Weekly Finds – Week 35, 2020



Updated on November 15, 2020
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3 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.

As always, please leave feedback in the form of comments on the web version of the article or as response to this email. THX!

Audio version

PigZilla – 15 Insanely Efficient Google Sheets Formulas for SEOs

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Excel or Google Sheet is an essential tool for any type of knowledge worker. Dani Hart put together 15 helpful functions, some of which I didn’t know before. She also shows examples, templates for Google Sheets, and video.

Key lesson

I wasn’t familiar with REGEXMATCH before. This nifty function allows you to check whether a cell contains multiple terms. This is super helpful when checking content for keywords and variations.

An Email from Joe Biden’s presidential campaign

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This is an uncommon weekly find but I want to share it because it’s a masterpiece of storytelling.

The Email is written by Rabbi Michael Beals of Delaware who tells the touching story of Biden surprisingly attending a Jewish service for the mourning of an old friend. It beautifully tells a story about Biden’s values and opens him to a voter demographic: Jews.

Key lesson

Stories move people – literally. And they’re even more powerful when told by the people who should be moved by the story!

Clearbit – Does social proof work?

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Clearbit tested what happens when you show customized company logos to visitors based on the company they work for.

The goal was to measure whether visitors would be more or less inclined to sign up when they see the logo of a related company.

It’s essentially a social proof experiment.

Clearbit created a mockup template and then set out to collect testimonials. Then, they separated companies into five buckets like open source or high-growth B2B to relate them to visitors.

The experiment had a predicted lift of less than 10% but resulted in a stunning conversion lift of 84%!

Key lesson

Social proof works but I wonder whether we always make the most of the data we have to customize it?

Search Engine Land – Bing uses user engagement metrics for ranking websites in search

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Bing’s Fabrice Canel and Christi Olen confirm that Bing’s search engine factors user engagement metrics in for ranking websites in search.

The outraging part of these news is that Google has denied to apply user behavior signals for years but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for Bing.

Key lesson

In the interview with Barry Schwarz, Canel and Olsen explicitly mention pogo-sticking, bounces, and dwell time.

Another point that stuck out to me is that these signals seem to be measured in the context of the query, meaning they’re query-specific.

Youtube – SimilarWeb & Rand Fishkin Exploring Changes to the Internet Landscape

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In this Similar Web webinar, Rand Fishkin comments on click data, Amazon channel traffic, and shifts in e-commerce from Similarweb.

Some of the patterns that stick out are Google’s aggressive placement of ads and own products, and Amazon’s accelerated dominance in E-commerce due to COVID-19.

Key lesson

The share of paid clicks on Google has grown by 52% in the last 2 years, according to Similar Web data.

Discuss!

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