What Boom Have Been Reading: April 2015 Edition

Our monthly round-up of link goodness covering everything from PR to PPC, and design to SEO. Grab a cuppa, it’s a long one…

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The Simple Sales Booster That Almost Nobody Uses by Roger Dooley (@rogerdooley)

A look at how implementing a simple timer boosted one site’s revenue by 9%, while another saw form completions triple. This is definitely one to think about!

Students were Forced to Write BuzzFeed Click-Bait for Grades. What Happened Next Will Rock Your World! by Scott Cowley (@scottcowley)

The tale of what happened when a University marketing instructor cast caution to the wind and tasked his students with something a little different – writing a post for Buzzfeed. Whether you love, hate, or are indifferent to Buzzfeed, this is a compelling read that contains some actionable tips for anyone thinking about submitting their own post to Buzzfeed, and for marketing online in general.

How to Create Masterful Copy that Wins the 2 Biggest Buying Objections by John Bonini (@Bonini84)

Another very well-crafted post that uses a couple of short stories and real-life examples to demonstrate just how effective super-simple web copy can be at overcoming common objections.

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3 Ninja Ways to Boost Your Category Page SEO by Linda Bustos (@getelastic)

If you own an Ecommerce site, your category pages are important. Make sure you are making the most of the opportunities to optimise these pages and boost your SEO with these useful tips.

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Resist the Redesign by Alina Senderzon (@asenderzon)

A fair discussion of the subject of the designer’s passion for redesigning, and the benefits of conversion-led thinking.

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The Current State of E-Commerce Filtering by Christian Holst (@Baymard)

An incredibly in-depth look at filtering options on e-commerce sites. I can understand why smaller companies don’t have the resources to be this in-depth – but there are some sites here who should have this nailed!

If nothing-else this goes to show the in-depth complexity of designing an e-commerce GUI.

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Link Building: Natural… or Unethical? by Meghan Cahill (@PageOneMeghan)

I’ve recently been seeing and hearing a lot of people saying that link building is starting to become irrelevant and companies should should turn their focus more to PR, as PR gains natural links.As much as I agree that PR is a great way of building links and promoting a brand, link building still has its place and there definitely needs to be a balance between the two. This post reinforces the need to build quality links and promote your content.

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Screaming Frog Guide to Doing Almost Anything: 55+ Ways of Looking at a Tool by Aichlee Bushnell (@aichleebushnell)

So this post is from way back in 2013, but I found myself in need of it this month when I’ve had a few questions thrown my way by various clients. It might be from a couple of years ago, but I can’t recommend bookmarking it enough – whatever you need to do, Screaming Frog can probably do it, and a helluva lot faster than you could do by hand!

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The Actionable Guide to Better Semantic Keyword Research by Paul Shapiro (@fighto)

During April I got the great chance to attend BrightonSEO and, whilst beer was a main priority, there was a lot to be learned.

One of the more interesting speeches that I got to see was Jon Earnshaw’s presentation on content cannibalisation (you can see that deck here) which uncovered a potential reason for why some pages may not be ranking as highly as they perhaps used to – especially if your ranking always used to be stable near the top.

However, although I got to see a lot of great speakers whilst there, you can’t be in three places at once; for every presentation I got to see, I was missing out on two others. The one I was most disappointed in missing out on was Paul Shapiro’s Guide to Better Semantic Keyword Research, but there’s still a lot of useful information to be digested from the SlideShare alone.

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Why Europe Needs a Digital Regulator by Frank Pasquale (@FrankPasquale)

My favourite read this month comes from online Tech section of The Guardian (27 April 2015) called ‘Why Europe Needs A Digital Regulator’.
We all agree digital monopolies are growing fast. But shouldn’t we, as citizens, demand something, too? For example, shouldn’t we have some recourse if Facebook decides to manipulate say an election or Google disappears a favourite firm firm from its all-important rankings?

Europe can’t expect its digital talent to take on the big boys such as the Googles, Facebooks, Amazons and Apples of this world without some assurance that law will prevent the behemoths from handing them an offer they can’t refuse: be acquired, pay hefty fees for ads or placement, or risk total obscurity. What’s your view on this?

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Cognitive Lode by Ribot (@ribot)

Cognitive Lode provides ‘brain gems for decision-makers’. By condensing the latest marketing and consumer psychology research into easily digestible chunks they’ve made it easier than ever to achieve top results for your projects. This is straightforward information made easy to implement. Looks pretty too.

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The Top 10 Most Creative PPC Campaigns of All Time by Matthew Stratford (@Stratford91)

Some of these campaigns are already well known, but here’s a collection of some really inventive ideas for branding via PPC. I particularly enjoy the Snickers campaign and the gentleman who used Facebook ad targeting to find a date.

I’ve also been spending quite some time on the PPC sub-reddit. It’s interesting to see people’s solutions to certain issues from other agencies in other locations around the world.

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Is rolling out? Has rolled out? Big changes? Little changes? FUD from Google?

To be fair if you are only looking at mobile for Google’s sake then you are probably doing it wrong. If you hadn’t changed your site or at least looked at the benefits of going mobile before THE announcement then you were already behind.

Anyway, on to some fun stuff…

Realistic SEO – Understanding Rank Potential by Nick Eubanks. Nick understands that he doesn’t have to churn out content day in, day out. When he writes he delivers. This is a great post about how to figure out where your site and pages can rank. It’s a great walkthrough of the qualitative metrics Nick looks out to help him figure this out. Well worth a read.

Ecommerce Content Marketing for SEO by Ross Hudgens. When Ross writes or shares stuff you best be paying attention. A consistently solid deliverer of sound advice. No nonsense. Smart. This set of slides is no exception. Enjoy.

Building Competitor SEO Profiles by Patrick Ha-Ha Hathaway Ha-Ha Thisaway.  I’m a massive fan of URL Profiler. Sometimes a tool comes along and you wonder how you coped without it. Let Patrick run through the process of shaving hours of your competitor profiling.

Dear PR person who just sent me a robo-pitch: by Gideon Lichfield. If you send email, pitch, do outreach or whatever you want to call it then this is a great post on getting better. On understanding. On making sure you don’t end up on some blacklist because you are lazy. On learning from your mistakes. On reaching the right people.



Oh and some tools.

SprialDB – the guys at Link Risk have put together this cool little free tool that pulls in Majestic Data, Ahrefs data, Semrush data and their data that gives you a nice little overlay when prospecting. Couple that with the update to the Moz Bar and you have all the metrics you need to make a solid decision.


Crystal Knows – So this is cool. And a little creepy. If you are client facing or conducting outreach then emailing is important. Knowing how email is crucial. Understanding people is important. Crystal Knows, er knows, how you might best communicate with others.

Here it is from them:

When you looked up Wayne’s personality profile, Crystal looked through all of the answers provided directly by people who know them, as well as thousands of publicly available online data sources to find information written by or about Wayne. Crystal then runs a personality detection analysis on the text to match with one of 64 different personality types within a few seconds.

The “accuracy confidence” index above indicates 1) how much relevant data was found for Wayne and 2) how much of it was able to be used to determine personality.

The insights below are recommended strategies for communicating with someone that has Wayne’s specific personality type, based on several widely-accepted personality assessments, like the Five-Factor InventoryDiSC, and True Colors.

Crystal is not intended to provide a 100% perfect personality reading, but can provide useful insights to improve communication with anyone that has an online presence.

Thing is, it’s quite accurate:



Scarily accurate:


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