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1/10/2012

50 Best Internet Marketing Blog Posts of 2012 (So Far)

By Sujan Patel.

As we approach the Labor Day holiday, it’s a good time to look back and review all of the great content that’s been published so far this year.

It’s been a busy time in the world of digital marketing, considering everything from the highly influential launch of the Penguin algorithm update to shifts in the way consumers engage with social networks and mobile devices.

If you’re feeling behind the times, here are a few of the best articles I’ve seen published so far this year:

SEO Industry Changes

So far in 2012, Google’s Penguin update launch has been far and away the biggest story in SEO. However, don’t let the dominance of Penguin-related coverage fool you. There have been plenty of other important tweaks as well.

For example, although it seems like ages ago, Google’s “Search, plus Your World” feature was only launched in January of this year. In addition, we’ve also seen changes made to sites that feature copyrighted content, to the way keyword data is displayed within Google’s SEO tools and to the impact negative SEO can have on a site’s search rankings.

Take a look at the following articles to brief yourself on these topics:

  1. Google Inside Search – “Another Step to Reward High-Quality Sites
  2. Distilled – “Strategies for Diagnosing Penguin and Recovering
  3. Search Engine Watch – “Hit by Google Penguin? An In-House SEO Crisis Management Plan
  4. QuickSprout – “What You Ought to Do If You’ve Been Punished by Google’s Penguin Update
  5. Search Engine Land – “The Emanuel Update: Google Will Penalize Sites Repeatedly Accused of Copyright Infringement
  6. Distilled – “Keyword Analysis in a World of ‘Not Provided’
  7. Search Engine Land – “Real-Life Examples of How Google’s ‘Search Plus’ Pushes Google+ Over Relevancy
  8. Distilled – “5 Easy Steps to Identify and Prevent Negative SEO
  9. SEOMoz – “2012 SEO Industry Survey

Social Media

Beyond changes made to the search engine algorithms, the role and impact of social media have been changing as well. As consumers begin to rely on these popular websites more and more—and as the search engines give an increasingly large priority to certain signals found on these networks—2012 can be described as the year in which social media became a “must have” for organizations, rather than just an added perk.

To brush up on your social media marketing techniques or overhaul your company’s strategy, check out the following articles on the subject:

  1. SEOMoz – “Planning an Effective Social Media Strategy
  2. Single Grain – “50 Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  3. Distilled – “How to Measure Social Media Efforts
  4. SEOMoz – “Do Improved Social Signals Cause Improved Rankings?
  5. Social Media Examiner – “Facebook Marketing in 2012: How to Keep Up with Facebook
  6. SEOMoz – “Define and Align: A Manageable Content and Social Media Marketing Process
  7. ClickZ – “7 Social Media Tactics Your 2013 Budget Needs to Succeed

Link Building

Link building remains important, but given the focus of the Penguin update on unnatural link building techniques, it’s safe to say that this aspect of SEO has changed more than any other in 2012. If you’re concerned that your link building techniques may be out-of-date according to new SEO best practices, read on for updated guidelines:

  1. SEOMoz – “The Noob Guide to Link Building
  2. Single Grain – “30 Advanced Link Building Techniques
  3. QuickSprout – “10 Hard-Hitting Link Building Tactics That’ll Boost Your Rankings
  4. SEOMoz – “Broken Link Building Guide: From Noob to Novice
  5. Outspoken Media – “SEO Tram Stamp: Not Quality Link Building

Blogging and Content Marketing

Content marketing is poised to make one of the biggest jumps in importance ever, given the potential for natural link creation this tactic provides. If you don’t yet have a company blog or a content marketing strategy in place, you simply must give the following articles a read:

  1. KISSMetrics – “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Viral Content
  2. HubSpot Blog – “12 Things You Should Be Using Your Blog For (Besides Blogging)
  3. QuickSprout – “Forget SEO: Here’s How to Write a Post That Goes Viral
  4. Social Media Examiner – “22 Top Blogging Tools Loved by the Pros
  5. Outspoken Media – “The Word Nerd Content Marketing Checklist

Branding and Marketing

Google hasn’t shied away from sharing its love of big brands. From the search giant’s standpoint, this makes sense, as customers are often more likely to report positive user experiences on branded sites than on their “no name” competitors.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always good news for smaller websites, who may have lacked the budget, resources, or wherewithal to develop their brands in the past. If you find yourself in this tenuous position, the following posts will provide the guidance needed to help you develop and launch a new branding campaign:

  1. QuickSprout – “How to Build Brand Advocates Through Social Media Marketing
  2. The Daily Egg – “Website Design Analysis of Ten World Class Brands
  3. HubSpot Blog – “12 Simple Ways Marketers Can Humanize Their Brands
  4. QuickSprout – “Why You Ought to Build an Online Brand Through Guest Blogging and Not Just Chase SEO Tricks

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you’re in the market for fast traffic, you simply can’t beat pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. However, given the steep learning curve that’s sometimes associated with this marketing method, you’d be wise to take heed of the following advice on how to manage these campaigns effectively:

  1. Acquisio – “How to Marry Google Analytics and PPC
  2. PPC Hero – “54 Conversion Rate Optimization Tips to Improve Your PPC Campaigns
  3. PPC Hero – “The 20-Minute PPC Work Week
  4. Raven Tools Blog – “10 Bid Management Tips from PPC Pros
  5. ClickZ – “The Big Secret to Quality Score

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) should be a priority for any webmaster working today, whether you’ve set up a website to sell products or to simply disseminate a message. If it’s true that “what gets measured, gets managed,” it’s easy to see why failing to implement a proper CRO plan on your website (according to the recommendations found in the following articles) limits your site’s overall effectiveness!

  1. KISSMetrics – “50 Ways to Seduce Your Web Visitors with Persuasive Landing Pages
  2. HubSpot Blog – “9 Chances for Website Conversion Optimization You Don’t Want to Miss
  3. Raven Tools Blog – “Ultimate List of Conversion Optimization Tools
  4. ClickZ – “Combining SEO and CRO for Higher Conversion Rates
  5. Single Grain – “How to Quantify Your SEO Efforts

Mobile Marketing

Smartphone penetration and usage have never been higher, and there’s no sign these trends will slow down or reverse any time in the near future. Smart companies are investing in marketing strategies that allow them to capture these mobile users, so you’ll want to take a look at the guidelines found in the following great blog posts:

  1. HubSpot Blog – “Smartphone Traffic to Ecommerce Sites Up 103% Since 2011 [Infographic]
  2. Single Grain – “Top 70 Mobile SEO and Mobile Marketing Articles
  3. QuickSprout – “The Beginner’s Guide to Mobile App Marketing
  4. Social Media Examiner – “Mobile Marketing: How to Reach Your Buyers Wherever They Are
  5. The Daily Egg – “Can a ‘Mobile First’ Responsive Web Design Boost Your Sales?

General Business Topics

Finally, not all great blog posts need to revolve around an actionable technique or specific aspect of SEO. Indeed, the following articles all have important business insights to share, even if they can’t be classified by a single SEO category:

  1. Search Engine Watch – “Future of SEO: Change, Convergence, Collaboration
  2. Search Engine Watch – “Future of SEO: Investment, Innovation & Integration
  3. Marketing Land – “How Google Went from Search Engine to Content Destination
  4. KISSMetrics – “10 Studies That Reveal What Customers Want You to Know About Them
  5. KISSMetrics – “The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing

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Sourced from Search Engine Journal

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