User Experience Lessons From Taco Bell (Video)

User Experience Lessons From Taco Bell (Video)

Last year I had the pleasure of developing and leading a webinar about the synergistic power of User Experience, SEO and SEM in candidate attraction. It featured the remarkable Tracey Russell,the Director of Human Resources for Taco Bell as we explored her challenges in candidate flow and lead generation. We talked about the shift in mindset and strategy that lifted their free candidate traffic by 300%, produced amazing PPC results and, of course, increased their lead generation. Her challenges and the appropriate solutions apply across vertical and audiences. You can ‘cut to the chase’ of the webinar video here where we discuss user experience challenges and solutions, including the need to ‘think like your audience.’ As you watch it, just replace the ‘job seeking’ target audience with your own. The same rationale applies across audiences because users tend to have similar focuses even if the topic environment changes: How quickly can I find the information I need?, How can I easily complete my task/achieve my goal?  Want to find movie times? User Experience. Want to book a flight? User Experience. Either an experience is easy or it’s hard. And people leave bad experiences. One great indicator of bad experience abandonment is the device-specific trend where a growing number of people indicate that they will abandon bad mobile web experiences (61% indicate that they will leave a bad mobile experience). Here’s the thing: User experience matters. Everywhere. Always. We often think of user experience for digital environments. But UX is what drives end-caps in retail stores, or the assortment of impulse purchase items by cash registers. UX influences fast-food drive throughs. It’s everywhere. Because we – the...
Setting SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals

You’ve probably seen some variation of a S.M.A.R.T. goal already, but I believe there’s a law mandating that any blog remotely related to marketing HAS to have a post about S.M.A.R.T. goals. That means this is going to be direct and to-the-point. Once you have a good idea of what goes into defining a S.M.A.R.T. goal, I recommend you read about ‘The number one reason you’re not achieving your goals,’ which puts your S.M.A.R.T. goal to work in a larger context. This also introduces two new elements to make a more effective S.M.A.R.T.E.A. goal. For now, at the very least, write down a first person statement of your goal – a powerful action statement that defines important details: Who (typically you, but it could be a specific business or department), What, Where, When, and How of your Goal. Think of it as making a powerful action statement. The example goal mentioned above to ‘make more money’ becomes, “By the end of 2015 (the when), my business (the who) is grossing an additional 70,000 dollars a year (the what) from new service clients (the how) within a 20 mile radius of my place of business (the where)”. Specific: Getting specific means you define as many of these as possible about your goal: Who (typically you, but it could be a specific business or department), What, Where, When, and How of your Goal. Think of it as making a powerful action statement. The example goal mentioned above to ‘make more money’ becomes: “By the end of 2015 (the when), my business (the who) is grossing an additional 70,000 dollars a year (the what) from new service clients (the how) within a 20 mile radius of...
Six ways to guarantee Google bans your website.

Six ways to guarantee Google bans your website.

Search used to be about keywords – now it’s about value and intent. You’ve probably heard about Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird – three of the most recent waves of changes to Google’s search algorithm. Without getting into technical details, the main point of these changes was to help ensure that search results provided more value. Less junk. Tweaking the algorithm wasn’t enough; Google wanted an overhaul. In 2013, Hummingbird was a total search engine overhaul – in a blog post at Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan recommended thinking of it as taking the engine out of your car and putting in a new one. Google was ‘officially’ less interested in the specific words used in a search query and more interested in the meaning or intent behind the search. Now you can’t get away from keywords entirely – words are still what we use to communicate meaning, But there’s a trend here. Useless information is bad. Information that matches the searcher’s needs (not just their specific words) is good. While the exact details to the algorithm used to rank websites change multiple times in a year, there are some definite things that will lower your ranking significantly in search engines in general, and with Google specifically. In fact, if you do enough things poorly, Google may remove your site (or at least pages of the site) from their search directory completely. Below is a look at five dangerous techniques that may result in Google banning your site. 1. Use Bad or Outdated SEO Tactics The number one way to have your website banned from Google is to use a variety of bad SEO tactics....
How Email Marketing is Wasting Your Time.

How Email Marketing is Wasting Your Time.

Yes, email marketing is wasting your valuable time. “Wait a minute,” you might be thinking. “There are over 3.2 billion email accounts. 91% of people check their email at least once a day. Over 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. How on earth am I wasting my time with email marketing?” Look, there are over  409,000 Google results for “email marketing tips.” You could spend a month reading about how to write the perfect subject line, what your first three emails should say, what words you NEVER use in an email. And tools – boy do we have tools! Automated email campaigns, templates, behavior-based responses, CRM integration. You name it. If you’re not careful, all these tips, guides and tools will completely waste your time with premature detail work. Before you start playing with cool tools, crafting the perfect subject line, or randomly writing one-off broadcast emails to your entire customer list. Before you put down a SINGLE WORD – you need one thing: an email strategy. Here are three things you can do today to get a grip on your email strategy: 1. Set a goal, determine your objective. If you are looking to run an email campaign, chances are you already have a goal in mind. You need a goal AND an objective. They are not the same thing. What do you want to achieve? That’s your goal. How will you know you achieved it? That’s your objective. Goal: Sell more amazing glow-in-the-dark, underwater toasters. Objective: Increase sales by 10% in the next quarter. Open rates and click-through rates are not objectives. They are performance metrics. Have a campaign with great open and click-through rates but didn’t...