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.

 

Caitlin Burgess

SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Caitlin Burgess     SEO, SEO Tips

SEO Checklist to Avoid Mistakes

With so much content being created, published and promoted online every second—as well as consumers becoming increasingly self-directed in their quest for answers—competition to capture your audience’s attention has never been more fierce.

As a result, quality and strategic SEO has probably never been more important for helping you be the best answer whenever and wherever your audience is searching.

But as seasoned marketers know, SEO has gone through a tremendous evolution since its early days of keyword-focused content. With more than 2 trillion searches happening on Google every year, today’s SEO is about finding the perfect balance between user-centric content and convincing search engine crawlers that your content is supreme.

Joshua Nite

How to Create Best Answer Content: 6 Inspiring Examples

Joshua Nite     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

Undoubtedly you’ve heard the expression “content shock,” coined by marketing expert Mark Schaefer.

With immense respect, I have to admit: I don’t believe in it.

The idea that there’s so much content out there, people are tired of content altogether? That no one’s giving new content a chance? That it’s too hard to get new content seen?

Not buying it.

I think what’s happening is simply this: People don’t want “content.”

They want answers to questions. They want a few minutes of entertainment. They want to learn something new. They want what they were searching for in the first place.

To reach our audience, we need to stop creating content and start producing the best answer to their queries.  Companies that adopt this content marketing strategy tend to top search engine rankings (Top…rankings…there’s an agency name in there somewhere, I can feel it).

Ashley Zeckman

The Future of Search Engine Optimization: Top SEO Predictions for 2017

Ashley Zeckman     Mobile Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

2017-seo-predictions

In the past, the SEO battle was focused on either black hat, or white hat tactics. Black hat SEO was considered extremely aggressive and didn’t typically play by the rules of search engines. White hat SEO tactics on the other hand were typically closely aligned with search engine guidelines.

Today’s world of SEO looks much different (and it’s about time). Instead of hyper focusing only on keywords or search engine needs, smart marketers are concentrating first and foremost on the needs of users. User experience as it relates to mobile accessibility, content structure and user intent on search engines have become the new norm.

Content is the reason search began in the first place. – Lee Odden

Michael Bak

PPC + SEO = A Winning Team for Search Marketing Success

Michael Bak     Online Advertising, SEO

Search-Marketing-Success

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     Marketing PR Conferences, SEO

voice-search-revolution

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     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

SEO-Content-Marketing

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

Technical SEO Issues to Address

[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 TopRankBlog.com 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

UK 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.