What Boom Have Been Reading: January 2015 Edition

Well, it looks like the snow is well and truly on its way. If you get snowed in, there’s only one way to pass the time – read all of the lovely articles we’ve picked out for you! We’ve covered all the bases, from design to technical SEO and even a little PPC  too. Enjoy!

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I recently had to get my head around how canonicals work when used alongside pagination and found a couple of awesome posts which are well worth reading.

This post from Moz is a pretty comprehensive, and easy-to-understand guide to canonicalisation – see point 1 for how canonicals work in sync with pagination. Then take a look at this post from Ayima – it’s an excellent guide to using pagination, and also dives further into the canonical/pagination issue (see point 2).

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3 Google Analytics Reports to Help You Find Blog Post Ideas Your Readers Will Love by Andy Crestodina (@crestodina)

A straightforward yet very informative guide into using Google Analytics to help find content ideas. Using the right metrics, you can gain insight into what your audience are interested in and make sure your next blog post is really engaging. If you have access to Google Analytics you’ve already got the data, but are you using it wisely?

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Ultimate Magento Robots.txt File Examples by Toni Anicic (@TechToni)

Not a new post, but one I found to be a useful reference when a client’s new Magento site arrived with some interesting indexing issues. As the article says, you must ensure that any of the examples are right for your site and what you intend to (not) be indexed, but they’re great starting points.

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The State of Responsive Web Design by Kezz Bracey (@KezzBracey)

A great summary for the past year of front-end responsive web design, and an interesting look ahead to what we can hopefully depend on by the end of 2015.

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Checkout Concepts by May Lou (@crnacura) for @codrops

There’s some really nice basket styles here (not sure why they’re calling it the checkout, when they’re baskets). Most of these are great examples of less is more, whilst one is a great way to give you a more visual “at a glance” of your basket contents.

Stuff like this is important, because whilst it’s not always possible, and it often isn’t the best fit for a client – it’s good to know the extremes at either end of the spectrum.

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How to Get Backlinks with Guestographics by Brian Dean (@Backlinko)

Just before the new year, one of the guys in the office mentioned this new technique for outreaching that he’d found called ‘Guestographics’, so I thought I’d give it a look and see what it is and how it works.

Recently I was talking to a site owner over in America who asked me the question “what’s in it for me?” That’s a very valid question, and personalised content could well be the answer…

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How to Use Seed Content to Build Relationships with Bloggers by Devesh Khanal (@deveshkhanal)

Connecting with bloggers and creating content that interests them and makes them want to share it with their audience is a key part of what we do here at Boom. In this article you’ll find a couple of handy tools and tips for making the first move.

Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition by Geoff Kenyon (@geoffkenyon)

After trying several different site audit checklists, Wayne sent me this! The site audit is broken down in to stages with step-by-step instructions of what to look at, and a really helpful collection of extra reading at the end of every section. I immediately bookmarked it, and will be coming back to it again and again.

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Why SEOs Need to Care About Correlation by Rand Fishkin (@randfish)

I really liked this article because it looks at where Google is going in the future, rather than where it is right now. Rand Fishkin calls for a greater emphasis on engagement metrics and the user experience as a whole; rather than just traditional things to tick off the SEO checklist.

…by playing the “where’s Google weak?” game rather than the “where’s Google going?” game, you’ve ultimately lost.

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I received this email the other day…

Subject: I am Wiener
I am Lgend
Real help in night drilling
Bale, v.t. See Bail, v.t., to lade.
So near, my lords, that each delay is death.
Greg came in and hit the plate amid a cyclone of Army enthusiasm.
Shine in the glory of the summer morn.
Crowned with all honours nobleness can give.

…which led me to learn about Spam Lit

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Fashion Designer Who Dressed Cher and Gloria Estefan wins Dispute by Mark Duell (@markdavidduell)

Arguments on both sides are extremely personal and rightful: one resident complaining the bright colour ruined a beautiful old B-listed building, whilst the fashion designer who owns the building claims: “This is my brand identity”.

Who is right and who is wrong? History v modern times. Old v new. Understated v controversial. These are the times we live in. If it would be possible to live in a more gentle harmonious world, lawyers would be out of a job.

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Design Games by Method of Action (@methodofaction)

Ok, so it’s less ‘reading’, more ‘playing’ from me this month, but it’s no less relevant to design. Honest.

I recently rediscovered this set of design-based mini-games, conceived to help non-designers (and poor designers) learn about a few simple design principles. Don’t know what kerning is? You soon will – and once you do, you’ll be noticing bad examples everywhere.

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You’re Doing AdWords Wrong (Here’s How to Make it Right) by Jonathan Dane (@JonathanDane)

Stumbled upon a post which covers the importance of SKAGs (single keyword ad groups). Not only is it fun to say, but SKAGs give you great control over those expensive keywords that are working really well for you. Capitalise on them! Surely your winners deserve their time to shine? This way, you can make your ad super relevant, get your quality score up, and get your cost per acquisition down. Just make sure you keep a record of how things were, and how things improve!

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How To Track Adjusted Bounce Rate by Patrick Hathaway – a neat little hack from Mr Hathaway on adjusting your Google Analytics Universal code to allow you to set whatr the time limit is on your bounce rather for your site, thus creating a metric that is morer useful than traditional bounce rate.

SeoTools 4.2 – Introducing the SeoTools Spider by Niels Bosma – after 2 years Niels has got round to updating the SEO Tools for Excel add in – now includes a nicely priced Pro version.

The Marketing Cart Before the Creative Horse by Dave Trott – as succinct as ever Dave uses a great story to talk about those that “an opinion on what everyone else ought to do without actually producing anything themselves”


“Directors of Implementation. Custodians of Change Enhancement. Initiative Co-ordinators. Inspiration Officers. Conversation Architects. Action Ambassadors. Future Evangelists.”

Microdata, Json-ld and Schem.org. Rich Snippets, Everything You Need to Know by Daniel Butler – it isn’t often that something can be described as comprehensive and beautiful, but this is. What it says on the tin and bookmarkworthy.

Introducing The Meta and Rich Snippet Tester by Bill Sebald and Sean Malseed – recently these guys collaborated on The Simple SEO Site Audit Tool but this surpasses that. A simple tool for checking when Google is showing your true title tag and meta description and when rich snippets are working for your site.

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