With so many newsletters and blog updates available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the information available. This can easily lead to a condition known as paralysis of analysis. You have so much information; you don’t know where to begin and nothing gets accomplished.
Deciding which newsletters are the “best” is admittedly subjective. I started with my own inbox, and then posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Quora asking for ideas. My goal was to come up with a list of useful newsletters and blog updates that consistently offer actionable recommendations. I have no affiliation with any of these newsletters, beyond being a subscriber.
While Google may use over 200 factors in determining organic rankings, there is no doubt that three areas carry the most weight:
- Website architecture: Your site must be easy to crawl, mobile friendly and offer a good user experience
- Content: Having the right mix of text and visual media can have a profound impact on rankings, traffic and conversions.
- Backlinks: Links are still the fuel that powers SERPs and ultimately traffic and conversions.
You should also have a plan in place for driving traffic that doesn’t rely on Google or their finicky search algorithms. Despite the sexy nature of social media and all of the press it gets, there is a significantly more effective way to acquire customers:
- Email: used daily by 91% of all consumers, it is nearly forty times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined, according to McKinsey & Co
Google does a nice job explaining how crawling and indexing works. If there’s a problem, they even provide a crawl error report to make it easier to address any issues. Beyond that, it becomes a matter of using web analytics to optimize page performance. Some of the top newsletters that focus on this include:
Teaches readers how to use analytics and testing to track, analyze and optimize digital marketing efforts. Technically not a newsletter, but an email update, which is sent when new content is published on the blog.
Provides actionable insights for improving landing page performance and conversion rates. This is accomplished by developing, then measuring the results of A/B testing. You have the option to receive email updates daily or weekly.
This newsletter by Avinash Kaushik is focused on analytics-driven marketing. Even if you don’t sign up for his newsletter, do yourself a favor and add what I consider to be the best five Google custom Analytics reports ever shared, to your own Google Analytics account.
With the introduction of the Panda algorithm, followed up by Hummingbird, then Rankbrain, Google has made it very clear that quality matters when it comes to content. The question then becomes “What is “Good Content.” Back in 2011, Matt Cutts, emphasized “Just because somebody dots every i and crosses every t and gets all their HTML structure right, doesn’t mean that it’s good content.” That’s just as true today, as it was five years ago. The following newsletters can help to guide you in developing the kind of content that both Google and readers want to consume:
Neil Patel’s blog is well-known for producing copious amounts of high-quality content. This guy truly practices what he preaches and has achieved a high level of success as a result. If you want to learn and observe how to do content marketing the right way, sign up for his email alerts.
This group was promoting content marketing long before it was “cool” or even popular. Successful content marketing requires a comprehensive content strategy. Sign up for this newsletter, delivered every Saturday, to discover how to develop the right strategy for your business.
Updates are centered on teaching individuals how to create content that is valuable, attracts attention and drives traffic. As they point out “We Don’t Just Teach Content Marketing — It’s How We Built Our Company. Copyblogger consistently delivers original, relevant data about what’s working today in content marketing.
If you have any doubts about the continued importance of backlinks, then you aren’t paying attention. The mere existence of the Penguin algorithm telegraphs how important it is to Google to thwart link schemes designed to manipulate search rankings. The “blackhat SEO” scene is rife with discussions about using Private Blog Networks for backlinks. The most common manual penalties are related to link spam. With all of the noise and misinformation surrounding backlinks, it is good to know there are some people who truly understand the nuances of link building in 2016. These newsletters will explain how to build links today that will have relevance and value for the long-term:
Author Roger Montti, aka Martinibuster, actually pays attention to Google patents and announcements. Based on his understanding of these writings, he regularly develops theses regarding best link building practices. His newsletter features advice on link strategies, an analysis of link trends and full details regarding execution.
“LinkMoses Private” is a link building newsletter authored by link building expert Eric Ward. In addition to providing link strategies, tactics, and case studies, Eric also discloses high-value Link Opportunities in each issue. Understanding how often the Google algo changes, Eric offers linking and promotion techniques that diversify your traffic sources beyond just organic search.
In addition to the specialty newsletters, there are several “general” marketing newsletters that cover all of the above and more. Among those worth a look are:
With Google as an investor and a goal of being top dog in the online marketing space, this company commands attention. Topics include analytics, blogging, email marketing, lead generation, lead management, social media, SEO and more. Hubspot boasts a community of 300,000+ marketers and business owners.
The American Marketing Association was recognized as a leader in the field of marketing long before e-commerce even existed. This organization offers a series of newsletters, ranging from general marketing to industry-specific updates, career advice, thought leadership, marketing research, Big Data, and analytics. You need not be an AMA member to subscribe.
Inbound.org is an online marketing community billed as a place to discuss & share what’s trending in the marketing world. Any topic related to online marketing is covered here. The daily update is a compilation of popular posts.
A weekly newsletter published by Rae Hoffman, aka sugarrae. Rae prides herself on distributing actionable information that can lead to success online. In addition to the “normal” SEO topics, she offers insights into affiliate marketing and money blogging, as well.
Speaking of affiliate marketing, many of the big names in that space make bank exclusively from their email lists. Due to the volatility of the search algorithms, supplementing your web traffic is no longer optional to ensure success over the long haul. If you don’t have a plan in place to grow your email list, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to:
A monthly newsletter featuring email marketing articles curated by the Litmus Team. Topics range from design, to coding to user behavior and more. Places an emphasis on testing and measuring to achieve optimal results.
Sends email alerts covering topics ranging from How to Create an Email Campaign, coming up with Email Newsletter Topics, Email Design Inspiration, how to Use email to Grow Your Brand. Some topics are Mailchimp specific, however most can be applied to email campaigns in general.
Offers updates filled with email marketing tips and best practices. Focuses on topics like how to Grow Your Email List, how to integrate email with social media, how to Test Your Emails Before Hitting ‘Send’, and more. Despite their proprietary platform, most of these AWeber tips are universal and can be used to enhance any email campaign.
If you subscribe to and implement the suggestions offered by just a few of these newsletters, your online success is all but guaranteed. There is certainly room for debate as to who deserves to be on the list. What must-read newsletters are on yours?
*Denotes paid subscription required.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!