How Does Uberflip’s Hana Abaza MAKE Marketing Magic? #MPB2B

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Individuals that are new to B2B marketing often make the mistake of marketing to target businesses, instead of the individuals within the business. Unfortunately, more seasoned marketers are sometimes guilty of the same blunder. Understanding how best to target and personalize marketing isn’t always easy, and can require additional training and direction from industry experts.

The upcoming MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum (October 20 – 23) will help newbie and experienced B2B marketers alike find their way through the clutter to create marketing programs that truly speak to the needs of their customers. We had the fortunate opportunity to partner with MarketingProfs to bring you insights from some of the top speakers that will be presenting at the upcoming conference.

Today we have part two of our MarketingProfs interview series with Uberflip’s VP of Marketing, Hana Abaza. In this interview you’ll learn more about Uberflip’s take on personalized content and some of the B2B companies that Hana believes are MAKING great marketing today.

Making Marketing Magic with Uberflip’s Hana Abaza

What do you believe is the biggest benefit of making personalized content?

I think marketing in general comes down to trying to drive the objectives of your organization. The more you can optimize for individuals, the tighter your messaging will be and resonate with your target customers. At the end of the day, this will also lead to better conversion rates.

If you can start to personalize the type of content you’re showing people, it can lead to better results for your marketing funnel. When we talk about personalized content, what we are really talking about is more than personalizing the actual content assets and more about displaying the right content to the right person. This can also include taking a deeper dive and beginning to personalize the language used to scale on a global scale which can have a huge impact.

The thought of personalizing content for each prospective customer can seem overwhelming. What advice do you have for marketers that are ready to take the first step, but are unsure where to begin?

This is something that I hear a lot from marketers. The key thing to remember is the degree of personalization that you’re taking with your marketing. I like to think of it as a spectrum of personalization. When you’re first starting, you can begin with segmentation of your audience versus true personalization.

So, instead of 1:1 marketing personalization, you’re taking a 1:many approach by segmenting your audience into buyer personas. The more honed your segmenting capabilities and are, the more personalized your marketing will be for that segment. As you continue down the spectrum, you can get more and more personalized.

There are many tools and technology available to help you on your journey down the specturn. Technology has been a great driver in terms of enabling companies to create personalization based on actual data. For example, at Uberflip we use our tool to tailor user experiences for our audience. Looking at the spectrum as a whole helps clarify where you are today, and what steps you need to take to create truly personalized marketing for your audience.

What drives content creativity at Uberflip?

I love this question. One of the biggest things that drives us is our audience and our customers. We are in a fortunate position at Uberflip because we get to market to marketers. That means we are essentially talking to our peers and people like ourselves. We are able to draw a ton of inspiration and creativity from the people that we are actually talking to, connecting with and creating content for. Nothing pleases us more than when we see one of our customers use Uberflip to leverage amazing content. In short, our customers are constant sources of creativity for us.

What are some examples of B2B companies that you think are making killer marketing right now?

There are so many wonderful examples, but I’m just going to list a few. The first one that comes to mind is Slack. They have a great blog, but that only scratches the surface of what they’re doing. Their great podcast is very top of the funnel and awareness focused whereas their blog is more mid-bottom of the funnel while not focusing soley on their product. The other thing I really like about them is that content is not just a function of their marketing team, it seems to be proliferated through their organization and you can see it everywhere.

slack podcast

Catch up on Slack’s podcast, The Slack Variety Pack

Another amazing content company is Unbounce. They have honestly been creating great content since their company launched.

Unboune Guide Example

View Unbounce’s library of free webinars, eBooks and more

Wistia is another example of a company creating great content. They take video content marketing to the next level.


Visit Wistia’s website for helpful tips and tricks on creating videos that resonate with your audience

Finally, another B2B company I love is, InVision. One of their series profiles designers in a way that presents as part human interst, melded with industry information that people want to know.

InVision Documentary

Watch the trailer for InVision’s new documentary

I know there are a lot of other B2B companies that are doing great marketing, but those are some of the ones I think are creating killer marketing.

As a marketer, who influences you to be a creative marketing magician?

For me personally I love to draw my influences from outside the technology, business and marketing industries. Often we look too inside the bubble we are in instead of drawing influences and creativity from other industries. Learning other domains actually helps take that creativity and something to meld on. I strive to take lessons and things that I learn elsewhere and implement in what I do now.

What inspires you to MAKE marketing magic?

Part of what keeps us going and really compels us to create great marketing is the amazing feedback that we are getting from our audience and our customers.

The other thing that inspires me on a daily basis is the culture that we have developed internally. A lot of companies are shifting towards a model where marketing is really becoming a central part of the organization and is no longer a cost center, but a growth drive. You’ll see this approach thread through the entire organization and positively impact the customer experience. Being able to have that connectivity and support throughout the organization inspires us to do the best that we can do as a united team.

MAKE Your Own Marketing Magic

Thank you Hana! Your insight and energy are truly motivating for others than want to MAKE marketing magic of their own. For more insight on B2B marketing from some of today’s top marketers be sure to check out the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, and our next interview on October 12 with Mark Schaefer.

If you’re already planning on attending MarketingProfs B2B Forum, be sure to check out TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden’s session, Participation Marketing: If You Want B2B Content to Be Great, Ask Your Community to Participate.

Header image via Shutterstock


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How Does Uberflip’s Hana Abaza MAKE Marketing Magic? #MPB2B |

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October 5th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: New Notes, Buy Buttons, and Ad Availability

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Top 4 Rated Social Media Management Tools of 2015

The Top 4 Rated Social Media Management Tools of 2015 – The results come from detailed customer reviews from G2Crowd, and cover a variety of information including user satisfaction, product direction, how easy it is to learn to use the platform, level of support, usability and more.

The Twitter Tweet and Follow Buttons Get A Redesign – Next month the Tweet and follow buttons will switch to a modern, high-contrast design of white text on a dark blue background. This visual refresh updates our button design from 2011. Twitter

Instagram Ads: Now Available Around the World – Marketers use Instagram to tell visual and creative stories related to their business, and now all marketers have access to Instagram ads. Instagram ads are now available for purchase through Power Editor, the Instagram Ads API and select Facebook Marketing Partners. Facebook

Google: The Real Time Penguin Algorithm May Launch Before Years End – Back in June, Google told us the Penguin update is months away at best. We also know Google is working on a real time update to the algorithm, so it runs immediately and would not require manual pushes. This morning in a Google+ Hangout, John Mueller said at the 28:25 mark or so that he doesn’t know for sure when the Penguin algorithm would launch but if he had to guess, it would be before the end of the year and it would be the real time version. Search Engine Roundtable

Twitter Introduces Autoplay Video Ad Option for Apps – Twitter is now moving to incorporate more video options into their ad offerings, bringing ‘the power of video’ to mobile app advertising on the platform. Social Media Today

Political Donations, Now Through A Tweet – When people have conversations about politics, they have them on Twitter. It’s what voters learn and share in these conversations that routinely motivates political action. That’s why we’re making it easier for Twitter users to actively support candidates and causes. Twitter

Updates for Facebook Notes – We’re rolling out an update to make notes on Facebook more beautiful and customizable. Notes are now an even better way to write a longer post and share with anyone — whether it’s a small group of friends or everyone on Facebook. Facebook

Google Announces Customer Match: Upload Email Lists For Search, Gmail, YouTube Ad Targeting – Customer Match marks the first time advertisers will be able to set bids and create specific ads tailored to customer audience segments built with first-party data. Google

Twitter Plans to Go Beyond Its 140-Character Limit – Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to share tweets that are longer than the company’s 140-character limit, according to multiple people familiar with the company’s plans. Re/code

Facebook Improving Mobile Profiles – This week, we’re unveiling some new, mobile-friendly features for Facebook profiles. There are three main improvements that will give you more opportunities to express who you are and control the content showcased on your profile. Facebook

Twitter Buy Button Announced – Twitter announced that the button is now available “to any merchant in the United States that uses one of three major e-commerce platforms to run its online shopping operations,” according to an article in the New York Times by Vindu Goel. Twitter

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


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Online Marketing News: New Notes, Buy Buttons, and Ad Availability |

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October 2nd 2015 Online Marketing

5 SEO Considerations to Win with Both Customers and Search Engines

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Win with Customer Focused SEO

One of the cornerstones of any digital marketing presence is a company website. From being a destination for people to visit that are searching for your products and services to servicing existing customers, it’s difficult to understate the importance of a great website (or understate the missed opportunities that come with having a bad one). Of course, a great website isn’t much use if nobody can find it, which is where a solid investment in SEO can pay big dividends.

However, a question that often comes up when planning out an SEO strategy is: should you be more focused on optimizing for customers or search engines? Arguably, there was a time when this was a real trade-off. Many SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing or spam linking were effective for gaining search presence, but came at the cost of customer experience.

Today, thanks to smarter and more sophisticated algorithms, modern search engines have gotten better than ever at understanding, measuring and rewarding the kinds of factors that go into a great web experience for humans.

So, should you prioritize optimizing for people or for search engines? In 2016 (and the probable future), the only correct answer is both.

#1 – Mobile Responsive

This probably isn’t news to anyone with a pulse, but mobile internet usage has grown exponentially over the past few years and mobile search has kept pace. In fact, mobile use of Google search officially surpassed desktop this year. This means that if your website doesn’t work well for mobile devices, you risk alienating over half of your potential customers!

In addition to frustrating people, websites that offer a poor mobile experience risk losing visibility and traffic from search engines, since they don’t want to show results that aren’t likely to work well for their users.

#2 – Technically Sound

Ever been to a brick and mortar business with a building in disrepair? Nobody enjoys spending time in a place with dusty isles, chipped paint, faded signs, or a messy rest room.

Similarly, nobody wants to spend time browsing a website that isn’t technically sound. Slow load times, broken links, confusing navigation, glitchy apps, server outages or outdated technology (Flash anyone?) are a great way to make anyone have a bad experience on your website.

In addition to creating a subpar experience for humans, technical issues can cause an SEO nightmare. In addition to sending negative quality signals (which can hurt rankings), technical issues like broken links or server errors can cause searchbots to incorrectly index important content or miss it completely.

#3 – Serves Prospects

In the not-so-distant past, salespeople held most of the power, as they had access to information that customers didn’t. What’s the right car for you? Whatever the salesperson says…

In the age of search, people are empowered with easy access to an unprecedented volume of information and this has had a huge impact on the sales process. By the time most customers walk into a car dealership, they have already researched reviews, crash safely statistics and pricing of the various models available.

Every day, your prospects are asking questions, researching pain points and comparing features of your’s and your competitor’s offerings. Every search query is a question, every relevant webpage is a potential answer and in the uber-competitive search landscape, only the best answers win.

Make sure your website is serving prospects with the best answers by:

  • Performing audience keyword research to identify relevant topics, questions and pain points
  • Creating content that addresses needs and provides value to your prospects
  • Optimizing your website and it’s content so that it’s easy to find and consume

#4 – Serves Customers

Search engine optimization is a fantastic “top of the funnel” tactic for bringing in new prospects and helping nurture them into customers, but the potential value of SEO doesn’t stop once the contract is signed.

Ongoing customer service and support is a key piece of any successful business strategy, and SEO can be incredibly helpful here. It’s great to have FAQ pages, instructions and product tips and tricks, but it’s even better if these things are easy to find.

Providing easy to find customer resources isn’t just valuable for your customers, it’s valuable to your bottom line by saving on customer service costs. The cost of hosting a robust customer resource section on your website is dwarfed by the cost of paying customer service reps to answer the same questions.

#5 – Optimized Across the Sales Cycle

People don’t usually buy something the first time they encounter your brand online, in particular if your sales cycle is on the longer side. In order to effectively nurture prospects into customers, your website needs content that answers questions, creates memorable experiences and provides value across the phases of the sales cycle.

In order to optimize across the sales cycle:

  • Attract with lighter, entertaining, ‘non-salesy’ content like blog posts, videos or infographics, optimized for broader keywords (generally non-branded).
  • Engage with meatier content like white papers, ebooks or webinars, optimized for more specific keywords.
  • Convert prospects into customers by giving them the information they need to feel confident to purchase through content like case studies, testimonials and product comparisons. Optimize for specific, often-branded keywords.

Modern search engines are smarter and more complex than ever before, but the core objective of search remains fairly simple: to provide searchers with the best answers (results) to their questions (search queries). By optimizing your website for customers rather than trying to manipulate or game the search engines, you’re well positioned to win in search both now and into the future.

Image via Shutterstock

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October 1st 2015 Online Marketing, SEO

7 Traits for Successful Digital Marketing Agency Client Relationships

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The relationships that we form with other people are an inherent part of being human. Some relationships stand the test of time while others become a distant memory. Relationships (good and bad) are not bound to our personal lives. Every day your interactions with coworkers, customers and other business contacts work towards building strong professional relationships today.

One of the larger investments that many organizations make today is in partnering with a digital marketing agency. The job of an agency is to understand who you are as a client and translate that message in a way that helps your brand better connect with target customers. Unfortunately, while 90% of agencies say they truly understand their client’s business, only 65% of clients agree.

Since the beginning, TopRank Marketing’s company mantra has always been “Client, Company, Community, Self”. Understanding what our clients do and what is important to them has been a driving force that has enabled us to deliver (and often over-deliver) results in a way that meets or exceeds client expectations. One of the most important elements that allows us to accomplish this is the relationships that we form with clients from the very beginning.

If your company is searching for an agency partner, look beyond the surface to ensure they possess the following traits that will help you get the most out of your investment.

1 – Strive to Set Clear Expectations

Setting expectations in terms of timelines, results or processes means less surprises down the line for you. This can provide a sense of predictability that helps you to feel in control and confident in the process.

When approaching search engine optimization, for example, it can be easy to assume that once you hire an agency your search engine rankings will be boosted overnight. In reality, website optimization is an ongoing process that can sometimes take several months to see notable results and is dependent on many factors. When an agency fails to address program expectations ahead of time, they risk leaving you feeling under-served or mislead. A great agency under promises, and over delivers.

2 – Offer Transparency & Authenticity

You should be able to rely on your digital agency to give you the expert advice and consultation that comes from their collective wisdom and years of marketing experience. Long gone are the days when agencies can expect that spurting marketing jargon and mumbo jumbo will leave clients impressed. A great marketing agency will educate you on every facet of their strategy, offer honest advice and admit when the topic has shifted outside of their expertise.

With an authentic and transparent digital agency at your side, you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders knowing you can lean on them as true partners.

3 – Respect Your Time

Your workweek is booked, your inbox requires constant attention and you may sometimes find yourself scrambling to get your job duties completed. Any great digital agency will recognize that long-winded emails and unstructured meetings are inconsiderate of your time. Good partners will ensure meetings bring value to those involved and are respectful of your time by:

  • Sharing agendas ahead of time,
  • Sticking to the allotted time scheduled
  • Avoiding tangents and off-topic conversations
  • Concluding with next steps for each party

4 – Provide Top-Notch Communication

In today’s fast-moving digital marketing world, you don’t always the option of waiting a few days for an email response or returned call from your digital agency. To maintain great communication, your agency contact should be:

  • Responding to emails and calls within 24 hours
  • Sending a follow up email to reiterate next steps following each meeting
  • Conducting quarterly check-ins with you to gather feedback on program performance and opportunities for improvement

When a digital agency can demonstrate this type of attentive and organized communication, you’ll feel confident in their ability to manage the various digital campaigns you’ve entrusted them with.

It’s easy to get comfortable shooting emails off from behind a desk, but there are definite times when a simple phone call will go a long way in building that agency/client relationship. Your digital agency account manager should not hesitate to give you a friendly call every once in a while to answer a quick question or provide a progress update.

5 – Form the Personal Connection

Sometimes everyone finds themselves getting sucked in to the tasks at hand, without taking a minute to step back and get to know the people they are working with. This leads to skipping the small talk, and getting right down to business.

Meaningful business relationships are fostered through conversation beyond the work-related task at hand. An invested agency contact will find ways to connect on a more personal level by asking how your day is going, or what your weekend plans are – not for the sake of small talk, but because they truly care.

6 – Suggest In-Person Meetings

Did you know that human contact releases hormones that act as neurotransmitters in the brain that build trust and bond? You can’t get that kind of science with a conference call.

In-person meetings allow us to observe and respond to facial expressions and body language, which builds stronger, more meaningful business relationships. In a world full of conference bridges and screen sharing, your agency should make an effort to meet with you in person – even if you’re located in different states.

An agency that’s willing to make the time and monetary investment to secure occasional in-person meetings is demonstrating their dedication to strengthening the agency/client relationship.

7 – They Advocate for You

At the end of the day, you should feel that your digital agency is working diligently towards your shared goals. There should be an understanding that they are your true marketing partners. A dedicated agency will commit to providing the level of service that exceeds your expectations, and provide compelling results that keep you coming back for more.

You know your agency “gets it” if they provide results and progress reports in a format that is easily shared and consumed by stakeholders at your company. That means less work translating reports to the higher-ups, and more time focusing on your responsibilities.

When you’re in search of a digital marketing agency, look for hints of these characteristics that indicate the level of respect, dedication and organization you’ll receive in the client/agency relationship.

On the hunt for a new agency that has these traits? Contact TopRank Online Marketing to learn how we can become your digital marketing partner.

Image via Shutterstock


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September 29th 2015 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Facebook Gets The Signal, Auto-Converting Ads, Instagram Tops 400 Million

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Anatomy Of A Perfect Checkout Page

How to Create the Perfect Checkout Page [Infographic] – 68% of all ecommerce visitors abandon their shopping carts – leaving $4 trillion of abandoned merchandize behind. But don’t despair – according to BI Intelligence, roughly 2.5 trillion (or 63%) of this is potentially recoverable. Check out this handy infographic to find out more. VWO

Facebook Launches Signal – Journalists use Signal to surface relevant trends, photos, videos and posts from Facebook and Instagram for use in their storytelling and reporting. This is an easy way to source and curate content from major public events across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and more. Journalists can then embed that curated content online and integrate it into their broadcasts. Facebook

Study: Position 1 In Search May Get Fewer Clicks Than Position 2 With Rich Snippets – Rich snippets can provide a 26% lift in clicks on the second search listing, says a Blue Nile Research study. Search Engine Land

Google AdWords Drops More Referrer Data – Over a year ago, Google AdWords followed suit and went not provided but now there are more changes happening around the ad click referrer data. Google announced on Google+ that starting next week, in October, Google will stop showing anything but the main domain name in the referrer. Search Engine Roundtable

Facebook Retargeting Rising (Report) – Retargeting has been robust for advertisers on Facebook, as ad platform AdRoll saw a 31 percent year-over-year increase in spending. The Facebook Marketing Partner analyzed more than 55,000 campaigns on the social network between July 1, 2014, and June 30 of this year, accounting for more than 37 billion global impressions, and see what else it found. SocialTimes

Introducing 360 Video on Facebook – Starting today, 360-degree videos will begin rolling out in News Feed. Our goal at Facebook is to connect you with the people and things that matter, every single day. Over time, we’ve seen that people enjoy more immersive content in their News Feeds. This is one reason video has been so successful on Facebook, and we’re excited to take it a step further with 360 video. Facebook

Google Display Network Now Auto-Converts Text Ads into ‘Richer Text’ Image Ads – After much head scratching and cruising the web looking for an announcement or news coverage, we found only one little mention of this new format, “Richer Text Ads,” on the Google AdSense blog. Here’s what that means. Search Engine Journal

Facebook Like And Share Buttons To Power Ad Targeting Based On Sites And Apps Users Visit – On Tuesday, the company announced the expansion of ad targeting based on the sites and apps users visit in a blog post: “We are continuing to roll out online interest-based advertising and will now begin including information from pages that use Facebook’s Like button and similar social features, as we announced last year.” Marketing Land

Instagram Hits 400 Million Users – When Facebook paid close to $1 billion for Instagram back in 2012, people thought Zuck had lost it. A the time of the deal, Instagram had close to 30 million users, which meant Facebook was effectively paying around $33 per user, a huge amount. Crazy. Well that investment is looking more and more astute every day, with Instagram, today revealing, via an official blog post, that they’ve now hit 400 million users. Instagram

Gmail Has A New ‘Block Sender’ Option – Gmail users can now block specific email addresses with just two clicks. In the top right hand corner of a message, click the drop-down menu button (upside down triangle), and select “block.” (It appears with the name of the sender in quotes.) Gmail

Pinterest Opens API Platform To All Developers – Developers can now build and test third-party integrations with the Pinterest platform. When they are ready to go public, they need to be submitted to Pinterest for approval. Marketing Land

Engagement on Instagram Tops Facebook – This is the first time that social interactions on Instagram have surpassed Facebook. The media publishing industry saw a 5 percent decrease in total actions compared to July 2015, due to a 12 percent drop in Facebook actions. The media publishing industry represents 31 percent of all actions taken on content published by brands in August. SocialTimes

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to Why It’s Time for More Participation in B2B Content Marketing, David Butler shared, “Hi Lee, sourcing B2B story ideas is exactly why I developed iPositioning. To operationalize it. I find it is often a broader collaborative task than just hiring a writer to work with a product marketer. “Two brains together can create an even better idea than just one”. So how do you recommend operationalizing the “democratization” part though. This is key to scaling sourcing, ideation, and making it super efficient and simple for everyone to create the story. If we are the B2B marketing team how can we organize and align our target strategy and be on the same “wave length” thinking about stories and content. Thanks for starting this discussion!”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: VWO

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September 25th 2015 Online Marketing

18 Tools to Help Content Marketers Block & Tackle SEO

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In order to scale any content marketing program, every marketer must be equipped with the right tools. Not only is it essential that you create quality content on a consistent basis, but it MUST be optimized in a way that enables you to be the best answer wherever your customers are searching.

A recent survey of over 200 B2B marketers found that 85% listed content marketing technologies as their current top priority.  The following list of free and paid tools represents some of the core, “blocking and tackling” SEO tasks that content marketers can use to advance the findability of their work to better serve customers

While this list is not comprehensive by any means, since there are literally hundreds of SEO-focused content tools, plug-ins, bookmarklets, software solutions, and services on the market, it is simply meant to serve as a starting point for your efforts to improve your content’s search potential.

Keyword Research Tools

Knowing which keywords to use is essential to search. In general, it’s a good idea to look for keywords that have a good ratio of search volume and competitiveness. You’ll want to pick keywords that are in demand, but you don’t want the phrases to be so popular that you would be unable to achieve top search visibility. Here are several useful tools for researching keywords that can inspire content ideas and optimizing the content you have.

Google Keyword Planner 


Since the sunset of Google’s Keyword Tool, Google’s Keyword Planner is a viable alternative. You’ll need a Google AdWords account for access, but with it you can perform many of the same research tasks the Keyword Tool provided for revealing related phrases, popularity counts, and competitive search rankings.



WordStream is powered for PPC keyword research. However, with a trillion keywords in its database, it does offer some free tools that allow you to research keywords, find niche keywords, group related keywords together, and find negative keywords that would be used as filters for a PPC campaign.

WordStream’s free keyword tool offers a list of 11 or so keyword suggestions, as well as a graph that estimates how often the keyword is searched on. Other data points like Google search volume and competition are only available if you sign up for a free trial. If you do decide to purchase full access, WordStream provides a host of keyword management features to help manage your keyword portfolio.



One of the longest-running keyword tools on the market, Wordtracker’s keyword research feature will provide 10 alternative suggestions for your selected keyword, as well as search volume estimations for popularity, competition, and KEI score (a ratio of search volume vs. competition).

If you go for Wordtracker’s paid service, you’ll be able to save keyword research projects and drill down into related phrases (like synonyms).



This tool is completely free and works by collecting auto-suggestions from Google searches. For example, when I type in “content” on Google, it suggests content management system, content marketing, content strategy, and Content Marketing Institute. Ubersuggest will present every possible variation according to the alphabet of each word you might type in. It collects this information for text searches on, as well as searches for images, news, shopping, video, and recipes — and it provides results in 40 different languages.

You cannot “save” keyword research projects, but you can easily copy the keyword search results into a spreadsheet and save them offline.

Competitive Research

The following tools will help you better understand which organic and paid search keywords are driving traffic to your competitors’ websites. This insight can be useful for uncovering new opportunities, as well as for benchmarking.



If you ever wanted to know what keywords your competitors (or any site) had visibility for on Google, this tool helps answer that question. The research tools are divided into groups:

  • Advertising Research shows competitor PPC ads.
  • Organic Research shows keyword rankings on Google.
  • AdSense finds publishers and advertisers.
  • Backlinks helps you research who is linking to you, or your competition.
  • Keyword Research lets you find suggestions of keywords for use in website optimizations.

If you visit TopRank Marketing’s partner page you will receive 30 days free ($70 value) by entering the code: TOPRANKMKTG-4R9Q8T5C



With SpyFu’s Classic and SmartSearch tools, you can get a lot of information for free, including the most profitable keywords, competitor PPC ads, and top organic listings showing domain strength, estimated clicks per month, and ranking history.

Content Optimization

Applying keyword research to content can seem like guesswork for those that are new to it. This is where content optimization tools can come in handy.



For content creators just getting their feet wet with SEO copy writing, tools like InboundWriter can provide guidance on keyword research as it is applied to a specific document. In both its WordPress plug-in and web form, InboundWriter offers topic research data from keyword and social media sources. It also suggests keywords to use in your optimization efforts.



From the folks at Copyblogger Media, Scribe has both a WordPress plug-in and a stand-alone software as a service (SaaS) offering — neither of which are free. However, this tool enables you to do topic research from within the document view on search keywords, as well as on social media sources like Twitter or Google+. Scribe will analyze your document and make keyword optimization recommendations — i.e., your art, their science.

Basic On-Page Tech SEO

These content tools help identify issues and opportunities that can improve how search engines find, crawl, and index your site. For the vast majority of content marketers, tech SEO is outside the scope of their responsibilities. But the impact of your site’s speed, crawling errors, and both social and search engine friendliness should not be ignored if great search performance is expected.

Google Webmaster Tools


Both Google and Bing offer access to a mix of reports that help website owners better understand how a search engine interacts with a website. With Google’s webmaster tools, available reports range from crawling errors to determinations of the keywords that appear most often in Google’s search results. In addition, you can build trending graphs from every type of data tracked, and you can also access search statistics for pages that you are the verified author of.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool


Screaming Frog is a software program you run locally that crawls websites and reports back with a wide range of data, including all the files on your site; individual web pages (and all the elements of a web page); internal and external links; response codes; page speeds; and many others. There’s also an XML sitemap generator. A free version of the software provides results on up to 500 items (pages, images, etc), but purchasing a subscription removes that limit.

Pingdom Website Speed Test


How fast your pages load is a ranking factor, and this tool helps you test just that. Slow pages create a bad user experience and, at scale, aren’t very efficient for Google to explore as it crawls the web. This service offers customized suggestions on how to improve load times for a given page you want to analyze.

KnowEm SMO


This is a handy tool for checking the code on any web page to see if it includes code for Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, Google+ Authorship, LinkedIn, and Twitter’s Summary Card data. It also checks for some really basic SEO elements.

Link Tracking

For as long as Google has been on the scene in the search engine world (and even before), links have served as the connective tissue for the web. The quality of links to your web pages and digital assets is directly related to their being discovered by your target audience — whether through a direct visit or through search. Fundamentally, links impact how well your page will rank, so the following content tools can help you track your link profile.



Ahrefs offers a limited tool set for free, as well as a more robust set with a paid subscription. The free option provides a surprisingly strong overview of links for any domain name, including new links, links lost, top pages, link text analysis, and other reference points. You can also compare two domain names for free, which will give another overview report of links and link types, as well as social shares. Many of the top SEOs rely on Ahrefs’ full (paid) suite of tools on a daily basis.



The amount of data crawled by link tracking services is amazing, and can rival the volume of data Google itself keeps tabs on. Majestic enables marketers to research links to their content (or their competitors’ content), and provides a very robust service for free (with registration), including overview information about link types, sources, and history, as well as a list of pages and text most often used in those links. Majestic also offers a unique visual measurement of link quality and the propensity to pass visitors, which it calls Citation Flow and Trust Flow, respectively.

Open Site Explorer


Open Site Explorer is one of the many SEO tools offered by Moz. Its link tracking tool provides scores for domain and page authority, as well as a list of link sources for the URL you are checking. You can also compare multiple URLs, which scores sites based on parameters like “MozRank” (think PageRank) and “MozTrust.” With its free offering, totals for internal, external, and inbound links are provided, as well as follow vs. no follow links, while a paid subscription will provide deeper dives into available data, such as social shares per URL.

SEO Management Tools

For marketers whose job function is focused on a business’s SEO efforts, an SEO management toolset can be essential for organizing many of the ongoing tasks, reports, and research necessary to win at organic search. Here are a few to consider:



For small and medium-sized businesses, Raven provides a mix of useful tools for optimization, social media marketing, content marketing, and PPC advertising. Page-level analysis provides SEO recommendations, and a number of reports can be pulled to track search performance. For the cost, it’s a pretty robust tool set.



A comprehensive offering for mid-market, large, and enterprise companies, BrightEdge offers SEO program management tools, competitive research, and SEO analysis and recommendations for web, mobile, local, and global applications. The offering also includes dashboards, and reporting and forecasting tools. In addition, BrightEdge integrates well with several other tools on this list, including Majestic SEO, Moz, and Google Analytics.

Web Analytics

An analytics service that interprets the actions of visitors (browser or otherwise) is essential to content marketing efforts. But it’s also helpful to work with specific measurement tools that can help you refine your content, calls to action, and other factors that influence consumer buying behavior (aka conversion rate optimization).

Google Analytics


The most robust free analytics tool available, Google Analytics provides just about any kind of information you could possibly need about the performance of your content on the web. Google also offers Analytics training and certification programs, which you should certainly take advantage of if you want to get the most out of this robust set of tools.

A combination of the right content, team members and tools can put you on the path to providing value to your customers that your competition just can’t match. Need help creating quality content marketing that better meets the needs of your customers? TopRank Marketing can help!

The original version of this post was written by Lee Odden and appeared on Content Marketing Institute

Header image via Shutterstock

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18 Tools to Help Content Marketers Block & Tackle SEO |

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September 24th 2015 Online Marketing, SEO Tools

7 Steps for Using Periscope to Better Engage Your Target Audience

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One of the most important jobs we have as marketers is to find a way to be the best answer for our customers, when and where they are looking. With so many new platforms to test on a consistent basis, it can be hard to move through the clutter and find ways to connect that will better engage your target audience.

Social media platforms provide new opportunities to resonate with your customers. Each time a new social media platform launches, there are the early adopters that explore how the platform works, test to see if it’s stable and then figure out how it can best be leveraged.

One of the biggest platform launches of 2015 was the live video streaming app, Periscope. As of August 2015, Periscope had a total of 10 million users, with over 40 years’ worth of video viewed every day.

A number of people have already jumped on board, using Periscope for trainings and video casts. But how can marketers use apps like Periscope to better communicate with their audience?

Leveraging Periscope for Marketing

Demonstrations: Show how a particular product can be used. Discovery the different uses, options, upgrades and attachments. Engage your audience by allowing them to interact and ask questions so that you can provide value and gather insights that you may not otherwise have access to.

Interviews: Interview current users your products or services. Ask how have they benefited from its use and how it’s changed their life? This could include people from the research and development group, the owners of the company or the team that developed the product or service.

Live events: Promotional events of the product or service. An example might be a trade show where the featured product or service is being displayed. Additionally, you could include challenges that include customers that use the product, and have them develop new ways to use it or how to use it best.

7 Steps for Incorporating Periscope Into Your Marketing

Step 1: Create an image/announcement that talks about your what you will be presenting on, (1 single Periscope video) and then post it on your social channels so that your audience knows that you have a Periscope account, where to find it, and when you’ll be going “live”.

Step 2: Do an off-camera walk-thru of what you hope to accomplish and cover during the scope.

Step 3: Create an outline of what will be covered or said during your video.

Step 4: Use a stand or have someone with a steady hand hold the camera while broadcasting the scope. (Vertical scopes are the standard, but landscape scopes are now an option when broadcasting)

Step 5: When titling the scope, be sure to incorporate Twitter handles and/or hashtags if deemed appropriate.

Step 6: Let the audience know that they’re free to ask questions during the scope or if there will be time made available at the end of the scope for a Q&A session.

Step 7: After the “live” broadcast has been completed, consider saving it to your device and uploading it to YouTube channel or some other video sharing platform for future and repeated use.

Companies Already Utilizing Periscope

Some companies that have already have jumped into the Periscope “stream” and are incorporating it into their digital marketing mix. Below are examples of companies that have created a consistent Periscope presence:

  • Applebee’s
  • Dell
  • Lays
  • Life Time Fitness
  • Macy’s
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Sleep Number
  • Urban Outfitters

Preparation and practice won’t create perfection, but it will create progress. The more scopes that you do, the better that you and your company will be in creating and producing videos via Periscope. Try it, and join the next form of social media, live streaming.

If you’ve already tested Periscope for your company, what did you find to be the benefits and challenges?

Disclaimer: Dell is a TopRank Marketing Client

Image via Shutterstock

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7 Steps for Using Periscope to Better Engage Your Target Audience |

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September 22nd 2015 Online Marketing, video

Online Marketing News: Instagram Ads Get Instagranular, Facebook Takes A Fifth, Snapchat Pay-To-Replay

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Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing Work Better Together

Why Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing Work Better Together [Infographic] – A recent survey of business leaders showed that email and social media are the two channels most likely to see an increase in investment from business owners in 2015. Many businesses employ either email marketing, social media marketing or a combination of both, however many aren’t fully integrating the two together. Email marketing company Reachmail has put together a useful infographic that covers the benefits of integrating your social and email strategies together. Social Media Today

Instagram to Democratize Ad Products, Integrate Facebook Targeting Capabilities – Industry participants are excited about Instagram’s new ad formats as these capabilities make ads more targetable. It’s predicted that these changes will make the photo-and-social-sharing platform more appealing to advertisers than Twitter and Snapchat. ClickZ

Twitter Is Now Surfacing Analytics In The Notifications Tab – If you rank among the Twitter elite—that is, your profile is branded with a blue checkmark—you may notice some changes to your notifications tab. The social networking platform is toying with flagging analytics details in the notifications tab for verified users. Fast Company

Facebook Estimated to Capture One-Fifth of US Mobile Ad Spending – Facebook will grow to account for 20.3% of all US mobile ad spending in 2017, up slightly from an estimated 19.4% share this year and 18.5% last year, per eMarketer’s latest estimates. (That would be in line with the 19% of mobile internet time spent with Facebook.) While Facebook’s share of mobile ad revenues is expected to grow slightly, the opposite is true for Google, which is projected to see a sizable decrease in revenue share this year (from 36.9% to 32.9%). MarketingCharts

Snapchat Offers Extra Replays at 3 for $1 – Now Snapchatters can replay as many moments as they wish — if they’re willing to pay. The picturing sharing-app announced Tuesday that U.S. users can now purchase extra “Replays” at three for $0.99. CNN Money

Brands Shifting From YouTube To Native Video On Twitter – Top 500 brands posted nearly as many videos natively as from YouTube in July. Engagement remains higher for native video. Marketing Land

Twitter Sued For Scanning Private Messages – A lawsuit filed this week in San Francisco federal court alleges Twitter is “surreptitiously eavesdropping” on people who send private messages on the social media service in violation of federal and state privacy laws. USA Today

Consumers Can’t Tell The Difference Between Sponsored Content And Editorial – In a new study, consumers identified native advertisements as articles a large percentage of the time. Marketing Land

AdWords Changes The Definition Of Conversions For Reporting & Columns – In mid-October, AdWords will be changing the “Conversions” columns & reporting to only include optimized conversion actions. Search Engine Land

Native Videos the Best Option for Both Facebook and Twitter [Report] – Native videos uploaded to Twitter – are they also performing better than posted YouTube links? The answer, according to a new report from social analytics firm Socialbakers, is yes. Socialbakers analyzed the video links posted by the top 500 largest brand profiles on Twitter, from January to July, and found that natively posted Twitter videos are closing in, and set to overtake YouTube links on the network very soon. Social Media Today

New: Facebook Mentions and Live for Verified Profiles – People love reading articles from and connecting with their favorite journalists and public figures on Facebook. Today, we’re making Facebook Mentions and Live available to public figures with verified profiles to help them engage their followers and interact with their peers. Facebook

Report: Google & Twitter Are Working On Accelerated Mobile Pages For Publishers – The companies are developing an open source version of “instant articles” to solve the problem of slow loading mobile sites, Recode reports. Marketing Land

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Reachmail

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Online Marketing News: Instagram Ads Get Instagranular, Facebook Takes A Fifth, Snapchat Pay-To-Replay |

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September 18th 2015 Online Marketing

Win a Free Pass! Get Content Marketing Smart at MarketingProfs University in Minneapolis

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One of the biggest problems that many marketing organizations are facing today is creating quality content on a consistent basis. It can be a challenge to make sure every piece of content you produce is effective at helping to attract, engage and convert target customers.

In fact, according to research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, only 38% of B2B marketers state that their content marketing is effective. If you are one of the 62% of marketers that really need to improve content marketing performance, we have just the ticket. Literally!

Our friends at MarketingProfs are hosting a series of workshops focused on helping marketers reach content marketing success. From September 30 through October 2nd, these workshops will be held in Minneapolis.

Get Creative and Win! TopRank Marketing will award one free pass to the workshop of your choice in Minneapolis to whomever leaves the most creative comment on this post about why they should attend.

What Will You Learn at MarketingProfs University?

“MichaelWorkshop Title: Content Rules
Date: September 30, 2015
Instructor: Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy at NewsCred

In this workshop, Instructor Michael Brenner will cover the many ways to make content magic through industry best practices and show you how (and where) to find inspiration as well as how to reach the ideal audience(s) with whom you want to develop a lasting relationship.

Michael will also guide you through many group exercises focusing on critical elements in developing award-winning content, exploring various content formats and platforms, and creating relevant personas and messaging to drive conversions. You’ll walk away with a toolbox full of tactics that you can immediately apply back in the office.

Use the Code: TOPRANKWS for $200 off!
Enroll Now

Kerry O'Shea GorgoneWorkshop Title: Everybody Writes
Date: October 1, 2015
Instructor: Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, Instructional Design Manager, Enterprise Training at MarketingProfs and Host of the Marketing Smarts Podcast

This workshop will focus on audience-centric writing and the fundamental shifts in thinking that require marketers to inspire, educate, and help rather than talk up benefits and features. Learners will receive hands-on training in creating different types of content for their ongoing marketing initiatives, so bring some current writing projects with you to the workshop.

The session will demonstrate various ways to collaborate on content creation, and you’ll have the opportunity to give each other feedback on voice, tone, and medium. You’ll not only learn to develop long- and medium-form content, but you’ll examine how these different types of written content align with various stages of the buyer’s journey.

Use the Code: TOPRANKWS for $200 off!
Enroll Now

Letisha MillsapWorkshop Title: Finders Keepers
Date: October 2, 2015
Speaker: Letisha Millsap, Marketing Strategy and Demand Generation Consultant

In this workshop, you’ll learn the difference between a lead nurturing and general marketing campaign. You will be able to review specific programs geared towards prospects and customers, the ten steps to create a lead nurturing program, and the different types of tests you can apply to measure your campaigns’ effectiveness.

Letisha will guide you through many group exercises focusing on critical elements in developing a nurturing program—from creating a buyer’s persona, to building specific messages for that persona, to documenting your content library. You’ll walk away with a toolbox full of tactics that you can immediately apply back in the office.

Use the Code: TOPRANKWS for $200 off!
Enroll Now

For even more reasons to check out the MarketingProfs University workshops, here are the top three from MarketingProfs marketing manager, Matt Snodgrass (plus a BONUS):

1) People will learn these three topics (writing, content marketing, lead generation) in a way that’s standardized and easily repeatable. We’re calling it the ‘MarketingProfs way.’ The way we do things. These are proven tips, tactics, and techniques.
2) Small, intimate workshop sizes. Lots of instructor interaction, group work, peer collaboration and cooperative learning to better reinforce the material.
3) This is not only a workshop, it’s an entire learning experience. We provide pre-course preparation, in-workshop learning, and post-workshop reinforcement to keep the content fresh and help learners incorporate it into their daily work routines.

Ann Handley
4) They get to talk to Ann Handley at the end of them!

Are you ready to get content marketing smart?

Members of the TopRank Marketing team will be in attendance at each of the MarketingProfs University workshops in Minneapolis and we’d love to see you there as well! If you don’t want to chance it, be sure to check out each of the links above for more information.

How can you win a FREE PASS worth $795?  Just leave a creative comment below on why you would like to attend one of the workshops. We will pick and announce a winner on this blog post and on Twitter using the @TopRank handle on Monday September 28.

Remember, creativity wins!

If you’re already registered for a workshop, we’d love to connect with you at the event in person.

Image via Shutterstock

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Win a Free Pass! Get Content Marketing Smart at MarketingProfs University in Minneapolis |

The post Win a Free Pass! Get Content Marketing Smart at MarketingProfs University in Minneapolis appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

September 17th 2015 Online Marketing

TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World

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Content Marketing World is the largest content marketing conference in the world. To say that the team from TopRank Marketing was excited to attend, is putting it lightly. Lee Odden, Alexis Hall, Josh Nite and I made the journey to Cleveland to learn from some of the best and brightest content marketing minds in the industry.

In a perfect world we would have been able to attend every session, but we consumed, live blogged and shared all that we were physically able to do. Below are some of what we considered to be the top takeaways and best speaker quotes from Content Marketing World 2015.

Top Content Marketing World Takeaways

Lee Odden – Participation Marketing Must Have’s


TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delighted a packed room of marketers by providing inspiring and actionable advice on how to successfully approach participation marketing. Lee assured marketers that if they wanted to produce quality and scalable content, without having to scale marketing budgets, this was the place to be.

So, how can we get some relief from all of the hard work it takes to create a truly impactful participation marketing program?

To find out, read: Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing

Michael Brenner – How to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy


NewsCred Head of Strategy Michael Brenner knows the challenges facing content marketers. Consumers no longer accept that content has to be ad supported. They–or, rather, we, since we’re all consumers–no longer tolerate interruptions. Not only that, but the best content we as marketers create still has to compete for attention with pictures of babies and puppies.

For Michael’s solution to these problems, read: Michael Brenner’s Tips, Tools & Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy

Ian Cleary – Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing


RazorSocial Founder Ian Cleary is passionate about using tools to make content marketing better. At RazorSocial, he trains companies to use technology to increase their reach, search ranking, and audience relevance.

Ian took us on a whirlwind tour through 15 common content marketing problems and the tools he uses to solve them.

For our five favorites read: Ian Cleary Discusses Essential Tools to Optimize Your Content Marketing

Erin Monday – Achieve Greater Social Visibility


Traditional SEOs have long obsessed over how to hack the Google algorithm to move to the top of SERPs. Now the new kids on the blog, social platforms like Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, each have their own algorithm.

Improving the visibility of your content within social media can be as calculated as your SEO efforts. Erin Monday, marketing manager at Lenovo, shares tips to hack the new social algorithms in her presentation at #CMWorld.

To learn Erin’s 5 steps read: 5 Step Algorithm Hack to Achieve Greater Social Visibility

Complete List of TopRank Marketing’s Coverage From CMWorld

10 Snackable & Inspirational Speaker Quotes











CMWorld eBook Triple Feature

If you were unable to attend Content Marketing World but want even more tips on everything from content marketing strategy to measurement, check out the content marketing triple feature that TopRank Marketing and Content Marketing Institute co-created with speakers from this year’s event.

If you attended Content Marketing World 2015, what was the most impactful thing that you learned? If you weren’t able to attend this year, we hope to see you next year!

Images via Shutterstock: 17500448012933745418675450825897167516898401426960222611340633113223845715635063610503189853739760

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TopRank Marketing Top Takeaways & Speaker Quotes from Content Marketing World |

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September 16th 2015 Online Marketing