search engine optimization

SES Toronto: SEO is Dead. No it’s Not.

SEO is DeadModerated by Jonathen Allen, the SEO is Dead. Long live SEO! session included a number of “salty dog” SEO experts: Terry Van Horne, Jim Hedger and Garry Pryzklenk.

Essentially, the key questions discussed in this panel centered around what is it that we’re doing as marketers that could be considered as SEO vs. Marketing.  Other topics included: Google +1, personalization, evolving nature of SERPs, “Trust Rank”, analytics and other technical aspects of SEO were discussed.

Moderator: What does search engine optimization mean anymore? The thing about SEO is that there are many technical considerations. What ranking factors still matter? Should we still be considering tags, H1, Titles, etc.

Terry: Title tags are one of the biggest factors.

3 Phases of Social Media SEO – Where Are You At?

Social SEO PhasesAs Google puts the squeeze on traditional ranking signals and subsequently, Search Engine Optimization tactics, the growing emphasis on social signals has many SEO practitioners getting more serious about social engagement.

While search marketing has been a key part of our consulting practice since 2001, our Online Marketing agency’s work with Public Relations and blogging since 2003 has helped us develop an appreciation of the influence and engagement outcomes possible with social media pretty quickly, vs. solely as a promotion channel for links. That sentiment is growing rapidly as of late with many traditional SEOs.

Blog Marketing Strategy: 7 Steps to Social SEO Success

Blog Marketing Social SEO At BlogWorld Expo in New York this week I presented a session about Dominating Your Niche with Social Content and SEO.  It was crammed with information and I know there are many online marketers looking for practical advice on business blogging and blog marketing that didn’t attend.  Based on the blog marketing we do here at Online Marketing Blog and in the consulting that I do, here are  7 practical steps online marketers can take for social media and SEO success with a blog.

All marketing efforts should start with a goal and means for measuring success, so I do not get into specifics on those tasks in this list, but focus more on the content and promotion.

1.  Social SEO Personas

Personas Social Media SEO

Core Content SEO Tools: Keyword Glossary & Editorial Plan

Content SEO ToolsIt’s funny when you work in an industry for a long time that the basic things you create to make life a little easier can save others who are new to the field, a lot of time. I’ve done a few webinars and speaking events in the past few months where one of the tools suggested was a Keyword Glossary (spreadsheet) for managing category and page level optimization, keyword mapping and competitor keyword mapping.

Another tool was an Editorial Plan that documents articles/blog posts, media, promotion and planned re-purposing. There are basic building blocks for becoming more efficient with search engine optimization tasks, but I’ve received a lot of requests for them.  I thought they might be useful to our readers to use for inspiration to create their own and maybe even modify and mashup into something better.

Is Your SEO Program Chasing Unicorns?

Keyword UnicornThere are many reasons companies invest in Search Engine Optimization ranging from a desire to attract new customers through online marketing channels to diversifying customer acquisition to ego.  That’s right, ego. Not every marketer makes SEO investment decisions based on pulling in prospects and customers to brand content for engagement and conversions.

Often times, brands think of themselves as the leader in their category and therefore think their website should top Google’s list for queries on generic industry terms. The trouble is, leading an industry offline isn’t the same thing as being the BEST answer for a search query online.  Chasing after such terms is very much driven by ego and not unlike a fairy tale of chasing after unicorns where there’s an expectation that being #1 on a single word will magically solve their problems.

3 Essential Social Media SEO Tips for Advertisers – ad:tech San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge San FranciscoToday I’ll be speaking at ad:tech San Francisco with one of my favorite people in the Search Marketing industry, Melanie Mitchell, who is a Senior VP of Search Strategy at Digitas. She’s tasked a panel including Simon Heseltine, Rob Snell and myself to talk about “Modern Search Engine Optimization”.

While SEO is a billion dollar industry, many companies focused on advertising are quite new to how SEO might fit within an online marketing strategy. With plenty of outdated and mis-information online amidst a fast changing industry, it can be a challenge to have confidence in what’s true and best practices. Few marketers want to invest in something they don’t quite understand. Or at least not understand where it fits for connecting the brand and customers to drive revenue.

Essentials of Integrating SEO & Social Media

Social Media Optimization is Here to Stay

There’s a recent surge in the business press about incorporating social media and search or basically a more holistic approach to natural search optimization. While many popular biz pubs are catching on, bloggers and consultants like the team at TopRank Marketing have been covering the topic for a while.  To help marketers better understand the notion of holistic SEO outside of PageRank, meta tags and link building, here are several of our most popular posts and articles on making online marketing programs both search and social media friendly:

Social Media Optimization

How Does Social Media Affect Search Marketing? – This post answers key questions about social media and search engine marketing: Are they two peas in a pod, complementary or two very distinct channels? The answer lies in understanding searcher behaviors and how expectations have changed as part of the search and social networking experience.

Content Strategy and the Dirty Lie about SEO

SEO Content StrategyA recent comment on Online Marketing Blog in response to advice on Content Marketing Optimization states: “Why not write less and give more to gain credibility …  reach the audience and the rest will follow?”    It makes sense to create great content that people will interact with and share, growing visibility over time naturally. But that’s a superficial and often naive approach to content marketing.

Here’s the full comment from Kal:

“I find a lot of content is wasted! You see the site ranking and click! All you see is garbage and you know it is written for the search engines and not for the reader, researcher, consumer or the surfer.”

10 Steps to Better Content Marketing & SEO

content marketing optimizationHow would you rate your content marketing efforts? How well are you incorporating SEO and Social Media? If you’re not sure or need to improve, read on.

We’re big fans of content marketing as you probably know and there’s a presentation on Content Marketing Optimization that I’ve been doing at search conferences lately (SES SF, SES CHI, Pubcon and soon SES London) that has evolved each time I give it. See the bottom of this post for an embedded copy of the latest version from Pubcon.

While there are an increasing number of definitions of what content marketing is, I tend to prefer:

Content Marketing: Aligning customer and brand objectives through content.

While the primary platforms for our application of this definition are online and more specifically, through search, social, online PR, email and certain kinds of advertising, I think a timelessly relevant definition needs to be general.

MarketingSherpa 2011 SEO & Social Media Benchmark Report

marketingsherpa sem report 2011MarketingSherpa has done it again with their SEM report for 2011. With the help of Lead Author, Research Analyst Jen Doyle, they’ve put together an excellent resource for marketers looking for strategic guidance as well as real data about search engine marketing.

This particular report focuses on Search Engine Optimization with an emphasis on the interplay of search and social media, two topics that are very near and dear to the consulting practice at TopRank Online Marketing.

According to the MarketingSherpa report, 64% of marketers surveyed are integrating social media into their search marketing plans which syncs well with the soon to be released SEOmoz SEO Industry Report, which cites 71% of the 10k plus search marketers that responded as leveraging social tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Enterprise Level SEO Is Not For The Weak

Enterprise Level SEO Panel At SES San Francisco

Thanks to Ray ‘Catfish’ Comstock for providing the title of this post with his opening remarks during the session.  Joining Comstock on this panel, moderated by Seth Besmertnik, CEO, Conductor, Inc.:

  • Crispin Sheridan, SES Advisory Board & Sr Director of Search Marketing Strategy, SAP
  • Bill Hunt,  SES Advisory Board & President, Back Azimuth Consulting
  • Guillaume Bouchard, Co-founder and CEO, NVI

As a good writer and analyst, I have to ask ‘why’ for even the most obvious problem posed.  So why is enterprise level Search Engine Optimization (SEO) not for the weak? The obvious answer: a lot of people, a lot of content.  Enterprise is difficult because management of a lot of content and people is difficult to scale.

Is It The SEO Metrics Or The Connections Between?

Meaningful SEO Metrics at SES San Francisco Ultimately, to measure Search Engine Optimization (SEO) success, you aren’t necessarily looking at individual metrics – you are looking for a connection between the metrics – and the resulting affect on revenue.

If my lead seems to negate the name validity of the SES San Francisco session, ‘Meaningful SEO Metrics,’  it is completely unintentional.

Moderated by John Marshall, CTO of Market Motive and SES Advisory Board Member, this excellent session featured on its panel:

  • Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite
  • Ray “Catfish” Comstock, Director of SEO, BusinessOnLine
  • Jon Glick, VP of SEO and GM European Web Properties,

“Infinitely measureable means adjustable,” opens Zwicky.  “And online marketing is completely measureable.”