The Grok’s Not to Miss Links 10/23/09

not-to-miss-links-150x150Earlier this month, The Brand Show headed to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the BOLO 2009 annual conference presented by agencyside. I was one of the keynote presenters with Guy Kawasaki. After the presentations, the Brand Show sat down with many of the speakers and did interviews with them. These interviews include: Jim Lecinski, Managing Director of Global Sales and Service at Google and Amanda Vega, author of “PR in a Jar,” and Marc Poirier, President and co-founder of Acquisio. You can download the mp3 of my interview if you want to listen to it on your iPod.

My friend Chris Garrett teamed up with fine folks from Wordtracker to offer a great new ebook on blogging for business.

In this new e-book “Business Blogging – 50 Steps to Building Traffic and Sales,” you’ll discover:

  • Why your business needs a blog (yesterday!)
  • The biggest pitfalls of blogging — and how to avoid them
  • How to build a following of faithful blog subscribers
  • Proven tips for converting your blog traffic into actual sales

The ebook is nicely done, providing very concrete advice to getting your blog set up and getting out of the gate running instead of crawlng. Even after all the years I have been blogging, I caught a thing or two things I needed to do for this new blog.

Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer made some major announcements regarding upgrades to their products. Google Analytics new features include: New Analytics Intelligence (which includes the ability to add an alerts (email) when a key metrics fluctuates, new mobile tracking support, Multiple Custom Variables for visitor segmentation, Advanced Table filtering, you can now have 20 Goals set up, and you can now add Engagement goals.Google Website Optimizer added a new Website Optimizer Experiment Management API. The API allows for the creation and management of experiments outside of the Website Optimizer interface.

I’ve been reading several new books including the just released follow up book to the amazing Web Analytics: One Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity, I’ve previewed The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Rand Fishkin, Stephan Spencer and Jesse Stricchiola. The book is due out on October 27th, but pre-order now so you can get it as soon as it starts shipping.

Econsultancy released a new conversion research report. They found:

  • Organisations whose online conversion performance had improved over the previous 12 months looked at twice the number of segments as those organisations whose online conversion rates have not improved. The main types of segmentation carried out are: demographic (39%) geographic (36%) and behavioural (33%). Thirteen per cent of companies do not segment at all.
  • Company respondents who said they were very satisfied with their conversion rates carried out more than four times as many tests per month on their web properties as those who were very dissatisfied with their conversion rates.
  • Only 32% of company respondents said that they were doing A/B testing even though 53% said it was “highly valuable” and a further 42% said they believed it was “quite valuable”. A/B testing is the method which is most likely to be on the agenda, with 46% of company respondents saying that they are planning to do this.
  • Similarly, other methods including multivariate testing, user testing and cart abandonment analysis are widely regarded as valuable, but under employed by responding organisations.
  • The four practices most closely correlated with high levels of satisfaction with conversion rates are:
    1. Removing bottlenecks and blockages to conversion
    2. Identifying key performance indicators
    3. Aligning keywords, calls to action and landing pages
    4. Using compelling and effective calls to action

Also don’t miss Econsultancy’s Search Engine Marketing Trends Briefing November 2009.

Google and Microsoft Bing announce deals to include real time Twitter search in their results. What will this mean? Microsoft Bing also cuts a deal to include Facebook to include status updates. These are huge events in terms of the future of social media, search engine optimization and of course measuring all this activity.

Please share if you think others would benefit.