We get excited about billboardsaround MailChimp HQ. And if you’ve spotted any of them, you may have noticed that our tastes tend to run toward the nontraditional: shrimp photography, rice mosaics, dripping paint, and simple blue backgrounds (AKA: taking back the sky).

A billboard can be just an ad, but it can also be a giant canvas for a public art project. While we certainly don’t mind if people associate MailChimp’s billboards with our product, that’s not our primary goal. Instead, we like to think of these spaces as a design challenge. How might a billboard enhance-rather than detract from-the environment around it? Can a billboard help build community? What would people do if we gave them a big, billboard-sized canvas to share their unique point of view?

Over the last several years, we’ve done just that, and the results have made us really happy. Here in … Read more

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Google Click Through StudyIMN is pleased to announce our Summer 2017 Click Through Rate Study, now available in Whitepaper format in the Resources section of our website!

It’s been a while since we’ve last written about this topic, and since last summer, there have been multiple changes to both the algorithms that determine the organic rankings AND the visual presentation of the SERPs.

These changes include:

  • Mobile Friendly Update (#2!)
  • 4 Pack of Ads
  • Penguin 4.0
  • Interstitial Penalty
  • Fred and other un-named or un-confirmed core algorithmic updates

Because of these changes, along with all the other changes seen in the last 12 months, IMN wanted to know: What’s the actual click through rate for a #1 ranking look like these days? How about a #10? A Page 2 Ranking? In that spirit, IMN conduced our own internal Click-Through Rate (CTR) study for Summer 2017.

A more detailed breakdown of our methodology, including … Read more

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This week Webmaster World challenges marketers to think about how they would generate traffic without Google as a thought experiment. Cre8asiteforums members discuss if link buys in the past paid off long term.

SEOChat members discuss ways to get new SEO clients, if you’re just starting your SEO consulting practice.

Over on Threadwatch, a question is posed on decentralized search engines and if they can really disrupt the search market.

What would you do if Google SERPs just disappeared?

Goodroi challenges members to think about how their business would respond if Google SERPs just disappeared, as a thought experiment to uncover potentially profitable traffic sources that ma be over looked. Members respond with a variety of perspectives

Lucy24 started with,


Guest posts or articles on other people’s sites, with a link to mine. One-on-one link exchanges with sites that have overlapping target audience. If a forum or discussion thread includes

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We all know there is a transactional side to the customer relationship. Everyone loves a good deal-I know I do. But there’s also an emotional side, which can be even more important to your business in the long run. Customers feel loyal to the brands that they love just like they feel loyal to friends and family. Brand loyalty is rooted in emotion.

As business owners and marketers, our end game isn’t necessarily to make a quick sale, but rather to establish an emotional connection with customers by marketing to them in a personal, caring way. That connection is what leads to lasting brand loyalty.

So, how do you get there? One strategy is to develop empathy. Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, helps us connect with customers on an emotional level.

Consider this: How can you meet your customers’ wants and needs if you … Read more

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Fueled by online communities and nostalgia for handwritten letters, the fountain pen has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. But Kevin Thiemann admits that fountain pens are still a niche market that’s mostly confined to long-time collectors, which can make growing his audience a challenge.

We try to target people who have an interest in pens, calligraphy, or handwriting with our marketing, he says.

Kevin’s own interest in fountain pens was sparked by a desire to improve his handwriting. He discovered India’s low-cost fountain pen market while he was working abroad and started acquiring different models to practice his script. There’s an art to writing with a fountain pen-slight pressure on the nib, and the pen should make a 40-degree angle with the paper-that lends itself to neat, beautiful cursive, he notes.

After networking with different manufacturers in India, Kevin decided to start selling affordable, quality … Read more

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Your knowledge and experience is your biggest asset. That’s what defines your business and that’s what helps you stand out. How to effectively market your knowledge online? Of course, content marketing is the answer. But simply creating expert content is not going to be answer. You need to put it forward in front of niche influencers to spread the word.

Here are 5 steps to marketing your knowledge online and making sure your content builds those important relationships for you:


Step 1: Begin planning with your audience (and publishers!) in mind



You are going to be speaking directly to your target demographic, the people you want to keep bringing back for more. Being vague and general just won’t do. Would this post be effective if I was talking to anyone with an internet connection? Of course not! It is for people who want to reach others with their content.

Ask … Read more

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In the last couple weeks, we’ve seen a legislative and legal shift in tides for both Google and Facebook in a number of their biggest markets, see the perspectives and forum member commentary below.

Members also discuss a upward trend of bot traffic and new muting capability on twitter.

July 12 Battle for the Net With Facebook and Google taking part over Net Neutrality

The latest chapter in the battle over net neutrality surfaced on Threadwatch.

Back story: In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began to remove regulations on Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), instituted during the Obama Administration. Collectively, these regulations are colloquially referred to as Net Neutrality rules.

Speaking more broadly, the idea of net neutrality as a concept is that ISP’s cannot slow down or block websites, nor charge apps and websites extra fees. Web platforms staged a day of protest on July 12. Below … Read more

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Ivan Rivera is doing what he loves and doesn’t care what other people have to say about it. And it’s that no-nonsense spirit that drives the children’s clothing company he started with his fiance, Khristy Hill, after their son was born in 2014.

I’ve always been influenced by streetwear and hip hop, and I didn’t see why my kid couldn’t dress the same way, Ivan says.

He started designing onesies and shirts he thought would look dope on his son, and soon it seemed like everyone was asking him to make similar clothes for their kids, too. Khristy and Ivan knew they were onto something, so they decided to take a chance on turning their idea into Little Giants | Giant Shorties. From onesies to sippy cups, they sell products that parents who grew up listening to hip hop can relate to. (According to their website, Soccer moms won’t Read more

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The term“millennial” tends to divide members of the generation it’s been ascribed to: Some accept the label, others reject it. Kaitlyn Blum not only wears the label proudly, but she also cites it as one of the main reasons she was able to easily translate her brick-and-mortar clothing boutique to an online store.

As a millennial, I live on the internet, she says. I’m also my target audience, which makes my job a million times easier.

Kaitlyn was hired as an eBay photographer in 2013 for Urban Outlet Incorporated, a company that had been selling urban menswear for 13 years in the small town of Sterling, Illinois. When she joined the team, they were looking to create an online store but didn’t know how to get started, so she volunteered to tackle the project.

Since urban menswear was on its way out and the demand for women’s clothing was Read more

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Google's featured snippetsGoogles featured snippets are the new Google authorship, albeit less exciting because featured snippets steal links from publishers in SERPs.

Whether you like them or not, that’s the change we have to deal with because if you are not featured, your competitor will.

Here are three recent studies of Google’s Featured snippets you need to be aware of:


1. Ahrefs Study of Featured Snippets

Read the full study here: Ahrefs

Ahrefs have examines 112 million keywords in their US database, almost around 14 million of which had featured snippets in their SERP. In other words, about 12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results

They have found that, surprisingly, featured snippets have lower click-through-rate than the top result (where there’s no featured snippet) but they do steal clicks from the top result:

Key takeaways:

  • All pages which are featured already rank in top 10 for that
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