SEO tips – getting Google to love your page

I came across this great infographic on iboxseo – it’s nicely lays out the tactics you need to get Google to love one of your site’s pages. I also really love the ranking factors they breakdown at the bottom of this blog post.

They list the top on page factors as:

  1. Keyword use anywhere in title tag
  2. Keyword use as the 1st word(s) of the title tag
  3. Keyword use in the root domain name
  4. Keyword use anywhere  in the h1
  5. Keyword use in internal or external link anchor text on the page
  6. Keyword use in the first 50-100 words

It’s a great post; check out all the tips at the bottom of it!

SEO tips for getting on page love from Google

Read More

Quick link on Boundless

Boundless today announced that the company had settled its lawsuit with the major textbook publishers – this is great news for students and professors who are looking to bring their educational content into the 21st century! Here is the blog post announcing the settlement.

Read More

Product use and customer happiness

I just read a great post by David Skok on Managing Customer Success to Reduce Churn. One of the key points I love in his post is that measuring customer engagement does not give you the entire picture of your customer(s)’ happiness with your product, and does not correlate perfectly with expected churn rate. While it’s harder to do, measuring customer outcomes can provide a much better view into how likely a customer is to churn, and how much value/happiness they are getting out of your product.

I noticed this pattern at Boundless quite a bit – a number of our happiest users were minimally engaged with the product. That’s because the product met their needs efficiently in two key areas – price and efficacy. They not only paid less that they thought they would for their learning materials, but they also were able to read and retain their information quickly, without the need to heavily engage with the product. It took a while to figure this out, as we were carefully using analytics to track product usage. And once we saw that happiness and engagement were not highly correlated, but instead outcomes (good grades, efficient studying and the great price point) generated the customer happiness… well, then we were able to double down on the right product features and highlight the best selling points to new potential users.

It’s a great post – check it out!

Read More

6 Qualities of a Great Product Manager

greatproductleaderI was recently talking to a co-founder of a leading social network and he asked what in my view are the qualities of a great product manager.  I could think of three right away but I believe there are three more that are equally important. Since this is a question every person either responsible for hiring a product manager or works with a product manager wonders about, I thought I should share them with you. Here are the six qualities that make a great product manager:

Strategic Thinker

A product manager is a mini-CEO of sorts. He needs to understand the current product strategy and how it aligns with the overall company strategy. He needs to know the product vision, how it will generate customer value and what is the differentiating advantage over its competitors. Once a product manager gets this and is able to clearly articulate it, you would be surprised how the rest of the firm will rally behind it in order to build a winning product. For the product to be a long term success, he needs to envision how the product, industry and competition is going to evolve and develop a long term roadmap.

Passion for products

Product managers should love products. They should be able to recognize and respect great products. They should look at products and be able to tell what is good, what is inspiring and what can be improved. If the product manager is truly passionate about the product, it rubs of the entire team and leads to the development of great products.

Keep Score

In addition to knowing what the game is, a product manager should be able to keep score. Keeping score means identifying the right metrics and knowing when you have won. Winning means identifying the current baseline for the metrics and the goal the team would be shooting for in the next release. Once a product manager is able to accomplish this, everybody in the team will have clear understanding as to how the game is won. The team is rightfully aligned, motivated, inspired and innovative.

Ability to Prioritize

One of the key attributes of a product manager is to be able to prioritize the backlog. Once the product manager and the entire company knows what game is been played and how the score is kept and won, prioritizing becomes an easy task.  The product manager needs to map the product strategy down to the individual features, and prioritize them in the right order across phases so as to maximize the winnings. If a product manager is able to do this well, all stakeholders within the company will buy into the prioritized backlog even though their pet features have not made the cut.

Collaborative leader

Building a product is a collaborative process and its take a product manager with collaborative nature to pull it off. Even though a product manager is the leader of the product, most of the people development team does not report to him. Moreover, product requirements come from various functional groups and customers and they all are considered important by those contributing them. In such an environment, a product manager cannot be dictatorial. He needs to be able to inspire others to follow him. He needs to be able to negotiate while prioritizing the backlog and appease all stakeholders. He needs to clearly communicate why a particular feature was chosen over an other one for the current release. At the same time he needs to be confident, assertive and at times lay down the law since the buck stops with the product leader.


Product managers need to be biased for action. They need to get things done. In order for a product to be shipped there are hundreds of things to get done and a product manager should be able to get down and dirty to get them done. He needs to QA, write marketing copies, edit HTMLs, mock up wireframes, and even do PR. A product manager needs to do anything needed to make the product a success.

At the end of the day, product manager need to make things happen. They should have the ability and qualities to rally the troops, sell them on the vision and march them to victory.

Are their qualities I have missed? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Read More

Fun social media infographic on student social media attitudes

I came across this smart (and cute) infographic on Edudemic. It pretty accurately reflects how people under 21 think about the different social networks. From my work helping students get Boundless textbooks, I’d have to agree that Facebook is much less important than the image creation/sharing networks of Instagram and Snapchat. I’d probably add Tumblr as another network that matters. Marketers who are trying to build brand with students constantly have to keep on their toes since social changes so quickly!

Student social media attitudes

Read More