Trending December 2023 # Benchmark Your Seo Program With Conductor’s Organic Marketing Maturity Quiz # Suggested January 2024 # Top 21 Popular

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This post was sponsored by Conductor. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Take Conductor’s free online Organic Marketing Maturity Quiz to benchmark where your organization’s SEO program stands today and unlock new tactics to accelerate growth.

What separates good from great organic marketing?

From our experience working with thousands of customers across dozens of industries, the answer is: an agile and highly cross-functional team.

Your organic marketing team includes everyone that touches your website. It isn’t just your SEO team, but also content, web, and stakeholders across the organization.

How you bring those different functions together is what determines your success. It’s about seamlessly aligning all of your teams so they can get more done – faster.

What Is Organic Marketing Maturity?

At Conductor, we believe Organic Marketing Maturity is driven by the successful integration of your people, processes, tools and metrics.

The more you invest in each of these areas, the more mature your organic marketing program becomes.

People: Everyone who touches your website has a hand in SEO. Most commonly, these are your SEO, content, and web teams that work together to create and execute organic marketing strategy, along with the support of other stakeholders and departments within your organization.

Processes: The workflows and practices your organic marketing teams use to work together toward common goals that drive SEO and content activities at enterprise scale, and with seamless agility.

Metrics: The KPIs, analytics and data that you track, measure, and report to determine your impact and drive your strategy. Organizations that can demonstrate ROI and socialize success with stakeholders are more mature.

Success in these areas makes the difference between a good team and a great organization and what separates flat-growth from high-growth companies.

Advancing organic marketing maturity is critical for an organization to engage its audience online with the right content at the right time, which ultimately impacts its position in the market.

It’s about investing in your in-house organic marketing capabilities to create a reliable foundation for success, rather than inefficient reliance on third parties.

Organic Marketing Maturity: Where Do You Stand?

Wondering where you stand when it comes to your organic marketing maturity?

Take the Organic Marketing Maturity Quiz to understand what stage your organization finds itself in today, what that means, and what concrete steps you can take to get to the next level.

You’ll get a personalized assessment full of specific insights, including:

A breakdown of your current challenges.

Opportunities for improvement.

Informed recommendations on how to level up to the next stage of organic marketing maturity.

This quiz is the result of countless conversations across organizations of varying sizes, industries, and maturity levels to develop a framework for organizations to benchmark themselves and find personalized opportunities for growth.

In order to grow your organic maturity, you first must gain clarity about your organization’s current status in order to identify and prioritize areas for improvement.

Much like a health check-up for your brand, you need to diagnose and prescribe solutions for healthier growth.

How Conductor Can Help Drive Your Marketing Maturity

Conductor has worked with organizations at all stages of their marketing maturity – from companies just getting started with their organic marketing channel up for the first time to those that are powering their most strategic decisions on customer intent data.

Conductor’s Organic Marketing Maturity Quiz will help you identify, by five common stages, where your company stands and the insight for where to go next.

What Are the Stages of Organic Marketing Maturity?

Organizations generally fall into one of the five stages below (although it is possible to find, for example, your people resources in one stage and processes in another):

Stage 1: Conceptual: Have an early vision of an organic marketing program but need more guidance and support to get started.

Stage 2: Tactical: Have started to implement organic marketing as one of several tactics on a small scale, but still need a defined path to success.

Stage 3: Foundational: Have invested in organic in the short-term and recognize its value, but have not yet committed to building an in-house foundation for success.

Stage 5: Transformative: Have built an organic marketing program that is a central source of truth across the organization, with highly developed processes and systems that empower them to scale their digital growth and ROI.

Take our Organic Marketing Maturity Quiz and we’ll help you understand which stage you align with most closely today, and what steps you can take to get to the next level of organic marketing success.

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Seo, Marketing & Ai: Your Questions Answered By Our Experts

SEO, Marketing & AI: Your Questions Answered By Our Experts

AI is everywhere, but when is it useful? What do you need to know about it?

How are marketers and SEO professionals actually using generative AI today to work more efficiently and execute better campaigns?

With search engines announcing new AI integrations and thousands of AI tools coming online every day, it can be tough to sort the fabulous from the flops.

In our upcoming webinar, you can find out how others are adapting to these recent changes and making the most of AI.

Get the latest on:

How AI is impacting search right now & predictions on the future.

How SEO pros and marketers are adapting to the latest AI & Google changes.

Answers to your questions on how to use generative AI and large language models in modern marketing.

Join Angie Nikoleychuk, Content Marketing Manager at Search Engine Journal, as she sits down with Matt Southern, our Senior News Writer, and Jennifer McDonald, our Client Success Manager to talk about the:

Latest search-related AI news.

Best generative AI tools.

Answers to your questions about marketing and SEO-related AI.

The SEJ team will also share their best tips for testing and adopting new AI tools.

You’ll also be able to ask all your SEO and marketing related questions!

Can’t make the live webinar? No problem!

Register now, submit your questions, and we’ll send you a link to the on-demand replay to watch at a time and place that works for you.


Matt Southern

Senior News Writer, Search Engine Journal

Jennifer McDonald

Client Success Manager, Search Engine Journal


Angie Nikoleychuk

Content Marketing Manager, Search Engine Journal

Local Seo: 15 Marketing Techniques To Promote Your Local Business Online

Launching a business online can be quite intimidating to any small business owner. Fortunately, any business can benefit from search engine optimization (SEO), which can make a small investment go a long way, as well as making sure that local buyers find their websites. Therefore, local SEO is an obvious choice to promote and market your business on the Web. The following blog post provides 15(!) low-cost marketing techniques to help drive traffic and sales to your website.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is a specialist technique that aims at getting your business name and website in front of people who are physically located near it. Search engines are the modern-day yellow pages, and your potential customers are looking to find you where you and your products and services are located.

Why is local SEO important?

According to 2009 chúng tôi report titled “Great Divide’ Separates Small Biz, Online Consumers,” 82 percent of local consumers use search engines to find local businesses. Furthermore, more than half (57 percent) use Yellow Pages directories with 49 percent using local directories. Local consumers are going online to find local businesses. It is important to be visible in order to acquire new or existing business.

15 Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business

1. Submit Your Website to Search Engines

The first thing you will need to do when launching a website is to submit the site to search engines; Google and Bing are the major search engines to focus on. Out of the 15 techniques, this will be the easiest but one of the most important.

Tip: There are local search engines that can be of more benefit such as Yandex (for Russians), Baidu (for Chinese), and Kvasir (for Norwegians).

2. Make Your Website Easy to Use

Before marketing your website through various online channels, make sure that your meta data is accurate and follows the Google Webmaster guidelines. On-site optimization includes page titles and meta descriptions. Page titles should include your business name and one or two keywords that you want Web visitors to find you with. Avoid using too many keywords and make the titles and descriptions appear natural.

Tip: Search for competitors in your area to see keywords they are using to attract Web traffic.

3. Implement Google Analytics

Web host providers will often try and bundle analytics and data packages, but the best, free analytics tool on the Web is Google Analytics. It takes less than two minutes to sign up and implement the code, and you can start collecting Web traffic data immediately. Data includes the number of Web visitors, how long they browse your site, where the visitors are located, and how they arrived at your site. This is significant data for promoting your business and the most active channel (and geographic location).

Tip: Once your account starts collecting Web traffic data, map out goals on your website and begin tracking. Goals could be submitting a form or signing up to a newsletter.

4. Add Your Business to Google+ Local

Adding your business to Google+ Local is the next most important technique to implement. More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding your website and business information to the Google local business directory can help. It’s free and simple. Also, you can manage your listing information including business description, product/service details, photos, videos, and offers.

Tip: Make sure your Google listing has a 100 percent score; most local businesses don’t reach 100 percent. 

5. Create Social Network Business Profiles

Not only is this at no cost, but you will also get trustworthy links from these profiles. The more trustworthy links you get to your website, the higher you will appear on Google.

Tip: Get your family, and friends to become the first to “like” or “follow” your business, and stay away from buying friends from third-parties. Build your social media presence naturally.

6. Launch an Online Marketing Campaign

Tip: When you create your campaign, make sure you use Ad Extensions that include local information, phone number, and Google + page.

7. Get Listed in Local Directories and Local Listings

Get listed in local directories and increase the number of trusted inbound links to your website. Most directories are free, and by adding your business, you will see an increase in Web visits from potential customers. (According to Mashable, positive Yelp ratings can boost a restaurant’s nightly reservations by 19 percent.)

Within two days of adding a small business to local directories, Web traffic from mobile grew from 0 percent to 18 percent of total traffic, and 30 percent of total traffic was referral.

Although claiming business citations is listed at number seven on this list, BrightLocal ran a survey in 2011 that found the top five most important local search ranking factors.

(Full report can be found here.)

8. Get Involved in Your Community

This continues to bring home to Google the relevance of your business to a specific area, especially if you’re able to include links to your website (be very careful not to spam social communities, though).

If there are local forums in your field, then it’s a great idea to get your business actively participating in them. By creating a profile and adding value to the forums, this continues to add relevance of your business to Google.

Tip: Try not to spam the forums or websites with links to your online business as this will only get you banned.

9. Optimize Mobile SEO and Its Accessibility

Tip: Visit your website on your smartphone and find three ways to improve the experience.

10. Add Social-sharing Buttons

In the footer of your website, make sure you add a link your Google+ Local page along with other social sharing buttons.

Tip: Make sure your email address and phone number is listed on each and every page of your footer.

11. Implement Webmaster Tools

Using webmaster tools in both Google and Bing helps you identify issues with your website. By fixing these issues, you will ensure that both search engines have no issues crawling (finding) your website when a local search is made.

Implementing both tools is relatively straight forward, and your web developer should be able to support you with this.

Tip: When adding your website to Bing Webmaster tools, you will receive $50 in market funds (US only).

12. Upload Pictures

The local directory sites like to provide users with pictures of your business. To help ensure that your business gets the best exposure, upload your own pictures. They don’t need to be of a professional quality but they will represent your business, so make sure they are decent.

Tip: Save your photo with a filename that includes your business name and a keyword.

13. Ask for Reviews

Most local sites and directories allow customers reviews. Other than Yelp, most are supportive in requesting reviews. Customer reviews, whether good or bad, make your business more credible to future customers.

Research shows that having at least five reviews in Google+ Local is the magic number where the reviews may start to help with rankings. However, since the recent Google Places move to Google+ Local, reviewers are required to have a  Google+ account.

Tip: Use your website, invoices, thank you pages, and email communication to ask your customers to review your business. 

14. Launch a Blog

Write about your industry, your talent, your services, and promote it in all channels. Blogging not only helps increase awareness of your business, but it also improves your writing. You will learn more within your field (become an expert!), and it is a great way to acquire new links to your website.

Tip: Link your Facebook page and blog by adding the RSS reader application in Facebook, making sure that your blog posts will show up on your Facebook page each time a new post is published.

15. Be Consistent

Each time you add your website and business information to a local directory, social network, or forum, make sure you be consistent with your business name, address, telephone number, email address, website link, and business description.

Tip: Create a file that you can use to copy and paste the information from to make sure all listings are the same.

Local SEO is Essential to Your Business

Small businesses cannot afford to spend a great deal of money for online marketing, but using the marketing techniques above will help lower the cost and support the launch of your local business online. Local listings and SEO have always been important for small business online marketing efforts, but now they’re even more essential.

Photo credit: Deposit Photos

8 Places You Can Find New Keywords To Grow Your Organic Visibility

Are you stuck in a keyword bubble?

I know the feeling. You dig deeper and deeper into your keyword tools, trying to find something novel, something in your industry that hasn’t already been completely saturated, but you keep finding the same 10, 20, 50 keywords over and over again.

You try scouting your competitors’ sites, but they’re using the same tools, they’re covering the same topics, and you just can’t find a newfangled topic.

These eight places will help you pop that bubble and find some new territories to explore.

1. The “Landing Page” Option In Google’s Keyword Planner

I swear most people don’t even realize this field exists in the Keyword Planner:

Instead of pasting a keyword into the “product or service” field, as usual, try posting one of your URLs here.

The recommendations that you get this way are so much different from the ones you’ll find if you search by topic. If you’ve been doing this for a long time, you probably know the feeling of trying to type in something new, only to get the same list of suggested keywords that you always see.

Give this part of the Keyword Planner a whirl. Try a few different URLs. You’ll find plenty of keywords that have never been recommended before. It’s a great way to mix things up and escape your keyword search labyrinth.

2. Internet Forums & Message Boards

Who knew these still existed? (Kidding.)

Forums are seriously underrated as a source of ideas and a lot of this comes down to thinking of them as throwbacks from the ‘90s. But the reality is that these still bring in a lot of traffic, they cast a wide net, and there are many searches for which almost all of the front-page results come from forums.

Looking at forums can be a great way to find those topics that nobody else has covered “professionally.”

Check out the forums in your industry. Many of them even simplify the research for you by allowing you to sort posts by traffic. Comb over the forums with your keyword tools. There’s a lot of uncharted territories to be found here.

3. Google’s Related Searches & Autocomplete

While these are fairly well-known, I can’t in good conscience write this post without mentioning them, because they are tremendously underrated.

Consider the recommendations I get at the bottom of the SERP when I search for “where to find keywords:”

While I’m not going to write posts on these topics, these are certainly different from the recommendations I would see if I typed “where to find keywords” into the keyword planner. And that means this is a great way to find ideas that would otherwise be outside of my bubble.

And typing your keyword phrase into Google plus a letter of the alphabet can be a good way to stumble onto new ideas:

4. Google Correlate

Google Correlate is a tool that lets you know about other things people are searching for related to your keyword:

It certainly isn’t going to help you dive deeper on one topic, but it can help you broaden outward and discover new, related things to talk about. For example, if I were developing tunnel vision about “keywords,” Google Correlate could have reminded me that I could switch gears and start writing about the checkout process, and so on.

But for the most, I recommend, “compare US states” over the “compare [weekly or monthly] time series” options. The time series correlations can be so spurious as to be meaningless, although it’s certainly worth trying all of the options.

5. Google Search Console

Even though Google stopped showing meaningful keyword data in Google Analytics a long time ago, many don’t seem to realize that the Search Console still has a great deal of keyword data:

Nonetheless, unlike other keyword tracking tools, this one tells you about pretty much every keyword you are ranking for, including the ones that you haven’t defined for yet.

This allows you to discover keywords that you are already bringing in some traction for, even if you haven’t explicitly targeted them.

There’s a lot you can do with this.

Try sorting by position and looking at which keywords you are currently ranking in positions 10-30 for, as a start. There’s a good chance that many of these are keywords you haven’t gone out of your way to target, but that you are already ranking decently for. This can be a sign that you could rank quite well for these with a dedicated page.

6. Google Trends

Most SEJ readers are well aware of Google Trends. Its ability to be useful for industry-specific content is limited, but it certainly deserves a mention on this list.

The most important thing to be aware of is that you can search by specific industries as well as narrow down the results for specific regions:

Google Trends then provides you with a list of topics that people have been searching for over the past 24 hours:

While it takes a certain kind of content producer to respond to these trends quickly enough to capitalize on the keywords before anybody else, I recommend looking at this tool in a different way. It’s another way to shake things up and broaden out your interests in order to discover topics that have been outside of your bubble.

7. Amazon

The Keyword Planner and most keyword tools rarely get as specific as mentioning specific brands or models unless you enter them directly into the tool. This is where Amazon comes in handy.

Want a list of keywords in the coffee maker industry?

5,786 options seem like a pretty good place to start.

By starting with individual products instead of classes of products or industries, you open up a completely different array of keyword opportunities. Tossing these into the Keyword Planner will also connect you with ideas you almost certainly wouldn’t have come across otherwise:

You can use a similar strategy with other e-commerce sites like eBay.

8. Wikipedia

Wikipedia is such an important source of semantic data that, Google’s Knowledge Graph behaves as if it is a built in large part on top of it as a platform.

The Wikipedia page on your topic can be a great place to discover novel keywords and related concepts.

There’s also a “see also” section with more ideas you may not have thought of, each with their own hyperlinks referring to still more ideas:

Not to mention the “coffee preparation” category at the bottom, leading to an additional 85 pages:

While results are heavily industry dependent, Wikipedia can be an absolute gold mine of keyword ideas.

Pop Your Bubble

Now that you have some places to start, get out there and start breaking new ground. Find those topics that nobody else has ever dived deep into, and grow your organic traffic.

How To Install A Program With Apt

Most Linux desktop distributions come with a desktop environment that gives you an actual graphical interface rather than being limited to using a purely command-line environment as you would be on Linux server distributions. One of the many features that these desktop distributions include by default, is a graphical software update manager. This can really help to make using Linux more accessible to beginners, but it’s a good idea to learn how to use the commands, especially if you’re ever likely to work with Linux servers. On Debian-based Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint, the main command-line tool used to manage software updates is called “apt-get”.

Apt-get is a package manager that compares the version numbers of installed software with that in the list of online repositories to identify which applications have available updates. These updates can then be downloaded and applied. These repositories contain a huge list of software packages that can be searched and then have specified packages installed along with their dependencies.

Tip: Most software packages require other packages to be installed to be able to work. Sometimes these dependencies are already installed, if they’re not then apt-get will install them alongside the specified package automatically.

How to use apt-get

The first thing you need to do with apt-get is to download the latest update list from your configured repositories. To do so type the command “sudo apt-get update”. Doing this will ensure that the software you install or update is the latest available version.

Tip: “sudo” is a prefix used to run commands with root permissions. It should only be used where necessary due to the inherent powers of the root account but is needed for most admin tasks including software installs. When using sudo you will be asked to enter your password to confirm your identity, however, this will be remembered for a few minutes, so you won’t need to enter your password every time.

Next, you need to identify the exact name of the package you want to install. To do so, search through the repositories with the command “apt-cache search [search term]” where “[search term]” is the rough name of the software you wish to install. The search results show the name of the package on the left and a very short description on the right.

Search terms that are too loose may end up returning dozens of results of similarly named and potentially similarly functioning software. Try narrowing down your search term or using multiple terms separated by spaces. If you search for multiple words separated by spaces these terms will be applied cumulatively and only show results that match all terms.

Once you know the name of the package you want to install, type the command “sudo apt-get install [package name]” where “[package name]” is the exact name of the package you want to install. You can specify multiple packages at once by separating the names with spaces.

Once you know the name of the package you want to install, type the command “sudo apt-get install [package name]” where “[package name]” is the exact name of the package you want to install. You can specify multiple packages at once by separating the names with spaces.

If the package requires dependencies to be installed apt-get will show you the list of packages being installed and ask for confirmation. Press the “y” key to confirm the installation or “n” to abort. If the package does not need to install any dependencies, apt-get will assume that you running the command was permission enough to install it and the process will complete automatically.

Once the install is complete, you’re ready to start using your new software.

Once the install is complete, you’re ready to start using your new software.

It Management: It’s Organic, Not Digital

If you’re new to technology management, much of what appears in this column will strike you as opinionated, cynical and arrogant. But if you’ve been at IT for a while now, you’ll see the contents as accumulated wisdom.

The assumption here is that the business technology relationship can be widened and deepened to yield significant business value. But there are organic landmines everywhere. Many of the explosions that result are self-inflicted, almost deliberate, since we seem almost incapable of fixing the same old problems with people, processes, organizations and corporate cultures – not technology – which by and large works well.

Technology management is challenging. IT is a moving target – at best. The technologies themselves keep changing and the role we expect them to play keeps evolving. The nuances of managing in such a fluid environment are multi-dimensional: it’s about the biases of management, vendor manipulation and ambiguous project requirements – and lots more insidious, nefarious realities.

We seem to take two steps forward and one backward year after year, project after project, and now there’s unprecedented budget pressure to reduce costs, reduce costs and, in addition, reduce costs. I’m personally frustrated by our inability to routinely integrate acquisition, deployment and support best practices into our technology management routines.

How many toes must one shoot off before it’s impossible to walk?

But I also realize – after decades in this business – that, by and large, cost-effective technology management is much more about people, personal relationships, organizational processes and structures, and corporate culture than it is about “technology” or management “best practices.”

In fact, I would argue that technology and the processes we use to optimize IT are really pretty meaningless unless you’re surrounded by the right people allowed to do the right things. Put another way, IT doesn’t work if you’re surrounded by bad people and stupid processes immersed in a deranged corporate culture.

Everyone knows this. We just choose – because we’re bad, stupid and deranged – not to talk about it. We prefer talking about servers, desktops, operating systems, BI, CRM, ERP and anything else that distracts us from what really moves technology management: the human factor.

The digital stuff is easy; the organic stuff is hard.

We must acknowledge the huge impact that corporate cultures and the knowledge, skills, personalities and experience of the senior management team (SMT) have on how well or badly we do IT.

We all know that the talent, ethics and motivation of SMTs varies widely from company to company: we hate telling undergraduates that many CEOs are idiots and that they got their positions not because of their performance but because of their personal relationships, because of who they knew, not what they know or did. But you already knew this.

Our success is tied to the quality and integrity of our people, their personalities and organizational politics, among other reporting, governance and power realities. The 21st century is sending clear messages about how to acquire, deploy and support technology through new organizational structures and processes.

Total control will yield to shared control. Standardization will be situational. Operational technology will divorce from strategic technology. You need to prepare for these changes and, if your leadership and culture permit (or is manipulatable), lead your companies’ organizational change initiatives.

It’s really simple: change or fail. But “changing” or “failing” is clearly determined by how bad your people are, how stupid your organizational processes are, and how deranged your corporate culture really is. Time for a reality check.

All of this is about transformation and success. Our most successful clients have mastered the soft art of people/process/organization/culture manipulation and exploitation – while buying, deploying and supporting the right technology.

But they’ve long since accepted the overall human factor as the major driver of success. Everyone can improve technology’s ability to save money and make money for the business if they acknowledge the major role that people, processes, organizations and culture play in the process. We have seen tremendous success with companies that focus more on these variables than on technology itself.

You should already be angry enough and more than ready for some change. But that depends on you. If the U.S. federal government’s TARP program, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care debacle and the cozy financial relationship between business, lobbyists and your elected officials don’t get you angry, then nothing is likely to move you.

But if you’ve had enough, then maybe you’re ready to join the ranks that have optimized their investments in business technology by focusing on organic – not digital – opportunities.

A final word. Dealing with people, processes, organizations and corporate cultures is far more difficult than configuring servers, updating desktops or tracking service level agreements. People, processes, organizations and cultures are the elephants in the room. If you focus more on them rather than on the technology itself, you can dramatically improve service and agility.

If you fail to go organic you will fight one war after another and never have a calm day at the office. Sophisticated executives and managers know this. The determined ones get IT done – regardless of how many good ‘ol boys (and gals) they offend.

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