14th of June

CRAFT BEER AND WORDPRESS? DON’T MIND IF I DO!


So it’s been a little quiet here the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been revamping not only the presentation/design of this blog, but also launching a new project.

As a result, blogging took a little bit of a back seat (at least on here), but I’m done and dusted on getting everything just so, and now it’s back to business as usual (it says here).

So, if you’re interested in craft beer, or revamping your own site (or building a new one) on WordPress, this post might just be for you. ?

Introducing The Craft Beer Diaries

If you look at any of my bios online, there’s always a mention of my love for good single malt whisky.

Since my early 30’s, I’ve become quite the aficionado of my homeland’s national drink, and it’s been an enjoyable ride finding new ones to sample.

Hell, I even got my cognac-loving friend Sam Fiorella to essentially switch from cognac to single malt, that’s how good it can be.

However, life needs variation, and I also like a good beer, too. Or, at least I thought I did.

It wasn’t really until Mill Street Brewery’s #BeerDays event last year that really opened my eyes to what good beer actually is, and that’s craft beer.

Since then, I’ve been making up for lost time in understanding the passion and craft (no pun intended) behind this type of brewing, and the people behind it.

To complement this, I created The Craft Beer Diaries, which launched just over two weeks ago.

The goal of The Craft Beer Diaries is simple – bringing together a varied group of craft beer lovers (not snobs) and sharing great craft beers and brewers from across the world.

From reviews of beers (good and bad) to interviews with the brewers, and advising which festivals and events are close by, we aim to help those new to craft beer understand its premise, and which beers they might like.

We’ll also be launching a podcast in the near future, and perhaps even some offline meetups, based on location and opportunity.

So, lots of good stuff to come – make sure to check The Craft Beer Diaries out, and subscribe to the blog for regular updates of all things craft beer!

WordPress + You+ Me = Let’s Make Things!

The second “revamp”, so to speak, is my return to offering WordPress services (for a limited time) – specifically, brand new site builds, or existing site optimizations.

While I’ve helped friends and colleagues with their WordPress sites, I haven’t really offered this as an actual service to anyone that needs it. Now I do. ?

If you need a new WordPress site created to help tell whatever story you need to tell (blog, full site, portfolio site, etc), then I’m currently booking projects throughout the summer.

You can see some of my recent projects here.

The same goes for optimizing existing sites, from blog audit to plugin optimization, to adding Facebook Pixel code and helping you understand visitor tracking and insights, lead generation, analytics, and more.

Rates start at $800 per day for new site builds, and $100 per hour for optimization.

Feel free to check out some of the sites I’ve built, and then hit me up if you’re interested in working together.

That’s it for the update – I’m looking forward to getting back to the content here in the coming weeks.

Cheers!

13th of June

A NEW ADVENTURE – JOINING KAYAK ONLINE MARKETING


If you’re in the inbound marketing space, you’ve probably heard of Kayak Online Marketing.

Located in the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, Kayak Online Marketing is one of the leading inbound marketing agencies in North America.

Under the leadership of CEO Randy Milanovic, Kayak has consistently been recognized as a leader in the space, with features in Forbes, Inc., CTV News, and more.

As of June 26, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be joining Randy and his team as Director, Brand Strategy.

About Kayak

Initially starting life as a creative agency, Kayak Online Marketing made the switch to inbound marketing as Randy saw the need for a full optimization service for businesses.

That means looking at where a potential client is now to where they want to be, how their site and lead conversion optimization is driving towards that, and helping internal teams and stakeholders understand what the business needs to do to get the results they seek.

This holistic approach sees Kayak Online Marketing working as true partners with clients, as opposed to “just the agency”. It enables clients to:

  • Have a website that enables true lead generation and conversion from the first visitor touchpoint
  • Benefit from ethical and modern SEO strategies
  • Understand how their offline as well as online actions impact their online marketing results
  • Energize internal stakeholders through discovery workshops and ongoing training

Having watched Randy and his team for a few years now, and respecting the way he not only conducts business, but acts as a mentor for the local business community, I couldn’t be happier to be joining the team.

Randy Milanovic (l), with Friendship bench co-founder Sam Fiorella and myself sampling some fine craft beer.

I’ll be sharing more soon as I get embedded into the team, but for now, if you have any inbound marketing needs and are looking at the fuller, holistic picture when it comes to your online marketing, get in touch today! ?

12th of June

3 Studies of Google’s Featured Snippets You Should Read


Googles featured snippets are the new Google authorship, albeit less exciting because featured snippets steal links from publishers in SERPs.

Whether you like them or not, that’s the change we have to deal with because if you are not featured, your competitor will.

Here are three recent studies of Google’s Featured snippets you need to be aware of:

1. Ahrefs Study of Featured Snippets

Read the full study hereAhrefs

Ahrefs have examines 112 million keywords in their US database, almost around 14 million of which had featured snippets in their SERP. In other words, about 12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results

They have found that, surprisingly, featured snippets have lower click-through-rate than the top result (where there’s no featured snippet) but they do steal clicks from the top result:

Key takeaways:

  • All pages which are featured already rank in top 10 for that query, however…
  • Google doesn’t seem to be featuring “the strongest” page in the top10 (in terms of backlinks). Instead, they tend to pick the page that answers the question best
  • If Google likes a page, it would feature it in LOTS of snippets: The top-performing page in the database owns 4,658 featured snippets with Wikipedia being the absolute leader in the amount of featured snippets it owns.
  • The top 30 most frequently met words among the search queries that trigger featured snippets

2. A.J. Ghergich’s Study of Featured Snippets @Moz

Read the full study hereMoz by A.J. Ghergich

Ghergich & Co. teamed up with SEMrush to conduct an in-depth study on featured snippets. SEMrush generously compiled and shared 1,400,000 featured snippets from their database for us to analyze.

The optimal length of a featured snippet paragraph is about 40 to 50 words(~around 300 characters).

What it means is that, for higher chances to get featured, aim at answering teh question within 40-50 words.

There’s no need to limit your lists or tables though:

The average number of items in a list was four, but that number is not what we should focus on. Instead, focus on the maximum number of items in the list. This prompts Google to display the “More Items…” text, which can lead to better engagement.

and:

Same with tables: For longer tables Google will invite the user to click to see more items in a table.

Moreover, tables give you huge competitive advantage because Google loves them but not too many publishers use them. So create more comparison tables!

3. Getstat Study of Featured Snippets

Read the full study hereGetstat

Featured snippet study: Getstat

Between January 16 and January 17, 2016, Getstat gathered the top 100 ranking URLs for one million high-CPC keywords.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Featured snippets are common on commercial SERPs
  • Featured snippets and “People also ask” appear to be connected
  • Featured snippet URLs in our study are less likely to utilize Schema.org
  • Financial queries generate more featured snippets
  • Featured snippet URLs often feature <ol> and <table> (<ul> lists still work but they are not as popular)
  • Featured snippets never overlap with three-pack places results