Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about positioning content in front of a relevant audience during the most opportune time in the buying cycle. Because 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, SEO is an essential tactic to include in your digital marketing mix.


Recognized as a top source of information about search marketing and how it integrates with other digital marketing tactics, TopRank is dedicated to sharing our expert knowledge on SEO best practices and helping you take your optimization game to the next level. Heck, we wrote the book on optimization, Optimize: How to Attract, Engage and Convert More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing.


Browse our SEO articles to find tips, guides, news, expert interviews and much more.


Michael Bak

PPC + SEO = A Winning Team for Search Marketing Success

Michael Bak on Jul 11th, 2016     Online Advertising, SEO


A winning team requires the proper line-up, teamwork and the ability to fill-in the performance gaps. A winning team for search requires the proper line-up of Paid and Organic strategies to ensure increased visibility and growth. Many B2B companies pigeonhole PPC as strictly a lead gen or a sales tactic but now is the time to go from tunnel vision to full spectrum search.

Why do we all need to start paying attention to organic and paid search integration? With the recent changes to Google’s SERP results page, many companies are starting to see organic visibility slide along with organic traffic as paid advertisers are garnering more real estate on the page. Google continues to push more algorithm updates and while they many not all be as impactful as RankBrain, Panda, or Penguin, SEO and organic rank is becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

Kevin Cotch

What You Need to Know About the Voice Search Revolution From Microsoft’s Purna Virji #MNSummit

Kevin Cotch on Jun 24th, 2016     Marketing PR Conferences, SEO


We may not already notice the change, but voice search is all around us. Voice search can help us complete tasks when we are occupied or busy multitasking. We unconsciously change the way we search on a computer or a text search compared to when we search with our voices. With the growing interest of voice search and digital personal assistants growing, we must ask ourselves as marketers how is voice search going to change the world for advertisers?

In her presentation at MNSearch Summit, Purna Virji from Microsoft stated that by 2020, 50% of search will come from voice (comScore). She outlined the steps to get prepared for voice search for paid and organic search queries. Since the growth of voice search is growing, now is the time to get ready for voice search and to become an early adopter.

Kevin Cotch

SEO Cheat Sheet for Better Content Marketing

Kevin Cotch on Jun 16th, 2016     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO


It is our job as marketers to provide our customers with quality experiences. One way we can provide a quality experience is by implementing a customer focused content marketing program. Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, including blog posts, infographics, email, podcasts, and many other content types. Every online channel provides a unique way for us to reach our audience. With that idea in mind, we need to optimize each content asset to make it easier for people to find.

Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher and many marketers are finding it challenging to get their content in front of the right audience. This challenge will continue to become more difficult with about 91% of B2B marketers claiming that they are already using content marketing. Although that number is high, many have the opportunity to better optimize the content that is already being created.

Kevin Cotch

How to Address Technical SEO Issues to Increase Content Visibility

Kevin Cotch     SEO


[Note From Ashley: Kevin is an SEO Analyst on the team at TopRank Marketing and has done an exceptional job uncovering and fixing technical issues for our clients. This is Kevin’s first post on and we look forward to him sharing his technical expertise on an ongoing basis with our readers.]

Websites that don’t work and are hard to navigate can be an incredibly frustrating experience for any user. If they load slowly, have broken pages, or duplicate content it can deter visitors from coming back and make it less likely that the content that you’ve worked so hard on shows up in search results.

Lee Odden

Where SEO Fits in Digital Marketing Strategy for UK Marketers

Lee Odden     SEO

On each of my trips to Europe or elsewhere abroad to a marketing conference, it is inevitable that someone will say, “We’re 1-2 years behind digital marketing in the U.S.”.

The reasons for this vary, from the capabilities of agencies to demand amongst business buyers of marketing services. Business culture in the UK drives many companies to react to competitors more than leading their respective market with new marketing tactics.

Budgets are another reason why a lag exists between the U.S. and Europe – there’s simply more money being spent on digital marketing, advertising and PR so there’s more resources, opportunity to experiment and innovate.

Knute Sands

Lee Odden Educates B2B Marketers on SEO for Content Marketing

Knute Sands     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

As content marketing professionals, most of us would consider SEO a highly technical domain. Best leave that to the real nerds, right? Wrong. Google, Bing and all the other search engines have significantly altered their algorithms in the past few years. And these changes continue to favor the highest quality content, often rewarding smart content marketers with first position rankings.

With a bit of SEO sweet sauce, your content marketing sandwich will taste much better to search engines, and users too. Below, I will explore 4 major themes from TopRank Marketing CEO, Lee Odden’s recent Content2Conversion talk on SEO for Content Marketers, including:

  • The State of SEO in 2016
  • Understanding Self-Directed Buyer Behavior
  • How to, “Be The Best Answer”
  • How to Create Smarter Integrated SEO Content for The Web
Caitlin Burgess

7 Ways to Optimize Your Web Content for Humans & Search Engines

Caitlin Burgess     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

optimize for humans

In case you haven’t heard, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not dead. In fact, SEO is an absolute must for successful content marketing, but gone are the days where the first two words dictate how you execute the third.

Ever since Google dropped its Penguin update in 2012, user experience has become the primary focus of good SEO. Yes. Today’s SEO is about finding the perfect balance between user-centric content and convincing search engine crawlers that your content is supreme.

Now, I’m pretty confident that everything I just said isn’t news to you. However, actually accomplishing that perfect balance may be something you’re still working on. And that’s where I aim to help.

Below are some best practices and tips for optimizing your on-page content for human users and search engines:

Lee Odden

12 Major Brands on Where SEO Fits in the Digital Marketing Mix for 2016

Lee Odden     SEO

SEO digital marketing

Did you know? Google handles 100 billion searches per month and more than half of those are on mobile devices.

Did you also know? 15% of Google’s 3.5 billion daily searches have never been seen before.

I remember when you couldn’t search for anything on a smart phone and now people are searching for just about anything and everything, mostly on mobile devices. It’s an understatement to say search engines, consumer searching behaviors and search engine optimization have all changed.

As much as social media, content marketing and other marketing channels emerge, there is no mistaking the value of being the best answer for buyers at the moment of need. So how valuable is SEO going into 2016? More specifically…

Evan Prokop

5 SEO Considerations to Win with Both Customers and Search Engines

Evan Prokop     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 With Blocking and Tackling SEO

Ashley Zeckman     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     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     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.