It’s pretty unbelievable that 2018 is drawing to a close. So much has happened and there is still quite a bit to do as well 🙂
Keeping on top of the trends and innovation in and around our industry is one of the most important tasks we can do for our clients and selves professionally. We are fortunate to work in an industry where there are so many talented individuals and organizations willing to share their learnings and experience.
Our team is constantly collaborating and sharing resources they find valuable and even critical to client programs and digital marketing in general.
Here are some of the resources our team members have discovered and / or utilized throughout the year. These resources helped to improve performance, shape and refine tactics, and provided inspiration for professional growth.
From Casie Gillette:
There were a lot of updates and fluctuations this year in search and of course, there was speculation and analysis of what those changes meant. What I loved about AJ’s post was that it wasn’t necessarily about what the Google algorithm is looking for but more so, how Google itself is changing and growing. It was about language and Google’s understanding of language. It is a smart article and it’s certainly worth a read.
Alexis spoke at MozCon this year and she was brilliant. What’s also brilliant is the 3,000 word follow-up she put out breaking down technical SEO elements and their importance on search performance. It’s a long piece but it’s certainly worth the read.
This piece from Distilled just came out and I find it absolutely intriguing. Is it possible for rankings to change just based on seasonality or demand? Sure looks like. This is a fairly small study but the data points are interesting and the premise important.
From Andrea Cruz
As a marketer, you understand that consumer behavior is always shifting and your company must be able to pivot based on such changes. Brian Halligan was able to capture the pain points his customers were experiencing in the traditional sales funnel and solving them through the idea of a Sales Flywheel where there are areas of force and friction that can create a delightful costumer experience.
Clients very often want to know how they are performing in comparison to other players in the industry. Ad Stage created quarterly paid media benchmark reports that showcased data for each different large paid media platform. This report was also useful to determine if the tendencies I was identifying in my accounts were being experienced by other advertisers.
Google gave a lot to talk about during 2018. Google AdWords became Googles Ads, while DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 became a single brand called Google Marketing Platform. Also, Google reminded us of the focus they are putting on mobile and small businesses moving forward.
From Anastasia Warren
Being that social media is an ever-evolving space, keeping up on trends in both paid and organic is made easy by articles such as this published in Forbes. This article breaks down the top 5 trends for digital advertising on social media in 2018, with a focus on Facebook and chatbots specifically. As social ad spend continues to grow, it’s important to be on the right platforms for your audience.
From Jenna Bessemer
This post is interesting because it highlights the benefits of regular content auditing, and how we can use these audits to identify “bigger picture” site mistakes. It’s also a great intro piece for content marketers who are looking to get more involved in SEO since the mistakes she highlights don’t require technical knowledge to identify.
From Darren Huang
This is my favorite article of the year.It is an interesting case study on how Airbnb ran experiments to make sure its new landing page template wouldn’t have negative effects on SEO.
From Kristen Vaughn
When you’ve worked with a website for a few years, there are certain issues that you might run into – one of them being keyword cannibalization. With the abundance of content that websites are putting out there each day, week and month, it’s important to shine a spotlight on the need for unique and valuable content.There is a big difference between crafting keyword-targeted content that offers unique value and provides users with the information they are looking for, and the act of creating multiple pages that target the same topic with the sole purpose of ranking. This article does a really great job of explaining what keyword cannibalization is, how to identify it, potential impacts and ways to avoid/fix it.
Whether you are just getting started with link building or are looking for more advanced tactics, this list has you covered. Backlinko outlines nearly 200 different ways that websites can acquire links through company happenings, brand mentions, business profiles and listings, industry affiliations, link-worthy content and much more.
From Ryan Young
To be a successful content marketer, you have to be aware of what’s happening around you. One of the best ways to do so is by reading or hearing what other marketers are experiencing as successes. This post is one of my favorites from 2018, not only because I agree with nearly all the points being made, but it serves as a great checklist when developing quality content.
From Derek Edmond
Published at the beginning of 2018, this article from the NY Times explores the world of social media bots, fake followers and profiles, and accounts meant to artificially inflate authority and attempt to influence other users.
To help B2B suppliers understand the spectrum of customer priorities, Bain & Company analyzed scores of quantitative and qualitative customer studies conducted for clients over three decades, examining what mattered most to buyers. From this research, they identified 40 fundamental “elements of value.”, falling into five categories: table stakes, functional, ease of doing business, individual, and inspirational.
I really liked how this team aggregated the most popular SEO Success Factors in one place, showing marketers not only what works, but how to use these factors to improve rankings and traffic. Better yet, they have kept it updated throughout the year and offer a PDF download for easy access.
Simple and to the point. You don’t need more time, you just need to decide.
Thanks goes out to all the publishers, journalists, and marketing professionals that developed the material listed here and so much more this past year. We wouldn’t be as successful without their contributions, ideas, and perspective.
Happy New Year and wishing you the best in 2019 and beyond!