Newsletter Archives 2016
Hello, hello! Here are the best marketing articles of 2015 in no particular order…
10 Must Know Image Optimization Tips
You’re probably doing images wrong. Excellent piece on how to handle them well. Read it here…
Takeaway: Between Google Images, Pinterest & more – images are essential to so many websites. But there’s more to them than just using them.
Blogger Outreach: Here’s How To Do It Right
What’s the line between spam and outreach? Great read here. Read it here…
Takeaway: “Outreach” is not “broadcasting.” Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving your email. Ask yourself how you would feel receiving it. Remember that persistence will not save generic spammy outreach.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own explainer video for your product
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Break daunting projects (like a snappy explainer video) into smaller component parts – script, then storyboard, etc.
YouTube Optimization: Guide To Channels, Videos & Strategy
I wrote down everything I’ve learned about setting up a YouTube channel & optimizing your videos. Read it here…
Takeaway: Like most tools and platforms, YouTube becomes infinitely more useful and understandable if you dig a little bit and read the owner’s manual.
Bonus Read – The Website Obesity Crisis
Excellent perspective on the problem (sloppy website building) behind the problem (a slow Web). Read it here…
The Web Marketer’s Guide To Reddit
You’ve likely heard of Reddit. I loved how this post broke down why & how you should use it for marketing, but not for the reasons you think. Read it here…
Takeaway: Having a better understanding of Reddit will massively improve your content ideas. Reddit allows you to rapidly improve your understanding of content and community.
An In-Depth Look At Image Optimization: Fact And Future
Images have been an essential part of the Internet since it became public. But best practices change. Solid, tactical read. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Image should have a relevant two- to four-word filename. Image should use a descriptive two- to four-word ALT tag. It should have a relevant heading, caption or surrounding text. Use clear images, placed high up on the page, that specify width and height attributes. Create and submit an image sitemap. Read the article for advanced tips.
8+ Tips On Using YouTube For Your Website Marketing & SEO
I’ve written how to optimize your presence on YouTube, but what about using YouTube data to benefit your actual website? Read it here…
Takeaway: YouTube’s goal is to keep users on YouTube. And you should remember that when optimizing your channel. But there are ways to use their data and your presence to benefit your website.
The Ultimate Guide to Preview Text Support
You know that little bit of text you can see from an email before you open it? Yeah – that matters. Read it here…
Takeaway: Be a customer of your own business. Notice the details that put customers off. Optimize for a mobile experience.
The Least Sexy, Most Powerful Way To Get Better Copy
A post about gathering customer surveys. Detailed, specific – useful. Read it here…
Takeaway: Successful copy perfectly answers customers’ questions & problems. You can only really understand those questions & problems with a well-structured interview (ie, carefully worded questions) about the entire process.
Why side projects are the future of marketing
Refreshing post that goes against some of the current “best practices” for marketing. Read it here…
Takeaway: A marketing “asset” doesn’t have to be text, photo or video content. It might just be a free tool or service. Do not buy into the idea that digital marketing has to be [blog] + [ads] + [social] + [etc].
We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO.
Nothing ground-breaking here for professional SEOs. But it is a well-written post for beginners/intermediates explaining some of the factors that Google looks at. Read it here…
Takeaway: Test after test show that detailed, descriptive webpages that users like on a relevant website with quality links from other websites do well in Google Search. There are no shortcuts.
How To Use Pinterest for SEO & Content Marketing
I wrote about how to use Pinterest for your SEO & content campaigns even if you aren’t a regular Pinterest user. Read it here…
Takeaway: Like YouTube, Pinterest is an interesting hybrid social network. It has social elements, but it’s also very search oriented. It also has a lot of openly available data for you to use to make your campaigns better.
My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic
Self-explanatory post from Cyrus Shepard – one of the more famous industry experts. Read it here…
Takeaway: View your website content as something that should be refreshed, revised and updated. Use data in Google Search Console to make consistent, steady improvements over time.
33 Retargeting Campaigns You’ve Never Heard Of Before
Incredible resource. Don’t be overwhelmed by this one. Just skim and choose one of these to try out. Read it here…
Takeaway: Retargeting takes practice and experience. Not every campaign will work for every website, but when you find the campaign that works for you – it will work (very) well.
How to Find Website Optimization Opportunities
Self-explanatory post by Matthew Barby – one of the best in the industry. Read it here…
Takeaway: Haphazard website improvement is not an effective approach. Develop a system to look for projects that relate to defined goals. Score ideas on the PIE framework – Potential, Importance & Ease to rank projects.
The 100 Best Infographics [Interactive]
A curated collection of the most effective infographics – all put together by Siege Media, one of the best agencies in the industry. Read it here…
Takeaway: Nothing specific, but it’s critical to understand & learn from what exactly good/better/best look like when you’re creating a new campaign.
The One Kind of 404 That Could Be Quietly Killing Your Search Efforts
Nothing sounds more tedious than “fixing 404 errors” and yet – they could be quietly killing your website. Read it here…
Takeaway: 404 Errors (ie, pages that do not exist) make website visitors frustrated. They block efficient crawling. Fixing 404 errors and maintaining your website in general is a fundamental part of digital marketing. Don’t procrastinate – it’s an easy win that you control.
Facebook Flex Targeting: Now You Can Have Your Cake AND-OR Eat It Too
Facebook has expanded your audience targeting choices. Read it here…
Takeaway: You can exclude & include audiences on Facebook to create extremely targeted campaigns.
The Business Case For SHORT Content …in 5,414 Words
A very interesting counter to the conventional wisdom in content marketing that bigger and longer is better. Read it here…
Takeaway: Look into creating short, quality content around questions and niche problems in your industry. Watch to see if there are any pieces that do better than others. Revise those into more substantial pieces covering the topic and promote it. Short, quality, focused content allows you to be more “agile” in the jargon.
Scaling Manual Link Building
There is a fine line between “scaling link outreach” and “spamming people.” But there’s a better way to do lots of promotion to get links. Read it here…
Takeaway: “Scale” your promotion with simple division of labor. Break link building / promotion into specific tasks, delegate tasks among a team with a few key tools.
13+ More Effective Ways To Use Keyword Planner for SEO
Google Keyword Planner is the only place to get keyword data directly from Google. But you probably aren’t using it effectively, especially if you are using it for SEO and content marketing. I wrote how to use it better. Read it here…
Takeaway: Mix and combine filters in Keyword Planner to force it show useful keywords for SEO & content campaigns. Use the Product/Service Category to get a broader set of keywords. Use Click Forecasts section to get potential traffic based on keyword match type.
The Ultimate Guide to Local Engagement Strategies
If you are a geographically-focused business, this guide to local marketing is a must read. Read it here…
Takeaway: Options for local digital marketing might seem limited, but it’s a two-way problem. Local publishers, events, and website owners feel just as limited. Use your local-ness with a desire to really contribute to get opportunities that other non-local businesses simply don’t have.
Google Analytics: The Basics of Website Visitor Pathing
Ever wondered how website visitors move around your website? The answers are in Google Analytics – you just have to learn how to pull the information. Read it here…
Takeaway: Never guess where your visitors land or how they navigate your site. The data is already there. Optimize your website based on that data.
Inactive Subscribers are Still Valuable Customers
Great research and ideas from MailChimp. Read it here…
Takeaway: Don’t unsubscribe people who never open your emails. Segment them and figure out a useful, interesting alternative to bring them back (including non-email options like retargeting campaigns).
How to Find Opportunities for Local Link Building
This piece is a bit rambling, but also heavy on specific tactics. Read it here…
Takeaway: Local link opportunities are more buried, but once you find them are often easier to obtain.
Why Your AdWords Competitors Are Making More Money Than You
If you’ve ever wondered how search ad competitors can bid what that bid – this piece is for you. Read it here...
Takeaway(s): If your leads are weak, then it’s your landing page offer – not your ads. Obsess over your sales close rate, not your ad conversion rate. Your follow-up via retargeting and email can be better. Higher prices and upsells allow you to be more competitive with ads.
Beginner’s Guide To Using Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
If you are using WordPress – Yoast SEO is a go to plugin. I updated my beginner’s guide to reflect all the recent changes. Read it here…
Takeaway: Installing or owning a tool does nothing for your website – you have to dig in and learn to use it effectively.
27 Social Proof Examples Companies Use on the Web
Sounds like a fluff piece, but I liked how they broke the examples into different categories. Read it here…
Takeaway: Testimonials and press mentions are not the only forms of social proof.
How to REALLY Run a Twitter Lead Generation Campaign
Self-explanatory title. Concise, specific steps. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Use conversion tracking. Do not use tweet engagement campaigns. Layer your targeting. Use a normal tweet – do not use Twitter Cards. Do not use automatic bidding. Analyze, optimize, repeat. Double-down on working campaigns. Delete those that do not.
How To Increase Website Traffic by +250,000 Monthly Visits
This post by Siege Media goes behind the scenes on their entire content creation process. It’s long, a bit advanced but thorough. It’s also the exact process that I use – and can attest that it works. Read it here…
Takeaway: Too many. If you do content and/or SEO – just read the post.
Competitor Keyword Research with SEMRush
You can use this guide with SEMRush competitors like Ahrefs or Moz. Read it here…
Takeaway: To find website content gaps, scrape and analyze several competitor’s websites & the keywords they are ranking for.
The #1 Problem with Content Upgrades and What I’ve Learned To Do Instead
Better title is – how do you create website offers quickly without wasting time. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Customize your offer based on categories, not individual pages. Simplify the offer (e.g., offering a PDF version of a blog post can be as effective as a custom ebook). Make the offer something in the future – then make it once you have enough signups (e.g., “part 2” of the post).
14+ Website Marketing Data To Track Now or Lose Forever
I wrote a roundup of data that you can’t get, fix or recover unless you are actively recording it right now. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Set up Analytics correctly. Establish formats for URL tagging. Set up all possible re-targeting codes whether you are running paid ads or not. Setup Search Console and download your keywords every 90 days. Backup your website and have an email capture somewhere.
Discovering Which Sites Your Target Audience Visits
Great beginner walkthrough. Read it here…
Takeaway: Figure out the top media that your customers listen to. Run competitive analysis. Use the data to create a “wow, you are everywhere” feeling.
Effective “Review Us” Pages for Local Businesses: a Fistful of Examples
Reviews are a major marketing factor for local business. I love this straightforward post with examples from real world websites. Read it here…
Takeaway: Have a Review Us page. Provide options, social proof and ridiculously easy routes to publishing reviews. Bonus points for re-routing unhappy customers to customer service.
Rock Analytics More: Obsess About Goals And Goal Values!
Advanced post for Analytics nerds by Avinash Kaushik. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use Goal Values to quickly access what data really matters to your business. Use your final goal value (ie, sale) to reverse-engineer the value of the micro-goals leading up to it (ie, the value of an email sign-up, a video play, etc).
How To Increase Website Speed & Performance For Beginners
I wrote this post to explain how to approach & apply all those random website speed tips around the Internet – with a restaurant analogy. Read it here...
Takeaway: There are many variables that go into website speed. Instead of implementing random tips, create a troubleshooting system and improve your website speed over time.
12 Ways to Build Social Proof (From Scratch)
Long post, but skimmable with great ideas in each section. Read it here…
Takeaway: Social proof growth is not linear. It’s exponential. Once you get to a certain point, it begins to grow much faster and without you having to do anything for it.
How to Set Up a Local AdWords PPC Campaign That Kills the Competition (Part 1 of 2)
Concise with lots of detail. Read it here…
Takeaway: Structure campaigns correctly. Cast a wide keyword net, but use negative keywords and specific locations to narrow. Create custom landing pages based on location.
Breaking SlideShare: How I Got 2,000,000 Views from Only 16 Presentations
I love this type of post. Great detail on strategy and execution on a non-Facebook/Twitter platform that brings in sales. Read it here…
Takeaway: Find places where your audience visits. Pick a place that you understand and has less competition. Get a solid understanding of what, how and why content works there. Create & consistently execute a strategy.
How To Make Bulk Edits To (Any) Content in WordPress
If you are copy/pasting title tags or content edits into dozens of pages on WordPress, you’re doing it wrong. Here’s how to really edit in bulk. Read it here…
Takeaway: If you are editing more than a few pages in WordPress, download your database, edit in Excel and upload changes via Really Simple CSV.
How the HubSpot Marketing Blog Actually Generates Leads
Very interesting, well-written study. Read it here…
Takeaway: Well-placed in-text links convert more than pop-ups or end of post graphics.
YouTube Playlists: An Amazing Source for Content Ideas
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Never create content that is not “pre-qualified” for success. There’s so many sources for content ideas.
16 SEO Experiments That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO (Forever)
A bit in the weeds for non-SEOs. But a great overview of recent tests for best practices in SEO. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Organic clickthrough rate does impact ranking. Mobile-friendliness is very important. Removed links still help you. #1 isn’t necessarily the best spot. Robots NOINDEX does not always work. Exact match anchor text is very important. Linking out helps your website. Nofollow links can be good. A link within a giant list of links is still good. Anchor text influences how Google rewrites your title tags.
19 Actionable SEO Tips to Increase Organic Traffic
Useful advanced tactics (w/ details) to use after you have the fundamentals down. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Too many. Pick a tip from the post and execute on it. There’s always more to learn in every field.
How to Get Busy Influencers to Share Your Stuff
Learn from the tone, social etiquette and planning process in this post. Read it here…
Takeaway: Spend more time creating a warm introduction / pitch. Then some more. Do everything you can to decrease risk, work & obligations.
Why You Need to Find All Your NAP Variations Before Building Local Citations
Essential concept for local business owners. Read it here…
Takeaway: Don’t hurt yourself by creating duplicate business listings. Do more research with additional searches to turn up existing listings that you can revise.
How to Create a Promoted Pin That Will Actually See Results
Solid guide with lots of detail. Read it here…
Takeaway: Create pins that could be worthwhile organic pins. Use every part of the pin – especially the description. Have a goal – and decide where pins fit in that goal (clicks? direct sales?).
75 Content Marketing Examples To Inspire Your SEO
Instead of imagining what “good content” looks like, let Siege Media show you what it looks like. Great post. Read it here…
Takeaway: After every example, I kept thinking of the Golden Rule for building content – “create the webpage for others that you would love to use yourself.”
How Google Works: A Google Ranking Engineer’s Story
If you work with or are curious about SEO, this 36 minute video is essential. It’s the best behind the scenes of Google talk I’ve ever heard. Watch it here…
Takeaway(s): Google is fallible but always improving based on how humans rate quality and relevance of search results. There is a large bias towards mobile experience whenever humans rate the SERPs. Human raters are looking at webpages’ expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
Guest Post ROI: The Data Behind 273 Guest Posts Says It’s No Good
Long and a bit rambling, but with excellent data on when and how to create content for other websites not your own. Read it here…
Takeaway: Only create guest posts that are – “evergreen” (ie, will bring in lots of organic traffic and refer traffic to you long after it’s launched) or that bring you credibility. Any other reasons should be reconsidered.
How To Use 11+ Free Tools To Find Prequalified Content Ideas for SEO
I didn’t find anything else worthwhile this week. So here’s a post that I updated a couple months ago. Read it here…
Takeaway: Never brainstorm or create content blindly. Use tools and research to pre-qualify ideas before investing time into them.
Why Now, More Than Ever, SEO Is Not Just About Google
Google has more ads, more knowledge panels and more snippets than ever competing with your organic position. Great data showing why you need diversity of traffic. Read it here…
Takeaway: Dedicate some energy to being an early adopter and seeking diversity outside your main traffic source.
5 Ways to Optimize a Small Marketing Budget
Interesting piece with useful, specific takeaways. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Have A Defined Budget, Pick One Social Property and Do It Well, Pay to Play in Social (Instead of Believing Organic Is Enough), Invest in Email Marketing, Find ways to integrate content creation into your day-to-day tasks.
The Longevity of Links for SEO
Very advanced piece, but worthwhile if you work in or focus on SEO. Read it here…
Takeaway: Links matter a lot to SEO now and in the future. The bigger threat to traditional SEO is Google’s movement away from web documents serving as the answer to a query.
How To Find Trending Topics for Social Optimized Content
This is a post I wrote from last year on researching trending topics. Read it here…
Takeaway: There are big rewards to jumping on the leading edge of a trend. Hack existing tools to keep an eye out for the right trend for your website.
Hidden costs of a/b testing
Self-explanatory title. Also swap a/b testing with any tactic that takes resources to implement with high risk of no payoff. Read it here…
Takeaway: The biggest risk to lost conversions is ineffectively allocating resources. Time & resources are finite. If you allocate your startup’s resources to a/b testing then you’re neglecting other opportunities to grow.
The Great A/B Testing Hoax: 3 Conversion Increasing Tips to Try Instead
Not a fan of the sensationalist title, but this is a great tactical follow-up to the first article. Read it here…
Takeaway: Continually learning more about your customers should be marketing priority #1. Improve Popular Visitor Funnels. More (quality) traffic almost always makes up for low conversion rates.
How to Write Viral Headlines: New BuzzSumo Research
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Structure, format, content type, topic, word choice and phrases all have well-studied best practices. Make a clear promise, deliver on it. Tailor promotional content for each social network.
Video and Duplicate Content: What You Need to Know for SEO
Very tactical post from Phil Nottingham – and industry expert on video SEO. Read it here…
Takeaway: Instead of thinking of videos as discrete pieces of content that are present on some pages, Google treats video as a page element. Video itself doesn’t create duplicate problems, but can be associated with related problems especially thin content.
What Journalists Really Think of Your Linkbuilding Tactics
Interesting read if you email journalists and/or other websites looking for links or friendly mentions. Read it here.
Takeaway: Continually ask yourself what you would want if you were the recipient of your email. Customize & research before writing people.
Wistia vs. YouTube: What’s the Difference?
When should you put your videos on YouTube – and when should you use a hosted video product like Wistia? Read it here.
Takeaway: Wistia is preferable if you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, improve conversions, or increase engagement across the websites you control. YouTube is better if reach is more important to you than traffic acquisition – treat it like the hybrid social network that it is.
11 Tips for Low Budget PPC Advertisers
Concise list of best practices for DIY AdWords advertisers. Read it here.
Takeaway: Start your campaigns small and simple. Expand on winners.
5 Awesome AdWords Scripts for Beginners
Self-explanatory title. Good intro to the topic. Read it here.
Takeaway: If a marketing task feels tedious and repetitive – you’re doing it wrong. Figure out a way to automate it or change how you approach the task.
Ecommerce SEO: The Definitive Guide
Self-explanatory title. Great reference for ecommerce storeowners. Read it here…
Takeaway: So much of ecommerce SEO comes down to executing on SEO fundamentals flawlessly – keyword research, URL structure, internal links, and excellent content.
Interesting Aside: Notice the URL of that last link [http://backlinko.com/ecommerce-seo]. The author – Brian Dean – has completely rewritten and re-promoted that URL more than 4 times in the past 2 1/2 years.
Lesson from Aside: Instead of creating brand new pages, look for underperforming URLs that you can completely re-write and re-promote while keeping the gains of the original content.
How to get Google Calendar events in the search results
Concise, interesting. Read it here…
Takeaway: Google’s search results have not been just “10 blue links” in a long time. Look at what Google is serving for your target terms.
39 Rarely Used SEO Techniques That Will Double Your Traffic
I will not defend the author’s horribly over-hyped headline. These are neither “rarely used” nor will they “double your traffic.” But out of these 39, you’ll learn something new & useful. Read it here…
Takeaway: I learned that Google looks at terms with diacritical marks differently than the same term without; and that Wikipedia has a “Pages Linking To This Page” link.
Executing a Successful Local PPC Strategy
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use radius targeting. Customize your ads so that customer know you are the true local option. Have a metric that correlates with offline conversions.
Hacking Google Display Planner for SEO & Content Marketing
I had a lot of fun writing this post. Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Even though Display Planner is “for PPC” – it should still be in your SEO toolkit.
How To Make Evergreen Content And Repurpose It For Big Results
Well-done guide. Read it here…
Takeaway: Instead of constantly creating new, trendy content – try creating a webpage around a topic that will last, and keep it updated.
We Tested 48 Facebook Ads To Bust 6 Marketing Myths
Oh wow – this was very interesting. Read it here…
Takeaway: Best practices are a good place to start – but don’t limit the tactics you try.
Why Send Good Customers to Crappy Review Sites?
Interesting read for anyone in local marketing. Read it here…
Takeaway: Although getting reviews on Yellow Pages, citySearch, etc specifically may seem like a waste of effort – getting a diverse set of reviews is definitely worth it.
Why Blog Comments Are Great for Google SEO… and Users
Self-explanatory title. Useful addition to a complicated discussion on the usefulness of user-generated website content in 2016. Read it here…
Takeaway: User-generated content can improve the “expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness” of your site if you consistently moderate the discussion (ie, no spam or filler content).
Why Website Templates Are Not Optimized (and What to Do About It)
Good resource if you are a user of templates over custom design from scratch. Read it here…
Takeaway: Website templates may be a design shortcut to get your project off the ground, but they are never an optimization shortcut. If you don’t have the design resources to make it custom, choose your website template wisely. Stay simple, focus on clarity and choose the template that best communicates your message (and continually tweak it!).
How to Break into Multilingual or International PPC
This is not an in-depth resource, but it does offer some useful pointers for starters. Read it here…
Takeaway: New countries or new languages do offer a lot of opportunity for volume and cost reduction. But – be sure to methodically decide if it’s truly worth the time and expense. When you launch, keep the campaigns unique and distinct from your local campaigns.
7 Super-Creative, Crazy-Effective Retargeting Ad Ideas
Concise post with a few novel ideas. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Combat Sales Objections; Showcase Products You Know They’re Interested In; Push w/ Urgency; Discounts Codes and Coupons; Encourage Cart Abandoners to Complete the Check-Out; Cross-Sell to Existing Customers; Remind Past Buyers How Much They Love Your Brand.
13 Actionable SEO Tips You Can Use Today
Advanced post – but cutting edge read. Read it here…
Takeaway: If you work in SEO, this is a must read. SEO is less about implementing a checklist of best practices and more about pattern matching what is currently working in organic search results.
8 Tips to Optimise Your Product Pages for Organic Search
Self-explanatory title. Also a bit advanced. Read it here…
Takeaway: Consolidate Your Cannibalised Pages; Use the Correct Schema Mark-up; Do a Good Job of Image Search; Optimise Your Body Copy for the Long Tail; Site Speed / Performance; Carry out Product Level Competitor Link Analysis; Perform Product Level Keyword Research.
Facebook Ads Custom Audiences – Everything you need to know!
Great resource on one of the most effective and most accessible ad platforms on the Internet. Read it here…
Takeaway: Facebook Custom Audiences have tons of interesting advanced features *but* they are still simple enough that every website should have them setup for basic retargeting.
Dummy Links: Part of a Smart Local SEO Strategy
Concise read with lots of examples. Read it here…
Takeaway: Local SEO gives a lot attention to “citations” but links are still extremely valuable. And usually local businesses have access to a lot of easy, quality, relevant links – you just have to do the work of finding them and asking.
How We Grew Inbound Traffic by 300% in 6 Months
Concise case study from a mid-size website’s success growing traffic. Read it here…
Takeaway: Focus on long-term growth instead of recurring big promotions. Build long-term content; get emails; build out audiences that come back.
AdWords Search Ads A/B Testing Guide
Excellent guide to a fundamental topic. Read it here…
Takeaway: You can get big gains from incremental improvements to your search ads. Develop a system to test each ad variable instead of testing random ideas.
8 Email Segmentation Examples That Can Boost Conversions
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Take time to think through what email to send to specific sets of subscribers. Tools make it easy to do – the trick is in creating the right segments.
All About App Search: Indexing, Ranking Factors, Universal Links, and More
Excellent introduction. Watch it here…
Takeaway: Even if you don’t have an app or use apps to drive sales, it helps to understand how they fit into search and digital marketing.
6 Facebook Advertising Hacks I Wish We Had Known Before Launching Our First Campaign
Interesting case study on what did not work. Read it here…
Takeaway: Find the right ad visuals; Test, test, and test your audiences; Do not target based on your goals; Hack your ad budgets; Not all channels perform equally well.
Video Marketing Tips for Dentists (or Any Small Business)
Concise useful read for any business thinking about video. Read it here…
Takeaway: Break down where in your business videos would be useful. Decide what the objective will be. Break out format, script, look and feel based on those two factors.
Amazon PPC: 7 Secrets for Maximizing Return
Takeaway: Use automatic targeting at first; Leave a little wiggle room in your budget; Keep profitable keywords, cut losing ones, switch to manual targeting; Take advantage of your increased sales rank; Use keyword data to boost your organic results; Track your metrics; Pay for (more) ads from your revenues.
How To Increase Website Speed & Performance For Beginners
Google announced that speed will be an even more significant part of their organic algorithm. I wrote this post a few weeks ago to show how to break down the process of speeding up your website. Read it here…
Takeaway: Website load time is not a single problem that can be “fixed” – it’s something that needs a process to continually improve over time.
RankBrain Survival Guide
Google announced a new part of its algorithm that has led to a lot of misinformation and snake oil. Excellent post on what is going on in SEO right now by AJ Kohn. Read it here…
Takeaway: The only thing you can do [post-RankBrain] is to improve your writing so that Google can better understand the meaning of your content. But that’s not really optimizing for RankBrain that’s just doing proper SEO and delivering better user experience (UX).
RLSA for Competitive Markets: A Ridiculously Awesome Way Forward in PPC
Did you know that you can run retargeting ads in search ads in addition to display ads? Well you can, and it’s pretty cool. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use cheap social media ads to build a large pool of potential customers. Implement search retargeting ads on valuable (ie, expensive) search terms.
UX Reality Check: 14 Hard Truths About Users
It can be hard for website owners to look at a website through users’ eyes. Here’s where to start. Read it here…
Takeaway: Don’t make assumptions how visitors use your site.
What to Do When the Wrong Page Ranks for Your Keyword(s)
Self-explanatory title. Common problem. Watch it here…
Takeaway: Diagnose the underlying issue (duplicate pages, etc). Create & bolster the relevant page. Degrade the non-relevant page.
We Tested Over 100 Different Facebook Ads in One Month – Here’s What We Learned
Self-explanatory title. Good takeaways. Read it here…
Takeaway: To succeed, you need to test a huge amount of different ads. Creating an ad campaign is 20% of the work. The other 80% of your time should be spent on optimization and analyzing the best practices. Create different ads and find out which bring in your most profitable new customers. Trust the numbers – see which ad combinations, call-to-actions, ad placements, etc. work the best and tweak your campaigns accordingly.
The Crucial SEO Importance of HTTP Headers
This is advanced technical SEO but worth knowing. Read it here…
Takeaway: Your server can deliver important information to Googlebot in the HTTP header before the page even loads. If you are having sustained technical SEO issues, don’t forget to look there.
How To Advertise On DuckDuckGo for Bonus PPC Wins
DuckDuckGo is the tiny search engine that could. I wrote this guide to show how to run ads on it. Read it here…
Takeaway: DuckDuckGo specifically may not have the search volume to support large campaigns, but it’s always worth seeking lower competition opportunities.
The Underused Power of Multi Intent Keywords
Good take on moving from competitive keywords to valuable but less competitive keywords. Read it here…
Takeaway: Even in very competitive platforms like Google Search, there’s always a valuable lower competition opportunity if you have the right offer.
Ecommerce Tips: 9 Features to Improve Your Product Page Conversion
Excellent starting point for improving your product pages. Read it here…
Takeaway: Communicate – Delivery, Stock Levels, Sales Velocity, Return Policy, Side-by-side Product comparisons, Price Discounts, Steps to Purchase, and Trust signals better. Get Your Forms Tested and Working.
The Guide to Local Marketing with Sponsorships
Concise, specific guide. Read it here…
Takeaway: Create an internal definition of what different types of ads/impressions are worth based on your digital budget. Systematically look for relevant opportunities. Evaluate them based on costs & what you have defined as worthwhile.
Long Tail SEO: When & How to Target Low-Volume Keywords
Solid introduction for a counter-intuitive but very useful topic. Read it here…
Takeaway: The long tail of search can be a mysterious place to explore, often lacking the volume data that we usually rely on to guide us. But the keyword phrases you can uncover there are worth their weight in gold, often driving highly valuable traffic to your site.
How To Improve Your Online Advertising Campaigns
So you’ve launched an ad campaign…now what? I broke down my process in this detailed post. Read it here…
Takeaway: Instead of implementing random tips, break out ad campaigns into specific parts. Improve each in turn with a implement, measure, learn process.
YouTube Analytics Guide: Setting Up, Understanding & Using YouTube Analytics
I wrote down everything I know about & everything I could find about YouTube Analytics. Read it here…
Takeaway: YouTube provides an incredible amount of information about your videos (and search keyword data!) – you just have to figure out how to click, dig, slice & sort.
5 Remarkable Remarketing Audiences Retailers MUST Target
Great roundup of audiences & how to use them. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Remarket to New Visitors with a First-Time Incentive; Remarket Based on Product Categories; Remarket to Re-Awaken Abandoned Shoppers; Remarket to Upsell Active Buyers; Remarket to Re-Sell Buyers After a Certain Time Period.
20 Instagram Ads Best Practices That Will Make You an Outstanding Marketer
Instagram Ads are here and ready to roll out with any Facebook Ads account. Solid explainer on current best practices. Read it here…
Takeaway: Test formats with retargeting audiences. Understand & test different objectives. Closely follow Facebook’s guidelines.
How To Write A Support Email When Something Goes Wrong
Concise, useful piece from one of my favorite copywriters. Read it here…
Takeaway: Marketing goes beyond ads – it has to be embedded in everything, including customer support. Use empathy, human-ness, clarity and timelines whenever you’re working with someone.
10 Ways Local SEOs Can Start Helping Their Clients Get Reviews
Good list of ideas. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Help troubleshoot their current review strategy; Do a review audit; Do a bulk “Find Friends” lookup on Yelp; Find the wasted reviews; Critique and improve your client’s outreach emails; Mine the reviews for usable insights; Build a “Reviews” page; ALSO build a separate “Review Us” page; Discuss review strategy – continually.
Conversion Copywriting Tip: How to Know Which Features to Emphasize
Very useful concept by Joel Klettke. Read it here…
Takeaway: Your customers are not equally excited by all of your features (or the benefits of those features), and do not weigh them all as heavily when making a purchase (or conversion) decision.
SEO Tips: The Complete List (201 Actionable Techniques)
Ok – this post is so big that it’s nearly unusable. Also, some of the tips, especially in the Link-building section are not so good. However, there are plenty of good ones to get your creativity going. And it has a button-sort functionality to pare down the list. Read it here…
Takeaway: You are never “done” with SEO. There will always be something more that you can do.
How To Use Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) Effectively
I was spending a lot of time using Search Console this week, and was reminded of this guide that I wrote a few months ago. Read it here…
Takeaway: Google provides a lot of useful data that you can use to improve your site. You just have to figure out where to look and understand what is useful.
27 Detailed Ways to Generate New Blog Post Ideas
Very useful post with interesting, detailed techniques. Read it here…
Takeaway: Never guess or blindly brainstorm about new content ideas.
Advanced New Tail Keyword Research
Interesting take on an old, but underused keyword research technique. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use web-based tools to show people a photo of your product; Ask them what they would type into a search engine if they were looking for it; Discover new attributes, concepts and synonyms you haven’t considered before; Expand your keyword research by including all new terms.
5 PPC Secrets I’ve Discovered Through Millions of Ad Spend
A bit rambly, but excellent insights. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Take your search terms report and create single keyword ad groups to discover “the rest of the iceberg”; Do not blindly copy “successful” calls to action or ad copy to other ad groups; develop “micro-conversions” to judge performance; optimize for sales not conversions; ignore metrics that are not directly related to your current objective.
Facebook Ad Campaign Process: Build Audience, Leads and Conversions
Good post if you are structuring your Facebook campaigns. Read it here…
Takeaway: Facebook Ads work best when you have a multi-step campaign funnel from “cold” traffic to custom audience to lead form to conversion.
10 Ways to Drastically Improve Your Small/Local Business Adwords Campaigns
Self-explanatory title. Good overview of best practices. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Focus on improving conversions, not clicks. Get call tracking. Use all ad extensions. Use bid adjustments based on geography. Use specific landing pages. Use stricter match types. Use negative keywords. Use mobile-only click to call. Have remarketing in place.
The Lesser Used Metrics of Ecommerce
This post is a bit incomplete, but calls out some important concepts. Read it here…
Takeaway: There is data in your analytics to answer most questions. The key is to think through & use the right metrics.
Non-Google Link Strategy: An Example of Stealth Link Marketing
Interesting thought experiment based on a real-life campaign. Read it here…
Takeaway: Sometimes you have to forget about Google to find the best link opportunities. Remember that the end goal of links is to drive traffic & sales to your website.
The Realist’s Guide to Link Building Outreach
This is the most balanced, thoughtful look at building quality links that I’ve ever read. Read it here…
Takeaway: Link building outreach will never be easy. If you keep powering through and pushing forward, you’ll find the right balance for your link building outreach, and the links will start coming in.
The Google Analytics Audit Checklist
If you use Google Analytics to make decisions – you need to know that it’s setup correctly. Good checklist w/ free spreadsheet. Read it here…
Takeaway: Trust – but verify your data sources.
On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success
Through, useful guide. Read it here…
Takeaway: On-page SEO is one aspect of SEO that you completely control. You might as well understand & take care of every detail.
Related Podcast Episode: Prioritizing On-Page Content vs. Off-Page Links
The 15 Most Popular Myths About International SEO, Debunked
Very advanced post. But – interesting post if you have a global audience. Read it here…
Takeaway: Much of international SEO’s complexity is due to myths and misconceptions. As with any large problem, break down your objective down into component parts.
Why Your Keyword Rank Doesn’t Matter…and what actually does
I originally wrote this post over 4 years ago. A lot has changed since then, so I re-wrote & re-published it this week. Read it here…
Takeaway: Keyword rankings do not matter as a key metric for a host of reasons, but they are very useful as a tool for both troubleshooting & planning.
Ranking #0: SEO for Answers
Comprehensive, useful guide for getting traffic from Google’s organic “Featured Snippets.” Read it here…
Takeaway: Google’s Featured Snippets are here to stay – and can drive a lot of traffic. Make sure your suitable content is clear, direct and properly structured HTML.
Related Podcast Episode – #38: Semantics & The Frontier of SEO
11 Pinterest Myths Debunked
Interesting guide to marketing myths on Pinterest. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Pinterest is not only middle-aged women; Don’t copy+paste content from other platforms; Don’t use hashtags like you would on Twitter/Instagram; Don’t worry about pinning in real time – focus on consistency and quality; Don’t flood pins; Don’t focus on follower count; Don’t delete pins with low initial engagement.
Create an Audience of People Who Spent the Most Time on Your Website
Facebook has rolled out more features for their “Custom Audience” feature. Read it here…
Takeaway: Consistently market to the 20% of your audience that will generate 80% of your returns.
How To Use Reddit For SEO & Content Marketing Research
I wrote this guide a couple years ago. This week, I updated it with some new tools and resources. Read it here…
Takeaway: Even if you don’t want to actively market or advertise on Reddit, it can be a goldmine for market research.
How I Increased My Blog’s Search Traffic by 44% In Under A Month
Solid guide on how to use your Search Console data to improve your existing content. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use the data that only you have to continually improve what you already control. It’s an easy win that you have complete control over.
35 Ways To Get More Phone Leads With PPC & CRO
As mobile traffic continues to rise – click to call leads become more interesting. Solid roundup of ideas. Read it here…
Takeaway: Digital channels can increase sales – even if they technically “skip over” your website.
Consumer Survey: How do Website Visitors feel about Pop-ups?
Short & possibly biased – but an interesting counter to conventional wisdom. Read it here…
Takeaway: Do not blindly follow metrics (like signup rates) – balance it with other indicators and context. Pop-ups may “work” but most website visitors hate them.
How To Advertise On Reddit: My Experience & 9 Ideas for Advertising on Reddit
Originally published in 2013 – I revised this post based on a recent test and Reddit’s new self-serve ad platform. Read it here…
Takeaway: Reddit is still not an easy ad platform, but remains a good niche traffic source with cheap & abundant ad inventory.
10 Question-Based Keywords that Drive Tons of High-Quality Traffic
Very tactical guide with good examples. Read it here…
Takeaway: A proven way to build organic traffic is to research questions your audience asks – answer them thoroughly on your website.
7 Monstrous Ways To Improve Your AdWords Performance
Advanced tactics from the team at KlientBoost. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Optimize for sales – not for conversions with ValueTrack parameters. Use Single Keyword Ad Groups. Prioritize your landing page. Stop non-converting keywords. Use RLSA retargeting to bid (and win) on competitor keywords. Aggressively test offers more than ads. Retarget people who almost converted but did not.
The Frugal Guide to Content Marketing (Part 1): How To Find Proven Content Ideas
Fresh, new ideas. Very tactical post. Read it here…
Takeaway: Don’t blindly brainstorm when you can find out exactly what to create.
User Intent: Giving Your Audience What They Want
Yes – excellent explanation. Read it here…
Takeaway: For every page ask – “If I was searching for a solution to this query, would I click on this page? If I landed on this page would I want to stick around?”
The Noob Friendly Guide To Link Building
Excellent introduction w/ good explanations of industry jargon & tactics. Read it here…
Takeaway: Links are foundational to the Web – and are valuable even outside of their SEO value. Understanding the background, jargon and tactics of link building are good to know even if you aren’t in SEO day in and day out.
UTM Parameters Made Simple
Self-explanatory – concise guide to an overlooked topic. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use UTM parameters for tracking. Set up a checklist and internal process to make them useful.
Why Every Website (Not Just Local Sites) Should Invest in Local Links and Citations
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: Local links aren’t just more votes of confidence in Google. They are also links that your competitors cannot get, and are often “low hanging fruit.”
The Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising
Good guide to bookmark. Read it here…
Takeaway: Facebook rolls out new features & design changes very frequently. It’s easy to overlook features (or mistakes) in your campaigns.
How To Turn Your Facebook Ads Disaster Into Profit Within Minutes (Over And Over Again)
Good problem solving post. I like how they give a specific next step for various problems. Read it here…
Takeaway: High Click-through Rate (CTR) + High Conversions (CVR) = Scale Campaign; Low CTR + Low CVR = Find New Targeting; Low CTR + High CVR = Try New Ads; High CTR + Low CVR = New Offer or Landing Page.
How to Profit from Google’s Fundamental Advertising Changes
Good overview of Google’s big AdWords changes. Read it here…
Takeaway: This year, Google has rolled out several fundamentally new features. Learn about them and take advantage.
The Future of Mobile Search
Advanced post from the always interesting AJ Kohn. Read it here…
Takeaway: Google Search is majority mobile. Expect further fundamental changes to how search results are displayed.
Why It’s a Bad Idea to Only Create Content for Your Specific Target Audience
Self-explanatory. Read it here…
Takeaway: Reach new people, avoid heavy competition and get in front of journalists and other website owners with a broader content strategy.
How to Use Facebook Ads and Direct Mail to Generate More Sales Leads
Interesting idea w/ good guide. Read it here…
Takeaway: Facebook Ads (and Google AdWords) allow you to upload & retarget many forms of customer data – including direct mail lists.
A Guide to Successfully Promoting Content to Publishers
Excellent guide by BuiltVisible with tactical examples & tools. Read it here…
Takeaway: Ask yourself: What’s the hook? Why would [X] write about this? X being your target publication/journalist/blogger/influencer. The rest is research & email.
Alternative PPC Ad Networks To Find New Audiences
I this updated & curated list of different types of PPC ad networks. Read it here…
Takeaway: Google & Facebook may control most of online ad inventory – but there are plenty of alternative networks to reach your audience.
The Myth of Low-hanging Fruit
Interesting column by Jason Fried. Not directly marketing related, but I found it useful. Read it here…
Takeaway: Respect work/projects that you’ve never done before. True “low-hanging fruit” is not seen or planned – it’s discovered.
Low Email CTR? Here’s Why You Should Delete Subscribers
Due to filtering, promotions tabs and more – email reach is declining. Great post on sensibly pruning your list. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Get rid of the obviously bad email addresses; Segment emails with the lowest engagement scores; Send re-engagement campaigns to subscribers with the lowest engagement; Put deleted emails in a remarketing/retargeting list.
10 Common Outreach Mistakes
Nothing ground-breaking but I liked how concise and well-researched these were. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Rude or Perfunctory Pitches; Too Many Buzzwords; Not Enough Research; No Personalisation; Lack of Understanding About Their Market; Short Notice; Unsolicited Follow-ups; Hidden Agendas; Going Back On Your Word; Lazy Pitches.
After 1.6 Billion Ad Impressions and 408 Facebook Ads, Here’s What I’d Do Differently
Great tactics & lessons. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Target the right size audience; keep testing more layouts; track the right metrics in Facebook; use exclude custom audiences; have a bidding strategy to test; document your failures and success.
How To Judge Keyword Difficulty (aka “Can I Rank for [Keyword]?”)
I wrote this post this week as a complement to my post on beginner keyword research. Read it here…
Takeaway: Even though judging keyword difficulty is an more of an art with no hard rules, you can (and should) create a mini-process or checklist to use within your keyword research.
Your AdWords Display Network Master Plan [67 Tips For More Conversions]
Best guide I’ve seen in a while for Google’s massive but bewildering Display Network. Read it here…
Takeaway: Display Network acts more as a demand generator by creating interest and curiosity, while the Search Network acts a demand harvester. Use the myriad Display Network options to get “micro-conversions” (ie, an email submit) that will lead to an actual conversion (ie, a sale).
200+ Actionable SEO Tips In One ‘Noob Friendly’ Guide
Exactly as the title says. Some aren’t really tips – but it’s worth quickly scanning. Read it here…
Takeaway: There is always something else you can be doing for SEO. The key is prioritization & understanding your resources.
Reach Your 100% Perfect Audience With Facebook Behavioral Targeting
Good tutorial on this underused option. Read it here…
Takeaway: If you have a solid idea of your target customer – you can layer behavioral targeting to significantly improve your FB ad campaigns.
10 Ways to Use the Wayback Machine to Improve Your SEO
Title says it all. Undervalued tool. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Use Wayback to – View Historical Site Changes; Familiarize yourself with a site; find old redirect opportunities; discover old URL structures; Look at old robots.txt files; validate analytics code placement & use; look for CRO opportunities; re-create old content; perform marketing mix analysis.
How to Take More Market Share in Local Search Every Week
I like the concept behind this strategy. Read it here…
Takeaway: Local SEO is no longer just about your organic rankings. If you look at a search engine results page (SERP), the No. 1 organic result is now really the No. 8 clickable result on the page. Start thinking about Local SEO as a “marketshare” game – and treat it as such.
Information Gathering for Linkbuilding Outreach
Your linkbuilding success/failure is usually determined before you even start. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use proven tools & techniques to set your linkbuilding & PR outreach up for success.
13 Advanced Link Building Strategies You (Probably) Haven’t Used
A bit long & advanced. But useful nuggets throughout. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): When analyzing top content, look at most commented on, not just most shared. Use the AROUND(##) Google Search Operator to improve your searches. Reverse-analyze the links of successful Flippa listings. Use reddit.com/domain/[competitor domain]/ to find target subreddits. Use visual assets other than infographics that require work (like maps).
How To Use 11+ Free Tools To Find Prequalified Content Ideas for SEO
I updated one of my older posts with ideas that I’ve been using lately. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use proven tools & techniques to set your content investment up for success.
How to Get 260.7% More Organic Traffic In 14 Days (New Strategy + Case Study)
Overhyped headline – but a great walkthrough on a useful SEO tactic. Read it here…
Takeaway: Step #1: Identify under-performing content; Step #2: Improve and update that content; Step #3: Republish your post.
Template for Creating Knockout City-Page Content for Local SEO
Very useful concept & tool for local businesses. Read it here…
Takeaway: Unique location / city pages are essential for local businesses. Use a template not to create cookie cutter pages, but to help think of and write truly useful pages.
The secret underworld of online advertising and the one tool they use to kick ass
Great piece about what businesses can learn from top PPC affiliates (people that I read regularly). Read it here…
Takeaway: Run your campaigns by the numbers – not by your intuition. Set up a system to methodically launch, improve, learn from and end campaigns.
31 Uncommon (& Common) Landing Page Best Practices To Lift Conversions
Another great post from KlientBoost – worth closing out their ridiculous pop-up ads. Read it here…
Takeaway: Think of your landing page as an extension of your ad. Spend as much effort improving it as you do improving your ads.
Never Leave Your Data Unattended: 6 Custom Alert Areas You Shouldn’t Miss
Good post getting the most out of Google Analytics. Read it here…
Takeaway: Take a few minutes to setup Google Analytics alerts so that you can quickly solve critical problems as soon as they happen.
An Onpage SEO Guide for Consultants and Agencies
I love how concise & clear this post is. Nothing groundbreaking, but useful for SEOs working with teams. Read it here…
Takeaway: Onpage SEO is straightforward, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Use checklists and processes to get it right every time.
How Word Of Mouth Marketing Actually Works
Short, useful post. Read it here…
Takeaway: Word of mouth does not mean people are out in the world broadcasting your product/services. Word of mouth happens when someone asks a friend who they think understands a certain type of product. When you win the trust of the knowledgeable friend – you win the trust of their friends.
Google Review Link Generator Tool
If you run (or consult with) a local business – use this tool. Read it here…
Takeaway: Google may have removed your businesses’ review permalink, but you can still create one. You can then send customers directly to the review/rate page.
Off-Page SEO: What It Is and How to Crack It
Excellent intro & overview to an ill-defined & misunderstood area of SEO. Read it here…
Takeaway: There is no real definition of “off-page SEO” – it’s a broad set of strategies that will improve SEO/marketing where you don’t have full control over the outcome. Off-page SEO contrasts with On-page SEO, where you do have full control. But neither does well without the other.
Aside – listen to me & Brett debate whether you should prioritize on or off-page SEO on Bamboo Chalupa here.
5 Brilliant Competitive Advertising Strategies to Outsmart Your Competition
Interesting. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Target Facebook Users Whose Interests Include Your Competitors; Disrupt Your Competitors’ Videos with YouTube Ads; Use Your Competitors’ Emails Against Them with Gmail Ads; Reach Your Competitors’ Audiences through the Google Display Network; Download & Target Your Competitors’ Twitter Followers.
Popup Ads Are Terrible, and They’re Even Worse for the Blind
Not a tactical marketing post per se – but a very enlightening piece. Read it here…
Takeaway: To paraphrase a past boss of mine – the best marketing skill you can have is empathy. Look at your data (ie, conversion rates), but don’t let it lie to you.
How To Increase Website Speed & Performance For Beginners
I’ve started a new habit – I try to speed up one small element of my site every week. I wrote this guide a few months ago to how to approach each aspect of improving website speed. Read it here…
Takeaway: Improving your site’s speed can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of installing a bunch of random speed tools, break it down into component parts – systematically solve each one.
Content doesn’t have to be original to be great
I love how BuiltVisible breaks down these posts. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Make it longer; Bring it more up to date; Improve the design; Make it more thorough; Improve the headline; Change the perspective; Change the format; Never plagiarize; Always give credit when credit’s due.
The Creative Marketing Strategies That Launched These 3 Major Tech Startups
I like how they approached this. These stories are fairly well-known, but their angles, takeaways & further reading makes this a useful read. Read it here…
Takeaway(s): Guerrilla marketing is all about punching up; Give media outlets a story and they will want to cover you; Use a major player in your industry to “draft” but don’t get caught sharecropping; If people are able to disagree with what you say, that will 10x the buzz; The effective part of creativity is still about consistent execution.
The Technical SEO Renaissance: The Whys and Hows of SEO’s Forgotten Role in the Mechanics of the Web
A very advanced post by Mike King. If you work in SEO or development – it’s worth a read. Plenty of interesting ideas & examples. Read it here…
Takeaway: There is money in deep in the weeds. It pays to understand (or have familiarity with) technical concepts behind contemporary web development & SEO.
How To Understand & Use Twitter Analytics Effectively
A surprising number of my friends do not know that everyone with a Twitter account has a Twitter Analytics account. I published a general overview of what’s available (for free!). Read it here…
Takeaway: Recurring theme of a lot of my content – simply reading the owner’s manual for a marketing platform will give you an advantage.
6 Ways to Optimize Images for Commercial Intent Searches
Google now runs shopping ads in Google Image Search. Why? Because they know there’s money to be made. Good overview of competing in Google Image Search organically. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use High-Quality Images – and Lots of Them; Be Specific and Consistent in Your Naming Conventions; Optimize Image File Sizes; Make Proper Use of Alt Text; Place Images Contextually and Logically; Use Captions; Focus on User Intent.
Stop Measuring Everything!
Concise, well-argued. Read it here…
Takeaway: Data, by giving you an “objective” standard of success, has a tendency to make you more risk-averse. For data to be truly useful, you have to understand what data can/cannot tell you.
Snapchat Advertising Costs – A Breakdown Of Each Offering
Good piece for you ridiculously early adopters. Read it here…
Takeaway: Snapchat is still primarily consumer-brand & large integrated campaigns. There are smaller channels & organic partnerships that are open for SMBs testing the platform.
How Can Small Businesses/Websites Compete with Big Players in SEO?
Good overview from Moz. Watch it here…
Takeaway: Target keywords that big sites are unwilling, unable or are not trying to compete on. Aim for authority + brand association in a very specific niche. Pursue indirect/hard-to-monetize content. Build 1×1 relationships that a big brand will never invest in.
Competitive, Intelligence Driven Keyword Research for Online Retail
Advanced but very tactical. Must-read for SEOs & site owners who rely on organic traffic. Read it here…
Takeaway: Combine scraping tools with keyword research tools to move from “what are competitors doing” to “why & how are they doing [X]” so that you can make truly informed decisions.
How To Carry Out A Detailed Competitive Analysis (With Only 2 Tools)
Excellent walkthrough. Even if you don’t use the tools mentioned, I like how they break out “why this step matters” in each section. Read it here…
Takeaway: Many – but I especially liked the idea of using PPC & SEO landing page data to reverse engineer a full sales funnel.
Secrets Revealed: 47 Closely Guarded Facebook Ad Tips
Very hyped up headline. But the examples and bulleted takeaways make this worth scanning & bookmarking. Read it here…
Takeaway: Given all the established ad best practices, there’s no reason to start with blind brainstorming. Use a process instead of intuition.
How To Optimize Content for SEO and Links
Good overview w/ examples for content writers. Read it here…
Takeaway: SEO success is in the details. There’s still opportunity for websites who can ruthlessly execute on fundamentals.
21 Customer Acquisition Strategies to Win New Customers
Must-read/scan post from Matthew Barby. Read it here…
Takeaway: There is no single, “best” way to get new customers. But there is a diverse menu of strategies to try until you find one that works for your business.
The Wrong Way To Analyze Experiments
Short, useful post from a Growth Engineer at Pinterest. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use absolute numbers instead of percentages for determining success. It will help you compare and measure the true business impact of your marketing efforts. Percentages can be useful with context, but are usually misleading.
How To Use Amazon Sponsored Product PPC Ads Successfully
Amazon is an enormous challenge & opportunity for storeowners. I put this guide together to highlight key concepts, resources & tools to run a successful campaign. Read it here…
Takeaway: Amazon is a fundamentally different platform than other ad networks. If you can understand the incentives, concepts & use the right tools – it’s also a huge opportunity.
Do You Really Need to Clean up That Local Citation?
Good checklist for local businesses. Read it here…
Takeaway: Every tactic has a decreasing margin of usefulness. Use a checklist to determine when it’s time to move to another tactic.
The Magical Content that Gets Links and Shares
Content that gets links does not always get shares – and vice versa. BuzzSumo dug through a lot of research to get some useful insights. Read it here…
Takeaway: The five types of “magical content” are – Authoritative content that answers popular questions, such as ‘what is ..?’; Controversial opinions and political posts; Content that provides original research and valuable insights; Content that leverages a trending topic but also provides original insights; Authoritative news content on new products or developments.
What I Learned From Analyzing 12 Million Customer Reviews
Fascinating post. Customer reviews are a true goldmine, especially at scale. Read it here…
Takeaway: Introduction has 26 interesting tips that you can click to read more.
6 SEO Experiments That Will Blow Your Mind
Ok – if you do SEO, none of these will blow your mind. They will show you how SEOs do experiments to develop best practices. Read it here…
Takeaway: All of today’s best practices came as a result of past experiments – both failures and successes. Everything you do in SEO is an opportunity to learn and improve.
Non-Traditional Ways of Thinking About Targeting
A bit rambly, but interesting nonetheless. Read it here…
Takeaway: You’re never going to get ahead of the competition by doing what the competition is doing.
The SEO Tips That Helped Tally 20 Million Visits A Month
Great narrative interview with the CEO of Yummly. Read it here…
Takeaway: “If there’s one thing I hope startups take away about SEO is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Quick-twitch muscles won’t do any good here — in fact, they’ll likely get you into trouble. Endurance and awareness are the attributes that get rewarded with SEO. I wish people would swap growth hacking for growth harvesting. That’s the type of approach that truly works.”
Social and Search Based Content Creation
Short, advanced, and very tactical. Read it here…
Takeaway: Scrape social for questions that are usually relevant to search.
5 Facebook Ads Split Tests With Game-Changing Results
Interesting research. Read it here…
- Using emojis in your Facebook ad headlines could potentially increase your click-through rates by over 240%
- Ad images that showcase your product tend to outperform ad visuals with generic stock images
- While the “Learn More” CTA button usually returns a lower cost-per-click, the “Sign Up” CTA returned a lower cost-per-conversion
- Using exclamation marks in our ad image didn’t work out but there’s definitely room for further testing
- Mobile News Feed ad placement outperformed Desktop News Feed by 146% in terms of cost-per-lead
Rethinking Long Tail Keywords: how to get TONS of traffic from ‘unpopular’ search queries
Excellent post on long tail keywords & how to research them. Read it here…
Takeaway: Target a keyword topic that will inherently be relevant to a range of specific, long-tail keywords.
How to Generate More Links From Non-Seasonal Content
Posts from Siege Media are required reading. Read it here…
Takeaway: Use Google Trends to find the right time to pitch & publish content ideas. For seasonal content, look for a complementary time to year to re-pitch & re-publish seasonal content (think Memorial Day / Veteran’s Day or New Year’s / First Day of School).
7 Easy Local Link Building Tactics You Should Be Using
Very clear & accessible with screenshots & search operators. Read it here…
Takeaway: Look into Business Associations, Existing Relationships, Donations & Sponsorships, Local Scholarships, Event Based Link Building, Leveraging Your Jobs Page.
3 Crazy-Effective Ideas to Unlock the Full Power of RLSA
Retargeting your visitors in Search opens up some very interesting strategies for websites that do SEO & PPC well. Read it here…
Takeaway: Combine RLSA with low-cost audience driving campaigns; Combine RLSA with demographic bidding for search; Convince your partners and/or competitors to use RLSA.
9 Actionable Ways To Find Anyone’s Email Address
Good solutions for a time consuming problem. Read it here…
Takeaway: Taking time to email the right person doesn’t mean you need to waste a ton of time hunting.
Ahrefs Guide: How To Use Ahrefs for SEO Keyword Research
I updated my Ahrefs’ Guide to expand on their new Keywords Explorer 2.0 too. Read it here…
Takeaway: Keyword tools do not eliminate the need for creativity & judgement – but they will make your research 10x more effective & efficient.
Should You Only Acquire Links That Drive Revenue?
Jon Cooper writes a concise post correcting some new misconceptions about link building. Read it here…
Takeaway: You should try to acquire any link that endorses your website’s relevance & authority.
5 Really Good Reasons to Use Twitter Ads
Self-explanatory title. Read it here…
Takeaway: On Twitter, you pay for only for performance; Keyword & Intent Targeting is unique & useful; Tweet Engager Targeting is interesting; (Very) Tailored Audiences are available; Low Cost per Click if you structure your campaign well.
Content Ideas: 21 Proven Blog Posts with Millions of Views
Good list of useful formulas. Read it here…
Takeaway: If a formula is not broke – don’t try to fix it. You can still be creative even if you are building on what works.