Digital Marketing Blog

Improve Your Rankings By Following These Top SEO Experts

Oct 15, 2019 Aaron Agius 1 Comment

Ranking high in search engines is one of the best ways to gain exposure, connect with prospects, increase conversions and boost sales.

Unsurprisingly, SEO is the go-to marketing strategy for many brands.

In fact, “61 percent of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.”

While the concept is easy enough — rank for targeted keywords — the SEO process is incredibly complex and ever changing. To be successful, it’s important to learn from the best and stay on top of unfolding trends.

Here are some of the world’s top SEO experts to check out.

Brian Dean

Brian is one of the world’s most respected and influential voices in SEO. And he’s received some pretty prestigious accolades.

Success Magazine referred to him as, “the world’s foremost expert on search engine optimization,” while Entrepreneur dubbed him an “SEO genius.”

His blog, Backlinko is one of the web’s top resources for everything SEO, and he covers a wide array of topics including:

  • On-page SEO strategies
  • Link building strategies
  • Technical SEO tips
  • YouTube SEO
  • Advanced strategies

We’re talking seriously in-depth, longform content that surgically dissects SEO topics from beginning to end.

And it gets some pretty serious traffic — 1.31 million total visits in February 2019.

But what I really love about Brian’s content is just how easy is it to absorb. He presents information in an extremely user-friendly way that makes it simple to understand for experts and noobs alike.

He’s excellent at breaking down complex SEO topics step-by-step, which keeps you on track with the points he’s making.

Brian also incorporates beautiful visuals to create an even better user experience.

And if you ever find yourself scratching your head when complex data is presented, no sweat, because Brian breaks this down visually as well.

And what I really love is that his advice is so actionable. Any time I read through a Backlinko post, I always come away with some type of technique I can implement into my own SEO efforts.

One of my favorites is his post called, Google’s 200 Ranking Factors. It meticulously breaks down all of the signals Google uses when determining page ranking and in what order. I found this super helpful for knowing what to prioritize in my SEO campaign.  

Backlinko is an all around fantastic resource that anyone with even of shred of SEO interest should check out.

Besides that, I recommend Brian’s YouTube channel as well.

As of early 2019, he had over 200k subscribers, and it delivers a ton of helpful information to get your SEO campaign running like a well oiled-machine.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most well recognized and respected names in digital marketing.

Neil has a laundry list of accomplishments. He’s:

  • A New York Times Bestselling author with Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning and Momentum
  • One of Forbes’ top 10 marketers
  • Created one of the 100 most brilliant companies, according to Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Been recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama
  • Been recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations

He’s helped some of the world’s top brands like Amazon, Google, Airbnb and NBC improve their digital marketing. He’s also behind notable software like Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics and Quick Sprout.

So yeah, Neil’s legit.

Although he covers the full spectrum of digital marketing, he’s a bonafide SEO expert and has created a massive archive of helpful SEO content.

His site, Quicksprout was one of the first places he started producing high level information.

There’s Quicksprout University where you can find an arsenal of SEO content for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.

Whether you’re just starting out, are a seasoned SEO pro or somewhere in between, you can find super helpful information.

There’s also the Quicksprout Blog, which Neil has run for years and is still consistently updated today.

One of my personal favorite guides from this blog is “The Advanced Guide to SEO,” which is basically a mini eBook that’s designed in an easy to read infographic format.

And of course, we can’t forget about NeilPatel.com.

This is Neil’s consulting site, which will teach you about pretty much everything you need to know in the SEO world.

What’s cool is that his blog uses a variety of different formats including blog posts, podcasts and videos. So the content is super fresh and personal.

It’s kind of like having Neil as a personal consultant where you get to pick his brain.

And check out how much traffic NeilPatel.com gets.

It was off the charts with 7.34 million visits in February 2019. It seems like everything Neil touches turns to gold.

So I highly recommend listening to anything he says regarding SEO.

Rand Fishkin

Rand has quite a portfolio.

He’s the former CEO and Co-founder of Moz — one of the top SEO software platforms on the market — and one of the most trusted voices in the SEO community.

He’s an author of multiple digital marketing books and has also contributed to major publications like BusinessWeek, The Seattle Times, The New York Times and Newsweek.

And he recently launched SparkToro — a new software company whose mission is “to make it easier to discover the websites, blogs, podcasts, social accounts, and publications that reach your audience.”

While you can find snippets of great info on Rand’s Twitter and other sources throughout the net, he’s perhaps best known for is his contributions to the wildly successful Moz Blog.

This features detailed how-to posts, SEO tips and info on cutting-edge trends.

One part of the Moz Blog I especially recommend is “Whiteboard Fridays,” where Rand records educational SEO videos using a whiteboard.

It’s kind of like a university lecture, but without the rigidity and pretentious intellectualism.

You simply get Rand presenting a detailed idea using a whiteboard and a marker.

Take for instance, The One-Hour Guide to SEO, Part 2: Keyword Research.

It’s the second part in his series on learning the fundamentals of SEO, and provides some incredibly practical advice to anyone looking to learn the ropes.

You get the video, screenshots from different parts of the video for easy reference, as well as a video transcription.

I think it’s a really cool and innovative way to present SEO lessons and soak up a ton of helpful information.

If you’re looking to dive deep and go way beyond the surface level, I strongly suggest checking out Rand’s content.

Gary Illyes

The self proclaimed “House Elf and Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google,” Gary Illyes is a Google webmaster trends analyst.

He’s got the inside scoop on what happens at Google, and in particular, changes that are made to its search algorithm. And this is important because Google tweaks its algorithm 500 – 600 times per year.

While most are minor and unnoticeable, others like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have had a major impact on rankings.

So Gary is definitely a guy you’ll want to pay attention to. He’s also got a slightly snarky wit and humor that I find entertaining.

His Twitter page stays updated with great information on everything SEO.

He’s also frequently cited by authoritative SEO publications for advice he offers for staying up-to-date with current SEO best practices.

For example, there was a post by Danny Goodwin (someone I’ll mention in a bit) in Search Engine Journal that highlighted key points Gary made during Pubcon in Las Vegas 2018.

Getting advice from Gary is like going straight to the horse’s mouth. And while Google doesn’t divulge all of its secrets, you can get some super helpful information to stay on top of SEO trends and ensure you’re appeasing their ever-fickle algorithms.

John Mueller

John Mueller is the senior webmaster trends analyst at Google. With a background in mechanical engineering and over 12 years of SEO experience, it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two.

He was doing it all the way back when primitive practices like keyword stuffing and buying links were a thing. So Mueller’s like the OG of SEO.  

And his credibility is infinite.

He’s constantly mentioned by SEO blogs for the excellent advice he offers on SEO best practices and is one of the first people turn to when learning about new trends.

A good example is when Search Engine Journal dropped 36 of his SEO insights from 2018.

So what are the best resources for SEO advice from Mueller?

Following his Twitter page is probably the best place.

He updates frequently and shares a ton of great up-to-date information.

I also recommend subscribing to Google Webmasters on YouTube.

He regularly hosts Google Hangouts on there, which can give you the skinny on what you need to know to succeed with SEO.

With search engines being so dynamic and ever evolving, these videos are worth watching consistently and will keep you way ahead of most competitors.

Matt Southern

Matt Southern is one of the main writers at an SEO publication I just referenced — Search Engine Journal.

 

In his own words, he “keeps the web informed about Google, and help others rank higher within search engines.”

Southern isn’t a name that gets as much attention as say, Brian Dean or Neil Patel. But I find him to be one of the top guys for breaking SEO news that keeps me in the loop.

That’s his forte really. He finds super up-to-date news pieces and shares them with the Search Engine Journal audience.  

He’s got a knack for taking information from recent research and studies and extracting the key details in a way that’s easy to understand. Take for instance this post he recently wrote about 79 percent of digital advertisers using SEO.

He really digs deep with his research, which I appreciate. And all of the information is practical, actionable and easy to digest.

And if you’re a data junkie like I am, I think you’ll get a lot out of Matt’s content.

The best place to stay current with him is on his author section of the Search Engine Journal website.

Or you can always subscribe to his Twitter, as it’s consistently updated with excellent SEO content.

Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel is an incredibly influential digital marketer and entrepreneur. He’s  the co-founder of Web Profits, a successful growth marketing agency. He’s also a partner of several software companies, including Mailshake, Narrow, ContentMarketer.io and Quuu.

He’s got his hands in multiple projects and somehow manages it all seamlessly.

One of the things I admire about Sujan is his work ethic and just how much of a hustler he is.

He works about 80 hours a week and still manages to contribute six blog posts each week to major business publications like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Inc.com, as well as his own blog.

Sujan covers a lot of topics in the business/marketing realm, but one of his focal points is SEO.

Check out the SEO archive on his blog, and you’ll find a wealth of insightful information on everything from selecting killer keywords and effective link building tactics to incorporating SEO into your content marketing initiatives.

It’s very meaty, practical stuff.

This guy is everywhere, so I recommend checking out his author sections on the following publications:

And I also suggest following him on Twitter because it’s continually updated with juicy SEO advice along with other helpful digital marketing tips.

Barry Schwartz

A self-defined “search geek,” Barry Schwartz is the CEO of New York web service firm, Rusty Brick, and news editor at Search Engine Land.

He also happens to be the founder of Search Engine Roundtable, whose purpose is “to report on the most interesting threads taking place in the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) forums.”

Schwartz has over 15 years of experience covering SEO and is one of the most trusted voices in the industry.

Check out his author page on Search Engine Land, and you’ll find a massive archive of SEO content covering topics relevant SEO tools, Google updates and info on the inner workings of Google’s search algorithm.

For example, he recently wrote a post covering how the Google Search Console will add new actions to sitemap report.

It’s all very practical and insightful and will help you better grasp Google’s underlying logic.

While Schwartz’s content may not be ideal for beginners, it’s perfect if you’re a bit more advanced and want to stay on top recent trends as they unfold.

And he updates almost every day, helping you continually stay in the loop.

His Twitter page is also a good follow.

It’s jam packed with links to great SEO content — some of it from Barry himself, and some of it curated from other industry influencers.  

Danny Goodwin

Danny Goodwin is the executive editor of Search Engine Journal and oversees a massive team of 60+ industry experts. Besides managing contributions to the site, he routinely makes his own contributions as well.

Danny writes about many aspects of digital marketing, including PPC, social media and content marketing. But SEO is his forte.

Check out his author page at Search Engine Journal, and you’ll be impressed with the caliber of his posts.

There’s a ton of practical information on algorithm updates, key points from SEO conferences, SEO-related statistics and general advice that can help you become a better marketer.

I really like one post he wrote in late 2017 called 60+ Mind-Blowing Search Engine Optimization Stats, which really put the state of search into perspective at that time.

I also suggest following him on Twitter, where you’ll find an educational profile that’s updated daily with killer SEO advice.

Vanessa Fox

As CEO of SEO analytics platform, Keylime Toolbox and former contributing editor of Search Engine Land, Vanessa Fox is well versed in all things SEO.

I find Keylime Toolbox particularly interesting because it takes a slightly different approach to generating SEO metrics. It combines Google Search Console query data and Google Analytics data and segments it into various categories, which provides an in-depth understanding of organic search traffic.

So Vanessa definitely knows her stuff.

She’s also the author of Marketing in the Age of Google and has a firm grasp on how Google works and what businesses need to do to thrive on it.

Although most of the content she’s contributed on sites like Search Engine Land aren’t current because of her other pursuits, she’s still a highly respected influencer in the SEO world.

And you can find a lot of great information on her Twitter account.

Danny Sullivan

This guy wears a lot of different hats. Danny Sullivan is a successful journalist, technologist and entrepreneur and co-founded Search Engine Land.

In his new position as “Untitled” at Google, Sullivan “helps the public better understand Google search and Google better hear public feedback and improve.”

In other words, he’s a key figure in helping marketers figure out how Google works and how they can improve their efforts to rank higher.

Although he stopped contributing to Search Engine Journal in 2017, you can still find his content strewn across the Internet, as well as a lot of SEO writers referencing him.

His Twitter page features content on a myriad of different topics, and a decent amount of it is SEO-related.

Aaron Agius

Sorry guys. It wouldn’t be a complete list of top SEO experts without mentioning yours truly.

Digital marketing is something I’ve been passionate about for a long time. I’ve always taken pleasure in helping people and making a difference in their lives.

So I used the experience I gained in the digital and IT space and started my own consultancy back in 2008.

I’m the co-founder and managing director at Louder.Online, which hopefully you’re familiar with if you’re reading this blog. My areas of focus includes social media marketing, content marketing and of course SEO.

I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great clients over the years, with some of the more notable ones being Salesforce, IBM, Ford, LG, Coca-Cola and Intel.

You can check out my content in a few different places, including the HubSpot Blog.

And I’ve also been featured on:

There’s also my Twitter page, which I make a point to update regularly.

And of course let’s not forget about the Louder.Online blog. It’s where I share what I’ve learned about SEO and other digital marketing topics with my audience.

Learning from the Experts

71 percent of consumer journeys begin with a search engine when finding new products and services, according to Forrester Research. So naturally, ranking highly in Google and other search engines is a top priority for most brands.

Earning high rankings is surefire way to get in front of your target audience and send a steady stream of high quality, organic traffic to your site.

But let’s be honest. SEO isn’t easy.

There are a lot of moving parts, and search engine algorithms have become much more complex than they were a decade ago. And with updates occurring daily, SEO is a technique that requires constant adjustments.

Trying to figure it out on your own can be daunting to say the least. But getting advice from the top SEO experts listed here can greatly improve your strategy and help you attain consistently higher rankings.

Are there any other awesome SEO experts that I missed? Please let me know:

Image Credits
Featured image: Caio Resende / Pexels


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