Marketers, Be Kind To Your Web Developers

I’ve worked with a fair number of programmers over the years. For a marketer, it is critical to have a good relationship with the people who are actually going to build the thing.

To the few who can do both marketing and advanced web dev, hat’s off. But you’re already rich, so get lost. The rest of us have techies to deal with.

When marketers and devs aren’t working well together, money and time are lost.

Marketers need clean sites with unique functionality in order to do their job well. And most of us can’t do much more than basic html, maybe some CSS.

So when we need advanced stuff done — PHP scripts, Flash stuff, APIs, email segmenting, etc — these technically-proficient folks are our friends.

Be nice to them. Give them pizza, buy them beer. Ask if they’re an Apple or Android person. Even if you think they’re doing a bad job. Who knows, you might be stuck with them. Depending on the political situation, it happens.

And maybe, if they are doing a bad job, some constructive criticism and encouragement is just what they need.

So heap on the praise and encouragement. Wow, this looks good. Could you just change… is always better than WTF didn’t you do it like I said (heard it, many times).

And explain to them why you want what you want. Most programmers are smart, they’ll get it. And when they do, the tool/feature will be better because of it.

If you need a tool that tracks sales by keyword, don’t just tell them that. Explain why you need it. It’s important date so you can adjust PPC bids accordingly, and try to find the ideal ROI.

Bottom line: Shower your web developers with glory and praise. When they write good and useful code, tell their boss. It will pay off down the road.

New Google Mobile Features

Gotta love The Onion

4 SEO Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating a Website

Starting a website can be a confusing time. Deciding on design, content, traffic sources, etc. can be overwhelming to say the least.

Many ideas will be tossed around, some good… some not so good. Luckily, there is a lot of information on what it takes to succeed and what may impede a site’s growth.

Avoiding the pitfalls of site ownership is as important as recognizing opportunities. To that end, I’ve compiled four SEO pitfalls I think can be easily avoided when starting a new website or easily fixed on existing sites.

Four SEO Pitfalls

seo pitfalls

Flash – Yes, its so mesmerizing to watch your company logo rotate, reverse and explode,  but it’s still pretty much nothing more than a file with some text around it in the eyes of the search engine spider. You can use workarounds to make it “SEO friendly” but to me, its not worth all the extra work. I’ve never heard of it increasing response and as a result, I recommend staying away from it. If you have a study showing an improved conversion rate using flash on a website, please let us know.

Tables – I know, it can be a hard habit to break. But please, use <div> instead. The code for tables with all of its columns, rows, alignment commands, in-line css, dwarfs the actual content in the table. Code to text ratio is an important on page factor, changing your tables to divs will go a long way towards getting that ratio higher on the text side. Some may argue whether or not code to text ratio is valid, but if your code takes as much time or more to load as your content, you could be harming your organic rankings. So use those divs and save yourself some load time.

Buying Links – It’s gotten to the point that search engines are too savvy, so don’t do it. A natural link profile includes lots of different links… homepage links, url links, deep site links, anchor text links, etc. When your link profile acquires a ton of the same kind of link in a short period of time, it looks unnatural and could trigger a penalty. So if you go from 10-150 links in one day and they all say “buy shampoo online” the engines are going to recognize that is not natural and take a closer look.

Duplicate Content – Ah yes… the often debated duplicate content. Duplicate content across the same URL is fine and will receive no penalty from a search engine unless it’s egregious and an attempt to dupe the user in some way. Duplicate content on different URLs is another story. If you want to syndicate another person’s work – LINK TO IT. It’s that simple. When you link to the source, the search engine understands you are syndicating and NOT stealing the content.

Google Revamps Adwords for Professionals

Google just announced a major overhaul to the program formerly known as Google Advertising Professionals (GAP). Over the next six months it will be phased out.

It’s being replaced by a slightly-less catchy acronymed program, the Google Adwords Certification Program (GACP). Overall the new program looks good. Features include:

  • More advanced testing for Adwords and Analytics
  • A new way for clients to find PPC managers, Google Partner Search
  • Bells and whistles for agency partners, including more options to manage multiple clients
  • New improved shinier badges

I just completed the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam ($50). Pretty basic stuff. Next up are the Search Advertising Advanced Exam (another $50) and the Reporting & Analysis Advanced Exam ($150 total).

To get certified you need to complete the fundamentals + advanced courses. Shiny badges… I can’t wait. Seriously though, I bet having a “Google certified” badge does increase conversions by at least 2x. Never done the testing.

NOTE – This is not our certification logo, just used as an example.

More at the new GACP site and SEL.