KoMarketing’s Favorite Posts and Articles from 2019


While 2019 will go down in our books as our 11th straight year of organizational growth, it was not without challenges. The digital marketing world continues to evolve and put pressure on organizations to deliver more, learn more, and react more quickly than ever before, oftentimes with fewer resources and time to adapt.

You can never stop learning and sharing.

The first core value of our organization is to “acquire and share knowledge”. We do this through a range of tactics including twice monthly team trainings, collaborative monthly planning for client programs, and group email distributions sharing articles and resources of value for both individual and organizational impact.

As the year draws to a close and we reflect on all the things we have done this year, it’s also nice to reflect on what we have learned as well. Here are some of the articles and blog posts our team members have shared and discovered throughout the year. These resources helped to improve program performance, improve tactics, and drive professional growth.

Casie Gillette

Complex Search-Results Pages Change Search Behavior: The Pinball Pattern

  • This was by far one of the most interesting articles I read this year. Search results have changed and as a result, so has user behavior. Searchers are no longer looking left to right then down the page — they are pin-balling all over! Really fantastic read and look at how Google is changing search behavior.

How Much of Google’s Search Traffic is Left for Anyone But Themselves?

  • Rand Fishkin at Sparktoro analyzed SERPs to determine how much traffic Google was giving to themselves. The answer…a lot! In fact, only 42% of organic clicks are going to third party sites. It shows us just how difficult it is becoming to compete in Google when Google is hogging the majority of traffic.

Andrea Cruz

  • During 2019 we learned that most searches are answered without users having to go to websites and therefore made marketers really hone in on-SERP SEO strategies. While experienced digital marketers saw this trend coming in the past few years, it was a reminder to evaluate current/future SEO and Paid strategies and how these complement each other
  • Google announced that 15% of all searches seen on a day are new and in order to reach users with new queries, it was necessary to modify Google Ads broad match modifier and phrase match keywords to also match queries that share the same meaning as the keyword.
  • This generated a large uproar in the advertising community as there’s hesitation about Google’s ability to understand the searchers’ intent and the impact on performance, which made advertisers focus on negative keywords, scripts, automated rules and keyword evaluation.
  • This change, in a nutshell, meant that when you are asked if you can target a particular location exclusively on Google Ads, the answer is no. Google changed the “People in your targeted locations” option to “People in or regularly in your targeted locations.”
  • The change in location settings meant that Google Ads advertisers are now having to take extra steps by adding negative locations to alleviate the impact.

Anastasia Warren

  • This post from Harvard Business Review breaks down actionable ways to quit micromanaging, and start instilling trust in your team. From weekly check-ins to proper amounts to delegate, this article breaks down how to empower your team and free you up for more strategic projects.
  • Organic Facebook reach continued to be a challenge for marketers across industries in 2019. This article shares 15 ways to increase organic reach, including creative, post formats, and user-generated content.

Kristen Vaughn & Ryan Young

We Analyzed 5 Million Google Search Results: Here’s What We Learned About Organic Click Through Rate

  • From Kristen: We saw several big search updates occur throughout the year including BERT, Broad Core Algorithm Updates, the June 2019 Update and more. As the search landscape continues to evolve, so must our SEO strategies. With this in mind, having the research and data to support the SEO best practices you are deploying is absolutely essential to the success of campaigns.
  • To help with this, Brian Dean at Backlinko conducted several extensive and valuable studies throughout 2019. One of which included an analysis of 5 million Google search results that looked at how factors like title tag length, sentiment and meta descriptions impact organic CTR.
  • Beyond simply validating the SEO best practices that you currently have in place, findings from this analysis will also help encourage other team members and/or clients to prioritize these initiatives.
  • From Ryan: As SEOs, we strive to improve positions in search results, and oftentimes, we wonder exactly how much impact moving up (or down) a few positions might have on traffic. Brian Dean’s article was a key reference point for me in 2019, as it provided a snapshot of CTR trends by ranking position, as well as findings on the SEO elements that can impact positioning. I strongly encourage giving this a read!

Jenna Bessemer

  • This article covers some really great points about why SEO traffic may not be growing at the rate you want and actionable tips for how to fix each problem. It’s pretty short and sweet, but it will spark at least a couple of ideas about how to keep growing traffic if a site happens to be plateauing.

20 Ways to Speed Up Your Website and Improve Conversion in 2019

  • This post from CrazyEgg is rather technical and very in-depth, but is a good resource for evaluating why site speed matters and strategies for fixing it. It includes a couple of stats and visuals about how site speed negatively impacts site conversions that are great for client presentations, too.

Derek Edmond

America’s DIY Phone Farmers

  • It is unfortunate but a fair percentage of waste and fraud can be found in digital marketing; the advertising side in particular. Marketers need to be on the lookout for ways the system can work against them and their marketing budgets. Motherboard’s look at how ordinary Americans are using armies of phones to generate cash through ad fraud is one such example and an interesting in-depth read.

Brands vs Ads

  • Aaron Wall’s SEO Book was one of the original publications I read to learn SEO but unfortunately have drifted away from it as other priorities came into focus throughout the years. It was great to revisit and read this take on Google’s dominance across markets and examples of how the search engine applies tactics to increase revenue and beat out competitors in their own organic search engine results.

KoMarketing Top Posts from 2019

KoMarketing had a pretty good digital marketing year as well, exceeding lead generation goals while driving over 380K visits from all traffic sources. Along the way we published over 200 content marketing assets and acquired hundreds of links from some amazing publications, including Digiday, Unbounce, and Search Engine Journal to name a few.

Here is a look at our top blog posts from 2019, based on traffic from all sources.

Final Thoughts

We’re incredibly fortunate to work in industries where so many professionals and organizations take on big questions, offer insights, and share their professional experiences. It makes each day – and each year – that much more exciting and rewarding.

Thanks goes out to all the authors, publishers, and marketing teams that were a part of the above articles and content. It’s great work and we’re better marketing professionals because of your contributions. We hoped you enjoyed some of our contributions as well!

What resources are in your bookmarks that were developed from the past year? Connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn to let us know.

Happy New Year and wishing you all the best in 2020 and beyond!

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Will Bernholz — Will Bernholz, Vice President, Marketing, Dropsource

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