What Boom Have Been Reading: September 2015 Edition

Have a sit down and enjoy some of our favourite articles and resources from across the web this month. Read on for digital PR tips and stunts, link building outreach platforms reviewed, query level bidding guides, subject line science and more. We’ve shared a couple of gems from our favourite speakers at September’s Brighton SEO too!

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The SEO And User Science Behind Long Form Content by John E Lincoln (@johnelincoln)

A pretty convincing argument for writing long (1500+ words) blog posts – at least when it suits the subject matter. Interestingly the article points out that the worst performing articles are the ones that sit in the middle (500 to 800 words).

We Analysed 82 Econsultancy Subject Lines And Here’s What We Learned by Parry Malm

Some interesting data and analysis extracted from 82 of Econsultancy’s email subject lines. There’s no real conclusive takeaway; the main lesson is pretty much that “email subject lines work when they pique particular emotions in recipients” so you should split test your own subject lines to “quantify the emotions that resonate with your audience”.

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A Step-By-Step Guide To Query Level Bidding In Google Shopping by Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)

Google Shopping can offer great returns, but by default only offers two things you can do with a particular search query – bid on it at full price, or not bid on it at all. This is a comprehensive walkthough of a method for bidding different amounts on different groups of search queries. It’s rather clever.

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How To Have Less Rubbish Ideas by Kelvin Newman (@kelvinnewman)

The first ever talk at Brighton SEO by organiser Kelvin Newman covered thinking differently to come up with better ideas. Understanding context, using reliable methods and the right environment can make all the difference.

How To Reverse Engineer Content by Paddy Moogan (@paddymoogan)

Paddy Moogan considers how an existing audience can help content marketing success and ideas, and explains how to use data and trends to determine which ideas will work the best.

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Anatomy of Responsive Images by Jake Archibald (@jaffathecake)

A fantastically robust examination of the new responsive image markup in HTML5. With over 60% of web traffic being made up of image data, this markup being supported by Chrome and Firefox should really improve the experience of users with varying screen sizes and connection speeds.

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Century 21 Quietly Has Fun With Its Silent, Autoplaying Ads on Facebook Enabling audio, online and in your life 

This is a great example of restrictions incubating creativity. C21 use the silent nature of autoplay videos to trigger people’s fear of missing out. Very simple, and very clever.

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What is Digital PR? – Your Top 5 PR Questions Answered by Jacky Lovato

A back-to-basics look at what digital PR is, answering 5 of the most common questions about online public relations.

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Is There Really a “£500 Bed Under The Stairs” in London?” by Dan Barker

If you’ve been following the world of Twitter this week – and if you’ve been in the office ‘hard at work’ then I’m sure you will have been – you may have seen the story of a girl who was offered a bed under the stairs for £500-a-month. I actually first heard of the story from skeptical marketers that I follow and instantly I was on their side – something didn’t quite seem right.

This write up from Dan Barker is an interesting short analysis into how the story is pretty much, most likely, almost certainly, definitely made up for links and exposure for a property website – with evidence supporting this theory. Whilst us marketing geeks usually spot the real from the fake pretty quickly, it’s interesting that this story spread like wildfire…and the blaze still hasn’t been put out. It shows you what good PR can do.

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Do serifs make you tap? by Shawn Sprockett (@shawnsprockett)

Can the font you choose make people more likely to click a CTA, or believe a statement? While most current design trends favour sans-serif typefaces, this article explores the possibility that serif fonts might convert better. I look forward to seeing the research analysed further…

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Highlight a Specific Aspect of your Products or Services with Structured Snippet Extensions by Google

The month I’ve gone bonkers for structured snippet extensions, which I am gradually applying to all of my campaigns. Structured snippets are really interesting and are taking some tweaking with the variety of headers available. This is great to show the range of products or services available for each client without having to use up characters in the ad text.

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Link Building Outreach Platforms Compared by Jon Cooper (@pointblankseo)

We have used Buzzstream for years and are very unlikely to change. It was, however, quite nice to see what some of the platforms are offering in this detailed comparison by Jon. The reporting functionality on Pitchbox is pretty darn good.

Easy Reading Is Damn Hard Writing by Gregory Ciotti (@GregoryCiotti)

Gregory has written some great stuff over the last few years and this one is one of his best. With more and more content being added to the Internet every single second it gets hard to stand out. This article goes some way to addressing that. In addition Gregory (like with his other articles) references other writers and introduces you to concepts and thought patterns that may have otherwise passed you by.

Google Glossary: Revenge of Mega-SERP by Dr. Peter J. Meyers (@dr_pete)

Pete long ago carved out his own little niche as the most knowledgeable man on what the Google results look like. Right now. In your town. Or yours. Without personalisation and with a knowledge local pak information graph card on top. This post attempts to pass that knowledge onto the world and is well worth your time.

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