Search marketing has matured in many ways throughout this pandemic year of 2020. At each shift and change along the journey, we’ve done our best to not only cover each twist and turn thoroughly, but to also offer insight and research-based strategy to help savvy B2B marketers meet the challenges this year has placed in front of us.
We’re lucky to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing blog — which will celebrate its 18th year in 2021 — including our CEO Lee Odden, Joshua Nite, Elizabeth Williams, Anne Leuman, Nick Nelson, Debbie Friez, Birdie Zepeda, the author of this post, and Alexis Hall, among others.
To help our blog community grow its search marketing knowledge, we’re thrilled to offer this list of our most popular search marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) posts of 2020.
Our Most Popular Search Marketing Posts in 2020:
1. 5 Unheralded SEO Tools for Content Marketers — Lane R. Ellis
In our most popular search marketing post of 2020, I shared popular and little-known SEO tools to help B2B marketers refine and augment their search engine optimization efforts.
From Google Lighthouse to WebPagetest and more, there SEO tools offer insight that will be just as relevant to marketers in 2021.
Sorting through lists of the seemingly endless number of available SEO tools can be frustrating as well as a hit and miss proposition, however this collection lets skip the search and get right into SEO tools you can use today to help you create amazing content marketing stories.
You can check out all of my posts here, and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.“How can you be the best answer for your audience if you don’t understand what questions they’re asking or what problems they’re trying to solve?” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
2. SEO is Not Enough: Why B2B Marketers Need to Optimize for Trust with Influence — Lee Odden
What good is being found if your content isn’t credible? In the second most popular search marketing post of the year, our CEO Lee Odden shows why SEO is not enough, and why optimizing for trust and credibility serve as a force multiplier for B2B marketers.
“At a minimum, content marketers should leverage the keyword and topic research done for SEO as inspiration for the queries used to find relevant influencers on those topics,” Lee observed, suggesting several ways marketers can think about influencers from an SEO perspective:
- Identify influencers that already create content on the topics of interest that already have great visibility on Google
- Pick influencers identified by Google as entities
- Evaluate influencer’s likelihood of attracting links when they publish or contribute content
- Provide influencers with SEO audits of their blogs so they can improve their search visibility
Check out all of Lee’s 2,600+ posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.“By integrating SEO and Influencer Marketing marketers can attract and engage buyers more effectively.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
3. 12 Top B2B SEO Trends & Predictions for 2021 — Lane R. Ellis
In the number three spot on our top search marketing posts of 2020 list, I asked 12 subject matter experts how SEO will change next, and what search marketing will look like in 2021.
Learn from industry leaders as they share their top predictions for 2021, including Barry Schwartz, Lily Ray, Dixon Jones, Melissa Fach, Tim Mayer, Aleyda Solis, Jordan Koene, Roger Montti, Melanie Mitchell, Neil Marshall, and our own Birdie Zepeda and Seth Epstein.
“We need to incorporate intent into the keyword mapping exercise by matching keywords with the right intent to the right document,” Tim Mayer noted in this, our third most popular SEO post of 2020.“2021 will see B2B marketers taking SEO and search marketing into not only a new year but perhaps a new boundary-pushing era, especially among B2B brands.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
4. Marketing During a Pandemic: Stop Pushing and Start Pulling with SEO — Lee Odden
How do you do marketing during a pandemic? One way is to stop pushing and start pulling, and in the fourth most popular search marketing post on our blog in 2020, Lee shows how SEO helps customers find information on their terms, without the alienation of tone deaf marketing.
In infographic format, this post explores 10 top SEO tips from industry pros Barry Schwartz, Jono Alderson, Aleyda Solís, Jesse McDonald, Britney Muller, Ayat Shukairy, Dixon Jones, Hamlet Batista, Tiffani Allen and others.“Instead of being tone deaf or completely opportunistic about marketing, companies can double down on their SEO efforts to become the best answer for customers at the very moment they need a solution.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
5. Best SEO Tips for Marketing During the Pandemic Plus 9 Top SEO Platforms — Lane R. Ellis
SEO platforms can be a vital part of successful marketing efforts, and in the fifth most popular search marketing post of 2020 I asked nine top platforms for their best tips to help weather the pandemic.
It’s been a prime year for exploring the power of search optimization, and in this post we also share top SEO tips, from top industry firms including:
With 51 percent of primarily B2B global marketing professionals seeing data insights and analysis as the single most important element when implementing a marketing technology stack, SEO platforms are poised to deliver the martech information businesses are eager to get, and we dig in and show how here.“Marketers have incredible power to spread some calm in a chaotic world right now. Use it wisely.” — BritneyMuller @BritneyMuller Click To Tweet
6. SEO Strategy: 5 Reasons Why It’s More Important Than Ever For B2B Marketers — Lane R. Ellis
Why has SEO been more important than ever for B2B marketers during the global health crisis? In our sixth most popular search marketing post of 2020 I examined how SEO has showed its strength, stability and resiliency, including five of the top reasons to double down on B2B SEO:
- SEO is Performing Better During the Health Crisis
- SEO Helps as Pandemic Consumers Are Shopping Primarily Online
- SEO Platforms Help Maximize Remote Worker Efficiencies
- Doing SEO Now Will Strengthen Future Brand Efforts
- SEO’s Stability Is Important For B2B Brands
7. How Influence and SEO Can Drive Customer Experience — Lee Odden
How can influence and SEO drive customer experience for B2B marketers? In our seventh most-read search marketing article of the year, Lee shares how genuine, authentic, and impactful influencer content collaborations combine to build CX success and best-answer search experiences.
“For optimal SEO performance, best answer content experiences should be delivered with relevant, fast loading pages that are mobile friendly and deemed credible by other websites that link to them,” Lee noted. “Even better is when that content is optimized for trust with relevant third-party experts,” Lee added.“For brands, delivering a great user experience in search means understanding searcher intent and providing content that meets those expectations at the very moment of need.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
8. 8 Virtual SEO Conferences for B2B Marketers — Tiffani Allen
Attending virtual conferences is a great way to not only stay connected to the B2B marketing and SEO communities, but also to learn how SEO helps customers find your brand on their own terms. In our eighth most popular search marketing post of 2020, Tiffani Allen shared a collection of eight virtual SEO conferences to put on your agenda.
Attending conferences – even in a virtual setting – is a great way to stay connected to the marketing and SEO community, and many of these digital events will also be held in virtual formats during the coming year.
Check out all of Tiffani’s posts here, and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.“While many of our favorite search conferences are being postponed to later dates, there are still plenty of excellent virtual conferences to attend in the meantime.” @Tiffani_Allen Click To Tweet
9. Why SEO & Influence are Critical to Pandemic Era Content Marketing — Lee Odden
How can your brand be the best answer? This year SEO and influencer marketing have played increasingly important roles as B2B brands look to become and stay the best answer for their customers, and in our ninth most popular search marketing article of 2020 Lee shares why and offers an array of helpful insight.
“Understanding that B2B buyers already prefer to pull themselves through most of the sales experience with their own research and content, B2B marketers are increasingly emphasizing SEO for the current time when field marketing, events and experiential marketing are no longer an option,” Lee noted in this insightful post.“Marketing is about optimizing for improved performance and the role that organic search plays in pulling customers to your brands solutions at the very moment of need is clear.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
10. 10 SEO Books for B2B Marketers in 2020 — Birdie Zepeda
B2B marketers understand SEO’s importance, but do they understand its inner workings? Rounding out our top ten list of search marketing posts for the year is our SEO strategist Birdie Zepeda’s insightful look at 10 SEO books that help demystify some of the practice’s inner workings, and also provide plenty of practical advice.
The SEO books on this list help B2B marketers to better understand the technical optimization intricacies of your company’s website and to further develop an SEO strategy that will best serve your audience and their needs.
Check out all of Birdie’s posts here, and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.“Some SEO questions are worth buying, borrowing, or downloading a book for a deep-dive into the subject.” — Birdie Zepeda @birdie_zepeda Click To Tweet
Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers
Thanks to all of our top search marketing authors for contributing these top 10 SEO posts of 2020 — congratulations on making the list!
Additionally, we publish several marketing influencer lists every year, and we wanted to share them here as a helpful way to find and follow some of the leading digital marketing influencers:
- 25 Top B2B Marketing Influencers To Follow In 2021 #MPB2B
- 50 Top B2B Content Marketing Influencers To Follow in 2021 #CMWorld
- 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Pros to Follow from Top Brands
- 32 Top Social Media Marketing Influencers To Follow
Another helpful resource for B2B marketers to learn about crafting a successful B2B influencer marketing program is our recently-launched Inside Influence series, featuring interviews with top industry experts such as the latest episode with Paul Dobson of Citrix.
We published dozens of posts this year specifically about search marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2021, so stay tuned for a new year of the latest helpful search industry research and insight.
Please let us know which search marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2021 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to leave those thoughts in the comments section below.
Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.