First of all, I’m super pleased with your engagement and all the feedback I’ve received over the last few months.
Now, to address your most common requests, I’m slightly changing the format of my newsletter.
From now on, each story will come with the argument as to “why it matters” to you and the bulleted list of key takeaways that will help you understand the core message/main advice from the story without reading it.
I think this week’s issue turned out super well. Much food for thought for sure. As always, I’m looking forward to your feedback!
In the 41st issue of Breaking Content, you’ll learn:
- Why you should bring back comments to your site
- Google’s official guidelines for quality content
- Why you should switch to HTTP/2
- Top SEO trends to watch in 2018
- How to create data-driven stories that spread
- How to write multi-purpose headlines that work for SEO/social/inbound
- What is offline retargeting and why you should start bidding on branded keywords
- Main takeaways from Adobe Think Tank forum on “The Future of Advertising”
- Main execution mistakes in PPC for e-commerce
- And much more…
Let’s jump in!
Google: Comments Better On Your Site Then On Social Networks [News]
Why It Matters: This article explains why most marketers are shooting themselves in the foot by removing comments on the site.
Key Takeaway: Keep comments on your site instead of moving them over to social media for SEO.
‘High-Quality Content’ Tips from Google’s Own Style Guides [Advice]
Why It Matters: There’s an ongoing debate among SEOs about what Google regards as quality content. This list of recommendations based on Google’s own style guides comes closest to the truth.
- Use a friendly, conversational tone with a clear purpose — somewhere between the voice you use when talking to your buds and that you’d use if you were a robot
- Use standard American spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization
- Craft clear, concise, short sentences with simple words that users will understand
- Use descriptive link text (don’t use “click here” as anchor text)
- Consider numbered lists for sequences of events
- Ensure that outbound links are to sites that are “high-quality, reliable, and respectable”
- Use .png images with ALT attributes
- Use <strong>, <b> tags for emphasis
- Use tables and bullet points where they are needed
- Avoid technical jargon, placeholder phrases, or buzzwords
How Google Indexing Really Works [Research]
Why It Matters: It’s a thorough write up of a series of tweets from Google’s Ilya Grigorik that gives a glimpse into how Google indexing works.
- Googlebot doesn’t support IndexedDB, WebSQL, and WebGL.
- HTTP cookies and local storage, as well as session storage, are cleared between page loads
- All features requiring user permissions (like Notifications API, clipboard, push, device-info) are disabled
- Google can’t index 3D and VR content
- Googlebot only supports HTTP/1.1 crawling
- Webmasters can use Chrome 41 for instant SEO debugging!
7 SEO Trends to Watch in 2018 [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: This is a well-grounded round-up of emerging SEO trends to watch out for in the near future. It’s definitely good food for thought.
- The rise of voice search
- Link building will continue
- More focus on user experience
- More Q&A content optimised for featured snippers
- The roll-out of the mobile-first index and a massive shift to AMPs
- The rise of visual search
- More personalized and contextual SERPs based on machine learning
How HTTP/2 Benefits SEO [Research]
Why It Matters: HTTP/2 is a relatively new protocol that was introduced back in 2015. It’s still not widely adopted, so switching to it now may give you a head start against your competition in terms of SEO.
Key Takeaway: Shifting to HTTP/2 will ensure a more frictionless and faster user experience on your site, which will indirectly translate into SEO benefits.
VIDEO: Using Data to Create Content That Spreads [Advice]
Why It Matters: This is one the best pieces of content about creating quality content that catches on—and I mean it.
- You have to create content with distribution in mind
- Build content on proprietary data/information that you possess
- Types of data-driven stories that spread: geographic comparisons, secret data, timely data related to the news, valuable data to businesses, rankings, etc.
- The most shareable stories are built on a single premise (one key takeaway per article) and are clearly structured
- Breaking down data (e.g. by cities/professions) and comparing it will increase your chances to get it picked up by the local/niche media
- The title should get across the main point of the story, so readers know if it’s worth their time
VIDEO: Writing Headlines that Serve SEO, Social Media, and Website Visitors All Together [Advice]
Why It Matters: Successful content does well on multiple channels: search engines, social media, your site, etc. However, each of these channels requires vastly different headlines. In this Whiteboard Friday video, Rand Fishkin explains how to write winning multi-purpose headlines.
- Define your target audience and the primary channel for that particular piece of content
- Use Twitter card, Facebook’s open-graph mark-up to separate titles for website/SEO and social
- Write two versions of the headline: the most straightforward (SEO version) and the most click-baity (social media version). Then combine them into one
Facebook Will Target Ads to People Based on Store Visits, Offline Purchases, Calls to Businesses [News]
Why It Matters: Offline retargeting is a new, authentic way to engage/re-engage with your potential or current customers.
Key Takeaway: Facebook has rolled out a feature that allows marketers to target people based on offline behavior, such as store visits, calls, etc.
E-Commerce PPC Campaigns: Common Execution Mistakes and How to Avoid Them [Advice]
Why It Matters: Most e-commerce PPC campaigns fail due to poor execution. This article from Scube Marketing covers the most common mistakes and misconceptions about PPC campaigns for e-commerce and explains how to avoid them.
- You are not reaching your target audience because you treat keywords as search terms and geographical locations as the location of interest
- You are drawing false conclusion from A/B test by ignoring the concept of statistical significance
- You are not doubling down on your winning campaigns
13 Reasons Why PPC Brand Bidding Is a No-Brainer [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: Most SEMs take branded keywords for granted and so bidding on them is the last thing on their mind. It turns out brand bidding has a lot of merits.
Key Takeaways (reasons for bidding on branded keywords):
- You can present your brand accurately
- You can ‘compete’ with affiliates and partners
- You won’t let competitors piggyback on your branded keywords
- You might uncover new customer segments
- You might improve your organic search results
- You might minimize the impact of negative content
Linkedin Launches Autoplay Mobile Video Ads [News]
Why It Matters: Video is king and it’s a great way to tap into the Linkedin audience while the platform is still not over-saturated with video content.
Key Takeaway: Linkedin has rolled out autoplay mobile videos ads. “Advertisers can upload videos through the Campaign Manager, their Company Page or their Showcase Page and promote them with a Sponsored Content campaign.”
Marketers will be able to use the same targeting options as for other Linkedin ads.
The Destructive Switch from Search to Social [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: This article helps to understand the underlying forces that shape what kind of content we consume and how.
- The most popular 10 websites in 2006 were search-based, while most top sites today are content-driven social networks
- Most information that we consume today is forced onto us instead of being sought for
- The endless stream of forced information has reduced our attention span and created an addiction
- This gave rise to click-baity, low-quality content
Voice Assistants Could Transform Local — But Not Necessarily How You Might Think [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: Voice search is the next big thing in SEO, so understanding and being prepared for this shift is of vital importance.
- 20% of mobile searches are voice, according to Google
- Google Assistant is now at 95% accuracy, according to Google
- The biggest scale of voice search may happen not on voice-activated home speakers (as many think), but mobile!
Return on Ad Spend Is Out, Customer Lifetime Value Is In [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: Most companies still prioritize marketing campaigns based on short-term return on ad spend. However, this evaluation method is short-sighted, as businesses may be missing out on customers that matter most in the long run.
Key Takeaway: Marketers should switch to customer lifetime value (CLV) in measuring ROI. “If you don’t have some type of lifetime value calculation, even at a broad level, it will soon be impossible to compete.”
How Brands Are Using Hyperlocal Marketing to Reach Millennial Shoppers [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: Millennials make 25% of their purchases on mobile, which creates more opportunities for more personalized location-based targeting.
Key Takeaways (case studies):
- Barneys New York, a luxury clothing company, released an app that helps their customers navigate through its flagship store in Manhattan and sends personalized notifications/recommendations based on their online activity
- America’s Mattress, a chain of mattress stores, uses location information from incoming calls to determine what cities and neighborhoods to target through digital advertising
- Taco Bell partnered with Waze, a real-time map data app, to place location-based ads for their offers during football season
- Loacker, an Italian wafers and chocolate company, offers different products based on local tastes
8 Genius Examples of Empathetic Content Marketing in Action [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: Empathy is one of the best ways to establish an emotional bond with your readers, which is key to content marketing success.
- Lush, a beauty brand, created a video about every part of their product manufacturing process to assure their health-conscious customers that their products are truly natural
- Linkedin created an ebook about how they do advertising on Linkedin themselves, so marketers can learn the ins and outs of this platform from people who know it best
- Home Depot, a home and garden supply store, created an infographic that encourages the aspiring DIY-ers among their customers to grow their own salads using supplies from the store
- Extra, a gum brand, encourages their customer to submit photos of their special moments on their interactive site. The select ones are turned into sketch art that appears on a gum wrapper on the inside of Extra packaging. With this campaign, the brand honors and give meaning to everyday moments of their customers
- Microsoft created an interactive microsite that put their customers in the hacker’s shoes and shows them their main vulnerabilities, which helps them to better protect themselves against data breaches
- JetBlue airlines created content that acknowledges the struggles that come with air travel and educates on how to minimize or solve them
- J.Crew, a clothing company, created visual content that educates their customers on how to make a good first impression and express themselves through clothing
Key Takeaways from “The Future of Advertising” [Food for Thought]
Why It Matters: Adobe Think Tank has brought together the top marketing executives, thought leaders, and influencers in the world to discuss the future of advertising. This forum is a must-watch for all marketers.
- 80% of all advertising will be automated by 2022
- Contrary to popular belief, automation will create more marketing job opportunities
- We will see a shift from storytelling to “storydoing”
- Psychographics will largely replace demographics in segmentation
- Emerging technologies may give us a new metric beyond clicks and impressions
- The rise of brandless, data-driven companies
Twitter Announces What’s ‘Happening Now’ for Sporting Events, and Plans for a Bookmarking Feature [News]
Why It Matters: One of Twitter’s new features may be put to use in event advertising.
Key Takeaway: Twitter has introduced two new features: “Happening Now” and “Save for Later”. The former will allow Twitter users to find information about events in real time. The latter is a bookmarking feature that will allow Twitter users to save tweets for later reading. This feature has not yet been rolled out to all users.
Twitter Tests Doubling the Length of Tweets to 280 Characters [News]
Why It Matters: It may be the biggest change in Twitter’s history that could determine the future of this social network.
Key Takeaway: Twitter is testing tweets of up to 280 characters.
Now You Can Order Food with Facebook [News]
Why It Matters: Facebook is making a more serious push into e-commerce, creating new opportunities for advertising.
Key Takeaway: Now you can order food from your favorite vendors for pick-up or delivery directly on Facebook.
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