Points of Failure

So many sites let themselves down over simple matters where they force the user to jump through hoops.

I’ve just booked a train journey, something that is difficult in and of itself as rather than have one central booking system for National Rail each time you purchase you’re taken to the local train company and have to learn their checkout system, complete their unique registration process and finally, hopefully, checkout.
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Customer Lifetime Value – Your Business’s Most Important Statistic

Customer Lifetime Value

The lifetime value of a customer is perhaps the most important item of data you can collect about your business. It is in clear monetary terms how much each customer is worth to your business.

With it you are able to decide how much to spend on all advertising, customer acquisition and customer retention.

Without the customer lifetime value you are at the mercy of the profit margin on the average order value which for most companies will be significantly less and complicated to calculate.
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TitleWave Book & Post Title Generator

Shelley Hitz
Shelley Hitz

I recently had the great pleasure of working with Shelley Hitz of Author Audience Academy to create a book title idea generator called TitleWave.

At her site, Shelley offers a training course and community site for inspiring authors to get their book written and published within 30 days.

She had seen my previous Title Generator for TweakYourBiz. I’d based that upon my own Topical Brainstorm tool.

Shelley wanted a new web-app more focused for her audience that would generate book title ideas and such like based upon multiple inputs rather than just one keyword I’d done prevously. This would allow her to create more complex and richer titles and subtitles for her clients. We also needed the ability to upload new templates so she can continue to easily add seasonal ideas.



titlewave-screenshot
TitleWave Desktop

We were also mindful of the needs of a modern audience so we developed the tool using the Bootstrap framework, this allowed us to create a tool that would work well on mobile and tablet in addition to the desktop.

Shelley has published over 35 books using her ASCENT method, so if you’re an aspiring non-fiction author, head over to her site to see how she can help you publish your book.


Mobile Roadblocks

I just bought a book, Making Ideas Happen, from my local Waterstone’s bookshop. However it was £9.99 and a whole penny shy of their £10 limit to get a loyalty card stamped I missed out on getting a stamp closer to a ten pound token.

Slightly aggrieved, and perhaps with some buyers remorse as I sat down to read a chapter from the book in the local park with an ice cream I wondered how much it would have been be online. I fired up barcode scanner and was soon at Google Books where I saw that Waterstone’s own online bookshop was selling the book three pound cheaper at £6.99. As some shops do a collect in store service, I thought I’d visit the site and see how easy it would be to order online on my phone and then pick up in the local shop so next time I can support my local bookshop, but still benefit from a discounted price.
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How Long Till the Death of Organic SERPs?

Inc. magazine have just reported on How Google Is Killing Organic Search.

That lead me to the excellent graphic by Wordstream, Google Ads and the War on Free Click. Like many infographics it’s too wide to reproduce comfortably here but it is worth looking through.

The war on organic search has been going on a while, and it’s going to get worse for small business.

  • The agressive placement of ads on above content on a search itself
  • Colour of the background of ads to look the same as the content for most screen types – on a LCD screen it’s often nearly impossible to see the pink / orange background of the adverts unless you adjust the screen angle
  • The cannibalisation of the SERPs to promote their own properties
  • Removal of search data from referrals so sites need to purchase more adwords
  • No customer service for organic problems
  • Apparently arbitrary bans, filters and penalties with no debate or warning
  • Promotion of “big brand” over niche in Organic leading to greater adword bidding by niche sites

How long will it be until there aren’t any organic results on the first page?