Internet Explorer 6 Countdown


Just so you know, I work closely with a web-dev team and I feel their pain when it comes to cross-browser compatibility adjustments and the long hours spent on testing. Sometimes these hours can’t be billed to the customer as he will argue that he pays for only one website that has to work on every browser. This is what the numbers look like: may 2013 – 6,3% IE6 worldwide share. Source: ie6countdown.com

What can you do?

You can engourage visitors to upgrade or switch browsers  by displaying a message on your website telling users that the best way to view your page is by using a modern browser. ie6countdown.com is offering a step-by-step configuration for displaying the following message.

But how does the internet browser market look like? Here is a glance at Romania’s market. You can set the filter for your country as well.

ie-romania

Ioan Szabo

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What is (not provided) in Google Analytics?


Maybe you’ve heard of a little website called www.notprovidedcount.com and as a webmaster or an internet business owner that has the slightest curiosity to find out where their traffic comes from you’ve seen in your Google Analytics account, under the keyword data filtering, the words (not provided).

not provided in GA

As you will find out from this website Google started to show (not provided) 592 days ago and based on the current rate of growth from 60 websites they monitor it will reach 100% in 28th February 2016. Mind you these numbers are constantly updated and if you check them out when you read this you might get different results for the 100% target date.

What got my attention was a huge drop on 1st of june in most of the monitored websites for the (not provided) count. This might just be a glitch but I haven’t yet found anything on this subject.

Why is this data shown as (not provided)?

Let’s say you log in to your Google account via Gmail, Google chrome or another Google product. This enables a secure connection or SSL over the browser and the refferral data pointing to your search is therefore hidden. This data includes useful information like the keywords used to perform that search. Google can still see this information, but website owners – and Analytics account holders – can’t access it. Why is this data usefull for a website owner? If your business relies heavily on internet users you most definetley want to estimate the traffic and sales each keyword is providing you.

How to extract keywords

The good news is there are several ways to work around this like linking your Adwords and Webmaster tools accounts to Google Analytics. A good way to start is kissmetrics’ blog where you will find Google’s take on this subject as well as tips from Dan Baker’s e-consultancy blog and a technique from Avinash Kaushik.

Getting nostalgic about Internet Explorer 6 times?

Ioan Szabo

Why you should use Search Terms Tool in Adwords


If you are running a Google Adwords PPC campaign you are probably concerned about the way your money is spent. It’s just not enough to bid on some keywords and hope that everything will work out. That is what I did at first only to realize the inefficency of just spraying my budget at some general terms and hoping to get relevant traffic for my business. Actually that is how outbound marketing works: make an ad, show it to as many people as you can for a certain amount of money. But now digital advertising takes us in the realms of inbound marketing: targeting specific users with specific ads thus driving relevant traffic to your website.

How can the Adwords Search Terms Tool help me?

Here is why I think inspecting how your Search Terms perform in Adwords is one of the most important thing to do:

– you can increase your ad’s quality score
– avoid irrelevant or non-converting traffic
– extend Adwords ads in your budget bracket

To maximize the efficiency of this tool you should set up conversion tracking.
In the image below you can see wehere to find your search terms list. If you select keyword details and all you will see  all of your search terms, if you tick one or more of your keywords on the left, then go to keyword details and selected you will only see the details for that (those) specific keyord(s).

adwords search terms

adwords search terms

What insights can the Search Terms tool offer?

Let’s say you start an ad with the broad match term buy fruits and after a couple of days you want to see how this keyword performed. You see you got a lot of clicks but what where the terms people searched for? Using your Search Terms tools you can see what were the exact words that got you traffic, for the example’s sake let’s say [buy fresh fruits] and [buy sundried fruits]. If you are selling  only fersh fruits it’s only common sense to exclude the second term as it gets you traffic that’s not relevant for your business.

I hope this will help you out with your Adwords campaigns. It did wonders for me!

Ioan Szabo

Atari Breakout – trending again with the help of Google


A bit of history

Breakout  was inspired by the popular arcade game Pong, the first arcade game developed by Atari Inc. in June 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. But not many know that Pong was actually a second attempt at video game creation. The first one was the not so popular Computer Space. Their idea was to use a TV set and a cheap processor for game rendering. But at that time a cheap processor was about $10.000. Bushnell came with the solution: no processor at all, only transistors and diodes. This helped a lot later on when they developed Pong for Atari. You can check out the more details about the development of the first video games on computerspacefan.com

Free online versions

If you can watch 20 seconds of advertising you can play some up-to-date Atari Breakout games instead of the crappy version Google is letting you “enjoy” by searching “atari breakout” in image search.

google atari breakout

Google atari breakout

atari breakout

Atari Super Breakout

Ioan Szabo

Bounced mails in Direct Mail


Mailing solutions

As i was saying in my tools page my current tool for email marketing is Direct Mail for Mac. I’ve also used and was very fond of mailchimp but as i moved on to using a dedicated server for emails i decided to use this app as it has every area that i needed covered. I’m not using it’s templates though, i write my own html for the newsletter as i have some strict rules regarding styling and links parameters.

Hard Bounce

One of my problems using Direct Mail was managing hard bounces, usually those mails that are misspelled by their owners, fake or deleted, but there can be also different reasons for bouncing mails, i’m not getting into details at this moment.

If you send your message using e3 Delivery Service, then bounce messages are handled for you automatically and shown in the Reports tab. If you send your message using your own email server, then bounces will come back to your inbox.

Direct Mail can scan your mailbox for bounce notices and mark the corresponding addresses in Direct Mail as “bounced”. Here’s how:

  1. Choose Addresses > Scan Incoming Mail from the menu bar.
  2. Enter your incoming mail server details.
  3. Click the Bounces tab.
  4. Check “Look for bounced addresses”.
  5. Click Scan.

Direct Mail will connect to your mailbox and process any matching email messages.

If you think that Direct Mail is missing messages, please keep in mind that Direct Mail can only see messages that are still on the server. For POP3 mailboxes, this means that you must set your email client to not remove downloaded messages from the server.

By default, Direct Mail will remember the last message it processed and only download and process new messages. If you want force Direct Mail to start from the beginning of your mailbox, hold down the Option key while clicking Scan.

direct mail

How to unsubscribe hard bounces?

Direct Mail can automatically unsubscribe any email addresses that have hard bounced. Here’s how:

  1. Switch to the Reports tab and select a report with bounced addresses.
  2. Click the Bounces icon. You will see a list of the email addresses that bounced when this mailing was sent.
  3. Click Unsubscribe Hard Bounces.

Direct Mail will unsubscribe from your mailing lists the email addresses that have hard bounced.

You are also given the option of automatically unsubscribe hard bounces from your mailing lists. If you enable this option, each time Direct Mail discovers a new bounce, it will automatically be unsubscribed. This setting remains in effect for the currently selected mailing and any future mailings (but not past mailings) until you choose to turn it off.

What do you use for sending out those newsletter campaigns?

Ioan Szabo