What Boom Have Been Reading: February 2014 Edition

As always it’s been busy, busy, busy at Boom HQ, although we’re unusually quiet on the news front! If you’ve haven’t seen already, Alex published his first blog post on unit one of the Google Analytics Academy, which in the first of a series of notes from his training. It’s definitely worth checking out if you want to know a bit more about Analytics, or just refresh your memory!  Of course, we’ve still had time to put together our collection of favourite blog posts and interesting resources for our monthly round up. Enjoy!

From Amy Elliott:

The Secret Power of the AdWords Search Terms Report by Iain Dooley (@iaindooley)

Running search term reports is not only a sometimes entertaining task (I won’t go into some of the crazy and occasionally disturbing search queries we come across!) but also a necessary and simple one that can make a significant difference to your account. This article has some great tips and advice for getting the most of this AdWords feature.

From Amy Fowler:

Why these 5 Ugly Designs Convert Beautifully by Mattias Guilotte (@MGuilotte)

Five examples of ugly or boring sites that still convert brilliantly, with an explanation of what it is that makes each one successful. We’re shown how the aesthetics of a site aren’t always as important as we think – though it would be interesting to know how well these sites could convert if they improved visually.

From Alison:

The Link Builder’s Brick Wall, And How To Vault It by Julie Joyce (@JulieJoyce)

Link building can feel like a hard slog sometimes and it’s easy to get burnt out. Constantly coming up with new link building ideas for clients that have been around for a while can get pretty difficult. Thankfully Julie is on hand to share some of her top tips for avoiding link building burn-out! This great guest post has some very helpful tactics for changing your outlook and mixing things up until the fresh ideas start flowing.

Ad Agency Gets Cats All Excited With Catnip-Flavored Mail Flyer by Design Taxi (@designtaxi)

I love creative advertising and I’m more than a little partial to cute cats too so this awesome campaign by Rethink Canada was purrrfect (sorrynotsorry) for me. This smart agency covered their direct mail advertising in catnip and watched felines across the nation go wild! Perfect for getting the attention of cat owners – and the accompanying video is pretty adorable too!

From James:

The Accessible Icon Project (@AccessibleIconPro)

The Accessible Icon Project is a collective of designers who are seeking to create a new standardised icon for accessibility. The current internationally accepted standard was the result of a competition back in the 60’s. They seek to bring the icon inline with the currently accepted physicality of pictograms for normally abled people, and to denote that a wheel chair does not keep somebody static and rooted.

It’s a noble endeavour, but it’s also an interesting one because it’s fixing a problem that some people believe isn’t really there. I’m watching it with interest and I wish the movement continued success.

It is a nice reminder of how much a few Bézier curves and anchor points can mean to people.

From Justine:

How to Swaggerjack the Power of Visual Memes by Lena West (@LenaWest)

This a good reminder that visual content is sometimes the most powerful so it’s well worth taking enough time and giving yourself a healthy budget to create something amazing! A picture is worth a thousand words as they say!

From Katie:

20 Real-World Examples Of Concatenating Marketing Data In Excel by Annie Cushing (@AnnieCushing)

Excel is one of those tools that I use every day, there’s a whole ton of stuff it can do (and I’m sure I don’t even know half of it). For newcomers it’s not always that obvious when you’d actually need some of those functions, so Annie’s got your back. This post explains what concatenate is along with real world examples to help you use this super helpful function.

From Lauren:

Create More Effective Content Marketing with the Active Reading Technique by Patrick Hayslett (@PatrickHayslett)

I’m as guilty as anyone of reading articles and just absorbing the information rather than fully engaging with it. Patrick’s article reminds me that there is a way to get a fuller experience, and understanding, of an author’s opinion and a topic than engaging with the piece itself. Once you’ve got this down, you can then start creating active content for your followers that has a real journey to follow.! Definitely worth a read (active, of course).

From Rob:

How to Improve Customer Experience When Products Are Out of Stock From Econsultancy(@Econsultancy)

An interesting read which really strikes true with some of our clients.

Is This The Future Of Your Email Marketing Campaigns? By Tommy Walker(@tommyismyname)

This great article is probably my favourite of the month.

From Rebecca:

The 25 Most Fantastic Social Media Updates From Brands During The Super Bowl by Greg Finn(@gregfinn)

I always enjoy seeing what brands do with their advertising, marketing and social media when the Super Bowl comes around. This article has a great selection of social media updates from brands, with links back to the original pages meaning you can even see how followers reacted.

From Wayne:

Link Building: From Beginning to Launch by Page One Power (@PageOnePower)

Although it was only released a few days ago this eBook from Page One Power is well worth you investing your time in reading. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned (probably now slightly weathered) veteran of link building it is well worth your time. Beautifully designed and written with passion by the Page One Power team I heartily recommend you can and download a copy.
Download a copy here: http://pageonepower.com/ebook/ and read the announcement here: http://pageonepower.com/2014/02/ebook-announcement/

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Amy Elliott About the author

Amy Elliott was a Digital Client Marketing Manager here at Boom Online Marketing. She's now one of our alumni.

Learn more about Amy Elliott

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