Marketing <for> Programmers
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Marketing <for> Programmers

Primer on SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, Paid Adverts (Adwords, Facebook Ads), Google Analytics, and Copywriting

About the Book

Six years ago, I programmed a web app, but it didn’t get much traffic, so I started researching everything on online marketing. I thought the best way to learn would be from other marketers, so I started a private Berlin-based marketing group with consultants and company owners. Through these sessions, I was privy to tactics from marketers working with companies like Goldman Sachs, Amazon Audible, Delivery Hero, Research Gate, etc. To balance things off, I also conferred with peeps active in the darker side of internet marketing, like shady coupon website owners and fitness ebook sellers.

The book, which is the product of these sessions and my own experiments in applying the ideas, outlines a multi-modal system for growing a website. It dips into SEO, Google AdWords/Facebook Ads, Conversion Optimisation, Copywriting/Classic Persuasion/Behavioural Psychology, Google Analytics, Statistical Significance, Email Marketing, and Remarketing.

I relegate the explanation of implementation details to footnoted links and instead focus on explaining the overarching principles and mental models needed to start dabbling in each area. I hope to get you 80% of the way there, leaving the rest to specialised texts on each topic.

My book has a special focus that will appeal to the programmer crowd in that it goes into detail on the issues that websites face when implementing online marketing strategies, like domain names choice pitfalls, internationalisation woes, and potential for keyword cannibalisation through URL structures.

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About the Author

Jack Kinsella
Jack Kinsella

Jack Kinsella was born and raised in Ireland then moved to England where he read law at Oxford University. Soon after graduating, he realised that the cramped cubicles of a London law firm weren't exactly his cup of tea. He quickly quit corporate claustrophobia, taught himself to program in Ruby on Rails, and used these skills to build himself Oxbridge Notes, the UK's largest marketplace for legal study materials.

While living in Berlin and growing his business, Jack ran a private "growth hacker" group to discuss online marketing techniques. Through years of these closed-room conversations, he amassed a collection of strategies that he later published in his book, Entreprenerd.

Jack also co-founded Bolivian Express, an English-language magazine in Bolivia, and he likes to compose electronic music and blog at

Table of Contents

Part A: Search Engine Optimisation

    1. Intro to SEO
    2. SEO: First Steps
      1. Research and Choose Keywords
      2. Buy Keyword-Based Domain Names
      3. Choose Your Top-Level Domain Carefully
      4. Avoid Keyword Cannibalisation
      5. Concoct a Scalable Content Creation Strategy
    3. SEO on Each Individual Page
      1. Ensure You Can Satisfy a Visitor’s Searching Intention
      2. Research What Currently Ranks
      3. Place Your Keyword in the URLs
      4. Place Your Keywords in the Title Tag
      5. Include Your Keyword Early in the HTML
      6. Carefully Craft a Unique Meta Description
      7. Ensure Your Website Makes Sense to Googlebot
      8. Include Rich Snippets and Structured Data
      9. Every Page Should Include a Picture
      10. Write Longer Pages
    4. SEO at the Whole-Website Level
      1. Generate a Sitemap
      2. Link Internally
      3. Use HTTPS Encryption
    5. SEO by Mitigating Duplicate Content Issues
      1. Redirect Instead of Responding
      2. Use Canonicalization
      3. Write a Robots.txt or Meta Robots Tag
    6. SEO in Image Search
      1. Output Public-Facing Images Through Your Software
      2. Add Alt Text to Your Images
      3. Choose Informative Filenames for Your Images
      4. Write Captions to Accompany Your Image
      5. Generate and Submit an Image Sitemap
    7. SEO Through Backlinks
      1. Include Contributions from People with Big Audiences
      2. Coin Concepts
      3. Leave Your Link Where You Can
      4. Email Outreach
      5. Pitch Your Content To Writers of Round-Up Articles
      6. Piggyback off High-Ranking Websites
      7. Guest Post on a Large Platform
      8. (Maybe) Buy Links
    8. SEO Vis-à-Vis Social Media
      1. Include Open Graph Tags
      2. Include Twitter Cards
      3. Promote Your Content on Social Media More Than Once
    9. SEO and Internationalisation
      1. Distinguish Language from Territory in Architecture
      2. Choose a Fitting Structure for Internationalisation
      3. Communicate Your Structure to Google

Part B: Copywriting

    1. Copywriting
      1. Emphasise Benefits Over Features
      2. Convincingly Demonstrate Credibility
      3. Give Reasons to Act Now as Opposed to Later
      4. Prefer Concrete, Visual, Specific Copy
      5. Ensure Scannability, Readability, and Responsiveness
      6. Signal with Indirect or Unworded Messages
      7. Explicitly Point Out Qualities, Lest They Go Unnoticed
      8. Compare Yourself to the Competition
      9. Anticipate and Counter Objections
      10. Associate Yourself with Desirable Connotations
      11. Repeat Yourself
      12. Don’t Talk Yourself out of Markets
      13. Keep the Scent
      14. Arouse Curiosity
      15. Play on Negativity
      16. Anchor Numbers
      17. Give Detailed Information
      18. Depict Yourself as Someone Similar to Your Readers

Part C: Analytics

    1. Google Analytics
      1. Why Bother with Analytics?
      2. Workflow Tips
      3. Connect to Other Google Products
      4. Location of Snippet in HTML
      5. Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Tracking (Used ID)
      6. Subdomain Blues
      7. Cleanup Noise, Chaff, and Distortion
      8. Analytics and Social Media
      9. Illuminating Analytics Blind Spots
      10. Collect Your On-Site Search Queries
      11. Measuring Success
      12. Precautions
      13. Be Disciplined in Making Annotations
      14. Send Alerts
      15. Analytics Blocking

Part D: Conversion Optimisation

    1. Conversion Optimisation
      1. Its Advantages
      2. Underrated
      3. On-site vs Off-site
      4. Beware of Shallowly Applying the Lessons of Others
      5. Areas Worthy of Experimentation

Part E: Statistical Significance

    1. Statistical (In)Significance
      1. The Theory
      2. The Practice

Part F: Email Marketing

    1. Email Marketing
      1. The Law
      2. Best Practices
      3. Classic Promotional Emails

Part G: Paid Advertising

  1. Introduction to Paid Advertising
    1. Advertisement Is an Annoyance
    2. No One Clicks on Paid Adverts
    3. Doesn’t Everyone Have Ad Blockers, Anyway?
    4. Paying for Attention Is Dirty
    5. It’s Too Expensive
    6. Why Pay for Traffic That Would Have Visited Anyway?
  2. Paid Advertising: First Steps
    1. Building an “Advertising-Ready” Web Application
    2. Analytics and Advertising: The Eyes to See With
    3. Pay Per Click? Per Impression? Per Conversion?
  3. Paid Advertising: Staying Organised
    1. Structuring and Labelling Your Accounts Sensibly
    2. Don’t Delete Data
    3. Change History
    4. Schedule Review in Future
  4. Paid Advertising: Targeting
    1. General Principles
    2. A Tour of Targeting Options
  5. Paid Advertising: Ad Creatives
    1. Image Choice
    2. Headline
    3. Body
  6. Paid Advertising: Strategic Principles
    1. Topical Advertising vs Interruption Advertising
    2. Rationed Views
    3. The Progressively Rising Cost of Additional Leads
    4. Switch On All Bells and Whistles
    5. Unintentionally Competing with Yourself
    6. Staff Working for Advertising Platforms Are Experts in Platform Features, Not in Your Profitability
  7. Paid Advertising: Debugging and Optimisation
    1. What Advertising Platforms Want
    2. Stay Empirical
    3. How Much Should I Start Off Bidding With?
    4. What’s the Most I Should Ever Bid?
    5. When Metrics Mislead You
    6. Overcoming Low Reach
    7. Overcoming Low CTR
    8. Overcoming Low Quality Score (Google-Specific)
    9. Overcoming Low Relevance Score (Facebook-Specific)
    10. Overcoming High CPC
    11. Overcoming High CPA
    12. The End

Causes Supported

The Innocence Project

Help Free the Innocent

The Innocence Project provides pro-bono post conviction legal assistance to individuals who are seeking to prove their innocence with DNA testing and works to enact the reforms needed to prevent wrongful conviction and incarceration.

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, more than 335 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 who served time on death row. The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

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