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Lee Odden

3 SEO Predictions I made in 2005 – Was I Right? What About Search in 2025?

Lee Odden on Nov 10th, 2014     Online Marketing, SEO

Future of SEO

I gave my first public presentation about online marketing just under 10 years ago for MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) called “Search Engine Smarts – Organic, PPC, SEO, Blog – What Does it All Mean?”.

It was at the J.J. Hill Library in Saint Paul early one morning and about 60 people showed up. To say I was nervous is an understatement.

Back then TopRank Online Marketing was focused mostly on search marketing. My, how things have changed.

Or have they?

In the presentation there’s basic advice about SEO such as:

Use keywords in content: Research keywords and ensure their presence in unique title tags, on-page headings, in text links between pages, as image alt text and within the body copy – but don’t overdo it.


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Tumblr Auto-Plays, Twitter For The Holidays, Google Discontinues

Ben Brausen on Nov 7th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

Social Referral Traffic

In Q3, Facebook Drove 4x More Traffic Than Pinterest [REPORT] - With a $200 billion market cap and an active user base that rivals the entire population of China, Facebook has significant staying power. Search Engine Journal

Survey: Consumers Don’t Trust Product Information in Marketing - When it comes to customer service online, it’s not enough to direct customers to your website or offer a phone number. The online customer service experience can help or hinder your business online, and it’s important to realize that this is no longer a U.S.-dominated market. A study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Lithium Technologies examined customer attitudes around the world. SocialTimes

88% of Companies are Using Social Media for Marketing [STUDY] - Almost nine in 10 companies in the United States are using social media for marketing purposes, reveals a new study. AllTwitter


Evan Prokop

Improve Digital Marketing Performance with Attract, Engage, Convert Sales Cycle Analytics

Evan Prokop on Nov 6th, 2014     Web Analytics

Web analytics across the sales cycle

According to recent research from Hubspot, CMOs are planning to increase their budgets for web analytics by 60% in 2015. That may sound like a lot, but it’s money well spent when you consider that web analytics are the key to measuring, understanding and optimizing the effectiveness of your digital marketing programs.

Getting Started

Getting started with web analytics

With the vast amount of data available from modern web analytics tools, it’s easy to get lost or focus on the vanity metrics, missing the truly valuable insights that can benefit your business.

For example, it’s tempting and all too common for businesses engaging in Facebook marketing to focus solely on increasing ‘likes’ to their page and content. It’s certainly not a bad idea to track this metric, but on it’s own it doesn’t say much about the real business impact. Tracking and reviewing actions like referral traffic to your website from Facebook, leads generated or social sales will tell you much more about the true business impact of your Facebook marketing initiative.


Lee Odden

How to Incorporate SEO and Influencer Content

Lee Odden on Nov 5th, 2014     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

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

Roundup: 11 B2B Marketing Reports and One Killer Infographic

Lee Odden on Nov 3rd, 2014     B2B

B2B Marketing Reports

While they would be nice to have, the Future of B2B Marketing involves more than science fiction inspired predictions about cranial implants and neural marketing dashboards. Business Marketers are simultaneously investing in a more human approach to business content while also further tapping in to the power of data. Which innovations make sense for your B2B company?

From predictive analytics to more scientifically understanding buyer content consumption preferences, there’s a world of opportunity when it comes to optimizing B2B marketing performance.

In this post I’ve curated a collection of reports and one very clever infographic on topics that should be front and center for B2B marketers in Q4 and on into 2015. Click on each report image to download (some require registration).


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: Tweets From Strangers, Facebook Dominates, Searching For Emojis

Ben Brausen on Oct 31st, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

History Of Social Media Ads

A History of Social Media Advertising [INFOGRAPHIC] - Where have social ads been and where are they heading? The infographic above shows how things started and where we are now. Check it out. Mashable

Report: Facebook Dominates Social Sharing Of Major Events, But Twitter & Reddit React Quicker - ShareThis quarterly report finds that Facebook commands a large lead in total sharing of major events, but Twitter and Reddit activity ramps up the closer you get to the event. Marketing Land

Twitter Beats Revenue Expectations Again but User Engagement Slows - At Twitter, a pattern is emerging: its ad business is growing at a steady clip, but it can’t get the number of users to grow or stick around. AdAge


Lee Odden

10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015

Lee Odden on Oct 29th, 2014     Content Marketing

must read content marketing posts

Over the past 5 years we’ve published over 380 articles about content marketing here on Online Marketing Blog. It’s a big topic after all – with plenty of opportunity to help marketers better understand the planning, creation, management, promotion, measurement and performance optimization of content.

After digging in to our web and social media analytics, I’ve identified 10 of the most popular posts on content marketing that I’m sure you’ll find useful. From our Content Marketing Maturity Model to tips, tools and measurement – the 10 posts summarized below will help you finish off 2014 in style and put your planning for 2015 in the right direction.

TopRank Content Marketing Maturity Model


Lee Odden

For Better Integrated Marketing, Look Inside for Insights

Lee Odden on Oct 28th, 2014     Integrated Marketing

Integrated Marketing

Integrated Marketing often means a combination of marketing tactics as part of a specific campaign tied together with a common goal and audience. As consumers become more diverse and sophisticated in how they discover, consume and interact with digital content, it only follows that marketers correspond their efforts to provide a common (yet relevant to the channel) experience for customers.

To elevate their ability to provide such an experience, many marketers are challenged to find new platforms, best practices and strategies. In many cases, the answer to improving customer experience across marketing channels is sitting right in front of them within customer service, sales, public relations and product management.


Lee Odden

How to Be the Best Answer with Topic Targeting

Lee Odden on Oct 27th, 2014     Blogging

Be the Best Answer - TopRank

This weekend I had the good fortune to present at the Minnesota Blogger Conference where nearly 300 local bloggers gathered to learn, get inspired and network.

For my part, I gave a presentation on how blogs are still an incredibly useful tool for marketing. Keeping the reason for blogging top of mind as well as empathy for reader preferences in how they find, consume and act on information are essential if a blog author expects marketing outcomes from their efforts.

When a blog or any content hub can become “the best answer” for the topics that are important for buyers, the return on blogging goes way, way up. One way to execute a content plan to become known as an authority is through topic targeting.


Ben Brausen

Online Marketing News: A Squeaky New Penguin, 2015 Content Trends, AdWords Declines

Ben Brausen on Oct 24th, 2014     Online Marketing, Online Marketing News

9 Social Media Mistakes

9 Mistakes Most Businesses Make on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] - Getting into social is so easy, many business jump right in without a second though. Everyone is doing it, right?  Check out these 9 mistakes many businesses are making on social and how you can make sure you aren’t making them. Social Media Today

Google Releases Penguin 3.0 — First Penguin Update In Over A Year - Google confirms that a new version of its Penguin filter aimed at fighting spam went live on Friday. Search Engine Land

Study: Marketers Increasingly Opting For Facebook Video Over YouTube - Facebook has been doing all it can to give marketers more of a reward for posting videos to the site. According to a study published recently by Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Socialbakers, the number of videos Facebook admins directly upload to the site could soon surpass videos linked from YouTube. InsideFacebook


Lee Odden

Better Business Blogging – 7 Lessons Learned from Writing 1 Million Words

Lee Odden on Oct 23rd, 2014     Blogging, Online Marketing

blogging tips toprank

Blogging for over 10 years has been quite a journey to say the least. During that time, I’ve had my share of challenges, opportunities, disappointments and surprises.

Back when I started, there’s no way I would have imagined having so many things to say for so long or anticipated what impact ongoing content creation would have on me personally and for our digital marketing agency – TopRank.

It’s true that a blog is not for every business, but every business that blogs, sees numerous advantages. For many, there are roadblocks and unrealized opportunities. Businesses can get caught up in those distractions and let their blogs die. As an example, IBM research shows that 80% of the blogs started there have fewer than 5 posts.


Lee Odden

3 Ways to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Marketing Success

Lee Odden on Oct 21st, 2014     Social Media

Grand Canyon

While nearly 90% of companies are using social media for marketing, the distance between “using” and “succeeding” is of Grand Canyon proportions.

In the early stages of social media marketing maturity, business use of social media tends to go through a series of phases from not doing anything to beginning to monitor social channels to sharing content and building community. Eventually, they find their way to some form of social sales or social commerce.

To jump start the move towards a social media marketing strategy that starts to align with measurable business outcomes, here are 3 ways many companies can optimize their approach to social media.


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