WordStream’s Best of the Best: 2014
It’s been a truly remarkable year in search marketing. We’ve seen huge changes affect virtually every aspect of paid search and SEO, as well as content and social marketing, and 2015 is already shaping up to be even bigger for marketers in every industry.
As 2014 draws to a close, we decided that the year wouldn’t truly be complete without an obligatory end-of-year round-up. Without further ado, feast your eyes on the 25 most popular posts of 2014!
1. 45 Fabulous Facebook Advertising Tips & Magic Marketing Tricks: Megan has the distinct honor of authoring our most successful post of 2014 – a feat that’s all the more impressive considering she wrote our most popular post of 2013, too! In this comprehensive guide, she tells you everything you need to know about advertising on Facebook. A truly essential read for social media marketers everywhere.
2. The 9 Best Email Subject Line Styles to Increase Your Open Rates: Megan also penned our second most-popular post of 2014, in which she explains how to craft email subject lines that just beg to be opened – no easy feat, even for experienced email marketing pros. Want to learn how to make your emails irresistible? Then read on.
3. 6 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Drastically Improve Your Efforts in 2014: Our third most popular post of the year was written by Margot (and you’ll be seeing a lot more content from Margot in 2015 as she joins us as a full-time content producer). In this excellent post, Margot tells you how to overhaul your social media marketing campaigns to maximize your ROI.
4. Panda 4.0: Why eBay Just Lost 80% of its Organic Rankings: Larry took the fourth spot in our year-end round-up with his insightful (and pretty cutting) examination of how eBay took a major hit when Google rolled out its Panda 4.0 update earlier this year.
5. Everything You Know About Conversion Rate Optimization is Wrong: Sometimes, the truth hurts. Fortunately, Larry not only tells you why conventional wisdom about CRO is wrong in our fifth most popular post of 2014, he shows you what you should be doing instead.
6. 64 Creative Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Business: Megan is back (again!) with this extensive list of creative marketing ideas for businesses trying to make the most of a limited budget. Want to know what the National Enquirer has to do with marketing? Read on to find out!
7. How to Make Great Landing Pages (with Crazy High Conversions): Making landing pages is easy. Making great landing pages (with the aforementioned crazy-high conversion rates) is much harder. Don’t worry, though – Megan’s here to set you straight and show you how to create landing pages that will drive your conversions through the roof.
8. All About AdChoices: What Is AdChoices? How Does It Affect Advertisers & Consumers? In this excellent post, Erin answers all the most common questions about AdChoices. Seriously, everything you need to know about AdChoices is in this post, so if you’re not sure about what AdChoices is or what it does, be sure to check this one out.
9. Going Unicorn Hunting: The Secrets Behind Ads with 3x the Average CTR: When he’s not speaking at conferences or blogging here at WordStream, Larry often goes out in search of mythical creatures. Not literally, of course, but figuratively. In this post, Larry explains what “unicorn ads” are, what makes them so magical, and why you should be hunting them, too.
10. The 5 Best Explainer Videos & How to Make Your Own: We’ve got a few surprises in store here at WordStream for 2015, video-wise. Until then, let Megan show you what explainer videos are, teach you some lessons from five of the best examples on the web, and give you some detailed pointers about how to make your own.
11. Funny Amazon Reviews: The Top 10 Funniest Reviews on Amazon: Everybody loves a good laugh, and when it comes to finding comedy in unexpected places, customer reviews on Amazon are hard to beat. In this post, Megan provides us with 10 of the funniest product reviews on Amazon, from stylish wolf shirts to pens designed especially for the lucky ladies in your life.
12. Perfect Timing: The Very Best Time to Send Email Newsletters: In case you hadn’t noticed, Megan absolutely killed it this year. In this post, Megan explains how to determine the optimal time to send email newsletters – and you might be surprised to learn what it is.
13. How to Use Schema Markup for SEO: Making Your Site Easier to Find for Stupid Machines: Don’t be fooled – computers (especially search engine crawlers) are ridiculously stupid. In this post, I explain why marking up your site with schema microdata is a great idea, and how it can benefit your site in terms of SEO.
14. 16 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills: Even an incredible idea for a blog post won’t save you if the finished product reads like a fifth-grade book report. If you want to become a better writer, follow these 16 tips on how to write real good. I mean well. How to write well.
15. 25 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website: Regardless of how committed you are to creating great content, admit it – the end goal is to get more traffic to your website, right? Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to do this, and in this post, I outline 25 techniques for driving more traffic to your site.
16. Why Google AdWords Certification Doesn’t Matter: Caleb really called the fire down from the mountain with this post on why Google AdWords certification doesn’t make a damned bit of difference. Do you agree? Some people did, others didn’t – but regardless, Caleb raised some interesting points in this controversial post.
17. Gmail Shortcuts, Tips, and Tricks: Latest Secrets for Hacking Your Email: Although the phrase “hacking your email” is more commonly found in sensationalist news headlines, in this instance, it’s actually a good thing. In this post, Megan offers some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Gmail account. Even if you’re a Gmail expert, I’ll bet at least a couple of these will be new to you.
18. 26 Free Online Marketing Courses: Learn to be a Marketing Mastermind: Who wouldn’t want to become a marketing mastermind? Well, now you – yes, you – can do just that, thanks to this great round-up of completely free online resources that will put you firmly on the path toward evil genius-level marketing mastery.
19. Landing Page Examples: Learning from the Best & Worst Landing Pages on the Web: We talk about landing pages a lot here at WordStream, but sometimes, you have to look at actual examples to really “get it.” In this post, Megan rounds up some of the best landing pages around, and points and laughs at some of the worst.
20. How to Create a Ferocious Unique Selling Proposition: It’s a jungle out there, and unless you make it painfully clear why prospective customers should buy from you and not your competition, you’re going to have a bad time. In this post, I explain how you can leverage whatever it is that makes your business unique in your marketing messaging.
21. Gmail Advertising Showdown: Gmail Sponsored Promotions vs. Managed Placements: Who would win in a fight between Gmail Sponsored Promotions and Managed Placements? That’s exactly what Jaclyn Jordan set out to answer in this post. Not sure which advertising solution is right for you? Read on to find out.
22. Native Advertising Examples: 5 of the Best (and Worst): Most native advertising is shamelessly self-promotional crap that should shame the publications that published it. Some native advertising, however, is actually pretty interesting. In this post, I examine several examples of native ads done right, as well as a few examples that will forever haunt the editors responsible.
23. Hacking AdWords: Winning at AdWords the Weird Way: Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat (apparently), there are many ways to win at AdWords. In this seriously data-heavy post, Larry looks at some unconventional techniques you can use to “hack” AdWords that your competitors would probably never dream of using.
24. Mandatory Google+ Gmail Integration Quietly Shelved: Earlier this year, Google tried to quietly do away with its mandatory integration of Google+ and Gmail in the hopes that nobody would notice – but Larry did. Was this another sign that Google+ is dying a slow, agonizing death? Read this post to see what Larry thought.
25. The Future of PageRank: 13 Experts on the Dwindling Value of the Link: Last, but by no means least, this post by Elisa examines the rapid devaluation of links as currency in the SEO world. Elisa spoke with some of the leading names in search to see what they think the future holds for PageRank, and whether links will be as important as they once were.
Well, that just about does it for our final post of 2014. We’re so glad you’ve helped the WordStream blog grow this year, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store for 2015.
From everyone here at WordStream, have a safe, prosperous, and happy new year!