Google’s John Mueller 2021 Google SEO Advice

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At SMX Virtual earlier this month, John Mueller of Google graciously accepted to speak at the event and he shared a lot of amazing tips and changes in search in his presentation. But he also shared some outlook ideas looking forward to 2021 in search and SEO.

Glenn Gabe took screen shots of those specific slides and shared them on Twitter – but I still believe you can watch the presentation at SMX Virtual 2020 – if you want to.

Here are those two slides that sum up what to be on the look out for in 2021:

  • Core Web Vitals (i.e. Page Experience Update)
  • Sites that are technically better with technical SEO have an advantage
  • Technical SEO in general is harder so get help
  • Sites should aim to get users to “user pull,” meaning people should want to search for you by your brand name
  • Ranking updates will continue, including core updates which are hard to explain
  • There will be SEO updates that help less-SEO-savvy sites such as passage indexing, RankBrain, BERT and others (I don’t think John specifically named these)
  • Look for ways to be more visible to the user, maybe structured data or search verticals

Here are those slides from Glenn:

I also wrote up some key insights from John Mueller’s talk at SMX.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

What Is The Value To Google My Business Followers?

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Back in 2018, Google added the ability to allow Google Maps users to follow businesses – hence Google My Business followers. But is there any value to it?

Google said back then that the value is that you can “post offers to your followers to keep them coming back in the door, and soon you’ll be able to respond to messages right from the app.” But are local SEO experts utilizing it? I have not seen much communication around that at all. In fact, some are saying they do not find value in it.

Claire Carlile asked about this on Twitter a while back:

Joy Hawkins responded on Twitter saying “I honestly haven’t bothered with it so I’m not sure. I couldn’t see the value in it.”

Nicolai Helling added he did try it and didn’t see big changes from trying to increase followers here:

Allie Margeson shared her experience:

Here are even some follow up questions on how it has been going over the past number of weeks:

Here is the Google help document on followers in Google My Business and this is what it looks like:

Did you see any reason to increase this follower count? If so, first follow my business ð and then comment below on what you saw.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

Google Tests Displaying Services In Local Pack

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Colan Nielsen reported that Google is now testing showing service “justifications,” which according to him Google defines as the additional labels in the local pack result. Before we saw web site mentions here, as well as other items, but now Google is testing showing “services.”

Here is a screen shot from Colan:

click for full size

So as Joy Hawkins posted on Twitter, now there is even more of a reason to add your service offerings in Google My Business to your Google My Business profile.

Why does Google call these things “justifications”? Here is how Colan explained it:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

Bing Image Search Tests Related Content Feature & Icon

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Microsoft Bing it testing a new feature on images it displays within its search results. This test shows a “related content” icon and results with an icon when you hover over images displayed in the Microsoft Bing search results.

It can show not just related content, but related products, and other related information about the image.

I personally cannot replicate this but Frank Sandtmann sent me some of these screen shots:

click for full size

Frank told me “Interestingly they are distinguishing, whether a search term might have commercial interest. Only if it does do they exchange their default info in the box with shopping ads.”

Forum discussion at Twitter.

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

Violinists At Google Boulder

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Google Boulder Violinists

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

Best of B2B Marketing: Get Inspired for 2021 with These Top 10 Content Marketing Posts

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Happy business professionals jumping up in celebration image.

Happy business professionals jumping up in celebration image.

Content encompasses nearly everything we read, view, or listen to this pandemic year, and as our CEO Lee Odden said long ago, it’s also part of the reason the need for search began in the first place.

We’re especially proud of the content marketing successes our team at TopRank Marketing have achieved during this topsy-turvy 2020, for a wide-range of major B2B clients. As 2021 draws close, we wanted to share our top content marketing articles of the year — each filled with best practices, research, examples, and the latest trends.

We’re fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank B2B Marketing blog — which celebrates its 17th year this month — including Lee Odden, Joshua Nite, Elizabeth Williams, Anne Leuman, Nick Nelson, Debbie Friez, Birdie Zepeda, myself, and Alexis Hall, among others.

Collectively this compendium of our top 10 content marketing posts of the year serves as a valuable resource, filled with practical examples and relevant topics for digital marketing professionals from CMOs to copywriters. We hope that you’ll find these articles helpful well into 2021 and far beyond.

Now, join us as we move on to the top 10! These most popular content marketing posts of the year are ordered by a combination of search visibility and social engagement:

Our Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2020:

1. 50 Top B2B Content Marketing Influencers To Follow in 2021 #CMWorld — Lane R. Ellis

2020 CMWorld 50 Content Marketing Influencers

In our top content marketing post of the year I share our annual list of the top 50 content marketing influencers to follow and learn from, released during this year’s all-virtual Content Marketing World conference. You’ll learn new lessons from these 50 content marketing influencers throughout 2021 and into a post-pandemic industry landscape.

You can check out all of my posts here, and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“@TopRank has a long history with #CMWorld starting at the beginning, with 10 years of speaking and attending along with 7 years of partnering with @CMIContent to develop speaker and influencer content marketing campaigns.” @lanerellis” username=”toprank”]

2. Where’s the Marketing in Content Marketing? 10 Essential Promotion Tactics That Drive Results — Lee Odden

content promotion tactics

Where’s the marketing in content marketing? In our second most popular content marketing post of the year, Lee shares how to overcome content creation imbalances with 10 proven content promotion tactics that have stood the test of time, to make your content promotion a priority.

Check out all of Lee’s 2,600+ posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“An imbalance of content creation and promotion is not only frustrating potential marketing performance, but it’s wasting the investment made in creating great content. What good is that great content if no one sees it?” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

3. 5 Ways to Humanize B2B Content Marketing — Joshua Nite

Humanizing B2B Content Father and Son Cooking Together Image

What does it mean to “humanize” your B2B content marketing? In our third most popular content marketing article of the year, our senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite shares five ways to help your content make a more human connection with a professional audience by:

  • Finding the Emotional Core
  • Earning Trust
  • Personalizing Efforts
  • Embracing Humility
  • Designing a Content Experience

You can check out all of Josh’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“Find the emotional stories that your solution makes possible, and make them the star of your content.” — Joshua Nite @nitewrites” username=”toprank”]

4. New Research: How B2B Content Marketers Are Impacted and Pivoting During the Pandemic — Nick Nelson

Professionals Wearing Masks and Bumping Elbows

It’s undoubtedly been a year of much change and upheaval, and in our fourth most read article of the year, our content marketing manager Nick Nelson shows how B2B  content marketing practitioners are responding, and breaks down insightful research from Content Marketing Institute.

You can check out all of Nick’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“It’s a bit ironic that at a time where more B2B marketers than ever have gotten their strategy down on paper, we’re being forced to crumple it up and rewrite it.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

5. 5 Examples of Effective B2B Content Marketing in Times of Crisis — Anne Leuman

Woman wearing facemark image.

What is a key factor to successful marketing during a pandemic? “Being helpful,” as our senior operations strategist Anne Leuman explores in our fifth most popular content marketing post of the year. In this insightful piece, Anne shows how B2B marketers can infuse more helpfulness in their efforts, including five examples of B2B brands doing content marketing right during the global heath crisis.

You can check out all of Anne’s posts here, and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=”“The true key to success in B2B content marketing is to always come from a place of empathy. The more you’re able to understand and empathize with your target audience, the more likely you are to surface content opportunities.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

6. 5 Steps for a More Powerful B2B Content Marketing Strategy — Lee Odden

Powerful B2B Content Marketing Strategy

How can marketers overcome content attention deficit and stand out? In our sixth most popular content marketing article of the year, Lee shares five helpful steps for building a more powerful B2B content marketing strategy, using:

  • Ideal Customer Profiles
  • Topics of Influence, Search and Social
  • Editorial Plan & Content Mapping
  • Content Promotion
  • Mining Search, Social & Influencer Analytics

This piece is filled with inspiration to begin intentionally and consistently incorporating influencers, social media and SEO in your B2B content marketing efforts, to reach more customers where they’re looking, with the kind of experiences that will inspire more effective engagement, revenue, and retention outcomes.

[bctt tweet=”“Creating useful content by itself is not an effective strategy in a world of brand distrust, content attention deficit and the distractions brought by a global pandemic.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

7. 7 B2B Content Marketing Tactics For Long Term Success — Anne Leuman

Man running down an infinite road into the sunset image.

What types of content can B2B marketers utilize for driving long-term success? In the seventh most read content marketing piece of the year, Anne shares seven enduring and powerful B2B content marketing tactics for long-term success, featuring the use of content including:

  • Blogs
  • Social Media
  • Influencers
  • Podcasts
  • Sponsored & Guest Works
  • Digital Advertising
  • eBooks, Infographics, and Larger Campaigns

[bctt tweet=”“For content marketing to be successful, you need those flashy, attention-grabbing campaigns to meet immediate goals. But you also need reliable, consistent, thought-provoking content to compound results over time.” @annieleuman” username=”toprank”]

8. Why Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever for B2B Brands — Nick Nelson

B2B Marketing Content

In our number eight top content content marketing post of the year, Nick explores why content marketing is more important than ever now for B2B brands, and shares three fine examples of B2B brands going beyond mere talk.

By providing ongoing value and propping up your brand values, you’ll see plenty of value in return, as Nick examines in detail here.

[bctt tweet=”“The challenges our world now faces with the coronavirus pandemic and social justice movement create a unique opportunity for B2B content marketing to make an impact.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

9. How Authentic Content Builds Brand Trust in Uncertain Times — Nick Nelson

Man Interacting via Virtual Meeting

Being there for your audience, and being real with them, presents a key opportunity to strengthen relationships during difficult times. In our ninth most popular content marketing post of the year, Nick shares how authentic content builds brand trust in uncertain times.

“Content marketing is inherently a long game, focused on building relationships first and foremost. Right now, the best way to pursue this goal is through authenticity and altruism, in the context of your business and its audience,” Nick observed.

[bctt tweet=”“There’s never been a better time to open up and share real, relatable stories. Everyone is going through something, and it can be comforting to learn how others are dealing with these unique circumstances.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

10. In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience — Lee Odden

Authentic Content Customer Experience

In today’s uncertain digital world, how can B2B marketers double down on building trust with their customers? Rounding our our list of the top content marketing article of the years is Lee’s insightful look at how authentic content drives customer experience.

To help marketers better understand how brands are winning customer hearts, minds, and trust with authentic content experiences, Lee shares 5 important steps including:

  • Accelerating Internal Credibility
  • Doubling Down on Customer Activation
  • Working with External Influencers to Grow Brand Credibility
  • Creating a Content Collaboration Ecosystem
  • Optimizing Measurement to Customer ROI

[bctt tweet=”“If you want your content to be great, ask your customers to participate.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]

Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers

Thanks to all of our top content marketing authors for contributing these top 10 content marketing 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:

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 Tim Williams of Onalytica.

We published dozens of posts this year specifically about content 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 content 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.

The post Best of B2B Marketing: Get Inspired for 2021 with These Top 10 Content Marketing Posts appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

10 of the Most Accessible Brand Campaigns and Actions of 2020

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This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, cornerstone civil rights legislation for people with disabilities. It was also the 75th year celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a key way for employers to understand the importance of creating inclusive hiring practices. In marketing, brands have continued to arc forward, both…

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

We Actually Needed Social Media in 2020

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As the Before Times started crumbling this spring, brought down by the revelation that the coronavirus was here to stay, the physical world gave way to an altered plane. Changes came quickly: Coffee shop chatter quieted down, hand sanitizer disappeared from shelves, and we even adopted a medical-grade hand-washing technique, thinking it might be enough…

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

Clone of Watch Ford’s new ad that promotes mask-wearing

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The automaker shifted its New Year’s Day college football bowl game media buys for the COVID-fighting message.

 

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized

Watch Ford’s new ad that promotes mask-wearing

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The automaker shifted its New Year’s Day college football bowl game media buys for the COVID-fighting message.

 

December 31st 2020 Uncategorized