Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about positioning content in front of a relevant audience during the most opportune time in the buying cycle. Because 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, SEO is an essential tactic to include in your digital marketing mix.

 

Recognized as a top source of information about search marketing and how it integrates with other digital marketing tactics, TopRank is dedicated to sharing our expert knowledge on SEO best practices and helping you take your optimization game to the next level. Heck, we wrote the book on optimization, Optimize: How to Attract, Engage and Convert More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing.

 

Browse our SEO articles to find tips, guides, news, expert interviews and much more.

 

Tiffani Allen

5 SEO Mistakes Killing Your Content Performance and a Fix for Each

Tiffani Allen on Jun 18th, 2019     SEO

Common SEO Mistakes

Even the most seasoned content marketers make mistakes. In the world of SEO-driven content, with constant algorithm tweaks and changing search patterns, it’s nearly unavoidable. However, those same mistakes can often lead to discoveries that enable even better content performance.

The key is being able to recognize those easy-to-fix SEO mistakes and address them. As a result, your content will become an optimized, integrated network of metaphorical highways, leading searchers to best-answer content in a strategic and purposeful way.

So, what are the most common SEO mistakes, and how can they be addressed? Below, I’ve singled out the ‘usual suspects’ along with guidance on how to fix them while setting yourself up for long-term SEO success.

Tiffani Allen

Optimize Your B2B Content Performance with an SEO Audit

Tiffani Allen on Apr 25th, 2019     SEO

Key benefits of an SEO audit.

Picture this: It’s a normal Wednesday morning. The sun is peeking through the window as you sip your first-second cup of coffee. Then you hear that iconic musical ding as an email notification dances across your screen. But, it’s not just any email. It’s THE email that changes your day:

Hey Marketer,

I just tried to Google “ABC services,” and we’re nowhere to be found. I also searched for “the best ABC services in the world”—and nothing.

What do we need to do to fix this?
Please advise,

Your (Very Concerned) Boss

Naturally, you need to provide answers. You know that search is nuanced, and one person’s manual search of a couple queries doesn’t need to set off the alarm bells just yet. But nonetheless you engage the resources you need to look into it—but soon reality sinks in.

Nick Nelson

Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy?

Nick Nelson on Apr 1st, 2019     B2B Marketing, SEO

Voice Search & B2B Marketing Strategy

Can you imagine if we actually talked to one another the same way we’ve historically talked to search engines? It would make for some awkward interactions.

“Minneapolis movie showtimes.”

“Um… come again?”

“Showtimes Captain Marvel 55441.”

“Are you –”

“Movie showtimes cheapest theater arcade games. I’m feeling lucky.”

“Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”

It’s only fitting I suppose that our adherence to Google’s robotic algorithms has, in turn, made us more robotic. Searchers became trained to speak in the engine’s keyword-driven language. Marketers crafted SEO strategies accordingly.

Today, the advent of voice search is making our conversations with search engines more… conversational. It’s not incidental that we activate this feature on our smartphones or voice assistants by addressing “Alexa” or “Siri” — this dynamic is very much intended to humanize the devices, which is a little creepy and dystopian if you think about it, but it’s best not to think about it.

Caitlin Burgess

The Intersection of SEO & Influencer Marketing: What B2B Marketers Need to Know

Caitlin Burgess on Mar 12th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

The Intersection of SEO & Influence

Peanut butter and jelly.

Milk and cookies.

Steak and potatoes.

Wine and cheese.

Bread and butter.

SEO and influencer marketing.

via GIPHY

All of these exceptional pairings have something special in common: They work together.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. And I get it. From red or white to pungent or salty, there are several incredibly important variables to consider when crafting the perfect wine and cheese combo.

via GIPHY

For real, though. Integration is key for B2B content marketing success. But some tactics and strategies seem like natural fits, while others seem a bit mismatched. If you feel like SEO and influencer marketing fall into the latter category, it might be time to flip your thinking.

Nick Nelson

How B2B Marketers Can Win at Search with Best Answer Content

Nick Nelson on Feb 21st, 2019     B2B Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

Winning Search with Best Answer Content

Marketers are engaged in a continuous battle to gain an edge when it comes to SEO, seeking those crucial advantages provided by top visibility where customers are looking. Multiple disciplines from technical SEO to creative content can be leveraged to win the search marketing game. At TopRank Marketing, we believe the best answer to this quandary is… well, to be the Best Answer.

To simplify and clarify, it might be helpful to take a step back.

In October of 2000, Larry Page laid out his ambitious vision for Google, a company he’d founded along with Sergey Brin just two years earlier.

Page foresaw his creation as “the ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the Web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing.”

Anne Leuman

The Key to SEO & Content Marketing Success: Understanding Search Intent

Tips for Understanding Search Intent

From changes in how people search thanks to technological innovations such as voice assistants, to changes in how search engine algorithms identify searcher needs, smart SEO is now rooted in understanding and matching the intent behind search queries.

When we marketers understand search intent, we can create new content and/or optimize existing content to be more tailored to their audience’s specific needs, problems, and questions—helping gain SERP visibility in the increasingly crowded content landscape, and attract more qualified traffic and build trust with those visitors (who will hopefully feel like you “get” them and their needs).

At TopRank Marketing, we call this SEO and content strategy striving to be the best answer for your audiences—wherever and whenever they’re searching. But where do you start?

Tiffani Allen

TopRank Marketing’s Top 6 SEO Predictions & Trends for 2019

Tiffani Allen     SEO

SEO Trends & Predictions 2019

The year-end hustle and bustle is on, marketers. We’re all finalizing next year’s tactical mix and strategy, refining targets, and setting goals—all with the intention of driving bigger, badder, and better results in the new year.

When it comes to setting your SEO strategy for 2019, here’s an important stat to keep in mind: 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

For more than two decades, SEO has been a foundational digital marketing tactic. And as algorithms have been refined, content has proliferated, and innovation and technology have changed how we search—competition in the organic search landscape has hit an all-time high.

Tiffani Allen

4 Reasons to Get AMP’d Up About Google AMP with Google’s Ben Morss

Tiffani Allen     Pubcon, SEO

What’s up with Google AMP? That’s what a room full of marketers were determined to find out on Thursday’s Pubcon Pro session with Google’s Developer Advocate, Ben Morss. In his session, Ben outlined the current state of Google AMP, why marketers should care, and how it can work along with PWAs (progressive web apps) to deliver a seamless, fast and immersive experience.

Below are four top takeaways from Ben’s session:

 1. Speed = Money
There are real world consequences for bad user experience on your website. Some of the stats Ben included to illustrate exactly how include:

  • 53% of users abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load according to a Doubleclick study of Google Analytics Data.
Lee Odden

Power Pages and Best Answer Content: Should You Go Long or Short Form?

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO

Long vs short form content

Buyers have questions and sellers better have answers that are easy to find, informative and inspiring. This is the cornerstone behind “Best Answer” content marketing strategy. But what qualifies as best answer content? How deep or wide do you need to go on a topic?

Is it better to use short form or long form content for content marketing?

From informal observations like ours on video and social media to formal studies in the marketing industry, much has been said about the topic of content length with some pretty compelling arguments in favor of long form content.

Anne Leuman

Why Marketers Are Disenchanted with SEO

Anne Leuman     Content Marketing, SEO

Why Marketers Are Turning Away from SEO

Just over two decades ago, search engine optimization (SEO) burst onto the internet scene and kicked the digital marketing doors wide open. Today, marketers consider SEO an effective and required part of their digital marketing mix — well, some of us at least.

Many thought leaders, marketers, and brands have speculated that SEO is dead, but we’d argue that it most certainly isn’t. Rather, it’s being reborn. However, it appears to be fading as a core digital and content marketing strategy.

Why? There’s no one answer. Instead, multiple challenges and frustrations have fused to create disenchantment with the practice.

Ashley Zeckman

CMWorld Interview: Eli Schwartz on Curiosity & SEO Around the Globe

Should marketers ignore international and inter-linguistic considerations when it comes to their SEO strategies?

Survey says: BZZZRRRT

In a way, optimizing for search is like participating in the game show Family Feud. To align with searcher behavior and intent, marketers must make educated guesses, and ultimately it is the people who will dictate whether we’re right or wrong.

As we develop content to draw visitors for targeted keywords, search rankings and traffic trends serve as either an affirming “Ding!” or a rejecting “Buzz!” regarding our hypotheses. Web users fulfill the same function as the random samples polled to create Family Feud’s survey response boards.

Anne Leuman

Google Game Changers: 5 Recent Updates and How They Affect Marketers

Anne Leuman     Google, Search Marketing, SEO

2018 Google Updates & What They Mean for Marketers

Since the inception and rise of digital marketing, marketers have been keeping a watchful eye on Google — the ruler of the kingdom of search.

From research project to technology giant, over the last two decades Google has cemented itself as the dominating force in internet search. And while there are other rising contenders in the space, as of June 2018, Google owned 72.21% of all desktop searches. And the domination continues if you look at mobile, with Google owning a whopping 90.20% of searches.

Of course, Google’s market (and marketing) domination isn’t because of their speed to market in the late 90s, but rather the company’s dedication and investment in evolving the platform. And some of the latest evolutionary tweaks and new features are hitting soon — or have just recently arrived.