eCommerce Podcast

Our podcast is raw, honest and damn right insightful, as we chat to some of the best minds in eCommerce

Luke Carthy Podcast

Hosted by Richard Hill

Ep 03:
Luke Carthy:
The Power of Being a Freelancer in the eCommerce Sphere

Ep 03: Luke Carthy  – The Power of Being a Freelancer in the eCommerce Sphere

We first met Luke Carthy at an SEO Summat event last year, as he confidently approached Richard Hill. 

His smile and his energy were simply infectious and it turned out that he was a budding eCommerce enthusiast, just like us!

This podcast has a very important spin on it, as they talk about everything eCommerce related, freelance and mental health. 

So thankful for Luke being so honest and raw about his freelance journey. 

 

eCom@One Presents 

Luke Carthy

Luke Carthy is an eCommerce growth consultant that specialises in strategy, conversion and search and has over 12 years of experience. He is an avid eCommerce speaker, delivering talks at a range of conferences, meetups and events. He has worked for inhouse brands, at agencies delivering client work and is now a fully-fledged freelancer. 

He shares his journey into freelance, mental health struggles with being a freelancer, the importance of identifying your niche, Lidl’s Christmas campaign URL disaster, strategies that have transformed the sales of an array of clients, and how to maximise your eCommerce site for Black Friday.

 

Topics Covered

3:37 – In house vs agency vs freelance

5:35 – Journey into freelance

6:55 – Importance of identifying your niche as a freelancer

12:20 – Top events

15:41 – Lidl’s Christmas campaign URLdisaster

18:55 – Strategies that transform sales

23:55 – Maximising eCommerce for Black Friday

34:30 – Best SEO strategy

37:04 – eCommerce website horror story 

42:02 – SEO Toolset 

48:09 – Epic force of data with python

51:13 – Luke’s biggest learning curve 

52:39 – Keeping a close eye on Instagram 

56:34 – Obviously Awesome – Recommended book 

 

Transcript 

Richard:
Welcome to The eCom @ One Podcast, with me today I've got Luke Carthy. Now Luke I met not that long ago actually, only about three and a half-ish months ago. Luke came over to me at an SEO event, full of energy and full of passion for digital and SEO. I didn't realise at the time, but Luke's actually a very seasoned speaker at events, and has spoke at MozCon, SearchLove, and a lot of the big high profile SEO events.

Richard:
So obviously after I got back from the event, I had a good look at what Luke's been doing. And we've been trying to get Luke on the podcast, and thank you so much, Luke, for agreeing to come on board and be interviewed on the podcast. So, welcome to The eCom @ One Podcast.

Luke:
Yeah, thank you. I appreciate you having me on. It's crazy, because these things are always more nerve-wracking than actual conferences. I think it's the fact that it's recorded in real time. Even though the conferences are, but there's just something about one-on-one that always gets my skin crawling a little bit. I'm looking forward to it, I'm looking forward to it.

Richard:
I'll try and relax you, get you warmed up and get you loosened up, should I say?

Luke:
Brilliant, thank you.

Richard:
So, obviously, I met you at the SEO conference, and the podcast is very much focused around e-commerce stores, and I know straight away that you're very experienced in the e-commerce sector. I think on your website your pitch, or your headline, is e-Commerce Growth Consultant. So that's quite a mouthful, but ultimately you have got a lot of experience in the e-commerce sector. A lot of it is e-commerce specific. So, maybe if you want to tell me a little bit about the last maybe five years in the e-com, what you've been doing, from industry to now freelance.

Luke:
Yeah, sure. So there's been a bit of a mixed bag over the last five years for sure. I think back five years ago now I was in an in-house role, or a couple of in-house roles over the last five years, but I transitioned from agency and jumped on an in-house role and thought, "Do you know what? This sounds like an awesome opportunity, because I can spend more time on one specific client and really get into the detail, and have that capacity to really spend time and find bits and pieces."

Luke:
So, I fell in love with SEO, and I landed on my feet in e-com. And it was all sorts of bits and pieces since then. In-house at Caterpillar, in-house at a pharmaceutical retailers, and loads of bits and pieces. And I think over the time what I've learned is, I had a massive affinity and love for e-commerce. And I think the main reason why is because it's undisputed growth, where you can see, you can literally see the money you put in the till.

Luke:
So, if you're making the tills ring, and you're essentially driving sales, then it's typically, in most cases, quite easy to see where you're making a difference. And it's instant, it's immediate, and I love the pace of it. It's something that I absolutely adore to do.

Richard:
Yeah, I think that's the big one, isn't it? You can see results, it's that simple.

Luke:
Yeah. Yeah. Which goes in both ways. Sometimes it can be, "Oh God, what have I done?" But some other times, definitely it's like, "Wow, that really works, let's do more of it."

Richard:
Yeah, yeah, at least you know where you are, don't you? There's no sort of, the facts are the facts. You've got some good data. Maybe you've got some bad data, but ultimately you've got some data with pound signs on it that are saying, "This is working, this is not working. This isn't right, let's turn the tap off, let's look at what we're doing."

Richard:
So, you've gone agency, in-house, and now freelance. So, you've done almost the full circle, the whole shebang of options in terms of industry.

Luke:
Yeah, quite literally. So, agency was, I like to categorise the three different distinct roles in three different ways. So I think, if anyone's getting started in the industry, and wants to really jump into SEO or whatever it is, then you cannot beat agency for the level of exposure to account management, to client deliverables, all that sort of good stuff. In-house is very much a case where you can specialise more, and get more of the politics and understanding of technology limitations, and all sorts of good stuff.

Luke:
And then freelance, for me, was just identifying that it was a bit of a leap of faith. And I wanted to be in control of my own destiny, essentially. And ultimately offer my services and expertise to more than one company, which comes with pros and cons. I love all three of them, but I think in-house was definitely the point for me where I realised, "Yeah, e-commerce is what I really want to stick at.

Richard:
Yeah. I think obviously the agency did for about 10 years, I guess. And obviously you had all the different account managers in the business. And we can see that I had some cracking account managers that are working the business now, and have worked in the business, but there's a lot of almost either some people prefer working on a lot of stuff, where you may be a bit broad, but you're working on a lot of accounts and getting a lot of exposure to different things, different types of industries, and different verticals, and different product sets, which is very exciting.

Richard:
But then some account managers prefer maybe that one or two, which can be a bit more challenging in-house, to have one, two, or three clients. But then some people obviously do leave the agency and move on, and move on to specific companies, where they can go all-in. They can spend the five days doing an SEO audit, rather than the two days that you're doing, if that's necessary. Really go in deep on the specifics. So, it does allow you, doesn't it, to...

Luke:
Absolutely.

Richard:
In-house, being able to go a bit deeper into some of the topics. So, freelancing then, how long have you been freelancing. You've not been freelancing too long, have you, I think?

Luke:
No, so I officially went freelance in October. So call it four-ish months.

Richard:
So pretty much when we met, then, you'd just gone over?

Luke:
Yeah.

Richard:
Just started the freelance.

Luke:
Exactly. Exactly. I think I was probably still just in the midst of my notice period actually, when we met for the first time. And it's been a whirlwind of a four months, to be honest. I actually wrote a post, which really blew up actually, there was a lot of people who resonated with it and took something from it, but it was just a couple of things that I wanted to talk about that a lot of people typically don't do when they go freelance.

Luke:
The emotional side of things, just speaking to the right people, getting the right network around you. But for me I've been lucky. I do also have a business which I've had for a number of years now, promoting products. So that helped me to get an understanding of the commercials and things like that.

Richard:
Yeah. I guess that's e-commerce?

Luke:
And management and all that sort of stuff.

Richard:
Yeah.

Luke:
Yeah, naturally. It's been crazy, but I'm absolutely in love with what I do right now. Freelance has been an incredible decision, I think.

Richard:
What would you say then, there's that in-house guy or girl thinking about making the jump. What would your advice be? What would you say to somebody that's thinking of making that jump? Or what are the tips you would...

Luke:
I think one of the biggest ones is, identify your niche. And it doesn't have to be super-granular, or super-specific, but just when someone is talking about you when you're not in the room, how would they be able to explain what you do as easy as possible?

Luke:
Because if you say you're an SEO person, or you're an SEO specialist, well you and probably half a million other people are. So what is it you do in the world of SEO, or in your environment that makes you the go-to person for that problem?

Luke:
So, to list a few names, for example, Barry Adams is the guy who I'd always go to for press, news, for algorithms and that sort of stuff, you've got people like Marie Haynes, who are absolute gurus in the world of EAT, and understanding algorithms and picking pieces apart.Then there's specialists I know in content.

Luke:
So, they're all SEO, if you like, but they all have their pocket specialisms. And I think it's understanding what your core specialism is, and making that as easy as possible for other people to understand. If you don't have that, you get lost in the noise.

Richard:
So you've got specialisms in terms of, say, e-commerce as your specialism, but do you have then, within e-commerce, do you have specialisms in terms of industries that you focus on within e-commerce?

Luke:
Do you know what? Yes and no. I think normally it's a case of getting down to the conversation of what the client wants. I've been lucky enough to work in both B2B and B2C e-commerce, and I love both. I actually prefer B2B, actually, which is a little bit more unusual than what a lot of people will say, but it really depends on the fit, and what they want.

Luke:
Or maybe even identifying the size and scale of their problem. Because, for example, if it's something like re-platforming, then it's not necessarily my expertise, but I absolutely know the people who would be the go-to for that. If you want to talk about strategy, online growth, internal search, UX, CRO, then hell yeah, I'm happy to get stuck in.

Richard:
That's your bag, yeah.

Luke:
So I think it typically depends on what the problem is. And sometimes it might be a case of, "I can help you with these, and I'd recommend you reach out to this person for that." A collaborative effort.

Richard:
Yeah, I think that really resonates with me. I've had 10 years, the agency, and I hold my hand up, and we've been very guilty of, "Yeah, we'll do everything, do everybody, for everybody." It's like, "Ugh!"

Luke:
Crazy.

Richard:
Yeah, and there's a lot of opportunity out there with our industry, whether it's, there's 20 different AdWords, Shopping, Facebook, UK, SEO, SEO break it down 15 times, PR, digital PR, we could be here all day. And the reality is we listed every one of those services on our website a few years back, and then we went, "Whoa, hang on a minute."
Luke:
There's a lot going on, right?

Richard:
"There's stuff here we're really good at. And there's stuff here that, let's be honest, we're not as passionate about, or not as good at. In reality there are people that's better to ask." Exactly what you're saying is exactly what we did. And we split our agency into two. And we don't do, we just literally do not do certain aspects. We go, "Nope." Somebody wants XYZ, and we say, "You need to speak to " whoever it is.

Richard:
But if somebody comes along who is very specific after the things we do, we just know that conversation is going to be a very good conversation, and the likelihood of working together, if they're good people, if it's a fit, is very, very high.

Luke:
Yeah, and then the most crazy thing you-

Richard:
... there's self-selection of your customers straight away, yeah.

Luke:
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And the funny thing is, the reason why I say it depends on the conversation is because someone might have a conversation and say, I want X, but actually when you get on to, "Forget what you think you want, I know it sounds patronising but I promise it's not. Forget what you think you want, tell me what your problems are, and tell me what success looks like."

Luke:
Because some people might come to you and say, "Hey, look, I want SEO." And then you're like, "Okay, why do you think you want SEO?" "Because I want more customers."

Richard:
"I want to double my sales," yeah.

Luke:
And then you think, "Well hold on a minute, so what are your problems that you have right now?" "Well, this doesn't work, that doesn't work." "Well, actually you don't need SEO right now. You have a technical problem that you need to fix, away from SEO. For example, it's too slow." You could argue that is SEO, but what they've come to you for could be different to what they actually need.

Luke:
Or, the perfect cliché one is, "I need a new website. I'm fed up with my old one, blah, blah, blah." And actually you could find that it's not a new website that they need, it's just some things that need to be repaired. And it's not that you'll say, "No," to a new website, it might just be, "Not yet."

Richard:
If we, right at the beginning, said what does success look like? Well it doesn't look like a website, it looks like more sales. Or 40% over three years, or whatever that soft number is. The website is a piece of the five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And then it's seeing what's what.

Luke:
Yeah. So it's always better to not take what they're asking for at face value. Some people know exactly what they want, and that's great. Other people, as horrible as it sounds, think they know what they want, and they're happy to hand over money. And you can say, "Well, you don't need to go and spend 50 grand right now. How about you just go and spend five, fix those problems, and defer your 50 grand once you've hit a certain milestone," almost.

Richard:
Yeah, get some money back rolling in to pay for the next phase, potentially. Yeah. And self-fund, it funds itself, yeah. Okay great.

Richard:
It would be good just to touch back on some of the talks that you've done. So what would you say, obviously you were doing a panel more so, when we met. You were chairing a panel, weren't you? Quite a quirky panel. But you've spoken at MozCon?

Luke:
Yeah, MozCon was ridiculous. It was like the peak of my career, that was actually the conference, for me, that made me want to go freelance. For me it was like, "Now or never." Because when I stepped off that stage, the feedback was insane. The opportunities were incredible, I had conversations with some really cool people from Airbnb, from car gurus. And it was like, I had to turn these down, because I was employed at the time. I couldn't.

Richard:
You were still employed, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Luke:
So, it festered away in the back of my head for some time. And I thought, "Do you know what? If MozCon's my pedestal, then hell yeah, let's make it happen." But in terms of topics, I've spoken about things that are a little bit more unorthodox. A little bit less typical.

Luke:
So, MozCon was talking about how to use an SEO tool to deliver CRO growth. A bit of a mishmash of using a tool that's not necessarily what it's designed for, and using it for something else. One example I identified in there was for a client how we, oh, that was it.

Luke:
I looked at Home Depot. And one of the examples was, they have thousands upon thousands of categories that have no products in. But they all resolve, they all have 200 response columns. So, if I had access to the data I could have proven to Home Depot that, "You have half a million, say, visits to all these categories you've got no products in. What are you doing?"

Richard:
There's no products being served, yeah.

Luke:
There you go. Or search queries that have high volume, but low product count. Or been able to use things like Not sure what he says extraction to identify search terms that have small numbers of products.

Luke:
So, I'll give you a perfect example. There's a client of mine that sells racks and networking equipment. And they had a lot of searches for rack drawers, but they didn't manufacture any, they didn't have any. So, naturally, when I started to find an insight I was like, "You need to go and manufacture some rack drawers."

Richard:
You need to, yeah.

Luke:
They started to sell, happy days. So, it was all that stuff of understanding the data that you have, and then finding opportunities for sales.

Richard:
What did you, or what did the client do, with all the 200 response codes in the end? What did they put on the pages? I'm curious.

Luke:
Oh, so I think I did Home Depot, Argos, and Best Buy. So they're not my clients, these are just kind of...I mean it would be brilliant if they were. It'd be brilliant if they was, but it was just a case of, I wanted to pick on brands that people... because everyone assumes, not everyone, but a lot of people assume that a big brand will always do things the right way.

Richard:
At the end of the day, they're just like me and you. Well, there's a few more of them, getting paid a lot more, probably.

Luke:
Yeah. So I think it hit twice as hard when I picked a brand that people considered a household name in the U.S. and found really basic things that they were doing wrong, that was costing them potentially quite substantial. So it was just three cherry-picked instances of American brands that I thought would work well.

Richard:
Because I think you have quite a habit, shall I say, of picking on... picking's the wrong word, but-

Luke:
Yeah. Yeah.

Richard:
And exposing issues that big sites have. Obviously you had a bit of a situation with Lidl not so long ago, I believe. Tell me about that.

Luke:
Yeah, Lidl was fun. There was a situation where, I think it was a Christmas campaign, and I had a copy of the Good Food magazine, because I love to eat and I love to cook. So, back cover, beautiful spread, Lidl. And it was a really nice URL, Lidl.co.uk/Christmas, or something like that. It didn't work.

Luke:
So I fired up the web address, and just nothing, 404. So, the reason why this came about is because what I like to build for clients is a 404 counter in GA, that counts the number of 404s by how many people find them, rather than SEO impact. Because there's a 404 that impacts the website from an SEO point of view, and there's a 404 that impacts from a CRM point of view.

Luke:
If you've put out a magazine that has Lidl.co.uk/Christmas and it doesn't work, you can imagine you're looking at tens of thousands of people who have punched that in. But from an SEO point of view, there is no damage, because it's probably a URL that maybe never existed before. So, SEO, nothing. CRO, big problem.

Richard:
Yeah.

Luke:
So I did a blog post, identified some of the stuff that they weren't doing right. Collated it all together, published it. And Lidl were fantastic at getting back to me.

Richard:
Really?

Luke:
It hasn't always been the case. Normally it's a case of people just ignoring me, or whatever. But Lidl slid in my DMs and said, "Hey, thanks for letting us know. We've fixed the issue." And yeah, I was kind of expecting a Christmas hamper at least, but no.

Richard:
No, not even a little Lidl chocolate box?

Luke:
Nothing special.

Richard:
Okay.

Luke:
A lot of people say to me, "Why didn't you handle it in a different way? Why didn't you send an email to someone, or send a letter?" But the way I see it is, one, it's publicly accessible information. It's on their website publicly, so I'm not doing anything malicious. And secondly, the chances of me getting Lidl as a client is really slim. But the chances of me getting clients off the back of what I found on Lidl is much greater.

Luke:
And let's be honest. If I don't get Lidl as a client ever in my life, it's a shame. I might have shot myself in the arse. But to be honest, I'll probably never get them as a client anyway. So I've probably won a lot more than I've lost, I reckon.

Richard:
I would agree. They'll probably drop you as quick as they hire you, as well. Maybe, maybe not.

Luke:
Yeah.

Richard:
But yeah, nice one. I'll have to keep an eye out for who's next on your radar.

Luke:
Yeah, there's one, there's one.

Richard:
Ah, there's one coming, is there?

Luke:
Yeah, I need to get the time to write it, but there's one coming soon.

Richard:
Brilliant. So, we'll move on to some of the strategy sort of things that you, sort of on the tool stuff that you're doing. Talk me through, if you can, some of the e-commerce strategies that you've delivered that's generated multi-million pound revenues, and really shifted the needle for a company over the last few years. Whether that's in-house or freelance, that's really, you've thought it through, you've got buy-in, implemented it, and you've seen the needle really move on the sales.

Luke:
Yeah, so there's definitely a couple of stand-out examples. One doesn't necessarily reach into the millions, but there is one that definitely has, but I'm pretty sure there's an NDA there, so anyway. But I will talk about one which I can talk about, because I've done it in a talk recently.

Luke:
To paint a bit of a picture, it was an issue with the checkout. So what would happen is, every couple of days customers would call and say, "Hey, look, I'm at the checkout, put in my card details, what's going on? I can't complete my transaction."

Luke:
So normally what happens is, that would trigger a ticket into dev. Dev would take a look. They'd try and replicate the issue, can't replicate it, close the ticket. You know the system, right? And this kept happening on a weekly basis for probably close to a year. It was a really extended period of time.

Luke:
So I thought, "Do you know what? Something doesn't really sit too well here." So I started building things in GA which enabled me to pull error messages from Google Analytics. So, I identified that there's a particular error message that fires extensively on the checkout. And that error message was something like, it was a Sage Pay-specific error. And what it was, it was an APR response of, "Error 7004, yada, yada, yada." Didn't mean anything to anybody.

Luke:
So, what we actually identified it, error 1007 meant invalid card number, that's what it was. So, we changed the copy in that message from whatever it was saying as an API output to, "Invalid card number. Please check and retry." £30,000 uplift in sales overnight. Just because of the clarity of information.

Richard:
Changing the message to the end user, where they've maybe put the card in wrong, or something wrong with the card, but it's been a big error code, rather than a, "Oh, don't worry, let's just try again," message.

Luke:
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Really simple things, but technically dev were never in the wrong, because what they did worked. So technically if you put in the right card number the transaction works, if you put in the wrong card number an error message appears. And it's that kind of soft skill of, where does UX lie in a small business?

Richard:
How did you spot that? What was the first indicator for that problem, was it in GA then you were seeing a huge dropout? Or was it, obviously, people submitting tickets with errors?

Luke:
So, the indicator was, I had a look at the checkout and identified all the error message events that were firing dev at checkout. And that seemed to feature quite highly. So I thought, "Let's go and take a look."

Luke:
On top of that, we also captured lost basket revenue, so that allowed us to understand all of the transactions we didn't win, and tag all of the events in that session that led up to that specific loss in the sale. So, as you can imagine, there was a strong correlation between that poor error message and the lost basket value.

Luke:
Got quite immediate buy-in, because we realised quickly how much money it was costing the business. So it wasn't even a case of, "Let's put it in the queue." It was actually a case of, "Dude, why are we still having this conversation? Go and fix it now." Because it's clearly a problem.

Richard:
Corker. Corker example where people come along and say, "Improve our SEO." But it's simple saying it, obviously it took some finding, but fixing a checkout, the sites we look at. I'm sure you do it, like mobile. You look at the mobile checkout.

Richard:
We had one where this company sells car parts, been established 18 years, the site's been online 18 years, it's a fairly chunky business. But they've got a chat bot, and the chatbot pops up, "Do you want some help? Yes/no, yes/no." But it was enabled when they were in checkout still, and you couldn't get rid of it. So you go into checkout on mobile, but you couldn't put your credit card in, because the chatbot was overlaying the checkout.

Luke:
Wow.

Richard:
Yeah, so, yeah.

Luke:
And I'll tell you what, you saying that, another one was, we enabled American Express as a card payment type. But the CVC validation only allowed up to three characters, obviously Am Ex is four. So we used to have customers like, "I can't pay the thing." It's like, "Yeah, you can."

Luke:
Again, it took weeks to find that issue, but it's the really small, irritating issues that you can't replicate or see that are the ones that cost you the money.

Richard:
Generally, so many owners of sites, they're just blind to it because they're seeing it every day. They don't even think, "Oh it's not the checkout." "Have you checked it?" "Well, yeah." "Have you really checked it?" No, probably not, no.

Richard:
Okay. Black Friday, I know we talked about Black Friday. I think it was just literally before Black Friday, we were all getting geared up for the madness. Every year now it just seems to get crazier and crazier and crazier. Sitting there refreshing GA and seeing what's going on. And refreshing Analytics, saying, "Oh my God, 10 minutes has gone by, another whatever how many orders."

Richard:
But I know black Friday's a big topic for yourself. What sort of things have you been doing, would you say, maybe last November with clients to maximize?

Luke:
Yeah, so as I was relatively fresh in the freelance gig, there wasn't a huge amount of Black Friday activity from a client perspective. So instead I used that time to go and pick on everybody else instead.

Luke:
So, who was it I looked at now? Homebase, I think. And I actually got a response from Homebase, and it was quite nice, and I felt really bad afterwards. But what basically happened is, you searched for Black Friday on Homebase and there were no results found. Which I thought was quite funny.

Luke:
Because if there's a single thing that has to be right, regardless of what time of the year it is, it should be your internal search. So, searching for probably the most powerful keyword on your internal search, on Black Friday, and it doesn't work, painful.

Luke:
But, to be fair, what Homebase said is that they were not doing a Black Friday sale. So for me I was kind of like, "Okay, so then you have an opportunity to double down on this." Because if you're not doing a Black Friday sale, when someone searches for Black Friday, you say, "Hey, we're not doing Black Friday this year, however we have deals A, B, and C, D, E, and F, one, two, and three available."

Luke:
Just because you're not doing something, doesn't mean your experience has to be bad.

Richard:
You're just not putting a Black Friday label on it, but you are...

Luke:
Exactly. Exactly. And then we ended up sparking a whole conversation about using the same URL every single year, so every single year it becomes more and more powerful.

Luke:
So a lot of companies out there we do something like Black Friday 2019 Black Friday Extravaganza. And then next year it will be, Biggest Ever Black Friday as a URL. Just use the same one, because all of that equity you have will constantly be recycled every single year.

Richard:
Every year.

Luke:
And I think I looked at Currys in one of my talks, in my SearchLove talk, not last year but the year before. Once, on Black Friday. Now, there was one particular point where Currys had all of these juicy back-links from people like TechRadar.

Richard:
Other review sites, and the big-

Luke:
All the review sites, and it was, as you see, every single year there's lots of publications and articles, Daily Mail, all that sort of stuff, who do a summary of the top Black Friday deals from the key retailers. Obviously, these pages don't die when Black Friday's gone.
Richard:
Yeah, so mega back-links.
Luke:
Yeah. But they killed the products, because they're no longer for sale. So my point was, why are you taking those products off the website? Why don't you keep them there? There's an SEO middle ground you need to take care of, but keep them there. And then when people go to these products for next year's Black Friday, then you can say, "Hey, we don't sell this 50 inch high sense TV for 299 anymore. However, we do have this JVC 50 inch for 329."It's just using as much of the stuff that you've done before, keep using it.
Luke:
And then another post example is case sensitivity on discount codes. And I see this so many times, where you say, "Get an extra 10% off when you use the discount code Black Friday." But you have to do it upper case, otherwise it doesn't work. And then you've lost the sale because someone's on a mobile phone and hasn't done that, or
Richard:
Yeah, so just make them non-case sensitive. Yeah.
Luke:
Yeah.
Richard:
Yeah, obviously the Black Friday URL issue, but it's a wide issue in e-commerce, isn't it? Where a lot of clients we have, or I know a handful of clients should I say, that have limited runs of products, and then they might not get them for eight months. So there actually was Smartwater, on the website, and then we'll put it back on eight months later.
Richard:
But what you're saying, and what we're saying is, obviously Google's indexed that product page maybe four years ago, so sitting here today you could have four years' worth of equity, four years' worth of how I know the main authority are the paid [inaudible 00:27:45]. Rather than every three months, six, well every 12 months in Black Friday's instance, starting from fresh.
Richard:
It's quite a simple solution, but usually I think a lot of people are, "Oh, we don't sell that anymore. Get rid."
Luke:
Get rid of it, yeah. I think, to be honest, hats off to people like Argos, because every single year they are always consistent with their user experience. Their Black Friday landing page is always spot on. But some big retailers get it right, and equally some small independent retailers get it right. But then it's the biggest time of the year. If you've missed that day you've probably cost yourself potentially tens of thousands, if not more.
Richard:
So, for those that are listening to the podcast, some of the e-commerce stores that'll be listening, that will have products that are coming in and out of stock all the time, park Black Friday for a second.
Richard:
They're starting a product, and then that product page, you're going to go to that product page, there is no stock for say three months. What would you advise to do to that product page, if there's not a product going to be available for three months? Would you do a potential back-order option? Reserve option? Or show them, give them the option to look at other products, or both, or?
Luke:
Yeah, I think the commercial limitations, I guess, is business dependent. Because for some products, maybe a lot of products, you just don't know when stock's going to come back. You might have an idea, but the last thing you want to do is start fulfilling orders, and then find out...
Richard:
Sophisticated back end system to know what's exactly coming in.
Luke:
Yeah. So what I'd normally advise is that the technical side of things needs to remain separate from commercial. What I mean by that is, if the product is out of stock for a mid to long-term amount of time then, sure, take that product out of the index. And what I mean by that is, no-index it, but keep it followed. But what you do not do is turn that product off.
Luke:
That product should always remain online, because in the world of e-commerce you've probably over the last, say, 12 months sent it in an email, you've shared it on social media, you've got affiliate links to it, you've got all sorts of stuff. So the last thing you want is to have people going to that product and seeing a 404.
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
So what you probably should do is, show the product page and be quite open and say, "Look, this isn't available any more, however we have other alternatives from this brand. We have similar items from different brands." But it allows the customer, rather than seeing a kind of, "Don't know what you're looking for," they've got an example, or a number of alternatives they can go and look at.
Luke:
That's exactly how it would work if you walked into a supermarket. If you walk in there and you're looking for a specific, I don't know, your favourite tin of tomatoes, or whatever, and they haven't got them, you would look at alternatives, unless you're particularly specific about what you want. So the same experience should be online. If you're looking for something and they don't have it, then here are some good alternatives.
Richard:
Good idea, yeah. Rather than nothing.
Luke:
Rather than nothing. Again, another retailer that does this really well is John Lewis.
Richard:
John Lewis, yeah.
Luke:
They're really good at, "This product is no longer available, here's some more from this brand, and here's some other products that are from other brands but are very similar in specification."
Richard:
Other brands, similar, yeah, just pulling from the category. One higher or lower on price, or circa the same brand, similar, yeah.
Luke:
Yeah, yeah.
Richard:
Quite straightforward, really. I think it's just, you're either doing it or you're not. And if you're not doing it, get something implemented, depending on what or whether you're Magento, Shopify, custom-built, it's making sure you've got the option there.
Richard:
I know there's going to be some limitations depending on what systems people are using. Less so now, I think. Most systems have got that option, I think.
Richard:
Okay, so, well, we'll see what this next. Well, Black Friday seems a long way off, but it's always madness. Where are we now? 10 months time. 10 months to go and we'll see what the crazy stats are this year around Black Friday numbers. But every year has, as you know, we do a lot of Google Shopping, and it's just crazy. It just blows my mind.
Luke:
I bet.
Richard:
I just like some of the bigger clients, hitting refresh. When you can hit refresh and get literally dozens of orders in 10 seconds. It's like, "What? What?"
Luke:
Place blowing up, it's good to see.
Richard:
I remember last year, no, the year before, Black Friday. We'd taken on a large client, probably doing about 15,000 orders a month, so reasonable size. On a normal month.
Richard:
But then I was in London on Black Friday, and I was on the train. And I was trying to hit refresh on my phone. I was like, "Oh my God."
Luke:
Train Wifi.
Richard:
I was going through the tunnels from King's Cross. I was like “oh no!” And then it would take like a minute, and it was like, "Oh my God, there's another hundred orders."
Luke:
Brilliant.
Richard:
In a minute or whatever.
Luke:
But actually, you saying that, you know this whole Black Friday thing, right? Your Black Friday page should still be live now.
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
You shouldn't be taking that down. So I know it's not Black Friday right now, but you're still going to get visitors to that. Maybe not that many, maybe 95% less than what you're normally used to.
Luke:
But be clever with it. You've got domain.com/BlackFriday, you land on the page, "We're not doing Black Friday yet, register for next year." So, "Stay alerted."
Richard:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Luke:
And then also-
Richard:
Email list. Build the list.
Luke:
Email list. And then also, if you've got a February sale on, or whatever time of the month you're in, you can say, "Look, we're not doing Black Friday, register and sign up for updates. But have a look at-"
Richard:
Pounds signs coming up
Luke:
There you go. So your page is still working for you, equity still passes to it. It's not 404ing, you have-
Richard:
Forget Black Friday, forget the Christmas gift, it's all about the Valentines gift.
Luke:
There you go. You see? Exactly. So, can you imagine something like that for Moonpig right now?
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
Valentine's is literally round the corner. I imagine-
Richard:
Moonpig. We'll have to tag Moonpig when we push this out live, yeah.
Luke:
I'd be curious to know if their Valentine's page is live all year round, or whether they make a new one each year, or whatever, it'd be cool to take a look. Maybe I should take a look. I might find some time and investigate.
Richard:
Yeah, I mean, we'll push this live in about six weeks. We'll tag them up, and we'll have a little look. And then if you put something out before that, then we can tag that as well.
Luke:
Yeah, cool, I'll see what I can do.
Richard:
I think that gives you a lot to think about. Obviously every e-com store has got Black Friday, but obviously the reality is, you've got to maximize it all year round, and prepare all year round. So you've got that, making sure those URLs are there, for the Black Friday URLs, but also the product that you're pointing to, and product URLs that are coming in and out of stock, you've got a strategy for that. Because I think that does get missed.
Richard:
Okay, tricky question coming up.
Luke:
Damn, been doing so well. Okay, let's have it.
Richard:
No, it's a bit of a corny one, or a bit of tricky one but, what do you think is the best SEO strategy right now?
Luke:
I was going to say something really quite blasé and say, "Not have one." But I would actually say that your SEO strategy should be to just build it as best as you can for your customers.
Richard:
Quality.
Luke:
Don't get me wrong, I think it's a tricky one. But if you spend a lot of your time building a website that tickles Google in the right spots and everything else, then that's great. But if you have a website that is SEO friendly, but a CRO nightmare, you are not helping your customers. And you will lose customers as a result.
Luke:
But if you look at it this way, if you have a website that is really slick, easy to use, has a good, healthy conversion rate, people can find what they want, but from a technical SEO perspective it's not perfect, there's a pretty good chance for money in the till, you're going to do better with the latter than you would with the,
Luke:
But, I forget who says this, I think it might be Stephen Kenwright I'll double-check, But he's a gentleman that I value a lot, a lot. And he says, "It's not that we're chasing search engines, or chasing Google. It's the fact that Google is chasing the best websites." Because when you're searching for something, it's Google's job to give you the best possible website for that particular query.
Luke:
So if you build a website that's crap, technically sound but crap, you're not going to rank very well. And we've seen this time and time again with websites that just have really ugly URLs, but they just seem to be ranking like crazy. But because they're brand powerhouses, the Matalans of this world. Halfords is a perfect example.
Luke:
Halfords is, from a technical point of view, a bit of a mess. But it's a brand that people know and love. It's what families buy tents from, it's where you get your bikes from. Brand affinity is huge.
Richard:
It's where I go to, for instance, unfortunately, or fortunately, yeah.
Luke:
Yeah. I mean, I think your SEO strategy should be, build a case, a business case, for what your customers really want, and then SEO will follow as a result of that.
Richard:
Yeah. Yeah, no, good. I like that. I like that. Okay, so I think we talk a lot about things that are working, in life in general, and this is great. But the reality is, I think there's usually a few things that we will have all tried, or a few things that we may have learned from, a learning experience is the best way to look at it. So have you got any horror stories, funny stories about products you worked on, or clients you've worked with, or sites you've worked with?
Luke:
Yeah, definitely. There's one that springs to mind, and it's always my go-to horror story. And we were rolling out a new e-commerce website that was faster, easier, cleaner, all the boxes ticked from UX and everything else.
Luke:
So we launched it. And everything was good, we tested the URL structure, did all the migration, all good. Day one, it fell over. It properly fell over. No sales, nothing. And we were freaking out, "What the hell's going on?"
Luke:
What had actually happened is, we'd made the website really fast, without thinking about the back-end infrastructure, and whether it could cope.
Richard:
Server-wise?
Luke:
ERP-wise. So, the server was built to cope, it was fine. So anything that was in the cloud was perfect, it was built for it. But what we didn't take into consideration was that the ERP system was dated.
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
ERP system needed a certain amount of time to respond with queries like prices, stock, and all that sort of good stuff. So we made the website a lot quicker, but we then made the ERP system struggle, to the point where it just fell over.
Luke:
So no pricing, you can't buy anything, you can't log in. And we had no sales for the first day. So we had a 100% down revenue day for like, yeah, crazy.
Luke:
I think the lesson learned here is, it's all good to go and make a website that's fast, and good to make a website that's better for your customers, but actually, can all your stakeholders, internally, cope with the improvements? It's one I just never saw coming, because everyone's, "Get on the fast train. Make it fast, make it quick, make it better." But we didn't take into consideration whether all parts of the business were ready for that.
Richard:
I think that goes as well, when we touched on Black Friday. Obviously you've got this massive surge of business, can you cope with it? Can you deliver? We have examples, fortunately, unfortunately, of very large, multi-million pound e-com stores, per month, that this November really screwed up, unfortunately.
Richard:
Because they were that busy they couldn't get the stock in time, they couldn't ship the stock in time. So they got literally hundreds of reviews which were not good. Which really nipped them.
Richard:
They maybe maximised in a short period, but now coming into January and February, when the gift type of business is a little bit more challenging, or a lot more challenging compared with Christmas, their brand is pretty damaged. Because they weren't, you know, quite a few things happened with that and being able to make sure that everything in the back end is working. Absolutely, so important.
Richard:
Because you can soon get caught out, can't you? The whole, will come down if, in your example, if the warehouse system just completely broke, and they can't pick and pack anything for a day. Or the stock levels, they order something by mistake, or, yeah. There's a lot of variables. Especially when you get to a certain size, yeah.
Luke:
It is, for sure. And I think maybe it's more of a problem in a small, sort of SME business environment than it is corporate. Or at least you'd like to think. But I think the point is, you can do the right thing and still make a massive fuck-up of it.
Luke:
You're hitting all your goals, all your targets, you're making things fast, you're making things cleaner, you're using the data. But if there's a part of the business that you rely on isn't ready... To your point, right? You've done all your campaigns, you've got everything ready, you're driving traffic. You've got a conversion. But actually, and you hear it all the time, maybe not so much now, but back when Groupon launched.
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
The whole thing of people going absolutely crazy for Groupon, and booking tens of thousands of vouchers for this small massage parlor in Suffolk, or something.
Richard:
They can't, yeah.
Luke:
They can't sustain demand, so they have to close down, because it's just crazy.
Richard:
We're going to have to put that in the show notes, about the massage parlor. Pretty click bait.
Luke:
The ones in Suffolk, not the ones in China, all right. There's a difference.
Richard:
We won't go any further. But yeah, absolutely, a little two-man band. We've got a small client who is a friend of mine almost, but he's got a fitness center, but it's not a David Lloyd, it's a one-man, just got a couple of staff. And he does Groupon, and sometimes I see his Groupon like, "Sold 120." I'm thinking, "How the hell, dude, are you going to get 120 people through your two room fitness" you know, he has a brilliant business, but it's very personalised.
Richard:
I think the reality is, with Groupon probably not a lot of people actually redeem their purchases. But I think being geared up for what might come from that is something else.
Richard:
So, SEO-wise, what would you say are some of the tools that you like to really... Obviously there's a lot of tools out there, a lot of, I think, household names in SEO. SEMrush, Ahrefs, and so forth, and so on. A lot of tools we use in the industry. But what are the couple of bits that you use? Maybe a couple of features within a couple of tools that you really use
Luke:
Yeah. So I like to... I'm a bit of a... what do you want to call it? I'm curious. So I normally try lots of different tools out, but I normally have a very distinct tool set that I go to all of the time.
Luke:
Ahrefs is one of my absolute favourites, mainly because of their data. It just seems to be the most comprehensive. And I think you can gage the quality of an SEO tool by how well it finds data for small domains. So it's easy to go away and find Argos.com, right? Or Argos.co.uk, and get loads of data. But actually, for this kind of website that's been going for two or three years, it's got no equity, how... you know?
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
So, for me, Ahrefs is brilliant, I love that tool. Specifically the broken back-links tool. But I actually wrote a blog post about that, where Ahrefs might be missing a big trick, and I can provide a link to that.
Richard:
The broken back-links tool within Ahrefs?
Luke:
Yeah. But I actually ran across a case where Ahrefs only reports a link as broken if it responds with a 404 or a 4XX issue, a 5XX issue, or a DNS problem. So if it has none of those three, it won't be reported as broken, even though Google can see that as broken. So for example-
Richard:
You're missing on a world of opportunities then.
Luke:
Yeah. So, if something times out, so just never responds, then Ahrefs will never see that as a broken back-link, but Google will. So I actually wrote a blog post about this, and I'm hoping Ahrefs, I need to share it around a little bit more, to see if they'll get notice of it. But I think the point here is, broken back-links, you feel, is the be-all and end-all of finding the broken links. And actually, by sheer coincidence I found something that wasn't necessarily the case. I'll pop a link to that in the thing.
Luke:
But Screaming Frog I think is a given, it's a tool kit, it's literally the screwdriver of anyone who wants to, in that industry.
Richard:
It's a cheap tool as well, isn't it?
Luke:
Yeah. Technically free, depending on how big the site is. And then less than 200 quid a year for a subscription.
Richard:
It's one... 180 or something.
Luke:
Yeah, negligible. Negligible stuff. I really like one which isn't very popular called cognitiveSEO.
Richard:
Ah, cognitiveSEO, Razvan, yeah.
Luke:
Yeah. I haven't used this one in some time, but that thing was awesome. I think back in the days of when disavow was this super-topic, they had a really powerful disavow tool.
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
But I've got one more go-to which I use, and I have a subscription to, which is Sistrix. Love that one.
Richard:
Oh, I don't know that one.
Luke:
Sistrix is the one that, for me, makes all that data stakeholder-friendly, C-suite friendly. Because it has a beautiful graph called Keyword... Damn, I need to do this justice, what the hell's it called? Visibility Index, there we go.
Luke:
And the Visibility Index is a perfect graphic demonstrating organic performance over a period of time, so over five, ten years. And you can start to see exactly where a particular domain was at its SEO peak, and where it's dropped, and why, and algorithm updates.
Luke:
And for a C-suite, that's really helpful. Because rather than show them GA, and all this kind of stuff, with just one graph that takes the average of basically all the SEO factors, and gives you the nice path to find problems.
Richard:
I have to say, that's not one I've heard of, and that's I think, yeah, we'll give that a go and I'll have a play. Cognitive, we used Cognitive for about five years here, somewhere there. Up until about a year ago, then we have moved things around a bit. But it's one that I personally really liked, I think for the link profile, specifically, it was exceptional. But like you say, when we were doing a lot of disavows, which we don't do any more, well very rarely, it was our bread and butter back in the day, when we were disavowing. It was literally cognitive, dah, dah, dah, disavow, dah, dah, dah.
Luke:
Yeah. But what I will also say, actually, is you don't actually have to spend money to get good tools. Search Console is awesome, let's be honest. Although there's a few things I don't like about it, for example, if you no-index URLs they don't appear, back-links for those URLs don't appear in Search Console. So no-index and/or no-followed URLs don't appear, and I've got a post about that as well.
Luke:
But Search Console is incredible. There's loads of redirect-type checkers. There's loads of Chrome extensions. So I love the Ayima, I think that's how you pronounce it, Ayima? Redirect checker for Chrome. I love the JS, the JavaScript hubble switcher, which just allows you to see how a website renders when JavaScript is turned off.
Luke:
There's loads of free things that might only do one thing, but it saves you a bucket-load of time, or just gives you a window of visibility that you wouldn't have had without it. Free tools are some of the best ones.
Richard:
If you had to choose one you'd be Ahrefs then?
Luke:
If I had to choose one.
Richard:
One tool is a bit of a nightmare situation in SEO, I know, but if you had to go with one, where would you go?
Luke:
I think, yeah. I think-
Richard:
Another question, you've got 10 minutes to diagnose a website best you can. What tool would you use to be able to present enough data on that website?
Luke:
Search Console.
Richard:
Search Console? Yep.
Luke:
Yeah. Because, that way I could justify value without spending a single penny.
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
And then I can get my window for Ahrefs afterwards. I've done that epic presentation, and now I can get Ahrefs, Sistrix, and everything else all in the one.
Richard:
Okay, brilliant. So lots of tools there, some good shout outs there, so that's good. So what would you say is one thing you wish you'd known before you started out as an SEO? Is there one thing in particular that you think-
Luke:
That's a good question.
Richard:
Maybe spent a lot of time doing something that, maybe that's not the way forward. Or is there one area that you spent a lot of time in?
Luke:
I wish I would have known how big a deal Python would have been before it was a big deal.
Richard:
Okay, yeah.
Luke:
Because data is the new gold. I say data is the new gold like data hasn't been gold for several years now. But yeah, Python just seems to be this epic force. And actually, shout out to a lady called Ruth Everett, she's literally every time I see her she just always gives me this catalyst to go and pull my finger out and go and get some Python stuff done. She's brilliant, she works with DeepCrawl.
Richard:
Yeah, when I met you she was doing a talk there, wasn't she?
Luke:
Yeah, that was her.
Richard:
I have to admit a couple of my guys, or particularly one guy, Andy, who's our lead tech engineer, he's now like, "I'm Python." He's gone Python mad.
Luke:
Yeah, Python is definitely one, I think. Yeah. Outside of that, automation. Still something I'm working at. I'd still love to know a heck of a lot more, but you don't know what you don't know, right? So I think if I could have jumped on Python say two years ago, or whatever, then that would have been incredible.
Richard:
Yeah, automation's an interesting... Python, I'm not too... Well, I'm not on it whatsoever, personally. So it's a tricky one for me. But automation, obviously, on the AdWords side, it's a huge thing for us, a huge thing for our clients, being able to. You know there's obviously different types of automation, but being able to take data from different systems and extract stuff from the different tools.
Richard:
And we've just had a meeting this morning about creating new dashboards for clients. Data studio, but then extracting all the data from Ahrefs, extracting and getting API from SEMrush, GA, obviously... And just something that, once you've set some stuff up using automations, wow, you can really dazzle the client, but obviously you can see.
Richard:
And you can spend your time then doing proper stuff, rather than spending five hours sorting out data.
Luke:
Yeah. I think, to also complement that, the one thing I'd absolutely say is, it's all good and well having all the science and technology, and gigabytes and terabytes of data at your disposal. But, SEO will always be fundamentals first.
Luke:
So your back-links, your information architecture, your speed. They're all just as important, if not, actually they're a heck of a lot more important than all the new shiny stuff, like all that sort of stuff.
Luke:
So, I think SEO is still the same as it was, to a point, five, 10 years ago. It's still about fundamentals.
Richard:
I agree, I agree.
Luke:
And sometimes it can be very easy to get lost in the new and shiny and forget about the core pillars of stuff.
Richard:
Yeah, absolutely. So, what would you say is one thing that you've failed at?
Luke:
Wow, okay. Am I allowed to swear on this podcast? Because I feel like I need to.
Richard:
Of course you are, yeah, yeah. It's my podcast, do what you like. Within reason.
Luke:
Oh God. One thing I think I've failed at?
Richard:
Probably need to reword the question. So what's the biggest learning?
Luke:
Time is precious. I think-
Richard:
Time is precious.
Luke:
Everyone who hits their 30s will probably say this. You don't realise how much time you waste when you're in your... this is turning from an SEO podcast to some sort of life coaching thing. But in your early 20s you are so time-rich you don't realize how much time you actually have.
Richard:
Yep.
Luke:
I think if I'd have realised and sat down, and really got my head down, and stopped messing around with alcohol so much, then I probably would have been a little bit further on than I was. But saying that, compared to my humble beginnings and everything else, I've come a heck of a long way as well.
Luke:
So, I don't know. I think I've got a better answer for that, and I'll work it out as soon as I put the phone down for this podcast, but that's what I'll give you right now.
Richard:
So what would you say, obviously, like you say, fundamentals are very important. Now, I would say even more so. Getting out and building a quality experience. But what would you say is one trend that we've got to keep an eye on in the industry that you think is... if you think about e-commerce specifically, what's one trend we should be keeping an eye on?
Luke:
One thing I'm actually really curious about is Instagram. I'm a little bit worried, should I say? Because they've not really managed to make a massive commercial move yet, outside of the cliché ads. But Instagram is super-visual, and Instagram is all about influence. And it's very fashion-led, right?
Luke:
So I think there could be something in the pipeline, don't know when, maybe 12 months from now, where Instagram becomes its own e-commerce platform. Imagine kind of like a Shopify-Instagram mash-up.
Luke:
And I know they've done beta tests of stuff like this before, you might remember more on this than me.
Richard:
There is some stuff on there at the moment where a brand will list in an image, and you can click on the brand, but only so many brands have got that place.
Luke:
Yeah. But could you imagine how powerful it would be if Instagram had the ability to create a Shopify instance in that platform?
Richard:
Yeah.
Luke:
I think that would be huge. Especially if Instagram is slicing the commission off every sale. But I just think, something tells me, there's something bubbling away in their HQ somewhere that's, "How can we monetize Instagram, in a way that other people don't?"
Luke:
And then you think about Google as well, and stuff like that. So, for example, yes you've got, Google now you can click on PLA, or click on a product's ad and go away and buy it. But imagine a situation where you can do a whole transaction from the search page, rather than having to go to a retailer. So kind of like Amazon mashed with Google search. So it wouldn't surprise me, again, if you click on a product-
Richard:
Yeah, well that, we've been to quite a few different... meetups, I guess. Meetups? No. With Google. And the last one I was at was showing PLA, Google Shopping listing, and then when you click through it adds the product to the basket already on the website.
Luke:
Okay. Okay.
Richard:
They said that was coming, but that was about nine months ago when they said that, so it's probably going to be here. So literally, you've clicked the PLA on a Google Shopping Listing and bang. You're on the site, but you're not just on the product page, you're in the basket with the product ready to go.
Luke:
That's cool, but I also don't think that's Google enough. That's not Google enough. I think what will happen is, you'll be able to complete the entire transaction without ever leaving Google. And then ultimately Google just kind of pushes you the sale via a platform or something. So, I can-
Richard:
Yeah, that's scary isn't it? To think, well, do we not need a website then? One day.
Luke:
Think about what they've done to things like Google Flights, right? And car insurance, and stuff. It's just there. So I think it's just a matter of time before they work out how to avoid you even going to the website to complete the purchase. When? Don't know. But they'll find a way.
Richard:
Yeah. Product search in the index. You just buy it. Because I think they must be working on... Well, obviously, they're always working on stuff, but with the shenanigans with the they've had to bring out the CSS system to counter the... obviously the index not being competitive for price comparison sites. So they've brought that out, but is the next level where there will be a price comparison into the index maybe, yeah. Or something like that, yeah.
Luke:
They've already got Google Place Search.
Richard:
So it's your shout out then to keep an eye out. One to watch.
Luke:
Yeah. I'm not a fan of the platform at all, but I just think... I don't really like what it's done for the mental health connotations with it, but I just think as a platform, it's probably the one that's most trend-oriented.
Richard:
Yeah. Okay, well we're nearly at the end, Luke. We've had a... That has gone... That's an hour, pretty much.
Luke:
It's disappeared. Disappeared.
Richard:
Last few minutes, so the last question for you. I like to ask my guests about a book that they would recommend, or a resource they would recommend. Preferably a book. Have you got one that's on top of the list?
Luke:
Yeah, I have. There's a book by a lady called April Dunford, and I'm going to do it absolutely no justice now, because I've forgotten what it's called. It's called Obviously Awesome. And it's a book all about product positioning. And sounds really cliché, and kind of, "Yeah, whatever mate." But, honestly, if you can find her presentation online, she did Learn Inbound over in Dublin last year, and it blew my mind. And she tells a really good story about her personal experience, and trying to position a financial product in a really tricky sector.
Richard:
Like a challenger product?
Luke:
Yeah. But her book talks a lot of sense. And I'm quite an impatient person, so I don't really like those really thick, heavy, three-inch novels.
Richard:
Yeah. No, I'm with you on that one.
Luke:
But it's a good... You could read it in probably a day, or two days, if you wanted to. But it's got some good stuff about positioning of products, which could relate to an e-commerce, or just a brochure site. But that's definitely my go-to book. Yeah, I think it's pretty good.
Richard:
So, April Dunford?
Luke:
April Dunford, yeah.
Richard:
Obviously-
Luke:
And the book's called Obviously Awesome, yeah.
Richard:
We'll get that popped in the checkout, and get that checked out, yeah. Well, Luke, thank you so much. So, for the guys that are listening to the podcast, when we release it, how will they be able to find out more about you, Luke? Where's the best place to find what you're up to?
Luke:
Google, I guess. Twitter, I'm always on Twitter, yeah. So LukeCarthy.com, @MrLukeCarthy on Twitter. I'm normally speaking in some conference somewhere. I think I've got a few things.
Richard:
And I guess also speaking agendas at the various SEO/e-com-
Luke:
Yeah, so I'm at Brighton in April. And there's a few small meet-ups as well. There's one I'm looking forward to called Drink, which is one that's coming up in March, I think. And there's another one I'm speaking at, this might actually come out... I'm actually speaking at before this podcast releases, but it's called Love Inbound, and it's in Clitheroe, and it's by the guy... it's a HubSpot agency called Digital 22, so there we go. And they put on a conference that they've kindly invited me to.So, yeah, I'm normally at some meet-up or conference.
Richard:
So, yeah, or find you on LinkedIn. I know you put a lot of stuff out that I like. And you'll be putting your latest finds on LinkedIn of who's doing what, or who's not doing what.
Luke:
Absolutely.
Richard:
Well, thanks so much Luke, it's been an absolute pleasure. There's a lot jammed in there, so I look forward to catching up with you again soon. I'll just, yeah, thanks a lot, brilliant.
Luke:
No problem, thanks for having me on.
Richard:
Thank you.

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