The importance of metrics and looking past the numbers. I’ve gotten the same email every Friday for the last three years and I open it every single time. It’s not even pretty (I love a beautiful email) but I open it and click through. Every. Single. Time.more
Five tips on working remotely from an agency that does.
Our staff doesn’t come into the office for days at a time, and we’re okay with that. “Work Remote” might be a distant second to “gig economy” as an over-hyped buzzword, but it’s definitely gaining ground. My agency, MINDSCAPE, is a midwest-based digital marketing agency that prides itself on being agile and adaptable, and we’ve been testing the Work Remote model for about a year. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things that could prove useful to other companies or departments who are evaluating remote work.more
What GDPR is and why you should care.
A few weeks ago, a client (who is far more technologically sophisticated than I am) was talking about GDPR and its impact on their business. Inspired by that conversation, I decided to create a quick overview of GDPR for those of you who, like me, are easily confused by lengthy acronyms. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a strategist and writer, not an attorney with international expertise in data privacy.more
3 reasons your branding should evolve.
The case for evolution: why evolving your brand is better than blowing it up. Re-branding can be fun. But it’s not fun like jogging with a weiner dog, it’s fun like being wide open on a Ducati 959 Panegali. That is to say, it’s a bit terrifying, and if something goes wrong, there are going to be serious consequences. Which is why I’d like to suggest a *different* approach. Instead of completely transforming everything about your brand like Shazam, allow your brand identity to change slowly and gradually in relationship to its environment.more
WTF is a CDN?
This is what the internet feels like with a CDN. Sort of. The other day, a client gave us the green light to move their site. They’d been on a cheapo shared hosting plan that might be great for hosting a blog that no-one reads, but wasn't a match for an up-and-coming e-commerce business. After wrestling with some stubborn plugins, we had the site up. And shortly after that, it went from “up” to “flying.” Page load speed skyrocketed, and generously-sized product images popped up instantly. It wasn’t voodoo magic (though it kind of felt like it.) The real power behind this significant speed boost was that we’d turned on our CDN. Which raises the important question:more
Failure is just the beginning.
The other day I was reading a particularly inspiring post, The Surprising Benefits of Failure, from Think with Google (Sidebar: Think with Google is awesome. If you aren’t subscribing already, you should.) It’s a great post because it talks about the importance of learning from failure, but more importantly, it hits on several ideas which are essential to the way that our shop operates. I realized that we have a few things in common with Google, even if we don’t have 70 thousand employees and $89 billion in revenue. (We’re working on it.)more
The 5 numbers that matter most to your website
Advice for measuring website performance for people who think they're too busy to measure website performance. The blessing of a website is that everything is measurable. The curse of a website … is that everything is measurable. Do people click red buttons more than blue buttons? Which verb works best for a Call-to-Action? What percentage of people visiting my site are coming from the Ukraine? Knowing what, when, and how to measure can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be. Our Chief Operating Officer is an incredibly intelligent guy, and when he’s considering site metrics, he focuses on just five numbers. Five isn’t so bad. You have five senses; five pockets in your Levi's, and five days in your work week — okay, five days in your *average* work week. Anyway, if you want a snapshot of performance, here are the five numbers that are most important to your website.more
You might need a website redesign if…
A website redesign is like any big project: it gets put off until it becomes absolutely necessary. Here are a few (light-hearted) ways to tell that it's time.more
Don’t be too smart: the value of A/B testing.
I was watching — okay, mostly listening — to a YouTube video from Dave McClure and four words jumped out at me: "Don't be too smart." Hence the title of this blog post. Dave was talking about Metrics and what he actually said was, "Don't be too smart; do lots of A/B tests." Dave went on to talk about a whole bunch of other stuff, but for this post, we're going to focus on that one bit of sound advice. Here at Mindscape, we use A/B testing all the time, so Dave's comment resonated. more
4 No-Brainer ways to reduce the vulnerability of your WordPress site
Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of WordPress. It's easy-to-use, incredibly flexible, and the price point is right where I like it. (That would be "Free.") Those attributes have made WordPress tremendously popular as a platform, but all that traffic is like a magnet for hackers, thieves, and other malcontents. One of the big dings on WordPress was security. An old joke was, "You're running WordPress? Congratulations. You've been hacked." The good news is that the WordPress core is actually quite secure. The bad news is that there are still plenty of ways that your site and data can be exposed. The better news is that there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your vulnerability.more