We’re going to start something new around here. Are you ready for it? Well, tough, because you’re getting it anyway.
We have a lot of smart people working here at Outspoken Media and you’ve gotten a chance to hear from some of them more over the past few months. You’ve read posts by Danika, Michelle, Sabre and even Rhea’s been more vocal. In keeping with that, and in the spirit of sharing information, at the end of each month we’ll be posting an Outspoken Media Monthly Link Round Up where members of our staff share the link or piece of content that they found most useful or most awesome this month. They’ll give you the link, tell you what struck them about it, and then maybe you’ll share your own pick for the month with us in the comments.
I thought we’d kick it off today. Ready?
Michelle’s Top Link: The Ultimate 15 point Checklist to Make Your Writing Come Alive
You’d think a lot of things on this list would be common sense, but from time to time, even the best writers forget to do one or two of them, or just fall out of good habits. This is a fantastic reminder of a lot of little—but important—ways to produce the best content possible.
But the main reasons I chose this link to share are numbers 12 and 14. As my coworkers may tell you, I have a thing about exclamation points, and have frequently railed against using them too much in certain types of content. So for me, number 12 is validation!
And number 14…that’s a game I play when I’m editing: How many words can I remove from this sentence, and still have it say exactly the same thing? As Marya says in the post, “If you won’t notice it’s gone, remove it.” The biggest offender? “That.” This is an issue that I see often.
Danika’s Top Link: Eye-Tracking Google SERPs – 5 Tales of Pizza
If you’re looking for a way to derail me from whatever I’m doing, send me an article about eye-tracking. I LOVE the stuff. It’s no wonder then that Dr. Pete’s coverage of an eye-tracking experiment conducted by Mirametrix made it on my list of top links this month.
My main takeaway is that it pays to get creative about the way you position yourself in front of users. For local businesses, a focus on optimizing for 7-pack results may result in better conversions. A cookware supplier could capture interest with video thumbnails by offering how-to videos instructing users on how to create popular dishes using cooking utensils. Sure, #1 in the SERPs is never a bad thing, but capitalizing on areas of organic results that capture user interest will help increase your chances of success.
Sabre’s Top Link: 12 Creative Design Elements Inspiring the Next Generation of UX
This may be a surprise to you, but I am a huge design nerd. So when I saw Rand’s post on SEOMoz about 12 creative design elements that are inspiring the next phase of user experience, I read it geekily. Some of these elements are not so new, like using typography as the focus of design and print design influencing online content and way it looks, but there are some major gems in here. Especially the blurb about fluidity on any sized device with different resolutions.
I’ve been fascinated recently with usability and design for mobile devices and how websites can be built to work flawlessly without having to create a whole new version of it. One of the things I’ve been exploring in terms of this is using SVG (scalable vector graphics) to create websites that are not only scalable to any device, but also have images with meta data that are indexed by search engines! Rand gives a couple good examples of these websites, but they are currently a rare breed
Rhea’s Top Link Pick: Concerns with Link Valuation
Justin Briggs wrote what I consider to be a phenomenal post on his concerns with link valuation. The highlights for me:
“It would be smart to move beyond links as a end goal. It’s a means to an end, not the end itself.”
“Placing discrete values on a link acquisition marginalizes us as marketers.”
“The SEO impact of a link changes based on the dynamics of a domain’s link profile.”
“SEO can drive cost per acquisition way down, since the monetary investment can experience multipliers over an exceptionally long period of time, even if marketing budgets are reduced at a later date.”
“Certain SEO strategies, such as viral marketing, content assets, and linkable assets allow this high degree of scalability.”
As search marketers, it’s easy to find a method that works and want to stick with it. Internally, we’ve been challenging ourselves for awhile now to think beyond one-off links. While certain methods can guarantee links, it’s the more strategic campaigns that yield long-term results for SEO and brand development. Lately those campaigns have taken the shape of infographics supported through offline promotion, merit-based contests, academic and niche resources, and industry awards. As a veteran SEO, I am more excited about the future of link development than I have been in years.
Lisa’s Top Link Pick: The Writer (Still) Runs The Show
So, I cheated. Sort of.
In this post, Sonia harks back to Brian Clark’s 2010 post called the writer runs this show which I believe does a fantastic job of illustrating the importance of good writing in your marketing. Because without someone on your team who knows how to use the power of the written word to command attention, create engagement, and move people to the point of tears (or throwing up), you’re going to fall flat. It’s why we get paid so much. ;) Also, in the 2011 post, Sonia links to the PDF version of Brian’s post that writer’s can print out and flaunt all over the office. Happy Friday!
Those were our link picks of the month. Was there anything you felt was knock-out awesome that you want to share with us? If so, please do so below. I’d love to hear what grabbed your attention and why.