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April 17, 2019

International SEO: Building Global Visibility

In today's search landscape, a global approach is paramount. Building an SEO strategy can be complicated, and it’s tempting to take shortcuts and ignore international search and the challenges that come with it. This shortcut can be incredibly costly, however, and can cause your business to lose valuable traffic.

It’s not uncommon for multiple versions of websites to be created to accommodate users of various languages and, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for this to be done without appropriate planning. It may be easy to rely on a cookie-cutter approach, but it’s not sustainable. And moreover, it can have potentially damaging impacts on your brand.

There may not be a one-size-fits-all approach to international SEO. In fact, we know there isn't. International SEO is complicated. It is its own complex beast. And there are a number of big considerations to think about when setting your strategy. Your reasons for creating an international strategy may be entirely different from someone else’s, and as such, the things you include and the way you execute on them will likely be different too.

Let’s walk through some of the most important considerations so you’re well equipped to develop a tailored approach to your international SEO plan.

April 11, 2019

Optimize for Customer Experience, Not Conversions

One of the reasons I love marketing and advertising is that it’s filled with incredibly smart and talented people. That makes sense given the biggest brands in the world spend billions each year in an effort to better connect with their customers.

However, like any other industry, there are deeply embedded norms and practices that don’t make sense. I could go on a long rant about all of the things that are broken in our industry, but I’ve done that a few times already in previous posts (here, here and here).

What I want to focus on here is how, despite all of the effort and brainpower marketers put into our craft, we fail over and over again to put our time and efforts where they matter most.

Customer experience is the game. It’s not a channel. It’s not a campaign. It’s not our clever tactics. Those things matter. However, what we often fail to see and understand is the 360-degree online/offline customer experience.

And if we optimize that, we win. We win because when our customers win, we win. It’s a virtuous cycle.

April 2, 2019

How the Cookie Crumbles: Apple Wages War on Marketers

When it comes to tech they will and won’t support, Apple isn’t afraid to fire the first shot. Remember when they removed CD drives from their laptops and headphone jacks from their iPhones? Or how about when they signed the death warrant for Adobe’s Flash?

And while Apple’s encryption war with the FBI rages on, the Mac-maker is launching yet another offensive — this time with marketers.

March 29, 2019

Crimson Hexagon vs. Sprout vs. Meltwater. Who Wins the Social Listening Showdown?

Listen up, folks.

Marketers have historically struggled to tap into what consumers think of their brands. We all know that a brand isn’t what you say it is — it’s what the people buying your brand say it is. Not that long ago, marketers would spend their days (and their dollars) fine-tuning focus groups and making educated guesses on where their target audience might be found.

Enter social listening.

Social listening is a 20th-century marketer’s dream. Brands everywhere are now able to be a fly on the wall to the constant stream of conversation flooding across news outlets, blogs, social platforms and more. It helps monitor your own brand presence, your image, your share of voice, competitor insights, industry trends and other key phrases essential to your product.

March 22, 2019

The Sorry State of Women and Workplace Apologies

You might have heard or read that women apologize more than men. Or maybe you’re not aware of how much you say sorry throughout the day. Start counting your sorries, and you’ll soon realize it’s true. There are myriads of articles and research studies about this topic.

“Before we women even open our mouths, our words feel like an imposition rather than a contribution, and thus we feel we need to say “I’m sorry” to cushion the impact. In fact, sometimes it seems like women apologize for just plain existing.
    - Sydney Beveridge, Huffington Post

So why do we apologize more? The short answer is that women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.

According to a 2010 study published by the Association of Psychological Science, women apologize more than men, but they also reported committing more offenses than men. That correlation makes sense. If you feel like you’ve somehow done something offensive, a normal person would then apologize for that action.

As a UX Designer, I’m a problem solver. So let’s think about this from a UX perspective and figure out what the problem is.