Ben Childs
By Ben Childs | Uncategorized | February 3, 2014

What We’re Reading

2014 is off to a great start for Search Engine Marketing. The Hummingbird fallout continues to unfold, mobile capabilities (and their importance) are increasing everyday, and the blogosphere is as lively as ever. I’m going to take a look at the best, most useful material that I’ve come across recently and talk a little about why it’s so valuable. This is a little SEO-heavy, but it applies across multiple disciplines.  

First, Igor Lebovic, Co-founder of AirPair (pairs tech experts with those that need them) wrote a fantastic post exploring what AirBnB did to build out content generation outside of their blog. The key is a holistic approach that includes defined site architecture and expanding the scope of what content really is (hint: it’s your entire site). 

The concept seems simple enough: create relevant content, then set up your site to tell search engines exactly what it is and what it’s for. If you wanted a quick-and-dirty definition of SEO in 2014, that’d actually be a pretty good start. Often sites either do one or the other (fresh content OR good search engine interaction), but the idea that all content needs to go on “the blog” can limit your performance. I certainly learned a lot from this post, and will be looking to implement it here on our own site.

I’m not the biggest fan of the “predictions” blog post format. To be fair, I’m using the links/resources format right now (#5 here). Regardless, I really enjoyed reading Eric Enge, President of Stone Temple Consulting, recap his 2013 predictions and look ahead to 2014 on Search Engine Watch. I especially liked his last point, that mobile experience is going to have increasingly more weight with search engines.

This certainly falls in line with our experience- more and more clients are having their mobile capabilities be the limiting factor to their success (both for their users and for Google’s algorithms). If people can’t use your site to achieve their goal, why would Google serve it up to people? Google already penalizes sites with poor mobile experiences via the Quality Score in AdWords, why should organic ranking be any different?

This also gets back to why you have a website. When you peel away most of the marketing-speak, most companies have a website because people on the internet will buy their products or services. That was all it took it to be relevant in 1998. However, it’s 2014, and ignoring those accessing your site via mobile is becoming basically like not having a website at all (or maybe just half of a website by 2015). Google’s goal is relevance. I can safely say, writing this post from my tablet and researching it on my phone, that mobile is relevant in 2014. Why be irrelevant?

Last, we’ve always known that we were supposed to be using Ad Extensions, but ever since Google’s AdRank update they have become a necessary area of focus. Most people use either Sitelinks or Call Extensions, but there’s really no good reason not to employ the full suite of extensions in your ads. Most of the accounts that we’ve seen since the update have less-than-full coverage. Inside AdWords posted a good 2-part recap regarding Extensions, and I enjoyed their in-depth takes (along with some optimization best practices).

I’m always reminded of a client who had taken a couple years off from AdWords. When he came back, he remarked, “What was once playing the piano is now like playing the harpsichord.” Nowadays, it feels like if you take even a couple months off from AdWords, you’re out of the loop. Either way, pieces like these are invaluable for getting you (back) up to speed. I really like the “use case:” at the beginning of each description, as a quick statement to why each extension is important.

What have you been reading lately? Anything new you want to share in 2014?

background dots

Related Topics

Inside the Buyer’s Journey (Pt 1):
Buying into Brand

by Angela Asca

Why is brand important to the buyer’s journey? Branding is so important in catering to your users. It’s also imperative to make sure…

Gutenberg for WordPress: Your Questions Answered

by Stephani Worts

Chances are if you have a WordPress website, you’ve heard by now of “Gutenberg”. While visions of the 15th-century inventor might spring to…

10 Warning Signs That Your GA is Setup Wrong

by Arin Adamson

Google Analytics is integral to gauging performance of your website and online campaigns. It’s important to make sure your Google Analytics is functioning…

In the time it takes to read this sentence, you could be on your way to a well-oiled demand generation machine. Ready for your blueprint?

yes, i want my Digital blueprint