Digital Marketing Challenges and Changes 2015: The Best of Perficient Digital | Perficient Digital

Digital Marketing Challenges and Changes 2015: The Best of Perficient Digital

Here at Perficient Digital one of our primary guiding principles is to be “surfing ahead of the wave” in digital marketing. That’s why we have this big blue wave on the wall of our office common area where we all see it every day.

Perficient Digital ahead of the digital marketing waveAs I look back over our content from this past year, I see many examples of the many challenges and changes that happened in digital marketing in 2015. The wave was huge this year, and it took some skillful surfing to keep out in front of it!

Here are several top lists of our most popular content published this past year. I’ve ranked blog posts and video content separately, and ranked blog posts by number of social shares and traffic driven, and videos by number of YouTube views. For traffic and views, of course, we can only include content published here on our blog or on our YouTube Channel.

I also included December 2014 in this survey, as late-in-the-year posts could get short-changed if they gained shares of traffic over time.

We hope revisiting these posts helps you catch up on some trends you might have missed, or just serves as a reminder of how exciting and volatile digital marketing is these days!

Our 10 Most Shared Blog Posts of 2015

On this blog and guest posts elsewhere by Perficient Digital authors, as tracked by Buzzsumo.

How Google indexes tweets over time1. Google Plans to Index Your Tweets in Real Time: How This Could Impact Your SEO – by Eric Enge on Hubspot.com. 4800 social shares

“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.”

Content Marketing: How and Why It Works2. Content Marketing: How and Why It Worksby Eric Enge on SearchEngineLand.com. 4700 social shares

“The term “content marketing” means different things to different people. I continually run into people who get the general idea, but they’re missing some of the fundamental pieces of how it works, and hence they don’t execute it as effectively as they should.”

What are the real numbers for active Google Plus users?3. Hard Numbers for Public Posting Activity on Google Plus – by Eric Enge on 4400 social shares

“The debate on the activity level on Google+ has raged for years. How many users are really active on it? Is the place a ghost town? Why hasn’t Google shut it down already? Well, I decided to put it to the test, so I did a hardcore analysis of 516,246 randomly selected Google+ profiles, and this post has the scoop for you.”

Factors that will determine the future of Google+4. 10 Key Factors that Will Determine the Future of Google+ – by Eric Enge on Copyblogger.com. 4400 social shares

“Google+ seems to be the social network that people love to hate. The industry almost has an internal clock about when to print the next article about Google+ dying. So what’s the real story here? Is Google+ going to die soon? Should you invest time in it? I will outline the way I look at it in today’s post, and while I will bring in many discussion points, bear in mind that for Google it’s all about the data.”

Will Google Authorship return?5. Will Google Bring Back Google Authorship? – by Mark Traphagen on Moz.com. 3600 social shares

“Recently, Google Webmaster Trends analyst Gary Illyes surprised many of us with a remark he made during his keynote Q&A with Danny Sullivan at SMX East in New York City. Illyes said that he recommended webmasters not remove the rel=author tag from their site content. In this post I examine why he might have said that, and what any form of author authority in Google might look like in the future.”

How to become a better SEO scientist6. Becoming Better SEO Scientists – by Mark Traphagen on Moz.com. 3500 social shares.

“Like many other areas of marketing, SEO incorporates elements of science. It becomes problematic for everyone, though, when theories that haven’t been the subject of real scientific rigor are passed off as proven facts. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Perficient Digital’s Mark Traphagen is here to teach us a thing or two about the scientific method and how it can be applied to our day-to-day work.”

Will the new Google Plus succeed?7. The New Google+: Will Tighter Focus Lead to Success? by Mark Traphagen on MarketingLand.com. 3200 social shares

“We finally have Google confirmation of what some other Google+ observers and I have been saying for more than a year: The changes we’ve seen in the past year, including the stripping away of some major features, were not a slow killing of Google+. Quite the opposite — they were preparations for its reinvention as a tighter, more focused product which might finally have a unique appeal that could attract new users.”

Mobilegeddon: How bad was it?8. Mobilegeddon: Nearly 50% of Non-Mobile-Friendly URLs Dropped in Rank – by Eric Enge 3100 social shares

In this study, we look at the impact of the so-called “Mobilegeddon” update. This update was viewed as being a potentially very large update. At SMX Munich, Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji was quoted as saying that its impact would be larger than Panda or Penguin. In addition, at SMX Advanced, yesterday, June 2nd, Google’s Gary Illyes reiterated that the Mobile Update indeed had a bigger impact than Penguin and Panda combined.”

UX, Content Quality, and SEO9. UX, Content Quality, and SEO – by Eric Enge on Moz.com. 3000 social shares

” User experience and the quality of your content have an incredibly broad impact on your SEO efforts. In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Perficient Digital’s Eric Enge shows you how paying attention to your users can benefit your position in the SERPs.”

Preparing your killer content marketing pitch10. Preparing Your Killer Content Marketing Pitch – by Eric Enge on Moz.com. 2900 social shares

“When you first start in content marketing, you usually have little to no audience of your own for your content. If you’re a major brand, you may be able to develop this quickly, but it’s still extremely helpful to get visibility on third-party sites to grow your reputation and visibility as a producer of fantastic content, and to also net links to your site.”

Our 10 Highest Traffic Blog Posts in 2015

Posts on this blog, as measured by number of page views.

What is the real number of active users on Google Plus?1. Real Numbers for the Activity on Google+ – by Eric Enge. 121K views

“The debate on the activity level on Google+ has raged for years. How many users are really active on it? Is the place a ghost town? Why hasn’t Google shut it down already? Well, I decided to put it to the test, so I did a hardcore analysis of 516,246 randomly selected Google+ profiles, and this post has the scoop for you.”

Mobilegeddon: How bad was it?2. Mobilegeddon: Nearly 50% of Non-Mobile-Friendly URLs Dropped in Rank – by Eric Enge 73K views

In this study, we look at the impact of the so-called “Mobilegeddon” update. This update was viewed as being a potentially very large update. At SMX Munich, Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji was quoted as saying that its impact would be larger than Panda or Penguin. In addition, at SMX Advanced, yesterday, June 2nd, Google’s Gary Illyes reiterated that the Mobile Update indeed had a bigger impact than Penguin and Panda combined.”

Guide to Google's Rich Answers3. The Definitive Guide to Google’s Rich Answers – by Eric Enge. 43K views

“Back in February of this year, we published a study showing how often Google responds to search queries with rich answers. So we decided to take a fresh look and see how much Google has expanded their use of these types of enhanced search results. (A “rich answer” is any attempt by Google to answer the searcher’s query in search results in a way not requiring a click through to a website.)”

How much of Twitter is indexed by Google since their deal?4. Post Twitter-Google Launch: How Is Google Indexing Twitter Today? – by Eric Enge. 28K views

“Back on February 4th, 2015, the news broke on a new deal between Google and Twitter, and on May 19th the the new deal went live. Back on February 10, 2015, we took a snapshot of how Google was indexing tweets before the deal went into effect. Today, we are releasing data on how Google is currently indexing tweets, now that the deal has been live for a number of weeks.”

What factors drive more engagement on Twitter?5. Twitter Engag
ement Unmasked: A Study of More Than 4M Tweets
– by Eric Enge. 13K views

“What you see before you is the result of analyzing more than 2 million Western language tweets out of over 4 million Tweets we collected. In this paper we will outline the results of analyzing that data to learn and understand what drives behavior on Twitter. One of the main goals: to see what really drives retweets, favorites, and replies.”

How does Google index tweets now?6. How Does Google Index Tweets Today? How the New Twitter Deal Will Impact SEO – by Eric Enge. 10K views

NOTE: This was the preliminary test before the post-deal test in #4 above. “In this post we will show you which tweets Google places the most value on, and hence help you understand how you can position yourself to derive SEO benefit from this change in the marketing landscape.”

How often does Google provide Rich Answers in search results?7. Google Provides Rich Answers to 19% of Queries in Our Test – by Eric Enge. 6.7 K views

“In a test of over 850,000 search queries, we found that Google offered some form of rich answer (AKA a knowledge box) 19+% of the time. While our queries were selected to be more likely to show a rich answer result, this still shows just how far they have come. In this article, I will share the details of our findings, and I will also discuss how well Google is doing in attributing results to their original sources.”

Can Tweeting a new link get it indexed by Google?8. Tweeting a Link to a Page Might Get It Indexed – by Eric Enge. 4.4 K views

“As a part of the IMEC Labs Test Group, we have been running some tests to see whether or not tweeting a link to a page that is otherwise invisible to Google can cause it to be crawled and indexed. The short story is this is: Yes, it might.”

9. Does Social Media Affect SEO? Matt Cutts Answers – by Mark Traphagen. 4.3 K views

(Major update in 2015 to this 2014 post) “How far along is Google from using social media signals as ranking factors? Can Google use engagement and follower metrics from Twitter and Facebook to evaluate the authority of an individual? To me, the answers to those questions were the buried headlines in a Google Webmaster Help video by Matt Cutts. Even though Matt is currently on an extended hiatus from his job as head of Google’s web spam team, I believe what he had to say in this video remains the case today.”

Do URL Mentions Affect SEO Rankings?10. Does Google Treat URL Mentions Like Links? – by Eric Enge. 3.8K views

“Have you ever seen those URLs that people sometimes include on their pages, but which are not implemented as physical links? It can be frustrating if someone uses some of your content, and then gives you a citation like that, but it does happen. Did you ever wonder if Google treats those “URL Mentions” as a ranking factor?”

Our 5 Most Viewed Videos of 2015

View counts are views on YouTube. For videos from our various series, click the title to see a full transcript and links to all resources mentioned in each video.

1. Why Google Still Loves Wikipedia – 7.4K views

“For years now Google has given huge preference to Wikipedia for a large number of knowledge-seeking queries. This has actually been called into question as of late. A report published in July showed that Wikipedia had experienced a significant drop in organic search traffic sent by Google. Eric and Mark are here to tell you why Google Still Loves Wikipedia!”

2. Google vs Bing: Which Is Best at Directly Answering Questions? – 4.5K views

A video summary of the findings of our February rich answers study.

 

3. Why Doesn’t Google Index All of Twitter? – 3.2K views

A summary video from our Twitter indexing study.

4. Why Influencers Aren’t Paying Attention to You – 2K views

“Forming strong relationships with influencers can become the backbone of an effective content marketing plan. However, while you might find yourself trying and trying to get the attention of one, the influencer can still ignore you. In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark and Eric will help you find out why your efforts are going unnoticed, and how you can turn it all around!”

5. Why Is SEO So Hard? – 1.9K views

“Your CTO will probably have different goals from your CFO, while you and your CMO might have different opinions on the best way to move forward. Knowing how to address all of the varying concerns from the C-Level is what we’re here to help you with.”

Want more? See our Here’s Why Video Archive, or subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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