About the author

Joe is the founder of Zen Optimise and Chief SEO trainer. He likes talking about Branding, Kite Flying and SEO.

Joe Williams

The Weekly Optimiser

Top picks include A.J. Kohn on social signals and SEO, the importance of skepticism in marketing, content for “boring” businsess, and using LinkedIn groups.


This week’s top pick:

Currently social signals aren’t officially being used in Google’s search results… yet correlation studies show that social improves rankings. A.J. Kohn explains why, writing, “It’s not the actual social activity that matters, but what happens as a result of that activity.”


#1: Slideshare: Why Great Marketers Must Be Great Skeptics

Moz’s Rand Fishkin explains why it’s important to question assumptions in marketing, and gives examples of “crap”, “good” and “great” skeptical approaches. He also offers data that suggests simply testing everything isn’t the best way to increase conversions, and explains how to ask smart questions.

#2: MarketingProfs: Why the Future of Digital Marketing Is Pure PR

Gerald Heneghan explains that PR, “all about emphasizing the interesting aspects of a business and crafting a profile that positions it as a trusted authority in its field and engenders both recognition and trust among target audiences” … exactly what you want to do as an effective marketer.

#3: The Next Web: Google Brings In-Depth Articles To Search in the UK

Have you noticed some different-looking results in your Google searches yet? Google is rolling out their “in-depth articles” feature in the UK, showing long-form content toward the bottom of your search results. In many cases, there’s also a link to a related topic (clicking this runs a Google search for it).

Content Marketing

#4: Moz: The Art of Thinking Sideways: Content Marketing for Boring Businesses

SEO Robin Swire explains how he helped a business focused on car parks to build a “fun and exciting campaign” involving creative infographics covering a range of interesting driving-related topics. He adds, “We have involved the client’s team from car parking attendants right through to MD as part of the process.”

#5: Zen Optimise: Nine Top Blogs to Follow – Which Are You Missing Out On?

We share nine of our favourite blogs, with categories for introductory, intermediate and advanced … so that whatever level you’re at with digital marketing, you can easily find the information and ideas you need to go further. For each blog, we link to several great posts to get started with.

#6: Copyblogger: Agile Content Marketing: How to Attract an Audience That Builds Your Business

Brian Clark writes, in the first post in a new series on Copyblogger, that the very first step towards content marketing success is “begin with the end (the result you want) in mind. This is where content marketing strategy fails … essentially when there isn’t an executable strategy in place at all.”

Social Media

#7:  Social Media Examiner: How to Network With LinkedIn Groups

If you don’t currently belong to any LinkedIn groups, or if you’re not getting the most out of them, Matt Lerner has plenty of great tips, covering how to find the right groups to join, how to begin (and continue) engaging with the group … and the importance of thinking “engagement” rather than “promotion”.

#8: Fast CompanyThe Proven Ideal Length Of Every Tweet, Facebook Post, and Headline Online

How long should your social media updates be? In this article, Kevan Lee shares tips on keynetworks … including the surprising statistic that “the ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters”. He even goes into the ideal width of a paragraph and the idea length of an email subject line.

#9: Business 2 Community: What You Need to Know About the New Twitter Layout

Twitter is rolling out a new design for profiles … with a much wider header, a larger profile picture, and  a more Facebook-like appearance. Trent Dyrsmid recommends, “Get pictures formatted and maybe select some of your best tweets to be pinned, as it will be an quicker transition when you do see your profile change soon!”

What have we missed? Let us know in the comments what posts have helped you this week.