Resource Centre

A carefully curated collection of articles, books, tools and galleries.

Topics for 2016 include visual trends, graphic design, strategy, creativity and inspiration; web design, development and seo; email marketing and copywriting; marketing, advertising and social media. If you have a resource you'd like us to consider adding to the list, email it to us or if you're interested in adding a resources module like this to your website, let us know.

 

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Marketing Trends That Defined Google's Year in Search

Written by Natalie Zmuda

Google's "Year in Search" retrospective highlights the moments that defined 2016. Not only does search activity demonstrate how consumers turn to Google, it also provides valuable insights for marketers—especially as they set their road maps for 2017.

Searches give a glimpse into what the world was interested in during 2016. And for all the year's difficulties and challenges, there were also moments of levity, beauty, and inspiration.

The world mourned after the attacks in Brussels and Orlando. People struggled to understand the ins and outs of Zika and Brexit. And issues raised during the presidential election season continue to resonate even after Nov. 8. But there were also moments of comic relief—demonstrated by the unlikely memes of Dat Boi and Michael Phelps—and experiences that brought us together, such as the Olympics, Pokémon Go, and a strong desire to win Powerball.

Year in Search showcases some examples of the way people are living their lives in micro-moments: those times when there's an immediate need to fulfill. In those moments, consumers want to know, go, do, or buy—and they turn to search for information and inspiration.

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Read the article at thinkwithgoogle.com

7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know

By 

You may be using Google Analytics, but are you using it to its full potential? Contributor Khalid Saleh lays out 7 key reports with which every marketer should be familiar.

For marketers, there are few skills more important than a deep understanding of Google Analytics and its conversion measurement capabilities.

After all, this is the tool that tells you whether your efforts are actually translating into results.

Unfortunately, mastering Google Analytics can be challenging, even for experienced marketers. There is far too much data and too few easy-to-follow dashboards to sort it out.

To help you out, I’ve put together a list of seven custom and standard reports you can use right away to get better insight into your marketing performance.

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Read the article at searchengineland.com

How to Audit Your Website for Improved SEO and Conversions

Written by 

When was the last time you gave your website a checkup? Website audits are extremely valuable and absolutely necessary before beginning any large-scale SEO or website redesign projects . Auditing your website can determine whether or not it's optimized to achieve your goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.

So if you've never audited your website before, it's been a while since you have, or if you're planning a website redesign in the near future, use this post as your go-to website audit checklist to make sure your website is primed for maximum SEO and conversion results. Keep in mind that in most cases, you’ll probably want to pair up with someone with a technical brain for this, whether that be someone in your in-house IT department or an outsourced party.

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Read the article at blog.hubspot.com

How we increased Design School’s traffic to 1 million visits

By 

Let me guess— you’re keen to give your blog that extra boost?

Let’s get real, it doesn’t need much. You’ve already done the hard part— you gave it life, and now it’s maturing nicely.

What it really needs is nothing more than a tweak here and there, to take it to that next level.

When I joined Canva in August 2015, I picked up the gauntlet to drive 1 million sessions to the Design School blog in a calendar month.

In this article, I’ll share how we finally achieved that goal.

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Read the article at designschool.canva.com

“We got so deep into content marketing, that we forgot to mention what we actually do.”

by Christopher Butler

“We got so deep into content marketing, that we forgot to mention what we actually do.”

Sounds crazy, right? Well, not really. Just the other day, I was speaking with an agency principal about her firm’s website. We had been talking about what she has observed over the past five years or so of doing what she called “more aggressive digital marketing,” when she made that startling admission. In that time, she and her firm had created a ton of content: blog posts, white papers, case studies, you name it. After stabilizing their content production, they even smartened up a bit and organized it based upon the stages of the buying cycle, making sure to differentiate between content written for prospects who were in early stages of solution research and later stages of evaluation. After that, they revised their calls to action to better speak to prospects in each stage, and made sure to use them in the right places.

And you know what? It worked. They got more leads. But as we talked more, she described the strain that put on the person handling their sales (you guessed it: her). Despite creating so much content that described her firm’s expertise, she found that her sales conversations still began at square-one and required just as much time to inform and orient prospects to engagement possibilities as they had before they’d done all that fancy content marketing. The problem was, her phone was ringing much more now.

I smiled and said, “Don’t worry, you’re halfway there.”

She asked, “What do you mean, halfway?”

I explained that a few years ago, we spent most of our time helping agencies simply get up to speed with content marketing. We helped them break the habit of over-showing on the web by refocusing their websites on telling — namely, what they do and how they do it using actual words — instead of assuming that a glitzy portfolio in an even glitzier container would win them business. But for those whom we converted to the content marketing way, there was more work to do.

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Read the article at newfangled.com

I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store

Thanks to mobile devices, we can quickly and easily find things around us. And we are, in massive numbers. Google searches about location are growing rapidly, and so are consumer expectations. Whether you're a global brand or a local business, learn how to deliver on them in the moments that matter.

If you've ever used your smartphone in line at a store, on the couch watching TV, or under the table at a meeting (admit it), you know this impulse. I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments, and I-want-to-buy moments happen all the time. To see how widespread they are, we analyzed Google data and conducted online surveys, exploring the behavior from a number of angles. Here, we focus on I-want-to-go moments—searches specific to location when we are trying to find something nearby.

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Read the article at thinkwithgoogle.com

Google Plans to Index Tweets in Real Time: How This Could Impact Your SEO

Written by Eric Enge | @stonetemple

Years ago, it was commonplace to find real-time tweets in Google Search results. Twitter and Google had inked a deal that gave the search giant access to the social network's data stream. In turn, Google would display tweets in search results in real time. But that agreement expired, and in the middle of 2011, Google lost access to Twitter's data stream

Now, nearly four years later, the gang's back together. Recently, Google and Twitter announced that they are working together again to index tweets as soon as they are posted.

How should a marketer to react to this news? In this post, I will focus on how you can benefit from the new deal between Google and Twitter. You will need to be active on Twitter to obtain these benefits, but I will include some tips for those of you who are just getting started -- you can still benefit from this development if you're doing the right things. The good news is that it will take some time for Google to implement changes based on the new data they will be getting from Twitter, so you have some time to get ready. But the sooner you get started, the better.

So let's dive into what the deal actually is and learn how you can take advantage of it.

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Read the article at blog.hubspot.com

[Webinar] 5 Top SEO & PPC Trends from gShift and Acquisio

by Jon Barrick

gShift and Acquisio are excited to present to you to this webinar where you will learn 5 top trends impacting SEO, PPC and Content Marketing strategies in 2015 from two leaders in marketing technology.

Krista LaRiviere, CEO of gShift and Chris Doran, VP of Marketing at Acquisio, had an interactive discussion on top trends and tips digital marketers need to know in order to earn and maintain a competitive advantage in the digital marketing space.

In this webinar, Krista and Chris discussed how:

  • Mobile has gone mainstream;
  • Search behavior impacts keyword selection;
  • Marketing technology automation is blending and maturing;
  • Native ads for PPC and SEO are a massive opportunity; and
  • Video ads and vlogs should be a part of the digital marketing mix.

 

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Watch the archived webinar on gshiftlabs.com

The New Age of SEO: Why Your Approach Must Change

by Adam Heitzman

The old adage "adapt or die" could never be more true when it comes to SEO strategies these days.

SEO best practices are going to change whether we like it or not. It's easy to get set in your ways and feel comfortable with your current strategy, but this isn't going to be sustainable in this industry. It's important that marketers focus on getting out of their old way of thinking and evolve along with Google and the other search engines in order to find long-term success.

Fortunately, understanding this "new age" of SEO isn't as time-consuming or overwhelming as it may sound, so the sooner you can get started the better and easier changing your mindset will be in the future.

How SEO is evolving in 2015

Understanding how you can evolve your strategy as the search engines evolve starts with recognizing how it's all changing in the first place. A great way to do this is by compartmentalizing different SEO tasks and methods and then looking at what was recommended in the past versus what is recommended by search engines now, in the present.

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Read the full article at inc.com

Webmaster Tools - Crawl URL

Google adds new sites to our index, and updates existing ones, every time we crawl the web. If you have a new URL, tell us about it here. We don't add all submitted URLs to our index, and we can't make predictions or guarantees about when or if submitted URLs will appear in our index.

See more at google.com

Introduction to Data Highlighter

Learn about how you can use the Data Highlighter feature in Webmaster Tools to show Google patterns of structured data on your website without modifying your pages.

Watch the video on youtube.com

How to set up Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics

Ecommerce tracking is available for both web and app properties but must first be enabled at the view level.

A qualified developer should then complete additional technical set up following the detailed instructions in the Developer Guide for your specific environment.

No Ecommerce data appears in your reports until you set up Ecommerce tracking.

Read Article at support.google.com

The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014

By 

The Internet has drastically altered the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. Over the past few years, there has been more of a shift toward inbound techniques, while many outbound tactics have become antiquated. More businesses are finding success publishing original content rather than embedding advertisements within external content, because of the additional benefits these tactics offer, such as branding and audience growth.

With these trends in mind, let’s discuss my predictions for the top online marketing trends of 2014.

1.      Content Marketing Will be Bigger Than Ever

One of the main ways that companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. This typically involves relevant industry information that provides insight or entertainment to an audience. Doing so allows a company to steadily build rapport with its demographic and develop a loyal following. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.

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Read Article at forbes.com

Set up, edit, and share Goals in Google Analytics

Goals let you measure how often users take or complete specific actions.

Goals are set at the view level. To find a view, click Admin, then select an account, property, and a view. Click Goals, then Create a Goal.

Follow the step by step flow in your account to set up a Goal. As you complete each step, click Next step to save and move on. Click Save Goal to finish. To quit the process without saving, click Cancel.

Read Article at support.google.com

Insights for 2013: Understanding Your Customers & The Full Value of Digital

 by Paul Muret

We’re just a week into 2013, and we’re undeniably living in the new multi-screen age. Our day-to-day interactions with technology—and our expectations—have increased dramatically. We’re no longer content to wait until later to buy shoes or schedule travel or find a hot spot to eat. Technology lets us act now, and we expect reliable results. In fact, we’ve become so dependent on being connected all the time that 43% of U.S. adults would be willing to give up beer for a month if it meant they could keep accessing the Internet on their smartphones, and 36% said they’d be willing to give up chocolate.*

What does this mean for you? Many businesses have fallen behind consumer behavior—in a world where people look first to mobile devices and real-time streams, the digital journey has grown more complex, and it’s become more challenging to gain a clear picture of these interactions. As a marketer or analyst, your success depends on adapting to this new reality. We’re working to provide tools that let you connect the dots, so you can regain visibility into your customers’ preferences and behaviors and take advantage of the full value of digital.

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Read Article on the Google Analytics Blog

11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]

by Demian Farnworth

So. You think you’ve got yourself a good blog post.

You chose your writing style. You knocked out the first draft. You allowed it to sit for an hour or a day.

Now it’s time to edit that bad dog — ruthlessly. So that it has a fighting chance in the trenches.

You’ll want to pay attention to the details like avoiding goofy, but common, grammar mistakes. You’ll want to choose your words carefully so you say what you mean.

This will allow you to shed excess copy so that you have a lean, muscular article.

But you’re not done. You also must ensure that your blog post has all of the essential ingredients it needs.

Ingredients like these, as presented in this infographic by our lead designer Rafal Tomal. Print it, pin it, but whatever you do … use it.

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Read Article at copyblogger.com

10 Best Practices to Help Big Brands Get Started on Twitter

by Shelley Pringle

While a relatively small percentage of the adult population is active on Twitter, there are still plenty of solid business reasons for brands to engage on this social media platform.

Consumers may be conversing about your brand—in either positive or negative ways. Competitors could be active on the platform, dominating your category with their 140-character tweets. Twitter is also the place to reach people who have influence elsewhere, including relevant bloggers and even traditional media contacts.

However, it is not wise to start tweeting up a storm without thinking through your goals or how to measure your activity.

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Read Article on polarisprinc.com

Content Marketing Advice from 17 Online Marketing Experts

By Steven Sefton

Content marketing is becoming an increasingly sought after skill in the world of online marketing. Traditional link building for SEO purposes is becoming a riskier business, and with the amount of online noise, it is harder than ever for your content to stand out from everything else that is happening on the internet.

From 6 second vines to 30,000 word guides, content marketing principles can be applied to just about anything that you need to promote online, regardless of the medium.

Inbound.org has some of the best online marketing related content around, shared by some of the best online marketers around. I asked 17 of the top rated members of inbound.org this question: What is your best content marketing tip? And here’s what they had to say…

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Read Article at seftonmedia.com

Why Use Google Plus? A Quick Guide and Glossary to Google+

By Kristen Curtiss

Google Plus remains a mystery for many small business owners and nonprofits. Why? People feel that there are so many social networks to choose from. They also can’t seem to find the benefit in starting a completely new presence on yet another completely new platform, especially when they don’t know ANYONE else using Google Plus.

Here’s a quick guide and glossary that will explain why you should use Google Plus, the benefits of using it, and what you need to know to get started.

Relationship building is key

Creating relationships with industry influencers (who may have big followings on Google Plus) might not seem that important to your business, until you realize that those relationships could extend your reach and help you become visible. Let’s say you run a flower shop in Topeka, Kansas, and you’ve nurtured relationships with national brands and/or influencers who live in another area. Who do you think those people will recommend when one of their thousands of followers need flowers while visiting Kansas? No, not your competition down the street…you! They know you, they trust you, and your name comes to mind first because they have held conversations with you.

 

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Read Article at constant contact.com

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page

By Stephen Walsh

Google Plus has more than one billion registered (and 359 million active) users, as well as some of the most business-friendly features of any social network, this is the time to start building out your business page, if you haven’t done so already.

 

As additional incentive, Google Plus has been shown to dramatically improve search engine rankings, which, in itself, is a sufficient reason to join the platform. By building your brand through this social media channel, you will be able to boost your SEO efforts and increase your business’s online exposure.

So, let’s jump in and take a look at some of the awesome ways to increase your exposure on Google Plus.

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Read Article at entrepreneur.com

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): An Hour a Day [Paperback]

By Jennifer Grappone (Author) and Gradiva Couzin (Author)

Getting seen on the first page of search engine result pages is crucial for businesses and online marketers. Search engine optimization helps improve Web site rankings, and it is often complex and confusing. 

This task-based, hands-on guide covers the concepts and trends and then lays out a day-by-day strategy for developing, managing, and measuring a successful SEO plan. With tools you can download and case histories to illustrate key points, it’s the perfect solution for busy marketers, business owners, and others whose jobs include improving Web site traffic.

  • A successful SEO plan is vital to any business with an online presence
  • This book provides strategies for setting goals and gaining corporate support, developing and implementing a plan, and monitoring trends and results
  • Offers hints, tips, and techniques for everyone from one-person shops to Fortune 500 companies
  • Companion Web site includes downloadable tracking spreadsheets, keyword list templates, templates for checking rank and site indexes, and a calendar with daily SEO tasks that you can import into your own calendar system

Fully updated and expanded, Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day, Third Edition will help you raise your visibility on the Web.

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Available on Amazon.com

How Google Search Works

Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages

When you sit down at your computer and do a Google search, you're almost instantly presented with a list of results from all over the web. How does Google find web pages matching your query, and determine the order of search results?

In the simplest terms, you could think of searching the web as looking in a very large book with an impressive index telling you exactly where everything is located. When you perform a Google search, our programs check our index to determine the most relevant search results to be returned ("served") to you.

The three key processes in delivering search results to you are:

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Read Article at support.google.com

Best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site

Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site. Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the "Quality Guidelines," which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action.

Read Article at support.google.com

3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy

By 

As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites.

If SEO is a core component of your digital marketing strategy, having a mobile–friendly website is becoming essential.

Mobile sales have already overtaken desktop sales, and mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. It is only logical that mobile search will overtake desktop search at some point in the near future as well.

Since 67 percent of users claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website, companies that rely on SEO are wise to begin making the transition to mobile-friendly websites, andresponsive web design specifically.

The argument between whether to choose a responsive website or a separate mobile website is a highly debated topic. However, the truth is that both options have their pros and cons.

The option that is best for your business depends on many factors, such as the purpose of the website, the intended target audience, and whether SEO is a factor.

If SEO is a factor, here are three reasons why responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.

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Read Article at searchenginewatch.com

Informative And Usable Footers In Web Design

By 

Website designs have so many different elements that work together to convey information in a usable and organized manner. For a website to be effective, every element on the page, from the header to the footer, needs to add to its overall usability and readability.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the footer and see what exactly makes for a good website footer. Keep in mind that just because the footer is at the bottom of the page doesn’t mean you should slack off with good design practice.

We’ll look here at what to include in footers, the importance of site maps, usability practices and styling ideas and trends. We’ve also compiled almost 50 well-designed footers to give you ideas and inspiration for your own footer designs.

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Read Article at smashingmagazine.com

How to Keep your Content Current - and Why You Should

 by Julie Bateman

Content marketing is the new buzz word—but it’s not just a fad. Search engines have moved from being focused on keyword density alone to refreshed content—the more current content you have on your page, the higher your page will be ranked in Google.

What is content?

Content can include everything from the words on your home page to blog posts—the more often you update your website with fresh content, the better. The idea of content also includes social media, especially if it is linked with your website. Not only can you have a direct link from your website to your Facebook page (therefore capturing traffic and converting them into “likes”) but you can have a Twitter feed that appears right on your site.

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Read Article at BatemanDesignGroup.com

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