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New inbound tactics from Q4

Hi there,

Here's your quarterly dose of my favorite digital marketing tactics, tools, and insights from Q4.  

  1. Your meta descriptions are too short now.  The limit is still calculated as # of characters * character width, not simply # of characters, but TL;DR: 320 is a good target now, not 160.  Track impacts of having these taller, 4-line descriptions in Search Console to optimize for click-through rate.  
  2. Google's Chrome ad blocker rolls out today!  Based on my understanding, it doesn't block all ads like a true ad blocker; just ads that aren't AdSense.  Still, it's worth annotating in your Google Analytics.
  3. You may have gotten 5000 emails like I did, but Search Console is newly updated with more historical data and a prettier UI.  It seems that their data is still entirely different from Google Analytics, the index, and what you find by crawling yourself.
  4. How long does the average brand publisher's blog post take in 2017?  3:20.  Up from 2:30 in 2014.  Remember, though, that's for "average" content, and that above-average content is what gets shares and what Google prefers to rank.  
  5. Have you adopted AMP?  Despite all the hype, I'm still not seeing it much.  Google hopes to see that change soon, though, with a new media format called AMP stories.  Pull that up on mobile to see how it works.  
  6. Do you know if SEO is growing/shrinking? If paid search overtaking organic? If "no click" searches are making your GA data misleading? If you read Rand Fishkin's analysis of JumpShot's data, you would.
  7. Are you using Google Data Studio?  It makes for a super underrated starter kit for free business intelligence (and normally that stuff isn't cheap).  Check out these free dashboard recipes to get you started.  
  8. Facebook has yet again gotten greedier about keeping attention on their site and off of yours (without ever-increasing ransoms, anyway).  Be aware of their new branded content guidelines!
  9. Many high-traffic sites now enjoy an enhanced experience with Google PageSpeed Insights, demonstrating how their performance compares to others, based on the Chrome UX Report.  
  10. Google's doubling down on pushing the whole web over SSL.  

Did I miss some cool stuff?  Hit reply and let me know.

Corey Northcutt
Founder | Northcutt
w . | p. 312-380-9791

This email was sent to on behalf of Northcutt Consulting Group, LLC of 5106 N. Lincoln #2S, Chicago, IL 60625, U.S.A. If you don't want to hear from me again, please let me know.


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