Bend WebCAM Blog
Molly, communications director of AdFed, one of the hosts, thanks Page One Power, a presenting sponsor of Bend WebCAM. She also wants to thank the workshop sponsor, Decipher. Decipher is an international marketing research firm with offices in Bend, California and London. Their specialty is an online survey program for brands and agencies. She highlights Decipher’s Women in Research program, empowering women in the marketing research industry.
Susan Weinschenk has been a behavioral psychologist for 30 years and is from Wisconsin. She points to the tools and props staged around the room. Susan helps us motivate and persuade people to take action. She started a blog called 365 Ways to Persuade and Motivate that will have a daily idea.
Susan starts the morning with a potato and a straw. She easily stabs the potato with the straw. We all want to get people to do stuff. You want your boss to fund your project. You want your client to purchase products and services. You want your spouse to take out the trash. How do we get them to do it?
What if you knew the science behind what motivates people to act? You could get them to do what you want easily. There’s a science to motivation and persuasion of people.
At the end of the workshop there will be a case study and in the meantime she wants everyone to think of something they want people to do. It can be related to your app or website, or it can be getting people to agree to something, like a client implementing your recommendations. This “< b>people vs. design” option will be the choice for all the exercises throughout the morning.
How to Get People to Do Stuff
In her book How to Get People to Do Stuff there are 140 strategies. Today we’ll cover these 7:
- The power of stories
- Tricks of the mind
- Carrots and sticks
- The need to belong
- The desire for mastery
Pop quiz time! True or false?
1. The Power of Stories
People process info best in story format. The term used in research is “narrative.” The other way stories are important are self stories. We tell ourselves stories about who we are and why we do what we do. They are powerful moderators of behavior.
Years ago, when Susan first got into computers she was a PC person and a tech geek. Her husband was a Mac person and doesn’t like tech. In her house they had Mac vs. PC wars. Then iPods came out and both her children wanted one, so they got them for them. She looked at them and said that’s fun… but it’s an Apple product. Well, she rationalized, it’s not a computer so I’ll get one.
She had created a “crack” in her self story.
Then the time came to replace her phone. She decided to get an iPhone. She still rationalized it was not a computer, until it all snowballed. Eventually she had all Apple computing devices. By taking the first, small action of buying the iPod, that crack widened.
If you want people to make a big change, one way to go about it is get them to make a tiny little change they think doesn’t go against their own self persona. If we take an action we know goes against our self story then we’re uncomfortable — having to deal with cognitive dissonance. Break it down into a series of little steps.
The recommends the book Redirect by Timothy Wilson which outlines the science behind this phenomenon. In the book this example is shared. A group of college students failing after their first semester are brought in to see videos of older students about to graduate who had trouble their freshman year and had turned it around and what they did to turn it around. This self story was able to be adopted by a significant number of students who watched this.
2. Tricks of the Mind
There are two kinds of thinking: System 1 (Quick and Intuitive) or System 2 (Hard Effort Thinking). You can tell when someone is doing System 1 or System 2 thinking based on his or her eye pupil dilation. When you ask a difficult or System 2 question, the pupil’s dilate and get bigger. When you ask a System 1 question, the pupil’s get smaller.
–> Here’s a funny too: you can tell when someone has giving up as well if you pay attention!
System 1 thinking is fast and quick; where as System 2 takes more critical thinking.
Here’s another example, when she asked a question:
In a lake there is a patch of lily pads. Every day the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake? 24 or 47 days?
System 1 reaction says it would be 24 days (the quick answer); System 2 and the correct answer would be 47days. Surprising, when the font was difficult to read (when reading the question), the question was answered more correctly!
Disclaimer: Most mental processing is unconscious. Everyone always asks is it ‘ethical’ to use this information to get people to do this stuff. She says that that is a moral decision that each person has to make for himself or herself. She does acknowledge that there is a line and that when she was writing her book and consulting, she struggles with it still.
Anchoring on a number
When you give people a number to anchor on, people buy more product. The higher the number, the more it sticks in their head. Example: If you were to say that there’s a limit to 10 product items per person, people will likely buy closer to 7 items. If you say there’s no limit, they will buy closer to 3 items.
Another area of psychology is giving three pricing options to consumers and offering the highest option first, then the middle and then the least. Correctly, most will go toward and choose the middle option versus offering the lowest option first than moving up, consumers will pick the lowest option. This is great when sharing pricing information with your customers
So how will you use this information? Changing your web design, talking with your employees, your spouse?
The group breaks off into pairs or triplets for 10 minutes to talk about applying the power of stories or tricks of the mind in context of persuasion with people or design.
After we re-group, we’re sharing the ideas we came up with in our teams. A writing coach says her dilemma is talking to people and they’re excited to get started and that’s the last she hears from them. The idea for motivating is using stories of other clients to show how the pain got resolved. They also had the idea of immediately trying an on-the-spot writing coach session that comes away with actionable ideas.
Q: Have you seen a difference in resolving conflict with someone upset when approached with system 1 or system 2?
A: Susan hasn’t seen this in practice but her instinct is that when someone is in an emotional frame of mind, their system 2 thinking isn’t turned on. If you could switch them into system 2 you might get them out of their emotional state, which could be a good thing. If you could get them to start thinking of things in deep thinking, heavy way you may be able to switch off the emotion and get them thinking logically.
Q: People seem to be more system 1 or 2 by nature, like programmers are likely system 2-heads. Is that something we should try to switch based on the problem at hand?
A: She says that people are actually system 1 by default, yet some enjoy system 2 more than others. Don’t think that just because someone enjoys logical problem solving that they’re not walking around in system 1.
We share reactions with other animals and even reptiles.
- New brain: Logical and conscious thought goes on
- Mid brain: Processing emotional and social info
- Old brain: We share this part of the brain with reptiles; it scans the environment and asks 3 questions: 1. Can I eat it? 2. Can I have sex with it? 3. Will it kill me?
We have to address all 3 brains with our questions and websites. They’re all operating all the time.
If we’re dealing with food, sex or danger we’re highly engaging the old brain. Then the other parts of the brain that handle logical thinking are not as loud in the internal mental processing. This also helps explain why we’re more motivated by fear of loss than potential of gain.
4. Carrots and Sticks
Let’s talk about Rewards vs. Punishment and whether that is motivating or not. Casinos understand the science behind the idea of rewards really well.
Tangent: In ads, you will do anything to raise the level of arousal (danger, sexual themes, elevated music, etc.) If you in a high arousal state, you will remember more information.
Skinner’s Operant Conditioning
Here’s the Rewards idea: Behavior-→Reinforcement-→More behavior
When the person does a good behavior, you give them a reward (something they want) and then they will continue to perform the behavior. Sometimes it’s hard to know what each person wants as positive reinforcement. Rewards are to create positive reinforcement and increase the target behavior.
There is also negative reinforcement where you take away something that they don’t want. For example if you meet your deadline, which in turn stops your boss from nagging, you will in turn meet more deadlines.
Punishment is different. We are looking for a decrease in the target behavior.
Here’s the idea: Behavior→Punishment→Less behavior
Casinos use a ‘variable ratio reinforcement schedule’ where it is based on the ratio of time vs. reward. It is the most powerful schedule to use when you want to get someone to continue behavior (Casinos do NOT use continuous reinforcement – always getting positive reinforcement). Continuous positive reinforcement works for pets for instance especially when you’re trying to establish a NEW behavior. Then, after time, you can transfer to ‘variable ratio reinforcement schedule’ to continue to get more positive behavior.
There are actually five different types of ratios but the ‘variable ratio reinforcement schedule’ is the most influential.
We tend to fall back on rewards when it comes to people but it shouldn’t be your first go to. When I’m thinking about which is best to use when you’re looking to change behavior of others, try using the ‘Power of Stories’, ‘Instincts’ and ‘Power to Belong’ first.
5. The Need to Belong
Susan asks for 7 brave volunteers to come to the front of the room for a demonstration. This group will create a “musical interlude” with the noise makers from the table. There’s a cow bell, a tambourine, a wood block, a couple shakers and a variety of sizes of drums. Everyone picks a percussion instrument and asks them to begin drumming. A coordinated (if slightly haphazard) rhythm emerges.
The observations from the larger group after the exercise is done:
- They synchronized into rhythm.
- They were looking at each other, looking for cues, maybe who is the leader.
- Then the group started looking at Susan, ask if wondering if they were done.
- Once they found the rhythm, people started taking chances.
We have a strong want to belong. It’s psychologically painful not to belong to the group. This group synced pretty fast; they wanted to make the music together. And while someone emerged as a leader, people went along, okay with that.
When people act together, especially with movement and sound, the group bonds. There’s actually a release of oxytocin, a chemical in the brain that makes us want to bond together and socially bonds the group. This group synced faster than most, and she suggests it was because this talk is longer than her normal 1-hour workshop. So this group has been together longer, we’ve laughed and clapped together, too, which are also bonding experiences. There’s research that shows that when people sing together their heartbeats sync.
She spoke at Wal-Mart and learned that at every meeting the gathered group does a Wal-Mart cheer. It involves clapping and singing, and she realized it’s a bonding activity.
An experiment: In a room, one person is brought in to sit in a chair and another person is running on a treadmill. The heart rate of the person sitting in the chair matches the person running when told that their birthdays are the same. Just thinking they have something in common causes a syncing.
Nouns vs. Verbs: It’s more compelling to talk in terms of defining a person rather than taking an action.
“Be a Voter,” “Be a Donor,” “Be a Member” are more effective calls to action than “Vote,” “Donate,” “Join.”
Social Validation: Someone says they need help. When they ask one bystander, they got help 85% of the time. When they ask a group of 5 bystanders they get help 31% of the time. If a group is not doing something about it, then any individual is not likely to take action.
Testimonials and reviews are the main way of giving validation on a website. The more info you provide about the people leaving the review (stories, personas, pictures) the more powerful the testimonial will be.
Reciprocity: If you ask “Will you donate?” and offer a gift, 18% agree. When asked with the offer of a gift, 35% donate. Gifts make people feel indebted and want to reciprocate.
If you ask for something big and they say no, when you ask for something smaller, they’re more likely to say yes because they feel they owe you. If you make the first and second requests too wildly different, the effect doesn’t work. You have to play with what’s the request that’s kind of unreasonable but not wildly unreasonable compared to what I really want.
You can actually create new habits really, really quickly (not the 3 months like everyone says).
Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning (we’ve all heard about Pavlov’s dogs, right?)
Here’s his idea: Stimulus → Response
The dog theory:
Meat → Salivate
Meat + Bell → Salivate
Bell → Salivate
There are lots of laughs in the room about the same type of people conditioning of attention and grabbing their cell phone when they hear the ‘notification ding.’ Yup, guilty.
We all have things that we do by habit (about 80% of things we do daily). The interesting things is how we create them, how we change them and how we get others to change them.
Tip: Go see B.J. Fogg’s exercise on Tinyhabits.com. It will walk you through how to change three tiny behaviors and he’ll walk you through how to create it a habit in less than a week. If you attach it to a previous habit, you can easily create a new one. Of course, it needs to be something SMALL!
To break a habit, you’re going to attach a new habit to a previous behavior so that it interferes with the new habit.
7. The Desire for Mastery
In the book she lays out case studies to invite readers to start thinking of which strategy is the best approach for a problem. That’s an important way to start thinking about these approaches.
If 15 years ago you were to say that people will create content for no discernible reward at all, it may not seem likely. Wikipedia is an example of this in action. We have an innate desire to learn new skills and master them, and if you can tap into that you have a powerful motivator.
The desire for mastery is stimulated by:
Task requiring special knowledge and skills. Tom Sawyer was able to get people walking by to paint a fence by making it look like fun, seem desirable, and explaining that it takes special skills. People were encouraged to show that they have those skills.
Autonomy. Giving people the perception of control about what they do and how they do it.
Lots of feedback, but not with praise. It has to be objective, neutral feedback. Stimulating the desire for mastery is a very internal experience, and it’s associated with the flow state. In a flow state, time slips away, they’re kept in it with constant feedback, and they’re getting lots of feedback.
Answers to the quiz: true, true, false, false, false, false, true
Get ready to have your pliable brain cells molded into the image of Clay. (He’s just about to start…an expectant hush falls over the room.)
Bruce is the world’s best SEO trainer, says Mark Knowles. (Not too shabby!)
Attendees were presented with a booklet that represents a 4 1/2-day course.
Most people have learned to do SEO by a process similar to the game “telephone.” I’m going to start by giving everyone how to fish–not any particular tools. I’m teaching you what SEO is, so you know what it is.
Ambiguity is the biggest problem the search engines have. When you search for “cars,” do you want the Disney movie, or the vehicle. Google makes their money on PPC. Google claims they spend 2 out of every $3 maintaining organic results–to them it is a necessary evil. Does Google care whether your site ranks? They are in the business of making money. Google says you have to earn your right to free traffic.
Look up “hammer” on Google. The only “tool” listed there is M.C. Hammer. People click on the bolded word(s). They don’t read every word, they scan for bolded words–so bold some of your keywords above the fold, even if it’s not a link. We know people will click on bolded words. If you want to rank for a particular keyword, you need to have the word bolded on the page and in the title so that it’s seen. When I click on a word showing up on the search engine page, there is an implied promise that this is what the page is about.
Is SEO responsible for conversion? NO. For traffic? YES. Google gets more and more complex and it becomes more difficult to track. We care about traffic, but do we care about ranking among keywords? The answer is no. What can we do to reduce the bounce rate. Two ways to make money: double your conversion, decrease the bounce–I think we need to do both. We get higher satisfaction when we meet the promise of the search page.
We want to target ourselves to be as high us as we can. Ranking matters, but it’s the traffic that matters most. In a normal world, most people stop clicking at page one–same reason you stop looking for your car keys when you find them.
It used to be 48% who went to #1 listing on page one. Now, Wikipedia is the “weed of the Internet” and most people skip over it. What we want is to be in the top three.
This year, Google has already changed their algorithm over 525 times–that’s about once every 13 hours. We can’t know what they are doing, but we need to UNDERSTAND THE GOAL. You’re not here to beat Google, you’re here to beat the competitors. You need to understand, “what is Google rewarding; how do we do it better than everyone else.” What is the natural behavior?
Bing is SO MUCH BETTER than Google. The Bing index is different than the Google index. It’s very common to have a site do well on one search engine, and not the other. Every keyword actually is truly a separate target. The search engines don’t understand what the words mean. The only way it “learns” is to read a million pages. It analyzes the pages and determines what is a natural fit. They look for pages that act the same way; that’s natural. It’s all software doing it, not humans.
Some people have over a million keywords–there’s no way you can optimize for that many. Keywords have to be analyzed and prioritized. Then you attack every keyword as a separate SEO project. Google looks at a word and figures out how much of a local influence should matter. We have a standard distribution curve. “I hate statistics” even though I have a lot of education and know how to use them.
Penalties–The sites that used to be top ranked were often spamming with multiple links. Now Google is penalizing for that. They have shrunk the guidelines–how low will they go. How many “bad” links will get you a penalty. Was 80%, then 60%–how low will they go. Everyone in this room has a bad link somewhere. You may have penalties and not know it. A bad link: A link to your website that is not earned (incoming link) that has nothing to do with you, or that are in spammy areas. Ever get those emails saying they will get you multiple links? People who took advantage of those set their houses on fire. Google can penalize you for how your page is laid out, when your domain name is exactly matched to a keyword that is not a brand.
Keywords are still important, unless you are a spammer. Google penalizes spammers.
It is the sum of the curves that matters most for your ranking, not just being #1 for one curve. There are many variables for ranking you. Whoever is closest to the top for the most variables wins. Google changes these curves all the time. There are 200+ curves in the Google algorithm. Sometimes there are events that occur that change the curve itself. For example, pre-accident, people looked for Princess Diana under “charity,” “royalty,” etc.; after, they were searching for “death.”
Online search share: Google–66%, Bing/Yahoo–%30ish. #1 search term right now is “Facebook”; second is “YouTube.” We need to give YouTube more credit.
Associated words: Your keyword will be defined by the company it keeps. Surrounding words help keyword clarification. Synonyms, proximity. Use words your competition uses and the Search Engines will reward you.
Variance: You MUST use the variances of the words in your body copy, or you may be seen as a spammer. Ex. Use “smile” AND “smiles.” If you do things spammers do, Google will treat you like a spammer. Don’t optimize for just one word; optimize for the variants.
Google analyzes pages, but also sites. You need to make the search engine understand what your site is about (theme). Supplemental, complimentary, synergistic words to clarify meaning of keywords.
Internal navigation: Not everything should link to everything. You have to structure the site appropriately. You have to build a hierarchy. Homework: Look at the white paper on our site on the topic: http://www.bruceclay.com/seo/silo.htm
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links
- Make a Sitemap for your users with links that point to the important parts of your site.
- See the rest in the presentation booklet.
Figure out how people search and set your themes around that.
Behavioral Search: Has been in Google for over 5 years. They look at Web history. This is critical.
- Disjointed consecutive searches form a long-tail filter for subsequent searches–Web history defaults to “on”
- Based on persona and community
- Last query in sentence is misleading
- Analytics becomes “less valuable” since last query tracked by analytics (last search results) may not have shown results based solely upon what the used queried last
- Analytics sees “hammer” and cannot see prior search for “tools”
Becoming a subject matter expert in your area of search isn’t that hard if you pay attention. Analytics may not be as good and useful as you think.
Pay attention to social media–It is a catalyst for people to go do a query.
It’s 10:45. 10-minute break.
www.Webpagetest.org Important site to give you an idea of page load time–important when people are doing mobile searches. A second-and-a-half page load time is about a 20% increase in adoption. Work on this. The number of files that are being loaded, extending cache dates,
Spiders: The search engines “crawl” your pages.
Do the work for the search engines–Fetch HTML. We need to make sure we don’t spam and that we understand how we get crawled. The spidering process begins in 3-days. A new page is indexed, then three days later, they re-spider that page. If you haven’t changed the page, your index won’t change. If you’re not going to change your page, they won’t keep spidering you frequently. A page that’s never changed after you write it won’t be spidered on the same schedule as a page that’s changing often. It’s not how often you change a page, it’s whether or not you improve it.
Page Rank: From Google’s perspective, this is not a number from 1-10. Google isn’t going to update this formula till next March. I get “points” based on who links to me and how many links. PR Number is an exponential curve tier based on the largest site on the Internet (Ex. Amazon). The guys at the top get faster, bigger than niche sites. When the guy at the top gets bigger, I can’t compete–but I have my points. You don’t want so many people linking to you that you look like a spammer. Used to be the one who dies with the most links wins–now it’s the one with the most links relevant to your keywords, not all linked in the same way. We actually remove links from sites that have been penalized. You don’t want links from spammers–get rid of them! I want to help my algorithms, but do I have too many links and look like a spammer?
Google has at least 200+ variables in the algorithm. The site that is “Least Imperfect” wins.
BMW was spending millions on their SEO and PPC, but Google took them out for spamming.
*Spiders get stuck in dynamic content. If you have three or more parameters in your URL (long URLs) for your dynamic content, they won’t index you.
Spiders don’t go “through” forms–Need static links instead.
Google likes unique content–they don’t like to see the same content on other sites, even on other pages on your own site. Make sure your “About” content is different across your various media. Duplicate content triggers filtering. Plagiarism software is everywhere. You can register your content with the government (cost me $45) and then it’s enforceable. A copyright is advised if you have a lot of valuable content. If you syndicate (sell) your content, it can cause you to lose ranking and authority to the site syndicating you. W3.org will tell you any violations you may have against plagiarism standards.
- Title tag: What shows up in Google search results. 14 million sites have not title tags. Keywords have to be in the page title. Can be up to 70 characters.
- Description tag: Generally longer, appears under the title. Generally, keyword in title should also be in the description.
- Heading Tag: In the body of the page text. Needs to be in order: H1, then H2. Having too many H1 tags is spammy. Don’t go crazy with them.
- Images: ONLY use jpegs. That’s all Google wants to look at, especially for media releases/news.
(Lost blog connection for 5 min due to internal server error–sorry!–your blog slave, Kelly.)
You can be in the Google penalty box for 4 months or more, and it can take a lot of money to get things fixed. STRONGLY recommend looking at the links to your site and get the junk ones removed. If you are a Web developer and you have a link on sites you created, “Site Created by…” then you will be penalized for this. Google announced it.
Writing Content for SEO:
- Text content holds keywords, which indicate relevance to search engines and readers.
- Content holds text links that can be used to direct PageRank and point users to additional content or through a conversion funnel.
- Don’t keyword stuff content–become least imperfect
- Do make sure your content reads naturally to a human reader
- Link to top landing pages from relevant content
- Use optimized anchor text to link to landing pages
- Don’t spread PageRank too thin by including excessive outbound links on a page.
Length of content: Length isn’t super important. Content that’s too long won’t be read on a mobile device.
Most people don’t write content correctly. Get out of writing for a Pulitzer. For example, writing an article entitled “Killer Waves” won’t be searched under “tsunami.”
Search engines classify spam as “anything deceptive.” If you wouldn’t show it to Google, don’t do it!
- Hidden text/links–Ex. using same/similar color for text and background, placing keywords inside a <noframes> or <noscript> tag, using hidden layers that cannot be exposed
- Cloaking: A hiding technique. Cloaking is an SEO technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser.
- Deceptive redirection: Often a Malware issue you may fall victim to
- Doorway pages–Creating lots of pages tuned to one keyword and submitting it to get ranked; can be an external domain, not just pages.
- Unrelated keywords: Ex. using “sex” as a keyword because it’s searched on a lot. Keyword stacking/stuffing: ex. free online gambling gambling free free gambling free.
Bruce talked about The Floor–All the Rest: Very techno-geek info on “Robots exclusion Protocol. You can tell the search engines NOT to index a page. You can say “crawl the links, but don’t index” or “don’t cache.”
You should always do a 404 page (error-recovery page). Put search on the 404 page. A 404 error occurs whenever a user requests a non-existent page. Don’t EVER have your 404 page go to your home page. Make it easy for people to get back to your site from the 404 page.
All of these are important opps to appear on page #1:
Redirects: To display another Web page for the Web address that you are visiting. Often done incorrectly.
When to use a redirect:
- If you rename or move a page (esp if it is well-ranked)
- If you move a domain
- If you have multiple domains pointing to the same content
- If you need a shortcut URL (perhaps for ads)
- If Social/Twitter uses “tiny urls” http://tinyurl.com/2ev3a5
ONLY do a 301 re-direct. MetaRefreshes are penalized. 302 redirects not good–never use!
Thanks everyone who tuned in! I (Kelly) picked up a few extra booklets. Text me today if you’d like one. (541) 419-9976
Your madly-typing blogger today: Kelly Walker, Creative Director for Intrepid Marketing in Bend, Oregon.
Susan Weinschenk, @thebrainlady, authored How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the art and science of persuasion and motivation. In this book she lists many ways to do so, and here she’ll share a top 10 for us.
10. People do as little as possible.
She shows us a picture of 16 pennies, each a little different and only one is a true penny.
People only remember the salient — the immediately relevant. When we design we need to have people in mind, how they think, perceive.
9. Maximum of 20 minutes thinking at a time.
Glucose gets used up in the brain and after 20 minutes the power of thinking is gone. People spend an average of 7 seconds looking at a work of art. A museum wanted Susan’s help to get this time to lengthen. She told them that museums were exhausting and they should design their layout to give people breaks. The museum was shocked and there was yelling and refusal. She didn’t expect her finding to be so controversial.
Thinking Fast and Slow is a book that covers two ways of thinking. System 2 thinking is hard, effort-full thinking, like solving 17 x 24. System 1 thinking is intuitive ad fast, and is our normal mode of thinking, happening 80% of the time.
8. Most mental processing is unconscious.
40 billion nerve endings / sensory inputs at any second. You’re only conscious of a small fraction. People only take action when they’re sure. They may not understand consciously why they’re sure. A lot of what you need to do in design is make people feel confident.
7. People have limited memory space.
She’s asking us to take a memory test using pen and paper; she’s hoping that people have some handy. She flashed 4 letter strings on the screen for about 8 seconds, then turned the image off, waiting 5 seconds before she says we can write it down. The second set on the screen are strings of letters, many familiar ones like FBI, CIA, IPOD and HP. Many more people got these letters but not the first. The second were chunked in a way that was recognizable.
People can remember 7 +/- 2 things. Have you heard this? It’s a myth. It was posited in a thoery about a limit to how much people can remember. The number is actually 3-4 things that people can remember. Not only can they remember 3-4 things, but they can only deal with that many things.
More people stopped to taste the greater number of jam, but far fewer people purchased, and vice versa. People want a lot of choice. They like choice. A business may want to put many options on a page for their users. If you say that it will confuse their consumer, they still want all of them. But we know that fewer choices mean more sales. It’s a paradox we have to fight.
Choice = Control = Survival
6. We are more motivated by fear of loss than by anticipation of gain.
Central vision is the thing you look right at. Peripheral vision is what you see outside the central focus. In a test, it showed that people were quicker to figure out what the picture was if they saw the central blocked out and the peripheral showing rather than the reverse.
5. People use peripheral vision to get the gist.
Perpipheral vision is also very sensitive to images of danger, as makes sense when you think of vision developing on the grasslands where animals that saw predators in their periphery were more likely to pass along their genes.
Don’t discount stuff on the edges of the screen. That can be an important part of the design as you’re trying to get across a certain feeling or message.
4. The Fusiform Facial Area (FFA) makes us pay attention to human faces.
This special part of the brain does 3 things: is this a face, is this a face I know, what emotion is on the face. The FFA is active in babies as young as 6 hours old — you’re born with this. Be careful with your use of faces, like this case in point from Marquette University.
3. Speaker and listener brains sync.
She brings this up to say that audio and video is very important. Note that there’s no brain syncing when someone is reading.
Next she’ll show us 3 sets of controls and we have to write answers down.
How would you get luke-warm water from these faucets?
Which direction would you turn the round knob for the red needle to move to the right?
When the audience raises their hands, most say B.
Label the quadrants A, B, C and D — whatever makes the most sense for you.
What happens when we let our expectations of how things work influence our designs? This exercise showed us that what makes sense to you isn’t a shared opinion. Most designers today are Millennials, which are a minority in the population. Don’t assume your way of thinking things should work is shared by your customers.
2. People have mental models of how things should work.
You have to understand that mental model if you’re going to design for them.
And the last but not least thing to remember:
1. People expect technology to follow human-to-human rules.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams
Delving into the mind is very crucial when it comes to successful marketing, knowing about how people think will give the edge. Presenter Susan Weinschenk helps us to find that edge by teaching us the top ten things we need to know about people.
Doing a memory test will often leave you thinking about nothing but running to find a bottle of Ginkgo Biloba.
Looking at CIAI BMF BIB PHP we are asked to remember the pattern but are asked to hold off for 5 seconds after the image leaves the screen. I got six letters down on paper. When the SAME letters are broken down like this; CIA IBM FBI BP HP- well it’s much easier. I swear this is what I do every day. Try to find a way to engrain information into someones head that they only retain, but get excited about.
#5. People Use Peripheral Vision To Get The “Gist”
What is the role of peripheral vision? Larson, Adam & Loschky wanted to find out how someone would recognize things more quickly and easily. They were surprised when they found that people can identify things more easily through peripheral vision than what is right in front of our eyes- strange. Susan talks to us about what she calls the “refrigerator effect.” She makes an example of standing in front of the refrigerator looking for something that is very clearly right in front of our eyes.
Going back to our carnal instincts, and the observing the instincts of animals. We often catch things in our periphery very quickly. Sometimes better then when it is in fact, right in front of us.
When tested on shower control, the room overwhelmingly agreed that both knobs went to the left. The room was asked about age. The majority of us are Gen-X’ers. Surprisingly there are MORE millennials then there are baby boomers. Both groups have different expectations of how things should work. Both groups were raised on different technology. The tech of millennials; Nintendo, etc. is very different from the tech of baby-boomers; stone carvings and fire, as added by an audience member.
We are left with this idea.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.”
Take into account age and how people think. Go out and pick up one of Susan’s books. They are hugely helpful in being better at what you do and how to reach people more effectively.
Everything I Needed To Know About Marketing I Learned Playing Dungeons and Dragons – #BWCBend Keynote 4
What is this D&D of which you speak? What if no one in the audience knew Dungeons and Dragons? This presentation might totally flop. So quick background. A group (2 but usually more) get together. One is the dungeon master, and she is the storyteller. The rest of the group are players, characters participating in the story.
JSYK, D&D is a gateway drug into far nerdier stuff. He started playing D&D in middle school after he aunt gave him the game and he invited friends over to play. Those friends went back to school and told people about the game and this solidified Ian’s nerdhood.
Lesson: There is no normal. People are weird.
When he started high school he moved from New Jersey to California where he was immediately invited into a weekly Friday D&D game day. He realized that everyone is weird. Read “We Are All Weird” by Seth Godin. As an example, when he met his wife he figured he better tell her he’s into games and told her about D&D and she was like, “OK.”
There are ways to figure this out related to your website. For example:
- Look at your on-site search data. What are people searching for when they’re on your site.
- You can look for other related precise interests in Facebook. If you search Facebook for “#Dungeons & Dragons” you can see suggested likes and interests. Then you can market to the specific group.
- You can do product searches on Amazon and see the products that customers who “bought this also bought”.
- Use Followerwonk to see what people are listing as their interests when they also list the one you enter.
Lesson: Sometimes things go sideways.
There’s randomness in marketing. People do crazy things. They aren’t a 20 sided die but a trillion sided die. You can’t prepare for that, but you can prepare for the failures by measuring everything you do. When you do that, when stuff goes wrong you know why.
If you don’t know lifetime value, use something! Average sale, ad sales, average client value… It’s as important to track teh change in that number as it is to know the exact number.
Lesson: Fear nothing.
If you’re playing in a good group and you make a mistake, it’s okay. It’s all part of a story. You’ll probably end up telling that story years later. There are some things you should fear. You should fear making people feel cheated. Feel leaving people feeling like they got screwed. Don’t fear the Reddit brigade, people telling you that you suck because that’s fear of the mob mentality, people who say you’re outside the group.
Lesson: Do something.
Don’t be the one standing there and says “and then what happens?” If you’re still acting, you’re not dead. If you adapt you’ll probably flourish. He uses webpagetest.org to compare a client to a competitor because almost always a goal of a business is to outperform a competitor. Look for easy wins. Speak in the same language as your staff. Bribe with lunch, baseball tickets, scotch.
Lesson: Provide return on time investment.
He calculated that all the wealth he made in D&D over the years, and if stacked it’d be taller than the Empire State Building. This currency is imaginary and yet is still makes him happy. Understand that content is your first product. Your communication with your customer requires time on their part and if they give you their time they want to feel it wasn’t wasted. Write well. Spell check. Make the site fast.
Lesson: No one cares about the cows.
A D&D playing friend tracked a lot of game metrics, including some things about the cows in the game. But it’s unlikely that the cows will be in negotiations, still he wanted to tell their buddies about the cows. Don’t let the fact that you have data bias you toward its importance. Don’t let the means cloud your vision of the ends.
Lesson: You can be right or you can play.
There are people in D&D that are sticklers for rules and while they know the rules inside and out, they’re the least fun to play with and may not be invited to play. Don’t assume that the language you use is the language your customers use. It often comes down to ego: “The way I talk about it is the way everyone should and they’re gonna learn.” Put ego aside and then when you draw them in by speaking the same language you can then educate them if you want.
Lesson: Everything has a story arc.
If you win in a heroic way every time, winning loses luster. Read and play into the story arc.
People discover when they’re not in need. They research when they’re in need. They buy when after they’ve researched. When they get what they buy and they solve their problem they feel like they’ve won.
Lesson: Great communications can save the world.
A lot of players like to be villians, but when you do that all the other players and powers in the game are trying to cut you down. But there’s other more serious evil. People selling links by the thousands are sending businesses straight into the woodchipper. Marketing is one of the most powerful forms of communication and it’s only going to become more influential and prevalent. He invites marketers to do chaotic good.
Lesson One: There is no normal. People are Weird.
I feel incredibly guilty about all the times that I have eyed someone in the grocery, at the mall or anywhere for that matter that I have said to myself…that dude spends way too much time playing World of Warcraft. Keynote speaker Ian Lurie is clearly one of those guys that you underestimate. This dude makes nerd look “dope”, “wicked cool,” and more. When you can create a graphic about travel and smoothies and find a way to make it interesting and relevant….that’s awesome.
Duane Forrester, @duaneforrester, runs Bing Webmaster Tools. In his day-to-day he sits in the PR room at Bing. He’s been blogging since 2001 and owns 150 domains and runs several money-making websites of his own. Most of his work at Bing centers around helping small businesses become more successful. The following presentation slides are available on Duane’s SlideShare.
He says that people get too caught up in the minutiae of SEO. SEO is important but look at where it sits in relative importance on this graph he posts:
Searchers decide what is excellent content at any moment by a searcher based on if it meets their needs. You may say, “I’m publishing quality content, I’m using keywords and…” which is a great process for creating content, but isn’t great itself.
This brings us to social. Who’s doing stuff with social? Who’s doing usability testing? With usability testing Bing, a current version and a version they planned to launch. They found that the people they want to use the product don’t speak your language. Using their feedback they developed the tools again. If you hit all the areas your users want, you’ll be hitting all the factors search engines look for.
How social impacts search: there are no 2 identical results pages. Their are versions of personalization happening even when a user is not logged in.
Search: Discovery & Interaction
1. Web: It takes a penny for the search engine to crawl a URL. There are over a trillion pages online from about 700 million sites. Bing needs to crawl them to see if they’re worth indexing.
2. Online services: Real-time, social, local and mobile commerce services
3. Vertically integrated areas: Devices like Google Glass — he calls it a necessary first step to where we need to be and the question for businesses is asking yourself if you’re up to date. What that means right now is does your site provide a good mobile experience. This also considers platforms (Windows, Android, Apple)
Reorganize the Web for Task Completion
Schema markup is the crux. For instance, everyone knows what a Boeing 747 is, but the data all around the web is scattered. We all have experience with this machine. He says next time you enter a Boeing airplane, you’ll see a serial number on the inside of the entrance to the plane and you can actually search that serial number and find out all about that exact plane. Schema will help collect and organize the data.
Reinventing search across 3 dimensions:
- Info architecture: creation of new info via social graph and geospatial index.
- Interaction model: not just mouse and keyboard, but also voice, touch, gesture and vision.
- Entry points: not just browsers but devices, social networks and services.
Search continues to evolve. New devices demand different search experiences other than links. The ability for these devices to feed in real time signals help us handle intent better and therefore can provide a more tailored experience. It’s not just mobile phones or tablets and it’s not just text entry. Anything could be a search — voice, picture, gesture, sound — anything. We are building the universal interface for search.
The secret to success:
- Build social followers and fans organically
- Wall posts/tweets with links are perceived as more credible and useful — your voice in demand is a signal in the search ranking algorithm
- Get the basics of SEO covered, then focus on content
- Its worth repeating: unique, compelling content still works
The Digital Universe is Expanding
The growth that Snapchat has seen exceeds any social network to date. The millennial generation is hiding in plain sight. Everything is out there, but so is everyone else. As the signal is growing, so are the tools to measure data.
Different Web, Different Search
He’s going to talk about building an “intelligent fabric.” There are “entities and actions” — people places and things in within geospatial context and other context. And there are new user interfaces, like speech and gesturing. Gathering geospatial knowledge and context is meant to predict the meaning of a query with contextual awareness.
Duane asks the audience if anyone has a smart home. These systems are good at saving energy. One such system is Nest, which is really smart, but only speaks its own language. Bing is building the translation layer, a product that will sit in the middle of all the devices and give intelligent options.
Plan … or #FAIL
Duane created this plan, but there’s a fourth layer around the circle that’s “offline data.” Streamlining workflow and increasing efficiency is very important in a world that manages social and search. He says that he’s tweeted a couple times since he’s been up on the stage. How? He has a couple trusted feeds that he puts in a tool called HootSuite and that publishes to all the networks he says for it too. Then a service called If This Then That turns all the social posts into Evernote posts, and that turns into blog posts. Streamlined content publication!
He mentions Vine, the 6 second video loop service, and says that content on this service are getting a lot of engagement. A lot of brands are using Vine well to share knowledge, entice engagement, entertain and offer behind-the-scenes glimpses. 6 seconds becomes many minutes of engagement.
Following an amazing lunch with great colleagues at Bend, Oregon’s Pine Tavern, I’m quickly learning that this keynote by Duane Forrester of Microsoft and specifically Bing, is going to be something I can settle in for. With his clear lack of a filter when it comes to sharing expletives, I am suddenly very comfortable with this speaker.
The truth is that content creators DO NOT get to decide what is excellent, great, good or even ok quality content. The searchers decide.
CONTENT(1) SOCIAL(2) USER EXPERIENCE(3) LINK BUILDING(4) SEO(5)
These items, though all important show how many prioritize aspects of engaging with searchers, user, etc.
We are asked how many of us have performed usability testing. “Cricket, cricket.” Get to it.
Apparently search engines pay about $.01 per crawl to take a peek at websites. Over time when web crawlers find that the same site is producing garbage and yielding little to no results continually the crawlers begin to start treating them like to smelly kid in school and stay away. Ready for big news? In 2014 mobile devices will grossly outsell the rest and mobile web searches are going to trump all other searches.
Real time and on demand need or desire for information has caused web searchers to redefine organization of information on the web. Using aircraft serial numbers as an example, and a great one at that. Duane uses the convenience of having information at your fingertips like the maintenance records of aircraft that you are flying on. Good point. I know what I’ll be doing next time I board a plane.
I’m wondering if it’s a secret that wall posts/tweets with links are perceived as more credible and useful. With 2 Billion FB updates per day, 400 Million Tweets per day, 300 Million FB photos shared per day, 150 Million Snapchat photos shared per day and 5 Million Foursquare check-ins per day, it’s clear that the digital universe is expanding at an alarming rate. Of course Snapchat is expanding rapidly and duh, of course Snapchat is under investigation for allegedly storing some of the videos on their server when they are supposed to be under the ”this message will self-destruct in 10 seconds,” category. Snapchat sounds like the facilitator of “sexting” in 2014.
I’m in awe of the amount of data run through the servers of the giants like Google or Bing. The servers alone allegedly create so much hear that Bing has designed a building for their Chicago data center that has a roof that opens, allowing the incredible amount of heat to inexpensively be removed from the building. How much heat? Enough so, that when the roof is opened, Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport must be notified due to the turbulence it causes air traffic on approach to the airport. What?!
Douglas Adams and the Babelfish. If you don’t know what it is you need to go out and find out about it. Long story short. Bing wants to find a way to communicate in such a way. Once you know what the Babelfish is you’ll be pretty stoked about a world where everything is able to communicate with everything.
Take a look at Schema.org and Neilson Data. Duane basically loves it and called all of us who aren’t using these services to, “get our shit together.” I pretty much love this guy.
If This Then That. Sounds like a site and tool that I’m excited to try out.
Vine, how familiar are you? And are you using it? Major brands are using it and they are connecting with users in 6 seconds!
I’m pretty much in the same state of shock that the other attendees are. Ford becoming a new hardware company? Why and how? Well, in trying to reach millennials (“those smart-ass young kids who are running around acting like they know everything”) they found that millennials don’t want cars, they don’t want to contribute to pollution. They care about their phones and their friends. How does a major brand stay solvent and afloat in a changing world? Ask Ford.
I’m pretty confident that Duane ran long with his presentation. Have you ever YouTube’d Billy Joe Armstrong’s rant about having to cut Green Days set short for Justin Bieber? DO IT! It’s hilarious. Does it have much to do with this presentation? No. But Duane was hilariously unapologetic when he questioned the MC being on stage while he was. This guy runs the show and he kept everyone here today pretty damn interested.
Hot Seat Panel: Website and Social Media Reviews Christina Knight, Chris Mismash, Bruce Clay, and Jon Ball Moderated by David Mihm
Criticism isn’t something that most of us are able to stomach when we put so much time and energy, not to mention the money we spend on our websites. They are everything. Our brands, who we are and they are the platform for our core messages. A handful of business/brands have allowed a six panel board of experts at this years Bend WebCam to offer critique, insight and offer suggestions on improving their websites.
Moderator David Mihm suggests performing the Google search, “Site:your-site.com” to find out how google views your sight.
Bruce Clay continually encourages web administrators to externalize as much code as possible.
By the way, the lack of content for this hot seat is a result of the number of the attendees sapping the bandwidth of the venues WiFi. I’m catching up I promise.
For an excellent example of mobile usability, visit www.StFrancisHouston.org. Moderator David Mihm hails the way that this sight is has been able to envision the mobile experience.
Again…how important are keywords? If you search for private schools in Houston, Texas, this school won’t show up. We are seeing how much importance this organization has placed in the word “Episcopal.” It’s about how searchers are thinking. Most people outside of a specific industry have no idea what the majority of that industries terminology or buzz-words mean. That is important to remember.
We are reviewing Redmond, OR based, Dana Signs.
The initial look shows empty areas of content. I.e., Current Projects.
Keeping up to date content is so important. Being in the field of public relations, I know that static and unchanged content keeps potential new customers and revenue from returning to your sites and platforms.
Chris Mismash – his last name is Mismash. Honestly, that’s cool enough in and of itself but, he highlights the importance of highlighting your work. Be aware of the length of intro videos, consider breaking them up by inserting testimonials, suggests Mismash.
Panelist Christina Knight encourages service based or B2C pages to establish clear ways for potential new business to go about finding out how to get what the page is offering.
SURPRISE! The panel get a curve ball and has been asked to review a site without prior review.
Charities and Volunteering are keywords that have been suggested for improving search rankings. Also suggested are making things “look” clickable. Be careful not to make calls to action look too much like info-graphics, adds Mismash.
The Importance of Building a Community For Your Brand, Website, Customer Base and General Well Being – #BWCBend Keynote 2
Google is going to be central to this next keynote by Marshall Simmonds, @mdsimmonds — both how they screw with us and help us. Google doesn’t share a lot of data, but last year they did. When we get data from Google, pick it apart and see how we can use it.
“Google says it has found more than 30 trillion unique URLs on the web, crawls 20 billion sites a day and processes 100 billion searches every month.”
Their goal is to be like the computer on the Starship Enterprise. Seriously.
A lot of best practices developed in 1997 are alive and well in 2003. It comes down to a project being one piece of a bigger whole – and it’s about building community. Look at blended results. Google continues to change the landscape of search engine results. That has changed since 1997, and it comes down to adapting and finding opportunity. There’s authorship in results, and emerging AuthorRank. There are new potential entry points.
Big Changes By Google
The Knowledge Graph was a game changer. Google showed us that their goal is keep you on the search page, to encourage residual clicks, to build a profile about you, to show additional inventory. You can talk about and read about how to optimize for this, but right now just wait and see what it means and take note of Google’s motivations. He recommends @dr_pete as the predominant expert on the Knowledge Graph.
More video is being implemented, more images, shopping results, maps and news — we see other ways in to the results page.
If you run the same query across multiple browsers you’ll see things happening that are hard to deconstruct. They ran a query on the west coast and east coast at the exact same time signed out, on Chrome and Safari. The results were different in the Knowledge Graph. The lesson: what you’re seeing is not what your client is seeing.
He’s rattling off a lot of search features, like Google+, Search Plus Your World, results that are clearly influenced by a user profile that Google has built of each individual user and which influences the results displayed.
Brands are getting more exposure as well. There’s real estate for branded searches. You can strengthen the association by linking to your Google+ page with rel=”publisher”.
Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird — there are lots of changes, but just relax. Sometimes changes may suck and it takes a while to get on top of it. But he has experienced that every change has led to a bigger opportunity down the line once we figure out how to leverage it.
The image carousel is an example of a change that screwed brands. He watched the image search results change instantly, and now there’s an image pop-up that keeps the user on the Google result page. There was an instant drop-off in traffic and this cliff graph below was the first full week after the image carousel was launched.
What We’ve Learned at the World’s Most Successful Publishers
1. Religious focus on goals and metrics
1. Tools and process
1. Data-driven content
1. Multiple content types
1. Early adoption
It’d be nice if they could number off these factors, but they’re all equally critical. The lesson is that content is not king. Instead, how willing are you to give something to the community for no return for a long time? Content is largely commoditized. Promotion is what separates the wheat from the chaff.
- Identify your audience.
- Find influencers.
- Form relationships.
- Always be helping THEM.
As a content producer, you have some hooks: news, contrarian, attack, resource, humor, and ego. It may sound 101-level, but this conversation — what’s the hook? — happens in every editorial room for every story. The other question is what’s the asset we use to deliver it? Twitter conversations, interviews, an infographic?
Another finding: long-form content still wins in search results. See the new “In-depth articles” results in Google as proof of concept.
Create your own data and infographics. You can use tools/services for a reasonable price to turn your data into a graphic and even get promotion out of it. The goal is building community and audience.
For video assets, he encourages businesses not to use YouTube, since it keeps users in that Google wall gardened. Do all the video optimization best practices to leverage your asset on your site.
Keyword research is a key foundational component so you know what to create for your audience. Don’t find yourself moving too far along a path only to swing and miss. While Google has taken away keyword referral data in Google Analytics — (not provided) — you still have resources for keyword research. For instance, Google Trends will tell you hot searches. You can see when to start writing about things. In January people start looking for Oscars (not “Academy Awards,” by the way) and weight loss.
Suggested searches is another place to get ideas for content. These are based on trending searches and popularity. He also names Soovle.com as a resource.
Identify the goal. Sounds cheesy, but it’s a true key part of the editorial process. Build traffic? Increase sales? Build community? SEO? Get his recommended Community Building Guide there (available Oct. 15, 2013).
You should set up your social goals in GA. Do a search for a Google+ plug in for Google Analytics and install it.
Know that it will take a long time before you see success. There’s no master community building tip. You will be going to events. You will be contributing to blog posts. You will be writing for a long time with no audience or response. Nope. None. Nothing.
Use tools to give you data to direct your community building and outreach efforts. Followerwonk shows you influencers on Twitter. Open Site Explorer will show you competitors backlinks and that may unveil opportunity for building relationship.
His favorite way to promote for free may be the hardest. He often tells reporters that if they aren’t getting into Google News, write about the news. If you don’t have news, change the conversation. Change the URL of a blog or PR page to www.site.com/news. Cover relevant updates to your industry. Apply for Google News. Turned down? Change the convo and apply again. Keep trying until you’re seen as talking about the news relevant to your community.
Google+ is a major influencer in search results. Even if your audience isn’t there, you should probably be there because there are ways to optimize it, and Google+ results show up in search results. To succeed on Google+, find your formula for success, like any other social site. CircleCount will help you see your metrics for your influence on the network.
Google Authorship is shaping results. How many people are following you, sharing your content, the authority of the site you’re publishing on. Together these factors come together for a trust score that Google accounts for in ranking. A author picture next to a result may increase click-through by 30% in his experience. 17% of all search results have author images. For more on this, search for this topic’s expert, AJ Kohn.
If you’re on WordPress, go download the Yoast SEO plugin. It adds Open Graph code on your blog so that images show up when people share on Facebook.
Sitemaps: do them. There’s a substantial increase in search referrals after Sitemap implementation.
Importantly, look at data and research Google is making available to you. At ThinkWithGoogle.com you will see the research library that Google thinks is important.