour de la dévalorisation.

Enfin, cela ne fonctionnera pas si votre offre ne permet pas une grande personnalisation des produits ou des options de commande. En effet, le modèle des Moo Cards est avant tout centré autour de la personnalisation de l’offre et la proximité avec le client – une offre client centric – inadaptable à des modèles de grande consommation façon supermarchés.


Article original écrit par Frederic de Villamil et publié sur Ergonomie Web, Expérience Utilisateur et Ruby On Rails | lien direct vers cet article | Si vous lisez cet article ailleurs que sur Ergonomie Web, Expérience Utilisateur et Ruby On Rails, c'est qu'il a été reproduit illégalement et sans autorisation.

December 02 2010

Google + Bing Confirm that Twitter/Facebook Influence SEO

Posted by randfish

As of yesterday, both Bing and Google have confirmed (via an excellent interview by Danny Sullivan) that links shared through Twitter and Facebook have a direct impact on rankings (in addition to the positive second-order effects they may have on the link graph). This has long been suspected by SEOs (in fact, many of us posited it was happening as of November of last year following Google + Bing's announcements of partnerships with Twitter), but getting this official confirmation is a substantive step forward.

In addition to that revelation, another piece of critical data came via yesterday's announcement:

Danny Sullivan: If an article is retweeted or referenced much in Twitter, do you count that as a signal outside of finding any non-nofollowed links that may naturally result from it?

Bing: We do look at the social authority of a user. We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in regular search results. It carries much more weight in Bing Social Search, where tweets from more authoritative people will flow to the top when best match relevancy is used.

Google: Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our news universal by marking how many people shared an article.

Danny Sullivan: Do you try to calculate the authority of someone who tweets that might be assigned to their Twitter page. Do you try to “know,” if you will, who they are?

Bing: Yes. We do calculate the authority of someone who tweets. For known public figures or publishers, we do associate them with who they are. (For example, query for Danny Sullivan)

Google: Yes we do compute and use author quality. We don’t know who anyone is in real life :-)

Danny Sullivan: Do you calculate whether a link should carry more weight depending on the person who tweets it?

Bing: Yes.

Google: Yes we do use this as a signal, especially in the “Top links” section [of Google Realtime Search]. Author authority is independent of PageRank, but it is currently only used in limited situations in ordinary web search.

We now know that those link sharing activities on Twitter + Facebook are evaluated based on the person/entity sharing them through a score Google calls "Author Authority," and Bing calls "Social Authority."

We can probably predict a lot of the signals the search engines care about when it comes to social sharing; some of my guesses include:

  • Diversity of Sources - having 50 tweets of a link from one account, like having 50 links from one site, is not nearly as valuable as 50 tweets from 50 unique accounts.
  • Timing - sharing that occurs when an RSS feed first publishes a story may be valuable in QDF, but tweets/shares of older pieces could be seen as more indicative of lasting value and interest (rather than just sharing what's new).
  • Surrounding Content - the message(s) accompanying the link may give the engines substantive information about their potential relevance and topic; it could even fill the gap that's left by the lack of anchor text, particularly on Twitter.
  • Engagement Level - the quantity of clicks, retweets, likes, etc. (if/when measurable) could certainly impact how much weight is given to the link.

We can probably also take a stab at some of the signals Google + Bing use for Author/Social Authority in the context of the sharing/tweeting source:

  • Quantity of Friends/Followers - like links, it's likely the case that more is better, though there will likely be caveats; low quality bots and inauthentic accounts are likely to be filtered (and may be much easier to spot than spammy links, due to the challenge they find in getting any "legitimate" friends/followers).
  • Importance of Friends/Followers - the friends/followers you have, like the link sources you have, are also probably playing a role. Earn high "authority" followers and you yourself must be a high authority person.
  • Analysis of Friends/Followers Ratios - Much like the engines' analysis of the editorial nature of links, consideration of whether a social user is engaging in following/follower behavior purely out of reciprocity vs. true interest and engagement may be part of authority scoring. If you have 100K followers and follow 99K of them, but the engagement between you and your followers is slim, you're likely not as authoritative as an account with 100K followers + 5K following, but those followers are constantly engaged, retweeting, liking, sharing, etc. 
  • Topic Focus / Relevance - The consistency or patterns between your sharing behaviors could also be a consideration, using topic analysis, patterns in the sources of shared/tweeted links, etc. Being an "authority" could even be subject-specific, such that when a prominent SEO tweets links to celebrity news it has less of an impact than when they tweet links to a web marketing resource.
  • Association Bias - I suspect Google and Bing do a good job of associating social authors with the sites/domains they're "part of" vs. independent from. Sometimes, this might be as easy as looking at the URL associated with the account, other times it could be based on patterns like where you most often tweet/share links to or whether your account is listed on pages from that site. Basically, if @randfish tweets links to *.seomoz.org, that probably means less than when I tweet links to bitlynews or when someone outside the company tweets links to SEOmoz.

These signals represent my opinions only, and while it's very likely that at least some are being used, it's even more likely that there are many more that aren't listed above. Over time, hopefully we'll discover more about the impact of social sharing on web rankings and how we can best combine SEO + social media marketing.

To me, the most exciting part about this is the potential to reduce webspam and return to a more purely editorial model. While people often link to, read and enjoy sources that link out manipulatively, very few of us will be likely to follow a Twitter account, friend someone on Facebook, or "like" something in a social site that's inauthentic, manipulative or spammy. The social graph isn't necessarily cleaner, but the complexity of spam is far lower.

Here's to the evolution of organic marketing - search, social, content, blogs, links - it's all coming together faster than ever before, and that's a very good thing for holisticly minded web marketers.


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November 29 2010

Uruguay Offers Universal Free Broadband

Uruguay has announced that all fixed phone lines in the country will include free minimal ADSL service, for the one time price of the modem, $30 USD. The connection, is 256k async dsl with a 1gb per month traffic cap. The awesome thing is there is no monthly fee at all, it’s just part of your phone service!

Uruguay already distributed over 300,000 laptops to all elementary school students in public schools, about %90 of the kids go to public schools. This means Uruguay’s well on it’s way towards having universal internet access in every home for free.
Uruguay Offers Universal Free Broadband

6 stratégies pour développer la fidélité de vos visiteurs

Une règle d’or dans le monde des affaires stipule qu’il est toujours plus facile de vendre au même client deux fois, plutôt que de continuellement investir des efforts à séduire une nouvelle clientèle.

Une des principales raisons est qu’en améliorant votre volume de vente en provenance d’une clientèle établie, vous réduisez vos efforts et dépenses marketing, en pigeant constamment au sein du même bassin.

Cette règle s’applique particulièrement bien au Web. Si l’Internet demeure un des médiums les plus efficaces pour rejoindre et initier un dialogue avec votre clientèle, il va sans dire qu’une campagne de marketing Web n’est pas sans prix, et que des efforts en temps et budget sont requis pour développer une visibilité en ligne.

Voilà pourquoi qu’en travaillant à développer la fidélité de vos visiteurs, soit en les incitant à interagir avec votre site et en leur donnant de bonnes raisons pour revenir, non seulement vous maximiser vos efforts en conservant vos visiteurs acquis, mais également vous développez la valeur de votre site et le branding au sein de son industrie.

L’exemple Facebook

Facebook est devenu en l’espace de quelques années le site Internet le plus fréquenté au monde, avec un achalandage incroyable de 540 millions de visiteurs par mois. Ce qui est encore plus impressionnant à mon avis, c’est qu’on estime que près de 78% de ce trafic revient continuellement sur le site.

Une des clés du succès de Facebook est de faire revenir les visiteurs sur son site en présentant un haut niveau d’interaction, par exemple en échangeant avec ses amis, en consultant les photos et les commentaires sur les statuts, pour ne nommer que ceux-là.

Bien sûr, on ne peut pas tous être des Facebook, cependant voici 8 stratégies pour vous aider à développer la fidélité de vos visiteurs, et qui sait, peut-être devenir le prochain site majeur de votre industrie :)

Stratégie #1 : Récompensez vos visiteurs

Une des meilleures façons d’influencer positivement les gens est de reconnaître leurs qualités et démontrer une appréciation sincère pour leurs efforts. Lorsque l’on applique ce principe au Web, il s’agit de récompenser vos visiteurs pour le temps passé sur votre site, en leur accordant des statuts virtuels démontrant leur niveau d’interaction.

Un site Web utilisant très bien cette stratégie est la communauté de blogueurs Scribnia, qui accorde à ses utilisateurs des badges méritées suite à leur implication sur le site.

Scribnia

Scribnia

Les utilisateurs auront donc la possibilité de décrocher des nouveaux titres afin de se différencier de la masse, et ainsi démontrer fièrement leur implication. De l’autre côté, la communauté s’agrandit, ce qui devient donc une recette gagnant-gagnant.

De votre côté, sans avoir nécessairement une communauté à gérer, comment pouvez-vous remercier vos visiteurs suite à leur implication sur votre site?  Certains sites e-commerce accordent des rabais suite à une inscription à une infolettre ou encore si un témoignage est écrit.

Vous pourriez également souligner l’effort un une action particulière d’un visiteur ou d’un client important pour votre entreprise, en le mentionnant directement sur votre site ou encore sur votre blogue.

Stratégie #2 : Développez l’intelligence de vos visiteurs

Si vos produits et services ont pour objectifs de répondre aux besoins de votre clientèle, une stratégie de base consisterait à démontrer les nombreux avantages de vos produits et leurs différentes applications. En poussant l’idée plus loin, il s’agirait de créer un contenu éducatif et complémentaire à vos services, visant à développer les connaissances de vos visiteurs.

Par exemple, si vos visiteurs sont intéressés au marché boursier et que vous êtes un conseiller financier, pourquoi ne pas mettre en ligne un glossaire expliquant les différents termes de votre domaine?  Dans le marché hypothécaire, les outils comme les calculatrices de prêt font rages depuis plusieurs années, puisqu’on sait que les visiteurs ont de bonnes chances de revenir consulter l’outil la prochaine fois qu’ils planifient le montant de leur emprunt.

Appliquez-vous à identifier les problématiques rencontrées par votre audience, développez un contenu de qualité venant répondre à ses questions, tout en mentionnant que vous mettez continuellement à jour vos ressources en les incitants à ajouter votre site à leurs signets.

Stratégie #3 : Produire un contenu personnalisé par type de profil

De nos jours, rarement nous allons faire un achat en ligne sans effectuer des recherches au préalable, et surtout sans consulter les recommandations et témoignages des utilisateurs du même produit. Voilà déjà plusieurs années, Amazon a compris la puissance des évaluations et commentaires et fut l’un des premiers à incorporer ce système à sa plateforme d’achat.

S’il est utile de savoir que x acheteurs sur un total de y ont apprécié le produit, il n’en demeure pas moins que cet indicateur peut manquer quelques fois de précisions. En effet, comment puis-je m’identifier à des commentateurs anonymes, possédant des goûts et intérêts différents des miens?

Buzzillions.com, une communauté dédiée aux évaluations de produits en tous genres, a décidé de pousser plus loin le pouvoir des recommandations, en donnant la possibilité de séparer et trier les commentaires selon le profil des utilisateurs, et la future utilisation du produit.

Par exemple, le visiteur du site peut consulter les témoignages selon l’expérience et ses habilités, allant de l’amateur à l’utilisateur professionnel, ce qui vous permet de consulter des évaluations correspondant exactement à votre profil.

Cette recommandation peut vous être utile même si vous ne vendez pas directement en ligne. Si vous offrez des services professionnels, pouvez-vous en dire plus sur le profil de vos clients ayant embauché votre expertise?

Pouvez-vous faire une étude de cas par profil d’utilisation, en gardant en tête l’information susceptible d’être recherché par votre visiteur?

Stratégie #4 : Offrir des programmes d’accès exclusifs

Le sentiment d’exclusivité relié à un produit est une tactique que les professionnels en ventes en marketing exploitent depuis longtemps. Trouvez le moyen de rendre votre produit ou service désirable, offrez-le en quantité limitée, et les consommateurs feront tout pour l’obtenir, la plupart du temps même s’ils n’en ont pas besoin. On pense aux fameux produits Apple continuellement hors de stock, ou encore les clubs privés, invitant certaines personnes triées sur le volet.

Appliquée au Web, cette idée peut devenir une stratégie intéressante pour engager les visiteurs avec votre site, et développer le sentiment d’appartenance.  Si vous avez un volet éducatif ou encore une communauté, restreindre l’accès et choisir individuellement vos membres aura l’effet de conserver la qualité du membership à son maximum, tout en créant un certain sentiment VIP parmi les élus.

Dribbble.com, une communauté de designers Web, fonctionne uniquement par invitation. Le site a connu un franc succès, et nombreux sont les malheureux campant à l’extérieur du programme et faisant des pieds et des mains pour y être invités.

De votre côté, pouvez-vous bénéficier de mettre une partie de votre contenu en exclusivité? Si vous êtes déjà gestionnaire d’une communauté, réfléchissez aux possibilités de créer une plateforme entièrement exclusive, visant à récompenser vos membres les plus actifs, et ainsi créer un engouement relatif à votre marque et développer la perception de votre image de marque.

Stratégie #5 : Gardez votre contenu à jour

Si vous êtes impliqués présentement dans le développement de la présence Internet de votre entreprise ou celle de vos clients, vous connaissez sans aucun doute l’importance d’avoir une stratégie de contenu non seulement pertinente, mais surtout mise à jour continuellement pour refléter les intérêts de vos visiteurs.  Au fameux cliché « Content is king », à mon avis il faut ajouter « fresh quality content is king » :)

À ma connaissance Mashable est l’un des meilleurs exemples de sites utilisant ce principe. Personne ne peut dénier leur immense popularité et leur domination du marché des nouvelles reliées au marketing 2.0 et dernières tendances. Le site reçoit plus de 2 millions de visiteurs par mois, et compte sur près de 500,000 abonnés RSS, soit des visiteurs consultant leur contenu tous les jours.

Une des clés de leur succès? Un contenu continuellement mis à jour, et résonnant à chaque fois avec les intérêts de leurs visiteurs.

Fait intéressant, on remarque que leur contenu est généralement plus succinct que détaillé, ce qui porte à croire que vous pouvez vous simplifier la tâche en écrivant des articles concis et en quantité, mais sans négliger la qualité bien sûr.

En ce qui vous concerne, pouvez-vous développer votre stratégie de contenu, et donner l’impression à vos visiteurs de devoir revenir continuellement s’ils veulent demeurer au courant des dernières nouvelles?

En présentant un contenu à jour, vous démontrez que votre entreprise est très active et non statique,  est au courant des dernières tendances de son marché.

Stratégie #6: Facilitez les options d’abonnements

Les fils RSS et communautés 2.0 ont l’avantage de multiplier les opportunités pour une entreprise de développer la fidélité de son auditoire. À travers les profils Twitter, pages Facebook et abonnement RSS, jamais les utilisateurs n’auront autant de possibilités de suivre une source de nouvelle sous la plateforme de leur choix.

Un gestionnaire marketing Web averti a donc tout intérêt de faciliter l’abonnement aux diverses sources de contenu liés à la présence de l’entreprise, donc faire en sorte que les visiteurs puissent s’informer selon leurs préférences.

Pour une deuxième fois dans cet article, Mashable donne l’exemple en présentant aux visiteurs plus de 50 différents types d’abonnements personnalisés, soit par communauté ou par thématique de contenu.

Cet exemple peut sembler un peu extrême, et à moins d’être un éditeur de contenu à temps plein, peut ne sembler pertinent pour votre site Internet.

Cependant, la clé est de réfléchir aux différentes façons que notre auditoire peut consulter notre contenu, sans nécessairement être sur notre site. Par exemple l’une de mes clientes sait que ses lecteurs consultent les articles du blogue alors qu’ils sont en déplacement entre deux rendez-vous, donc une boîte d’inscription servant à retransmettre les articles par courriel est mise en évidence.

De quelle façon vos lecteurs sont-ils susceptibles de consulter votre contenu, hors de votre site? Sous quelles communautés se trouvent-ils?

Identifiez les plateformes fréquentées par votre audience cible, développez une source d’information basée sur leurs intérêts, et facilitez les inscriptions et abonnements à votre contenu.

Vous développerez ainsi non seulement la fidélité de vos lecteurs, cependant également à travers les différentes communautés, ce qui contribue à développer la perception de votre brand en ligne.

Conclusion

Le commun des mortels va remarquer que les exemples mentionnés dans cet article proviennent de sites considérés comme des géants en ligne, tel que Facebook, Scribina, et Mashable.  Après tout, ces sites comptent sur des équipes marketing Web et des budgets à rendre jaloux la plupart d’entre nous.

Cependant, la clé est de se souvenir que tout succès Internet, que l’on soit un Facebook ou une petite entreprise, commence par un premier pas.  Tout comme dans le monde des affaires traditionnel, il peut être intimidant de se comparer aux meilleurs, cependant vous pouvez ainsi appliquer leurs stratégies à votre marché, et vous inspirer de leurs succès.

Nul besoin d’être un Mashable dès le premier jour, la clé est de s’améliorer continuellement et toujours garder vos visiteurs au sein de l’équation :)

The Quick, 12-Step Guide to Quitting That @#$%ing Job You Hate

Guess what, it’s Monday! And you’re still at that job you hate. Nice.

1. 9am. Get to the office. Go straight to the coffee machine. Hang out there for 10 minutes before heading to your desk. Dread the workweek.

2. 9:10am. Check Facebook and email, despite having just done so on your iPhone 15 minutes prior. Delay the inevitable start of an empty, energy-draining day which will leave you uninterested in social interaction, learning, and sex.

3. 10am. Look around at your co-workers. Realize that they are all either a) mindless drones, b) shriveled, pathetic versions of their former, bright selves, or c) social-climbing douchebag sociopaths. Question the purpose of your existence as you stare at your reflection in your computer monitor circa 1995.

4. 10:05am. Realize how much longer you’ve been at this job than what you intended, awakening in you a horrible, hateful anger which had until now remained dormant like a sleeping dragon for longer than you thought was possible.

5. 10:10am. Begin shaking in rage. Pop a blood vessel in your eyeball. Briefly choke the telephone as if it were some unknown person’s neck before regaining your composure.

6. 10:30am. Analyze options. Consider that, perhaps, you could ask for a transfer to another department or another city. With horror, become conscious that everytime you’ve spoken to them on the phone, they seemed even more brain-dead than the mouth-breathing sycophants in Human Resources.

7. 10:45am. Think back to the time you were offered the cool job with the startup downtown. Have dark thoughts about the we-need-you guilt-tripping that was done to prevent you from quitting. Attempt and fail to slit your wrists with a stapler. Finally acknowledge that you will have to either quit, or throw yourself off the roof, this week. It’s a toss-up.

8. 11am. Awaken to the reality that you may still have much to live for. Recall that time you wanted to work on that documentary or be in that punk band. Realize the guitar is still in the basement, and that no one has yet tried out the website idea you had that your girlfriend was excited about.

9. 11:10am. Start a list of the worst things that could happen if you quit right now. Finally acknowledge the possibility that it wouldn’t actually be that bad, despite how anxious you are about it. Picture yourself on your deathbed.

10. 11:20am. Ask yourself if you can live without your daily soy non-fat latté, your gourmet BLT with aioli mayo, or your 100% pure fruit 2pm snack bar. Ask yourself if starving for a few months is better or worse than being here and simply starving on the inside.

11. 11:30am. Realize that, fuck it, you’re better than that. Walk into your boss’ office and quit with dignity.

12. Noon. Emerge from boss’ office, possibly glowing. Go to lunch. Begin your new life.

November 27 2010

How Google's New Local SERP Affected Your Ranking

Posted by number1george

This post was originally in YOUmoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.

As you probably noticed, last week Google did a pretty big makeover of its local search results page, incorporating the local results directly within the organic results. In some cases it appeared that the old “7-Pack” was just given larger real estate on the SERP. In others, it just looked like the websites were just given links to their Places page. And sometimes, it just looked like an entirely new SERP, different than both the original organic rankings and the lettered, local results. But what was the real effect this change had on local search results?

How I Got My Data

Visually, the new local search results page includes information from the both website and the business's Places page. The title and description are taken from the website but select information from the Places page is also included as well as a direct link to the Places page in Maps. Here we see an example of a search for "tanning salon seattle wa" and how the combined results are displayed.

An example of a new local SERP in Google

To find out the effects of combining the results, I grabbed the rankings of 50 somewhat random websites we’ve been tracking. As an initial criteria, I tried to use sites we’d been tracking for at least 2 months. I also eliminated sites with substantial fluctuations in their rankings within the prior few weeks since there would be no way to attribute those changes to any particular factor. Lastly, though I originally intended to use a completely random sampling, I eventually skipped over several sites that had no change since several of these were in non-competitive areas where they pretty much dominated all other websites for their searches.

After I had my sample, I did some quick research, comparing the organic rankings of several websites prior to the change to their rankings after the change. I then performed the same search in Google Maps in order to determine how their Places pages were ranking individually.

Example of Google Maps SERP

With a few exceptions, the top 7 ranked results in Maps are what were displayed in the old 7-pack for the same search. These listings were ranked independently of the organic results beneath them. By comparing their former organic ranking to their current organic ranking, I was able to see if a change could be correlated to their Places page's ranking in Maps.

So, Was There Any Change?

Of the 50 websites examined, 30 of them had an improvement in the new, “combined” results while 6 of them dropped. In most cases, this shift in their ranking could definitely be attributed to the performance of their local listings.

The Good

First, let’s look at the ones that improved. I did eliminate 4 outliers but, for the most part, you can see a direct correlation between the sites’ improved ranking and their local ranking in Maps. Obviously, I can’t publish any actual websites or keyword searches, but the searches all used a typical local query consisting of “business/service city st”.

Local searches with a positive change

Generally, it can be said that sites performing well in both organic and local perform even better in the new consolidated SERP. In several cases you can directly see how a well-performing Google Places listing now pulls up your organic ranking.

In some instances, the combined performance of a business with both a decently ranking website and Places page was enough to push it up a rank or two in the new results. In others, it appears that a well-optimized Places page was able to significantly improve a decently performing website and increase its ranking by several spots. Basically, your local listing’s performance appears to be a significant ranking factor in the new organic results.

The Bad

Since a business’s local listing has the ability to positively affect its website’s performance organic results, let’s look at the ones that dropped in ranking to determine if there is a negative factor associated with the new SERP.

Example of searches with a negative change

First, the fact that the sample size I was able to obtain was so small already implies that a poorly performing business listing doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on a website’s performance. Looking at the original rankings, you can also see that 3 of these sites weren’t doing that great to begin with. In fact, it would probably be fair to assume that their drop was due to an already negative trend. But what about the websites that were doing well but dropped after the update?

Digging deeper into these, I soon discovered that this wasn’t really a direct result of the poorly performing business listings dragging the websites down, but rather that, due to the local results being buried so deep in Maps, Google didn’t associate a business’s Places page with their website. As a result, other websites that did have strong Places pages were ranking higher. So, while having a poorly ranked local listing didn’t penalize the website, it was a whole category of optimization that the website was lacking. Almost like having a great inbound linking strategy but no content structure.

Other Observations

While going through dozens of various local searches, there were a few things that stood out:

  • Directory listings appear to be showing up more frequently in local results, in some cases taking up the top 3 spots in results.
  • The 7-Pack, or rather one-line business listings similar to the old 7-Pack, aren’t gone entirely. Lettered results still tend to show up when Google isn’t entirely sure you’re trying to do a local search. Typically, this happens in searches for smaller cities or regions.
  • When using rank-checking tools, the one-lined, lettered listings won’t be counted - just like before. The larger results being discussed here, however, are treated just as normal organic results prior to the change, completely disregarding the letter and local information assigned to it.
  • Lastly, while I encountered plenty of websites on the first page without a Places page, I encountered very few Places page ranking on the first page without a website. Prior to the change, it was not uncommon to regularly see local listings with no associated website ranking in the 7-pack. Now it appears that, without a website, it is nearly impossible to be in the first page of Google’s general SERP for most searches.

What Does This Mean?

So what can we learn from all this? Basically, it’s just what Google said all along - everything is important. Your best bet is to have both a terrifically optimized website and an optimized, claimed Places page to associate with it.

Not only does Google seem to use a Places page as an organic ranking factor, but having one also gives you nearly twice the real estate devoted to your business in the results. Instead of just having a few words in your title tag and meta description to sell your business, you now have your address, phone number, reviews, lists of other websites that mention you, and even a picture to draw attention to your website.

Bottom line: all those old debates about whether it was better to have the top-ranking website in organic or have your business at the top of the 7-pack are over. Even if this isn’t the final layout, it’s clear that Google intends to make both count.


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November 26 2010

Apple & Moi 02 : Les courriels

Deuxième émission. On parle des courriels pour les professionnels travaillant ponctuellement ou exclusivement sous Mac. Cliquez ici pour accéder aux notes, minutées, qui accompagnent ce second podcast.

November 25 2010

7 Non-SEO Tactics That Will Make You a Better SEO - Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Aaron Wheeler

 Happy Thanksgiving! In case you haven't heard, this week Seattle underwent the most brutal snow storm in the history of mankind. To call it a snowpocalypse would be an understatement, as can be witnessed herein (it gets good so keep watching!). Unfortunately, Danny Dover was the one up to bat this week for Whiteboard Friday, but he perished in the harsh winter (he was the one that got off the bus after it careened into his stop. You can still hear the bus driver's sentimental pronouncement, "12th and John."). Before he was frozen for all eternity, though, Danny must have filmed a Whiteboard Friday, because we found this tape in his icy grasp when we went to his home to hunt him down. We also found ham. A LOT of ham.

Embed video
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Danny's Whiteboard

7 Non-SEO Tactics That Will Make You a Better SEO

  1. Get a whiteboard in a non-work related place
  2. Prioritize SEO tasks before starting your day
  3. Dedicate time on your calendar for researching SEO
  4. Create new e-mail accounts for each client (Bonus: Ditch the spreadsheet, use 1Password)
  5. Take the time to explain your job to others
  6. Schedule meetups with online marketers in other niches
  7. Take the time to be thankful

Video Transcription

Hello, everybody. My name is Danny Dover. I'm in charge of SEO here at SEOmoz. Today for Whiteboard Friday, it's a very special one. If you're in the States, today is Thanksgiving. So, happy Thanksgiving everybody. In honor of that, or at least, at least a little bit to do with it . . . at least, at least, that was the remix. I have something special for you today. I have seven tactics to make you a better SEO. Most of these things are tactics that I just learned by myself. I would mess something up a lot and I was like, "Hey, if I had this little fix or if I had this little part in my life, it would improve my ability to work as a professional." I am passing these things on to you and hopefully you find them helpful as well.

The first one is also the most relevant. I'll explain that in just a second. Put a whiteboard in a non work-related place. Today actually it's in Seattle and I'm snowed in. I'm stuck in my apartment. Right now, I'm in my room. You can see behind me that I have a whiteboard in my room. I've found this; it just came up by accident. I found a whiteboard, just randomly put it up in my room, and it has actually been a lifesaver many, many times. A lot of times I'll be thinking about SEO when I come back home from work. I'll have this whiteboard here and I can just doodle things out. Or if it's for my personal life, I can do the exact same thing. I can do mind maps or I can do whatever else I need. I have found it to be extremely helpful. Really, it's benefited me as an SEO. It's made me better at my job, because when I get away from work and I am solving problems from a new perspective, I can just write it all down here. It's a great way for me to transport information and preserve it. I highly recommend putting a whiteboard in a non work-related place.

Number two, prioritize SEO tasks early. I know that a lot of people, myself especially here, like to hit the ground running when you get into work on Monday morning. Figure out, go through e-mails, go through your priority list, and see what it is that you need to get done and then just go. That's what I did for a long time. More recently, I've discovered that it's really important to set aside about 20 minutes and just go through and prioritize what your jobs are. While it's easy is to go do the quick fixes, implement a 301 here, change a title tag here, I've actually found it to be better off if I go through and just figure out what needs to get done that day and in what order. So specifically, prioritize your SEO tasks early in your day before you get started. I highly recommend doing that.

Number three, put research time on a calendar. I don't need to tell any of you that SEO changes extremely quickly. It changes all the time. I've found it very beneficial for my job to actually block off some time on my calendar when I will have no meetings and no one can interrupt. I just sit there and I research SEO. I read what other blogs have to say. I'll do some of my own tests that I'm running. I'll just take the time out of my day every week to focus on SEO and research and do this every week so that I am continually learning. The key to SEO is continually learning because this industry moves extremely fast. Again, I highly recommend actually putting a block in your calendar of time to just research new things in SEO.

Number three is exactly what I just did, right. So, number three is redundant.

Number four, new e-mail per client. So, making a new e-mail address per client. This might sound a little bit obvious so I have a little bonus for you. The idea behind a new e-mail address for every client is not to accept e-mails from each client at a different e-mail address, that'd be very confusing. Instead create an e-mail address, so maybe it's Danny, if you're using Gmail you can use this trick where you add a plus mark in it, so, Danny, and, let's say, client X at SEOmoz.org [Danny+X@SEOmoz.org]. What that does is it will submit the client e-mail back to my normal inbox so I'll get it in the normal place. But then when I sign up for different services, like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools and they require an e-mail address, I'll have it segmented by client. I've found this to be extremely helpful just for keeping myself sane and for keeping client's information organized. In fact, if you can do it by creating real e-mail addresses that are all separate with different passwords, that's the best way to do it, because from a security point of view if one of your e-mail addresses gets compromised, you don't compromise your entire client base. I know that a lot of SEOs will just use a spreadsheet and do the e-mail address and the password on that, and that's great except for that if that spreadsheet ever gets compromised, your entire portfolio will have a problem. If you can create different e-mail addresses for each client that's a great way to go.

Number five, take time to explain your job. This one is something that, I think, a lot of SEOs don't do. When someone asks you about SEO, we joke about this a lot. I've had lots of dinners with other SEOs where we're like, "Yeah, no one knows what I do." We laugh about it. It's very funny. Our parents and a lot of our friends have no idea what we do. What I've found is that when you actually take the time to explain what SEO is to these people, it is a new opportunity for clients. Not necessarily like your best friend or a sibling or something, but they will then explain what you do to other people. Our job is kind of interesting just because it is so niche. There's not very many people in the world that do what we do. So by explaining that to people whenever someone has that demand, say it's my sister Jessica, when she's talking to some of her friends about what I do, if she ever does that, I don't know. But if they ever have any questions about Google, they're going to know that I'm a person in their life that they can come talk to. Through that I can get clients. This is a trick that has actually worked for me, so I highly recommend it.

Number six, schedule meals with other online marketers. This one I've done in the past. Just schedule meals with your other friends who happen to be online marketers and you talk about work. That's great. That works. I highly recommend it. But a little tweak to that that I've found is scheduling weekly meetings with online marketers who work in different spaces. So, there are plenty of people in the industry that I respect, but I've got in the habit of going out for beers once a week with my friend Sam Nichols who works more in the affiliate space and PPC and areas that I don't focus on as much. We get to talk about online marketing and just life in general. I've found that because he focuses on another area of online marketing, I've been able to help my SEO tactics. Thank you, Sam. I appreciate that. I highly recommend that you go out of your way to schedule meals, even if it's not weekly, maybe if it is monthly, but with people who work in other sectors of online marketing. We're all, it's all kind of interrelated so you can learn a lot from doing that.

Last, but not least, if you're in the States, it's Thanksgiving yesterday I think when you're going to be watching this. So, happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In honor of that, I want to say take time to be thankful. SEO is a very stressful job at times. We also have a lot of freedom. The fact that I'm working from home today and I get to film this 5 feet away from my bed. I didn't even have to get out of my room today. There's a lot of flexibility in this job, and it's something I really appreciate. We can do it from anywhere we have the Internet. That's a really great thing. So, hopefully you take time to be thankful for your job and thankful for other elements in your life. Being able to reflect on that, I think, is important for really establishing yourself as a growing SEO, as someone who is continuing to lean and happy with where they are.

Thank you for watching this. I appreciate your time. I will see you next week on Whiteboard Friday.

Video transcription by SpeechPad.com


Follow Danny on Twitter! Even more to your benefit, follow SEOmoz! You know what? I'd love it if you'd follow me too: Aaron Wheeler.

If you have any tips or tricks that you've learned along the way, we'd love to hear about it in the comments below. Post your comment and be heard!


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November 24 2010

Pub en ligne : un marché potentiel de 50 milliards $


Selon Mary Meeker, analyste chez Morgan Stanley, la pub en ligne devrait connaître une croissance importante dans les prochaines années. Pour appuyer son thèse, Madame Meeker a comparé deux données de base : le temps passé sur chacun des médias (en %) vs. les investissements publicitaires par média (en %).

En jetant un coup d'oeil sur le tableau ci-haut, on constate que la radio occupe 16 % du temps d'écoute mais génère 9 % des dépenses publicitaires ; la TV, 31 % du temps mais 39 % des dépenses. En comparaison, Internet occupe 28 % du temps médias mais seulement 13 % des investissements publicitaires.

Signe des temps, les recettes des éditeurs générées par la publicité en ligne au Canada ont plus que quadruplé au cours des cinq dernières années, passant de 364 millions de dollars en 2004, à 1,6 milliard en 2008, surpassant du fait même les recettes de 1,55 milliard générées par la radio.

Save time with Shared Campaign Extensions

Earlier this year we introduced the Ad extensions tab to help you manage and track your campaign extensions in AdWords. Now, in addition to showing statistics for your campaign extensions, the Ad extensions tab lets you share extensions between campaigns.

Shared extensions allow you to use the same extensions information across multiple campaigns, saving you the time and effort of manually recreating extensions one at a time per campaign. For example, if you’ve set up Ad Sitelinks in one of your campaigns, you may want to use the same settings for a new campaign. Rather than copying each link and pasting it over one at a time to the new campaign, now you can share your Ad Sitelinks settings from your existing campaign to the new one.

What’s more, if you need to change part of your extension later (for example, to change the URL for one of the Ad Sitelinks), you only need to change the extension once and all campaigns sharing that extension will be automatically updated.

Any extension you add is automatically available for sharing between campaigns. To add a shared extension to a campaign, visit the Ad extensions tab for the destination campaign. Then, select the extension type from the drop down box, and click 'New extension.'



You’ll see the option to choose one of your existing extensions from another campaign, or to create a new extension. Choose the extensions you’d like to use, click save, and you’re done.



To learn more about shared extensions, please visit the AdWords help center.

Posted by Gordon Zhu, Inside AdWords crew

Have You Seen the Thesis Theme Framework User’s Guide?

It’s awesome, but don’t take my word for it!

If you check out the Thesis Theme Framework User’s Guide, you’ll see tons of useful tutorials that show you how to do almost anything with Thesis. Most recently, our resident support ninja, Girlie, shows us:

If you dig these tutorials, I highly suggest you bookmark the user’s guide because more tutorials are added each week.

Also, if you have any suggestions for other tutorials, let us know in the comments!

Tags: Thesis News

Writing Web copy for your visitors maximizes your conversion rate

We’ve treated this topic numerous times, both in this blog and in white papers available on our website.  But it’s been awhile;  and because it’s such a frequently-encountered and important issue, we felt that a recent post by Tim Ash on ClickZ provided occasion for an update. It all starts from the attributes of visitors [...]

7 Ways eCommerce Can Grow Their Email Marketing Database

describe the imageThe truth is that the large majority of visitors to eCommerce websites will not make a purchase and end up exiting anonymously – leaving those companies no opportunity to reach out to potential customers. Even for those interested enough to make it to the checkout process, 88% of consumers admitted to abandoning shopping carts according to Forrester Research. One of the biggest reasons noted was not being ready to purchase.

So, why aren’t you doing more to ensure that you’re top of mind when they ARE ready to purchase? There’s no reason eCommerce websites shouldn’t be actively trying to acquire non-transactional lead information for email marketing purposes. Too often an attempt to collect this information is only made during the purchasing process. With most visitors being unwilling to buy your products that day, what else can you offer them that they’d be willing to provide at least their email address?

Growing Your eCommerce Leads Database for Email Marketing

Consider these 7 valuable offers eCommerce sites can leverage to collect visitor information and grow your email database.

1. Running a Sweepstakes

Running a sweepstakes is a great way to generate buzz and excitement around your eCommerce website. More importantly it helps you acquire email addresses to market to potential customers. Find a cash value or prize that consumers will give lead information for and is also worth giving away for the opportunity to gain business from those sweepstakes entrants. Even if they aren’t ready to buy, they may get excited at winning something for free.

2. Offer Deals and Offers Exclusive to Groups

Offering to give people updates on storewide deals and offers might not be enough these days to get a significant number of email address. Giving people the opportunity to be part of an exclusive group that deals specific to that group is much more compelling. Experiment with different groupings based off different product categories you offer. This makes for more targeted email communications and assures them they will only receive emails related to the products they’re interested in.

3. Downloadable Product and Shopping Guides

In many cases visitors to your website will have already visited a competitor’s site or are planning on surfing further in order to find the best deal for a given product. You may or may not win out for that particular product, but you can still express your knowledge on products within the industry. Create a shopping guide that informs visitors about other things they should consider when purchasing a specific product beyond typical deciding factors such as price and shipping cost.  This guide should be in downloadable format but only available to those who fill out a form capturing lead information. Gaining trust from your target market who will see you as the expert on these products is invaluable. Not only could they see you as a thought leader, but also may have more confidence in buying from your website in the future.

4. Running a Contest

Who doesn't like a little competition at times? Unlike a sweepstakes where everyone has an equal chance of a winning, contests drives people to take action to win. The simpler you can make it, the more people (and email addresses) you will attract. Think fun, with a legitimate reward.

5. Limited Time Discount Offers

Create a sense of urgency by offering a discount coupon that can only be attained within a specific timeframe. As mentioned above, most people are only considering make a purchase and won't go through with it. Offer them a future discount that they can only get now. This captures their lead information while giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the discount when they're ready.

6. Offer Expert Advice

For many online transactions, the ultimate purchasing decision goes well beyond price, shipping costs, timeliness of delivery, and so on.  Smart consumers want to know the knowledge put behind and into the products you're offering. Who better than one your companies industry experts to offer a few minutes of their time? Besides helping guide that person's decision making, this time could provide value in terms of branding, word-of-mouth marketing, and building a community.

7. Invite Blog Subscribers

Subscribing to a blog legitimately only takes a persons email address. Besides these people now receiving updates from your blog, you now have the power to market to them via email. Blogging is essential to building a community and getting found more regularly in general search engine results. It also helps build a community around your eCommerce store and generates qualified website visits.

Collect Leads During Cyber Monday

Now that you know a few offers to gather email address for eCommerce email marketing, you'll also need to put together a strategy to do this for Cyber Monday - potentially your greatest traffic day of the year. Learn how you can make this Cyber extremely successful and ensure that these offers effectively capture leads.

Photo Credit: Biscarotte

Sign Up! eCommerce Website Analysis and Cyber Monday Discussion

Sign Up! eCommerce Website Analysis and Cyber Monday Discussion

Grow Your eCommerce Business with Inbound Marketing

Sign Up Now: Learn how to use inbound markeeting to grow your holiday sales!

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