Weekly Finds – Week 34, 20204 min well spent

Welcome to Weekly Finds, a new format in which I distill the key lessons from the best content I found that week.

You might have noticed that this used to be a small section at the bottom of the free weekly newsletter. My subscribers (you) really like this section, which is why I want to try out expanding it and making it its own thing.

I would love to hear your feedback, either as a reply to the Email or as a comment on the web version.

Audio version

Youtube – Everything is a remix

Link

A big struggle writers, founders, and marketers face is that all good ideas seem to be taken.

But a much better way to look at it is everything is a remix.

This Youtube video (from 2015) really inspired me to change my thinking about content creation.

Key lesson

Before, my ego often got in the way when I created something that looked to much like a copy of what someone else did.

Now, I copy really well and then give things my own touch and perspective.

The method explained in the video is: copy > transform > combine.

What I often find is that I end up with something very different from the copy I originally made.

Search Pilot – Adding FAQ Schema 2.0

Link

FAQ schema are really easy to implement. Just add the schema markup to questions and Google is in my experience quick to show the rich snippets.

But now, you can no longer have a combination of an FAQ snippet with another rich snippet, e.g. reviews.

Key lesson

Search Pilot point out that 67% of FAQ schema experiments led to a positive result with a traffic uplift between 4-15%.

Note that the other 33% did not lead to a better CTR! The point is that sometimes, FAQ snippets give away too much information for users to click through to the site. Of course, you should ask yourself whether it was valuable traffic in the first place. However, for advertisers – who live off of ad impressions – this can be painful.

So, test you FAQ snippet integrations!

Marketplace Pulse – Amazon Giving Up Advertising Revenue to Promote Its Brands

Link

Amazon competes with the 3rd party vendors it has on its platform by showing its own products in Amazon search.

This reminds me a lot on Google showing results of its own platforms like Youtube, Google Flights, Google Hotels, Maps, etc.

Amazon argues the same way Google does:

  • “Customers want our products”
  • “We only show our own products for a small selection of searches”
  • “It’s normal for other companies to do”

To me, the trend of showing own products is a result of Platform Confluence: the company learns from its ecosystem what users like, build products around it, and offer it directly.

Key lesson

Marketplace Pulse found that some of Amazon’s own products actually did not have the same rating and number of reviews as competing products.

Zyppy – How to Build Category Pages for SEO

Link

Category pages should be so much more than just a list of links. In this article, Cyrus Shepard explains how to enrich them with helpful content and elements.

Key lesson

Cyrus offer 10 useful tips to optimize category pages but I want to zoom in on one specific one: links to related categories + subcategories.

I think especially related categories are often forgotten. Complimentary products are often in other categories.

Think about it: when you buy a smartphone you might also want headphones but those two products often live in different categories. Making it easier for users to navigate them is a big value-add.

Even further: for search engines, it could be a way to understand the semantic relationship between related products.

Sparktoro – Too Much Creative Marketing is Stifled by Attribution

Link

Rand Fishkin describes a common scenario that makes the lives of marketers harder: we can’t attribute everything.

We can’t connect the dots when customers discover our brand offline and then search for it in on Google.

As a result, being overly diligent with channel distribution and investing 100% based on what you can attribute is a fallacy.

Key lesson

The solution Fishkin offers is using time-based attribution. Look at the things you did on other channels than Search or Paid that could drive traffic or brand searches within a month. Then, compare this uplift with the traffic from the year prior.

It’s not a perfect solution but should help you get a better idea of the impact of “things you can’t measure”.