Welcome!

My name is Jaaved Khatree, I'm an SEO Expert and I absolutely love creative web design, Internet marketing and of course, search engine optimisation. I love the Internet and these are my thoughts...

Web Design, Internet Marketing and all things WWW (plus some SEO!)

So I finally decided to make use of jaaved.com once again and make it my official online presence.

I’ll be moving blog posts from this website over to that domain over the coming weeks.

I’m updating all social media profiles as we speak and am already posting on jaaved.com in an official capacity.

See you there!

I moved to Dubai from Brisbane almost 7 months ago and the move has come with no shortage of changes, some of which were pleasant surprises.

One thing I didn’t think would change much would be my Internet habits. I knew Dubai had some great infrastructure for Internet access and that I would be able to get the same speeds I enjoyed in Australia (or better) but what I didn’t count on was that being here would alter how I used the Internet and consumed digital content.

Here’s how Dubai changed my Internet habits:

Mobile vs PC

My PC is actually a laptop so it’s technically mobile but I tend to use my laptop at work and hardly ever use it at home. I am on my phone A LOT. I’m always on twitter, always checking and responding to work email and chatting with family and friends via Whatsapp.  I also rely on my mobile heavily for navigation! I’m on review websites all the time and also use my phone to order food because it’s so simple and easy to do. I should add that my wife and I have a no phones policy when eating (in or out) because we recognise that talking to people at the table is a dying art!

 

Google Maps and Waze

I use these tools daily because the roads keep changing in Dubai and I’m still finding my way here. One missed turn or a forced detour due to construction and my whole world comes crashing down so these tools have been invaluable to life here. I didn’t use Waze in Australia and had somewhat limited usage of Google Maps. I like features within Waze that allow you to report accidents, traffic jams and even speed cameras – and the gamification of it all makes you continue to use the app for this purpose. I know this has helped me avoid traffic jams which if you live in Dubai, are the biggest time suck ever. I was once a mere 3 minutes from work but was stuck in the mother of jams for an hour and a half because I didn’t check Waze before hand! I also like to star places I visit purely because a lot of roads don’t have names! Sometimes Google Maps gets it wrong, like asking me to turn into traffic but thankfully we’ve averted danger. The day Google Street View comes to Dubai, I will be one of the happiest people here!

 

Twitter

I’m on Twitter more often and for a lot longer these days. I use Twitter during work hours on my laptop but in Brisbane, I would rarely use it on my phone when out and about (or lounging around). Over here, I’m on twitter all the time and I occasionally find great uses of twitter via twitterfalls and so I have to break out the iPhone and get in on the hashtag action. Being 6 hours behind Australia means I’m more in tune with UK and European tweets so I get to engage on a whole new level on twitter with the movers and shakers of that region. I am also enjoying the interaction with local twitter folks who come from so many vast and varied backgrounds. It’s also interesting to see twitter usage in this region compared with Australia.

 

LinkedIn

I used LinkedIn a lot in Australia but over here, I seem to be on it daily and people love to connect here (I was barely out of a meeting with a new client when I had received some connection requests!) so that’s awesome. I think what’s interesting is that Dubai is a tremendous meeting place for so many brilliant minds from around the world so that despite its size and relative standing when it comes to digital, this place has a lot going for it with great people using LinkedIn in Dubai. LinkedIn even opened an office here recently so that’s something. I get a lot of Indian SEO guys adding me (either locally or from India) so that’s getting a bit tedious because it’s merely just people on a job hunt or trying to sell me really cheap backlinks.

 

Food Delivery and Reviews

There’s so much in Dubai I’m yet to discover so there’s even more chance that my experiences may not be great so I rely on review apps and websites a whole lot more. I like Zomato as it’s designed well and easy to use – great for reviews and finding options for home delivery. I also find Yadig quite nice for reviews of places/attractions. In Australia we have a lot of review websites and I also spent almost 15 years there so I kinda know my way around and know which places to avoid. In Dubai, my experiences have been generally positive but there’s been a few nasty surprises thrown in for good measure.

 

Daily Deal websites

In Australia I was once one of the many crazed addicts to these websites and even had a filter and label specifically for them in Gmail. Then I got over it, unsubscribed and focused only on stuff I needed. When I moved to Dubai, I decided to get back into the daily deal scene and although there aren’t as many players, there’s a lot of decent deals and they’re not all about spas and restaurants either! I have found that I’m now getting bored and don’t seem to find as many deals attractive anymore. My inbox is piling up with emails so it looks like I might have to resort to simply unsubscribing and then only visiting these sites as and when I need anything.

 

Online Banking

I’m with EmiratesNBD and they seem ok but their online banking portal is a bit clunky. It gets the job done in its own weird way but it’s still rather unfriendly. I do like the fact that I can pretty much pay all bills from utilities to pay tv and internet to traffic fines, all from within the online portal. I mean literally directly from the system – you click on payments, choose the category and then choose which account you wish to pay (you could have a number of different accounts with service providers for example) and it even shows you what’s outstanding. You get an SMS notification within seconds once confirmed and email comes through soon after. I don’t even have to log into other websites.. it’s all done within a few clicks so I find that very convenient. I use the mobile app as well but that needs a bit of work too. Overall, the convenience is great!

 

These are some of the ways my Internet usage has changed since moving to Dubai. I’m basically on my mobile phone a lot more and using it for a lot more things than I was in Brisbane. In a region where Internet and mobile penetration are still infantile, this is amazing.

SEO is a funny game.

You work with a range of clients from either side of the spectrum but finding the ones in the middle is super tough!

Small businesses want to do more and want better results, but don’t have the budget.

Large corporates have the budget but are too rigid to change.

And then the 1 client you’re able to find who has the budget and is eager and able to change, suddenly disappears!

At least, this has been my experience.

It can be very frustrating but it forces you to be extra creative and innovative (whilst also forcing you to work out of scope). I remember clients complaining about not seeing much of an improvement in conversions even though they had improved in ranking. Truth is, their website was not in the best shape, design-wise but they had no budget for the much needed overhaul. So at the sake of my wallet, I made changes after hours and without charging a cent for it. The end result was a big improvement in conversions for the price of my sanity!

It is worth it though. Because you get your money back tenfold when they’re super happy and they tell even more people about you.

This worked for me in Brisbane. In Dubai, it’s somewhat different but it still relies on some great SEO expertise in a world where Pandas, Penguins and Hummingbirds, all high on Caffeine, roam the place!

I was super excited to hear that the lovely people at Interactive Minds were organising a Digital Summit for Brisbane in August 2013. I was super sad when I realised I wouldn’t be able to attend as I would be in Dubai, where I now live and work for an SEO agency called Sekari.

With the wonder that is the Internet and twitter, I was able to catch up on a lot of the gems from the 1 day summit which was jam packed with great insights from some really awesome people in the digital industry.

The hashtag for the event was #IMDS2013 and you can probably read up on it if you have a moment but I’ve saved you the bother by collating and curating tweets from the day.

NB: It took a fair while to collect and I’ve trimmed the list down considerably. But if you know of a super easy way to collect tweets from one hashtag and easily edit/trim the list etc.. let me know!! Nothing beats being there and it’s hard to sift out duplicate tweets but I hope this is of some relevance and service! Please forgive any and all shortcomings.

Please enjoy, share and spread the Digital Love!

– begin tweets –

INTRO, STUFF ABOUT DIGITAL, BRISBANE CITY’s DIGITAL STRATEGY, KIERAN O’HEA

Only 30% of businesses in Brisbane transact online.

Only 10% of US GDP comes from tech companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft et. 90% from traditional businesses.

Brisbane first city in world to have digital strategy focussing on economic growth – really? Wow.

Brisbane is the first city to have a digital strategy and the second city to appoint a Digital Officer  #brisbane

Brisbane digital startup investment fund??!! Wonder how it will compare to the $70M for the river walk.

City of Brisbane running some great program’s to assist digital start ups. Details here:http://www.brisbanemarketing.com.au/Business/Digital-Brisbane

Coder Dojo for 7-17 year olds every Saturday morning in Brisbane – awesome cool nerdy times for kids! Great idea.

Brisbane has the first digital strategy in the World that is focused on economic development! Kieran O’Hea #dbstrategy

 

NOAH KAGAN, APP SUMO  – KEYNOTE

If you only do what everyone else is doing, it’s going to be very hard to win @noahkagan

Know your goals and keep it simple @noahkagan

Giving away Dropbox for life – creating more users for @AppSumo via targeted competitions @noahkagan

Lots of twitter and FB followers is great, but do they convert? Direct them to something that will make you MONEY!

Using Facebook ads? Start small, target your competitors, stalk your customers likes.

Fans don’t always = $. What other value do they give you?

@noahkagan from @appsumo target the newsfeed ads in Facebook. Way better CTR.

Noah’s Facebook ad tips: personalise the company and make it about individuals, advertise in the middle column

News feed ads for Facebook significantly better CTR than side bar blind spot @noahkagan

Marketing is like a buffet, try dishes, see what you like and do more of that @noahkagan

@noahkagan says target smaller niche sites with ads, he doesn’t use top 10 sites; results in better prices

Target niche sites with good clients that not everyone is using. Use Technorati and start at the bottom @noahkagan

Consider advertising on smaller/medium sites. Cheaper cost and easier to get, but still good targeting.

mantra come and reach out to our 500,000 unique visitors on my247 com au – I won’t get you likes I’ll get you customers

If people are signing up for emails, great time to target them to subscribe to yours. Sponsor the thank you page @noahkagan

Sponsoring a ‘thank you for signing up to our newsletter’ pages can be a good win for your newsletter & brand  @noahkagan

“When you provide something to a customer, make sure it’s not shitty” @noahkagan

You need to make your offer something your audience WANTS.

If you’re going to offer (free) education to customers, make sure it’s valuable @noahkagan

Do A/B tests, they can provide a big impact. And the one you think might not always win.

Test things high in your funnel: homepage, subscription page and get some wins

A small percentage improvement from A/B tests can make a massive difference over the course of a whole year.

Use optimizely for A/B testing

Be more efficient by hiring better people

How do you get the lifestyle? “Hire great people!” @noahkagan (And create your death list!)

More people should be using video ads. @noahkagan recommends http://wistia.com  – see who presses play + drop off and CTA

“High quality people working on less but higher quality activities” N.Kagan

@noahkagan Death Plan: amazing way to address your own value to your business

How many blog owners do you need to contact for cut through? Enough to meet your objective.

Loving the questions at  - getting some extra gems out of @noahkagan

@noahkagan has recently been buying a cookie drop on websites instead of ads & use it for retargeting. Something new to try?

Try different methods for your objective. The same thing won’t work for everyone…

Look at referring sites that are generating revenue and increase your spend or buy remnant inventory

@noahkagan from @appsumo one goal for the company each year instead of chasing what’s bright and shiny.

Have one objective that everyone in your company aligns to (like a product or revenue target)

AppSumo has a new dashboard with 3 figures on it. Get the whole team focused on the same metric

One priority to along ur business with – ‘Growth!’ For Facebook and @AppSumo @noahkagan  #focus

 

BIG DATA

“Big data is a long way off” @nathbush, “Too much data is a problem” @kellylevestam

#bigdata is all about #smartdata, there’s no point having all the data if you can’t analyse it then action the insights @GJIdata

Big data has been insurance companies secret to marketing…(big analytical product background) @jonathankerr

With big data, start small and build it out.

@nathbush says they have had to update computers to cope with data spreadsheets!

@nathbush: Automate processes to get valuable data when possible

“Take learnings from your data & apply it to your marketing messages” @jonathankerr

“If we can’t measure it, we don’t do it” @jonathankerr

Set up your analytics properly. Work out your goals so you can figure out what to measure. 2yrs of the wrong data is useless.

Set boundaries and guidelines in place so big data isn’t creepy. Walk in their shoes, make it intuitive @jonathankerr

Don’t benchmark against your competitors, benchmark against the big players using data well

Benchmarking is important but it is what you do with that output that is the real measure @kellylevestam

Find your own benchmarks. Every business/market is different & otherwise you can set yourself up for failure @nathbush

There is no silver bullet with data, it takes time and a lot of work!

Spread sheets are still a popular tool of choice for starting out with analytics. Not quite so #bigdata, but getting there

Moving beyond excel for data; @jonathankerr standardised Analytics system, allow real time access & built a custom system.

“focus on outcome and measurement, the path to management investment is getting foundations right” @jonathankerr

Consider a data scientist for your team to get to that next level of data Analytics

BigData requires preferential data & complex user profiling that’s updated & managed 24/7/365. Takes brute force & KISS principle

You will never be able to press one button and get the magic data insight @nathbush

We continue to dream about the magic $10M button @nathbush!

“Power with facts not opinion” @jonathankerr  #BigData

Marketing can be a profit centre where data is used to support or challenge a business strategy

Digital activities including data needs to be incorporated in a new world view including digital from the get go @kellylevestam

“A Digital marketing plan cannot work in isolation from traditional marketing” @kellylevestam  #marketing

“build a culture of CRM” @nathbush data is the new oil!

@mszulc metrics not myths. Drop the buzz words.

Start thinking about where the magic happens @GJIdata

Data + content; art + science >> all contribute to the customer experience

LISTEN to customers, PREDICT what they want, ASSEMBLE the content, DELIVER to the appropriate place/time.

“Data is useless unless you can get insights” @mszulc Your data strategy must find actionable, measurable insights

Relevant content is key. Ensure your message is relevant to your audience and channel

“Engaging customers before, during and after the sale,” with @markszulc at the Digital Summit Brisbane

The right tools will allow non-creatives to be driving your activity @mszulc

Think about responsive design vs adapting design for different platforms  #digitalmarketing #mobilemarketing

Don’t rely on the HIPO’s opinion, let the customers show you what they like & respond to through data

consider using and testing different content that is more relevant to each channel. @adobe

Flow of information/collaboration in and amongst organisations is imperative in our digital age – @markszulc

Anyone know cost of Adobe Marketing Cloud? Last time I looked at their offerings they were WAYYY out of reach of small business.

 

CONTENT

Talking about the secrets to creating digital content that will engage customers within first 5 seconds –  @emma6516

@emma6516 says “engage customers in the first 5 seconds”

Content marketing is a commitment not a campaign – John Buscall

“Your content should ultimately help your consumers make smarter decisions” @Emma6516 from NRMA at

like this @emma6516 “you can create content but it doesn’t mean you are actually using it and gaining benefit”

It all begins with the content strategy – which content, which platforms, which audience, do we need help?

NRMA spent 18 months developing their content strategy. Wow!

Quality is the key to any good content marketing campaign. You need to find that sweet spot to make consumers smarter

Content marketing is about owning not renting @emma6516

Quality content is king

They key to any content strategy is QUALITY. Why don’t many businesses understand this?

Write about what’s important to your customers, not what YOU want to push. Push the boundaries.

“What customers want to know and what businesses want to say are NOT the same thing.” Spot on @Emma6516.  #ContentMarketing

You can’t be good at everything. Know when to call in the experts. #content

Pick the things you’re good at and outsource the rest!

Don’t go rouge, but chances are your CEO is not your customer audience, so don’t write for him!

@emma6516 says “Find a sweet spot that will make your consumer smarter and create content around it.”

Multi-task content – get great CMS; edit it twice, publish once @emma6516

Publish for your platform. What works for your website may not work for twitter, EDM, Facebook etc.

Video content is a great way to engage with customers in the first 5 seconds.

Revisit content/marketing objectives; pull put key points of content strategy; create wish list of influencers/celebs

Celebrity endorsement: create a wish list of influencers/celebrities and get then to really engage not just do a piece to camera

Content #marketing ‘star power’ – engage celebrities to create compelling content

Celebrity endorsement pulls PR – go for gold!

Content marketing produces 3 x more leads than paid search @emma6516

MEA$URE! For NRMA, content marketing produces three times as many leads as traditional marketing @emma6516

And costs 40% less… “@IMBrisbane: Content marketing produces 3 x more leads than paid search @emma6516

Content marketing costs 40% less than paid search. Know your numbers from @emma6516

CRAPY CONTENT CAN KILL YOU :O

Crappy content can destroy a brand. Refine to make sure it works @emma6516

- ideal situation: your customers become your content marketers, make them want to talk about you! @emma6516

With content marketing, go hard or go home! @emma6516

Need a single customer view that captures all touch points to measure engagement and attribution

Rich image content – 1 of 7 trends in social – @jessetyler

Most users spend an avg of 15 mins on Pinterest per session!

83% of Pinterest users are women, average time on site is >15 mins. @jessdoubleya

It doesn’t cost money for your consumers to create content. Rich image content is trend #1 in social media @jessdoubleya

Real time monitoring & engagement -trend 2 of 7 in social @jessdoubleya

Trend #2: Real time monitoring and engagement. Relevant well timed content can have a huge viral impact @jessdoubleya

Personalise personalise personalise – trend 3 of 7 in social @jessdoubleya consumers are ‘owed’ personalised content

Use your insights into what people are saying about your brand to inspire your social media content. @jessdoubleya

Localisation is crucial to personalising the message #localsocial @jessdoubleya

Consumers are starting to EXPECT personalised content – @jessdoubleya. Phew, glad we’re over that ‘creepy’ speed bump.

Key to great content – monitoring what is trending around ur brand and reacting asap to creating content around that

It’s all about: Right message, Right time, Right person. Make your communications relevant and personalised  @GJIdata

Personalisation elements: location, time, content type & length, social media source, frequency of posts  @jessdoubleya

Trend #3 Personalise. Customers can curate their content now. Use location, time, content type & length, frequency @jessdoubleya

Integrated (not BIG) data – trend 4 of 7 in social media @jessdoubleya

Social media influences journalists.

Trend #4: integrated data – tweak traditional and social media to work better together

Leveraging off influencers – trend 5 of 7 in social – @jessdoubleya

Senofi eg; 60% of influencers given diabetes reading device; 52 million media impressions over 6 months

Trend 5: Leveraging off Influences. Opportunities for spreading the word but also learning & listening @jessdoubleya

Senofi eg. Achieved 3x budget of the media spend; 144% of sales budget

Trend 6: close the loop. Don’t post for postings sake

Final trend – closing the loop – need to be able to measure each post @jessdoubleya

Closing the loop – trend 6 of 7 (& good practice!!) @jessdoubleya Why are you posting what you are posting?

7 Trends in Social Media 1. Rich image content 2. Real time monitoring & engagement 3. Personalise 4. Integrated Data…

…5. Leverage off influencers 6. Closing the loop 7. Creating a social organisation

Trend 7: creating a social organisation – be an advocate and demonstrate how the bottom line can be impacted @jessdoubleya

7 Trends in Social Media from @jessdoubleya

1. Rich image content
2. Real time monitoring & engagement
3. Personalise
4. Integrated Data
5. Leverage off influencers
6. Closing the loop
7. Creating a social organisation

Creating a social organisation; we need to be promoting to the business what social can do for the business @jessdoubleya

Not many other professions have the privilege to touch the consumer quite like social media marketers.

How can you reward & encourage influences – give them something that makes them feel like a star, relevant for the market

If you can make the consumer fall in love with you, they’ll buy anything!

Create community into which you can softly market or sell or communicate or provide content … @jessdoubleya

“If you get people to love you they will listen to anything.” @jessdoubleya  #Socialmedia

Automate processes and drive revenue – that’s what I’m talkin bout @mszulc

 

OFFLINE and ONLINE BUSINESS

Interesting to hear how Flight Centre is gradually shifting from traditional retail to take advantage of online travel

Listening to @sutho speak about Flight Centre Australia’s less than swift adoption of e-commerce. Very amusing!

Sutho’s preso: http://prezi.com/wwlwfttoojim/interactive_minds/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&auth_key=accf82711061a0c4aadff02b53ca1474cbd94303

Flight centre: we were relying on our staff to do things. We fixed that.

Flight centre: customer expects response to email in 10 minutes but we take 48 hours

Flight centre: We bought online businesses and put offline people in charge of them. Mistake

Year of the customer was last year – we are onto something else now hehehe love it

Internal affiliate system is an option for retail stores trying to delve into e-commerce. Ensures staff get credited for sales.

Price parity between retail and online is important. I’ve bought online because the store didn’t have access to the same offer.

“Shopping is an activity not a place” says @sutho

Any smart device will be a commerce device in the future. Start thinking about that… @sutho

“Mobile strategy” is so 2012. You need a “multi-screen strategy”. The same customer drifts across laptop, mobile, tablet etc

50% of Amazons sales were from people who had looked at that product in store. Someone else’s store @sutho

Aussie bricks and mortar stores should provide OUTSTANDING customer experience to combat lower online prices. Sadly, they don’t.

Ordered from Hong Kong, delivered in 2 days. Ordered from Dick Smith (AU) took a week!

Yes! Online means multi-screen but mobile is first & best experience says @sutho of @flightcentreAU

Solutions to showrooming? You can put a phone jammer in your store…bad service here! @sutho

Or you can change product bar codes to make scanning difficult. Or the endless isle (bigger range online, fast free shipping)

Phone jamming in showroom apparently not bad service in Australia :-) no more price comparisons in store! BOOM! #showrooming

@sutho B2C engagement on FB is where it’s at … If the top 10 retail brands have a twitter audience 59k, FB is the multiplier

Great tips from @sutho . He tells  that retailers should use Blackout devices to jam phones and suggests to blame #vodafone. #funny

Differentiate from other online competitors with services, a bigger network and your own products @sutho

Is Google still launching “Google Flights” in AU? If so, I will be interested to see how the travel consultants/retailers adapt!

Woolies app is great. Scan item barcode, add it to list, tells me what aisle it’s in, my fuel discounts, and live fuel prices!

Tracking movement of clothes in store, over the counter and out the door @ZARA @sutho  clever #data

I really wish NFC was used more in Australia. I have it in my phone but have very little use. How about coffee rewards?

Single Customer View #isabigdeal

“Big data is like high school sex. Everyone’s talking about it, very few are doing it & no one is doing it well!” Classic! @sutho  - (Ed: this was arguably the most popular line from summit!)

“If IT is looking after your data, that isn’t good! You need either a real or virtual team. @sutho

Tell your kids to become a statistician. The future demand is going to be huge!

 

MOBILE

Mary Meeker says you will look at your phone 150 times a day! @michaelweeding

‘Mobile at a point of critical engagement right now’  @michaelweeding Get ur mobile on ppl!

The apps on your phone home screen are defining people, it shows your personality! @michaelweeding

Mobile is pillar of @michaelweeding‘s digital strategy for @citibankaus as data shows its 1st touch point

Become a merchant with a mobile phone? Sounds easy!

One thing that annoys me about banking apps is the lack of features. Can’t do the same things as desktop.

Starbucks in 2012 had $820 million being deposited via mobile phones in store. Worth thinking about #mobile ?  @michaelweeding

I can’t imagine my life without mobile banking! @michaelweeding

An average banking customer logs on about 7 times a month. A lot don’t want to bank via mobile @michaelweeding

Consumers want convenience and expect security. Hard to do both

Adoption of mobile banking has only just reached early majority on the product innovation curve. Surprising @michaelweeding

Consumers want convenience. They expect security. Two conflicting wants when it comes to mobile @michaelweeding

Competing consumer demands for mobile banking – Security & Convenience @michaelweeding

Mobile banking security – it’s not about the money honey, it’s your ID that we need to worry about @facecentral

Security vs Convenience… That is the question

Second factor authentication: Something you have and something you know. A privacy protection measure we should know about.

so true identity theft is the real security issue. People are more aware.

use @1Password people

Passwords are so last year

Passwords in their current format are not secure. One of the most popular passwords is “password1″ @michaelweeding

Who is planning for the extinction of the password? We need to maintain security with another mechanism in place @michaelweeding

Will passwords be obsolete? Fingerprint technology may be coming to #apple iPhone 6 perhaps. @michaelweeding  #tech

Does your phone have residual fingerprints that effectively shows your password?

Love that @michaelweeding is covering security + convenience, an area of digital that doesn’t get discussed as often.

Many organisations at disrupting banks, and they aren’t even perceived as banks @michaelweeding

Customers are good at improving products, but not inventing them. That is radical innovation @michaelweeding

One of the most discussed mobile banking topics is the mobile wallet. What will the solution be?

Whoever gets the digital/mobile wallet right will win. #googlewallet  @michaelweeding

Disruption occurs when the meaning of  a product is changed

User experience with a physical card trumps current mobile wallet solutions

Apple didn’t roll out NFC in the iPhone 5 = uninnovative?

Apple patented NFC integration & a fingerprint scanner in 2008. They know they need more convenience to make it actually work.

I wouldn’t be smart with spending if it was easy as paying with a tap of my mobile – great opp for banks to help with triggers.

Great point by @michaelweeding: the credit card is a hugely efficient piece of technology. He do you make that simpler on mobile?

73% people feel panicked if they misplaced their phone #nomobiphobia @michaelweeding  #irelatetothat

25% of apps are only used once

25% of apps are only used once. 75% of apps last less than a year on a device. Hard to get cut through & loyalty @michaelweeding

Mobile phone winner- the 1 that can think less about what is inside the wallet & more about how it makes good financial decisions

You have to maximise the first engagement with an app, to ensure ongoing engagement and loyalty @michaelweeding

48% research products on a mobile but only 8% convert. It’s a leaky bucket & processes need to be modified to improve it

Mobile innovation: Balance conflicting desires; do more w less; plug the leaky funnel @michaelweeding

Impressive to see that 55% of websites are mobile-optimised as of 2013! Thought it was less.

 

MULTI SCREEN

On average, we spend 4.1 hours of our leisure time in front of screens each day #squareeyes

Google says 88% of interactions are screen based. radio, tv, newspapers and magazines now only count for 12% of interactions.

One device no longer commands our full attention. Today’s world is multi-screen.

Device usage is driven by context; time, location, goals, attitude

Our media interaction is spread between 4 primary screens: mobile, tablet, PC, TV

Tweeting during a presentation – a sign of rudeness or engagement?

36% of our daily media interactions occur on a smart phone; 62% of smart phone use at home; 38% put of home/office use

7% of daily media interactions occur on a tablet – is more about entertainment, and mainly used late at night

23% of daily media interactions take place on TV; 96% of that usage occurs at night

Device usage changes depending on time of day.

Getting a good run down of Internet users across devices from Roger James

Between 2009 & 2012, tv stations have quadrupled; newspapers halved in distribution

Nearly everyone used to have a Nokia phone. Back in the old days of 2009!

Nearly 40% of households have a tablet device. Or maybe they have more like mine!

Again, 2009 – 2012, smartphone numbers tripled. And in 2012 43% of homes have a tablet

Hopefully Google’s new Universal Analytics will help us track the same user across multiple devices.

The consumers journey is multiscreen & sequential. Research on one device & purchase on another

81% of participants use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time; 97% move between devices in same day

These stats are showing the number of mobile optimised sites has increased 175% in just the past two years

I don’t think I can sit through an entire episode of a TV series without browsing the web on my phone/tablet. #help

77% of time watching TV we are also on another device. Sounds about right!

Top simultaneous screening activities: Internet, email, social, games, search – Google research

TV is a major catalyst for search – 1 in 10 searches on tablet prompted by ad or show…

TV is a major catalyst for search – tvc & TV press is still important people

Google has some great market research and stats for all types of industries at http://www.google.com/think/ 

Great insight from Roger James at Google. Is multi screening the new black? @google @PrendiDigital

When Comm Bank ran TV ads it resulted in immediate spikes in traffic to their website. Good to see it in graph form from Google

Senofi eg. Achieved 3x budget of the media spend; 144% of sales budget

Consumers search for everything, at anytime, across all devices, from everywhere. Is it YOU they’re finding? #localsocial

Internet traffic spikes when ads are on TV

Good Adidas example of assigning attribution to a campaign from Roger

 

TRAVEL

Future of travel? http://www.adioso.com  – intuitive travel search.

Google has big data but doesn’t share much of it

I think p2p travel sites will be big in coming years – car sharing, holiday rentals etc.

Coming soon to a sky near you ‘drone spam’ the future of the #ads space? Future tech discussions with Jeff Dermann

The world is getting faster & smaller. The speed of change is noticeable. @jeffez setting the scene for what is ahead

People use their mobile phones in the morning. We know.

@jeffez – localised, green, medical travel and new competitors are the future of travel.

Travel trends we can expect: green travel, medical travel & niche verticals like airbnb @jeffez

The rise of the mega hubs is coming to travel. A shift in the hubs is already underway

Improve the airport experience! Biometrics, fast check in & frequent fliers. Expect big changes in this space

How much will customers give away in order to get through airports quickly? Facial recognition? Scanners?

Travel industry will change with millions of new middle class in China, India etc. Lots of ppl coming online & discovering travel.

Travel insights from Google: http://www.google.com.au/think/industries/travel-tourism.html

Watching a clever video showing how travel can evolve to focus on the consumer experience, flow and connections

Most people have booked travel online, some via mobile & fewer using an app.

People hate filling in forms. It’s why we have so many repeat customers @CarRental – search, compare and book in less than 1 min!

Areas to improve in travel: booking process, more time dreaming, more customisable options

Value will move from price to convenience.

Controversial I’m sure but I love the concept of #GlobalIdentity

People will give up their data for experience. Experiences will be more tailored based on history & preferences

Geolocators for luggage – something already available & sure to be popular!

Dreaming pods in shops – picture yourself there before you go! Are these mini holidays?

Travel of the future will involve more time to dream & less time to book

 – end tweets –

A lot of people know me as the guy from Dejan SEO. They also know me as a great freelance SEO consultant. And they also know that I’m a Brisbane guy through and through and that it would take a lot to get me out of our sleepy little town.

But if you’ve been following my tweets, posts on Google+ and LinkedIn profile, you’ll know that I am now based in Dubai, UAE and I work for an SEO agency here.

That company is Sekari.

Sekari has a unique, content led approach to search and social media which takes online marketing to a different level in this region but also the internet as a whole, especially in the wake of numerous black and white animals shaking things up!

Sekari works with some huge brands that have equally huge presences in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region – like Starbucks, LG and Ibis Hotels. At present, Sekari spearheads the SEO efforts of one of the most impressive hotels in the world: The Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah. For what it’s worth, I’ve been there and it’s nothing short of breathtaking. Check out a video they put together: The Spectacular Atlantis.

I mention this because it puts some perspective into the kind of work I’m doing now. It’s a whole new world because you have to consider the infancy of the Internet in the region as well as the multilingual nature of it all.

Arabic is naturally the main language over here but English is also widely spoken, though with varying degrees of articulation! Other popular languages include Tagalog (Filipino) and Hindi/Urdu. there are loads of Russian tourists and expats here so a lot of hotels target their marketing towards the Russian market. As Dubai has a lot of luxury hotels, it attracts luxury customers from around the world so it pays to have multilingual marketing campigns that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.

As someone who can read and write Arabic, I am slowly coming to grips with the delicate nature of trying to replicate an English campaign in Arabic, as there are often no equivalents in Arabic. For example, if you were to say you were going to a water park, you’d know this was not a park with a garden and swings. In Arabic, there’s just a word for park (with the swings) but there’s nothing really for water park. You can be quite literal and use the word for park and the word for water but it’s not quite the same. In many cases, English words are transliterated into Arabic. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is – but it’s fun at the same time because you grow to understand and appreciate other languages.

Being able to work with some massive brands and on huge multilingual SEO campaigns spanning a variety of countries in the region was something I couldn’t pass up so that’s why I accepted the offer to join Sekari. So far it’s been very insightful with plenty of learning along the way.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings for me in Dubai as the Holy Month of Ramadan is coming up and it’s also in the middle of summer where it gets blindingly hot. Apparently things slow down here around that time and even marketing campaigns take a swift change due to cultural sensitivities. Should be fascinating!

I’ve worked in a number of different Internet-based companies in a heap of locations: Brisbane, Sydney and Dubai. They all varied in size, budget and work style. It’s been a great experience in all of these companies and I’ve learned to take the good with the not so great. Upon close reflection it got me thinking about how I would run things differently if I ran my own agency. So I’ve come up with some points that I’d make sure I implemented in my agency. Appreciate your thoughts!

1. One on Ones. I want to have a one on one chat with each and every team member on a fortnightly basis outside the office to not just have a chat about how work is going but to make sure the life they lead after hours is alright. Not that I want to pry but when you get a bit of an idea of what’s happening outside the office, you understand and appreciate people better. If you know someone has a child with special needs for example, you know that sometimes they may be under a lot more pressure than usual or may need to step out of the office at a moments notice to attend to their child. Work should revolve around your family and we as managers, need to be human. One on Ones also give you a great insight into what’s going on with them in terms of their job. I know one company call their one on one chats ‘No Surprises’ because well, they don’t want to be surprised with a resignation because that employee’s cries for help went unnoticed. You need to be in tune with your staff and they need to always know that you care – about their role in the office and their role at home.

2. Birthday Holidays. I want to give people  a day off on their birthday. If it falls on a weekend, they can choose a working day before or after it in lieu. Whilst I don’t place a huge emphasis on my own birthday, I know that others in my life do and they’ve given me some truly memorable days and it’s nice to be a little spoiled. I can see people’s partners planning a day of fun (or just a day to relax and spend time together) and that makes it worth it. I’m also a fan of birthday cake! A lot of companies are so big they have monthly celebrations but you can work out what is best for your kind of company.

3. Telecommuting options. I often did the best and most productive work at home, but that’s largely due to not having a telephone ringing every 10 minutes! I do believe having people together in the office is far better for team building and cohesion. I was lucky to work at head office for Dejan SEO in Brisbane with about 10 other good people. But I felt for my colleagues in Melbourne and Sydney who didn’t get to enjoy our company outings or lunches. I would always get people to be in the office as much as possible but if they needed to work from home for whatever reason, that would be ok too. Again, it relates to my first point about being human. Often people have genuine reasons to work from home and if that won’t be disastrous for the company, then one should allow it. Also if your work can be done from any computer anywhere in the world, then all the more reason to allow telecommuting.

4. Regular team building activities and company outings. I’d opt for something at least once a month because it gives people something to look forward to and the value it adds to your team by improving morale and cohesion is priceless. Go karting, paintball, cooking classes, laser tag, a day at the beach with a picnic lunch, a trip to a museum or art galleries….  There’s so much you could do. It needs to be fun and social. I think outings that just involve beer and a pub are not the way forward because not everyone drinks, or feels comfortable in that setting. And besides, you should be able to socialise without alcohol. Surely you’re not that bereft of social skills? Oh and for those inclined, how about weekly/fortnightly online gaming parties? Imagine starting a Monday with this….

5. Regular fitness related activities. I’ve been grappling with various attempts at getting healthier. Encouraging employee fitness and better health should be the mantra of every good manager. A weekly bootcamp or yoga class would be great! Or a session at the boxing gym. Perhaps extend it further to doing fun runs as a team. It ties in with the previous point but it focuses on health. When you’re working out, endorphins flood your body and when you’re doing it as part of a team, look out! I think having a 5 side indoor soccer team is a great idea, esp. if its a mixed team. Everyone should be encouraged to join and have fun, no matter the result.

6. Food! Clearly I love my food and have a weakness for doughnuts but that doesn’t tie in with my fitness related point above does it?  but a bit of indulgence is fine on occasion. Everything in moderation! At Dejan SEO we had a pod coffee machine which brewed up some great coffee and was cost effective for staff. You saving your staff money is awesome. I brought in cupcakes from my wife quite frequently because I know food brings people together in a wonderful way. I invented Pizza and PageRank Friday years ago as an excuse to eat pizza at work (and maybe to discuss SEO) but it blossomed from an occassional event to a weekly thing that now involves all kinds of food from Korean to Indian. SEO doesn’t get talked about much but everyone comes together, shares food and laughs and it’s wonderful. You don’t need to be Google but you can still provide a little for your team.. lots of fresh fruit, juices, soft drinks, chocolates and sweets, nuts.. little things that go a long way and you don’t need to spend big either. My current workplace has a tonne of nuts and even a few jars of jelly beans and jelly bears. It’s also right next to the huge organic fruit basket for the added guilt trip!

7. Monday morning pump up sessions. We’re programmed to dislike Mondays and coming to work but what if you made Mondays awesome? What if you had a pump up session that involved music, people in a circle, throwing a ball around and as you catch it, you talk about 1 awesome thing from your weekend? Or how about something else? Make it a bit festive. Get coffee and doughnuts for all! How about playing a small game – like perhaps darts and the highest scorer (or scorers) win a prize? I’m thinking carnival games of sorts. Be creative and make it something people will look forward to. I know there’s a fine line before it becomes kitsch but you need to look at your team and know what would work. I know it sounds like a Friday arvo kinda thing but that’s our problem – we need to make the start of the week something to look forward to as well!

8. Serious investment in on the job training. In a lot of industries, you have to learn on your own and in your spare time as you’ll be left with your pants down if you’re not up to speed with what’s up. But there are conferences, seminars and even webinars that relate to your industry happening all the time and if you invest in these and help upskill and educate your staff, it empowers them, gives them a feeling of self worth and importance and above all else, it helps your team grow and get that competitive edge because they’re up to speed with everything. When you know you work in a bad ass team, you feel awesome. I know there’s a fear that staff will leave once they grow professionally, onto bigger and better opportunities but that’s a risk that you have to take. I know people who thought they could run SEO agencies just from working at an SEO agency for 6 months. Needless to say they folded soon after because they not only lacked SEO experience, but their management and agency experience was tiny. I would invest in my team time and time again before I worried about them abandoning ship. What you can do is get them to write up a summary of take aways from their seminars/workshops/webinars so that others can also learn and this way even if that staff member leaves, you’ve still gleaned some knowledge and can reuse it for the next person who comes in. Silver lining my friends!

9. Recognition of employee anniversaries and major achievements. Work anniversaries that is. We know that in this day and age, it’s not that common to see people in the same job for more than 5 years on average. Heck a lot of folks have a 2 year policy with jobs. Whatever it is, it’s time that no one can wind back. It’s time they have spent working for you and hopefully adding tremendous value and no doubt achieving great things. Acknowledge this publicly. Show them that you recognise their time and effort and want to thank them for helping the company grow. Sometimes a gift card is a nice simple token of appreciation. How do you really reward someone for their loyalty and hard work? It’s tricky when you can’t really put a value on things like these (in a sense). But saying thanks – that’s something everyone knows the value of. Do it and do it often.

10. Be approachable and accountable, always. I look at the various managers I’ve worked under in my professional life and there are certain traits that stand out. It’s no secret that I hold Dan Petrovic in the highest regard as a close friend, colleague and mentor but he’s also been the best manager I’ve ever worked with. I’ve tried hard to mimic his style and whilst my temperament and tolerance levels are nowhere near his, I am working on it. Dan has always been approachable, no matter the issue – personal or professional. He’s also someone who openly admits when he stuffs up and actively tries his best rectify things. With no disrespect to my previous employers, I’ve always truly felt the clear distinction between manager and subordinate in my previous roles. But with Dan, he’s so approachable, that you often forget you’re talking to your boss. You see companies talking about their staff like ‘family’ and that’s a culture I’d like to cultivate in my agency. Whilst I’d never go as far as cuddle parties, I’d like to think that my team is filled with people who genuinely care for one another, who don’t tolerate the BS of office politics and who think as one. I won’t pretend this is an easy thing to achieve but with dedication it can happen.

This is my rather lengthy list of things I’d implement if I ran my own agency. I’d love your thoughts on my ideas and what you’d do if you ran your own agency. I’ll add more things as I think of them because this is by far not an exhaustive list!

Inbound Marketing and content marketing – 2 buzzwords that are just skyrocketing in popularity.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=inbound+marketing%2C+content+marketing#q=inbound%20marketing%2C%20content%20marketing&cmpt=q

Clearly since 2011,we’ve seen a huge spike in interest for these 2 terms.

Content marketing to me is a form of inbound marketing. Working on that all important content on your website is the way to attract interest, links, leads etc.

Look at things like guides, how tos, tips and tricks, top lists, etc.. the ideas are endless. Really put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about what you’d love to find out or what would make your life easier.

If you’re a removalist, think about putting some moving tips and guides. how to move with kids or pets? how to pack things or what to do when you’re moving (stuff people forget about when theyre focusing on the move)… heck work on a moving checklist, make it a PDF with a link back to your site and share it around.

Talk to an Inbound Marketing Consultant with ideas and you’ll reap the rewards!

Career ending moves in an agency

I’ve been in the client facing side of things in an agency for many years now and whilst there are plenty of veterans out there, I’ve had my fair share of crazy experiences that make for great yarns (aka war stories).

I’ve also been through those moments where there’s a fine line between keeping your job or ending your career completely.

Here’s 3 ways to end your career in spectacular style:

1. When a client complains, reply with ‘cool story, bro’

There’s no comeback to a CSB bomb and whilst this might prove useful amongst your friends, it’s never a good idea when it comes to your clients. You couldn’t care any less and you also know their problems are minor in the grand scheme of things… but drop this bomb and prepare for it to blow up in your face.

 

2. Remind a client about how clueless they really are.

“I’m sorry that your understanding of the field of graphic design is so limited – please mind the design train as it flies past your puny little mind”. Life’s funny like that – even when experts give it to us straight, we somehow feel we know a thing or two more than they do – and we sometimes make no secret about it. It doesn’t matter that a client refers to Photoshop as ‘Adobe’, insulting their intelligence and lack of knowledge is just bad form. Sure, they have no clue nor appreciation for your craft, your expertise or the years you’ve spent between freelance jobs noshing on 2 minute noodles as a poor designer…. but it’s better to suck it up and move on. It’s great for character building and career-saving.

 

3. Avoid them like the plague.

We’ve all been there – we’ve had a particularly needy client who, for some reason unbeknownst to man, thinks that you need to be on call 24/7 to tend to their every whim and fancy and at some point, you’ve avoided them in every way in order to preserve what’s left of your sanity. Whilst you could buy yourself some time, it only prolongs the agony. SOme clients get extremely crafty, stalking your social media profiles, commenting on them demanding contact and even trying to befriend you on facebook (what’s up with that?!). If they start knocking on your door, then there’s a problem but it needn’t get that way.

It might pain you to do so but instead of avoiding the problem, simply confront it. Be firm but polite. Tell them this arrangement isn’t working out – refund them if possible and cut them loose. Save everyone the bother. I’m still here and I’m still sane – proof that this method works.

I was having a chat with a colleague the other day about Inbound Marketing and one of the questions that came up was why there was so little being talked about in the realm of Inbound Marketing.

The reality is people are talking about it – but it’s just being referred to by other things. It’s a bit like how for a while there were just people doing SEO or looking at very basic Internet marketing and that has now evolved into ‘digital’ titles where the roles involve SEO, website management and social media. A rose by any other name, if you will.

In America, there’s big talk about Inbound Marketing and there are actual individuals in roles with ‘Inbound Marketing’ in the title. In Australia, not so much.

So do we need to do more to get the word out there and for people to start referring to what we do as Inbound Marketing?

I don’t believe so. I believe it’s far more productive to get more people onboard the digital train than to worry about what it is actually called.

A lot of people in power haven’t the foggiest ideas about digital marketing and the various media available or the way these channels actually affect their bottom line significantly.

We need them to understand, appreciate and acknowledge digital marketing as a natural part of the business, like having a website is considered a must have. We need them to actually invest seriously into this and to constantly look forward. Things like TV and Radio still work to an extent but when you see what amazing work is being done in the digital space and how companies are slashing their costs by millions by turning to digital, it’s clearly a no brainer.

Doesn’t matter what you call it – digital is something that has inbound written all over it. Using a qr code on an ad at the bus stop that takes people to a dedicated landing page geared to sell – this is how you’re going to do business in a whole new way.

I often get asked what are the most important things to look at when doing an SEO audit because website owners want to get quick, qualified advice so they’re not wasting their time looking at or for things that don’t matter.

People will dive into stuff like the sitemap (XML or HTML), robots.txt, page titles, meta descriptions, dupe content etc.

But for me, the first thing I look at when doing an audit is this:

Page speed.

Think about it, the moment you enter in a website address for the first time, you experience the speed at which the homepage loads up. That’s a good place to begin with because it doesn’t matter if you rank #1 for a very competitive term – if your site is too slow to load up, people are going to bounce back into Google and go to the next site in the list which is your competitor.

You can’t afford to lose people so easily.

Naturally you should test it on other devices, internet connections and differnet browsers (for consistency). If the trend is the same (ie. a slow loading site) you need to fix it.

How you do it depends on your situation: lots of images, lots of scripts loading up in the background, a slow hosting server  and other factors all affect how fast your site loads up.

Install Google Webmaster Tools if you haven’t already and start getting an idea on crawl rates/errors associated withi your site. It’sa good starting point to getting your site to load up so much faster.

Simple stuff that can make all the difference to your conversions.