Writing’s On The Wall!

Spotted on the writable glass walls of our meeting rooms here at

Cardinal Place

SES New York 2008 Charity Party – Vote For Me!

The Internet Marketers of NY have kindly got me squeezed into their charity party being held on Tuesday 18th March at the Black Fin!

By squeezed in, I mean my London Marathon charity has the chance to garner even more cash from the very generous SEM community…..but only if you VOTE FOR ME!

Check out the details for the Party and Vote for The National Association For Colitis & Crohns – Please!!!!

Search Engine Strategies Charity Party Sponsored By The Best Of The Web

Specsavers – Long Sighted Customer Service

Went for a check up at Specsavers Richmond at the weekend. I do find it amazing how service can differ between franchises, but this lot have always been great at looking after their customers, more so than other branches!

Paying for my eye test, I spotted this contraption. A very simple to use, five question, push-button feedback machine.

It asked how satisfied you were with the waiting time, eye exam and overall experience. It was quick and, dare I say it, quite fun, but I wonder where the data goes to be analysed, and whether they actually act on it.

Having run many a search campaign for high street stores, I’d slip in at least one last question:

Did you view on our website, any of the products you have just puchased with the intention of buying them in store?

SES London 2008 – All Star Web Analytics

I didn’t make it to Search Engine Strategies yesterday as I was busy getting set up for my announcement today about the UK adExcellence Launch.

The SES Photos I posted yesterday have been doing the rounds, and as you can see the event was pretty big and everyone was having a great time.

My favourite session on Monday was the Orion All Star Analytics Panel:

Jim SterneBryan EisenbergBrian CliftonIan ThomasSteve Jackson

I think it was a bit of a coup having some of the worlds finest web-metric minds on one stage, and the hour wasn’t a disappointing one.

Moderated by the enigmatic Kevin Ryan, the session dived straight into why advertisers should take advantage of the free packages out there – Google Analytics and the spanking new Microsoft Gatineau.

Brian E was quick to encourage people to go with them as they would have 65-70% of the functionality of more sophisticated, paid-for solutions.

It didn’t take long for the issue of privacy to come up. Should advertisers trust such big companies with their data, especially as they’re running the PPC campaigns many advertisers rely on for traffic too?

Jim responded to the doubts about trust and privacy by saying search engines know an awful lot about us and poo pooed the notion that anything sinister was going on by saying, “I’m upset that my bank knows how much money I have?!”

There was a suggestion that because the engines might know the conversions advertisers receive, they could somehow artificially inflate CPC prices. Brian C was quick to dismiss this by saying the market sets the price in the auction not the engine.

An over-riding theme was one concerning the lack of actual analysis of the data. Companies simply don’t have the resources to look at the data and take action. Steve talked about clients of his who are companies part of larger groups. The larger group has an analytics solution which, when the reports filter down to the individual company marketing departments, they simply don’t know what to do with the data.

Some expert tips included:

Jim – Look at behaviour. Segment based on your audience behaviour, finding out why a particular segment landed on a particular landing page using a particular KW.

Brian C – Check your bounce rate. Why are users coming to a page and then leaving it without going anywhere else on your site? - A single page visit.

Ian – Check out Gatineau’s demographic capabilities. See which age/genders favour what pages and adjust landing page products and text accordingly.

The there was talk of marketing effectiveness. The need for people to start using analytics wholesale is apparent but some companies are starting to get and understand the opportunity to take an authoritative view of the site.

All the panellists agreed that analytics isn’t accurate – you’re looking at trends. A lack of standardisation, different methodologies, different sessions and suchlike mean having spot-on stats is unlikely.

Before they all gave a “must-track-stat”, the subject of social-networking was touched on. How do you put a $$ value on a conversation? It’s not just about traffic, you’re driving customers to take action, to buy something or sign up.

Social measurement will involve tracking the conversations and assessing their impact but organisations have to get involved and wake up to this new phenomena and get out of their two-dimensional view of their world.

Killer Tips:

JS – Think E-Metrics not just Web Analytics

BE – More awareness of conversion rates

BC – A/B testing

IT – More understanding of privacy issues

SJ – We need to create a culture in companies to embrace web analytics

A point Ian made stuck out for me, when he foresaw analytics automatically being folded in to online advertising products and services in the future.

What does he know that I don’t? Better get a job in Redmond!

{UPDATE 22/2: Ian now wants you to Trust Him!}

Microsoft Says It’s About “Interoperability, Opportunity and Choice…”

Well it was significant!

The Beeb has reported on the announcement that we’re opening up some of our software by publishing some key “blueprints”.

“Our goal is to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for customers and developers throughout the industry by making our products more open and by sharing even more information about our technologies,” said Steve Ballmer.

Reckon this follows on from the success of things like adLab and the KSP - give people access to develop using APIs and you end up with the mother of all keyword research tools.

Question is…..what would you build?

Microsoft Executives to Make Significant Company Announcement

But it ain’t about the proposed Yahoo! acquisition!

More here: Press Release

How Many ZunePhones Are We Working On?



IMRG – January Online Sales Up 75%

The Interactive Media in Retail Group have said that UK stores saw a massive jump in online sales shopping this January compared to last year…


  • 75.5% rise in online shopping
  • £4.5B spent online last month
  • 62% average growth in online shopping over the last 10 months
  • 63% over the last 3 months is double the 25% it was this time last year

Could be as a result of sales search terms being up 249% in January!!!

Check out the benefits of joining the IMRG and get you hands on these fabulous reports here: IMRG Sign Up

SES London 2008 – A Few Pictures

SES London Photos… 

The Search Engine Strategies London Expo Hall

The All Star Web Analytics Panel – All On Their Mobiles!!

Jim SterneBryan Eisenberg - Ian ThomasSteve Jackson

What is it with analytics and chelsea boots?


A very svelte Dixon Jones..

The Dyson hand dryers eveyone was talking about!

Joe & Jon

We love Kristjan!

The fabulous Christine Churchill


Beijing Olympics Blogging Guidelines

Athletes and officials at the 2008 Olympics have been told if they write a blog it has to be “dignified and in good taste!” writes MarketingVox

This is the first time blogging has been officially allowed “as a legitimate form of personal expression” and “not a form of journalism.”


I was asked today if I could dig out Microsoft’s blogging guidelines. I’m not sure if they’re public but I’ll see what I can do….

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