Understanding Unconventional IP Addresses

From the Market Motive Forums: What does it mean when an IP address is appended with /24?

Why Does My IP Have /24
When you get sent an IP address with a slash, or three parts instead of four, it can be a bit surprising.

An IPv4 address is a 32 bit number. By convention we write it as 4 octets separated by dots, because this makes it easier for humans to grok.

Thus a full IP is 72.1.46.37. We call each number an octet because it’s 8 bits (8×4=32) and thus can have a value of 0->255.

Another component of TCP/IP is the netmask, which tells the stack whether the address is local to the network, or foreign and thus must be routed over the internet. Due to the way netmasks work, we only care about the number of bits they contain and we start counting from the top of the 32 bit number. A netmask is specified using the convention /[number of bits] and we know we’re counting this from the top bit. Thus 192.168.1.69/24 means we will treat anything within 192.168.1.* as being in the local network, and anything else as foreign and thus should be sent to the router.

So if someone sends you unusual IP addresses with slashes or three parts, they’re using a common shorthand to tell you that the lowest octet for these two IPs is open to change, and it’s still coming from them.

If, for example, you receive 72.1.46/24 and 72.1.47/24 as IP addresses, the filter you want is 72\.1\.46\.* or 72\.1\.47\.* The backslash is needed since the IP address filter is a regexp and the . character has special meaning to regexps. The GA UI may have made this easier and you can now do a simple wildcard like 72.1.46.*, but I’m going from memory.

Along with award winning training courses and weekly live webinars, our members find guidance and insight every day in the Market Motive forums. This post is based on a student/faculty exchange, and we invite members to join the conversation.

Want access to this kind of training and support?

A case study in customer-centric thinking

How one online company is embracing the customer experience to instill confidence, improve conversions, generate referrals, and retain customers.

Lately I’ve been studying some of the new models for promoting local businesses online … daily deal websites in particular. I signed up for Groupon and Juice In The City deals and have been researching the types of businesses that promote through them.

gophoto photo scanning serviceOne offer on Juice In The City caught my eye. It’s from a company called GoPhoto and they provide a photo scanning service.

It struck me because I had recently been attempting to scan several boxes of photos and negatives at home – I even bought a cheap negative scanner. The results were horrible and it was incredibly time consuming, but I had been reluctant to try a scanning service, fearing that I’d pay for scanning everything and only want to keep 20% of the images, or worse, they’d lose my precious photos.

In fact, anyone considering a photo scanning service is going to have some pretty deep rooted concerns, including:

  • Will my stuff get lost or damaged? It’s irreplaceable.
  • Will the quality be really good?
  • How will I find the time to sort through my boxes of random prints and negatives, and decide what’s worth scanning?
  • What if my old pictures just don’t look good? I’d prefer to not pay for them to be scanned, just to find out they couldn’t be salvaged.

I knew I was never going to be happy with the results from my little cheap negative scanner. So it was with a slightly skeptical air that I decided to research GoPhoto. What I learned convinced me to try the service, and even more interestingly the company serves as a model for how to do business online.

First Impressions

The GoPhoto site looks great, with a nice features/benefits list next to some sample photos. They state the price and mention the ability to share photos directly (I don’t use photo sharing stuff like this, however). More interestingly, the site does a really good job addressing the above concerns, right on the front page:

gophoto1

(click to enlarge)

Every customer’s main concern, of course, will be knowing how many photos they have, and therefore how much it’s going to cost. GoPhoto solves this in two very clever ways:

  • You don’t need to sort or count anything. Just pile it into a box and they will count the scans as they create them.
  • Amazingly, you don’t pay anything until after the scanning is complete. That’s right – just ship the box and pay later. Even though GoPhoto scans everything you send to them, you don’t need to pay for anything you don’t like or want. Delete the item and you won’t get charged (even though GoPhoto clearly took the time to scan it so you could make this decision).

User Experience

Once into the signup process I discovered how carefully these guys are thinking about the user experience.

They didn’t just take a crappy business model and bolt an AJAX UI onto it. They took the whole business first, and baked the user experience all the way through, which of course makes it very powerful. Everyone is going to recommend GoPhoto because the customer has been placed at the center of what they do. They are showing very high confidence that you’re going to love the scans – so much so that you don’t pay a dime until they’re done.

UPSThe signup process concludes with generating a UPS mailing label right from the website, which gives you a high level of confidence that the package will be safe. Even better, the moment you hand it over the counter at a UPS store, you’ll get an email from GoPhoto confirming each step of the delivery process. The level of detail is better than you’ll get from UPS themselves. It’s very comforting and you feel well taken care of.

A Smooth Delivery

Obviously your photos go into a queue and are worked on in turn (For me, the scanning process took a little more than a week). Once scanning is complete, you’ll get a notification and it’s time to visit the site and see those old memories.

The photos are organized into albums and there’s an easy way to review them. More importantly you can delete any images you don’t like – either because the original image was bad (out of focus, poor exposure, etc.) or just because you simply don’t want to keep it. You won’t get charged for that scan. You can also share the images direct from the GoPhoto interface via Twitter, Facebook and email.

The quality of the scans is excellent – far better than I was getting from my cheapo film scanner. The colors are not as rich as I get from my digital camera, but they’re a lot better than having the prints stuffed in a box where I never look at them.

Once you’re happy with everything just plug in the credit card number and your originals are returned with a DVD containing all the high resolution scans.

The Verdict

As an online marketing maven I was just delighted to see GoPhoto put so much care into the product. I wish more companies would embrace this type of thinking. It’s a bold move to ask the customer for payment only AFTER they like everything, but I’ll bet it dramatically pushes up conversion for this type of product.

And as a consumer I am thrilled with the scans … my wife loves to have those old memories resurrected from our boxes (and boxes) of ancient photos.

Learn more about customer engagement, personal identification, design convepts and ecommerce conversion by Market Motive’s Conversion Optimization Training.

Dreadful Landing Pages Lead to Low Bounce Rate. HUH?

I’m shopping for another new bicycle chain. My wife suspects I buy them based on fashion because I get a new one every season (oh no – that’s last season’s chain – everyone’s riding titanium this season). No, sweet girl of mine, it’s not the passing seasons per se that dictate a new chain, it’s the stress of being propelled up the Santa Cruz Mountains. This causes the chain to stretch, which in turn causes the gears to wear rapidly because the chain spacing no longer lines up with the gear teeth. I change chain every 1-2000 miles of riding.

Anyway, here I am shopping for a new chain. Riders become very attuned to the feel of the shifting, and getting exactly the right chain that shifts smoothly is a matter of considerable experimentation and rest-stop chatter. I’m Googling for a KMC chain – prized for the special coating of 11 herbs and spices, I assume.

I click an AdWords link on the SERPs ‘KMC chain shimano 10spd’ and discover the retailer is breaking a fundamental rule of PPC ads: Show the products the consumer just searched for. Instead, I’m dumped into a page where I re-select the brand I want. I click KMC and find they don’t have the 10 speed version in stock – only the 9 speed. As I reach for the back button I momentarily switch from bike geek to adwords geek, and think to myself ‘yikes, I’ll bet their bounce rate numbers are scary’. Only I then realize they’re not.

Learn more about Google Adwords professional certification training.

The catch is that bounce rate in Google Analytics means ‘saw only one page, then left’. But I saw two pages because I was forced to select the brand before seeing the products. It’s a bad campaign, leading to a bad landing page and then a product that cannot be purchased, but bounce rate won’t reveal that. Ouch.

Learn more about optimizing landing pages through conversion optimization course.

People Don’t Read Copy; Only Googlebot Has Time

If you’re a marketer working online, you know that consumers are distracted and have an ever diminishing attention span. When we’re teaching companies how to market online we have to keep reminding them to reduce the amount of copy to bullet points, headlines and scannable text. Consumers simply don’t read body copy anymore.

On the other hand, those doing SEO will repeatedly hear that you need good copy in your pages so Googlebot knows what the page is talking about.

Learn more about Market Motive’s SEO certification training.

So there lies the paradox: Googlebot is the only entity that can be bothered to read your carefully crafted copy, and even it does it solely to work out whether your page is relevant for a searcher who has a vanishingly small attention span.

Is the hyperlink headed for extinction?

10 years ago people needed hyperlinks from page to page because finding stuff was so hard. We needed a human being to tell us where other relevant stuff was, via those handy instructions baked right into the content.

Google then exploited these links as a way of determining which page is most relevant, creating the famous PageRank mechanism.

I’m wondering if people use these in-content hyperlinks less these days. After all, relevant stuff is just a search away. With the advent of browser toolbar search boxes, it’s even easier for people to search instead of using hyperlinks.

Will content writers continue to link to stuff, as the use of those links decline?

In many ways Twitter adds to the problem for Google. Lots of links point to a page but there’s no anchor text and the content is very transient.

This might start to undermine a fundamental aspect of determining relevance, eroding the quality of the results. Or are they already so washed-out that it makes no difference?

Learn more about Market Motive’s SEO training course.

Post SES Pizza Party

We wrapped up another SES conference by dragging everyone down to my house in Santa Cruz and feeding them pizza, pulled pork and wine. I did some of the cooking myself as you can see, and we also had help from a Santa Cruz Catering company named Life Style Culinary, who I rate very highly. Seems like people had fun, which is all that matters.

2793723539 3f2e3ebfe1 b

 

2793736055 c3d4aaa95a b

2793897797 9b99042000 b

More pictures (taken by my friend Brad Haakenson)

Herd Immunity Via Trust Seals

Trust seals such as the ubiquitous Better Business Bureau or the online equivalents such as Hacker Safe are designed to put the consumer at ease when doing business with a stranger. A website displaying Hacker Safe should yield better conversion rates since the consumer has confidence their credit card data cannot be stolen by hackers.

hackersafe

In line with the recent focus on teaching best practices for testing, we recommended to a Market Motive subscriber that instead of assuming Hacker Safe improves conversion rates they actually test it. Subscribing to Hacker Safe is not cheap and it must be justified through ROI.

[Read more…]

Mobile Web Is No Longer Special

If you own a website I’ll bet some marketing ding-dong already told you about the importance of the mobile web. In fact I’ll bet someone beat you over the head with it.

Perhaps someone showed you WAP in 2001 and told you it was the wave of the future. This [WAP] is [WAP] going [WAP] to [WAP] change [WAP] everything [DUCK]. Enough with the [WAP]!! It hurts my head.

WAP died and nobody mourns it.

[Read more…]