February Resource Round-up: The Best of SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

under Inbound Ideas.

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i love chicagoEach month, we gather up the most interesting and informative SEO, social media, and content marketing articles that we come across. We do this because we believe that if you're looking to grow your business, these three elements should work in unison, supporting each other to provide a maximum return. This past month continued what has already been a long winter in Chicago, so we've had lots of time to peruse the web looking for the best content. These are the articles from February that we think you'll find useful. If you want the same great content the rest of the year, feel free to follow us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook. Enjoy!


Mammoth Guide to Webmaster Tools for SEO

Google Webmaster Tools is an incredible tool for running health checks, monitoring your site's progress or uncovering the source of a problem. It's also an essential SEO tool.

4 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid: How to Build Traffic the Right Way

There are a number of less-than reputable ways to "optimize" your website for search engines, but such black hat SEO techniques (the moniker borrowed from hacker lingo) leave your website exposed to penalties and unprotected in the event of algorithmic changes.

Lessons From Google On Optimizing Your SEO

Dan Cobley, Google UK's Managing Director, recently revealed that Google's infamous 2007 "50 Shades of Blue" experiment involving ad links in Gmail increased revenue by $200 million a year.

5 Dead-Simple SEO Hacks to Save You Time

Let me be very clear, when I talk about "hacking" SEO, I'm talking about saving time and doing things as efficiently as possible. I'd never encourage gray or black hat techniques in an effort to game the search engines!

Google's Patent on Site Speed as a Ranking Signal

On April 9th, 2009, many people developed an interest in speeding up their websites, after reading a post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog - Using site speed in web search ranking.

Life After Keywords (Not Provided): What's Next For Bloggers?

When you use Google Analytics to track your blog's traffic, you may see (not provided) on your list of keyword searches. Simply put, this is Google's way of encrypting keyword searches in the name of privacy and security.

Google Offers SEO Recommendations For Pages With Infinite Scroll

Pages with infinite scroll are often appreciated by users but not so much by Googlebot, as Google themselves points out in a post published this morning on their official Webmaster Central blog.

4 Steps to Audit Online Content After Hummingbird and "Not Provided"

CMI readers know that it's possible to measure the effectiveness of content marketing efforts without keyword data -- something we've had since 2011 to think about -- but it shouldn't just be a case of damage limitation for people who work with web analytics.

Are You Optimizing Your Campaigns To Death?

Ok ok, now that I've gotten all the link bait title out of the way, let's get down to actual business. Now, I love my coworkers but they also set pretty high bar. When I inherited a major cosmetics account from my colleague Michael Weigand, I knew I had my work cut out for me, specifically in the holiday season.

Content Marketing

Content And Data Is At The Center Of Everything

I had an interesting conversation with an executive not that long ago. They were telling me about how they were getting into "Social Media Marketing." Because I'm a digital geek, it piqued my interest. I started asking questions.

Content Marketing: The Lost Art of Post Tags and Categories

You're missing a huge opportunity. Right now, I'm almost certain you don't bother with categorizing or tagging your blog's content. What you don't realize is that not doing so makes your life a million times harder when it comes to publishing content, and that you're probably missing out on some very easy traffic opportunities.

The 5 C's of Effective Content Marketing

Content marketing is hot right now. But just because everyone's doing it, doesn't mean it's easy. Great content takes a lot of time and careful thinking. The good news? We've put together a 5-step guide that can help you remember the most important elements of a great content campaign.

The Most Effective Content Marketing Tip Ever

Sorry. I've been toting this one around in my pack for a while now and haven't yet shared it with you. Here you go, the most effective content marketing tip you can possibly ever hope to hear.

Where the Content Marketing Rubber Meets the Road

The content marketing road is becoming a longer road to travel. In June 2000, there were fewer than 8 million websites. Today that number is greater than 750 million, according to Netcraft.com.

In a Nutshell: What is The Difference Between Online, Inbound, Social Media, and Content Marketing?

There might be some confusion as to what the differences are between online, inbound, social media, and content marketing. Let me tell you briefly what these four marketing efforts are not, then I will let a "friend" explain what they are and illustrate how they are related.

Social Media Marketing

Why Every Marketer Needs to Take Social Data Seriously

Whenever I'm talking to a customer or speaking at an event, I always find ROI elicits the most questions.  Even though 93% of B2B companies are on Facebook and Twitter, understanding ROI still remains the #1 challenge.

The New Twitter Profile Layout - and What This Means for Your Twitter Marketing

If you've been using Twitter the last few weeks, you probably noticed changes to the user interface: larger and lighter buttons along the header, a fresher feel where the black bar along the top has been replaced with white, new retweet and "favorite" icons that are reminiscent of the candy you'd eat as a kid.

The State of Social Marketing 2014

Socialbakers conducted a social media pulse check across 82 countries and 20 industries to discover what marketers are focusing on, and more importantly, what they're not. Did you know that 86% consider competitive social analysis important, but only 1/3 use paid tools to conduct said analysis!

How Long Will It Take to See Results From Social Media Marketing?

Six months. Just kidding! The real answer of course is "it depends." It depends on your strategy, what "results" means to you, what you're willing to pay, what your audience wants (and where), your commitment, and your consistency.

The One Question You Must Ask And Answer to Win With Social Media Marketing

"Can we increase our blog readership by 50% in the next 6 months?" If you're a digital marketing or social media professional, questions like this are probably pretty familiar.

Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads

For the last three years I've constantly recommended Facebook ads. I recommend them to both B2C or B2B businesses. I recommend them to local theaters and comedians here in Charleston, SC. I recommend them to everyone who wants to grow awareness about anything they're doing.

In honor of Facebook's 10th anniversary last month, we'll leave you with a video that shows the social media giant's illustrated history. Enjoy!

Image: Flickr/get directly down