Our Favorite Blog Posts & Articles for 2015

Christmas TreeOne of the ways our team remains competitive and successful is through the constant review and distribution of industry-related information discovered online.

We make it a point to regularly communicate new discoveries, innovation, and industry news meant to improve performance on behalf of clients and in our own individual growth.

We’re fortunate to work in an industry where so many other colleagues and experts contribute and provide perspective on industry changes and the challenges faced daily.

In what’s become a tradition each year, I ask our team members to provide feedback on some of the resources they’ve discovered throughout the year, that have improved performance, help shape and refine tactics, and provided inspiration for professional development.

Here is a look back at some of our favorite blog posts and articles from 2015.

From Casie Gillette

For so long, we have accepted that a position one ranking in Google will generate a 20-30% CTR. Why? Because that’s what studies have shown. However, with all the changes in the SERPs (knowledge graph, direct answers, etc), that may no longer be the case. The article from SEER showcases how a #1 ranking only generated a 5% CTR and while that was still a large amount of traffic, it wasn’t the CTR they assumed. The bottom line is SERP CTRs will vary and there are a number of factors that must be considered.

As most people know at this point, I am a huge fan of customer service and community engagement. I also am a huge fan of Buffer because they do both of these things well. This post was published in April and breaks down everything from how Buffer stays connected to their community to the swag costs to the process of actually sending mail. Amazing transparency and a good reminder that customer service doesn’t have to cost a lot.

From Andrea Cruz Lopez

This article makes you realize that we have to be prepared for the Mobile shift coming up, where the U.S. and China will be leading 62% of the expected $101.37 billion that will be spent on ads through mobile phones and tablets. Also, it makes you think that more than one-quarter of smartphone users will live in China and you also have to start considering users living in “BRIC” countries.

Not an article per say but a Twitter update that inspired me. It is surprising that in the B2B space emotions instead of pure rational thinking, could drive business to business decisions. According to this tweet, features, advantages and benefits are not longer the main driver for driving purchases, instead, it suggests to consider emotions and personal value; Personal Value = Benefits (functional + emotional) minus Cost (monetary, time and effort and psychic costs)

From Phoebe Fasulo

The 160 page document highlights what exactly it takes to rank in Google, this is a rare move by Google who is usually pretty secretive about their guidelines.

This article examines the correlation between shares and links and explores the content that typically gets the most shares and links.

From Jeremy Krantz

This test could help redefine the impact that an ad’s average position has versus how much visibility it can get. This could also mean that organic traffic will take a step down to ads which will be placed higher on on the SERPs. Ultimately this could mean more visibility and clicks.

This article advocates for doing some A/B testing on an ad level and uses a ton of great examples including advanced techniques like dynamic keyword insertion and countdowns. We frequently do these kinds of things for our clients here at KoMarketing but I almost always reference this article and share it since he does a great job summarizing things up.

This in-depth article highlights some of the key elements that go into writing ad copies and testing them as to help improve overall performance. Originally discussed at SMX 2015, this articles discusses patterns, theme identification as well as structuring the account to facilitate this process. Tons of examples from different speakers are included as well.

From Ryan Young

I’m always looking for stats and other data that could be used to improve the impact of content marketing assets. This Social Marketing Writing infographic brings a ton of data to one place, showcasing tips and stats to create the “perfect” blog post from start to finish. Whether you’re new to content marketing or a seasoned veteran, this infographic should be bookmarked and visited frequently to bolster your blogging success.

As content marketers, we need to always be one step ahead of the trends. What better way to do so than hear from some of the most influential voices in the industry? The Marketing Insider Group put together a great list of content marketing predictions (gathered from experts) for 2016, which include a large shift to video and content breaking free of silos, to name a few.

From Justina Logozzo

I found this article impactful in the sense of furthering my knowledge of schema mark-up. It broke down all of the different elements an SEO professional could utilize schema and why you should consider it [for onsite development].

From Stacy Thompson

A while back, my friend and colleague Casie sent the KoMarketing team this Search Engine Journal article about why it’s important to use just one thought per paragraph in a blog post or article.  There are number of reasons why this is critical to good writing, but the basic idea is it makes content easier to read and more accessible to the audience.  As Ann Handley says in Everybody Writes, “No one will ever complain that you’ve made things too simple to understand.”

This CMI article by Neil Patel is a must-read for anyone just starting out in content marketing OR new to writing about a particular industry.  So that basically means all of us, at one point or another.  Neil offers some valuable tips for how to pivot your writing style and approach depending on the niche you’re writing in.

If you’re a content marketer, you’ve likely encountered the dreaded “What do I write about?” at some point while you stared at a blank Word doc.  In this post, Quinn Whissen explains how to discover compelling content topics in the unlikeliest of places: your colleagues, your customers, your personal life.  The idea is to keep your eyes and ears open because you never know what you’ll find (or where you’ll find it)!

From Derek Edmond

Jeff Deutsch, Ptengine’s VP of Marketing, essay detailing his rise and fall gaming Google’s algorithm and how he turned to inbound marketing for driving new successes in the wake of continued algorithmic changes meant to stop spam and “black hat” SEO link building.

Keeping along the similar lines, this article provides a glimpse into the business of social media spam, through the eyes of one such click farm, its employees, and founder, based in Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines. Another fascinating look at the level of competitiveness and depth of tactic marketers need to consider when building their own brands and lead generation in initiatives online.

I often read other entrepreneur’s stories to learn what they’ve experienced and learned in their professional journeys. This article from the Harvard Business Review featured Twitter founder Biz Stone’s on creating opportunity and lessons learned building culture and success both within and for a new organization.

Excellent insights into how the average online viewer consumes information and what publishers need to consider. Not only was it a good read (if you read the entire piece) but I really enjoyed the innovative way information was outlined and constructed.

Final Thoughts

Thanks goes out to all the publishers, journalists, and marketing professionals that developed this material and so much more this past year! We wouldn’t be as successful without your assistance.

What content inspired your performance this past year? I’d love to read your feedback and perspective via comments below.

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