Depth of Knowledge for February 2014 – The Importance of Focus

Jeffalytics Newsletter
Volume 2.1
February of 2014

Hey Friend of Jeffalytics!

I spent this past weekend finalizing curriculum for my digital measurement strategies at the University of St. Thomas. Much like the digital advertising strategies course that completed last week, I started with a blank canvas and worked to develop a method of imparting everything I know into a 24 hours of classroom instruction. That’s about as easy as it sounds.

In the end, I decided on the following structure for class:

  • Day 1: Digital Measurement Strategy
    • Understanding Analytics, Understanding Web Analytics, Digital Marketing Measurement Models, Exercise: Build a Measurement Model, Channel Measurement Models, Marketing Attribution, Competitive Analysis
  • Day 2: Google Analytics Training
    • Data Collection in GA, Understanding the GA Interface, Exercise: Building a Measurement Model with GA Data
  • Day 3: Going Beyond the “What” 
    • User Testing, User Behavior Tracking, Conversion Rate Optimization, Website Surveys, Exercise: Conduct Competitive Intelligence, Data Visualization

There are surely more areas to cover, but this structure will provide a solid overview to traditional marketers looking to better understand the digital world.

Is there anything that you would add if you were teaching a course on digital measurement strategy? What would like to learn if if you were taking a course?

On the importance of focus

You can accomplish a lot when you focus. I mean really focus, like plugging in the headphones, shutting down email and ignoring Twitter focus.

Given my crazy schedule of teaching in February (~60 hours of intensive classroom lecturing and another 40+ hours developing curriculum), I have found focus to be more important than ever for my ability to create anything of substance. This means blocking off entire mornings to write blog posts or work on client deliverables. It has meant giving up entire weekends to developing curriculum and turning down meetings during times of day that are reserved for productivity. This has been a major focus for February and has worked well for me so far!

What to do during blocked off time?

You can start with writing. I always find that writing is easiest in the mornings, so my most productive days usually involve keyboards and coffee from 7-10 AM. Try it, because Writing is Everything For Your Career.

While I have not published anything of substance on Jeffalytics since late last month, my writing has turned up in many places of note in both short and long form. I weighed in on the post 40 fears the keep SEO’s awake at night and 8 Advanced Segments for GA. The Periodic Table of Google Analytics was featured in Adam Singer’s article on ClickZ and I wrote a 3,000 word post for Moz. I am particularly proud of the Moz post because of the tone of voice used and the substance of the material provided. You will definitely learn something by reading (Provided): 10 Ways to Prove SEO Value in Google Analytics.

Digital staffing survey update

Last month’s newsletter alluded to a project I am working on called the Digital Staffing Survey. To this point we have received only about 10% of the responses required to gain statistical confidence. You can do your part in just 5 minutes by participating in the 2014 Digital Staffing Survey! Tell a friend too please.

Career advice for advancement

Beginning March 3, I am going to start posting a piece of career advice the first Monday of each month. The column will feature the things I wish I had known earlier in my career. While some of it will be obvious to you, my hope is that it provides clarity to many. Any advice you would share with a younger version of yourself?

Analytics Tool Watch

This section of the newsletter is dedicated to sharing some of the tools I am playing with since we last spoke. Some of these are startups, while others have been around for years. By linking in this newsletter I am not personally endorsing these tools.

  • Tag Inspector (taginspector.com) – Put in a URL and this tool will scan your site to let you know what tags they find on your site. I was smitten while I engaged in my first scan and fell in love when I saw the scan results. This tool knew more about my site than I did! This web application is super slick and has a beautiful interface and best of all I was able to get a lot of valuable information using the free version of the tool. Now I’m considering using it to manage multiple sites.
  • D3.js (d3js.org) – While this may not be an analytics tool in the traditional sense, it is a data visualization library that has received a lot of buzz recently. This open source JavaScript library helps you bring data to life in a variety of beautiful ways.

More Cool Tools

All Analytics and no play makes Jeff a dull boy. That’s why I like to experiment with more than just Analytics tools. Here are a few tools that have come across my radar recently. While I have not personally tried each one, they looked interesting enough to share with others.

  • Polymaps (polymaps.org/) – This was uncovered during my data visualization research. This free JavaScript library helps you create dynamic/interactive maps that work across browsers. This is definitely something I’m looking into for Free World.
  • BuiltWith Toolbar (builtwith.com/toolbar) – Want to know what technology a website is built with? Install an extension for your browser to find out.
  • Copyscape (copyscape.com/) – Check to see if your content is being duplicated on the web. Great for tracking down plagiarism of your content and scrutinizing guest posts.
  • Ubsersuggest (ubersuggest.org/) – Get keyword ideas by scraping Google’s auto suggest feature.

Useful Articles

Pure Awesome

Did you know that you can fly on a private jet fairly inexpensively when they are not at capacity? One of my favorite travel bloggers had the opportunity to fly one recently and it looked incredible. If you ever wanted to try for yourself, check out jetsuite.com/suitedeal.