Google’s Ranking Factors Depend on the Keyword Intent [Actionable]

Google’s Gary Illyes has confirmed my hypothesis on SEO ranking factors I had been pondering on for quite some time, which is that ranking factors differ depending on the intent behind the keyword.

For example, for keywords with the clear buying intent, Google would prioritize ecommerce pages instead of educational content, even if it’s on a high DA page like Forbes.

Conversely, if someone is clearly looking for information by typing in long-tail keywords with interrogative words like “how to clean my laptop keyboard”, Google would more likely return in-depth, long-form articles to the searcher.

The 3-Step Process to Discovering the Real Keyword Intent [Actionable]

Christian from Tenscores shares a very simple yet ingenious approach to determining the real intent behind any keyword phrase.

The process in a nutshell:

The first two layers of this approach are quite well utilized, but the third one, which is the real “gold mine”, is often overlooked.


Google Revealed the Best Ways to Switch from M-Dot to Responsive Pages Before the Mobile-First Index [Actionable]

If you are still redirecting mobile users to m-dot pages, you should switch to responsive mobiles pages ASAP—before Google rolls out its mobile-first index.

To make things even easier for you, Google has released an official guide on how to do that without losing link equity.


HTML ID Attributes Have No Effect on Your Rankings, According to Google [News]

Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that keywords in HTML ID attributes don’t affect your rankings.



A Guide to Advanced, Intent-Driven Keyword Research [Actionable]

Keyword queries have evolved drastically in the last few years, as did user expectations. Today searchers want to be served with instantaneous solutions and highly contextual information. As such, your keyword research must go above and beyond semantics.

This article breaks down the process of advanced, intent-based keyword research. A must-read for all SEOs.

How to Predict the Value of Traffic from Your Targeted Keywords [Actionable]

Winning rankings takes time. As such, SEO is a long game with even longer feedback loops. Or I would put it another way, it’s an informed long-term investment with no guarantees.

But there’s a way to make it a little more predictable and test out the keyword’s effectiveness before putting time and effort into content and external SEO efforts around it.

Here’s the idea: run an SEM campaign on the keyword you want to rank organically and observe how traffic from this campaign engages with your site and converts. If the results are encouraging, go ahead and do your best to rank for this keyword organically. Otherwise, pick another keyword and repeat.

Loved the idea.


Advanced Techniques for Speeding Up and Designing Sites for SEO in 2017 [Actionable]

This article covers quite a lot of SEO techniques that I haven’t heard of before, from advanced technical tips for optimizing websites to contrarian opinion on where your SEO efforts should be focused.

Even if you don’t take anything from this, which is unlikely, it will be a good exercise to step outside the conventional SEO mindset.


#Paid Acquisition

A Step-by-Step Guide To Ditching Audience Duplication in Facebook [Actionable]

If you run numerous Facebook campaigns against multiple audiences, you are at the risk of targeting the same users in multiple ad sets, which can lead to ad fatigue, skewed results, and ultimately false conclusions without you even knowing about it.

This actionable guide from AimClear will teach you how to avoid audience overlap and make your campaigns laser-sharp targeted.


Using Storytelling in Facebook Carousel Ads for Better Performance [Actionable]

Storytelling is king in the attention economy—that’s no news, I know. But we often forget that storytelling is not limited to articles, videos, and podcasts.

Facebook Carousel Ads are commonly used to introduce products or services from multiple angles in a single interaction. However, essentially, that’s no different from a bland banner.

This article discusses how to use storytelling in carousel ads to make your creative pop and take this medium to the whole new level.


36 Facebook Ad Hacks [Actionable]

The title is self-explanatory, but I will only add that this article is as actionable as it can get. Although some of them may be quite basic, I’m sure you will take away from it at least 5 techniques to incorporate in your next Facebook campaign. And I mean it.

My favorite “hack” from this article:

Facebook ad hack #21: Use the curiosity gap.



How to Supercharge Your Copy with Contrast Storytelling [Actionable]

This article discusses the concept called “contract storytelling”, which is, in effect, contrasting product benefits with pain points related to the product in order to psychologically inflate its value.

This technique taps into the natural human tendency to compare and evaluate things in relative terms. Be sure you start with pain points and follow with benefits as it will amplify your solution rather than the problem.

The Biggest Collection of Email Copywriting Formulas [Actionable]

Drawing from his experience sending out thousands of newsletters, senior copywriter Daniel Benyo compiled what is probably the biggest compilation of time-tested email marketing formulas.

Yet another huge compilation to bookmark and refer to in your future campaigns.

3 Little-Known Conversion Triggers for Your Email Campaign [Actionable]

As more marketers deploy “urgency” and “scarcity” components in their drips, consumers get increasingly immune to them.

In this article, you’ll learn three lesser-known techniques that will prime leads to convert and make your messaging stand out in today’s overly-crowded inboxes.


What Does the Future of Content Marketing Look Like? (Spoiler: Still Less Content) [Food for Thought]

Content marketing has matured.

Consumers are overloaded with content. A decent organic reach is almost impossible. Engagement is dropping. Content doesn’t drive as many leads as it used to.

“Here is the most important takeaway: the top 10% of our posts were responsible for 90% of the results.”

As such, content marketing is morphing into a more targeted, more focused, more intent-based, more proactive, more consumer-centric, more inward-looking form.

The following article from Janessa Lantz covers the 4 biggest trends in content marketing as its effectiveness decline.

Here’s a rundown for quick reference:

  • Content marketers are acting more like product managers
  • More time is spent on optimising existing content than creating new content
  • Content delivery and distribution is getting more focused and sophisticated
  • The composition of content marketing teams is changing

Forbes’ Branded Content Chief: The 2 Most Important Content Marketing Metrics [Food for Thought]

In an interview with Joe Lazauskas from Contently, Ann Marinovich, SVP of Content Strategy and Partnerships at Forbes, revealed her top content marketing metrics, which are:

  • Views from people who are in market for your product — not total views
  • Engagement metrics: time, scroll depth, scroll velocity (in Layman’s terms, the number of people who actually read content as opposed to skimming through it)

This interview just reaffirms the importance of producing quality content that speaks specifically to your bottom-funnel audience.

How Google Is Using Contextual Signals to Break Through with Mobile Users [Food for Thought]

This article inspired me to think of the context in SEM and SEO beyond intent, especially with mobile users. Good food for thought, which also suggests where SEM/SEO are headed to.


8 Big Questions From Content Marketing World to Ask Year Round [Food for Thought]

Joe Pulizzi shared some of the “what-if” questions keynote speakers at this year’s Content Marketing World asked themselves, which led them to unique marketing discoveries and breakthroughs.

Here are the questions for quick reference (read the full article for backstories and what breakthroughs these questions have led to):

  • What if … we look for unexpected audiences?
  • What if … our audience tells our brand story?
  • What if … we pay more attention to our customers than our industry?
  • What if … the story was more important than the brand?
  • What if … we listened to our audience, not just their data?
  • What if … we grow a community not just to connect but also to create?
  • What if … our audience can be our brand’s most valuable asset?

A mind-expanding exercise that challenges you to reevaluate your content marketing strategy from multiple angles.


#Social Media

Instagram Tests Sharing Stories Directly to Facebook [News]

The line between Facebook and Instagram is getting blurrier. Instagram has been spotted giving users the option to share stories directly to Facebook. Instagram has confirmed the test, but the details as to when or if it is going live in the future are still not clear.


Snapchat Brings Bitmojis to Life with New AR Update [News]

Snapchat steps up its AR game with an update that integrates Bitmoji—which it acquired last year for $64 billion—into the app. Now you can create stories projecting your animated three-dimensional avatar into the real world.

snap video moji2

Yet another medium for brands to creatively engage with their audience and connect on the whole new level.


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