16 Ways To Choose The Best Company For SEO
Effective content marketing is a vehicle for modern SEO.
Just as wheels without an engine leaves you pedaling, content without an SEO strategy can’t keep up in a digital marketplace. And just like an engine with no wheels, SEO without content is a shiny machine that goes nowhere.
Content needs SEO to stand out in the din of mediocre blog posts clogging up the internet these days, and Google has said that one of the top three ranking factors for organic search is “content.”
But what does that mean? Not any content, surely. Unfortunately, search engines are not handing out checklists for “high-quality content,” and they probably never will. That means it’s up to those of us who geek out on this kind of thing to study search results, mine Google Analytics and create massive spreadsheets that we pretend to be bored by but secretly love — all to bring you (and ourselves, who are we kidding?) a comprehensive guide to creating “high-quality” SEO content.
Email remains the top vehicle for distributing B2B content. It is used by 94% of the 250 B2B Enterprise marketers — firms with 1,000+ employees — polled in a survey by the Content Marketing Institute.
Plus, 87% rate the channel as key to their firm’s content marketing success. Here, too, email is in the No. 1 spot. But how long can it remain there?
Take the response to the question: Which tactics will be most critical to your success in 2017? Email—in the form of newsletters—came in seventh, with only 36% citing it.
Although used by 79%, newsletters were beaten in this area by social media (45%), in-person events (44%), eBooks (43%), pre-recorded video (42%), blogs (40%) and Webinars (38%).
Why this seeming disparity?
For starters, the above question is focused on formats, not on delivery mechanisms. Let’s not forget that email can be used in the delivery and/or promotion of several of those formats, such as video. But is email losing some of its luster to social media? Not really, according to Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi.
As an SEO professional, I often encounter many clients who claim to be looking for an aggressive and successful campaign, only to eventually find out that their only interest was in improving their paid search performance. The popular idea is that if they can make their pages rank better, they can pay less for ad space and conversions.
While this can sometimes be true, there are far too many factors that influence PPC, and therefore, relying on SEO to save the day may not yield the desired effect. And what’s worse is that the client has no real goal in regard to their organic traffic, they simply want it all to “be better.”
Optimizing for search engines usually means improving statistics like impressions and average ranking, not necessarily helping the paid advertisement opportunities. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that can help, and then look at some of the ways SEO can fail you.
With digital marketing being a crucial component of any business in today’s time, there are many components to focus on, whether that be social media, traffic, copywriting, and many others. However, one crucial piece that most people don’t consider or have a grasp on is SEO—Search Engine Optimization.
With many people considering themselves to be marketing or social media experts in an industry full of fake marketers and entrepreneurs, it can be quite difficult to overcome and interpret the misinformation that is disguised as valuable information.
The saying goes that, “You will be paid according to the value you provide to the marketplace.”
One vital skill to learn is SEO.
Having been in an industry full of “marketers” who complicate the term and the steps required to achieve increased ranking on Google, it can be quite difficult to understand and interpret why you went from the first page of Google to the 3rd or 4th page.
Like your health needs to be maintained through proper diet and training, SEO rankings and websites need to be constantly maintained in a similar manner. You should be constantly increasing your site’s value, whether that be through content or external news outlets that validate your existence in the marketplace.
In a recent interview with SEO and Credo founder John Doherty on Dan Shure’s excellent Experts on the Wire podcast, he mentioned the positive response he’d gotten to a post he’d done this summer on the SEO Tools he uses. He mentioned that it seemed like a pretty simple post idea, but it made sense to me that it would get traction because John is a smart writer and marketer. As I listened, I was curious what tools he was using, and I took a look at the post. I’ve also taken a page from his playbook in the following column.
I like comprehensive lists of things as much as the next guy, but in a space where tools and software are relatively fragmented, and the applications for those tools change rapidly, it’s especially helpful when experienced practitioners give you a peek at different tools they pay for, what they use them for and how they think about those tools. My consulting company pays for and uses a variety of SEO tools (possibly a few too many, and likely some of the wrong ones — let me know if you have a better approach!), so I thought putting together a similar post would be helpful.
Generally speaking, I tend to err on the side of having access to a tool if we’re likely to get any significant value from it. My business partner Ken and I own and operate both a consulting company and a web publishing company. A tool will probably pay for itself if it costs $50 to $100 a month, and it can:
- save ~10 hours of work we’d need to do manually over the course of a year
- or unearth a handful of valuable insights a year.
The test for more expensive options is similar, but, of course, the higher the price, the more it should be delivering in time savings and/or insights. Obviously, the tools you’ll use will depend a lot on the problems you’re trying to solve, the size of the sites you’re working on and so on, so your mileage may vary.
OK, on to the tools!
Despite being a reliable, proven way to drive traffic to your site and increase leads and sales, some people just can’t help but talk smack about content. It’s too hard, it doesn’t work, there’s no point – all favored arguments of the content marketing naysayer.
Shame they’re all false.
Next time somebody says content marketing is a waste of time, why not pull out one of these 23 content marketing stats and facts to prove them wrong? You might change their mind – but if not, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of putting them in their place, and who doesn’t love that?
Setting up shop is only one of the first steps to actually making consistent sales on your online store. There are many strategies to bring traffic to your site, but one of the best long-term strategies by far is with search engine optimization.
Search engines have become a ubiquitous element of the online experience for millions of users. The Search Engine Journal accurately assesses the critical importance of search engine optimization to eCommerce success with this statistic: 93% of online activity begins with a search. Avoiding search engine optimization could quickly place you in the minority of online experiences, a status which could be lethal to your eCommerce goals.
As such, online businesses have pushed to optimize their search engine strategies to better target the right kinds of traffic to great success. Search engine optimization has reached such a degree of familiarity that even individuals whose profession falls far outside the realm of digital marketing can still explain the relationship between keywords and their listing on search engine results.
With that in mind, it would initially seem to be somewhat of a ‘no-brainer’ that business owners should optimize their on-page content in order to make themselves more competitive in the online arena.
Whether or not SEO gives more traffic is answered by thousands of case studies proving it has, but when asked HOW it may contribute positively to something as vital as e-commerce, for example, it’s much more difficult for most eCommerce Directors to deliver a clear and concise answer.
This should not come as a surprise. Internet technology and industry best SEO practices have evolved far more rapidly than users have been able to assess its full potential.
You must translate a basic understanding of SEO into an actionable set of tactics to build E-commerce traffic. Here is a brief primer which will examine more deeply the connection between savvy optimization, customer engagement, and revenue.
"Less than 10% of those surveyed were definitely sure how to implement content marketing."
If it does, you're clearly not alone. Content marketing -- and keeping up with it -- can be confusing, even to those who understand its importance. Many of us have heard the phrase "content is king." But what, exactly, does that look like here and now, in such a rapidly changing landscape?
We grabbed that opening statistic from the helpful, intriguing infographic below, compiled by Zazzle, based on the results of its 2017 State of Content Marketing Survey of marketers in the UK. But instead of simply looking at the latest trends, it sought to examine the pain points and decision-making process of today's content marketer. And if you're in the business of making life easier for that audience -- well, we suggest having a look.
Do you think the same trends hold true in your neck of the woods? Read on, and see where your current strategy and priorities align with the data illustrated here.
Budgets are tricky. After splitting it between hiring talent, advertising and PR, you can’t afford to invest in the hundreds of tools it seems like you need to cover it all. The good news is that you don’t have to.
Time management is also a major issue you have probably faced; with just too much to accomplish in limited time. With your attention split between multiple tasks, you might find that very little gets managed each day.
Many marketing and sales tools have diversified to enable more features and functionality, allowing you to cover more than one task with one tool. Here is a list of 7 such tools for eCommerce businesses, with descriptions of what you can do with each one.
How many times have you read how to increase your eCommerce sales? And how much advice on how to acquire customers have you come across?
If you read any user behavior study in eCommerce, you'll see that all of them show between 60% and 80% of organic traffic comes from search engines, and mainly from Google.
There is no doubt that SEM plays an important role in gaining traffic to your website because you don't have to wait for the content to be organically positioned in Google. However, SEM can set you a trap as most of the keywords are getting super expensive and they can eat your entire sales margin.
Whether you have an in-house SEO team, you’re working on optimization yourself, or you have an outside agency, it’s always good to learn from pros.
We identified a handful of search engine optimization experts you should be tracking in 2017 to help you inform your priorities, ask the right questions about your own efforts, and connect the dots to your other marketing initiatives.
Knowing what metrics matter—and how to utilize those metrics to prove marketing’s impact on overall business revenue—is crucial for modern marketers. In 2016, a record number of CMOs lost their jobs, and studies suggest that metrics neglect may have played a part. 70% of senior business leaders expect marketing to drive revenue growth for their organizations, but only 6% of CMOs spend their time defining routes to revenue.
CMOs now have to show they are impacting business growth right from the outset, or they are likely to be short-lived on the job.
There are an endless number of metrics that marketers—and SEOs, specifically—can track, but attempting to monitor all of those metrics would require a significant amount of effort that would likely yield a low ROI. Instead, choose specific metrics that illustrate how SEO is aiding department or organizational goals, and focus on how those metrics can lead to revenue-driving insights and growth.
For anyone monitoring their traffic from Google, it’s not really a revelation that a single page can rank for hundreds (or even thousands) of relevant keywords.
But how many keywords exactly will an average page rank for?
That’s the question we wanted to answer (plus a few more), so we picked 3 million random search queries and looked at the top-ranking pages and how many other keywords they rank for.
Let's dive right in!
If you’re a Chief Marketing Officer at a digital business in 2017, chances are a large part of your time is already taken up by dealing with SEO. And thanks to Google’s ever-changing algorithm, what you learn today may not be true tomorrow, meaning you constantly have to stay up to date on the latest algorithm updates and SEO trends. Luckily there are a few constant lessons that remain true throughout algorithm updates and changing times that you can apply to build a future-proof site.
The founders of Los Angeles-based Everipedia, Inc. noticed that Wikipedia’s model for search engine dominance is ripe for disruption and innovation. They set out to redesign the online encyclopedia for the modern age. To do that, they are required to command a powerful search engine authority similar to Wikipedia’s dominant presence throughout Google’s results. What started out as a small project in a UCLA dorm room has now turned into one of the world’s largest encyclopedias with millions of users and a company valuation of $22 million.
Below, Everipedia’s founders share their most important optimization lessons for CMOs that will help bring your website to the top of Google’s search results.
Although Google hasn’t confirmed it yet, it appears that they released an update called “Fred” to their search engine algorithm in March of 2017, which at least partially targets the quality of websites. A number of websites reported a drop in organic search traffic by 50% or higher overnight. It seems that many of these websites had low-quality content and a lot of ads, neither of which provide value to readers.
The reverse of that scenario may just be true as well – high-quality websites that provide value to the user may be ranking higher. That definitely appears to be the case for the majority of our customers. Many of our customers have previously attended one of our SEO classes here in the Denver area or they’re enrolled in our self-paced, non-technical, online SEO course. All of our search engine optimization training includes a section on how to develop a high-quality content marketing strategy, and quite frankly, I’m not surprised to see that the work is paying off for our workshop attendees and our customers – literally! Let’s take a look at two specific customer examples.
We all know that a website is critical to the success of your business. More often than not, it’s the first place that your target customers will interact with you and learn about your Brand Story. And for most B2B companies, the website is the cornerstone of the marketing playbook. Unfortunately, having a beautiful website built with the right content management systems and all the creative bells and whistles does little to guarantee your success.
If you’ve invested heavily in the website and no one is showing up, you’ve fallen for the Field of Dreams marketing myth – “if you build it they will come”…but they’re not coming!
Content Marketing Is The Key To Creating A Powerful Brand To Truly Separate Your Business From Your Competition
To truly create a powerful web presence you need to have an extraordinary content marketing strategy. SEO, PR, Branding & Content Marketing need to come together to create a powerful source of leads. Together they create the best possible long-term strategy & ROI.