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Stephan Hokanson

Stephan Hokanson is MINDSCAPE's Senior Content Strategist. He has worked in marketing for decades.
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February 24, 2020

Measure everything.

by Stephan Hokanson

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

January 14, 2020

Five tips on working remotely from an agency that does.

by Stephan Hokanson

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

April 9, 2018
iron gate with lock

What GDPR is and why you should care.

by Stephan Hokanson

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

August 17, 2017
Your brand can and should evolve over time.

3 reasons your branding should evolve.

by Stephan Hokanson

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

May 11, 2017

WTF is a CDN?

by Stephan Hokanson

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

March 16, 2017

Failure is just the beginning.

by Stephan Hokanson

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

February 22, 2017

The 5 numbers that matter most to your website

by Stephan Hokanson

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

January 25, 2017

You might need a website redesign if…

by Stephan Hokanson

  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

December 16, 2016

Don’t be too smart: the value of A/B testing.

by Stephan Hokanson

                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

November 23, 2016

3 Rules for Better Web Forms

by Stephan Hokanson


November 2, 2016

4 No-Brainer ways to reduce the vulnerability of your WordPress site

by Stephan Hokanson

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

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