Top 25 Inbound Marketing Articles of the Week: June 26th, 2015User engagement and conversion optimization is a big topic this week as marketers continue to work on cracking the conversion code.  In the era of handheld and mobile devices, it’s become ever apparent that marketers need to find unique and simple ways to engage a user and get them to act on their offer.  Read below for some great tips on leveraging social media to quickly connect with users.

And if you read through the rest of our roundup this week, you’ll find some great insight on quality scores (the good, bad, and ugly!), the importance of using intriguing imagery in content (infographic, anyone?), and email retargeting. Check ‘em out below!

Search Engine Optimization

  • The SEO community generates an incredible amount of content every day. Anyone new to the industry—or new to working with SEO providers—can benefit from the thought leadership and resources available online. At Link Searching, Tafser Ahmed has put together a list of the 17 must-read SEO blogs, and it’s a great place to start updating your bookmarks.
  • Quality scores are a hot topic in the SEO crowd right now, and for good reason. Bill Slawski at SEO by the Sea took a closer look at recent patents filed by Google related to Quality Scores, and found two interesting implications for SEO: first, that sites could lose rank if linked from sources with Quality Scores below a certain standard, and second, that boilerplate content (and links from it) could also cause Quality Scores to take a hit.
  • To improve user engagement on a website, not all metrics will provide you with the insights that will be truly useful. Paul Boyce at Popcorn Metrics has the top five metrics to look at when optimizing for user engagement.
  • Long tail keywords are a great way to support ongoing growth in an SEO campaign and draw qualified traffic to a website. Hit Tail’s infographic highlighting the value of long tail keywords is a great resource if you’ve got a client or colleague that needs convincing.

Social Optimization

  • As social media and online shopping become increasingly mobile activities, marketers must adapt and make use of new tools (like Buy buttons) to earn conversions directly from social properties. At Simply Measured, Kevin Shively has a nice summary this week of how Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter each offer new ways of connecting directly with consumers.
  • We’ve seen some exciting changes and updates for Facebook so far in 2015.  At Self Made Success, Justin Bryant has a list of 10 Facebook marketing tips and tricks that’s worth a read if you’re looking for ways to freshen up your Facebook strategy.
  • We already know that people love picture list posts, but as with any popular format, there’s always a risk that it will be abused and used to create clickbait. At think apps’ BuildBlog, Katelan Cunningham has some great suggestions for producing picture list posts that are clickable and offer value to readers.
  • Whether you’re a small business that’s new to Facebook advertising or a seasoned marketer with plenty of experience running Facebook campaigns, Zoe Summers’ post at massplanner this week should be on your reading list. It’s a solid introduction to the basics of creating ads and Facebook advertising best practices.

Content Marketing

  • At the aptitude blog, 16 top SEO and content marketing experts and influencers came together to give their input on what they see as the biggest mistakes that marketers make in content marketing. Do any of these seem familiar to you?
  • If you are with the 70% of marketers reporting that they plan to use more visual assets in content marketing this year, then take a look at Aaron Agius’s post at Search Engine Journal this week, which is a compilation of 25 design resources to create better visuals for your content marketing campaigns.
  • Sometimes we forget that an important step toward supporting continual improvement of campaigns is seeking out examples of success. John Rampton at Inc. put together a summary of the six companies that are currently dominating the content marketing space, and it’s a great place to start if you’re looking for inspiration.

Mobile Optimization

  • This week at the Semaphore Software blog Deepa Ranganathan posted a very detailed infographic describing some key differences in usage and behavior on mobile vs. desktop over time. Did you know that add-to-cart rates are almost as high on the Kindle Fire as they are on the iPad?
  • If you’re frequently working on the go, then you probably rely on at least a few trusty mobile apps for productivity. At the Ronsela.com blog, Jessica Davis reviews six useful mobile apps for posting, monitoring, and scheduling social media content.

Conversion Optimization 

  • One way to boost lead generation is to take advantage of content assets you may have already created, or are in the process of creating, as part of your content strategy. Luis Ramirez has ten ways to make elements of your content strategy work for your lead generation efforts at Conversion Scientist this week.
  • Designer Ashley Irving has some great tips for leveraging design (and user behavior data) to build websites that encourage conversion at her blog this week.
  • At the ahrefs blog, Andy Nathan reflects on five common stages that SEO copywriters may have found themselves working through in the course of their careers. From content mills to ghostwriting, many writers will recognize at least one of the stops on the SEO copywriting journey he describes.
  • Gone are the days when keywords drove content strategy and conversion optimization projects; now it’s all about the audience and the user. Sid Bharath makes the case for A/B testing-driven content creation at the Optimizely blog, arguing that data accrued in A/B testing can go further to produce top-converting landing pages than a keyword-centric strategy.
  • Conversion optimization can be tricky to scale, making it difficult to sustain when things get busy if you don’t have efficient processes in place. At Experiment Engine, Ray Loyd has some suggestions for streamlining workflows to make sure your conversion optimization efforts don’t fall by the wayside.
  • In the age of social shopping, capturing consumers’ attention in the right place at the right time is more important than ever. With the advent of Buy buttons in social networks and content, marketers will need to adapt strategies accordingly. At re/code, Jason Del Rey discusses the challenges inherent in social shopping for marketers and social media platforms alike.

Email Marketing

  • How can you make your email marketing more profitable? John McIntyre has 14 ways to optimize your email marketing practices for better results at the Income Diary.
  • With an average open rate of about 18.58% in the marketing and advertising industry, there’s plenty of room for improvement in most business’ email marketing. At the Subiz blog, Kyle has 6 hacks for getting more people to open your emails.
  • What’s considered email spam, and how can you avoid the classification with your email campaigns? At Customer.io, Janet Choi has three tips for ensuring deliverability.
  • At leadGenius, William Wickey interviewed PixelTag CEO Brian Collins and COO Darren Clayton for insights into integrating email retargeting with other advertising and marketing campaigns to appeal to consumers at every stage in the buying process.

Reputation Management

  • At OpenView, Oren Barzilai has some timely suggestions for fostering a brand and building relationships on social media.

Local Optimization

  • Greg Gifford has another take on the “one brand, multiple locations” question this week at Search Engine Land: employing local-specific content silos.
Director of Services at UpCity

As Director of Services & Customer Success at UpCity, Jack has led SEO and Social Media campaigns at both the local and national level. He understands the importance of a balanced, data-driven inbound marketing strategy and enjoys witnessing the benefits of this approach for clients. Outside of work, Jack can be found sipping good coffee, riding his bike, or testing out ways to do both at the same time.