Evan Prokop

5 SEO Considerations to Win with Both Customers and Search Engines

Evan Prokop on Oct 1st, 2015     Online Marketing, SEO

Win with Customer Focused SEO

One of the cornerstones of any digital marketing presence is a company website. From being a destination for people to visit that are searching for your products and services to servicing existing customers, it’s difficult to understate the importance of a great website (or understate the missed opportunities that come with having a bad one). Of course, a great website isn’t much use if nobody can find it, which is where a solid investment in SEO can pay big dividends.

However, a question that often comes up when planning out an SEO strategy is: should you be more focused on optimizing for customers or search engines? Arguably, there was a time when this was a real trade-off. Many SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing or spam linking were effective for gaining search presence, but came at the cost of customer experience.

Ashley Zeckman

18 Tools to Help Content Marketers Block & Tackle SEO

Ashley Zeckman on Sep 24th, 2015     Online Marketing, SEO Tools


In order to scale any content marketing program, every marketer must be equipped with the right tools. Not only is it essential that you create quality content on a consistent basis, but it MUST be optimized in a way that enables you to be the best answer wherever your customers are searching.

A recent survey of over 200 B2B marketers found that 85% listed content marketing technologies as their current top priority.  The following list of free and paid tools represents some of the core, “blocking and tackling” SEO tasks that content marketers can use to advance the findability of their work to better serve customers

Leila De La Fuente

How 3 Mega E-Commerce Websites Approach Title Tag & Meta Description Optimization

Leila De La Fuente on Aug 25th, 2015     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO


Here’s a test: Google “fairy wings” right now. Your job is to quickly find which result will sell you a set of glitter fairy wings and preferably include free shipping.

Now that you’ve begun your search, how do you know which result will bring you to the most qualified products? One way is to visually scan the title and description snippets in your search results.

There are nearly 12 billion Google searches per month. Consumers conduct searches for products or services they need, and often use the snippets in search results as deciding factor on whether to click, or keep scrolling.

The examples below show how three mega e-commerce sites approach title tags and meta descriptions, what they’re doing right and some additional opportunities.

alibaba logo

Evan Prokop

The New Era of SEO: Optimize for People Before Searchbots

Evan Prokop on Aug 17th, 2015     Online Marketing, SEO

Human shaking hands with a robot

Dating back to when the first mainstream consumer search engines became available in the mid-nineties, digital marketers have desired to see their businesses succeed in the lucrative but often confusing search marketing landscape. And thus search engine optimization (SEO) was born.

Twenty years later, we’ve certainly come a long way, both in terms of the capabilities of search engines and in the strategies that SEO professionals implement in their attempts to master them. Given the complexity of modern search engine algorithms, it takes a lot more than just sticking keywords on your website in order to achieve prominent search rankings.

So, what does it take to win in search in 2015 and beyond? With hundreds of complex algorithms working 24 / 7 to serve up answers for over 5 billion Google search queries per day, that’s a question that can get very complex, very quickly.

Leila De La Fuente

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Local Search Optimization

Leila De La Fuente on Jul 16th, 2015     Local SEO, Online Marketing, SEO

small business owner

It’s a restaurant owner’s worst online nightmare – someone is searching for a restaurant in your neighborhood and your business doesn’t appear until page 7 of the search results, right below the creepy deli/gas station hybrid three towns over.

According to a 2014 Google study, 50% of mobile users are most likely to visit a storefront within a day of conducting a local search online. Over the next few years it’s very probable that these numbers will only continue to increase. With conversion rates like these, it’s clear that there are revenue driving benefits to optimizing your local presence so that you can be seen online by more of your potential customers.

Evan Prokop

Essential SEO Considerations For Any Website Migration

Evan Prokop on Jun 18th, 2015     Online Marketing, SEO

Website Migration SEO Considerations

Sometimes implementing a website migration an essential part of doing business in a digital world. There are a variety of reasons why a company may choose to migrate from one site to another. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that your website is your virtual calling card to prospective customers and sometimes a website migration is a necessary step in providing your customers the best possible user experience.

Like botched plastic surgery, a poorly executed website migration can bring a host of SEO problems, including making your site difficult to find in search engines, confusing to use or filled with errors that make the searchbots run away.

To ensure that your website migration goes smoothly and leads to improved business, follow these essential migration SEO recommendations:

Lee Odden

Where Social Media and SEO Fit in Today’s Content Marketing Mix

Lee Odden on Jun 11th, 2015     Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Search Social Content Marketing

Whether your role is in search, social media, marketing communications or PR, the importance of content marketing is unmistakable.

Brand content budgets and participation are up with the vast majority of B2C and B2B marketers now using content marketing. The industry is coming together on best practices and organizations are evolving their structures to include roles like Chief Content Officer and Brand Journalist.

While there is growing synergy between search, social media and content marketing, they don’t often function collaboratively in organizations. There are also some misconceptions about what content marketing really is.

This post will dig in to some of the realities of incorporating an integrated approach that leverages the best of search, social media and content marketing, while dispelling some of the myths that keep integrated efforts apart.

Lee Odden

Content and SEO Beyond Marketing – Optimized Digital Communications

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO

optimized digital communications

Content is the reason search began in the first place.

In the days before Google, directories, lists and forums were the way to discover new content on the fast-growing world wide web.

During those early days, the web was as much about the experience of discovery, aka “surfing”, as it was about finding specific answers.

Answers to what? Many marketers would have you believe the only content that exists is the information created in support of buyers to discover, consume and transact.

But there’s far more to the web than demand generation and advertising. Content is created by companies to serve a variety of business functions from customer service to corporate social responsibility to talent acquisition.

Lee Odden

6 Steps to an Optimized and Socialized Content Workflow

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media

optimized integrated content

Digital marketing tactics have changed over the years but one thing has not – Customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the insights marketers need to deliver relevant, meaningful and useful content at the right time and the right place.

To realize the benefits of customer insight requires an integrated approach – especially when it comes to content – discovery, consumption and interaction.

Moving from planning to practice, especially within a large organization with regional operations, business units, divisions and departments, processes are essential for adoption, quality and scale. Operationalizing the integration of content, social media and optimization is one of the essential workflows that marketing departments can implement. But what does that look like?

Lee Odden

How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500%

social influencer content

A small business technology company was focusing their online marketing efforts on SEO and this approach proved to be effective for several years.

Research revealed relevant keywords in demand from searchers actively looking for solutions in this software category. Existing content was optimized, cross linked and new content was created where needed. Content was promoted to attract links and social shares to ensure a presence on crawlable social media platforms.

But then organic traffic began to slow down in growth and eventually decline, despite following SEO best practices capable of the most specific Google scrutiny.

A decision needed to be made: Will more aggressive SEO tactics be used or was it time to shift perspective?

Lee Odden

3 SEO Predictions I made in 2005 – Was I Right? What About Search in 2025?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, SEO

Future of SEO

I gave my first public presentation about online marketing just under 10 years ago for MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) called “Search Engine Smarts – Organic, PPC, SEO, Blog – What Does it All Mean?”.

It was at the J.J. Hill Library in Saint Paul early one morning and about 60 people showed up. To say I was nervous is an understatement.

Back then TopRank Online Marketing was focused mostly on search marketing. My, how things have changed.

Or have they?

In the presentation there’s basic advice about SEO such as:

Use keywords in content: Research keywords and ensure their presence in unique title tags, on-page headings, in text links between pages, as image alt text and within the body copy – but don’t overdo it.

Lee Odden

How to Incorporate SEO and Influencer Content

Optimize Influencer Content for Search

Make no mistake, discovery of content through search engines is more important than ever. But the practice of optimizing content for search visibility has changed substantially.

As search engines look for signals of credibility amongst content and links, humans do the same thing. In the way that links alone used to drive the search visibility of a web page up, endorsements and mentions from industry influencers can still boost the visibility of a brand. As a result, the trend towards influencer and advocate marketing is on the rise.

While SEO and influencer content might seem more meatball sundae than PBJ, I assure you, the combination can be whatever you want it to be, because it’s content. Understanding demand for topics reconciled with the brand’s ambitions around a topic, search optimization insights applied to an influencer content program can boost both the quantity and the quality of attraction.