The Portent Blog

survivorship bias, as seen from Jupiter Featured

18 Nov, 2015

Know why: How to beat marketing survivorship bias

By Ian Lurie

Why does marketing advice suck? We all look for marketing tactics we can repeat. You know what I mean: Some guy writes an article about marketing strategy, and boom, everyone’s off to the races. And 95% of the time, the tactics out of context fall flat on their metaphorical faces. Using the latest marketing how-to… Read More


19 Feb, 2015

Marketing Strategy for Search

By Ian Lurie

I just did a presentation at Friends of Search (an amazing conference, by the way). I focused on strategic thinking for SEOs, PPCs and the like. Here are the slides: Check ’em out.

c-major-analytics-760 Analytics

22 Jan, 2015

The C Major Scale of Analytics

By Michael Wiegand

Anybody who’s been in this business for a while knows their ABCs: Acquisition Behavior Conversion It’s built into Google Analytics, for God’s sake: And it’s a tried and true methodology for measuring. Problem is, we’re measuring to take action. If the lifecycle begins and ends with acquisition and conversion, we’re missing a lot of workflow… Read More

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Kam Chancellor Social Media

13 Jan, 2015

Shockwaves in Seattle: KamQuake and the Twitter Correlation

By Alex DeLeon

When you hear people talking about “seismic activity” on the West Coast, what immediately jumps to mind? Los Angeles, rumbling as the San Andreas Fault shifts? John Cusack in 2012, fleeing the mighty wrath of the Pacific Ocean as it gleefully swallows California into its watery maw?* Here in the Pacific Northwest,  mentioning “seismic activity” brings back memories of… Read More

MeetMeAtStarbucks Internet Marketing

8 Jan, 2015

Starbucks stirs the heart: Strength in the Brand Story

By Portent Staff

Seth Godin reminds us, “Great stories agree with our worldview. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes [them] feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.” Back in September, Starbucks rolled out its first global… Read More

just-odd-8cover SEO

29 Dec, 2014

SEO Using Force-Directed Diagrams

By Ian Lurie

Note: You can now buy Force Directed Diagrams in our store. Sometimes, the only way to understand a site is to look deep into the technology stack and gaze upon its dark, dark soul. But we at Portent try to avoid contact with evil beings. Instead, we use force-directed diagrams. I got my nerd on… Read More

Rain Strom of IMC Internet Marketing

23 Dec, 2014

It’s Raining Marketing: The Importance of Integrated Marketing Communications

By Kyle Eliason

Halfway during one of my marketing classes in college, I noticed a small quote on the bottom right-hand side of the whiteboard. It said, “Which raindrop caused the flood?” My teacher never referenced it once during the duration of the course. However, ten weeks later, it all made sense. What is this IMC you speak… Read More

mySuperLamePic_37a64fc2f089fd843a8e6b67e2bf0754 SEO

18 Dec, 2014

Is Duplicate Content Really a Problem?

By Kaitlin McMichael

The short answer is yes. We have written extensively on the subject before: SEO Obviousness: Duplicate content sucks, Duplicate content sin #1: Pagination, Duplicate content sin #2: Default page linking, SEO worst practices: The content duplication toilet bowl of death, and 5 SEO Strategies We Swear Aren’t Going Anywhere. So we have done our due… Read More

research word on wood stamps and books PPC

2 Dec, 2014

8 Free Keyword Research Tools for PPC Advertising

By Erica Opsvig

Whether it’s SEO or PPC advertising, search engine marketing campaigns should begin with keyword research. This research is arguably the most important task for the foundation of all SEM efforts. It not only gives marketers insight into the mind of their audience, but helps bridge the gap between potential customers and the products or services… Read More

Just Say No Project Management

25 Nov, 2014

Bad Behaviors That Make Me a Better Project Manager

By Portent Staff

I have learned over the years that there are a few behaviors which are normally considered impolite or taboo, but are extremely helpful when it comes to managing projects and teams and getting things done. Saying NO: For a Libra, saying no is not easy. I like to have balance and harmony, make people happy. So saying no… Read More

allies-featured Social Media

20 Nov, 2014

Allies, not rockstars: Influencer research for us mortals

By Ian Lurie

Most marketers equate ‘influencer research’ with ‘finding a celebrity who will endorse for free.’ I call that the Rockstar Method. It’s a miserable approach. Ready-and-waiting rockstar social amplifiers are slightly less common than mint-condition K cars. The Rockstar Method has its place with major brands, pure luck and the well-connected. Mere mortals like you and… Read More

Pass the Mobile Test SEO

19 Nov, 2014

5 Ways Your Site Might Fail Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

By George Freitag

On Tuesday, Google announced a new label in search results that states whether or not a site is “mobile-friendly.” Now when you’re on your phone, you’ll know ahead of time if the site you’re thinking about visiting is optimized for your device. Accompanying that announcement, Google said that they are also experimenting with a ranking boost for sites… Read More

Tool Wall SEO

18 Nov, 2014

My (Insanely Large) List of SEO Tools & Other Useful Resources

By David Portney

I’m just about to reach the 5 year mark working in the online marketing industry, and one thing that I’ve always found remarkable is how open and sharing people in this line of work tend to be. Whether it’s strategies, tactics, updates, techniques or tools – folks in this space do a lot of sharing,… Read More

email-symbols Internet Marketing

13 Nov, 2014

Symbols in subject lines, AKA the resurrection of Wingdings

By Tracy Beach

I’ve worked at Portent for 14 years now and this is my first blog post. You might ask yourself, “why now?” “Why does he start with this subject?” The answer is that nothing in the past 14-plus years has been more exciting, more inspiring, and maybe even more important than the recent technological advancements that have allowed us… Read More

tulos-agency PPC

6 Nov, 2014

A Big Idea: The International Geek Exchange

By Portent Staff

As a part of our Big Idea series, I wanted to share more detail to a special pilot program that I took part in recently and will be presenting on in Dallas at State of Search later this month. It’s the International Geek Exchange that Toni Voutilainen, a senior PPC specialist of the Tulos Agency… Read More

confirmobserve Social Media

5 Nov, 2014

How to: Do a Twitter Audit in 1 Hour Or Less

By Ian Lurie

I have a somewhat-random, step-by-step routine for auditing my own Twitter account (world, really, but I start with my account). I wrapped it up in a presentation. This is not a scientific method kind of thing. It’s more of a take-a-look-at-how-things-went-and-avoid-putting-both-feet-in-my-mouth kind of thing: Confirm, Observe, Adjust: How to audit your Twitter world an 1… Read More