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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Linkbuilding Like a Nerd #SESNY

Linkbuilding EssentialsLinkbuilding has to be one of my favorite aspects of SEO. All too often people use the analogy of linkbuilding being a popularity contest. As someone who views linkbuilding in a somewhat different light – and as someone who was considered by only his parents as ‘cool’ – I think it’s time to put that analogy to bed. Yes, being the sexy-fun brand will undoubtedly drive links for your site. But in my opinion, it’s the quality of the information on the page that will not only help you succeed in proactively acquiring links, but will also inspire others to link to your page. Or to return to the analogy, the cool kid might start out with the lead, but it’s the smart kid (see nerd) who ends up winning in the long run.

It’s Not SEO Anymore, It’s Marketing. Deal With It.

Customer Centric SEO

Optimize For Customer Experience

When people learn I’ve recently written a book called Optimize they usually ask what it’s about. I say it’s about optimizing customer discovery and engagement with content. The response I usually get is something like, “Oh, cool. I thought it was about SEO.”

Well, in a way optimizing content and customer experiences is SEO. That’s because what most of the better SEOs practice today is really more about the promise of marketing: attracting, engaging and inspiring customers to buy.

Whether it’s Google, Social Networks, Online News Media, Digital Assets or any other channel/format for content – best practices optimization is in effect for smart companies that want an advantage.

SEO Migration Plan – Failure to Plan is a Plan to Fail – SES London 2012

big ben

No SEO Migration Plan is much scarier than this pic of Big Ben.

One of the classic scenarios for the intersection of web design/development and search engine optimization is when companies decide to update their website’s design and content management system. Businesses that expect new revenue and continued visibility to various audiences through search need to manage their web site assets for more than just ease of back-end maintenance and customer user experience.

Hopefully the situation doesn’t come to light like this:

A website manager sends an email on Friday saying, “We’re launching a new website on Monday, can you take a look at it to make sure our site optimization is ok?”.

#Optimize This: Online Marketing Optimization Best Practices

Optimize This OMS

I’m headed to (hopefully) sunny San Diego today for the annual Online Marketing Summit conference where I’ll get to present on one of my favorite topics: Optimization. Of course, if you read Online Marketing Blog very often, you’ll know my definition of optimization is a bit different than traditional SEO.  My post last Thursday “Are You Optimized?” touched on this.

The competition for attendance during the breakout sessions at OMS is really tough during the time slot I’m scheduled for. SAP, Wider Funnel and SAP are all presenting at the same time as I’m giving the all new “Optimize THIS: Integrating Social, SEO & Content presentation”. This post is a bit of a preview on the presentation so if you’re at OMS this week, make sure you check it out.

Online Marketing News: Google+ Who?, Know Thy Customer, Social Media Law, TopRank Team News

Google+ Statistics

Who’s Using Google+?

The launch of Google+ in 2011 has put Google in the social networking boxing ring.  When it comes to user statistics some of them may surprise you.  This infographic by Flowtown shares some interesting information about the increasingly popular social media site.

  • 63% of users are male
  • Only 17% of users are considered active
  • 61% of top 100 brands have a page on Google+
Be sure to connect with TopRank on our Google+ page.

Online Marketing Tips & Tricks

“10 Brand-Building Steps For Beginners” For many companies 2012 marks the year that they will begin implementing a social media strategy.  This article provides 10 easy steps for those who have not yet many the plunge into social marketing.  Via Fast Company.

3 Ways to Optimize Images: Search, Social Media & User Experience

Optimize your images for search, social, and a target audience

Optimize Your Images for Better Digital Asset Optimization

From Marketing to PR, digital assets are an essential part of the content used to tell stories and communicate brand messages.  For publishers and public relations professionals, optimizing the images used in news stories and press releases can have an important impact on visibility in search engines.  Images not only add flavor to news content, but they are also an opportunity to extend the reach of your message through image specific search.

Images are essential for both search and social media marketing with growing popularity as a social media asset. Long time image hosting and social network Flickr hosts well over 50 billion images and social media image sharing services like Instagram and Pintrest have exploded in popularity: