Miranda Miller

Link Building for Beginners in 3 Simple Steps

Alison Groves from Raven Tools talks link building in an introductory SEO track at NMX Las Vegas.Historically, link building was critical for companies to appear in search results, as links have long been an important signal to search engines. However, the new link building is about mentions, social visibility, and building your company’s presence, says Alison Groves, Product Coordinator at Raven Internet Marketing Tools.

Groves presented her three simple steps to link building for businesses in a presentation this morning at NMX Las Vegas. Her process, she says, revolves around relationship building and nurturing in order to earn mentions from relevant websites. We need to focus less on the technical and more on attracting targeted traffic by getting our sites in front of the people most likely to be interested in our product or service, she said.

With those goals in mind, here are Groves’ three simple steps for link building:

Miranda Miller

Lee Odden’s War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, Content Marketing & SEO at NMX

Lee Odden answers audience questions about content marketing, social media and SEO.Our CEO at TopRank Online Marketing, Lee Odden (@leeodden), shared his War of Words: Myth-Busting Social, Content Marketing and SEO yesterday at NMX Las Vegas.

The premise of Lee’s presentation was actually crowdsourced; the title War of Words comes from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, which was turned into a radio program by Orson Wells and spawned a mass fear that Mars aliens were on their way to take over Earth. There is much misinformation in content marketing, social media and SEO that the hype spreads much like the alien myths of days gone by, says Lee.

Lee Odden

War of Words: Myth-Busting Search Engine Optimization

Mythbusting Search Engine Optimization SEOIn last week’s post about myth-busting social media, I asked what other marketing tactic or channel has attracted as much conjecture, blind advocacy and malarkey.  Only SEO can compare to social media when it comes to the volume of misperceptions and out-dated information posing as “best practices” online.

They say that the only things you can count on in life are death and taxes. Also, that search engines will change.

Google runs over 20,000 experiments per year and at any given time, 50-200 different versions of Google’s core algorithm are helping billions of searchers find what they’re looking for.   Add to that, personalization by location, past search history and the influences of the social graph and you have one of the most complex and fast changing systems ever created.

Lee Odden

A Strategic View of Search Engine Optimization – Where Does SEO Fit in Your Content Strategy?

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Optimize Book, SEO

strategic search engine optimizationCompanies large and small, in industries from retail to manufacturing, publish content online with an expectation that a certain audience of people will find, read and act on that content.  While most Search Engine Optimization efforts are rightly focused on marketing goals like acquiring more customers and increasing revenue, making purchases is not the only reason consumers use search or ask for referrals through social networks.

There’s a lot of tactical advice online about search, social media and content marketing for companies that want to better connect with customers but that advice doesn’t always consider the differences between types of companies or even content within companies. For the best return on marketing investment, it’s important to understand that there are notable differences in tactics for effective optimization depending on who the audience is, how they prefer to discover, consume and act on information.  The very nature of B2C vs. B2B or small company vs. large company content, audience and outcomes can be different, so the approach to optimizing content for search and social media must be tailored accordingly.

Ashley Zeckman

Be Afraid: 33 Scary Online Marketing Tales of SEO, Social Media & Content Marketing

Scary Online MarketingHappy Halloween to all the online marketing ghosts, ghouls, and goblins out there.

Have you ever heard or received a really bad piece of online marketing advice?  Maybe the recommendation was founded on total hearsay, completely out of date or you discovered that the suggestions actually hurt, rather than helped? Scary! At one time or another we’ve all received the trick and not the treat in our internet marketing candy basket.

In this post you’ll find 20 scary SEO, social media and content marketing tales from the team at TopRank Online Marketing and from our friends on Twitter @TopRank, fans on Lee’s Facebook page and the TopRank Facebook page.

BOO! Scary Stories From the Crypt

1 – Classic scary: “Build great content and it will attract visitors all on it’s own. SEO isn’t necessary for good content to stand out.”

Brian Larson

The Importance of Ongoing Optimization – Tips Included

Ongoing Optimization Are we there yet?

Those four words likely conjure up the thought of a seemingly endless road trip of days past. Luckily for you, I’m not going to be talking about road travels in today’s post. No. I have a very different thought in mind, and that is the notion of ongoing optimization.

Lee Odden

10 Tips: Pre-Hire Checklist for Digital Marketing Agencies

brand agency checklist

A lot of agency blogs don’t talk about the diversity of client experience because they think it may reflect poorly, but it’s simply a reality of varying personalities, a dynamic market and changing organizations. Clearly the goal is retention and our online marketing agency has had clients for over 10 years!

When agencies don’t over-promise and under-deliver, manage expectations properly and actually get great results, you’d think the company and agency relationship would be unstoppable.

With the dynamic nature of digital and online marketing as well as the normal changes in business from new and discontinued products to staff changes to mergers and acquisitions, the assumed success formula for an effective agency and client relationship isn’t always so simple.

Lee Odden

Social Media Links – How SEO and Social Work Together for Link Building

social linkingJust about every day I do a Q and A with someone new related to Optimize, online marketing in general or about topics related to our agency’s marketing consulting practice. It might be prep for a journalist interview, blogger interview, Twitter chat or helping a friend out with a book like the Q/A below for Rob Garner (VP at iCrossing and SEMPO board member).

Q/A is a great format since so much of search and social media based content discovery is about answering questions.  Editorial calendars for blogging are useful, but new topics add some nice flavor to the theme. Social linking for example. I don’t use that term at all, but the practices and outcomes involved are absolutely relevant to connecting consumers with brands for business.

Lee Odden

Break Free of Bad SEO Advice – Optimize for Customers

break free bad seo adviceDespite years of warnings from Google and especially from search quality guy, Matt Cutts, there’s a certain segment of internet marketing consultants that continue to give out bad advice:  SEO shortcuts, tricks and loopholes with manufactured content and buying links to gain an artificial advantage that runs contrary to Google’s Guidelines.  Complicating matters is the fact that large numbers of companies are taking that advice in their rush to win traffic and sales.

The result? Getting penalized, removed from the index or other consequences affecting visibility of their content in search. From the Florida update almost 10 years ago to the Panda and recent Penguin updates, it’s clear Google is committed to narrowing down what kinds of SEO tactics can have an explicit impact on search visibility in their quest for quality.

TopRank Online Marketing

Square Zero: 5 Survival Tips for Better Keyword Research

TopRank Online Marketing     Keyword Research, Online Marketing, SEO

It’s a situation you have never before found yourself in.  It is fraught with anticipation – and potentially –danger.  And oftentimes – it can be the difference between success or failure.

It is the square zero experience – and if you find yourself developing a keyword glossary that will drive your online marketing campaigns for an indefinite amount of time – you might be in one.

For a good primer on keyword research, check out chapter 7 of Optimize, of which I am a contributor.  But showing you the implementation steps for keyword research alone isn’t enough to prepare you for the reality of creating the topical framework that will define your entire online marketing strategy – and could help shape the life of your online business.

Lee Odden

9 Steps towards Optimized Content Marketing Nirvana #sesto

optimized content marketing nirvanaSearch Engine Optimization has been around for at least 15 years and has undergone many changes as search technologies and consumer behaviors evolve. At the same time, Content Marketing has captured the attention of companies and consultants in many industries as one of the latest areas of focus for better digital marketing performance.

As a practitioner of SEO and Content Marketing for many years, it’s interesting to see SEOs work to get their arms around building more content focused search marketing strategies. At the same time, content marketers are evolving their skills at SEO to attract qualified traffic to all the great content being created.

Lee Odden

Classic Marketing Consulting Fail: “What We Got Here is a Failure to Implement”

implementation failIf you’re old enough to remember the classic movie, Cool Hand Luke, there’s a moment when a rebellious prisoner played by a young Paul Newman refuses to “go along” with prison rules despite some grueling punishment. The warden, played by Strother Martin, made the famous observation about a lack of communication.

The failure to communicate is probably the most important cause of failure with client and internet marketing consultant relationships. Everything from managing expectations to performance reporting are affected. One of the most common outcomes from a lack of communication in a consulting engagement is the failure to implement.