Tag Archives: How-to

Inbound Marketing presentation delivered at eTail Europe conf

Today I delivered this presentation at eTail Europe conference here in London, UK.

The title is “The future of SEO. Moving to a holistic inbound marketing strategy” with an earned media case-study thrown in for good measure.

I genuinely believe that in the future,  earning peoples attention will be the norm, rather than just pushing your way in front of them. By being, innovative, creative and “remarkable” then you will get more attention and loyalty than you could afford to buy.

In this presentation I try to lay out some history and context to the evolution of SEO and the changing search-scape. I introduce the new world of “inbound marketing” aka “earned media” or “content based marketing”.

Delivering this kind of campaign needs a lot of different skills. So, formulating a plan, organising “all of your brains” may need to organisational shift.  This stuff can be so much fun and hit multiple teams traditional objectives. SEO for links and social citations. For Social Media for Likes, RTs, shares, follows, subscribes. For branding, for PR,  to build loyalty and affinity with your brand. And many others.

The case study refers to My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket list. This is a campaign that SeSoMe delivered as an internal agency. Working with so many throughout the wider business and the franchise network. The 2nd half of the campaign starts in July when the winners travel for a full 6 months living like a local and ticking off their bucket list.

If you want to talk about this presentation or SeSoMe, just let me know.

Thanks to Joao for taking this picture from the audience.


Photo credit Joao da Costa

Photo credit Joao da Costa


The Power of Online Marketing presentation 5th March 2013

On the 5th March 2013 I was invited over to Ennis in County Clare hosted by My Destination Country Clare and in association with the Ennis Chamber. I was invited over to talk about the power of online marketing and to tailor the presentation to talk to about practical things local businesses can do with SEO and Social media. I also threw in some stats about how powerful Virtual Tours, Videos and other quality content for your users and your rankings alike.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

When we arrived and arranged the conference room there were lots of big foamex mounted pics, mostly for the toddler group, but some strange circus marketing posters. I took the picture below to be an [admittedly arrogant] sign of things to come. How was it going to fail after seeing this?

Say no more....

Say no more….

What do do if you fail to save before you close PowerPoint

What happens when you say “No” to your “Save” reminder when you close a program like PowerPoint to quickly?

Well, as it happened to me today, I can tell you, I felt SICK! and a bit light headed. You might have lost hours of work, or that last great diagram you painstakingly drew by hand.

Well, there is still a small chance that your lovely auto-save has a version from a few minutes ago and has not deleted it yet.

So, before you let rip with a barage of expletives in-front of your colleagues try this final go.

Step 1

On the top ribbon, choose “File”, then select “Options”

Pptx Recovery - Step 1

Step 2

Down the left hand side find the 3rd option called “Save” and select

Pptx Recovery - Step 2&3

Step 3

Find the label “AutoRecover file location:”. It will contain a file path, something most like this –> C:UsersAppDataRoamingMicrosoftPowerPoint

Step 4

Copy this out, paste into the top of Windows Explorer and you will find a mish-match of non-deleted versions of your work.

Step 5

Look at the files for a similar file name. Likely the first part the same, followed by lots of numbers. Check the timestamp and if it is in the previous 10 minutes you may be able to stop crying and carry on with your day!

Hope it helps.

Note: I am on Windows 7 and PowerPoint 2010.

How to inspire and to lead – a favourite TED video

I have watched this video quite a few times over the last year or so. I think the ideas around people who lead and those are effectively leaders is very poingnant. The ideas from the golden circles can be used in many ways from recruitment, entrepreneurship, company culture to organisations and society at large.

I like this quote in terms of team and culture. This is how you get things done. How you, your organisation can be agile, innovative and cutting-edge. This is something I believe-in, especially in regards to my most recent employment move (more changes coming. Watch that space!!).

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” Simon Sinek

Watch the video and you will see what I mean.

Its all about the defination of those who Lead, and those are Leaders. I think that this definition can be applied to all situations, work and personal. What do you think?

How to put an embed code box in your post

If you need to use an embed code section on your site to get this effect. This is example embed code from a live example infographic we recently put lived.

To embed our infographic/image/assets to your wordpress blog or site, simply just cut and paste the code below:

You need to use a few different tags and attributes including

  • textarea to get the box
  • cols and rows for the width and height of the textarea
  • onclick for how to select all the text
  • And the usual stuff for the image source and links

Your code will look something like this:

<textarea id="copytext" cols="60" rows="5" onclick="SelectAll('copytext'); pageTracker._trackEvent(['Infographics', 'copy_share', 'embed_code']);">
<a href="http://example.com"><img src="http://images.example.com/infographic_lq.jpg" alt="Alt text" width="490px" height="4605px" border="0"></a>
<p>Made by My Company with credits and maybe a link.</p>

Hope that helps. We all learn through doing!

How to use the Google WMT crawl data – once you fix the date format!

The crawl data that you can download from Google’s Webmaster Central Tool would be much more useful IF you could arrange the data by date. You can’t pivot or sort data if the data is [first of all] in American date format, and 2ndly some is in date format, some in text format and some just throws an error.

So, how do you cleanse this data?

Step 1 – download your crawl data

Click on the “Download” option inside in Google’s webmaster tools interface

Step 2 – Open excel and import your data as “From Text”

Here is the advice from the Excel help file

Importing text files
You can use Excel to import data from a text file into a worksheet. (On the Data tab, in the Get External Data group, click From Text.) The Text Import Wizard examines the text file that you are importing and helps you ensure that the data is imported in the way that you want.

There are two ways to import data from a text file by using Excel: You can open the text file in Excel (which does not make a connection to the text file), or you can import the text file as an external data range (which does make a connection to the text file).

There are two commonly used text file formats:
Delimited text files (.txt), in which the TAB character (ASCII character code 009) usually separates each field of text.
Comma-separated values (CSV) text files (.csv), in which the comma character (,) usually separates each field of text.

You can also change the separator character that is used in both delimited and .csv text files. This may be necessary to make sure that the import or export operation works the way that you want it to.

You will be importing a .csv

Step 3 – Use the Text Import wizard

Use the Text Import Wizard. I have never had to make any changes on the first step.

On step 2 of 3, you should choose COMMA and not Tab.

Here is the important bit. On step 3 of 3 you can choose what is the format for the import. So, in the “Data Preview” pane, scroll to the right. Select the Date column and choose your preferred date format (see arrow).

Excel's Text Import Wizard - choosing data type

Excel's Text Import Wizard - choosing data type

Click Finish. Select the location you want your new table.

You would think that you would now be finished! No, Google also give us 2 date format


Standarding the year format

I am sure that there must be an easier way than this, please share if you know. You can’t just format cells to date. So, insert some new columns to the right of the date column.

  1. Hightlight the Date column. Select “Text to Columns” on the “Data” tab
  2. In the wizard, choose to seperate by “other”, enter a slash “/”.
  3. Now use the good old fashioned “Find and replace”. Replace “12” with “2012”, then find all the accidentally created “202012” and replace with “2012”. And repeat if you still have 2011 data in there
  4. Then just Concatenate the 3 columns back together using this formula structure (assume in columns 1,2 and 3 and use the text insert of a slash inbetween quotation marks)
  5. =CONCATENATE(a1,”/”,a2,”/”,a3)

  6. Double click on the bottom right hand corner of the cell to copy all the way down
  7. Copy the resultant column, “Paste Special” next to it as “Values only”
  8. Delete the rest of the working columns

You are now ready to actually use your own data. Google please help us!

However, there are still bad data and formats in the data. So, I always prefer server side tools.

How to screenshot on an android phone

The other day I accidentally managed to take a screenshot on my Samsung Galaxy (orginal). So, I thought I would share that information here as I couldnt find this previously when I was searched.

If it makes a difference I am running –> Model: GT-19000. Firmware:2.3.3

How to take a screenshot on a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone

  1. Press the “back-up” button similataneously with the “home” button
  2. Wait. There is a second delay
  3. You will see a short, and quick confirmation message saying that the image is in your gallery
  4. Go to your gallery and you will find your screengrabs in a new folder it creates called “Screen capture”. It may take 5 secs for the folder to appear the first time. So be patient!

In-case you don’t know what the home and backup buttons are – here is a handy reminder.

Screenshot function on Android Samsung Galaxy

Screenshot function on Android Samsung Galaxy

As simple as that.

I am sure that other manufacturers or hardware behave differently. But anyway, that’s my experience.

How does the internet work (simple version)

One of my roles as I see it is to demystify SEO, web and internet & marketing technologies. So, I will try to do this one justice too.

First of all, lets define the internet. According to Wikipedia:

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.

So, that is quote full of jargon. This is basically the infrastructure that connects our computers, servers and any other device that uses data. And to use the words correctly the Web is mainly about the sites you use, HTML etc etc.

The geeky bit (simple version)

  • Your computer connects to your router (aka modem) either via a cable or your wifi
  • Your router via your phone line connects to the internet via your internet service provider (ISP)
  • Your browser (e.g. chrome, firefox, safari) requests a web page via its URL
  • Web sites work on the http protocol and then the servers name. e.g. http, and then www.adrianland.co.uk
  • Your browser on your computer via your ISP uses a Domain Name Server (DNS), like a list of all website names registered. The DNS returns the websites real name which is in IP address. IP addresses are in IPv4 format are in a set of 4 numbers separated by a point e.g.
  • So, your request is now at the right server now. The server hears your request for a URL, sends the information back in small pieces “packets” via the quickest route and your computer puts it back together and compiles the pages inside your browser. That is what you see in your browser and reading this page

Hope that makes sense! And inside that you may want to know what server response codes.

Most of this all happens in less than a blink of an eye – clever hey.

Server Response Codes – what are they & why are they important?

What are they and why are they important?

When you request a URL or an element within a page, your browser you send a request. The magic of the tinter-web happens and the server you end up on sends back the content, with a response code, that communicates with your computer and confirms success/failure or an alternative action suggestion.

To really know what your servers are doing I really would suggest that you monitor your server response codes. This is especially important during any migrations/ launches or major changes. You can get this data easily inside Google Webmaster Tools or any internal tools you may have e.g. Tealeaf. If you are doing testing you can even get browser plugins e.g. http headers, or, fidler for Firefox.

Monitoring server response codes gives you insight into your site health, indexation, what is really happening, advanced usability monitoring, especially if you look by useragent or at a session level.

Server response codes are NOT “error codes”

It all depends on what you wanted your site to do. I jokingly say that reading repsonse codes are a bit like ‘tarot cards’ as you need to add context to when the code was given. You will see some common definations below. So, if you mean to give a 404 to delete a page from Google, then it is a positive thing. However, if you have accidentally deleted or moved a page, then its bad.

So, What are the most commons response codes I should know about?

Defintitions are from the mid Nineties and havent really changed. They are all numerical and they are grouped as…

Successes are in the 200’s

These codes indicate success. As in, you requested and you received.

200 = OK

The request was fulfilled as requested. This is the ideal answer to most requests made. And if you see redirects e.g. a 301, at the end of the chain you should get a 200.

201 = Created and OK

This should following a POST command. POST means that you send a request and the content is then generated, then returned. As opposed to a GET command, which ‘gets’ the same page every time! In the old days, POST was to get search results and GETs were ‘static’ pages. These days, you can have a GET URL, but actually POST to get the content. More to come in real HTML5 as we object.

Redirections are in the 300’s

These codes handle redirections of permanent or temporary in nature.

301 = Move permanently

The data requested has been assigned a new URL, and the change is permanent. This is the most common type of redirect for any kind of content movements, site migrations or major platform upgrades (effectively an internal migration). A user may notice a different URL in their browser. But for a SEBot, this means replace the URL you requested with this new one.

302 = Temporarily moved. A temp re-direct

The data requested actually resides under a different URL temporarily. A user will not likely notice, and the instruction to a SEBot is to look at the new location, but to keep the original URL in its db.

Bad requests are in the 400s

The request had bad syntax or was inherently impossible to be fulfilled.

403 Forbidden request

The request is for something forbidden. You may see this if you are looking around a server and the sys admin has put permissions/access rules. Or an internal request has not be given the right level to authentication.

404 = Page not found

A commonly used terms across the business, but do they know what it means? In short, the server has not found anything matching the URL requested. This could be a problem if you are not expecting this response code, or could be great if you have deleted a page and you want the search engines to remove this page from its index.

You should ensure that the content of that page works for the user! Ideally a sign-post-page. But a common mistake when creating a “404 page”, especially if you are use your app layer to resolve the request that it treats it like a disambiguation request and 302s to a 200 with a 404-style-message. You should check your 404’s 404 response status today.

Server problems are in the 500’s

500 = Internal Server Error

This means that the server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request. Normally this would be an outage. If you see these in your analysis, you probably can’t do much about these, other than to keep your sys admins/hosting company in check.

503 = Temporarily not available

In the real world, if you take your website down for maintenance or updates etc. (if you need to take it down – why not load balance?), you should return a 503. This is effectively a soft 500. This tell the SEBots to come back later. This is important, as if you give a SEBot too many outages, you will lose your rankings!

There are more response codes, but in reality, every day, these are the only ones you will normally come across.

Link to a fun post about response codes shown in pictures of cats.

A link exchange approach who CAN-SPAM

I had never heard of the CAN-SPAM act until earlier today when I received a link exchange request for this site. It must be legit as I found a definition on wikipedia. The bit that made me look this up was in incredibly tiny text at the bottom of the mail.

Note: This is a link exchange request email that strictly adheres to the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act of 2007 . We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this email and the subject lines are in no way misleading. We have found your mail address through searching the web for relevant link partners and not through any illegal means. If you do not wish to receive further emails, please reply with “Remove” or “No” in the subject line and we will ensure that you are not contacted again.

It is odd, that a British company is citing an American act in Blightly on a UK to UK link request. And as a way to legitimise an email to a stranger.

P.s I wont be exchanging links. My links page is for people who I actually know.