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.

 

Lee Odden

SEO is Not Enough: Why B2B Marketers Need to Optimize for Trust with Influence

Lee Odden on Jan 6th, 2020     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

SEO Influencer Marketing

Studies over the years have shown that the vast majority of B2B buyers start their journey with a Google search. But what good is being found if the content doesn’t create immediate feelings of trust for the searcher?

According to the 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report, 95% of B2B buyers prefer credible content from industry influencers. At the same time, few B2B influencer marketing programs integrate SEO. Most business influencer marketing programs rely almost exclusively on the social media reach of the brand and influencers for content promotion and buyer discovery.

This findability and credibility disconnect is an opportunity for marketers to optimize for a much better customer experience. By integrating SEO and Influencer Marketing marketers can attract and engage buyers more effectively.

Tiffani Allen

10 Top B2B SEO Trends & Predictions for 2020

Tiffani Allen on Dec 16th, 2019     B2B Marketing, SEO

SEO Trends and Predictions for 2020

It’s that time of year, B2B marketers. We’re tying up loose ends. We’re reflecting on a year’s worth of wins, opportunities, and change. And we’re working hard to finalize next year’s marketing plans and budgets so we can hit the ground running after the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day.

2019 was a wild year for search, keeping SEOs and marketers on their toes. Multiple mobile-first indexing updates were implemented by Google. New best practices were released for structured data. Automated podcast transcription and playability within Google SERPs became a reality. And the list goes on.

As we say goodbye to another year and decade of massive changes, we asked our SEO-savvy friends to join us in sharing trends to watch and predictions for what 2020 will bring to the world of search. What topped the list?

Lane Ellis

What the Future of Google Search Means for B2B Marketers

Lane Ellis on Aug 5th, 2019     B2B Marketing, Business of SEO, Google

Low angle shot of modern glass city buildings looking up image.

The future of search at Google includes fascinating changes that will deeply affect the course of B2B marketing.

Google’s search and other services jointly hold vast influence over what people see and do online, a powerful position that isn’t likely to significantly change anytime soon.

Like ocean waves, search always changes at Google, and whether it’s through tiny incremental shifts or explosive changes of course, the future this tech giant is enthusiastically creating is one savvy B2B marketers can’t afford to ignore.

Let’s explore some of Google’s future plans and most recent search changes, while also looking at what they mean for B2B marketers.

Google Search & The Sands of Time

Blowing sand dunes image.

Tiffani Allen

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

Tiffani Allen     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     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     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     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     B2B Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO

level up your b2b seo strategy 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.