SEO, social media, and content marketing are constantly evolving to almost the point of ridiculousness. Whether it's Google coming out with a new algorithm update, a never-ending onslaught of new technologies to adapt to, or just trying to keep up with what's cool, inbound marketers always have their work cut out for them as they start a new year. So why should 2015 be any different? Each month we like to round up the best content from the previous thirty days, and you'll definitely see that December's best had a focus on changes to make for the year ahead. Check out what you missed when you have a moment, and if you're looking for the same great content the rest of the month, join us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook in 2015. Enjoy!
Images are an increasingly important part of the Internet landscape. Yet marketers are provided very little in the way of reliable metrics to allow us to understand their power and optimize accordingly.
Marking up product information using structured data to enhance search results with rich snippets has long provided a nice SEO benefit to a company's product pages. Adding structured data may provide an advantage over competing pages by giving some extra flair and thus a higher click-through rate than the other results on the page.
Columnist Tom Schmitz takes an in-depth look at how SEO has changed over the past 5 years, complete with insights, observations and predictions for the future.
Having to factor in SEO while writing content weakens the content I produce. It takes away my artistic license and forces me to insert awkward, keyword-stuffed phrases into otherwise perfect, poetic content. By putting the focus on search engines, and not our users, SEO pollutes the Web and makes everything a little less relevant.
2014 was definitely a busy year for Google. We went through many changes and had a lot of surprises. Some major updates caused shake-ups, some of Google's initiatives came to a dead end and, in some ways, SEO as we knew it the year before has ultimately changed.
As search becomes increasingly mobile, getting closer to being the majority of search visits every month, how we think about user engagement on search results needs to be updated from the old desktop paradigms of the Golden Triangle (which suggest attention sticks to the upper left and decays down and to the right).
Bing has announced the launch of their new quality content algorithm aimed at reducing low quality content displaying in search results. This comes nearly 4 years after the launch of Google's Panda algorithm which also focuses on content quality.
"There's a vast segment of America that wants to consume news, but isn't as savvy and app-happy as journalists."
Basically, I ask a lot of questions because I don't like or trust hard and fast rules. And while every last one of these posts offers you a little bit of knowledge to then take back to your marketing campaigns and apply in the way that works best for your team and your company, there's not a guaranteed formula for success or correct answer in the bunch.
Have you noticed a drop in the reach of your Facebook posts? You might soon, and if you do, it's likely that your Facebook strategy involved a lot of promotional content. New algorithms for Facebook's News Feed aims to decrease the amount of outwardly sales-oriented posts a user sees, in order to improve their experience on the network.
There's no doubt that content marketing can boost your brand awareness and improve public sentiment towards your company and its product offerings.
Today's businesses need online profiles, and having a simple website with your products, services and contact information just isn't going to cut it in the modern world of marketing.
Social Media Marketing
I am the ruler of worlds. Let me rephrase that: I am the ruler of one very small world of social media bots.
In a recent "Small Business Technology Survey", The National Small Business Association divulged that while the use of social media in small businesses has risen in the last few years, 27% still don't use any social media platform at all to interact with potential customers.
Have you ever come across a piece of marketing advice about social media best uses and wondered, "How could you possibly know that will work?"
Let's begin with a couple of "So What?" questions: A brand has 20 million Facebook likes. So what? A brand's tweet "breaks the Internet." So what? What's achieved, other than an honorable mention at Cannes? A paradigm shift is needed: from conversation to narrative.
It's a cold evening on the town, and you're looking for a place to grab a bite to eat. You come across two restaurants - one is close to full, the other is almost empty. Which one do you choose?
The Simpsons recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary, so we'll leave you with the show taking a little poke at Apple. All in good fun of course :)
Image: Flickr/Cindy Funk