Well, the summer holidays are nearly over and it seems like the cooler weather has now taken root. That said, we’ve had a really exciting month here at Boom. Not only have the recent Google updates kept us on our toes but we’ve also got the next Drink Digital booked in! There’s some cracking talks this time too and we’ve even managed to convince Lauren to share some of her SEO wisdom with the world… Worth coming along just for that, right?
As usual, we’ve been doing lots of reading about digital marketing over the last month, so make yourself a cuppa and grab some of your favourite biscuits, then dig in to what we think are some of the best digital marketing reads out there at the moment!
by Cyrus Shephard (@CyrusShepard) An exhaustive guide which will help maximise your site architecture for SEO benefits. Cyrus looks at hub pages, flat architecture, content silos and how to connect it all together.
by Ryan Siddle (@ryansiddle) This roundup is quickly becoming one of my go to resources to make sure that I haven’t missed anything in the world of technical SEO over the last month. Highly recommended.
by Aleyda Solis (@aleyda ) Aleyda never disappoints and this guide also comes with a copy of the report so you don’t have to build it yourself!
by Sistrix (@sistrix) A handy little tool by Sistrix. Pop in your domain and it will match the visibility changes that may have affected that domain.
Head of Production
by WPTavern With the arrival of WordPress 4.9.8, users at large have been invited to try the Gutenberg editor (or install the classic editor), directly onto their own dashboards.
This is the first time that the editor has really been adopted at scale by general WordPress users, not just interested site admins and developers looking to assess the coming changes. It’s seen the number of negative reviews on the plug-in spike in the last week.
In my opinion, forcing this editor on to people by default in 5.0 will be a foolhardy decision and a removal of choice from the user won’t go down well. The WP team can no longer ignore the scale of negative feedback around this editor. There obviously exists a sizable contingent of WordPress users who are perfectly happy to keep adding their content in the classic editor.
I can’t imagine how many sites are going to have their layout unwillingly annihilated overnight when 5.0 launches.
Either way, it’ll be an interesting release…
by Mordy Oberstein @MordyOberstein Like many SEOs, this month my reading material has been purely based on the August Google update. While the article with all the answers that I was searching for wasn’t to be found, the discussions and data pulled together by Mordy is one of the better reads I’ve looked at this month.
by Kirill Levenets As an SEO, I spent a lot of my time conducting on-page optimisation; trying to write a perfectly formed, eye-catching, compelling meta description only for Google to pull content from the body anyway.
As you may or may not know, Google increased the length of their meta descriptions to over 300 characters for the first time a few months ago. SEO’s started rewriting their meta descriptions, luxuriating in the additional space. Google being Google then promptly started cutting them off at the usual 160 character length. Woo.
Kirill conducted some research to examine what Google mostly uses to create search snippets, the difference in snippets between e-commerce and informational pages, and whether it’s even worth changing the length of your metas in the first place.
It’s a ten-minute read, perfect for a coffee break.
by Valerie Niechai (@ValerieNiechai) I’m a big fan of the SEO PowerSuite, in particular the TF-IDF tools. If you’re new to entities, analysing search intent and topic clusters, then this is the resource for you. It’s super in-depth, so you might want a cuppa and a couple of biscuits to keep you company as you read through it. Bookmark it, and then give a few of these tips and tricks a go.
by Michele Linn (@michelelinn) If like me you’re lacking when it comes to organisational skills, it’s imperative that you put measures in place to ensure you don’t lose yourself. Building a plan of action will always be the best way to do this. When it comes to creating content – especially for a blog – consistency is key.
Disjointed musings that don’t flow can be confusing and will likely mean that some followers lose interest. This post from Michelle highlights how a content plan can work and how to plan a whole years worth of content using one strategic and properly considered research survey.
by Wayne Barker (@wayneb77) Sticking with the organisation thing, prioritising your workload according to importance is equally vital. This is where a recent blog post from Wayne is particularly handy. He talks about the value of prioritising in an outreach capacity using the Eisenhower Matrix, however this method could be applied to any work/life tasks. Definitely check it out if you’re not familiar with the method, and if you feel you need to add a little more structure to your day, why not put it in to practice? It’s surprising how effective it can be.
by Sophia Bernazanni (@soph_bern) Customer reviews can really make or break a businesses reputation. These eight strategies are a great reminder of all the different platforms available for your customer base to leave reviews.
Remember, online reviews don’t only build trust between a business and consumers, but act as a great form of advertising too.
by 99 Designs (@99designs) Creating a new brand from scratch can be one of the most challenging tasks in modern design. With so many brands out there shouting at once, it’s hard to get noticed among all the noise. But with a little bit of psychology on your side (and help from 99 Designs interactive logo colour tool, of course), you can make important and educated choices with your colour palette and that gives you a starting point.
Digital Marketing Client Manager
by Aleyda Solis (@aleyda) There’s a lot more to effective international SEO than correctly implementing hreflang tags. This excellent article from Aleyda explains 7 of the most common ways marketers fail when it comes to international SEO.
by Sam Small (@iamsamsmall) This is a great article to read if you need to understand the creative process a designer goes through. If you’ve ever worked in an office with a designer and peeked over their shoulder and sighed: “you have the best job! it must be great to just draw all day”, then it is possible you’re underestimating the effort needed to maintain the levels of inspiration needed to power their work. Especially when all they have to draw on is whatever lies within a 5m circumference from their desk.
Designers do indeed have the best job in their eyes. But take the time to understand their process, give them space and a bit of flexibility; and you’ll have a working relationship made in heaven!
by Ron Lieback (@ronlieback) I really liked this article by Ron Lieback, sharing his methods on how to balance SEO with creating engaging content. I like how this has been laid out and think it would definitely help anyone that’s struggling to write copy or content. The main purpose of your writing is to answer the search query, not to game Google. I think Ron’s advice is solid and well worth a read.
by Brian Feldman (@bafeldman) As I’ve only been working in SEO for less than a year, this short read from Brian Feldman is great for understanding some of the history behind the industry and reassures me that I haven’t made a fatal mistake. I have it on good authority that SEO never left, but in case you were worried, it is back.
I think it is really important for myself and any other new starters in any industry to learn about its history. You learn more from the mistakes that were made than you do the successes. This short article puts some of that history into perspective, focuses on the battle for traffic between Facebook and Google, and reaffirms what good content is.
by Dave Davies (@beanstalkim)
An interesting look in to how much of an impact internal linking can have on ranking and traffic. Navigation is so important for usability and SEO, and this case study serves as a useful reminder that getting it right can pay dividends.
by Matt Sawyer
Link building is getting increasingly difficult, so it was interesting to ready this analysis on the situation today and how this is likely to progress in the future. If you think links aren’t important, have a read and see if Matt changes your mind! His useful takeaways will help you decide whether to change or adapt your approach to link building.
PPC Account Manager
by Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)
Plenty of new features surfaced in AdWords this month. This is a neat little summary of what’s changing.
by Andy Taylor (@PronouncedAhndy)
As Expanded Text Ads expand again, we have quite a task ahead of us; creating new headlines and descriptions to take full advantage of the space now available. However, looking at the evidence from the last round of expansion, you may choose to limit how much time you spend on this – especially as there’s no guarantee the extra copy will ever get shown.
by Daniel Pataki (@danielpataki)
If you’re a WordPress developer and you don’t know about WP-CLI, then this article is an absolute must-read.