Welcome to this month’s round up of the web’s best marketing tips.

We’ve got the latest in content marketing thought-leadership from Distilled, Wordstream and Rand Fishkin, as well as some excellent posts on Google+, local search, and conversion optimisation for lead-generation websites.

Also for people who consider themselves digital experts, try the digital knowledge test from Econsultancy. Tell us in the comments how you get on!

1. No Words Wasted – A Guide to Creating Focused Content

First up, a 6-chapter guide from the clever people at Distilled. Their guide outlines the essential skills and techniques you’ll need to produce focused content ranging from websites and blog posts, to case studies and white papers.

Check out the guide

2. Contrarian Content Marketing: How to Zig When Everyone Else Zags

Interesting article from Wordstream on how a contrarian approach to content marketing helped them double the number of visitors to their website.

Read the post

3. The Greatest Misconception in Content Marketing

Content marketing does deliver enquiries, but not in the way many people expect.

Rand Fishkin explains…

4. 10 Smart Tips to Leverage Google+ for Increased Web Traffic

Although not everyone has an audience active on Google+, the number of people who interact socially with any Google products reportedly exceeds 500 million per month.

Read the moz.com blog on how to get the best from Google+

5. How to Get Better at A/B Split Testing

‘A/B split testing’ allows website owners to compare variations of a web page, to determine which will generate the best outcomes. This somewhat wordy article from the Nielsen Norman Group discusses how to do it better.

Read the article

6. Test Your Digital Knowledge… With Econsultancy’s Digital Skills Index

This new test covers 10 core digital topics. Select the ones you want and it’ll show you how you measure up against other people in the industry.

Do the test

7. We’ll Stop Building Links When They Stop Adding Value

An interesting paper which argues that over the next few years, links will begin to lose value to other signals. Google is getting better at figuring out how appealing your site is to people, and better at measuring things like user experience (UX) and customer focus.

Learn more

8. How to Structure Your Site for Local Search Visibility That Lasts

A nice concise post with some simple, tidy rules.

Check it out here

9. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for Lead Generation Websites

If you don’t sell products online, then you’ve probably got a ‘lead-generation’ website. Converting more of your visitors into customers can be tricky business. Done well it can deliver great ROI.

Check out this helpful article on the Search Engine Journal

10. Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful

‘Placeholder text’ within a form field makes it difficult for people to remember what information belongs in a field, and to check for and fix errors. It also poses additional burdens for users with visual and cognitive impairments.

Find out what you should be doing instead