What We Read This Week (WWRTW) – December 16, 2017

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About What We Read This Week (WWRTW): Each week, we share bits and bobs from around the web that 270netters have been reading this week. We also create a Pinterest board each week with many more valuable articles than we can fit into one blog post! Follow us to get notified as we release a new board each week.

We are nearing the end of the year, and a lot of this week’s news has been looking back at 2017 and looking forward to 2018. Here’s a selection of What We Read This Week:

Image Link Building – Whiteboard Friday” – Moz

A lot of SEOs and content strategists talk about images as part of written content, which is great. But we don’t often think about the elements we create becoming vehicles for link building. Leveraging infographics, downloads, and printables to drive traffic to your site and help you build quality links is an important part of a comprehensive, advanced SEO and content strategy.

Google: Fundamentals of writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets” – Search Engine Land

As we reported last week, many SEOs noticed Google had rolled out longer featured snippets (160 characters to 320 characters). After much hand-wringing in the community about going back and changing all meta descriptions, Google has officially said that the longer snippet length may not even matter. Google chooses what information from your website it displays based on a whole host of factors, including search intent, and your hastily expanded meta description may never show to a searcher. Lesson: Though you may feel you have to jump on the latest wagon to keep up with Google, waiting a little bit for others to shake out the kinks is probably a better use of your time.

Are You Ready for Content Marketing in 2018? 60+ Predictions” – Content Marketing Institute

We are nearing the end of the year, which means we’re nearing the end of the “Predictions for 2018” lists. Joe Pulizzi’s list is a long one, and takes input from other content marketers. Many of these predictions – like the transition from creating branded content to developing content brands – we can get behind. Others, though, are a pretty far stretch, like Apple acquiring Disney. We’re not media empire experts, but we think Disney is far too invested in its own brand feel (Ever been to a Disney theme park? They’re like no other place in the world!) to allow someone else to take the reins.

An Instagram Content Plan for Service-Based Businesses” – Social Media Examiner

Instagram is usually thought of as best suited to the consumable goods businesses – fashion, food, home goods. But it can also be really valuable for service-based businesses, as long as you follow a solid formula. Social Media Examiner recommends a formula we use in much of our social media marketing – 4 value-added posts, 3 posts creating connections with clients, and 2 posts selling your service or brand.

“You thought 2016 was bad? 2017 beats it, according to our GIFs” – Tenor

We’re suckers for a good GIF. Our Digital Marketing team Slack channel is probably 95% GIFs, and we’re forever searching out the best ones to convey our thoughts. So when Tenor released its report on the top GIFs of 2017, we weren’t really that surprised. We’ve used nearly all of them at least once.