The internet is full of robots, and their ranks are growing exponentially. In 2015 roughly half of all internet traffic was bots, so it’s important to pay attention to how robots interact with your site. These robots are software that automatically browse the internet. The most common kind of robot crawls the internet and indexes content from search engines, but there are also bad bots, which harvest emails or search for sites that are weak against mass hacking attempts. Luckily, you can use a robots.txt file to communicate with all of these non-human netizens, and in some cases even give them instructions on how to use your site. Read more
Lately, there’s been an increase in articles touting what a great branding and awareness platform live streaming is. This is true. If you have a winning personality and a talent for something visual, it’s kind of awesome. Anything goes as long as it’s not illegal on YouTube and Facebook Live. But we have an elephant in the live streaming studio: Twitch.
Twitch: Live Streaming with Restrictions
Twitch, purchased by Amazon in late 2014, is a live-streaming platform that was birthed out of Justin.tv (R.I.P.). Originally only “Let’s Play” style live streaming, its expanded parameters now also include Gaming Talk Shows, Poker, Music and Creative. It is important to note, though, that your stream must fall into one of the approved categories.
This platform is dominated by the ever-valuable 18-45 male demographic and comes with all their special quirks. This includes distrust of advertisers, use of ad blockers and an occasionally toxic outlook on the world. Much of the Twitch audience are also Redditors and/or on 4chan normalfags, /b/tards and shitposters. Most marketing blogs don’t use these terms. This is why I’m writing this: So you don’t look like a scrub when you try Twitch, which can be pretty willing to flay you alive if you don’t belong.
Welcome to the internet. Just call me Virgil. Read more
You may have read the title of this article and thought, “Cats on the internet, huh? I see what you did there.” And you’re right. There’s a love affair between the internet and cats. As much as I’d love to go on a long tangent about this, I’ll save it for a future post and try to stay focused on The Cat Line.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a tool that lets you track how many times people used Google to search a specific term. You can analyze and compare up to five keywords and refine the results with multiple filters. If you want to find out how many people in Brazil are searching for Rick & Morty pics in Google Image Search, then Google Trends is the tool to use.
Cool info. Looking up search volume on random TV shows or celebrities might be fun or interesting, but it probably won’t help you accomplish your goals. This tool, though, does have its place in your internet marketing toolkit, but you need to know how to use Google Trends.
Since Michael and I took some time off last Thursday to vote, the “I Voted” stickers have been on my mind. What’s their value? Could that money be used better elsewhere? Is it actually a strong enough voting incentive for it to be worth diverting that slice of state budget? Should we view these as a form of native ad?
Monetary Value of “I Voted” Stickers
I did a little bit of research, and I found an article stating that in 2016, the state of Oklahoma spent approximately $0.003 on each sticker. That’s a very reasonable per-unit price, but how much does it become in aggregate? For Oklahoma, at 2,030,277 registered voters, the answer is $6,090.83. That’s like the cost of a home air conditioning unit, so, no, the sticker budget wouldn’t go very far toward anything.
But what about a more populous state? According to the Texas Tribune, there are 15,015,700 registered voters. Assuming the same price Oklahoma pays for stickers, that’s $45,047.10. So, no, that’s still not really enough to do anything at a state level. It’s maybe one lower-level employee salary, so unless we desperately need more papers pushed around, I don’t think it’s going to go very far.
iMedia Breakthrough Summit 2016: The Future of Content, Publishing & Media Buying
Last week, I went to the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Santa Barbara, California, where we discussed the Future of Content, Publishing & Media Buying. All jokes about beautiful weather and scenic locations aside, the conference was some serious business and drew marketing folks from all over the world. Here were the key takeaways that will affect your business as we move into 2017 and beyond. Read more
Are ghost referrals haunting your analytics data? Are spam referrers causing you to miscalculate the performance of your referral traffic? Fear not, for you are not alone. If you’re tracking your website traffic with an analytics tool, you are pretty much guaranteed to end up with spammy/fake traffic in your monthly analytics reports. In this article we’ll learn more about ghost referrals, how they affect your analytics data, and how to filter spam traffic out of your analytics data and monthly reports. Read more
Why Page Speed Matters
As much as I’d like to jump straight into the code snippets that can help speed up your website, it’s important to define why load times matter. In 2010, Google revealed site speed was a ranking factor the company considered when choosing which sites to show in search results. Quoting that article:
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.
It’s hard to argue with happy users, better rankings, and reduced operating costs, especially when it may just take a few minutes to accomplish. Now, enough with definitions, let’s jump straight to why you’re still reading. Read more