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Paul Hickey's Data Driven Daily Tips
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Paul Hickey's Data Driven Daily Tips

Author: Paul Hickey

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Paul Hickey is a business leader, digital strategist and web developer and Voice Designer who is starting to get loud while documenting the journey of helping businesses grow. We talk Alexa Skills, Google Actions, Google Analytics, Social Media Content Creation, Facebook Ads, SEO, Paid Search, Web Design and more, as well as the occasional interview with business owners, marketers, educators, entrepreneurs and just overall badasses. Thanks for listening! Support this podcast:
300 Episodes
There are many reasons for marketers and business owners to share access to their Google Ads account, and now Google Ads has made it easier than ever. You don’t even really need a Google Ads Manager (formerly Master Client Center) account anymore to safely share access to your account. You may just want an analyst to take a look for you, but not be able to actually make changes. Or, you may want to automate an email report to an executive in your company. And, of course, it’s super common for businesses to hire outside help from freelancers or agencies. Whatever your reason for sharing access to your Google Ads Account, you can safely do it very easily now. Just log into your account, then navigate to Tools and Settings in the top right, then in the second column from the right called “Setup” click on Account Access. You’ll see a blue circle with a plus sign in it. Click that. From there, it’s pretty straightforward to add the email address (it has to be associated with a Google Account) of the person you want to add. Select the permissions you want them to had, and boom, you’re done. --- Support this podcast:
Tricky little Facebook Business Manager. Where do the invites go when you try to add someone as an admin to your Facebook Business Page or Facebook Ads Account?   Nowhere!  This trick helps you invite people, then immediately go add them.  Check it out, and happy marketing! --- Support this podcast:
Every single second of time is super important to small business owners and marketers. I mean, especially with content marketers like me telling people to create multiple pieces of content per day for social media to help grow their audiences.  I love this time-saving tip that can be found within the YouTube Studio Channel Settings that allows content creators to essentially pre-load tags, descriptions and other video settings.  This way, when you're uploading you're new, awesome video to YouTube, you can change around your description and tags rather than write them from scratch each time.  Every second counts, marketers and small business owners! --- Support this podcast:
As a web developer and digital strategist, I've worked with hundreds of businesses over the last 15 years, and just about every single one has either asked me about Google Ads or paid me to run a campaign for them or show them how to set up a campaign.  Up until about 2017 it was super complicated, then Google innovated and started drastically improving a product they called Google Adwords Express.  My content archive at Data Driven Design proves I am a HUGE proponent of Google Adwords Express for any kind of small business just dipping their toes into the Digital Marketing waters. --- Support this podcast:
Business Owners and Marketers, are you struggling trying to find how to create a marketing friendly Facebook URL?  You should be able to get a really clean one with your business name in it and not have to use long ones with dashes and numbers and Facebook initially gives you. --- Support this podcast:
When it comes to Facebook Business Manager, Instagram Business Accounts vs. Personal Accounts and more, there is a lot to know, and a lot of details “under the hood” that Business Owners and Marketers need to be aware of. At times, it can get very frustrating and overwhelming to try and hook things up correctly between the two platforms. Particularly, Facebook Business Manager being one of the more convoluted digital marketing tools I’ve ever used. Granted, it is free, so I’m not complaining, but I digress. The point is that business owners and marketers really only should care / only do care about the following things, which are EXACTLY what this video shows you how to do: – Be able to connect your Instagram Business Account To Your Facebook Business Manager Account so you can run Instagram Ads via your Facebook Ads account. – Swap your IG personal account to an Instagram Business Account so that you can advertise via the IG app AND – Connect IG and FB so that you can post from IG and have it go directly to your Facebook Business Page. This is particularly useful for IGTV video uploads that you can send directly to your Facebook Business Page. Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day! KEEP MARKETING! Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC and founder of Nashville Voice Conference, has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 15 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing, Email Marketing and most recently, Voice App Design and Development – Alexa Skills and Google Actions. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data. --- Support this podcast:
I've used WordPress for almost 15 years now, and I've never seen the frequency of random "Sorry, That Page Doesn't Exist" errors that I've seen in the last few weeks. Clients have emailed in one-by-one, after the recent core upgrade to PHP 7.4. Well, at least that's the only correlation I can see between these errors. I could be wrong on the cause, but I know the fix! And that's the most important thing. It's definitely not as scary as the error itself. Trust me. It actually only takes a few seconds. First, go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and confirm your page(s) weren't deleted. Then, go to Settings - Permalinks and click Save. That's right. Don't change anything, just click "Save." Your pages should reappear upon refreshing.  You're welcome. :) --- Support this podcast:
Hello WordPress Content Managers, Content Marketers and yes, that means you too Business Owners! Are you frustrated by the fact that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media outlets don't always show the correct featured image when you embed/post a link from your WordPress website?  Believe me, I've seen some get really messy.  Don't worry, I've got the solution for you.  First of all, all WordPress website pages and posts have something called the Featured Image. It's located on the far right hand side of the page, as my video explains. If your theme isn't having any issues showing the OG: Image tag (open graph image tag) to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., then your website should be showing exactly what you put in this featured image spot as the embedded image with your social media post.  Also, as my video explains, it should be pulling the SEO Title and Meta Description from your Yoast SEO plug-in and showing that as the Title and Description of your post under your featured image as you make your post.  If this isn't working, don't worry, the next thing to try is called the "Social" settings in Yoast SEO. As the video above walks you through, you can toggle over to the Social tab in Yoast, and try to put in a Facebook and Twitter Title, Description and Image.  What this is trying to do is properly set the OG: image tag in the source code of your WordPress site, overriding the Featured Image setting.  However, you may be watching / reading this because you already tried these things! Don't worry. I have a fix.  Believe it or not, you need to create a Facebook App for your WordPress site. But it's super easy and quick.  Just go into your Yoast SEO Social Settings and click the Facebook Tab. Then go to and create an app. The video walks you through this step.  Once your website cache clears (typically 24 hours depending on which host you use, and faster if you use GoDaddy or WPEngine - each of which give you the ability to clear cache with one click from your WP Admin Dashboard), the OG:image settings should reset.  You should then use both the Facebook Sharing Debugger Tool and the LinkedIn Post Inspector Tool to preview what your posts will look like as you embed links from your WordPress website into social media.  Just like other updates to your site, it may take some time and refreshing to get the results you want, but once you've gone through this level of troubleshooting and fixed it, you shouldn't have to do it again.   Special thanks to some great resources out there that helped me along the way: and --- Support this podcast:
When I interviewed Julie Davis, director of instructional technology and innovation for Chattanooga Christian School, it was before the tornado damage in Nashville on March 3, 2020 and before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began to limit social gatherings of large groups. It was certainly before schools began to close down for the year. However, after reflecting on this interview, I feel like posting it is the right thing to do, because now, more than ever, if educators can figure out how to use Alexa to enhance learning, it will keep education going in the right direction for when we can be face-to-face with one other, and for when we can’t be. Here is the full interview with Julie Davis as I had intended to post it prior to the events of March 2020. Julie Davis is the director of instructional technology and innovation at Chattanooga Christian school. She is an educator working with teachers, students, parents and developers. She’s a former accountant so she understands business. She’s an Alexa champion and she’s been pulled in by Samsung’s Bixby to also be their version of a Bixby champion. I am so honored that she is going to present at the Nashville Voice Conference 2020. Julie is the host of Voice in Education podcast and Alexa flash briefing. I recently spoke to Julie about how she uses voice technology to support learning in schools around her area. --- Support this podcast:
Updates from Spain: Episode 2  The unthinkable and unimaginable has happened all at once. As much as I love working from home and holing myself up in my office to get a ton of work ton each day, being quarantined with my family home from school is a whole other story!  In all seriousness, we're doing well. My wife is an amazing person, working on a schedule for our family to stay productive, learning, staying active, and enjoying each other in the process.  Talking about being in quarantine and actually experiencing not being able to leave your apartment in a city is a whole other thing. We're technically not even supposed to leave to go into the hallway or to the roof to get fresh air.  We are allowed to go to the grocery store to get food.  I can't run outside like I'm used to every day, so I've pivoted to jumping rope and doing burpees, push-ups and crunches in our living room.  Data Driven Design is up and running as a fully remote work team, but dealing with the new challenges of having our kids at home 100% of the time! Perspective, patience and innovation are important during this time. So far, we're all doing well though. How are you doing? We want to hear from you! Email me at if you want to join a conversation via Zoom conference.  More updates to come! --- Support this podcast:
2020 has proven to be anything but “business as usual.” While there are very real world-wide and local crises impacting lives on a minute-by-minute basis, as business owners, we’re faced with the challenge of gathering information and data, synthesizing it, projecting it’s impact on our respective industries, and then making decisions. Our decisions and actions (or our lack of action, in some cases), have an affect on lives. Since Data Driven Design is fortunate enough to be a fully functional, remote work team, with skill sets that span business strategy, digital strategy to web and software development, and because we have been fully operational in a 100% remote environment across the world far prior to 2020, we know we can continue to help businesses be successful in the face of crisis. Step Number 1 though, is hearing from you on what you really need right now. It would be foolish on our part to simply assume that our current service offering will do it for you. As such, I’m announcing a free, invite-only, Business Owner/Executive and Entrepreneur support group that will be conducted weekly via my personal Zoom conference account. The purpose of the group’s first meeting(s) will be to simply share information and support each other during this very unprecedented time. Please email me directly at I truly hope to hear from you soon. A Message From Spain I just wanted to thank everyone who has reached out to me to check in on how my family and I are doing in Spain. Right now we feel safe, healthy and prepared for the next 2-4 weeks. We are in support of the Spanish government’s decision to keep people away from one another unless they need food, water, medicine or money. I am encouraged by the community holding “balcony gatherings, applauses and balcony concerts” as many of you may have seen on social media. I am thinking of all of you around the world and back in the USA. Data Driven Design has been a fully remote work team since 2016 and we are fortunate to be fully operational. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to help you out. Stay healthy, safe and have a great day. I will be checking in consistently with updates. --- Support this podcast:
The end of Q1 2020 represents a time not only when the world changed, but business forever changed. All businesses, large and small, were forced to immediately look in the mirror and make very tough business decisions.  My business, Data Driven Design, though fully remote for several years, wasn't unaffected.  In this podcast, I talk candidly about the decisions I made during March, April and May 2020, from Content Creation, to Employee Hiring/Firing/Management, taking over client projects myself, working directly with clients again, the future of the digital marketing space, and the future of Data Driven Design. --- Support this podcast:
I had the pleasure of speaking with Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing. Bradley is many things, and most certainly all things voice. Bradley has been in the voice space for several years and culminated the Project Voice event, the number one event for voice technology and AI in America. During the podcast, I had the opportunity to learn more about what Bradley does and his vision for the future of voice. He talks in depth about how businesses need to understand the importance of incorporating voice technology within small to medium size companies. If they don’t do it soon, they will quickly fall behind.  Bradley is also the Keynote Speaker at Nashville Voice Conference 2020, coming up on August 7 at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. The event will focus on how all businesses can become more efficient and effective through the creation of Alexa Skills and Google Actions.  Paul: How familiar do you believe businesses currently are with voice apps, Alexa skills and Google actions?  Bradley: I think it varies, but in general it's pretty low. I view it as defensive in nature rather than offensive in nature. I think a business, including mom and pop gas stations, and as you get into the enterprise space, needs to be working with voice or working with groups like Data Driven Design who are working with voice on their behalf so that they are accumulating knowledge and they're getting acclimated to the space. But the bottom line is that if you're not delving into those waters, you're falling behind, and you're not understanding.  Paul: Do you think businesses know that they can build custom applications for Alexa and Google assistant just like they can with websites or mobile apps and how those can actually help them be more efficient and effective?  Bradley: I think some of that knowledge is there. They want to turn to professionals, and do it right. I don't think it's part of the mental calculus for a lot of companies. Like do the tools exist?  Paul: You wrote a book more than just weather and music, 200 ways to use Alexa. Tell us about that. Tell us about some of those use cases that you've found.   Bradley: It's profound. All the things that you can do with Alexa’s ecosystem. I always joke, you could line up a hundred Amazon employees and even they wouldn't know 70% or 80% of some of these things that are in the book. And I'll give you a couple of examples. It's called “Alexa, What am I Holding?” So four Alexa devices that have a front facing camera, like the Echo Show,  and The Echo Spot. They have a feature called “Alexa, what am I holding?”   Paul:  If you had to come up with an idea of big or small to help any kind of business, including your own, with operations or marketing, creating a voice app, an Alexa skill or a Google action, what would it be?  Bradley: We just went through that with Project Voice. We wanted to create a voice experience that you don't want to regurgitate the web. So with Project Voice, we thought, what is it that a voice experience for a conference ought to do? And what is it it can do, that's above and beyond regurgitating the web? And one of the things that we came up with that we used to great effect was having speakers talk about their sessions in their own voice.  Paul: The goal of the Nashville Voice Conferences is to help people make things happen with their businesses with voice. And, you are the keynote speaker at Nashville Voice Conference 2020, and I'm very proud of that. Can you give us a little preview of what you're thinking will be valuable to the attendees on August 7th, 2020 at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center?   Bradley: Sure!  I'm thrilled that there is a Nashville Voice Conference, number one. I'm thrilled that it's growing. --- Support this podcast:
Businesses ask me all the time, “what can I do to differentiate myself and drive customers?"  I’ve got a perfect example for you: Carmen Johnston Gardens, a landscape designer in Georgia, built an Alexa Skill with Data Driven Design. “Alexa, launch Carmen Johnston Gardens.” Here she is on NewsChannel5 in Nashville showcasing this. This is happening right now. Your business needs Voice.  Check it out, and thank you to Voiceflow, the tool I used to build this Alexa Skill.  I met Carmen at VoiceCon by VaynerMedia in 2018, and since then we’ve formed a tight business partnership that includes her company hiring my company to support on all things digital strategy. At our Nashville Voice Conference inaugural event in 2019, Carmen pulled me aside and told me that her audience needs a way to watch her “how-to” home and garden tips without getting their dirty, messy, greasy kitchen/garden hands on their phone/tablet, etc.  Enter, the multimodal Alexa Skill that features video (and audio) tips from Carmen.  But we didn’t stop at just launching her Alexa Skill. We’ve teamed up to create a marketing force that includes using the fact that she has become the first in the Gardening category to launch technology like this to garner her business massive attention on mainstream media. In short, Carmen is the perfect example of a Business Owner who knows how to differentiate herself from the competition, create her own story and get attention for the right reasons, which drives customers to her business.  She’s not sitting around finding reasons NOT to build Voice Apps. She’s executing a fully integrated marketing strategy that includes Voice Apps as a way of differentiating herself and creating stories like this one.  Would an Alexa Skill by itself make the news like this? Probably Not. But would Carmen have made the news like this without the technology that makes her different? You decide. Enjoy. --- Support this podcast:
How The CEO of Voiceflow Turned An Interactive Children’s Storybook Into One Of The First No-Code Tools to Build Alexa Skills and Google Actions  I can remember first starting to build Alexa Skills back in 2017-2018, and researching “no-code” tools to do so. At the time, coding Alexa Skills from scratch seemed like such a long journey, that I was even talking with our CTO Joe Wallace about building our own no-code tool (aka Content Management System; aka “WordPress of Voice”) so that we could effectively roll out Voice Apps for clients easier.  What got me excited were a few things. First of all, at the time, as far as I knew, nobody had done it yet. I had found one blog article on about “how to build Alexa Skills without coding” and it featured a company called Storyflow. But when I went to, the no-code tool clearly wasn’t ready for real consumer use yet, which - being in software development - I totally understand.  Well, about a year after I found, I really wanted to start building Alexa Skills for clients, and for Data Driven Design, and I decided to Google again - “building Alexa Skills without coding.”   Again, the same article came up. I opened it, and instantly remembered Storyflow.  That next time, when I clicked on the link, I was redirected to, and it was a MUCH improved experience, and not just from a front-facing marketing website perspective, but from a SaaS product perspective.  I jumped right into the tool, created an account, and started building Voice Apps.  Another year-plus later, after building dozens of Alexa Skills and Google Actions using Voiceflow, I sat down with CEO Braden Ream and talked with him about his journey building an interactive children’s book company into one of the top SaaS products in the world, and especially in the Voice space. --- Support this podcast:
David Code has an interesting story. He got a job at LinkedIn teaching AI to people with a non-STEM background. He got fed up trying to learn AI from AI experts who couldn't teach well, and decided to write a 140-page textbook and post it to Reddit. Well, LinkedIn found him and hired him. Pretty sweet. Who says putting out content for free can't pay off? Right DCode? QuHarrison and I talk to our new friend DCode at Project Voice about why he's at Project Voice, what he plans to do with his newfound knowledge from the event, and how to build solid Voice Applications with voice design best practices that users will adopt and find value from. --- Support this podcast:
Hi Inside Voice Podcast listeners, this is your co-host Keri Roberts, and today my guest is Paul Hickey, the founder and CEO of Data Driven Design and the founder of the Nashville Voice Conference. Paul, thank you so much for having me. Paul: You’re welcome Keri, thank you so much for having me. This is very exciting. I’m super geeked up about voice and just super excited to talk to you today. Thanks again! Keri: Yes, and I know that you started your career journey in the Sports and PR World. And in the amount of years that you spent there, what did you learn about marketing that made you want to focus on digital marketing, and now voice, specifically. 1:25 Paul: Yeah, I was a sports geek growing up as a kid. I followed all the stats and used to pretend to be an announcer, and played all sorts of sports. I was in the NBA for seven years and had a great experience there. Mainly in Detroit with the Pistons. I learned just about everything that I could possibly learn about business at that time. At first it was a lot of writing and sports information. Then, it quickly grew into marketing and learning how you can provide value to other organizations, using your own, let’s call them “assets.” And monetize things, sell sponsorships and sell tickets. Really, it was all building relationships. And because it was all building relationships and understanding what’s valuable to other people, and what’s going to put them in a position to succeed, and creating things, situations or deliverables that they can get excited about first, it became really, really easy to essentially accomplish my goals and my organization’s goals. So professional sports was fast-paced, high-pressure, high-visibility type stuff. But it was really business at it’s core. So I find that a lot of what I do today, mirrors that experience, in understanding what the client’s goals are. --- Support this podcast:
Dr. Chithra Durgam and I randomly started following each other on Twitter in 2017. Around the Fall of that year is when I started creating and publishing my Data Driven Daily Tips. Part of that process was not only publishing the content to my website, but also to all social media outlets. Twitter, in particular is a platform where content has to be native in order to work well. This means that content has to be created for Twitter specifically, and posted there naturally, not through some kind of third party automation tool. Other social media platforms are the same, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, and especially now, TikTok. When you post natively on platforms, you build relationships with other like-minded people. In my case, Dr. Durgam is an example of that. She has a successful dental practice in New Jersey, and is now working on her personal brand, in content creation and public speaking, among other areas. At the time, what got my attention was the fact that she’s a dentist on social media. Most of my clients need a hard sell on why they should be on social media, especially those in service-based industries and verticals who have always gotten their clients via “word of mouth.” It was clear to me that Chithra was making a considerable investment of her time in creating content for social media, and I could only assume this was helping her business. I was correct, but I really had no idea to what magnitude. Shortly after our Twitter connection, I became aware that she was actually becoming famous for her work on TikTok (it was still at the time). WHAT? A dentist on TikTok? Why? Well, after reading Crushing It! By Gary Vaynerchuk, in which she’s featured, it became clear to me that Dr. Durgam is a social media rockstar that has figured out how to connect with her target audience on all social media platforms to drive business via organic content strategy. Not only is she doing it still on social media, but also in Voice Design. QuHarrison Terry and I sat down with her at Project Voice and got into the details in this interview. --- Support this podcast:
I've known our CTO Joe Wallace since 2011. He's one of the most thoughtful people I've ever worked with. NOT "touchy feely" thoughtful. Thoughtful about his work. Period. He - and I mean this in a complimentary way - is NOT easily impressed. And as he admits in this wonderfully done podcast interview with our very own brilliant Sr. Strategist Sonia Thalman, he didn't know what to expect at Project Voice. But after spending a week with Joe at the number one event for Voice Tech and AI in America (shoutout to Project Voice founder Bradley Metrock), he and I both feel the energy and opportunity in the voice space, more than ever. But I wanted you all to have the opportunity to hear, in his own words, why Joe thinks Samsung's Bixby could be the next big voice platform. Please listen in to this special edition of our Data Driven Daily Tips! --- Support this podcast:
Getting found on Alexa (let’s call it “SAO” – Search Alexa Optimization) – At Project Voice, I asked Amazon Alexa’s Jeff Blankenburg how businesses can get found on Alexa. While waking Alexa with a phrase like “Alexa, how do I make a Jack-o-lantern” I’ve noticed more frequently over the last 6 months that if Alexa doesn’t have an answer, it will suggest Skills that do. So if we build “How to build a Jack-o-lantern” into our Carmen Johnston Gardens Skill, for example, along with hundreds of other Home, Garden, Recipe and how-to tips – users may not actually need to say “Alexa, Launch Carmen Johnston Gardens” to find that content. Alexa should start to say “I have a skill that you could try…” after the user simply says “…. How to make a Jack-o-lantern.” I confirmed with Blankenburg that nobody really knows how this formula works, but he says the more content, and the better description and keywords in the Alexa Skills Kit console, the more likely your skill is to be recommended as a result for these “voice assistant searches.” Blankenburg confirmed that partnerships are not paid currently, so any business with a skill can show. GET. IN. NOW! Jeff Blankenburg, Alexa Evangelist, shares his perspective on voice at-large. He goes into why he's excited for small-business owners in particular, from realtors to family-owned restaurants, to get into using Voice. And he ends on how Alexa-as-a-Companion is building trust. --- Support this podcast:
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