What Boom Have Been Reading: May 2015 Edition

Was there an update? Wasn’t there an update? There was. It was quality related. Did the Googlebomb lead to some changes being made the local algorithm and thus the rankings? Is the addition of buy buttons in mobile the death of SEO? Again? (No)

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Confessions of a Google Spammer by Jeff Deutsch (@jgdeutsch)

By far the best thing I read this month was Jeff Deutsch‘s brutally honest tale of his time as a Google spammer. Jeff’s now reformed and working a ‘normal’ job in CRO for Ptengine, but his story makes for seriously-brilliant, eye-opening reading.

Keyword Research for the Modern Customer Journey by Matt Gratt (@mattgratt)

Excellent stuff from Matt Gratt looking at why and how we should be diversifying the way we approach keyword research in order to consider not just the end ‘buying’ keywords, but the whole customer journey and the keywords used on the way to purchase.

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Why Content Marketers Should Spend 50% of their Resources on Distribution by James Carson (@mrjamescarson)

An interesting article on how to split your efforts between creating good content and distributing it effectively. I love the idea that ‘Content is King, but marketing is Queen, and she runs the household.’ Don’t expect your content to go viral by itself, invest in working just as hard to distribute it and give it the best chance.

And if you do manage to create successful content, don’t forget to measure the performance:


Set measurable objectives and make sure you monitor them. It’s only a success if it’s making a difference to your business.

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Do Androids Dream in Free Verse? by Joscelin Cooper (@Joscelincooper)

An all-encompassing discussion on the use of visual and literal language, in designing useful and enjoyable user experiences. From content pieces to commerce sites, these subtle design choices can make all the difference.

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Designers and Developers: No Longer a House Divided by Ivana McConnell (@IvanaMcConnell)

Contemporary digital design is a battleground between your left brain and your right brain – thus, developers and designers need to work together, but they don’t always understand each other.

This article on Smashing Magazine discusses how a more holistic approach to learning about the discipline and work-flow of your peers (rather than trying to match their skill set like-for-like) can lead to a much more unified – efficient team.

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What is Robots.txt? by Moz (@Moz)

This month I’ve been trying to expand my SEO knowledge by taking a look into robots.txt. This is fairly new to me so I went back to the start and had a look at what they are, what they do and how to use them.

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48 Content Writing Examples, Tools, Tips and Resources by Mike Murray (@mikeonlinecoach)

Struggling with writers’ block? Mike’s helpful post covers everything you could possibly need to help you get your groove back.

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Should I Rebrand My Site? by Rand Fiskin (@randfish)

I really liked this Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin as rebranding is something that a lot of businesses consider, and it’s always something that gets heads scratching.

In this video, the pros and cons of online rebranding are considered, along with tips on how you can make the best decision for your business based on your current branding situation.

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Font Library by Katy Decorah (@katydecorah)

Google Fonts are great, right? But what if you’re looking for a particular style of font for your site? Perhaps a ‘futuristic’ looking font, or something in the ‘Art Deco’ style? Google Fonts’ standard filters and categories are fairly limited and aren’t so great for inspiring designers.

Thankfully, Katy Decorah’s Font Library has started an open source project to categorise Google Fonts with user-friendly tags so the next time you need a ‘groovy’ font (it might happen…) you’ll be able to find it quickly and easily.

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Here’s an AdWords Script to Mine Your Search Query Reports by Daniel Gilbert (@danielgilbert44)

One of the most insightful articles I have read this month is about streamlining your search query data effectively to save money and increase conversions, by using a new AdWords script. This will enable greater savings for the client and gives us greater scope for evaluation and analysis of particular keywords which are profitable or do not convert and should be excluded, thus saving money, whilst improving conversions.

When the Best Paid Search Landing Page Isn’t The Obvious One by Andy Taylor (@PronouncedAhndy)

Another article I found really interesting this month, is about the landing pages, this article argues sometimes the best landing pages isn’t always the obvious ones, for example instead of the product page the landing page should be the category page, which could be interesting to try.

Two more articles I stumbled upon this month are about the future of search. The first is about Google adding buy buttons to mobile ads and shopping campaigns in order to compete with Amazon and ebay: https://searchengineland.com/google-buy-buttons-could-start-showing-on-mobile-shopping-ads-in-a-matter-of-weeks-220997

The final article is about Apple potentially building their own search engine to take on Google, called the Apple Bot. This would be an interesting area of search to explore and would beneficial to all clients in future, if or when the Apple Bot gets rolled out across the world: https://3qdigital.com/featured/google-beware-apple-might-be-building-its-own-web-search-engine/

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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Call Only Campaigns by Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)

Call only campaigns – these sound like the most efficient way to get your business in front of eager searchers! A user searches for a builder, they see a number, they can get on the phone to arrange a quote in a matter of one click! Sounds great, right? And, these campaigns have much fewer variables, all of which I can control! However, with the recent Google update to penalise the sites that aren’t mobile friendly, our customers are investing in the usability of their site on mobile. And now I want to cut that right out? Here’s an example of a call-only advert that I created recently:

My brand campaign (which caters for company searches, let’s say Argos) with 2 normal text ads and 1 call-only ad that went live on 9th April. The call-only ad has had only 9.23% of the impression share, despite 25.99% of searches coming from a mobile. The difference in click-through-rate between the search advert and the call only advert is also 136.79% – in favour of the search ad. I’m starting to think people don’t trust my call-only ad, even though the domain clearly states that this is the company that they’re looking for, and the overwhelming majority of converting users call instead of enquire through a contact box online. On top of that, the cost-per-click is  This is only one example, and one thing that I haven’t yet explored in this account is an entire call-only campaign, which is probably my next step now. I am very aware that this may result in higher costs as my ads compete against each other, however a brand campaign with great quality scores and pretty low costs is the best place to start. So I won’t give up on these ads just yet.. I mean, this is the year(s) of mobile after all!

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In the world of interesting posts:

A Quick & Dirty Tactic to Generate Outbound Call Lists for SMB B2B Sales by  John-Henry Scherck (@JHTScherck)

John Henry digs deep for some alternative uses for Link Prospector and URL Profiler (two of my favourite SEO tools).

Using Trello for Social Media and Digital Marketing Calendar by Mat Houchens (@nuckfuggets)

Mat lays out the process for creating a digital marketing calendar in trello. At Boom we have a similar process for content but there are a couple of cool ideas in here that we might implement.

Growth Hacking Your SaaS Startup – a Guide by Matthew Barby (@matthewbarby)

Even though it has the words growth and hack in close proximity to each other  this is a solid post with some great ideas. Worth bookmarking or downloading the pdf.

Content Marketing Statistics That Actually Drive Action by Caroline Gilbert (@line_notlyn)

What it says on the tin. Problem. Data. Solution. Win.

If you want some fun stuff:

Frank Zappa Invented Music Streaming

The Twin Peaks title sequence recreated with paper (note: I have removed the “will make you feel nice” bit from this title – it was bugging me)

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