This month I’ve been discussing content marketing, return on investment, and search engine optimisation. A lot. With clients, prospective clients, and how they apply to the investment and growth of our business.

And funnily enough those are the topics of the articles I’ve chosen as my top-10 reads in January. I hope you find them as helpful as I did.

1. Content Marketing – It’s Going to Get Weird

Have you come across Gartner’s ‘5 step hype cycle? Neither had I until this article popped up recently. Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute talks us through its relevance to today’s marketing in this lively and insightful article.

Read it here

2. How to Avoid the Unrealistic Expectations SEOs Often Create

The Moz Whiteboard Friday videos are often a fantastic source of information and this one’s no exception. A couple of years ago, we had a client who’d been promised impossible results by their previous marketing agency. Of course they hadn’t achieved them and were duly sacked.

When we came along I found it very difficult to dislodge the client’s expectations. Wish I’d seen this article back then!

Check it out here

3. I Used HubSpot For 11 Months & This Is All That Happened

Nectafy are a digital marketing agency based near Boston, Massachusetts. They write in an incredibly candid way about their experiences and we’ve learnt masses from them. If you’re interested in marketing software generally, and HubSpot in particular, then you’ll find this fascinating:

Take me to the article

4. How to get 100,000 blog readers, by HubSpot

A huge article (5,000 words or so) on HubSpot’s blog… pretty much a guide to doing modern digital marketing:

Read it here

5. Keyword Generation Tools & Tips

LunaMetrics, another excellent US-based digital marketing business, specialise in Google Analytics and search. In this article they tell us that the keyword research process, whether for paid promotion or SEO, should start with 3 steps:

  1. Understand the mission – What you are selling? What kind of audience do you want to target?
  2. Brainstorm – Generate lists of as many relevant potential target keywords as you can.
  3. Analyse – Gather data and evaluate the potential keywords.

This article is all about step #2, with particular emphasis on free tools for long-tail keyword discovery and the methods you should be using.

Check out the article here

6. Four Creative Ways to Boost the ROI of Your Content Marketing Efforts

Article on the Search Engine Journal that tells you to:

  1. Create and write down your strategy
  2. Create resource articles (with 2 case studies provided)
  3. Provide ‘premium content’ in your articles
  4. Provide ‘premium content’ in your guest posts

Full article here

7. No Subscription Goal for Your Content Marketing? Prepare to Be Ignored

No matter how fascinating your content is, if people don’t subscribe to your marketing (your blog, email newsletter, social media), it’s much harder to keep in touch with them as they go through their buying process.

Read more in this big (1,500 words) article by Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute.

8. Google Ventures On How To Design A Killer Website

Google Ventures is Google’s venture capital investment business. This is an interesting article on how people shop, and how that should be incorporated into the design of your website.

Read the article here

9. Keep Your Content On-Strategy With This Single Statement [Templates]

A couple of handy templates from the Content Marketing Institute.

Check them out

10. Why You Won’t Recognize SEO in Five Years

SEO is changing. Again (yawn). But this time you need to pay attention because it’s moving away from the browser and incorporating things like mobile apps, social media, and voice search.

Learn more in this article on HubSpot’s blog

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