Top Five Blog Posts of 2018
By John Bostwick, Head of Content Management
Three years ago at a content-marketing conference, I attended a presentation by a woman who oversaw three B2B blogs and a team of nine — count ‘em, nine — full-time blog writers. (These were in-house blogs and writers, by the way, the presenter didn’t work for a content factory.) She had many helpful and interesting things to say, but since this isn’t a blog about marketing I’ll limit myself to one: Blogs are meritocratic.
I probably wouldn't have put it that way myself — and "meritocracy" is an increasingly loaded concept — but her point was clear. When you publish a blog post, analytics will reveal in the starkest terms whether or not it’s popular with readers. To illustrate, the presenter said her company occasionally paid celebrities to write guest blog posts. Those posts generated on average 12 percent fewer page views than posts written by their own relatively unknown writers. The subject and quality of the content mattered most, not the name on the byline.
In my previous year-end posts, I made my choices based on what I considered to be the quality of the writing and the value the posts offered to our readers. I’ve used those criteria again here, while also considering one key metric: average time on page. This helps determine what posts truly engage readers, rather than posts that have catchy headlines but leave readers cold.
In order to be included on this year’s list, a post must have an average time on page of at least three minutes. That might seem like a low bar, but it’s actually a high one.
Needless to say, competition is rampant in the digital content world. From YouTube to The New York Times online to company blogs like this one, internet users have endless choices. Google now processes 3.5 billion searches per day. If a search leads to junk, the searcher will immediately exit, thereby lowering the average time on page. One survey of 181 websites found that over a two-year period, blogs had an average time on site (not just on page) of only 1 minute and 20 seconds.
I used the three-minute mark, then, as a guide to what our readers were genuinely interested in over the course of 2018. Happily, and maybe not coincidentally, four of the five posts listed here are also in our top 15 2018 posts by number of page views. (Click on a post's title or image to read that post.)
By Pauline Johnson, Senior Human Resources Consultant
Pauline’s post blew away our standard with an average time on page of over four and a half minutes. Readers are apparently eager to pore over the specifics of global parental-leave trends and how their own lives may be affected, either as workers or employers.
Did you know: Most OECD countries provide maternity benefits and pay women over 50 percent of their earnings. According to the OECD, the United States is the only developed country “to offer no statutory entitlement to paid leave on a national basis.”
By Samantha Pratchett, Senior Manager, Compensation & Benefits
Millennials, also known as Gen Yers, are a hot topic among HR executives, in large part because they are (as Samantha puts it) flooding the global workforce. This post explains what millennials value in their jobs, from engaging in meaningful, socially responsible work to workplace flexibility.
Did you know: Millennials became the largest generation in the US labor force in 2016.
By Kathryn Hendy-Ford, Senior Manager, HR Advisory
This has been our most successful post of the year when accounting for both page views and average time on page. The interest it’s generated is due to the widespread ramifications of the GDPR and companies everywhere scrambling to comply. The GDPR may be an EU law, but in today’s global, electronically-connected economy, it is in effect a worldwide regulation. Over half of US businesses, for example, collect data on EU citizens and are therefore subject to GDPR rules.
Did you know: Under the GDPR, employers may not rely on employee consent to process data because of the imbalance of power between the two parties. Employers must justify data processing because it’s required by law, necessary to fulfill a contract or for certain other reasons.
By Saul Howerton, VP, Advisory
This post and a similar 2018 post about ultimate beneficial ownership requirements in Brazil have generated considerable interest. That’s understandable because these and other new UBO laws typically require companies to take specific action, for example by identifying people and entities that have significant control over the company and maintaining a register of those names.
Did you know: Most countries’ ultimate beneficial ownership requirements are consistent with recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force, a policy-making body represented by 37 countries that works to increase transparency and otherwise protect the global financial system.
By Nick Hart, Senior Director, Indirect Taxes
If this post’s title doesn’t seem to herald a gripping read, then you probably aren’t in the business of electronic commerce. If you are, Nick’s excellent article will help you understand why and how the European Union is looking to close the so-called “VAT gap,” and how related reforms may affect your organization.
Did you know: The EU’s VAT system was created in 1993 as a “transitional” tax and was not intended to be permanent.