What Boom Have Been Reading: November 2014 Edition

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe that it’s December in just a few days! This year has absolutely flown by, don’t you think?

I know I always say this, but it’s been a seriously busy month in the Boom office. This hasn’t stopped us from hunting out some of the gems the internet has to offer. So grab a cup of tea, maybe a biscuit or two, and get your teeth in to what we’ve found helpful, interesting, and occasionally humorous, this month:

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The Ultimate List of Traffic and Content Promotion Tips from the Experts by Wade McMaster (@designwebid)

Tons of great reading material to help you promote content and increase traffic. This is definitely worth a look (mostly good ideas amongst some that are a bit… questionable) as is this post by Jon Morrow, and if you’ve not seen it before, definitely this.

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How Does Google Judge Quality Content by Marcus Tober (@marcustober)

A concise, useful reminder on how to create quality content for Google and for real people! There 5 points are helpful to remember when you’re writing content that you’d like to rank well.

The Science Behind Why Facebook is so Addictive by Drake Baer (@drake_baer)

I’m sure you’ve heard of Pavlov’s dogs, well, it sounds like Facebook uses similar conditioning principles to keep us coming back. Learn what makes Facebook so addictive, understanding the cycle can also help you break the habit if you feel you need to!

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The Complete Google Leaked Panda Do and Don’t List – 2011 to Present by Josh Bachynski (@joshbachynski)

Josh goes into a lot of detail and references to evidence in this post exploring the “dos and don’ts” of Panda from its initial release in 2011 to the most recent 4.1 update. If you’re thinking about how to write and structure content for your pages, read this first.

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A Typographic Tour Through Guatemala City by Sophie Weiner (@sophcw)

It’s easy to get wrapped up in current design trends when working at a screen and online for most of the day, but it’s incredibly interesting, important and useful to reflect on history and the ‘real world’ (recent or otherwise) for creative inspiration. This article has me inspired to wander around my hometown’s derelict industrial estate with a camera over Christmas.

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New Findings: For Top Ecommerce Sites, Mobile Web Performance is Wildly Inconsistent by Tammy Everts (@tameverts)

An eye-opening look into just how complex e-commerce design (and to an extent, all web design) has become in the last half decade.

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A Bad LinkedIn Pitch Has Tips For You by Kevin Dugan (@prblog)

A big part of our job here at Boom is outreach. I’ve only very recently discovered the Bad Pitch Blog but it’s full of interesting real-life examples of bad, and occasionally good, pitches that both Kevin and Richard receive. Whilst this article focuses on a job application, many of the principles covered could, and should, be applied to almost any outreach situation. Make sure you check out the example of a good pitch too. It’ll make you think about your own tone of voice and approach to outreach.

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How to Get More Eyes on Your Content by Neil Patel (@neilpatel)

I’m always looking to try and improve the way I write, are you? This post shows you an easy way to increase how many people read your content and how long they read it for. Apparently the trick is to turn your content into a conversation. Is it working?

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Three Simple AdWords Bidding Tweaks to Outsmart Your Competition by James Scaggs (@jamesscaggs)

I thought the Mario Kart picture was cool! That, and it’s where I learned of AdWords feature that allows us to target ads by household income tiers.

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The 25 Most Admired Typeface by Typographers, Type Designers and Letterers by Jamie Clarke (@GinJam)

Each issue of 8 Faces Magazine asks 8 world-renowned designers to choose their 8 top typefaces. Here are the results, with explanations and beautifully illustrated examples of each.

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The Top 10 Best PPC Hacks… Ever! by Larry Kim (@larrykim)

Larry Kim’s top 10 PPC hacks.. ever! This is a must read for those who have set up a campaign, are getting results, but need to step things up a gear. Each of these hacks will really help you optimise your ad spend and get the most out of your adverts.

The Ultimate Retaliation: Pranking My Roommate with Targeted Facebook Ads by Brian Swichkow (@My_SocialSherpa)

An interesting article about a Facebook ad prank – Brian spent $1.70 on Facebook ads to freak out his roommate. Shows that Facebook ads definitely get peoples’ attention!

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It was a busy month in the Boom office but that didn’t stop us from uncovering a few gems in the world of blogging. There were a few posts that I really enjoyed this month:

SEO: why more content isn’t always the answer – by Graham Charlton. Using what looks like quite an interesting tool Graham looked at what happens when you just follow the mantra of create more content without a strategy behind it.

Twitter: Renewed Focus On SEO Generated 10 Times More Visitors – by Danny Sullivan. On the flipside Danny covered the story of what happened when Twitter decided it should start to pay more attention to their SEO.

Why You’re Killing Your Agency’s Profit Margins (and How to Make It Stop) – by Karl Sakas. A thoughtful post on why digital agencies profit margins suck and what you can do about. There are 5 solid tips in the post that you should follow if you run any kind of digital agency. Have a look at how many you can tick off and where there is room for improvement.

Research: How To Write Subject Lines that Drive Open Rates – by Kelsey Libert. Following on from some great research, Kelsey looks at some of the things that they learned when surveying 500 top tier publishers. There are some pretty surprising stats in there that can lead down the path to improved pitching and outreaching.

“Entertainment and Technology writers account for 60% of the verticals getting pitched over 300x/day”
“55% of respondents indicated that they prefer subject lines to be 6-10 words long, and the next highest requested length was 0-5 words”
“85% of publishers want your raw data with your pitch”
“53% of publishers have blacklisted at least one person this month due to a bad pitch”

How to naturally earn links through PayPal – by Kirsty Hulse. If you ignore the slightly misleading title (sorry Kirsty) this is a great post on how to get your wallet to pay for your content to go further. Just remember kids if your content sucks then this isn’t the answer 😉

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