Sentiment Analysis | Part Two: Negative Sentiment is a Creative Problem Solving Indicator

by Russ Ward (@russcward)

Social media sentiment around a product, service or brand is an interesting metric (and, as discussed in Part One of the series, one that ought not be ignored) that provides some insight into the emotional state of the demographic from which the sentiment is derived.

I have heard from a number of people that finding actionable strategies from a particular sentiment value is a difficult matter. I want to use this post to show you how you can turn that data to solve problems creatively.

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Sentiment Analysis | Part One: It’s Not Voodoo!

by Russ Ward (@russcward)

As the resident research and analytics guy here at Zemoga, I was asked by Briana Campbell, our Head of Social Media, to contribute to a conversation about the use of “sentiment” in social media monitoring.  Apparently the notion of sarcasm or the parochial use of words like “wicked,” “bad,” or “beast” in a positive context had caused some of her peers to dispatch “sentiment analysis” as flat out voodoo.

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Designed to Deliver – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 6


There’s been a lot of talk lately about the migration of advertising from traditional media outlets to the digital space. Among the key benefits, analysts always identify in this trend is the ability to view metrics and more accurately assess the impact of digital advertising.

A similar point of differentiation occurs between print and digital design. Unlike print, the impact of a digital offering can be measured using simple tools. Of these, one of the most effective is bounce rate. Bounce rate refers to the number of users who click on a site but do not progress in their user experience beyond the entry page. It’s a highly significant measurement and leads directly in to the question we asked in our last post …

How many of your users are actually achieving their goals?

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Are You Building Bridges or Roadblocks? – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 4


We concluded yesterday’s post with the leading question, “Why are my customers coming to my website?” It’s a trick question because it fosters a whole other series of (false) assumptions. Chief among these is that customers are interested in your products or want to find out more about your company. But as social media guru David Meerman Scott is fond of telling companies, the first rule of the new wave of digital marketing is “No one cares about your products but you.” No one goes to the Tide detergent site because they’re passionate about laundry detergent. They visit the site because they want to find out the best way to get their clothes clean.  Their goal isn’t to learn more about the product it’s to solve a problem they have. We’ve talked about how research and customer profiling can help you identify user goals for your site. So the real question isn’t why are they visiting, it’s “What do users hope to accomplish when visiting my site?”  Once that has been answered, design thinkers need to ask …

What problems do users face when trying to achieve their goals on your site? Read more


“What’s Your Computer Doing on Mine?” – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 3

who are your users “What’s Your Computer Doing on Mine?” – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 3

For those of us who spend every day immersed in online environments, it’s easy to lose site of the “average user experience”. But when designing your site, you can’t make the mistake of not seeing the forest for the trees (or the interface for the source code).

Consider the following exchange, a favorite among Customer Service trainers:

Helpdesk: Double click on “My Computer”
User: I can’t see your computer.
Helpdesk: No, double click on “My Computer” on your computer.
User: Huh?
Helpdesk: There is an icon on your computer labeled “My Computer”. Double click on it.
User: What’s your computer doing on mine?


The 5 Assumptions That Make an Ass out of U, Me and Our Website – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 2


In our previous post, we talked about what we like to call the “Field of Dreams” approach to web design … “If you build it they will come”. We spoke about how important it was to design a user experience that gave the user what they needed in a very short period of time (on average about 10 seconds). We also spoke about how SEO alone could not deliver that user experience and maximize your company’s ROI. But that “Field of Dreams” fallacy is just one of several common assumptions companies make that impede user experience and prevent effective marketing communication. Read on to learn some of the other missteps companies often take when beginning their web design approach.

Let’s start with the big picture. According to, in 2008 there were approximately 387 Million users in the Americas accessing the more than 40 Million active web sites across the Internet.  That’s a lot of digital design work!

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Who’s Looking at My Website? – SEO Thinking and User Experience Design, Part 1


We attended the ONE SHOW UNCONFERENCE in New York last week and one of the most interesting topics that came up in discussion was whether Websites have outlived their usefulness. In the age of real time conversation via tools like Twitter and FriendFeed, easily updatable blog content and social media sites like Facebook, is there a place for the “traditional” website?

The consensus among the attendees was a very strong “Yes”. They believed that a company website should be the “final destination” for the consumer’s interaction with a product or brand message, the last stop on a journey that includes involvement with all sorts of digital tools and services.

Of course, if a user can’t find that final point on their journey then they are likely to veer off the road for some other interesting attraction (maybe the digital equivalent of the World’s Largest Ball of String) or just give up and go home. There is no doubt that investing in marketing communications and advertising on your web site can be one of the most effective ways of building brand equity, selling product and getting your message out to the market. But the saying “build it and they will come” just doesn’t apply anymore (if it ever did). Read more