I just created the following logic on my phone to preserve battery life. Yes, I am a nerd, but having the flexibility to be this nerdy is awesome. :)

Automate It battery flow

This was created using a cool app called Automate It, which allows you to create all sorts of custom rules and logic. I use it to automatically enable GPS with specific apps, trigger events like a FourSquare check-in using NFC, all sorts of fun.

Oh.. I also created the flow chart (using MindJet Maps) and created this post all on my phone.

For the win!

It turns out that I’m speaking at a few search marketing conferences coming up in the next few months, so I thought I would post which shows I’m attending in case you will be there and want to meet, catch up, etc. I wasn’t really planning on attending all 3 of these, but the stars aligned and my boss is pretty great, and gave me the green light.

I am speaking at SMX WestFirst up – SMX West in San Jose

If you have never been to one of the SMX shows, you are missing out. Search Marketing Expo is run by the ThirdDoorMedia team – the same folks that bring us SearchEngineLand.com, MarketingLand.com & more. They run a fantastic show, and always draw a ton of really great speakers, as well as hacks like me. :)


Next one I’ll be at is HeroConf in Austin

HeroConf is a new show put on by Hanapin Marketing out of Bloomington Indiana. It is apparently the only Paid Search-specific conference, and was quite popular last year among search marketers whom I respect. I’m excited to be speaking and attending!


Lastly, I’ll be speaking at Pubcon NOLA (New Orleans)

I’m really excited for this one – I’ve never been to New Orleans. :) Pubcon puts on a great show every year in Las Vegas in the fall, but I’ve never spoken there or even been to any of their other shows. The sessions are usually very good, but the networking is what really makes these shows top-notch.


So there you have it. Conferences – all in March and April. Let me know if you are going to be at any of these shows either in the comments, on twitter, email me (rickgalan at the gmail), or however you want to.


So I wrote a guest post! What’s that you say? You barely post on your own blog, but you’ll post on other sites? Yes. But they asked!

The post is on the Trafficado blog. Trafficado is an awesome local (Utah) agency full of some really fun, but also extremely talented marketers. Highly recommend them actually, and that was before they asked me to write. :)

So for the post, I actually collaborated with a friend and coworker, Roger Gibson. Two minds are better than one right? The post is entitled What your enterprise client expects from you. Check it out! Let me know what you think on twitter, or comment on the post on Trafficado’s site.

Lately I’ve been playing around with my phone’s homescreen – trying to bring a little more aesthetic to the screen I look at about 1000 times a day. I’ve been drawing some inspiration from the contributors over at MyColorScreen – Some really awesome designs there.

So without further ado.. I give you “Smooth Criminal”

Smooth Criminal Home Screen


Here are the details…

The background came from the Zedge app, uploaded by “I_SULTAAN_I”. The icons were from an icon pack called Lucid Rounds. The weather and time and whatnot are all a single widget from the Zooper Widget app.
I use Nova Launcher Prime as the very customizable (and highly recommended) launcher that allows me to replace icons and customize the layout. It’s set to a desktop grid of 9×5 icons, with the dock disabled. Most of the visible icons are actually links to folders with apps links inside.

So what do you think? Have you customized your home screen? If so, I would love to see it. I love Android. :)

In the spirit of self-congratulatory praise, I thought I would take a moment to mention two recent mentions I received out of the blue, both praising (somewhat blindly) my paid search expertise.

The first was a few months ago, but hey – if you are going to shamelessly draw attention to yourself, you might as well include everything. I was included on a list of The 25 Most Influential PPC Experts by the PPCHero blog. PPCHero is run by Hanapin Marketing, an agency that specializes in Paid Search marketing services and also runs a PPC conference called HeroConf. They apparently had some kind of methodology to get the list – and while I don’t necessarily agree with the list or my inclusion on it, I’m flattered anyway. #22!

The second mention I got was in a recent interview with Paid Search expert John Rampton, who mentioned me as an important person to watch in the search marketing space. This was on a recent interview with Performance Marketing Insider. Thanks John!

End of bragging. Carry On.

There is a lot that keeps us from getting it done. You know what I’m talking about – that thing you need to do, that’s been waiting for nothing but you to do it. The first thing that pops in your mind when someone says the words “to do list ” or “procrastination”. We all have that task or project or whatever that we know we need to do, know we should do, but we are just really not eager to do it at all.

I noticed that I had this tendency to want to procrastinate.. and the first thing to go was always it. That one thing. So I came up with a plan..

Every day, the first thing I do is it. That’s right. I move that crap I don’t want to do to the top of the list. Before email, before hopping on the twitter, before any reporting. Before.

The effect of making progress on it is that I find myself in a productive mindset. I no longer have this one thing looming over my head, and I feel freed up to prioritize and work on whatever else needs done. Seems to work pretty well for me.

What about you? How do you keep yourself from procrastinating?


So something I’ve never done is move the my feed url from the old /ConversationRate address to /RickGalan. So if you are seeing this, I encourage you to visit the site at your earliest convenience and re-subscribe to the feed. Or update your feed reader to:



I got the email from Bluehost that I’ve been dreading. The email that says that I’m going to have to pony up for another year of hosting if I want RickGalan.com to stay up.
In a way it’s really a good thing though. It has springboarded an effort to get some value out of that money I’m spending. That effort has started with a quick retheming and redesign of the blog.
I have opted to go with a free theme called The Bootstrap. It’s a really clean and simple theme, which I think is necessary to remove barriers to writing. Low maintenance.
The other thing that is great about the theme, and one of the key reasons that I chose it was because it has what’s called a responsive layout. Responsive design  is a relatively recent design technique driven by the fact that there are a myriad devices and screen sizes people use to access the web. Content should be dynamic and respond to fit the different sizes and formats without having to load a completely different version of the site.
Want to see it in action? Visit the blog on your smartphone, tablet, or simply resize the window in Chrome or Firefox (pretty sure IE doesn’t do it). I still have a little work to do with the logo, but I think it’s slick. :)
Besides compatibility with mobile devices, another reason that I went to a responsive theme for the blog is because Google has flat out said that this is how they prefer websites to be designed in order to be crawled most efficiently for all devices. Pierre Far, a Webmaster Central Analyst for Google, mentioned this at SMX Advanced in June, and posted it on the Google Webmaster Central blog as well. I’ve found that when Google “strongly recommends” something, it’s worth looking into.
So there you have it. Renewed effort in blogging. At least this year’s hosting will have this post to show for it. :)


At the end of today (2/8/2012) I will be unemployed… but only for a week. :) I have accepted a new position, and am leaving the fine people of Mercent behind. On the 15th, I will be starting as the Associate Director of Search Marketing at 1-800-Contacts.

So the question I have gotten a lot, as you might imagine, is why? Why leave behind a gig where you can work from home, basically set your own hours, are strategically involved in the direction of the company, etc etc. Why?

Well.. it hasn’t been an easy decision. Mercent is a great company with a great future. There are little things here and there that irk me, but spend 3+ years at a company and you will always have that. What it really breaks down to is this: I am here, Mercent is there.

Mercent is in Seattle, and I live in Utah. I’ve only ever worked for Mercent remotely as a “hoboworker” as I like to call it – working from my basement, various coffee shops and cafes, airports and hotels. It’s not bad, to be honest.. I have 2 out of 3 kids that have never known dad to not work in the basement. When you need a break and take a stroll around the office, I head upstairs and toss my kids around for a bit. There are some fantastic benefits to the hoboworking lifestyle. But there are trade-offs.

It’s lonely. :) It’s not like I can see my coworkers whenever I want – I only see them every few months at the most. All that back and forth has to happen via email, phone, IM, and so on. Which means a lot of times it just doesn’t happen. But that is fairly easy to get around.. When your job is long-term strategy and immediate product input, it really helps to be in the same room with the other stakeholders. When you have to build a team, get executive buy-in, and really affect change within the organization, you need to be there. There’s a bit more to it than all that, but suffice it to say that the only real option I could see for continuing to be (or possibly only to feel) successful in my job was to move to Seattle. And I don’t want to move to Seattle. :) It’s a fine town, but I have a good thing going here.

So – Taking a job here in Utah. It’s very close to home (although still multiplies my commute by like 1000), has great benefits, and from what I can tell from the interview process is full of awesome people. I also think the change in lifestyle will be great for my family. I’m really looking forward to it.

So that’s the update. Feel free to comment – let me know if you think I’m crazy. We’ll see. :)

So I have to apologize – I left today’s post in my other pants..err.. blog. :) Yesterday I wrote a post called Which Metric is Best and posted it to the NewMixMarketing Blog (NMMBlog). NewMixMarketing is a new site that my good friend and social media consultant, blogger & author Josh Peters has started, in collaboration with some experts in various fields. It’s a group effort, where each of us posts on a specific topic once a week (my topic being PPC or Paid Search). We’ve got the written stylings of Josh Peters, Scott Duehlmeier, Nick Johnson, Darin “Doc” Berntson, Jessica Petersen & myself, covering Social Media, PR, Branding, SEO, PPC, Design, etc. There are already some great posts up, so I’m really excited about where this is going.

My post yesterday dealt with choosing the right metrics to track your paid search campaigns. It’s my first post on the blog, but you can expect more every week on Thursday. Take a look! :)