Vanity Metrics May Not Be All Bad

It’s becoming common wisdom in the SEO, startup, and marketing worlds that so-called vanity metrics are accursed trolls of numbers, sent from the fiery deep to confuse, mislead, and prey on the weak-minded marketer. E.g: In a lot of ways, I agree with posts like those Eric Ries has written on the topic. Pivoting based on actionable metrics vs. those…

The Growth of Web Marketing Fields

I’m always interested to see how the field of web marketing is changing over time and what skills, tactics, and practices are receiving particular attention. One of the ways I track this is to look  at results from several sites on a semi-annual basis, including: LinkedIn’s bio searches SimplyHired’s Job Trends Indeed’s Job Trends Google’s Keyword Trends Craigslist Keyword Search…

What Do Correlation Metrics Really Tell Us About Search Rankings?

I’m excited to see the marketing field getting more interested in correlation data and metrics around SEO. There’s a lot of folks citing data from SearchMetrics’ UK Study, from Mark Collier’s Open Algorithm project, and from Moz’s own ranking factors and follow-up reports. (Searchmetrics’ study at left, OpenAlgorithm at right) The trouble is how this data gets perceived and interpreted…

The Most Followed Twitter Users with “SEO” in Their Bio

I was playing around on Followerwonk tonight (man that tool is awesome) and was puzzled by the bio search results for “SEO.” Have a look:  Danny Sullivan’s Twitter profile certainly makes sense, but the ones above him are curious. I’ve never heard of any of these folks (which certainly could be my fault for being more heads-down lately), nor are…

Is There a Long Tail to Referral Traffic?

I was recently chatting with my friend Matthew Brown of AudienceWise about the distribution of the web’s traffic, and we both wondered – do referrals from external domains follow a “long tail” distribution pattern? I surmised that only ~20% of the referrals that the average website receives comes from the tail of the distribution curve, whilst Matt felt that number…

You Must Choose Metrics, But Choose Wisely

I had lunch with Thomas from our production engineering team today. During our chat, we talked about the future of the company’s organizational structure and plans to split into feature-focused teams after a big launch we have planned for 2013. Thomas noted that in his previous role with Amazon, teams were judged directly against metrics for the features on which…

We Can Do Better Than Bit.ly

Of all the tools I use each day on the web, perhaps none frustrates me more than bit.ly. I like being able to track all the sharing I do across networks with a single URL shortener, but the site’s frustrating from numerous levels. Historic data and habit are most of what keeps me from moving to other services (along with…

More Retweets Lead to More Twitter Followers, Right?

Being a moderately analytical marketer, I should be pretty smart about assuming a correlation between two events that might not necessarily exist. And yet, for the past few years, I’ve foolishly done the opposite. Below is a chart of my Twitter follower growth from Followerwonk over the past 60 days: The spikes are probably days when I’ve sent some awesome…

10 Lessons Learned from Avinash Kaushik’s Magnum Opus on Facebook Marketing

Earlier this week, Avinash Kaushik, who’s certainly among the most brilliant marketing minds of the generation, wrote an exceptional piece on Facebook Marketing. It’s a lengthy read, but a worthwhile one, and I urge anyone who reads this site and uses Facebook to reach an audience to spend 30 minutes to fully parse what he’s put together. (from Avinash’s post)…