Archive for the ‘critical difference’ tag
It may have been a shorter work week than usual, but the inbound marketing news sure didn’t slow down. Between new feature releases on your favorite (or maybe not) social networks, websites still recovering from the recent Google Penguin updates, and the usual thought-provoking inbound marketing content that fills our tweet streams, we have a lot to catch up on. So here’s a distilled version of all that industry awesomeness in case you missed it while trying to squeeze a five-day work week into four
First, let’s visit Nick Eubanks at SEOmoz to learn more about the recent Penguin algorithm update from Google — if you haven’t read it yet, you can get a quick recap here. This post is useful because it gives us a step-by-step walkthrough of how an actual company who was dinged in the SERPs by the Penguin update recovered its listing positions. So if you or one of your clients is struggling with this problem right now, this post will give you insight into how you can begin to repair your organic search presence.
Continuing on the SEO train, this blog post by Ian Lurie gives us insight into an oft-overlooked topic — how enterprise organizations should approach SEO. Because it’s different than the approach many SMBs should take, and one critical difference is that there really shouldn’t be an incessant focus on keyword optimization. Plus, it opens with a joke — might as well have a chuckle while you read about site crawls.
Facebook and Google+ Feature Changes
Man alive there was a lot of inbound marketing news this week. First, Facebook announced the launch of Promoted Posts that lets us extend the reach of our page content. Then, Google+ rocked our worlds with the death of Google Places, which was officially replaced with Google+ Local. That’s right, local businesses, now you have to use Google+! Muahaha. Finally, Facebook came back again to make our lives easier by allowing us to schedule our posts for the future, and letting us assign page admins to certain roles that limit (or increase) their ability to make changes to our brand’s social presence.
There’s been a ton of hoopla around Pinterest as of late, but does it actually lead to product purchases? eMarketer just released some data to let us know! Juicy data? You sure know how to make a marketer swoon, eMarketer.
Finally, Craig Palli at Fisku helped add fuel to the Android vs. iOS fire with this post that asserts those developing (or thinking about developing) a mobile app should first develop for Android, not iOS. Sneak peak: the Android market’s bigger, and there are fewer privacy constraints. You’ll have to keep reading for the other 8 reasons!
What other good inbound marketing content did you find circling the web this past week?
Image credit: NS Newsflash
“In this age of online everything, we still get smart being around other smart people; we still have new ideas surrounded by other people with ideas,” said Jonah Lehrer, contributing editor at Wired, columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and author of Imagine: How Creativity Works. “That is still how creativity happens.”
During the most recent episode of the Marketing Smarts podcast, Lehrer and I were discussing the impact of city life on creativity and the critical difference between living in a city and living online.
“What makes cities so essential is that they are a vessel for human interaction,” Lehrer insisted, pointing out that all the talk some years back about the virtues of telecommuting and people moving to the exurbs thanks to the Internet hasn’t really amounted to much. People continue to move to cities in record numbers.
According to Lehrer, the Internet “is not a substitution for the helter skelter of the city,” which allows for random encounters and all the unexpected opportunities that come with them.
Just to make one comparison, while close to a billion people are on Facebook, we really interact with a surprisingly small fraction of “friends,” and the interactions that do occur are superficial. I mean, how much time and energy do we actually invest in “liking” something?
I asked Lehrer if his skeptical take on the Internet pointed to a kind of technological pessimism on his part. When people were touting “Work 2.0″ and prophesying the mass movement of knowledge workers to Ecotopia, I pointed out, the social media hadn’t yet really emerged. Didn’t Lehrer think that the bumps and fortuitous chance meetings afforded by the city could be replicated online and usher in a new technically mediated era of collaboration and creativity?
While admitting that he wasn’t about to bet against Silicon Valley, Lehrer said he just didn’t think that the Internet was quite there yet. In spite of all today’s tools for forging new connections, we still prefer–and get more out of–meeting face to face.
“People know that something happens when we come together in person,” he said.
“There’s a reason we all still move and pay the rents of cities: because something magical happens when you put people together in a room. We multiply our own imaginations. We become more creative. We become more than the sum of our parts.”
As “rich” as my life online is (I work from home, after all), and as many unexpected connections as I’m able to make via Twitter (I’ve gone out of my way to keep my Twitter stream fairly eccentric), I absolutely agree with Lehrer. When you go to a conference or even a Tweet-up, and if you make an effort to talk to people you don’t know (this can be a challenge, I concede), there is no end to the surprising and rewarding new connections you can make. In fact, it’s one of the big reasons that I’m so looking forward to attending SocialTech this week!
If you work from home like me, what do you do to create opportunities for meeting others in person?
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Blurred Crowd)
There’s seemingly no end to the things you can test in your marketing, and if you’ve laid a solid framework for your inbound marketing programs, now’s a great time to start optimizing and making what works pretty well work amazingly well. And the best way to get started is to conduct some A/B tests!
Or…multivariate tests? What’s the difference between A/B tests and multivariate tests? Will it affect my results if I choose the wrong one?
Yes, there is a difference, and yes, it will affect the integrity (and thus usefulness) of your results if you choose the wrong test. But no fear! We’re going to break down the difference between A/B tests and multivariate tests in this post, and tell you exactly when to use each so your tests can run smoothly and make your inbound marketing rock even harder than it already does.
What Is an A/B Test?
When you perform an A/B test, you create two different versions of a web page, and split the traffic evenly between each page. You can also perform an A/B/C test that tests three different web page versions, an A/B/C/D test that tests four different web page versions, and, well, you get the picture. In an A/B test, you can change literally any variable you want from page to page, and it is in fact a testing best practice to create two (or three, four, whatever) radically different pages for your test.
What Is a Multivariate Test?
When you perform a multivariate test, you are not testing a different version of a web page like you are with an A/B test. You are performing a far more subtle test of the elements inside one web page. The point of the multivariate test is to give you an idea of which elements on a web page play the biggest role in letting you achieve the objective of that page. The multivariate tests is more complicated and best suited for more advanced marketing testers, as it tests multiple variables (get it? multi-variate?) and how they interact with one another, giving far more possible combinations for the site visitor to experience.
This is a tricky concept, and a visual usually helps clarify complicated ideas. Luckily, Search Engine Land shared an image on its site from Yam Designs that visually illustrates what a multivariate tests looks like.
Should I Use an A/B Test or a Multivariate Test?
A/B testing is a great testing method if you need meaningful results fast. Because the changes from page to page are so stark, it will be easier to tell which page is most effective. It is also the right method to choose if you don’t have a ton of traffic to your site. Because of the multiple variables being tested in a multivariate test, you’ll need a highly trafficked site to get meaningful results with MVT.
If you do have enough site traffic to pull off a successful multivariate test (though you can still use A/B testing if you’re testing brand new designs and layouts!) a great time to use the testing method is when you want to make subtle changes to a page and understand how certain elements interact with one another to incrementally improve on an existing design. You can also use multivariate testing to perform a test that will give you results you can extrapolate out and apply to a larger site redesign.
Just remember that, in order for the multivariate and A/B tests to give meaningful results, it’s not enough to have site traffic overall; the pages being tested also need to receive substantial traffic! Make sure you select pages that people can find and visit regularly so your test actually yields some data to analyze.
Have you performed A/B tests or multivariate tests on your website? Did the results of the tests cause you to make any changes to your site?
Image credit: Guudmorning!
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