Emotional Intelligence for Beginners

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive and control emotions, without impulsively acting upon them.

I also think of “emotional intelligence” as the ability to detach from the ego and your immediate, impulsive responses and choose a logical, kind or practical way to act:

The Terminator – choosing a reply. Height of E.Q.

Opinions & Emotional Intelligence

  • When something or someone contradicts a pre-conceived belief – your body kicks out a stress response with cortisol and adrenaline

  • When you force your opinion on someone, your body gives you a ‘dopamine reward’

If you take nothing else away from this post, please read those two bullet points above again!

Be aware of the stress response next time you get into a debate

For example, if you have any elderly parents or grandparents (just as an example from my own experience), who have always been told that being homosexual is “wrong”, they’ll usually complain or just be unable to watch the gay couples in Strictly Come Dancing.

If you question why they have a problem, they’ll rarely come up with a logical answer. They’ve been taught that being gay is wrong, so they’re body is producing stress hormones – which makes them feel pissed off for no logical reason.

If you don’t like someone or something, and you can’t explain why, chances are you’re being a dick!

This stress response can be heightened if your opinion is tied to your identity, or your group identity.

For example, if someone is a devout Tory, they’ll use “motivated reasoning” and any possible confirmation bias possible to defend Boris.

More info here – https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/how-risky-is-it-really/201007/why-changing-somebody-s-mind-or-yours-is-hard-do

This physiological reaction can also be roused when a global belief is threatened – for example, that the world is safe or ethical.

Tell people for example, that Nazi scientists were responsible for putting the first man on the moon and you may get some funny looks or reactions.

Inconvenient truths or questions can be another one. Tell people that lead water pipes are still around in the UK or that there’s a decent amount of evidence that fluoride in water is bad for the brain and nervous system – and there’s a decent chance people will get angry or ridicule you.

Recent study on fluoride here – https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-09765-4

You sometimes see a similar reaction when someone lower down in a hierarchy, be it an official one or a unwritten one, makes a suggest to someone higher up- its often met with a kind of frustrated dismissal.

Confirmation Bias

More of a logical fallacy – but it also crosses over into emotional intelligence.
People will for example, decide to behave in a certain way, and then later justify it by ignoring any information that contradicts theirbehaviour, whilst cherry picking any information that supports it.

For example – although I appreciate there’s now definitely a valid argument to ignore lockdown rules, people who choose to ignore lockdown in 2020, justified it because Sweden didn’t have one.

People who wanted to adhere to lockdown on the other hand – would point to the terrible situation that happened in Italy, and India.

Who is right – is up for debate I guess.

got kind of weird when my left wing mates started sharing Daily Mail articles though.

Confabulation

We’re all in different movies!

Confabulation is the creation of false memories, without intending to deceive or lie. Subconsciously, people’s egos or minds will create a false account of an event, that makes them look more favourable.

Being aware that you’ll do this on a subconscious level – can make you more conscious of bull sh!tting and making stuff up. Sometimes it’s like people are in different realities – if the event was on TV – they’d be completely different movies or TV shows!

You see a similar skewing of reality in real-time too. Arrogant people will skew reality to make out others are stupid or are at fault.

What Your Criticise Represents Your Own Insecurities

Similar to the stress response created when a pre-existing belief is threatened, if your own lifestyle choice is contradicted by someone, that can also create a stress response.

For example, I always get ear ache around Christmas for sticking to a strict diet (I’ve got IBD).

Sticking to a strict diet, makes other people feel bad about eating unhealthy food, and to compensate they’ll often mock or ridicule me.

In a similar fashion, I’ve been called obsessed with myself and all sorts, by people who don’t exercise, because I used to go to the gym in work every lunch time. (sorry, this section is turning into a bit of a personal vent/rant, ironically).

Being aware of this phenomenon, can help you to acknowledge your stress response to a threat, without acting upon it

Meditation is said to be one of the best way to build emotional intelligence. If you can learn to observe and detach from your thoughts, then you can choose not to act on them.

There are some good books that can help to, such as the Chimp Paradox or Dan Harris’ book – 10% Happier. If I remember rightly, he originally wanted to call the book – “The Voice in my head is an Ass Hole”.

The Wisest Man Knows how Little he knows

The Dunning Kruger effect – relates to ill informed or incompetent people, thinking they’re great at something and being over confident. Like people who’ve never done MMA thinking they’d be great at it.

don’t be that guy:

Get Content Ideas from Competitor Websites (SEMRush)

Requires:

  • SEMRush
  • A computer
  • The internet

If competitor has articles and blog posts inside a subfolder e.g. “buyers-guides” or “/blog” – make a note of the sub-folder name

  • Add Competitor’s homepage URL in “Search Bar” on SEMRush Homepage
  • Click “Organic Research”
  • Click on the “Positions” tab
  • Click on “Advanced Filter” and add the subfolder name e.g. “blog”
  • Export Results into Excel
  • Create a Pivot Table
  • Use the settings below – you’ll need to change position to “average” instead of “sum of”:
  • Tick the check-box for “URL” at the top
  • Drag search volume, traffic and position into “Values” box at the bottom right
  • Click the little arrow on the right of “Sum of Position” – go to “Value Field Settings” and choose “average”
  • Analyse which articles get the most traffic (approximately) and have most potential

Obvs. the URLs of my competitor have been blacked-out in the image above

If the competitor has all their articles at the root domain level e.g.

https://barbend.com/best-weightlifting-belts/

Just use SEMRush – Organic Research – Positions tab and download and pivot the pages data – no need for advanced filter

  • Once you’ve found the blog posts with the most traffic, you can analyse the “Exact URL” in SEMRush
  • This analysis, should show you the keywords on the page that generate most of the search traffic
  • I personally like to go after KWs with a Keyword Difficulty score of less than 20 for my personal blog and under 30 for my employer’s blog

You can also use Reddit & Quora for Content Ideas

Unsolicited #SEO tip: You can get great ideas for specific content ahead of features like PAAs being generated by using Google site operators with specific sites. For instance, I can use the command:

site:reddit[dot]com/r/amateur_boxing “how do i”

To search just the amateur boxing subreddit for questions starting with “how do I?” You can apply this on any niche or on other sites like Quora to get up to the minute questions people are asking.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/markseo_seo-activity-6902220002146275329-MNVS/

How to Create a Topic Cluster for SEO

Using Ahrefs with Wikipedia

  • Find the most relevant Wikipedia page, for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_football

  • Add the Wikipedia URL and click “submit”
  • Click “Copy to Clipboard”
  • Paste all the keywords/topics into a Google Sheet and remove any that aren’t relevant
  • In Ahrefs (or a similar tool like SEMRush’s KW Manager) – go to KW explorer
  • Paste in the keywords/topics
  • In Ahrefs – click “matching terms” then “Questions”

Using SEMRush with UGC

  • Copy the homepage URL of a UGC* website such as Pinterest or Quora
  • Put the URL in the main “search bar” in SEMRush
  • Go to “Organic Research” using the sidebar
  • Click “Positions”
  • Add a Keyword to the “Filter by Keyword” search box
  • Click a relevant Keyword in the table of results
  • Under “Questions” click “View all….”
  • Go back and click other relevant keywords
  • Click the “Questions” tab again – make a note or download all the relevant questions
  • Organise KWs and questions into main pillar posts and “cluster content”

See Hubspot’s article about Pillar Pages and Cluster Content – here

*UGC – User Generated Content

Sorting XML Sitemap URLs by Folder Depth

This can be handy if for example, you only want a list of products and they reside on folders that are 3 “/” deep into your URLs/Domain

For example:

  • Myshop.com/categorypages/subcategorypage/productpage/

I only want the URLs that reside at the third level – i.e. /productpage/

  1. Go to your XML sitemap – usually at Myshop.com/sitemap.xml
  2. Right click and “save as” – save on your computer
  3. Open Excel
  4. Go to the Developer Tab (you might need to add this as it’s not there by default)
  5. Click “Import”
  6. Browse to find your sitemap.xml and import it into Excel
  7. This usually pulls all your URLs into column 1 and other info like priority into separate columns
  8. Delete all the columns except the first one with your URLs in it
  9. Remove the https:// from the URLs with “find and replace” – On “Home” tab under “Find & Select” on the right
  10. In cell B2 add the function: (change A2 – to the cell you have put the first URL in)
=LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,"/",""))

11. Drag the formula down the rest of column B

12. You can now order column B by the number of “/” found in each URL

If different categories have different folder structures then you can conditionally format and use different colours for different categories and then do a multiple criteria sort – by colour, then folder depth (column B)

You can download an example spreadsheet with the formula in here

Setting Up Keyword Tracking in Google Ads

How to Use the Excel Template (in Google Ads Editor)

  • Export KW view from Campaign or ad group you want to ad tracking template too
  • Fill in the columns shown in sheet 2
  • Copy & Paste the Formula, as values, into the Tracking template column.
  • Find and Replace “space” with %20 in the Tracking Template column
  • Delete the ‘working out’ columns without headers and the formula column. Copy the populated rows and columns. And import into editor
  • Select all with headers – go to Editor – Account – Import – paste from clipboard.
  • Make sure no campaigns or anything are added (just add the tracking!)

When I used this in 2020, Editor would crash if I tried to upload more than 1 campaign’s tracking at a time. So it took ages!

How to Get More Followers on Linkedin (2021)

I’ve made some notes from a few videos on YouTube – thought I may as well turn it into a blog post…

Summary – Get More Linkedin Followers to Your Business Page

  • Pay for ads to get up to 1,000 followers to begin with
  • Get employees to like and share
  • Get employees to create own content & tag company page*
  • Don’t post too many links (links kill reach)
  • Don’t post about the company all the time – where’s the value?
  • Do post useful content that helps target audience – provide value
  • Engage in relevant groups
  • Post videos with transcripts – upload direct to Linkedin
  • Reuse videos that are under 1 minute long for YouTube Shorts
  • Super-admin – can invite up to 100 members per month
  • Tag customers and other businesses in your post
  • Share and comment on trending topics/news
  • The higher up in the business an employee is, the more engagement it will tend to get if they share company posts**

*Employees could create videos, shares quotes etc. doesn’t have to be perfect and professional, as it’s the user’s content not the company’s

**People use Linkedin for networking/brown-nosing, so the more influential a person is, the more engagement they will tend to get

Notes from videos:

Linkedin

  • Linkedin has the Most potential for organic reach at the moment
  • Use Linkedin Polls for engagement
  • Engage and post in relevant Linkedin groups
  • Don’t overdo self promotion

  • Find out what target audience are interested in – post about that
  • Don’t post about your company all of the time
  • Post 4 to 5 times per week
  • Post 25% about your service or product – 75% relevant, useful, informative content
  • Run ads and add the “follow button”
  • Get employees to engage with content – make sure they optimize their profiles and networks too

  • Get employees to share the posts on their personal profiles
  • Invite connections to like the business page (you have to be a page admin)

  • Define perfect follower/customer persona
  • Determine the needs of the perfect follower – personal and business life
  • What is their company/employer’s needs?
  • Become an authority in the niche by posting informative content that addresses their needs
  • Get your employees to engage and share posts
  • Get employees to share but with their own commentary
  • Get employees to reply to comments on your posts
  • Don’t just promote the company
  • Get employees to share their own unique content that is of value and 20% of the time promote your business – and tag company page
  • Create an industry specific Linkedin group and invite people – link group to company page so you can post as company
  • In the group create 90% value posts and 10% promotional posts
  • Linkedin Ads – target specific people, area, industry, job title etc. – use ads to get 1,000 followers to help organic reach afterwards

Notes from Reading Articles about Getting More Linkedin Followers

– social media platforms, want to be content platforms:

  • More videos (with in-video transcripts),
  • Business related Memes/quotes (scannable content, nobody really reads posts on FB or Linkedin)
  • Publish more posts without links (platforms tend to kill your reach if you link out to other sites, apparently),

– Whilst content that is posted directly to a social media platform will tend to be amplified, if it is hosted externally

e.g. on Youtube, the reach will be killed by the platform – they don’t want people to leave their site/app via links.

  • create “micro-content” for social media, by turning videos, webinars etc into smaller content
    e.g. quotes from videos into images and memes, longer videos into 30 second clips with in-video transcripts.
  • Targeting specific locations?  Use search function on Linkedin and Instagram to comment on relevant posts.
  • Incentivise employee engagement – top 3 people with most likes and shares each month get £100 voucher or some company stash – emphasise it is completely voluntary

Twitter

  • Use Twitter advanced search to find relevant questions and topics to engage with.
  • Twitter – find relevant influencers – engaged with (and potentially follow) people who engage with the influencer’s tweets. These people will tend to be relevant and active on Twitter

Google Ads Reporting Script

This script is no longer live, but I had it in my account, I’m pasting it here for safekeeping and future reference as it is pretty handy:

to use the script:

Change the Google sheet/doc URL and the email address

  • Sign into Google Ads
  • Click on “Tools & Settings” on the top menu near the right hand side
  • Click “scripts”
  • Click the addition (+) sign to add a new script
  • Paste in the below script – save – preview and then run

// Copyright 2015, Google Inc. All Rights Reserved.
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.

/**
 * @name Account Summary Report
 *
 * @overview The Account Summary Report script generates an at-a-glance report
 *     showing the performance of an entire Google Ads account. See
 *     https://developers.google.com/google-ads/scripts/docs/solutions/account-summary
 *     for more details.
 *
 * @author Google Ads Scripts Team [adwords-scripts@googlegroups.com]
 *
 * @version 1.1
 *
 * @changelog
 * - version 1.1
 *   - Add user-updateable fields, and ensure report row ordering.
 * - version 1.0.4
 *   - Improved code readability and comments.
 * - version 1.0.3
 *   - Added validation for external spreadsheet setup.
 * - version 1.0.2
 *   - Fixes date formatting bug in certain timezones.
 * - version 1.0.1
 *   - Improvements to time zone handling.
 * - version 1.0
 *   - Released initial version.
 */

var RECIPIENT_EMAIL = 'drewgriffiths@live.com';

var SPREADSHEET_URL = 'https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mNjc7iJWOIq580DMLf6rYKT8xRAcl2MynnGSY29UiXY/edit#gid=3';

/**
 * Configuration to be used for running reports.
 */
var REPORTING_OPTIONS = {
  // Comment out the following line to default to the latest reporting version.
  apiVersion: 'v201809'
};

/**
 * To add additional fields to the report, follow the instructions at the link
 * in the header above, and add fields to this variable, taken from the Account
 * Performance Report reference:
 * https://developers.google.com/adwords/api/docs/appendix/reports/account-performance-report
 */
var REPORT_FIELDS = [
  {columnName: 'Cost', displayName: 'Cost'},
  {columnName: 'AverageCpc', displayName: 'Avg. CPC'},
  {columnName: 'Ctr', displayName: 'CTR'},
  {columnName: 'Impressions', displayName: 'Impressions'},
  {columnName: 'Clicks', displayName: 'Clicks'}
];

function main() {
  Logger.log('Using spreadsheet - %s.', SPREADSHEET_URL);
  var spreadsheet = validateAndGetSpreadsheet();
  spreadsheet.setSpreadsheetTimeZone(AdsApp.currentAccount().getTimeZone());
  spreadsheet.getRangeByName('account_id_report').setValue(
      AdsApp.currentAccount().getCustomerId());

  var yesterday = getYesterday();
  var date = getFirstDayToCheck(spreadsheet, yesterday);

  var rows = [];
  var existingDates = getExistingDates();

  while (date.getTime() <= yesterday.getTime()) {
    if (!existingDates[date]) {
      var row = getReportRowForDate(date);
      rows.push([new Date(date)].concat(REPORT_FIELDS.map(function(field) {
        return row[field.columnName];
      })));
      spreadsheet.getRangeByName('last_check').setValue(date);
    }
    date.setDate(date.getDate() + 1);
  }

  if (rows.length > 0) {
    writeToSpreadsheet(rows);

    var email = spreadsheet.getRangeByName('email').getValue();
    if (email) {
      sendEmail(email);
    }
  }
}

/**
 * Retrieves a lookup of dates for which rows already exist in the spreadsheet.
 *
 * @return {!Object} A lookup of existing dates.
 */
function getExistingDates() {
  var spreadsheet = validateAndGetSpreadsheet();
  var sheet = spreadsheet.getSheetByName('Report');

  var data = sheet.getDataRange().getValues();
  var existingDates = {};
  data.slice(5).forEach(function(row) {
    existingDates[row[1]] = true;
  });
  return existingDates;
}

/**
 * Sorts the data in the spreadsheet into ascending date order.
 */
function sortReportRows() {
  var spreadsheet = validateAndGetSpreadsheet();
  var sheet = spreadsheet.getSheetByName('Report');

  var data = sheet.getDataRange().getValues();
  var reportRows = data.slice(5);
  if (reportRows.length) {
    reportRows.sort(function(rowA, rowB) {
      if (!rowA || !rowA.length) {
        return -1;
      } else if (!rowB || !rowB.length) {
        return 1;
      } else if (rowA[1] < rowB[1]) {
        return -1;
      } else if (rowA[1] > rowB[1]) {
        return 1;
      }
      return 0;
    });
    sheet.getRange(6, 1, reportRows.length, reportRows[0].length)
        .setValues(reportRows);
  }
}

/**
 * Append the data rows to the spreadsheet.
 *
 * @param {Array<Array<string>>} rows The data rows.
 */
function writeToSpreadsheet(rows) {
  var access = new SpreadsheetAccess(SPREADSHEET_URL, 'Report');
  var emptyRow = access.findEmptyRow(6, 2);
  if (emptyRow < 0) {
    access.addRows(rows.length);
    emptyRow = access.findEmptyRow(6, 2);
  }
  access.writeRows(rows, emptyRow, 2);
  sortReportRows();
}

function sendEmail(email) {
  var day = getYesterday();
  var yesterdayRow = getReportRowForDate(day);
  day.setDate(day.getDate() - 1);
  var twoDaysAgoRow = getReportRowForDate(day);
  day.setDate(day.getDate() - 5);
  var weekAgoRow = getReportRowForDate(day);

  var html = [];
  html.push(
    '<html>',
      '<body>',
        '<table width=800 cellpadding=0 border=0 cellspacing=0>',
          '<tr>',
            '<td colspan=2 align=right>',
              "<div style='font: italic normal 10pt Times New Roman, serif; " +
                  "margin: 0; color: #666; padding-right: 5px;'>" +
                  'Powered by Google Ads Scripts</div>',
            '</td>',
          '</tr>',
          "<tr bgcolor='#3c78d8'>",
            '<td width=500>',
              "<div style='font: normal 18pt verdana, sans-serif; " +
              "padding: 3px 10px; color: white'>Account Summary report</div>",
            '</td>',
            '<td align=right>',
              "<div style='font: normal 18pt verdana, sans-serif; " +
              "padding: 3px 10px; color: white'>",
               AdsApp.currentAccount().getCustomerId(), '</h1>',
            '</td>',
            '</tr>',
          '</table>',
          '<table width=800 cellpadding=0 border=0 cellspacing=0>',
            "<tr bgcolor='#ddd'>",
              '<td></td>',
              "<td style='font: 12pt verdana, sans-serif; " +
                  'padding: 5px 0px 5px 5px; background-color: #ddd; ' +
                  "text-align: left'>Yesterday</td>",
              "<td style='font: 12pt verdana, sans-serif; " +
                  'padding: 5px 0px 5px 5px; background-color: #ddd; ' +
                  "text-align: left'>Two Days Ago</td>",
              "<td style='font: 12pt verdana, sans-serif; " +
                  'padding: 5px 0px 5x 5px; background-color: #ddd; ' +
                  "text-align: left'>A week ago</td>",
            '</tr>');
  REPORT_FIELDS.forEach(function(field) {
    html.push(emailRow(
        field.displayName, field.columnName, yesterdayRow, twoDaysAgoRow,
        weekAgoRow));
  });
  html.push('</table>', '</body>', '</html>');
  MailApp.sendEmail(email, 'Google Ads Account ' +
      AdsApp.currentAccount().getCustomerId() + ' Summary Report', '',
      {htmlBody: html.join('\n')});
}

function emailRow(title, column, yesterdayRow, twoDaysAgoRow, weekAgoRow) {
  var html = [];
  html.push('<tr>',
      "<td style='padding: 5px 10px'>" + title + '</td>',
      "<td style='padding: 0px 10px'>" + yesterdayRow[column] + '</td>',
      "<td style='padding: 0px 10px'>" + twoDaysAgoRow[column] +
          formatChangeString(yesterdayRow[column], twoDaysAgoRow[column]) +
          '</td>',
      "<td style='padding: 0px 10px'>" + weekAgoRow[column] +
          formatChangeString(yesterdayRow[column], weekAgoRow[column]) +
          '</td>',
      '</tr>');
  return html.join('\n');
}


function getReportRowForDate(date) {
  var timeZone = AdsApp.currentAccount().getTimeZone();
  var dateString = Utilities.formatDate(date, timeZone, 'yyyyMMdd');
  return getReportRowForDuring(dateString + ',' + dateString);
}

function getReportRowForDuring(during) {
  var report = AdsApp.report(
      'SELECT ' +
          REPORT_FIELDS
              .map(function(field) {
                return field.columnName;
              })
              .join(',') +
          ' FROM ACCOUNT_PERFORMANCE_REPORT ' +
          'DURING ' + during,
      REPORTING_OPTIONS);
  return report.rows().next();
}

function formatChangeString(newValue,  oldValue) {
  var x = newValue.indexOf('%');
  if (x != -1) {
    newValue = newValue.substring(0, x);
    var y = oldValue.indexOf('%');
    oldValue = oldValue.substring(0, y);
  }

  var change = parseFloat(newValue - oldValue).toFixed(2);
  var changeString = change;
  if (x != -1) {
    changeString = change + '%';
  }

  if (change >= 0) {
    return "<span style='color: #38761d; font-size: 8pt'> (+" +
        changeString + ')</span>';
  } else {
    return "<span style='color: #cc0000; font-size: 8pt'> (" +
        changeString + ')</span>';
  }
}

function SpreadsheetAccess(spreadsheetUrl, sheetName) {
  this.spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.openByUrl(spreadsheetUrl);
  this.sheet = this.spreadsheet.getSheetByName(sheetName);

  // what column should we be looking at to check whether the row is empty?
  this.findEmptyRow = function(minRow, column) {
    var values = this.sheet.getRange(minRow, column,
        this.sheet.getMaxRows(), 1).getValues();
    for (var i = 0; i < values.length; i++) {
      if (!values[i][0]) {
        return i + minRow;
      }
    }
    return -1;
  };
  this.addRows = function(howMany) {
    this.sheet.insertRowsAfter(this.sheet.getMaxRows(), howMany);
  };
  this.writeRows = function(rows, startRow, startColumn) {
    this.sheet.getRange(startRow, startColumn, rows.length, rows[0].length).
        setValues(rows);
  };
}

/**
 * Gets a date object that is 00:00 yesterday.
 *
 * @return {Date} A date object that is equivalent to 00:00 yesterday in the
 *     account's time zone.
 */
function getYesterday() {
  var yesterday = new Date(new Date().getTime() - 24 * 3600 * 1000);
  return new Date(getDateStringInTimeZone('MMM dd, yyyy 00:00:00 Z',
      yesterday));
}

/**
 * Returned the last checked date + 1 day, or yesterday if there isn't
 * a specified last checked date.
 *
 * @param {Spreadsheet} spreadsheet The export spreadsheet.
 * @param {Date} yesterday The yesterday date.
 *
 * @return {Date} The date corresponding to the first day to check.
 */
function getFirstDayToCheck(spreadsheet, yesterday) {
  var last_check = spreadsheet.getRangeByName('last_check').getValue();
  var date;
  if (last_check.length == 0) {
    date = new Date(yesterday);
  } else {
    date = new Date(last_check);
    date.setDate(date.getDate() + 1);
  }
  return date;
}

/**
 * Produces a formatted string representing a given date in a given time zone.
 *
 * @param {string} format A format specifier for the string to be produced.
 * @param {date} date A date object. Defaults to the current date.
 * @param {string} timeZone A time zone. Defaults to the account's time zone.
 * @return {string} A formatted string of the given date in the given time zone.
 */
function getDateStringInTimeZone(format, date, timeZone) {
  date = date || new Date();
  timeZone = timeZone || AdsApp.currentAccount().getTimeZone();
  return Utilities.formatDate(date, timeZone, format);
}

/**
 * Validates the provided spreadsheet URL to make sure that it's set up
 * properly. Throws a descriptive error message if validation fails.
 *
 * @return {Spreadsheet} The spreadsheet object itself, fetched from the URL.
 */
function validateAndGetSpreadsheet() {
  if ('YOUR_SPREADSHEET_URL' == SPREADSHEET_URL) {
    throw new Error('Please specify a valid Spreadsheet URL. You can find' +
        ' a link to a template in the associated guide for this script.');
  }
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.openByUrl(SPREADSHEET_URL);
  var email = spreadsheet.getRangeByName('email').getValue();
  if ('foo@example.com' == email) {
    throw new Error('Please either set a custom email address in the' +
        ' spreadsheet, or set the email field in the spreadsheet to blank' +
        ' to send no email.');
  }
  return spreadsheet;
}

Bob’s your uncle

The code was originally on the Google Developer’s site here – https://developers.google.com/adwords/scripts/docs/solutions/ad-performance

Please Google, don’t bankrupt me for using the script on here! I’ll take it down if it upsets thee.

Emotional Intelligence for Beginners

There is much talk about emotional intelligence and the importance of it, but I rarely see any articles, posts or videos that explain how to develop it.

One thing that I personally think provides a foundation of emotional intelligence, is the ability to ‘detach from one’s thoughts’ – which normally requires a meditation practice. If you can’t stand back and observe your thoughts, it’s very difficult to evaluate their validity.

Physiological Responses & Emotions

Pre Existing Belief Bias

  • When information contradicts a pre-existing belief, our bodies generate a stress response with cortisol and adrenaline
  • When we force our opinion on someone, or someone confirms a pre-existing belief, our bodies generate a “dopamine-reward”

Consequences of Pre-Existing Belief Bias

  • Bullying – e.g. we see someone overweight – we’ve been led to belief as a child this is “wrong” or undesirable, or negative. So we bully the person
  • We dismiss people as being weird
  • We mock people with different beliefs
  • We’re brainwashed into fighting wars against people who oppose our beliefs (pretty heavy stuff!)

Examples of Pre Existing Belief Bias

When a child sees someone that is overweight – they believe people shouldn’t be overweight, so they bully that person

When someone questions if high cholesterol is the cause of heart disease – people think the statement is ridiculous, despite mounting scientific evidence and refuse to comprehend this counter-argument to mainstream ideas.

Cognitive Biases

  • Self Serving Bias
    People tend to take credit for things when they go right, but blame others when things go wrong. People may also exaggerate what the do right and exaggerate what others do wrong. A classic example, is housework – both individuals in a marriage often over-estimate their own contribution to housework and underestimate their partner’s contribution
  • Confirmation Bias
    Reaffirming an existing belief by looking for information that confirms it. For example, if someone believes coconut oil is unhealthy because of the high saturated fat content – they might search for “why coconut oil is unhealthy?” rather than a more neutral search-term such as “what are the health benefits and health risks associated with coconut oil?”

Confirmation bias and self Serving bias are often intertwined. For example, a mother who doesn’t breastfeed her children, might read about babies losing weight and becoming ill because of not getting enough volume of milk via breastfeeding. The mother globally concludes from this, that breastfeeding is bad.

  • Global Judgements based on individual or minor observations
    David may judge Tom for being a boxer – because Tom engages in violence, there is no way he could be a nice person. This is also based on a self serving bias, David is an academic who is not athletic and as a result, will discount the value of anything physical or violent when possible. I’m not sure what the proper phrase is for this type of bias :/
    Another example might be that Tim, saw Peter lose his temper once, in 1999. Tim has since then held the belief that Peter has anger management problems.

Cognitive biases are highly prevalent in martial arts. For example, someone that does a traditional martial art, may state that MMA is no good for self defense, as there are too many rules. A boxer may dismiss grappling as “rolling around on the floor” and a grappler may dismiss boxing as ineffective because “most fights end in a grapple” (true, but they also tend to start and end with punches!).


Logical Fallicies

  • Questioning the messenger instead of the message (Also known as Ad Hominem)
    You attacked your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.
    When someone attacks a person, instead of the person’s opinion. For example, if a vegetarian is wearing leather shoes, whilst debating the morality of vegetarianism, someone might attack the vegetarian for wearing leather shoes. This however, doesn’t address the issue being debated – is vegetarianism more ethical that a diet containing meat-products?

Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument. The result of an ad hom attack can be to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it.

Example: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn’t married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem
  • The Strawman Argument
    Changing the subject being debated half way through a debate.
    For example, someone might say that lots of sleep isn’t good for you, because depressed people sleep more than happy people. When it is pointed out that scientific evidence shows that too little sleep, might lead to degenerative brain conditions, and give Margaret Thatcher as an example – a strawman counter argument would be to refute this, because Margaret Thatcher achieved so much. Rather than addressing whether or not sleep is good for health, the debate changes to the achievement levels of famous people who are known not to sleep 8 hours or more.

A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy of having the impression of refuting an argument, whereas the proper idea of the argument under discussion was not addressed or properly refuted. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be “attacking a straw man”. Wikipedia


Other Emotional Intelligence Issues

  • Stooping in arguments
    One major issue with debates and arguments is the willingness for one person to inflict emotional damage or to stoop more than another person.

    For example, in an office environment, where aggression is deemed inappropriate – one debator may resort to aggressiveness, whilst the other person is unwilling to become aggressive, and so let’s the aggressive individual ‘win’ the debate to prevent an esculation. When future conflicts in opinion arise, the more passive individual may not be willing to dispute or discuss anything, due to fear of an aggressive confrontation.

  • Victim Triad
    When person X complains to person Y, and person Y gives them sympathy but then person X complains to person Z and is told to look for a solution or that the sitation is not especially bad, person X will often feel like a victim of both the scenario they are complaining about and the lack of sympathy from person Z
  • Drama Triad
    If person X ridicules, bullies or is not particularly nice to person Y for a prolonged period of time – eventually person Y retaliates and tells person X to stop. Person X may feel like a victim and engage in vicious gossip about person Y for being in such a bad mood.
    Person X and person Y feel like victims in this situation.
  • Emotional Projection
    Blaming other people for your negative emotions. An individual who is subconsciously (or consciously) deemed as being weak, is usually the subject of another person’s projected emotions.

A few of the above are not directly related to emotional intelligence but an awareness of them could help to foster it, in my opinion.

emotional intelligence
https://tinybuddha.com/

Putting Emotional Intelligence into Practice

  • Have respect for other people’s points and points of view
  • Don’t globally-judge people or things in general on one point or one incidence
  • Don’t believe your impulsive thoughts – they’re not always true!
  • Feedback in private, praise in public

SEO Technical Audit Checklist (advanced)

The idea of technical SEO is to minimise the work of bots when they come to your website to index it on Google and Bing. Look at the build, the crawl and the rendering of the site.

Tools Required:

  • SEO Crawler such as Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl
  • Log File Analyzer – Screaming Frog has this too
  • Developer Tools – such as the ones found in Google Chrome – View>Developer>Developer Tools
  • Web Developer Toolbar – giving you the ability to turn off Javascript
  • Search Console
  • Bing Webmaster Tools – shows you geotargetting behaviour, gives you a second opinion on security etc.
  • Google Analytics – With onsite search tracking *

    *Great for tailoring copy and pages. Just turn it on and add query parameter

Tech SEO 1 – The Website Build & Setup

The website setup – a neglected element of many SEO tech audits.

  • Storage
    Do you have enough storage for your website now and in the near future? you can work this out by taking your average page size (times 1.5 to be safe), multiplied by the number of pages and posts, multiplied by 1+growth rate/100

for example, a site with an average page size of 1mb with 500 pages and an annual growth rate of 150%

1mb X 1.5 X 500 X 1.5 = 1125mb of storage required for the year.

You don’t want to be held to ransom by a webhost, because you have gone over your storage limit.

  • How is your site Logging Data?
    Before we think about web analytics, think about how your site is storing data.
    As a minimum, your site should be logging the date, the request, the referrer, the response and the User Agent – this is inline with the W3 Extended Format.
log file analyzer

When, what it was, where it came from, how the server responded and whether it was a browser or a bot that came to your site.

  • Blog Post Publishing
    Can authors and copywriters add meta titles, descriptions and schema easily? Some websites require a ‘code release’ to allow authors to add a meta description.
  • Site Maintenance & Updates – Accessibility & Permissions
    Along with the meta stuff – how much access does each user have to the code and backend of a website? How are permissions built in?
    This could and probably should be tailored to each team and their skillset.

    For example, can an author of a blog post easily compress an image?
    Can the same author update a menu (often not a good idea)
    Who can access the server to tune server performance?

Tech SEO 2 – The Crawl

  • Google Index

Carry out a site: search and check the number of pages compared to a crawl with Screaming Frog.

With a site: search (for example, search in Google for site:businessdaduk.com) – don’t trust the number of pages that Google tells you it has found, scrape the SERPs using Python on Link Clump:

Too many or too few URLs being indexed – both suggest there is a problem.

  • Correct Files in Place – e.g. Robots.txt
    Check these files carefully. Google says spaces are not an issue in Robots.txt files, but many coders and SEOers suggest this isn’t the case.

XML sitemaps also need to be correct and in place and submitted to search console. Be careful with the <lastmod> directive, lots of websites have lastmod but don’t update it when they update a page or post.

  • Response Codes
    Checking response codes with a browser plugin or Screaming Frog works 99% of the time, but to go next level, try using curl and command line. Curl avoids JS and gives you the response header.

Type in Curl – I and then the URL

e.g.

curl – I https://businessdaduk.com/

You need to download cURL which can be a ball ache if you need IT’s permission etc.

Anyway, if you do download it and run curl, your response should look like this:

Next enter an incorrect URL and make sure it results in a 404.

  • Canonical URLs
    Each ‘resource’ should have a single canonical address.

common causes of canonical issues include – sharing URLs/shortened URLs, tracking URLs and product option parameters.

The best way to check for any canonical issues is to check crawling behaviour and do this by checking log files.

You can check log files and analyse them, with Screaming Frog – the first 1,000 log files can be analysed with the free version (at time of writing).

Most of the time, your host will have your logfiles in the cPanel section, named something like “Raw Access”. The files are normally zipped with gzip, so you might need a piece of software to unzip them or just allow you to open them – although often you can still just drag and drop the files into Screaming Frog.

The Screaming Frog log file analyser, is a different download to the SEO site crawler – https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/log-file-analyser/

If the log files are in the tens of millions, you might need to go next level nerd and use grep in Linux command line

Read more about all things log file analysis-y on Ian Lurie’s Blog here.

This video tutorial about Linux might also be handy. I’ve stuck it on my brother’s old laptop. Probably should have asked first.

With product IDs, and other URL fragments, use a # instead of a ? to add tracking.

Using rel-canonical is a hint, not a directive. It’s a work around rather than a solution.

Remember also, that the server header, can override a canonical tag.

You can check your server headers using this tool – http://www.rexswain.com/httpview.html (at your own risk like)


Tech SEO 3 – Rendering & Speed

  • Lighthouse
    Use lighthouse, but use in with command line or use it in a browser with no browser add-ons.If you are not into Linux, use pingdom, GTMetrix and Lighthouse, ideally in a browser with no add-ons.

    Look out for too much code, but also invalid code. This might include things such as image alt tags, which aren’t marked up properly – some plugins will display the code just as ‘alt’ rather than alt=”blah”
  • Javascript
    Despite what Google says, all the SEO professionals that I follow the work of, state that client-side JS is still a site speed problem and potential ranking factor. Only use JS if you need it and use server-side JS.

    Use a browser add-on that lets you turn off JS and then check that your site is still full functional.

  • Schema

Finally, possibly in the wrong place down here – but use Screaming Frog or Deepcrawl to check your schema markup is correct.

You can add schema using the Yoast or Rank Math SEO plugins

The Actual Tech SEO Checklist (Without Waffle)

Basic Setup

  • Google Analytics, Search Console and Tag Manager all set up

Site Indexation

  • Sitemap & Robots.txt set up
  • Check appropriate use of robots tags and x-robots
  • Check site: search URLs vs crawl
  • Check internal links pointing to important pages
  • Check important pages are only 1 or 2 clicks from homepage

Site Speed

Tools – Lighthouse, GTMetrix, Pingdom

Check – Image size, domain & http requests, code bloat, Javascript use, optimal CSS delivery, code minification, browser cache, reduce redirects, reduce errors like 404s.

For render blocking JS and stuff, there are WordPress plugins like Autoptimize and the W3 Total Cache.

Make sure there are no unnecessary redirects, broken links or other shenanigans going on with status codes. Use Search Console and Screaming Frog to check.

Site UX

Mobile Friendly Test, Site Speed, time to interactive, consistent UX across devices and browsers

Consider adding breadcrumbs with schema markup.

Clean URLs

Image from Blogspot.com

Make sure URLs – Include a keyword, are short – use a dash/hyphen –

Secure Server HTTPS

Use a secure server, and make sure the unsecure version redirects to it

Allow Google to Crawl Resources

Google wants to crawl your external CSS and JS files. Use “Fetch as Google” in Search Console to check what Googlebot sees.

Hreflang Attribute

Check that you are using and implementing hreflang properly.

Tracking – Make Sure Tag Manager & Analytics are Working

Check tracking is working properly. You can check tracking coed is on each webpage with Screaming Frog.

Internal Linking

Make sure your ‘money pages’ or most profitable pages, get the most internal links

Content Audit

Redirect or unpublish thin content that gets zero traffic and has no links. **note on this, I had decent content that had no visits, I updated the H1 with a celebrity’s name and now it’s one of my best performing pages – so it’s not always a good idea to delete zero traffic pages**

Consider combining thin content into an in depth guide or article.

Use search console to see what keywords your content ranks for, what new content you could create (based on those keywords) and where you should point internal links.

Use Google Analytics data regarding internal site searches for keyword and content ideas 💡

Update old content

Fix meta titles and meta description issues – including low CTR

Find & Fix KW cannibalization

Optimize images – compress, alt text, file name

Check proper use of H1 and H2

See what questions etc. are pulled through into the rich snipetts and answer these within content

Do you have EAT? Expertise, Authority and Trust?

https://www.semrush.com/blog/seo-checklist/

You can download a rather messy Word Doc Template of my usual SEO technical checklist here:

https://smallbusinessdad.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/drewseotemplate.docx

It uses Screaming Frog, SEMRush and Search Console

Best WordPress Plugins (Free) 2021

Well, I am cheating a bit here as it is still 2020, but it’s December 22nd so please forgive me.

I don’t have any plugins on this site, but I do on my ecommerce site – NiceMMA.com

I’ve also been asked to look into plugins and basically update myself with WordPress ready for 2021 and a slightly new job role, so a thought a blog post might make a good place to record my findings.

Rank Math SEO – WordPress Plugin

This is similar to Yoast but you get more in the free version. I’m not sure I’ll be using it in my day job though, as it asks for permission to analytics and search console.

You can update URLs, redirects and a bunch of other great things with the free version and it also gives a quick SEO audit, which is nice.

Rank Math SEO allows you to look at ‘focus keywords’ and makes it easy to update the meta details.


Duplicate Page – WordPress Plugin

If you make a specific blog layout or a contact page or anything and you don’t want to remake it from scratch, this plugin with duplicate the page or post for you and keep it as a draft so you can go in and edit it before publishing.


Manage WP – WordPress Plugin

Good for web developers, you can update all the plugins all in one go and do other stuff really easy


Empty Spam Bee

If you have a contact form or email address on your site – this should keep out most of the spam.


iThemes Security

Great security plugin. Turn off some of the notifications in the notifications center or you will get loads of emails. Check – secure the site and activate Network Group Brute Force Protection


Elementor Custom Skin

great for creating custom designs if you build WordPress sites using Elementor

This plugin works great with Custom Post Type UI

To Learn more about Elementor, subscribe to this guy’s Youtube channel –

Live Chat for WordPress

If you are looking for an ai chatbot for free, look at this plugin

For managed live chat, check out these guys and for managed live chat for WordPress, this article is worth a read

Live chat can be an important tool for customer service. It can provide 24 hour instant customer support. Email and telephone contact details are great on a website, but a user is typically in a hurry and wants instant answers, and doesn’t want to wait 24 hours for a reply via email.