I was just watching Matt Cutts’ video where he was recapping his PubCon speech from late last year. In it he highlights some of the neat tools Google has introduced recently for users and developers.
One feature that stood out to me as (possibly) being quite useful was the Wonder Wheel. This is the first time I’ve really paid it any attention, but I’ll be keen to see if it, as Matt suggests it will, be useful for Keyword Research.
(For those unfamiliar with this term, Keyword Research is the task of identifying words and phrases that could be useful for including on your website to attract search engine traffic. For a deeper explanation of Keyword Research, read this.)
I’ve not tested it yet, but you can find it easily. Just go to your Google homepage, and enter a term for the subject you want to research. For the purposes of illustration, I’ve chosen the phrase ‘bronze statues’.
(Please ignore the red fields with a fireball and the word ‘Keywords’ written on it – this is a plugin I use from SEOQuake. Please also ignore my amateurish use of MS Paint. I’m working to a deadline here, and want to post this so it doesn’t get forgotten by me.)
You have to click on the ‘Show Options’ link, which opens out and then displays ‘Hide Options’ (circled at the top left of the picture above, in red). Then click on the ‘Wonder Wheel’ item down the menu (also circled in red). This will then display the Wonder Wheel, similar to the following screenshot.
You can see in this picture, that it opened the Wonder Wheel at the bottom, and I then clicked on the ‘spoked’ link, ‘Bronze Sculptures’. This opens up another, linked wheel.
As I said, I’m yet to test this in any thorough way, but it could be an additional useful tool for finding key words and phrases.
I often talk to clients about developing a electronic newsletter campaign. The goal is to always have it be interesting to the recipient. There are different ways to do this, but today I want to focus on one aspect.
The crucial factor in an email newsletter campaign is segmenting your market. This allows you to define characteristics of each recipient, giving you the opportunity to send focused, relevant content to each one.
For example, as a basic illustration, if you run a hardware store, you might highlight information on power tools to the men you send to, but focus on your interior paint matching services for the women. Furthermore, if you know that a particular recipient is a keen gardener, you know they are likely to be more interested in your special of terracotta pots. In fact, the more personalised you can make this communication, the better the result.
This is a great way to increase the value of such communication to the recipient, in turn making more valuable to your business.
This is a notion that would be familiar to most people who already engage in this type of marketing activity.
But is the most important aspect of market segmentation being missed. Anecdotally, I would suggest it often is. What is it? John Dodds sums it up nicely in his recent post, stating that unless they are receptive to receiving your newsletter, the whole effort is a waste of time.
He mentions Permission Marketing, a notion made popular by Seth Godin.
In fact, I would suggest that sending an email newsletter to someone who isn’t receptive, and who hasn’t given their permission actually does harm to your business.
Well think about the way you react to when your receive unwanted email – you consider it Spam, right? That kind of association harms your reputation, it just isn’t worth any potential short term gains.
So, what are you going to do to ensure you are sending personalised communications to receptive recipients?
[Bonus Link] I was honoured to be invited to submit a guest post over at the Small Business Owners blog, hosted by MYOB. My article was posted this morning, and is about how to get better IT support. Thanks to Paul & Megan over at SBO. Check it out!
I’m off to New Zealand tomorrow.
I’m going to have a good rest, while enjoying the beautiful scenery and the excellent company of my in-laws (no, really!). Perhaps a few cold Monteiths also!
I plan to do some reflection on this year, and have a good think about how best to accomplish my goals next year and beyond.
For you (few) dedicated readers, you might find this presentation on new features in Google Analytics interesting. I haven’t listened to it all yet (in fact, I need something louder than my laptop speakers to hear it properly), but what I have listened to is really interesting.
Voice Recognition Software.
If are like me, you cringe at the mention of it. At least I did, until earlier today when I watched the video below.
I always thought it was a good idea, but I remember selling it years ago when I worked in retail computer sales, and I regretted selling it! It was difficult to use and to support. It caused many negative customer experiences. I certainly was never an expert on it, but these kind of experiences soured my perception of it.
But time has passed, and I heard that voice recognition software has gotten much better. So I took a look at the video Jon Morrow made on the subject. As you’ll see, Jon knows what he is talking about. He uses and relies on this software for his work.
My takeaway from Jon’s video is that Voice Recognition Software could be a really useful tool for me – easy to use and a real time-saver. Contrary to what I thought, VRS isn’t just for people with disabilities (anyone can save time with it), and it does lots more than just word processing.
Just a quick post, to make mention of some new features for Google Analytics I’m excited about. In particular, I think the Analytics Intelligence feature, with automatic and custom notifications of unusual activity or trends will be a big hit with small business people. Often it is a struggle for these busy individuals to monitor their web stats as frequently as desired, but this feature will help to keep them abreast of important happenings on their website.
As a brief aside, I haven’t posted here as much as I would like lately, due to “time and unforeseen circumstance.” However, I do plan to have to have some more info here in the near future, including some big plans.
[Bonus Link] I just found this great 5 minute video of Kathy Sierra explaining why and how you should be focusing on your users. Check it out!
I am posting a few things have grabbed my attention this last week or so.
Firstly, I wrote a brief review of one of my favourite books in the comments of the Small Business Owner blog. If you’ve never read the Cluetrain Manifesto, you might like to read my review.
I’ve also just finished watching a video of Dave Allen give a talk on his Getting Things Done (GTD) method to staff at Google. Wow! It is about 45 minutes long, but worth watching if, like me, you struggle with juggling all the different things we need to get done in our lives. I’ll be watching it again.
Finally, I’ve changed my theme (its done by NeoEase). Feedback welcome.