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ICYMI – All the blog posts from May 2018

Individual, non-customer contacts: the key to GDPR compliance
It is only individual, non-customer contacts of your list to whom consent applies and you should already have consent in place to send direct marketing to these as it is a PECR requirement. You will only need to re-obtain consent where the originally obtained consent is not GDPR compliant.

What’s making that web page actually work?
How do web documents work? For many people running websites, what follows will be the most elementary information. But for others, I suspect it’ll be something you may not have ever needed to know. So I thought I’d have a go at explaining.

Finding keywords to prioritise for improvement
Google Analytics once had a ‘keyword’ section which allowed you to track visitor actions based on the search term they’d typed into Google. That was removed several years ago for privacy reasons, and it’s much missed. But we can still get some interesting pointers in that direction.

GDPR: Think about whether you actually need to refresh consent
You do not need to automatically refresh all existing consents in preparation for the new law. But the GDPR sets the bar high for consent, so it’s important to check your processes and records to be sure existing consents meet the GDPR standard. If they do there is no need to obtain fresh consent.

Getting hourly visit data from Google Analytics
How can we get hourly visit data from Google Analytics? Do the visitors do different things at different times? Unlike daily, weekly or monthly traffic, Google Analytics hides away the hourly data, but it’s all there. Here’s how to take a look.

Why are they reading this page in the first place?
Once you’ve decided what are the questions which the page needs to be answering, it becomes a lot easier to write with clarity and correct priority.

Use Google’s knowledge to your advantage
You might find that a search results page for ‘blue widgets’ has an extensive, competitive advert auction going on. But if the natural results are primarily explanatory ones, rather than commercial, Google has worked out what most people want – and it isn’t to buy a blue widget.

Get the message about trust over quickly
Getting over a sense of reality and reputability on a website is essential. There are many ways to do it, and it’s perhaps surprising that so many websites don’t bother. Showing real people is a start. Above all, the most reassuring thing for prospects is to see that you have other customers.

Is your website’s styling working against you?
To create something simple and easy to understand, we instinctively drop all the layout, fonts, colours and icons. That shouldn’t be right. They should aid usability.

Branching Out.
This refreshing way of depicting an organisation reflects how most people would want it to work: freedom for the front-line workers to innovate, with support from management, rather than the front line feeling that its role is to take the weight of management.

Make your shoppers feel at home
A full introduction about the company and the range of products it has to sell is, in my opinion, essential on any advertising landing page. The key is that visitors are going to feel a lot more comfortable once you’ve welcomed them properly.

People do love their KPIs
The main problem is when someone takes a metric which seems important and declares it to be a KPI. The other, which may be related, is when a KPI becomes a target.

Mobile-first indexing has been enabled…
Some sites are now seeing more traffic on mobile devices than on desktops, so it makes sense for Google to index the mobile version if possible, to give the majority of users a more ‘accurate’ experience.

Powering up your web browser
The world’s current browser of choice is Google Chrome, and with good reason. It’s fast and supports standards relatively well. One of its attractions for many professional users however is the ability to run specialist extensions, and for that reason alone you should always have it to hand.

Put anything that interests you into a Google Alert
Every morning I get half a dozen emails from Google saying that something I’m monitoring has got a mention on the web. It might be me, my company, some organisation I belong to, the area where I live …I have dozens of things which Google faithfully checks for me every day.

Why shortform URLs can sometimes be essential
Getting people to type in a URL is hard. Getting them to type in a complicated URL is almost impossible. I despair when I see advertising or any printed documents saying: “find out more at www-dot-something-dot-something-slash-something”.

Should I be doing search advertising on Bing?
Although Google may dominate the search engine market, particularly in Europe and in business, Bing has the lion’s share of what’s left. Is that enough to be spending search advertising budget on? Quite probably.

PDF documents and the mobile experience
There’s no way around it: reading PDF A4 documents on a mobile phone varies from irritatingly awkward to just about impossible. Do not inconvenience your prospects, customers and the search engines by making a PDF document the only way they can access important data.

How your website looks on mobile devices
The most used mobile screen sizes are Android 360×640 pixels and Apple 375×667 pixels, accounting for over 50% between them. These are smaller sizes than you might think are typical.