I read an interesting article today regarding a renowned New York chef who recently received a negative review that was one of the most read critiques ever on the New York Times. It wasn’t a story around the duality of the newspaper that had just given the chef high marks 4 years earlier but rather a tale on how the chef responded to such a strong critique. He apologized.

We are not content resting on what we did yesterday. We believe we can do better for ourselves, our profession and most importantly our guests. We have the opportunity, the tools, the self-motivation and the dedication to do so.

When we fall short, we work even harder. We are confident that the next time you visit Per Se or any of our other restaurants, our team will deliver a most memorable experience.

— Thomas Keller, Chef / Proprietor

Last week at work my company went through an exercise that provided some feedback into our performance and a place to discuss our professional and personal goals. Overall there was good discussion and I think these types of exercises with proper thought and preparation can be really helpful. During my session I received some feedback I didn’t quite agree with and didn’t fully understand. At first this really fired me up and made me defensive but after some reflection and reading a story like this I’m inspired.
How much could I grow as a leader if I practiced accepting feedback from a stance of first reflecting and wondering: How can this help me grow?

There is obviously a limit to this practice as I’m not planning to just accept all feedback regardless of delivery, but I think it is a practice worth considering.

A challenge I’ve found with conversion tracking is that it requires a user to visit a specific page with conversion tracking code installed in order to register as a conversion ie a landing page. This doesn’t always work and makes it difficult to track different forms of conversion such as clicks to third party sites. When faced with this scenario for a client I had to find a solution to track a conversion based on click from an ad. Below is the method and code used to do this using jquery , Google adwords and some html.

First create an html file with your campaigns conversion tracking code from google adwords and add it to your site files.

    <!-- Google Code for Conversion Page -->
    <script type="text/javascript">
    /* <![CDATA[ */
    var google_conversion_id = xxxxxxxxx;
    var google_conversion_language = "en";
    var google_conversion_format = "3";
    var google_conversion_color = "ffffff";
    var google_conversion_label = "_ArfCLPt9QMQrcfZ2AM";
    var google_conversion_value = 0;
    /* ]]> */
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js">
    <div style="display:inline;">
    <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/xxxxxxxxx/?label=_ArfCLPt9QMQrcfZ2AM&amp;amp;guid=ON&amp;amp;script=0"/>

    <script type="text/javascript">

      var _gaq = _gaq || [];
      _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-xxxxxxxx-1']);
      _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'yourdomain.com']);

      (function() {
        var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
        ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
        var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);


Next add a class to the links or elements you want to track as conversions via click. I added

.clickAction to various buttons and links around the page. Now to create the action add the code below to your header or external js file inside of your document ready function. This script requires Jquery So you will need to have that also installed on your site.
note: I wrote this for a WordPress site so update the url path to the html file based on your configuration


  $('<iframe id="converter" height="1" width="1" name="converter">').attr('src', <?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/tracking.html').appendTo('body');


Now any item with the class .clickAction when clicked with load a 1px by 1px transparent iframe at the bottom of the page and register as a conversion. This approach is pretty simple so feel free to reach out if you have questions. Happy analyzing.

In today’s competitive e-commerce market there is always buzz about SEO and how companies now “specialize” in getting you to page 1 on Google. This simple guide is a practical DIY method for doing SEO content optimization that doesn’t overwhelm and over complicate or cost a bundle.

This is designed for the novice and provides a simple guide to consider when creating every page in your site. The results are a solid ranking that when coupled with the right keyword research can attain the rankings and sales all Yahoo! store owners are looking for.

SEO is about having a guide to how you write content on your site and research of what your target market is looking for. True optimization should be built around “providing the best user experience possible“ not only trying to sell something.

The key to page level SEO is consistency in your content. Analytics seems to scare most online store owners that I speak with as they think it is this mystical software that will provide all the answers to make their business successful. It can be a tool to achieve success, but not unless you know what you are using it to look for.

SEO is never done“… Sorry but it is the truth. In order to maintain a strong profitable ranking your content constantly needs to be evaluated and adjusted. Analytics is a tool to find the answers.

What are my customers looking for?

What keywords are bringing in visitors that buy { convert } ?

What content on my pages is counter-productive ?

Consistency is imperative. If you know the top keywords for a particular page after studying analytic reports and your competition, yes you should be looking at what they are doing, then lets move into how to put that information into practice.

1. Page Title / Title Tag <title>

This is the first element on a page that is evaluated and indexed by the search engine. Adding the name of the product is common and a good start for your keyword strategy. Also consider adding an additional keyword or phrase that is relevant and would be used in a product search to locate the product. Think of adjectives that describe the product or the brand if it is well known. Analytics is a great place to locate keywords or search terms used in the past to draw in traffic. I would test adding the keywords that have led to conversion.

2. The URL

Starting with domain selection we begin to establish relevance. If your domain was allthebestthings.com and you were trying to sell pool supplies that wouldn’t make much sense so choosing a domain that is relevant to the type of product or market you are trying to enter is important. Directly following the domain is the url for the product or page where you are displaying your content. This should contain only the most relevant words for the product you are representing.

For example :




The second structure points out the terms for the product and 2 additional keywords that should be relevant and used throughout the other page elements. This directly identifies what type of content is on this page and can impact its ranking.

3.) The first heading tag <h1>

In html <h1> is used to indicate the most important heading for the page. This is a perfect opportunity to re-use some of the most relevant keywords for your page and emphasize the same terms pointed out in your page title. You don’t want to go overboard so try and keep this fairly simple but try and associate at least one more keyword than just the item name.

4.) Your Primary Content

This is the meat of your page. This is where the bulk of your ranking is decided by a search crawler and the perfect place to stand out from your competition.

Rule #1 : Don’t copy and paste the manufacturer copy! There are potentially hundreds of other sites or stores talking about products and they are taking the same shortcut of using the manufacturer copy. When a crawler comes across this { duplicate content } they don’t have anything unique about your page to qualify you as different and won’t provide a higher ranking.

I usually recommend that customers think outside the box on this one and use portions of the manufacturer copy to provide the relevant product information such as sizing and materials used in the product. Then take the product description a step further and use content from customer reviews, comments and feedback, you can also use any press material from the manufacturer or any celebrity sightings using the product. This content is all fair game and can really strike that final cord with a visitor to trigger conversion.

5.) Page Description &lt;meta type="description" content=" ? "&gt;

This tag is a great resource to summarize your caption and point out a small 2-3 sentence blurb that you would like the search engine to use as an excerpt for your page. Again consistency is important here try and keep this short and sweet and loaded with the same keywords you are focusing on throughout the other elements in the page.

I hope this has been light enough to be helpful but not overwhelming. The process of page level optimization is extremely time consuming and requires some quality research to be successful. To keep from being overwhelmed, start with your top 5 products. Optimize these items and monitor the impact. After a bit of testing and monitoring in your analytics you should be able to quickly tell if you are improving.