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.
Being a true “SEO expert” requires a lot of effort and an ever-evolving expertise because the practice is changing and will continue to change as we adopt new technologies into our marketing channels (think mobile, or AI, or voice search). In addition, there’s a lot to keep up with as spammers continue to wage their ongoing battle on search.
What this means for the B2B marketer is the SEO project you just completed in the last year or two years ago needs to be updated again. It means the good advice you were given 18 months ago about keywords or responsive web design or schema is now obsolete and should be reconsidered.
We recently asked our local SEO influencers for their input as we updated our 5 SEO Strategies Every Company Needs to Master, a helpful infographic that you can download, print out, and pin to your cubicle. Our thanks go out to Michael Cottom, CEO of Visual Itineraries and an independent SEO consultant; Scott Hendison president of Search Commander, Inc.; Dan Delmain from Delmain Analytics, Kevin Chow, Director of Search at Webfor, and Nick Footer of Intuitive Digital for all their technical input on the infographic.
You can also check out our SEO-related webinars, such as our popular SEO + Content = The Perfect Recipe for Inbound Success.
In addition, we wanted to share a few industry sources that you should occasionally check out to get up to date on the latest goings on with Google, Bing, and the other search engines, as well as the tactics to succeed on those platforms.
Note: Many, if not all, of these websites offer free or paid tools. It’s up to you whether you want to learn more about them. I recommend that you initially just check out their blogs and not yet sign up for anything, including their email newsletters. (Reserve your inbox space for Act-On’s newsletters).
If you only have 10-15 minutes per week to stay abreast of SEO-related topics, this is where I would spend it. Moz founder Rand Fishkin generally hosts this video blog series that is often imitated, never duplicated. The topics range from the recent tips on conducting an SEO Audit to identifying the content that’s best for your own SEO needs, and everything in between. More than likely, you already have a Moz Pro account or the agency you’ve hired has one (and is charging you a premium for the information it provides them about your website). For additional reading, check out their Moz blog and their YouMoz community blog, and take the time to view the comments on the posts (there is usually a gem or two in there from some smart people).
Founder Larry Kim’s blog posts often provide some big-picture context to a current industry topic, such as this recent one on his SEO predictions for 2017. He also loves using images of unicorns, so there’s that, too.
Founder Marty Weintraub is one serious mass of high energy. If you’ve seen him speak, you’ll understand what I’m saying. He is also a long-time entrepreneur and salesman, and has always found ways to hack sales and marketing systems, ever since his days selling radio ads. His blog posts often offer tips and insights on the latest in paid advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, and the other social channels.
Founder Ian Portent has been an industry leader in SEO for more than a decade. He often shares tips and insights on the latest trends in digital marketing. And if you do nothing else, you should check out the blog’s free Content Idea Generator tool.
Industry News Websites
A couple of good choices for SEO industry news are Search Engine Watch (@sewatch), Search Engine Journal (@sejournal), and Search Engine Land (@sengineland, and which also runs the Marketing Land website). Each of these websites segments its articles into searchable categories, so it’s easy to find the latest news on Paid Search or Mobile. They also hold events around the world that bring in speakers to discuss the latest in digital marketing tactics and strategies (just in case you think you can talk the bosses into sending you to London for a marketing conference).
If you really want to get the information straight from the horse’s mouth, you can track the webmaster blogs for Google and Bing. Of course, sometimes – many times – they are less than forthcoming with the changes they’re actually making to their respective algorithms. But they are the original source, and can be used as a launching pad for further discovery. (Of course, if you’re reading webmaster blogs, you may also be in need of a friend, or two.)
Maybe you’re starting to see a trend. Except for the industry news and SERP sites, I selected blogs that often include posts from their founders or cofounders. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, because of their leadership roles and prowess, they’re often invited to speak at SEO events around the world, where they learn a new tidbit or two that they later share with the rest of us. Secondly, they represent their brand’s know-how, so you can expect their posts to have some meat to them. And finally, based on their experience and expertise, they are not afraid to share their opinion on a topic, even if it’s controversial (Jon Henshaw at Raven Tools is one example).
OK, that’s my starter list for B2B marketers wanting to stay current on SEO. You’ll no doubt have your own favorites, and there are many more folks out there who are experts in one niche, such as Local Search or Paid Search or Content Marketing. Please share with me who you think should be added to the list moving forward.