Archive

I’ve been speaking at SEO, marketing, analytics and WordPress conferences for over a decade, and in that time, I’ve built quite the collection of stories and slide decks. These are some of my favourites, and those which (I think!) have stood the test of time.

A strategic view on website quality

If the quality of our websites determines how well they perform, then why are they all so terrible?

From start-ups to enterprises and everything in-between, organizations are allowing their slow, broken websites to cost them a fortune in missed opportunities. It’s time to change that. Now we have the tools, metrics, processes and technologies to make our websites truly shine.

How to build a perfect <img>

When you (or your developers) use HTML or content management systems to put images on your website, you probably think that you’re meeting best practices. You probably think that your images are accessible, performant, and efficient. Guess again.

The Three Laws

In a dystopian future, an omnipotent AI judges citizens of The City based on how healthy, popular, and creative they are. Those who rank highest reap the rewards, but beneath the surface, things are never quite as black and white as they may seem… 

0.6 seconds is the new slow

Slow sites frustrate consumers. Frustration costs money. To delight your audience, beat competitors, and please Google, your site will need to load in under a second. Web performance is no longer an art, but a science. You have 600 milliseconds; how will you spend them?

What happens when everybody’s website is fixed?

Imagine a world where brands compete not on how big their marketing budgets are, or how many developers they employ, or how clever their website is. A world where brands compete on a level playing field, based on their virtues, and on how good a fit their product is for me, here, now.

Which brands would survive? Which ones fail? How would you stack those odds? What would we do as marketers? As brand owners? As investors? As users? This may not be as far-fetched a utopia – or dystopia – as you may think. I think we need to start asking these – and other – questions now.

The democratization of SEO

How much time and money do we collectively burn by fixing the same kinds of basic, “binary,” well-defined things over and over again (e.g., meta tags, 404s, URLs, etc) when, instead, we could be teaching others throughout our organizations not to break them in the first place?

As long as we “own” technical SEO, there’s no reason (for example) for the average developer to learn it or care — so they keep making the same mistakes. We proclaim that others are doing things wrong, but by doing so we only reinforce the line between our skills and theirs. We need to start giving away bits of the SEO discipline, and technical SEO is the easiest piece for us to stop owning.

It’s time for more democratization, education, collaboration, and investment in open-source projects so we can fix things once, rather than a million times.

Digital marketing in a post-digital world

Everything that you know about marketing and advertising is based on yesterday’s rules. New technologies, changes in consumer behaviour, and the rise of intelligent personal assistants throw those rules out of the window. If we want our brands to survive the revolution, we need to change how we think, and start preparing now

A deep-dive into schema.org

Over the last couple of years, structured data and schema.org has become the hot topic in SEO. But in many cases, people are only really seeing and interacting with the very tip of the iceberg. That means that they’re missing out on opportunities, and on the very important bigger picture.

(How to) stop pretending that you’re customer-centric

The world has changed. Users demand exceptional brand experiences. Google rewards good experiences and customer-centric thinking. Surviving means putting the consumer first.

But your CEO doesn’t give a damn about user experience. Your marketing manager only obsesses about conversion rate and revenue. Your channel teams are judged on visitor volumes and acquisition costs. Your organisation runs on dashboards which ask, “How many people did we get to the website? How many of them did the thing we want them to do?” You’re the opposite of customer-centric – and all of the feel-good, aspirational Instagram content and Facebook video you produce doesn’t change a thing.

It’s time to change the way we think about success for brands, content, and marketing. It’s time to help users do what they want to do – and to make a ton of money in the process.