The SEO Battlefield: Winning Strategies for Search Marketing Programs

The SEO Battlefield: Winning Strategies for Search Marketing Programs

by Anne Ahola Ward


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Welcome to the battlefield. Every day, companies ranging from startups to enterprises fight to achieve high search rankings, knowing that previous success can quickly vanish. With this practical guide, you’ll learn how to put search engine optimization (SEO) methodology into practice, including the research, data analysis, and constant experimentation required to build an SEO program specific to your organization that can help you improve search results.

Running a successful SEO program requires a team with a mix of skills, including marketing, analytics, website development, and automation. Author Anne Ahola Ward walks marketers and developers through SEO essentials and provides real-world case studies of successful and not-so-successful SEO programs. You’ll quickly understand why this is both an exciting and critical time to adopt SEO in your organization.

  • Perform keyword goals and research, and spot search trends
  • Understand the motivation and creativity of the SEO mindset
  • Run a campaign to generate traffic and measure the results
  • Use mobile and platform-agnostic strategies for search growth
  • Demonstrate the value of your search marketing efforts
  • Include web development in your SEO program—everything from quick updates to UX/UI strategy
  • Learn the sweetest way to run and report on an search program

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491958377
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/16/2017
Pages: 204
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Anne Ahola Ward is a Futurist, Growth Hacker and CEO of CircleClick Media, founded in 2009. She has nearly 20 years of experience working on the Web in various functions, having mastered almost every role in web development: DBA, webmaster, developer, graphic designer, and video editor. As an early entrant into the field, she entered SEO as it started gaining traction. Currently Anne specializes in SEO, analytics, and social media.

Anne was named as one of Entrepreneur magazine's 27 Top Masters of Marketing and PR that everyone can learn from. In 2015 Anne was invited to become an Influencer for the elite IBM Futurist program.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

1 Welcome to the Battlefield 1

Introduction 1

Practice Areas of SEO 5

Types of SEO Practitioners 9

SEO Versus Growth Hacking 12

How Do Successful SEOs Allocate Their Time? 13

Standing Apart 15

2 The SEO Mindset 17

Getting into the Growth Zone 17

Gaining Authenticity 21

A Day in the Life 24

How to Spot Trends 28

Be Data-Agnostic 31

3 Standards, Philosophies, and Finances 35

Establishing Program Standards 35

Standards and Goals 40

Audit Trails 41

Separation of Concerns 42

The CAVi(a)R Test 45

Complete 45

Accurate 46

Validity 46

Restricted Access 46

Assessing Value for Organic Traffic 47

4 Tools for SEO Measurement and Beyond 51

Machine Versus Humans 51

Analytics 53

Google Analytics 54

Optimizely 56

Mixpanel 57

New Relic 57

KISSmetrics 57

Honorable Mentions 57

The All-in-Ones 58

Hubspot 59

Pardot 59

Marketo 59

Eloqua 60

Honorable Mention 60

Research Tools 60

Serpstat 61

Scrapebox 61

SEO Diagnostic Tools 62

SEOptimer 62

Majestic 62

Chrome Developer Tools 62

Keyword Research Tools 63

Google Keyword Planner 64

SpyFu 64


Moz 64

Social Tools 65

Hootsuite 65

Buffer 65

Sprout Social 66

Simply Measured 67

Cyfe 67

Quintly 67

Automation 68

Google Alerts 68


Content Management Systems 69

WordPress 69

Prismic 69

Ghost 69

Joomla 70

Drupal 70

Medium 70

5 Setting Up Programs and Reporting 73

Building a Growth Program to Last 73

Using Keyword Identification Tools 75

Go Through the Weeds Toward Goals 75

Setting Up an Organic Search Program 77

Showtime! Check All Systems 85

Competitors 88

Reporting 88

6 Campaign Management 95

Campaign SEO Juice 95

Mobile Campaign 97

Email Marketing 98

Social Campaigns 100

Content Campaigns 101

Crowdfunding Campaigns 103

Growth Hacking IRL 105

7 Technical SEO Elements for Success 109

Setting Up for Ascendency 109

Meta Information 110

Site Usability 112

Setting the Stage 115

The Block and Tackle 118

Site Architecture 118

Site Canonicalization 119

Video Handling 120

CMS Management 121

8 Mobile Search 125

The Lay of the Land 125

All SERPs Are Not the Same 126

Local Search 128

Mobile Voice 130

Mobile Design 132

Life with an Nth Screen 133

Optimization and Performance 138

Rich Snippets and Schema 139

Project AMP 140

Facebook Instant Articles 142

9 Case Studies 143

Multimedia Entertainment Site 143

Low Confidence, High Traffic 145

Toxicity in Search City 147

Special Snowflakes 148

Too Cool for School 150

Classic Growth Hackin' 151

B2B Social Spice 153

Dysfunction function 156

Social Success! 158

10 Uncharted Search Frontiers 161

Embracing Expansive Realities 161

Interfaces Galore! 165

Machine Learning 167

Ethical Data Science 171

A Moonshot 173

Index 177

Customer Reviews