SEO

Content and SEO Beyond Marketing – Optimized Digital Communications

optimized digital communications

Content is the reason search began in the first place.

In the days before Google, directories, lists and forums were the way to discover new content on the fast-growing world wide web.

During those early days, the web was as much about the experience of discovery, aka “surfing”, as it was about finding specific answers.

Answers to what? Many marketers would have you believe the only content that exists is the information created in support of buyers to discover, consume and transact.

But there’s far more to the web than demand generation and advertising. Content is created by companies to serve a variety of business functions from customer service to corporate social responsibility to talent acquisition.

Where Does Search Fit in Digital Marketing in 2015?

search

What does search fit in your digital marketing program? If you answered ‘with the SEO department’, you’re certainly not alone, as many marketers and businesses owners still use the traditionally siloed approach to search marketing, leaving the SEO folks to do their work, separate from the social, paid and content marketing teams.

However, in the ultra-competitive world of search marketing, integration of tactics under a unified digital marketing strategy is becoming more important than ever.

Similar to mobile accessibility, 2015 is the year when integration of search with the overall digital marketing strategy will increasingly move from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential. Brands that embrace an integrated approach will be rewarded.

6 Steps to an Optimized and Socialized Content Workflow

optimized integrated content

Digital marketing tactics have changed over the years but one thing has not – Customers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the insights marketers need to deliver relevant, meaningful and useful content at the right time and the right place.

To realize the benefits of customer insight requires an integrated approach – especially when it comes to content – discovery, consumption and interaction.

Moving from planning to practice, especially within a large organization with regional operations, business units, divisions and departments, processes are essential for adoption, quality and scale. Operationalizing the integration of content, social media and optimization is one of the essential workflows that marketing departments can implement. But what does that look like?

How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500%

social influencer content

A small business technology company was focusing their online marketing efforts on SEO and this approach proved to be effective for several years.

Research revealed relevant keywords in demand from searchers actively looking for solutions in this software category. Existing content was optimized, cross linked and new content was created where needed. Content was promoted to attract links and social shares to ensure a presence on crawlable social media platforms.

But then organic traffic began to slow down in growth and eventually decline, despite following SEO best practices capable of the most specific Google scrutiny.

A decision needed to be made: Will more aggressive SEO tactics be used or was it time to shift perspective?

How to Incorporate SEO and Influencer Content

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.

How SEO and Inbound Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Marketing Performance

B2B SEO Inbound Marketing

Call it organic marketing, call it inbound marketing or even content marketing – the practice of creating useful information to generate demand and attract an audience of buyers vs. buying ads to push messages out to them is one of the highest impact, low cost approaches to digital marketing a business can take.

The practice of optimizing content for better search visibility goes hand in hand with the broader approach of inbound marketing. SEO best practices can be applied to content across the entire sales cycle to surface brand content during awareness, consideration and purchase behaviors as well as after the transaction to reinforce retention and advocacy goals.

How an Online Marketing Audit Can Help A Small Business Optimize Search, Social & Content Marketing

Online Marketing Audit

An increasing number of companies feel they have a solid content marketing strategy and tactical mix in place. Now it’s time to think about how to integrate an “Optimize and Socialize” approach into the overall online marketing program.

Two key considerations for implementing a scalable “Optimize and Socialize” content marketing approach involve where SEO and social media optimization fit within the content planning and publishing process and the skills of Social Media and SEO content creators. Here is a small business example that uses an Online Marketing Audit to start finding the answer to those questions about process and skills.

Small Business Marketing Problem: No Time For Content

New Rules for SEO Mechanics & Link Building – It’s a Race You’re Probably Not Winning

SEO Race to WinLast week I attended and presented at the SES conference in London where online marketers from all over Europe and as far away as Australia converged to learn about integrated marketing and paid, earned, and owned media.

With it’s history in search marketing, the conference complemented presentations on digital marketing with sessions on SEO as well.

Making sure content is easy to find by the right audience in search is an important part of our consulting at TopRank Marketing, so I am acutely aware of the changes in the search optimization world from Panda to Penguin to Hummingbird. Regardless, as a content and social media focused marketer, it was interesting to hear the shift in current SEO and link building best practices.

What Google Hummingbird Really Means and What Marketers Can Do About It

Google Hummingbird

Note from Lee: You know the phrase, kill two birds with one stone? That’s what we’re doing with this post format and the topic of Hummingbird.  Our team at TopRank is known for liveblogging conferences, but this co-created blog format is something new. At the same time, we’re covering a topic (Google Hummingbird) and search + social media that I think warrants some clarity and practical advice. In this post, you’ll see insights our team members took from the SMBMSP event followed by “TopRank Tips” from Eliza and myself.

In the digital marketing world, change is inevitable. At some point in life we are all forced to adapt, change paths, learn new skills or face something we definitely weren’t expecting.

Why A Transition From Optimizing for Search Engines to Optimizing for Customers is Essential

optimize for customersJudging by the daily new business inquiries we get every day, there’s a groundswell of companies that have become frustrated at the lack of cause and effect data from their SEO programs.

Sure, there are workarounds for things like “not provided” keywords, but the lack of information and uncertainty about what Google will take away next is causing many marketers to diversify into other owned, earned and organic areas: social media, content marketing, online public relations, and certainly into online advertising.

At the same time, as SEO practitioners have matured as marketers, the shift from keywords as the driver for content optimization and creation have been displaced by a focus on answering customer questions along the sales cycle.

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

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.

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

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.