Author: Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein

I started out working in digital TV and multimedia production. I then worked at the Financial Times on arguably the first commercial application of Video on Demand (1996) before getting involved with as a Producer / Project Manager.

In 1997 I moved to digital communications agency Wheel as the third person in the then 'internet team'. I went through the dotcom boom, seeing Wheel grow from 30 people to 450 in just 3 years, and was involved in launching sites for M&S, Abbey National, IPC Magazines, Autoglass, Channel 5, AMP etc.

Following the dotcom crash (which saw Wheel shrink back to a more modest 90 or so staff) I left and spent a very pleasant sabbatical year writing my second book in the South of France. I then returned to the UK and from June 2002 I have been running Econsultancy full time.

Traffic and Audience Measurement - what free tools do you use?

Econsultancy Compete profileI'd be interested to hear what free tools and services people use to gauge levels of traffic and the nature of the audience to any website? 

Obviously this information is useful for competitive intelligence, media planning and buying, search optimisiation, online PR, affiliate marketing etc. 


Econsultancy Site Migration and SEO Impact - the story so far

Site Migration and SEO impactOn 14 December 2008 we relaunched the site. This involved a subtle name change (“E-consultancy” became “Econsultancy”), a new logo, a completely new look site with a new directory structure, a new URL, on servers in a different country. We had to migrate 10,000s of pages, deleted a load of old ones, and created 10,000s of new ones.

The background to all this is explained in my interview about the new Econsultancy site – and question 9, about the SEO impact of this large change, is the subject of this post. What has happened to our previously excellent search rankings since the changeover?


New metrics and business models for digital publishing - selling outcomes not inputs?

New metrics and business models for publishersAre publishers using outdated metrics? How should they be innovating and reinventing their business models?

Understandably there has been much debate of late around publishing business models. The rise of the internet, compounded by the global economic woes, are making it increasingly hard to see where the money is in publishing and media going forwards.


What in-store retailing can teach us about how to sell better online

I recently attended an event in Amsterdam which gathered together senior etailers from across Europe (kindly sponsored by Fredhopper – I owe them at least that plug…).

For me the most fascinating talk was by the VP Merchandising & Buying at a major European multi-channel retailer. It reminded me just how much we still have to learn about how online selling works, and how much we can apply from offline.


Just how much of the customer journey will Google own?

Google's stated mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

The genius of this statement is that it sounds quite innocuous, indeed philanthropic, despite its obvious grand ambition, but actually allows pretty much anything within its scope.

It is interesting to see just how much of the online customer journey (from search, to research, to purchase) Google is taking hold of. Will we all end up as "wholesalers" to Google's customers?


Can offline marketing and advertising help you save money in digital marketing?

We know that offline marketing and advertising drives demand that can be captured, and monetised, online. The correlation between TV advertising and paid search performance, for example, has been much discussed; and direct mail, or catalogues, drive online sales.

But do you know of any examples where the cost of offline marketing or advertising has been more than offset by the savings in the online marketing?

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FatttPipe - ultra-fast new broadband that doesn't exist...

Have you heard of FatttPipe the ultra-reliable, ultra-fast new broadband?

Not FatPipe (that's already a networks company) and not FattPipe (because someone already owns but with three 't's in the spelling - FatttPipe because it's at least 3X faster.

You haven't heard of FatttPipe? That's probably because it doesn't exist. But I need to repeat FatttPipe to get my keyword density up.

You see this is really a post about search marketing and brands...


eTail UK – a few notes of interest from the conference

I was one of the speakers and attendees at the inaugural eTail UK conference this year in the UK. I scribbled down lots of notes intending to do a series of blog posts based on what I heard and learned.

That was over 2 months ago now… But I thought I’d at least capture a few snippets of interest that I still remember.


Data and Relationship Visualisation Tools - what's out there?

Quite rightly there is increasing amounts of talk about 'social media' online. The jury is still out on the real value of some areas of social media and networks, but one area where the value is currently most apparent is using network analysis to help optimise your natural search engine rankings (SEO), largely by identifying suitable sites to get inbound links from.

But what with the internet being so big, and growing so fast, it has been hard to make any practical sense of all the network data available. Recently I came across a tool which showed me the potential power of visualising these relationships...


Google Checkout – a paid search optimisation tactic?

Have you seen the new Google Checkout icons which are displayed with paid search ads where the merchant is using Google Checkout? The evidence we’ve heard so far is that those icons lead to a higher click through rate.

What will that do for your paid search rankings?


Multivariate Testing and A/B Split Testing - who provides it?

We're seeing growing interest from site owners in doing A/B split testing and multivariate / multivariable testing - for landing pages, for product pages, for buying processes, for e-mails and so on.

But who are the service providers out there specialising in offering such solutions?


“Traditional” Ad Networks vs. the Digital Agencies – the big debate

For years now the debate has rumbled on – should brands be choosing the ‘traditional’ ad networks to handle all their media planning and buying, with digital integrated in that, or do they need to go the digital specialists for their digital needs?

Again the debate has raged in the trade press recently. What are my thoughts…?

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