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.

Lee Odden

How SEO and Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Marketing Performance

Lee Odden     B2B Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

B2B SEO Inbound Marketing

Call it organic marketing, call it inbound marketing or even content marketing – the practice of creating useful information to generate demand and attract an audience of buyers vs. buying ads to push messages out to them is one of the highest impact, low cost approaches to digital marketing a business can take.

The practice of optimizing content for better search visibility goes hand in hand with the broader approach of inbound marketing. SEO best practices can be applied to content across the entire sales cycle to surface brand content during awareness, consideration and purchase behaviors as well as after the transaction to reinforce retention and advocacy goals.

Lee Odden

SEO Storm or Light Shower? Google’s Panda 4.0 Update

Lee Odden     Google, Online Marketing, SEO

Google Panda 4.0

The thunder clap of Google’s Matt Cutts’s Twitter post could be heard across the web this week with the announcement of the search engine’s latest update, Panda 4.0.

Of course the type of Panda I’m talking about isn’t a cute bear from China. It’s the name of an algorithm used by Google to filter out low quality content from search results.

The first Panda update in Feb, 2011 was fairly aggressive, affecting about 11% of queries on Google and millions of searchers. Panda also had an impact on more than a few website owners who fell from the search results like hail from the sky.

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable reports that this most recent Panda update is expected to affect 7.5% of English search queries and with 12.5 billion searches per month on Google, that could be a pretty big storm for the SEO world.

Lee Odden

How an Online Marketing Audit Can Help A Small Business Optimize Search, Social & Content Marketing

Online Marketing Audit

An increasing number of companies feel they have a solid content marketing strategy and tactical mix in place. Now it’s time to think about how to integrate an “Optimize and Socialize” approach into the overall online marketing program.

Two key considerations for implementing a scalable “Optimize and Socialize” content marketing approach involve where SEO and social media optimization fit within the content planning and publishing process and the skills of Social Media and SEO content creators. Here is a small business example that uses an Online Marketing Audit to start finding the answer to those questions about process and skills.

Small Business Marketing Problem: No Time For Content

Lee Odden

New Rules for SEO Mechanics & Link Building – It’s a Race You’re Probably Not Winning

SEO Race to WinLast week I attended and presented at the SES conference in London where online marketers from all over Europe and as far away as Australia converged to learn about integrated marketing and paid, earned, and owned media.

With it’s history in search marketing, the conference complemented presentations on digital marketing with sessions on SEO as well.

Making sure content is easy to find by the right audience in search is an important part of our consulting at TopRank Marketing, so I am acutely aware of the changes in the search optimization world from Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird. Regardless, as a content and social media focused marketer, it was interesting to hear the shift in current SEO and link building best practices.

Eliza Steely

What Google Hummingbird Really Means and What Marketers Can Do About It

Google Hummingbird

Note from Lee: You know the phrase, kill two birds with one stone? That’s what we’re doing with this post format and the topic of Hummingbird.  Our team at TopRank is known for liveblogging conferences, but this co-created blog format is something new. At the same time, we’re covering a topic (Google Hummingbird) and search + social media that I think warrants some clarity and practical advice. In this post, you’ll see insights our team members took from the SMBMSP event followed by “TopRank Tips” from Eliza and myself.

In the digital marketing world, change is inevitable. At some point in life we are all forced to adapt, change paths, learn new skills or face something we definitely weren’t expecting.

Lee Odden

What’s the Difference Between Content Marketing and Content for Links? The Wrong Answer Could Cost You

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO
Chubby Spiderman

This Spiderman aims to please, but he’s just not the real thing

As someone with roots in the search marketing community it’s been amazing to see how the the phrase “content marketing” has been adopted and redefined.

Whether it’s opportunism or simply being adaptable to the times, the difference in approach to what content marketing is between digital marketing communities like Content Marketing Institute and many in the SEO and social media marketing world is striking.

For brands investing in content marketing, the difference between content for links / SEO and content for customers can be costly in terms of risk, return on investment and performance.

What’s the difference? 

Lee Odden

Why A Transition From Optimizing for Search Engines to Optimizing for Customers is Essential

optimize for customersJudging by the daily new business inquiries we get every day, there’s a groundswell of companies that have become frustrated at the lack of cause and effect data from their SEO programs.

Sure, there are workarounds for things like “not provided” keywords, but the lack of information and uncertainty about what Google will take away next is causing many marketers to diversify into other owned, earned and organic areas: social media, content marketing, online public relations, and certainly into online advertising.

At the same time, as SEO practitioners have matured as marketers, the shift from keywords as the driver for content optimization and creation have been displaced by a focus on answering customer questions along the sales cycle.

Brian Larson

Linkbuilding the Right Way for Search Engine Optimization

Linkbuilding Panel at #SESCHI

In late July, Google updated it’s stated policy on what ‘linkbuilding’ activities now constitute link schemes. While the update was clear  – heavy hyperlinking in press releases, advertorials and large scale guest-blogging are now considered link schemes – the repercussions of the update and it’s lasting impact on SEO have been far more murky.

Nobody likes murky. Not in a drink and especially not when real business outcomes are associated with search visibility and the traffic it generates.

With the session promise of sharing how to linkuild the right way, Jennifer Slegg introduces Chuck Price, Founder of Measurable SEO. Jumping off the stage to begin his presentation, Price’s goal is clearly to dispel the notions that links ‘no longer matter.’ He starts with humor and honesty, “[l]inkbuilding is NOT sexy! Nor is it fun.” But, Price asserts, links are still the number 1 factor influencing search ranking. Two thing are certain, Matt Cutts has said as recently as July in an interview with Eric Enge, that links still matter and not all linkbuilding is bad.

Eliza Steely

Navigating a Website Migration like Indiana Jones: Ensuring a Smooth SEO Transition

Website Migration Presentation #SESCHILet’s face it— at one point in your life you’ve probably wanted to be James Bond, Indiana Jones, Wonder Woman, or any other number of superheroes. Personally, I’ve wanted to be all of them…more than once. For some odd, and inexplicable, reason Indiana Jones was always my favorite.

If you’re like me, you gave up that life of dodging sink holes and escaping life-threatening situations in creatively unrealistic ways to work in digital marketing. But, Simon Heseltine from AOL and Dave Rohrer from Covario are giving us the chance to be channel our inner superhero again—by navigating the sinkholes created by website migrations.

In their SES session (moderated by Jim Hedger who couldn’t resist a photo-op with the speakers) these two experts addressed the sinkholes created by different migrations, as well as the ways to avoid the potential traffic decreases and reduced ROIs.

Brian Larson

New SEO Best Practices with Schema Markup

SEO Schema Markup

Web Developers often faint at the mere mention of ‘schema’. The mysterious term conjures up thoughts of impossible code to implement with benefits that seem difficult to pinpoint. At least, those were some of the perceptions surrounding schema markup.

Anne F. Kennedy, the sessions first speaker and member of the SES Advisory Board, wants to reduce that fear among the SEO community surrounding schema markup and explain the benefits derived from their usage. Kennedy polls the office and asks ‘how many currently use schema markup?’ With what appears to be a little over half raising their hands, a little step back is needed.

So Kennedy starts us with the basics: What is a ‘schema’ anyways?

Lee Odden

Not Provided – What Google’s Omission of Organic Keyword Data Means for Online Marketers

Not Provided Keywords

Something is missing! Can we fix it?

We started this week off with a bang – at least in the search world, with Google now redirecting all traffic to https, i.e. encrypted search.

What that means is, if you were wondering what keyword phrases people use on Google organic search to find your website, you’re out of luck.  While keywords are an important answer to the relevance of your website to buyers, now those answers are simply listed as (not provided).

Google has been masking keyword data for logged in users for about 2 years, so dealing with omitted keyword data is nothing new to agencies like yours truly at TopRank Online Marketing.