What Boom Have Been Reading: May 2017 Edition

Laurel and hardy model reading a book

Here at Boom, we’ve been enjoying the brighter weather that May has provided. With ice-creams aplenty to keep us on task, we’ve been working our way through useful and insightful articles to see what digital marketing delights we could find for you.

This month we’ve enjoyed plenty of varied content as always, and below you’ll find our best picks. Settle down for a good read, there’s always time to learn something new!

Wayne Barker

Director of Online Marketing

Want more links? Be more likable.

by Julie Joyce (@juliejoyce) The lady with the finest music taste in SEO waxes lyrical on why you need to be likeable to win more links. At the end of the day being yourself and not being a douche gets you some of the way there. Julie covers several ways you can be a better human.

Bullshit Baffles Brains

by Dave Trott (@davetrott) The veteran ad man looks at why artists cover up dull work with superfluous language. Take that concept and apply to digital marketing and you can see why people get caught up in terrible SEO contracts or why digital marketing companies that don’t deliver can get away with it. Simple language can and does make a difference, and simple doesn’t have to mean dumbing it down 😉

Lessons from 1,000 Voice Searches (on Google Home)

by Dr Pete (@dr_pete) Sometimes you need people to go out and do stuff by hand. You need someone who can be bothered. Someone seeking out answers (see what I did there?). Dr Pete did it for us. Now we don’t have to. Not that we would anyway.

The Collector’s Fallacy: Why We Gather Things We Don’t Need

by Charles Chu (@mmeditations) “Research is addictive, because it rewards us with the false impression of making progress. Finding something interesting isn’t the same as knowing something and being able to work with it. I call this the Collector’s Fallacy.”  


Read it and make sure you aren’t substituting the wrong things for real work.

Charles has written some other things that you may be interested in as well:

Peter Drucker on How to (Actually) Manage Your Time

Isaac Asimov: How to Never Run Out of Ideas Again

The Simple Truth Behind Reading 200 Books a Year

James Walsh

James Walsh

Head of Production

Samsung’s Bizarre Emojis

by Jackson Roberts Bit of a busy month this month, so not much time for reading. This did catch my eye though, a brief overview of inconsistent emoji design from Samsung.

Lauren Roitman

Digital Marketing Client Manager


 by @Codecademy Each month we’re all given a little bit of time for personal projects and self-supported learning. I’ve been using this time to try and learn a little about coding with Codecademy. Their free HTML and CSS course is interactive and walks you through the basics step-by-step. It’s enough to get a grasp on the basics, and perfect for my current needs, but if you want to dig a little deeper, you can upgrade to pro.

400+ Awesome Free Tools to Help Build Your Business

by Ali Mese @meseali If I was smart, I would have saved this and just posted one of the free tools for my round-up every month for the next… 33 years. Anyway, I decided not to do that – so here you have it! A huge round-up of over 400 free tools and resources covering everything from business to marketing, design and code, and productivity and learning.

My personal favourites include the free design resources which include a tonne of creative commons images…

Claire Brain

Digital Marketing Client Manager

YouTube SEO: How to find the best traffic-generating keywords

by Sherry Bonelli (@sherrybonelli) It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to work on any video optimisation, so this post by Sherry is a helpful reminder on how to research and optimise for YouTube. This, coupled with an update on how important video marketing is today makes a useful and current read if you’re thinking about getting started.

Rhea Walker


Marketing to the Generations With Content

by Catherine Russo This is a simple guide on how to market to the different generations. From what to focus on in your content to how long your videos should be. Very interesting read.

Peter Bingham

Digital Designer

Useful Design Tools for Non-Designers

Giving the non-designers at Boom the power to create their own engaging images for their clients social media is often a mixed blessing. Sure it saves me (the designer) time but often the results aren’t as professional as they’d like – and I’m not knocking our team; for a long time, it’s been the tools that are to blame: restrictive, jargon-filled, buggy and so on.


by @canva So when I found that Canva had added a bunch of new features to their free version I sent a few of our non-design guys over to try it out. They were all impressed at how quickly and easily they could create professional quality designs for their clients. Give it a go.


by @PexelsPhotos Another site I use regularly for free (and decent) stock photos is Pexels. Until recently, I hadn’t noticed you can sign up and store your ‘liked’ photos to your account. Again, for the non-designers, this gave our team a place where they could store stock photos relevant to their clients. For the designers amongst you, there is a pretty nifty photoshop plugin.

Chris Dennis

PPC Account Manager

7 Advanced Google Shopping Strategies

by Wesley Parker (@WesleyparkerPPC) Concise and well-presented, this has some great little nuggets of information to help optimise your Google Shopping feed, bids, and bid adjustments.

Amy Hunt

Digital Marketing Executive

Instagram vs Facebook: Which Can Help You Improve Your Business More?

by Brandon Leibowitz (@GetPlusFollows) Here, Brandon runs a statistics driven comparison between Instagram and Facebook, deciphering which performs best from a business point of view and in what areas. A great article to help drill down your social media marketing strategy depending on your audience and what it is you expect to achieve from social media.

Jordan Piano

Digital Marketing Client Manager

How Adidas, Just Eat and HTC are using Chatbots

by Mindi Chahal & Lucy Tesseras, MarketingWeek This is a really interesting article about how bigger brands are using ‘chatbots’ within Facebook messenger to interact with various stakeholders.

Adidas use their chatbot for people to book onto their free gym classes, whilst HTC use them for B2B training. Just Eat’s chatbot allows customers to order via Messenger.

I gave the Adidas chatbot a try, expecting it to be clunky and a bit awkward, but I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth and helpful it actually was. Unfortunately I couldn’t book onto a class because I’m not in London. Or a female.

I believe this could be the next step in e-commerce/online customer service. It’s basically a repackaged version of the FAQ page where a site gives pre-written responses to your queries but on a more interactive and tailored way. I like it.

Give the others a try, why not? Just Eat Chatbot, HTC Chatbot.

4 Ways Google Analytics Can You Improve Your Website

by Andy Wolber, Tech Republic. These might seem like very basic, obvious things, but I was recently talking to someone who suggested that Analytics isn’t that important for a website. ‘As long as the websites ranks well and the content is good, then the amount of traffic doesn’t matter.’. They also suggested that quality content, ranking for the targeted keywords automatically meant that the traffic will be ‘good’ traffic. Although I can understand the thinking, Analytics is much more than just a traffic tracking system.

These four tips show you how you can better engage your visitors and better your offering using data within analytics.

Adam Dennis

Web Developer

Designing Effective Websites for Different Age Groups

by Suzanne Scacca (@SEScacca) We spend a lot of time making sure our websites are optimised for things like speed and SEO, but do we spend enough time thinking through how our sites will be used by it’s target audience?

This article will give you a good primer in designing for different age groups, to try and help you achieve what you set out to do.

Chelsea Potter

Digital Marketing Client Manager

Analyzing the Bigger Picture: Why You Can’t Deliver Insight Without Action Steps

by Dinah Alobeid We all know the importance of data; I don’t need to waste your time explaining why you should be checking the figures to make sure your activity is valuable. This article however reinforces the notion that numbers alone are not enough, and maybe we need to remind ourselves of this every now and again. When you’re reporting to a client or a stakeholder you need to annotate your trends and paint the bigger picture. Charts and figures, while perhaps easy enough for you to read, may mean nothing to your audience. You need to tell the story of your data and suggest actions on the back of it. Data means nothing without proper analysis and I think this article does a great job in articulating this.

Product Page SEO: 16 Dos & Don’ts You Should Know

by Clark Boyd When it comes to the priority order for an ecommerce website, product pages often draw the short straw. How many websites do you see with no product descriptions or basic, generic descriptions? In my experience, too many. Your product pages are the final hurdle in your sales funnel and you’d be surprised how a little attention to detail on these pages can go a long way. This is a well presented article that offers tips and examples on how you can improve your product pages.

David Allsop

Web Developer

17 Best Text Editors for WordPress Development in 2017

by Jenni McKinnon (@iamjennialways) Great collection of text editors for WordPress development to speed up workflow and generally make your web development tasks easier. You can get comfortable with your existing ‘trusty’ code editor, so it’s useful to keep an eye on the latest code editors which could have killer features you didn’t know existed. I will be keeping one eye on the Codeanywhere editor in future, which is a cloud based editor accessed through your web browser and it opens up lots of possibilities for coding anywhere, collaboration and much more.

17 WordPress Functions.php File Hacks

by John Hughes Neat little blog post containing some useful functions you can quickly add into the WordPress functions.php file. Some nice snippets include the ability to hide detailed admin login errors for security and adding a new admin user in the event that you need to regain access to the WordPress dashboard.

Cameron Sykes

Digital Marketing Executive

How to Make Your Site Mobile-First in 2017

by Aleh Barysevich (@ab80) There’s no doubt that the rise of mobile has impacted the nature of search. The mobile aspect has become a hugely important factor to considering when creating and maintaining your website. Google has confirmed that having a mobile friendly website is an important factor for SERP success, and this article by Aleh Barysevich provides a few tips on how to make sure your website is mobile friendly.

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