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Each week, we scour the web to uncover valuable articles and blog posts for our readers on the topics of inbound marketing, local optimization, search optimization, social media, and much more.

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s the time of year when we reflect on the year past and look forward to the future! Inbound marketing improved greatly throughout 2013: businesses gained several new marketing tools, and social media platforms experimented with many new theories. Although it’s been quiet this holiday season, Twitter shares reach a new high, Amazon gains more than one million Prime subscribers in the past week, and Facebook looks forward to its 10th anniversary.

Let inbound marketing continue to reign supreme in 2014! Here are our top articles for the last full week of the year:

Search Optimization

Lately, Google has been taking down sites that use sneaky SEO tactics. RapGenius is the latest website Google has caught red-handed in recent marketing news. Patrick Coombe provides the full story on his company’s blog.

Do you want to learn the link strategy that got RapGenius canned in the search engines? You can learn a lot from the mistakes companies make with their SEO practices. Watch Yousaf Sekander reveal the truth in an effective article.

It has been a grand year for SEO in 2013. The Google Hummingbird update launched, search become more human, and SEOs were forced to rethink their search strategy. Tad Chef puts down some more interesting trends that will affect search in the coming year.

As inbound marketers, we are more than ready for the next year to come. However, we must put our best foot forward and pay close attention to where SEO is likely heading. Amanda DiSilvestro writes another exceptional post on SEO experts’ opinions.

Social Optimization

What a wonderful year it’s been for Pinterest! The company has grown in scope and prevalence, and it also released Pinterest Place Pins for local businesses. Albert Costill pays tribute to one of the fasted growing sites of 2013 with 50 facts about the platform.

Social media is generally a free service. However, if you want a larger impact on your target audience, you might want to invest capital. Facebook Ads are a strong place to start advertising, and Brad Friedman gives a short take on Facebook Ads.

Don’t forget about LinkedIn, which is the most trafficked professional networking site in the world! We recommend learning about  the social aspects of the site. Susan Adams tells us everything we need to know about LinkedIn Endorsements.

Christmas is a time that extends far beyond the confines of giving presents. This time of year is also for connecting with others, especially online! Ariel Harkham presents the workaholic’s guide to social networking during Christmas (and the holiday season!).

Local Optimization

Local businesses can always count on a sales increase (as in any business). One of the best ways to improve your local SEO. Antonio Coleman demonstrates how local businesses will benefit from search optimization.

Local SEO is sure to explode in 2014. We know local businesses are in luck because often times change can be the best tactic  for your business. Local Search Machine provides 10 local trends for us to watch in the new year.

Email Marketing

If you’re a business like us, email marketing is a significant asset. Throughout the holiday season, businesses have sent a plethora of promotional adverts, hoping to convert the most customers. Varun Nayak shares an infographic presenting the email metrics of Thanksgiving weekend.

Social media plays a huge role in the lives of both customers and email marketers. Think of the possibilities that arise when you integrate the two mediums of social and email! Brian Honigman proposes five ways to expand your email list with social networks.

We email marketers can sometimes take our professions a little TOO seriously. We hope this post gives you something to think about this holiday season. Jessica Langensand publishes a humorous post about the honorable profession of email marketing.

Are you crafting an email campaign without knowing where to start? We hope that looking at an optimized email marketing plan does the trick! Krista Bunskoek breaks down the anatomy of a near perfect email strategy.

Mobile Optimization

To get started on your mobile strategy, you first need to understand the user’s perspective. Find a way to provide the same experience on a mobile platform. Madeline Boehmer tells us what is needed to craft a user-friendly mobile interface for users.

Your business can gain quite a bit of exposure by choosing to go mobile, more specifically in the way of leads. Ginny Soskey offers up six ways to get more leads with mobile marketing.

If your business already created a mobile app, you might want to consider utilizing avenues other than the Google Play Store to showcase it. Devika Girish shows us a step-by-step guide to promoting our apps on third party stores.

Content Marketing

There are many benefits to completing link research; you can use links to collect ideas for your own content or develop a strategy to connect to high authority sites. Venchito Tampon lays out the guidelines to discover new link opportunities.

The next step in content marketing, other than writing for your company’s blog, is reaching out to guest blog for different influencers. Moosa Hemani displays smart ways to find guest blogging opportunities for your business.

To create content, it’s not enough to simply know how to write. Content marketers need inspiration to write engaging material for their audience. Noemi Tasarra-Twigg guest posts on unusual sources of content inspiration.

Many would find it hard to believe that content marketing is difficult at all. However, one must keep in mind that content is different for every company, and writers must create with the company’s mission in mind. IAcquire’s Blog Secret Santa posts on connecting content with authenticity.

Conversion Optimization

When designing a paid advertising campaign, it is necessary to take into account all dimensions of your target audience. This can range anywhere from age, location, or even IP address. Gabe Kwakyi helps us hammer down ad expenses by using dimensional analysis.

After running thousands of conversion tests and learning many marketing lessons, the good folks at Conversioner decided to post five golden rules about uploading tests. Talia Wolf breaks down each rule in this quality article.

What do you propose when you find it difficult to choose between the best conversion option? At this point, personal preference is a viable choice. Bob Sturges fleshes out advice on deciding over the statistical significance of similar conversion solutions.

Reputation Management

There comes a point when reputation management reaches some murky waters. Is it okay to have a legitimately questionable company alter its online perception with reputation services? Julie Bort adds more to the story in a blog post.

The list above includes some of the most interesting articles we caught in our streams this week. If you want to share other great inbound marketing news, please let us know below in the comments.