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BrightEdge promises ‘self-driving SEO’ with new Autopilot offering

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One of the promises of machine learning and AI is that mundane tasks can be automated leaving people to do more strategic or creative work. That’s what BrightEdge is saying about its new Autopilot SEO product, which the company likens to a self-driving car. 

The product was announced several weeks ago at the company’s Share19 conference.

Petabytes of data. BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu told me during a call that the product was built over more than a decade and after analysis of billions of webpages and petabytes of data to determine what common SEO tasks were capable of automation. Yu said BrightEdge created Autopilot to address the parts of SEO that are repetitive in order free up marketers’ time and resources.

Yu explained that Autopilot can perform a number of important SEO functions with no human involvement. Among them:

  • Orphan pages are “automatically fixed, optimized and connected.”
  • Mobile pages “are self-optimized.”
  • Duplicate content is automatically fixed.​

Yu also says that no other SEO company can do this currently through automation.  He further explained that the company’s recent acquisition of responsive design platform Trilibis was critical in the development of Autopilot. Autopilot also utilizes other BrightEdge technologies (Data Cube, Data Mind, BrightEdge Instant), to “drive auto-optimization, self-driving SEO with zero touch.”

Better rankings, more engagement. Yu said that over the past six months Autopilot has been deployed across 1,000 BrightEdge customer sites. The company offered some aggregated customer data to show that the solution is improving SEO performance:

  • 60% increase in page views per visits​
  • 21% more keywords on page one rankings​
  • 2X increase in conversions​
  • SEM impact: 28% improvement in Ad Quality score​

The PPC improvement is based on optimized, faster-loading mobile landing pages.

BrightEdge cites customer Campbell’s Soup as a marquee case study. Since adopting Autopilot the company says Campbell’s Soup has seen a “204% traffic lift year-over-year.” It has also seen page speed improvements across 35% of pages and more page one rankings for thousands of keywords.

However, Yu emphasized that the chief benefit of Autopilot is that can help “scale a marketer’s time and impact across the organization.” BrightEdge says it’s not charging separately for Autopilot.

Why we should care. If the claims above are correct then BrightEdge’s new Autopilot may be a significant development. However, just as many paid search marketers argue that automated responsive search ads don’t perform as well as traditional text ads, there’s little danger that automation will put SEOs out of work. But we’re very interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions on whether and how much SEO automation is possible.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.



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Top 10 Best New York City SEO Companies

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Free SEO Training – 2x your organic traffic in the next 90 days.

Want to find the best SEO companies in New York City?

You’re on the right page. Our independent rankings give you the lowdown on which agencies are the best in the City and why.

We base our rankings on verifiable data that’s in the public domain, so you can be sure you’re getting transparent information. Having collated and analyzed the data, we make it easy for you to find the right SEO agency for your business.

FREE Download: Only work with the best SEO companies on the planet when you download our free SEO company vetting checklist.

Our ranking criteria are listed below, so you can see how our top 10 have earned their places. In the meantime, take a look at the SEO companies in New York City that can put your business on the map.

Top 10 Best New York City SEO Companies for 2020

  1. Main Street ROI (28 points)
  2. SEO Services New York (25 points)
  3. Mimvi SEO LLC (25 points)
  4. Ironpaper Marketing (24 points)
  5. Path Interactive (22 points)
  6. Sure Oak (22 points)
  7. Mindsaw (22 points)
  8. Top Notch Dezigns (21 points)
  9. Four Dots (21 points)
  10. HTML Pro (21 points)

1. Main Street ROI – Award-Wining New York SEO company

High domain authority and over 250 outstanding reviews ensure Main Street ROI pip competitors to the post when it comes to being crowned the best SEO company in New York City 2020. Based in Chelsea, the firm specializes in working with small businesses and delivering local SEO services.

If you’re a startup or a growing business based in NYC, it’s well worth taking a look at what Main Street ROI can offer. Active since 2010 and a verified Google Premier Partner, their mission is to ‘help small businesses thrive, regardless of their budgets’.

As well as providing search engine optimization this digital marketing agency, pay per click Google ads, Facebook ads, social media marketing, and web development. Main Street ROI has an educational element to its SEO strategy too. You can enroll in courses, read eBooks, view webinars, and take part in masterclasses if you want to learn more about using digital marketing to help your business succeed.

Committed to helping small businesses triumph, monthly SEO fees start at $500, although you can opt for a one-off SEO audit for $300. With custom strategies and budgets this New York SEO firm wants to make sure, businesses across all industries can find valuable guidance and support in search results with Main Street ROI.

2. SEO Services New York, NY

Founded in 2009, SEO Services New York has 113 SEO campaigns to its name and has attracted interest from Clutch, Agency Spotter, and TDA, amongst others. Having received an array of awards, it’s no surprise to see them securing the #2 spot in our rankings.

Despite having a relatively low number of do-follow links pointing towards the site, their stellar reviews and impressive total traffic figures ensure SEO Services New York remains one of the best SEO companies in New York City.

Delivering PPC, SEO, content marketing, and consultancy and training, you can outsource your digital marketing services to their in-house team or request that they share their expertise with your own staff. Ideal for businesses of any size, SEO Services New York is based in the City but works with local, national, and international brands.

3. Mimvi SEO LLC – Years of Experience to Boost Conversion Rates

Delivering ‘SEO That Works’, Mimvi SEO features highly in our rankings due to the combination of moderately high domain authority, a decent number of do-follow links, fast page speeds, excellent site security, and positive feedback from their clients.

Potential clients can benefit from an SEO audit, so it’s a great opportunity to gain feedback from their in-house team and decide whether their strategies are right for you. Guiding clients through website design, SEO, pay per click ad campaigns, and online reputation management, they offer a comprehensive range of services that can benefit any business.

With a heavy emphasis on local SEO, Mimvi SEO positions themselves as specialists within the NYC and Long Island regions. For brands based within these areas or businesses that want to target these geographical locations, Mimvi could be the ideal growth partner. If you are a business owner looking for an effective marketing strategy or web development, or e-commerce SEO campaign click the “contact us” link on their website.

4. Ironpaper Marketing – Online Presence in Organic Search Results

Specializing in SEO, Ironpaper Marketing is a full-service agency that can complement effective SEO with a range of other services. From content marketing and lead generation to web design and conversion optimization, you can access everything you need to grow your business under one roof.

Their in-house team of marketers, analysts, engineers, and writers focus on Analytics, Agility, and Action to secure results on behalf of clients. Finessing the customer’s journey by aligning sales and marketing strategies, a data-driven approach is behind every decision made and every action taken.

Founded by Jonathan Franchell in 2003, the team now consists of over 30 in-house specialists working from two locations: NYC and Charlotte. Having achieved a 3000% lead increase for a B2B company, a 716% quarter on quarter increase in qualified leads for a telecom management firm, and a 500% increase in sales for a non-profit organization, it’s clear Ironpaper Marketing offers impressive results across a range of sectors.

Clocking in with the highest domain authority in our top 10, a high rate of traffic, and a staggering number of do-follow links, they’ve certainly earned the right to be classed as one of the best SEO companies in New York City.

5. Path Interactive – Premier New York SEO Services

If you’re looking for an SEO company with credentials, Path Interactive will catch your eye. As well as being a Google Premier Partner, the firm is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional and a Facebook Marketing Partner, as well as being accredited with Salesforce, Marin Software, and Conductor.

Furthermore, members of their management team deliver industry-leading education via the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies. In addition to this, Path Interactive delivers corporate training programs in social media and SEO, so you can ensure your own in-house team shares their skills, talents, and expertise.

With so many strings to their bow, it’s easy to see why Path Interactive is recognized as one of the best SEO companies in New York City. As a full-service firm, they offer SEO; paid search; display and digital media; social media; creative strategy, design and development; analytics, and Amazon marketing services.

6. Sure Oak – SEO Expert Help & Organic Search Results

Also securing their place in the rankings with 22 points, Sure Oak positions themselves as ‘A New York SEO Agency for Bold Dreamers’. Located in the Flatiron District, Sure Oak offers a wide range of SEO services. From technical audits and advanced keyword research to competitor analysis, content optimization, and link building; everything you need to improve your Google rankings if offered in-house as part of their SEO package.

With case studies reporting 582% growth in organic traffic via link building and on-site optimization, page 1 rankings for 17 competitive terms for one client, and a 538% increase in organic traffic in just two months, new clients can look forward to the same level of service and comparable results.

However, you don’t have to become a fully paid-up customer to see what Sure Oak can offer. The feature free SEO tools on their website, so you can analyze your web pages, check your domain authority, and generate meta tags to gain more insight into your current rankings and what you need to do to improve them.

7. Mindsaw – Marketing Efforts for Your Brand Awareness 

Another agency that achieved 22 points in our unbiased rankings is Mindsaw. Committed to ‘Helping Your Business Grow’ Mindsaw fall somewhere between a bespoke SEO agency and a full-service firm. In addition to their top-level SEO services, you can rely on their in-house team for logo design, video marketing, website design, and social media marketing.

In addition to this, Mindsaw offers dedicated local SEO services and packages aimed at small businesses. If you want to grow your company or are targeting particular geographical locations, these specialisms could help you to achieve your goals in a relatively short amount of time.

In terms of our own rankings, Mindsaw earned its place with stellar on-site SEO, respectably high domain authority, and an array of outstanding client reviews. If you’re eager to see why so many clients rate them highly, they offer a free telephone consultation, so you can find out more without being put under any pressure.

8. Top Notch Dezigns – New York City-Based Marketing Agency

Taking a multi-channel approach to digital marketing, Top Notch Dezigns is a full-service agency that aims to optimize conversions and gain brand loyalty. Using SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, link building, user experience optimization, pay per click, and content marketing, their work is carefully monitored, measured, and analyzed to keep every business owner updated every step of the way.

Founded in 2004, the firm has over 15 years’ experience in the industry and has expanded its services to provide top quality digital marketing to a range of clients. Hailed as a Top Web Designer by Clutch in 2018 and receiving three awards from Design Rush in the same year, Top Notch Dezigns has also been a winning recipient as the Davey Awards.

Whether you’re looking for branding, app and web development, web design, or pure SEO, their range of services ensures they’re well-placed to provide the expertise, tools, and talent your business needs.

9. Four Dots – Search Engine Optimization in New York, NY

Receiving 21 points in our rankings, Four Dots specializes in helping small to medium-sized businesses attract wider audiences and increase their online exposure. With over 60 in-house specialists, the agency has content creators, strategists, and technical experts on hand to create effective campaigns on behalf of their clients.

Their SEO services include blogger outreach engagement, backlink analysis, and Google penalty removal. This is complemented by a range of additional services, including online reputation management, PPC ad management, website design, and content creation.

Offering free SEM tools and their very own Academy, Four Dots don’t just provide you with great results; they give you the knowledge, tools, and expertise you need to achieve them yourself.

10. HTML Pro – Web design and New York SEO Services

As HTML Pro slides into our top 10 also receiving 21 points, it’s clear just how much competition there is amongst the best SEO companies in New York City 2020. As the name suggests, HTML Pro is predominantly a web design and development agency, although they’ve broadened their specialties to include a range of other services.

In addition to SEO, they provide social media marketing, paid advertising, graphic design, app development, and a range of IT solutions. If you’re looking for an agency who can design, create, and maintain your website, they might be a good fit for you.

As well as being an accredited Google Partner, HTML Pro is an UpCity Certified Partner and Shopify Partner, so you can rely on their credentials when it comes to boosting your Google rankings and performance.
With dedicated services for small businesses and a range of on and off-page SEO tools at their disposal, HMTL Pro offers all the web, IT, and SEO solutions a company could need.

Scoring Criteria

To ensure our rankings are independent, unbiased, and verifiable, we use data that are available to the public to collate a score for each company. Assessing elements that have an impact on rankings, we look at six broad categories and give each company a score of 1-5 for each category.

The elements used within each category include:

  • Loading speeds
  • Domain authority
  • Number of Google reviews
  • Average Google review score
  • Site security
  • Whether the website is mobile-friendly
  • Total traffic to the site
  • Number of do-follow links pointing to the site

Once each element has been analyzed and every category is given a score, companies can achieve a possible total of 30 points. As you can see, our top SEO company in New York City soared to the top of our rankings with an impressive 28 out of 30 points.

Start sending inquiries today

If you’re looking for the best SEO companies in New York City, this list gives you a great place to start. In a digital era, finding the right partner to increase your online profile is essential. With so many companies claiming to deliver great results, it’s crucial to find an SEO agency that can do what it claims.

To find the best fit for your brand, take a look at what each company offers, review their case studies, and get in touch to determine which ones can offer your business the best results.

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Top 10 Best Los Angeles SEO Companies: Gotch SEO Catch 2020

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Free SEO Training – 2x your organic traffic in the next 90 days.

Looking for the best Los Angeles SEO company for 2020? Keep reading because we’ve compiled a list based on real data.

SEO is an essential marketing tool in 2020, so it makes sense that you would want the best possible company behind your campaign.

The trouble is that with so many emerging SEO companies on the scene, it can feel impossible to find ‘the one’. There are just too many fish in that search engine sea!

FREE Download: Only work with the best SEO companies on the planet when you download our free SEO company vetting checklist.

But, all hope is not lost, and we’ve taken the time to delve into those Los Angeles waters to find the best ten catches so that you don’t have to.

Simply keep reading to find out what each contender has to offer.

Top 10 SEO Companies in Los Angeles

  1. Coalition Technologies (32 points)
  2. Wpromote (29 points)
  3. Thrive Internet Marketing Agency (29 points)
  4. SEO Noble Agency (27 points)
  5. Spinx Digital (27 points)
  6. Over the Top SEO (26 points)
  7. On the Map, Inc. (25 points)
  8. True North Social (24 points)
  9. Los Angeles SEO Inc. (24 points)
  10. Social SEO (23 points)

1. Coalition Technologies: SEO Agency Based in Los Angeles

Coalition Technologies is a #1 ranking Google search optimization company that seems to impress consumers across the review site board, and it isn’t too difficult to see why.

These world-renowned SEO professionals hold the impressive accolade of being a certified Google Ads Premier Partner and have developed a custom software in-house that, according to all evidence, truly does bring results.

This is a fact that they primarily achieve with a scientific-based SEO approach that uses data to get right to the heart of any business. In fact, they’re so confident in their practices that they claim they’ll be able to increase your sales by an impressive 436% in the first two years. And, you know what? We believe them.

You should too, considering that their advanced agency software alone allows them to hire only the top 1% of applicants, as well as offering 130+ university-level training courses to take those skills even further. Then, they’ll put you in touch with those tailor-made experts who genuinely stand to take your search engine marketing to the next level.

2. Wpromote – Silver Winner of the Top SEO Companies in Los Angeles

Coming in at a pretty close second we have Wpromote, founded by Michael Mothner back in 2001. Again a Google Premier Partner and part of Bing Elite Agency, these guys pride themselves on ever-evolving tactics and certainly seem to know what it takes to boost organic rankings.

Their integrated teams of well-versed SEO managers promise impactful results whether you’re a small business or an established industry giant. And, if past clients like Mariott and Zenni are anything to go by, it’s a goal they achieve with gusto.

Wpromote’s unique selling point on the SEO market is their focus on building sustainable traffic that also leads to conversions using in-depth audits, competitor research, on-page focuses, and even mobile optimization.

Their team is made up of an impressive 425+ employees across eight offices, each of whom has an impressive and varied SEO background, including Mothner himself, who is a previous recipient of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, as well as a columnist for Inc. Magazine, and a regular speaking at leading industry events.

3. Thrive Internet Marketing Agency – Full Service Digital Marketing

Thrive Internet Marketing Agency have some pretty impressive accolades, including being listed as SEOblog’s top LA agency of 2020 and winning UpCity’s local excellence award last year. As of this year, they’re also an official member of Forbes Agency Council. In other words, this agency comes well recommended, a fact that seems deserved when you consider they offer +664% increases in organic traffic, +155% organic leads, and a whole lot besides.

Founded as a one-man division by president Matt Bowman back in 2005, this full-service digital marketing agency now offers solutions to businesses in 25 cities, including Atlanta and Miami. They’ve even gone cross-continental with B2B solutions in everything from plumbing to finance as far as Germany and Hong Kong.

Of course, never do Thrive thrive more than within LA, where they’re consistently named as front-runners, and offer custom SEO solutions to LA’s best which include keyword research, content writing, and technical SEO.

4. SEO Noble Agency

Read2Learn company SEO Noble offers professional B2B SEO services that focus on strategies across the search engine landscape. Established in 2008 by Kent Mauresmo, the company began life developing reading materials to help businesses perfect marketing strategies before realizing that they, themselves, had some SEO prowess to offer.

Now, as well as providing quality reading materials, the Beverly Hills-based team of 12 varied professionals offer a range of fantastic SEO services, including everything from Google submission to press releases.

Overall, their marketing services are priced depending on location and competition. For instance –

$1,000 – $1,500/month: Local area
$2,500 – $6000/month: Big city or county
$10,000 + per month: All 50 states

This makes for a tailor-made package that works for big and small businesses alike, a fact that, alongside comprehensive SEO services, is quickly securing SEO Noble their place in top spots like these.

5. Spinx Digital – Full-Service Digital Marketing

Out of their cutting-edge LA offices, Spinx Digital interactive B2B and B2C web design agency aim to help companies find engaging and exciting ways to engage with audiences. And, it’s a goal that previous client portfolios including Quinn Emanuel, Amazon, and many more show that they’re managing to achieve.

Founder and president Sukesh Jakharia has used his vision and innovative strategies to project the company into an impressively high growth-trajectory. And, that’s a trajectory that doesn’t look set to slow anytime soon, with Spinx Digital’s big ideas and innovative approaches adding new and impressive clients to their portfolio every single day.

Perhaps the most notable benefit of Spinx Digital from an SEO point of view is that of their technological know-how, with Jakharia himself holding a computer science degree, and various other members of the team able to provide innovative processes such as mobile applications, digital experiences, and more. In other words, Spinx Digital have gone above and beyond to deliver everything a modern company could wish for from an SEO company, all from their modern and inviting LA offices.

6. Over the Top SEO – Data-Driven Approach

With a 96% client retention rate and an incredible 73 SEO awards to their name, we couldn’t not include Over the Top SEO and their leader, Guy Sheetrit. With a solid track record, targeted resources, and unique ranking abilities, OTT has generated $970,802,171 in SEO revenue alone since their beginnings. For this reason and more, Sheetrit is becoming a staple face in the world of SEO and has already earned himself a place on Inc.’s Top SEO Experts list, as well as boasting one of the fastest-growing agencies in the world right now.

The most notable benefit of OTT SEO is the fact that they don’t work with businesses as such. Instead, they form long-term partnerships based on respect, trust, and the faith that those partners will follow their lead. So far, it’s worked well, with existing partners that include Fortune 500 companies, best-selling authors, and various world-famous names.

With this partnership focus in mind, OTT screens every business that comes their way and invests only in the best, or those who have hit a plateau that they can’t overcome themselves. They then apply a few basic success principles and develop working relationships that allow them to truly understand the best SEO approaches moving forward.

7. On the Map Inc. Your Search Optimization Premier Partner

Brain-child of founder Rick Hoskins, Premier Google Partner. On the Map Inc, aims to ‘positively impact the world, one person, one business, one dollar at a time.’

This is a goal they work towards with SEO services that are, for all purposes, largely dominating the LA market right now. Already, they’ve seen countless companies to top ranking search positions, and that momentum doesn’t look set to slow anytime soon.

With over ten years of experience in the industry and a team of diverse digital marketing specialists, the dynamic solutions on offer from this standout company are well worth attention. In fact, the businesses that On The Map Inc. already have on their books provide a pretty broad scope of experience and expertise in everything from dentistry and photography, right through to night clubs and attorneys. This Los Angeles digital marketing agency offers SEO, PPC, social media, web design, email marketing, and more to improve your overall ranking factors.

While their main offices are in Miami, where a team of 50 trustworthy SEO veterans works on perfecting campaigns, these guys can also be found within offices across LA, Raleigh, Tempa, and other such key city locations to serve businesses across the US and beyond.

8. True North Social: Results-Driven Search Engine Optimization

Boutique digital marketing agency True North Social takes the saying ‘quality, not quantity’ to the next level with a small client base that enjoys significant SEO results indeed. Unlike other companies mentioned who work with various businesses big and small, True North Social, therefore, ensures that they can offer quality results and focused SEO campaigns to every company that comes through their doors.

This fit for your business approach was the brain-child of founders Kellis Landrum and Kenny Bost, both of whom have previously enjoyed successful creative careers with technology-led focuses. This is the experience that they now put to good use creating SEO stories surrounding a quality client list that includes NBC and Hard Rock Hotel, among others.

Despite an incredibly tailored approach, True North Social can offer competitive rates on their various SEO services, which include keyword research, blog posts outreach, result-driven SEO strategies,  web development, social media marketing, PPC, and many, many more. This marketing services company can help grow your business and take it to the next level.

Companies do, of course, need to bear in mind that a boutique service means that True North Social won’t take any old company onto their books. But, if your vision captures their creative style, then you could soon start enjoying SEO makeovers more suited to your company’s needs than you would likely find elsewhere.

9. Los Angeles SEO, Inc. Search Engine Optimization & Web Design

The aptly named Los Angeles SEO Inc also had to appear on this list. Founded by president Sasan Raeisi back in 2011, the professional team behind this enterprise prides themselves in treating every client website as if it were their own. This has led to full-service internet solutions, including specialist SEO, PPC, social media marketing, web design, e-commerce, and conversion optimization solutions.

Whether companies are looking for social media packages, SEO audits, or other such services, they needn’t look any further than the extensively experienced Los Angeles SEO Inc. team. Even better, all marketing services are available alongside a free site analysis tool to help you and the experts on hand understand precisely where your current SEO approaches need attention.

As if their digital marketing efforts alone weren’t enough to put Los Angeles SEO Inc. out on top, this is a digital marketing agency that doesn’t shy away from proving themselves with a wide range of accreditations that include being Google Partners, Bing Ads accredited professionals, Microsoft Partners, and more.

10. SocialSEO: Digital Marketing Agency in Los Angeles

Last but definitely not least, we have SocialSEO, a Dave Ramsey-endorsed business that is proud Google Partners and Forbes Agency Council members, as well as being BBB accredited and one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies.

Those are impressive claims, but they aren’t altogether surprising given the fact that founder Greg Walthour has an impressive 20 years of digital marketing experience behind him. Experience which he’s now putting towards hiring ‘only good folks’ that share his passion.

Driven by a leading initiative to take care of their customers and deliver results, the SocialSEO team has worked with some of the best-known companies of our times, including Jaguar, too, in their own words ‘crush the competition.’ Aside from search engine optimization, keyword research, and link building, this digital marketing agency offers social media marketing, web design, pay per click, and conversion rate optimization.

From local to national SEO and beyond, small and large businesses alike are sure to benefit from letting SocialSEO take care of their LA SEO needs for them.

Conclusion

Our ranking system when considering LA’s best took into account things like SSL certificates, rankings, loading speed, and mobile responsiveness. And, as we’re sure you’ll agree, it’s led us to a pretty good crop of SEO services for you to choose from.

While this list is written in ranked order, there’s very little separating each of these companies, but they do all offer something different. So, now that you’ve seen the contenders, it’s time to consider your unique SEO preferences and pair them with the one company that can make all your dreams come true at last. Here are other amazing SEO companies if you want to continue your research.

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Q&A with Moz’s Sarah Bird

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30-second summary:

  • Hyperlocal SEO will help struggling communities salvage their local businesses.
  • Moz surveyed over 1,400 local business marketers and more than half said they plan to implement Google’s new features to support COVID-19 affected businesses.
  • Five under-rated yet crucial parameters marketers need to stay on top of.
  • Sarah Bird’s special tips to optimize audience engagement at various marketing touchpoints.
  • The best things you can do for landing pages is….?
  • Dive in for these golden nuggets and a lot more.

2020 has hit the reset button for the world in many ways adding more wheels to digital marketers’ and brands’ “car of struggles” for success. SEO is somewhat looked at as a game of Russian roulette where you win some and you lose some, and COVID-19 hasn’t made this any easier. To help you hit bull’s eye and add an extra push to your digital strategies, we caught up with Moz’s CEO, Sarah Bird to uncover emerging trends in the search scape, SEO, audience behaviors, and more!

Sarah Bird Q&A on emerging SEO and industry trends 2020
Sarah Bird, CEO of Moz

Q. What technologies, tools, and audience behaviors do you see shape up as 2020 progresses. If you were to draw a line between the temporary and ones that are here to stay, what would it be? 

Sarah Bird: Hyperlocal search has been important for years. 2020 has only increased its merit.

COVID-19 has made active local business listings management more vital than ever before. Communities struggling to keep themselves supplied and cared for in changed conditions must depend on the internet as a crucial resource, and when business listings can quickly communicate to them what’s available, where, when, and how, that’s truly important.

With Google rolling out new features that allow business owners to share updates about curbside pickup, home delivery, or special hours for vulnerable populations directly on their listings, customers can access convenient information with a simple search. We surveyed over 1,400 local business marketers and more than half said they plan to implement such services permanently. Aside from being absolutely necessary this year, businesses recognize that the investment in ecommerce should not simply be for the short-term, but should be able to accommodate their business and customers in the long-term.

Q. If you were to pick the hero of Moz’s local and international SEO strategy for the rest of 2020, what would it be? 

Sarah Bird: Reputation management will be crucial for local SEO strategy during 2020. We offer reputation management features through Moz Local that we urge users to leverage. 

Some of the most valuable features of Moz Local at this time are review alerts that allow you to quickly facilitate complaint resolution and response rating for quality control. During hectic times, customers are more emotional — this can either work for or against you. Should you receive a poor review during this time, it’s imperative that you respond quickly and empathetically.

Moz Local also offers a sentiment analysis feature that shows the most commonly used words for each of your star ratings. This can be useful in deciphering exactly what customers are finding important during this time.

Q. What five under-rated yet crucial parameters do marketers need to stay on top of to ensure that their brand has positively influenced their customers/target audiences?

  1. Keywords: Understanding your own keywords and those of your competitors ensures marketers have a plan in place to secure visibility on a brand’s offerings or content. 
  2. External links: These are an important source of ranking power in a SERP.
  3. Differentiation: Framing content correctly is key to reaching target audiences. Sometimes that means presenting contrarian ideas, as described by Caroline Forsey of HubSpot. 
  4. Omnichannel communication: Not all of your readers are going to read and engage via laptop or mobile, but be sure to consider how SEO is involved in your social media strategy.
  5. Outcome alignment: SEO goals don’t always have to focus on clicks. Ensure your marketing team is aligned on how content or a topic should be engaged, as it could mean that your ideal outcome is answering your customer’s question directly within the SERP. 

Q. What are the best ways to use entities that can leverage BERT, add more dimensions to keyword strategy, content, and the overall digital presence? 

Sarah Bird: I don’t encourage SEOs or marketers to optimize for BERT. There are too many variables to develop an effective strategy toward this model.

Instead, marketers should continue the focus on the overarching goal of creating excellent content that holistically understands and meets the intent of users. This is no small feat and requires an intense understanding of your business, your audience, and how the two intertwine. Creating world-class content that’s data-driven, timely, and empathetic to the audience will prove to be far more effective than focusing on this specific component of an algorithmic change from Google.

Q. Tips to optimize audience engagement at marketing touchpoints like emails, landing pages, and social media?

Sarah Bird: Each of these touchpoints are important for a business’s SEO strategy. These aren’t tactics that can be tacked on — they all have a powerful impact. 

Email marketing delivers some of the highest ROI, generating $38 for every $1 spent. When it comes to emails, call-to-actions must be clear. Consider which landing pages you’re sending people to and whether they’re appropriate to improve bounce rates.

Social shares of a brand’s content have a high correlation to ranking (as described by our own Cyrus Shepard.) As with everything in SEO, a focus should be put on the keywords used as well as the medium of the content being put out and whether or not it’s optimized.

High-converting landing pages may lead to high bounce rates, which could negatively impact SEO. Rand Fishkin actually addressed this exact issue in a Whiteboard Friday. The best things you can do for landing pages is – focus on high-conversion long-tail keywords and to provide keyword-based content.

Feel free to share your thoughts on our interview and the emerging trends, drop a comment!



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