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Lee Odden

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

Lee Odden on Sep 26th, 2013     Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing, SEO
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.

Alexis Hall

How to Dominate Search Results With Your Brand – Brian Clark Tells All

Alexis Hall on Sep 16th, 2013     Content Marketing, Marketing PR Conferences, Online Marketing, SEO

Brian Clark - copybloggerIf you create content and no one can find it, then what is the point?

On TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog we know that SEO is a crucial step in the amplification of content.  As Lee likes to say, “Content isn’t really great until someone finds, consumes and acts on it.”  Yet, I know from working with clients ranging from enterprise to small business, SEO is not always part of the content development process.

Whether it’s a lack of SEO know-how or a fear of old fashioned ideas like keyword stuffing, Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media aimed to break down those walls and show online marketers how to dominate search results with content.

Jesse Pickrain

5 Creative SEO Copywriting Methods for Boring Topics

Jesse Pickrain on Sep 9th, 2013     Content Marketing, SEO

Creative Content for Boring TopicsIf Alan Shumway doesn’t read your blog, he’s as good as fired.

We’re about two months into Q3 and Alan already blazed through 90% of his annual budget. It’s only his second year as IT director for a small staffing company, and the bosses are breathing down his neck to make things right. Q4 looks even worse.

Now imagine your business provides a solution that will not only allow Alan to make his budget this year, but also project future costs with laser-like precision. It’s an ideal fit. The problem is reaching him.

There are thousands of other blogs trying to do the exact same thing – get the attention of IT decision makers like Alan – not to mention all the other internet noise. According to Mashable, over 2 million blog posts are written every day.

Lee Odden

Google Did Not Just Kill PR Agencies

Lee Odden on Aug 13th, 2013     Marketing & PR Industry, Online Marketing, Online PR, SEO

Google Kill PR AgenciesGoogle updated their content guidelines for links recently causing a bit of buzz amongst the SEO community, mostly from those looking for clarification. I’ll get to that shortly, but something else popped up that’s worth debunking.

The link scheme clarifications directed at webmasters also attracted a post from ZDNet via Tom Foremski’s sensationally titled article, “Did Google just kill PR agencies?”.

In case you didn’t know, PR agencies do a lot more that create press releases, let alone over-optimize them for search.

Companies rely on PR firms for a variety of services and consulting ranging from strategy and message development to media relations and social media outreach to monitoring and reporting.  Product launches, press conferences, event management and promotion, reputation and crisis management, media training, investor relations and of course content creation are all services provided by different PR agencies.

Evan Prokop

Does SEO Still Matter?

Evan Prokop on Jul 24th, 2013     Online Marketing, SEO

SEOWe’ve all heard “SEO is Dead” from alarmists, the uninformed, and in countless link bait articles (irony?). But is there any truth to it?

While Search Engine Optimization may look completely different than it did even a year ago, I firmly believe that SEO is not only alive, but thriving. Here’s why:

Some of SEO is Dead

Many tactics that have fallen under the SEO umbrella can safely be considered dead, either because they don’t work anymore, never worked, or still work but are in violation of Google’s guidelines. I’m not going to spend time discussing why they don’t work or are risky, because that’s not what this article is about, and there has been plenty written about the topic.

Lee Odden

What Content Marketers Really Need to Know About SEO – A Twitter Chat With @JoePulizzi #CMWorld

Lee Odden on Jul 15th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Social Media

Content SEOCompanies large and small are investing in content creation now, more than ever. Whether the investment in content marketing supports branding, sales, customer service, PR or recruiting, there are specific audiences and brand messages involved.

Kudos to companies making the effort to create more useful content to help answer customer questions. But what good is investing in all that content if it’s not easy to find and share?

Search is a direct expression of intent and what better time for your useful content to be available than at your customers’ moment of need? It’s the perfect time of course, so companies pumping out content without amplification are literally throwing money away.

Lee Odden

Optimizing With Youtility – Free Tools to Better Understand Your Customers and Create Marketing That Matters

Lee Odden on Jul 10th, 2013     Content Marketing, Guest Posts, Online Marketing, SEO

Youtility for Better MarketingAs you know, we rarely run guest posts but today I’d like to welcome best selling author Jay Baer to TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog.  Jay’s new book, Youtility, is lighting the bookseller charts on fire and has offered an excerpt for your reading pleasure. 

After meeting Jay about 5 years ago at SXSWi, it’s been a pleasure to see his rise as a digital marketing powerhouse keynote speaker, consultant and all around great guy. Jay is a veteran agency owner going back to the very early days of the internet and an entrepreneur. He’s worked with numerous Fortune 500 brands and is one of the few marketing “celebrities” that walks the talks he’s giving. Enjoy!

Lee Odden

RIP Google Reader, External Keyword Tool is Next

Lee Odden on Jul 1st, 2013     Keyword Research, Marketing Industry News, Online Marketing
Google Reader RIP

Click to open full infographic – Wordstream

Today Google has retired Google Reader joining a long list of other Google products that have been discontinued. See a full list by clicking the Wordstream infographic to the right.

The reason offered by Google: “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.”

I suppose it’s to be expected when you have an organizational culture where 20% of your time can be spent experimenting on new projects. Of those that make it to market as betas, many will not become viable as contributions to the business.  Luckily, in the case of Google Reader there are plenty of alternatives like Feedly.

Lee Odden

Opening Up Twitter Analytics to All – Smart Marketing Move ala Google

Lee Odden on Jun 17th, 2013     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News, SEO

Twitter AnalyticsIs Twitter the right place for your social media investment?

Whether you have time or ad dollars to spend, this is a question that marketers are visiting and revisiting as the demand for social media performance increases.

According to Twitter, 35% of consumers that follow a brand are more likely to purchase from that brand. Twitter users are also 47% more likely to visit the company’s website and 35% are more likely to retweet content from a business they follow.

Is Twitter right for you? How do you know the performance of your Twitter engagement and marketing activities?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to Twitter Analytics without having to advertise?

Yes, it would. And now you can.

Lee Odden

How Personas Guide Meaningful Content Creation & Optimization

Lee Odden on Jun 6th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

Optimize Content with PersonasAs marketers accumulate information about customers, it is also important to identify common characteristics and patterns to help guide messaging, engagement and offers.

Behaviors that contribute to your business objectives like, sales, advocacy, sharing, referrals and repeat business might contribute to your understanding of an “ideal” customer that can be characterized as a persona:

Admin Bob – Influences the CEO on software purchases and cares about price, service and speed.

Being able to identify your “best” customers also means there’s another end to the spectrum:  patterns that reflect undesirable customer behaviors and an “avoid” persona:

Gatekeeper Jane – Maintains power by filtering information to the CEO about software purchases. Cares about control, recognition and status quo.

Companies that solve different problems in different markets may determine that multiple personas best represent their target audience.

Lee Odden

The Truth About Content Marketing & SEO

Lee Odden on May 30th, 2013     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO

SEO tunnel visionOver the past few years, there’s been a tremendous focus on content creation in the search and overall digital marketing world. Once you get past the hype, there are plenty of well documented case studies showing the ROI of a content marketing approach.

Unfortunately, content marketing campaigns are often guilty of paying little more than cursory attention to the optimization of digital assets for search. There might be a “keywords” or “SEO” check box on a task list, but it’s not anything that takes full advantage of search based discovery. The content might be engaging and inspire action, but good luck finding it on a search engine.

Why is this? It can be a mix of factors ranging from the ambiguity of SEO cause and effect to prioritizing tactics according to the ability to implement and understand how to measure their impact.

Miranda Miller

7 Steps to SEO at Scale: How to Ramp Up Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Miranda Miller on May 22nd, 2013     Online Marketing, SEO

Scalable SEO in brands and organizationscomScore reports that in April 2013 there were over 20 billion search queries and of the 13 billion+ handled by Google, 16% of daily searches have never been seen before.  Each of those attempts represents buyers looking for solutions at the moment of need. Online marketers that take advantage of modern, scalable search engine optimization best practices as part of their overall digital marketing mix can gain a significant advantage over competitors to become “the best answer” when it matters most.

Understanding the basics of search engine optimization can be challenging given how often major search engines update and change the rules. However, buyers’ overwhelming use of search to find solutions is too great to ignore its influence on the buying cycle and achieving sales growth goals.

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