Becoming an SEO and CRO Expert in 2017


The beginning of the new year is a great time to reflect, brainstorm, and celebrate achievements from the previous year. For the Marketing Team at Aptify, 2016 was all about establishing the inbound marketing foundation. Let’s call it our year of Inbound 1.0. We put the basics in place, building on my experiences with inbound at the Electronic Retailing Association.

Together we developed marketing goals and an inbound marketing strategy, implemented marketing automation tools, established a robust blog, created lots of content (both long-form and short-form), and a deliberate reporting regimen with essential KPIs.

Marketing Disruptor Word CloudNow that our foundation is in place, this year is about creating Inbound 2.0 where we focus on getting found online, converting website visitors more efficiently, and developing more video content. It’s about self-disruption. So this year I’m committed to becoming an expert in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Two hefty goals indeed.

In order to do that, I’ve been reading SEO- and CRO-specific blogs over the last few months. And, recently, there have been a ton of fascinating post from Backlinko, Copyhackers, the Moz, Hubspot, IMPACT, the Sales Lion, and Convince and Convert.

Here are a few of my favorites!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

skyscraper techniqueIn this post from Backlinko, Brian Dean illustrates the Skyscraper Technique for link building. It’s a simple yet fascinating concept. Analyze what content is garnering traffic (based on your keywords), and make your own content that’s even better than the original. It’s not stealing but leveraging what’s resonating with people already and super-charging it.

The Moz did a round-up of 2016 SEO trends in this massive post. The Moz also does amazing weekly video blog posts called Whiteboard Friday. One of my recent favorites focused on developing a SEO strategy for 2017.

The Moz Whiteboard Friday

Look for some posts from me in the coming months as I engage on my SEO expertise journey. 🙂

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

I recently stumbled upon Peep Laja and ConversionXL when researching CRO. A great place to start is this conversion rate optimization post. Digital Marketer did a customer value optimization post that sorta blew my mind and helped visualize and crystallize CRO for me. 

Other great posts included Digital Marketer’s article on landing page optimization and Copyhacker’s post on thank you page retention.


If you’re interested in CRO certifications, check out conversion rate optimization mastery from Digital Marketer or the conversion optimization training program from ConversionXL.

Other Great Content

Content Strategy

I’ve read some great posts recently on content strategy including IMPACT’s Best Marketing Articles of 2016. Hubspot wrote an interesting piece titled 3 Steps to Organizing a Long-Term Content Marketing Strategy that sparked us here at Aptify to look back at our content (through a content audit) and re-organize our annual content initiatives.


The Convince and Convert Blog had me convinced with their post 17 Techniques to Power Up Your Content Creation and Digital Marketer wrote a fascinating article on lead magnets.


Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential to any marketer’s dashboard. The Sales Lion wrote an interesting article titled  7 Critical KPIs of Content Marketing that Let You Know You’re Winning or Losing.

content marketing KPI

Add to that Convince and Convert’s 10 Marketing Metrics You Should Always Measure and my own 10 Marketing KPIs Every Association Should Be Measuring and you’ll be all set.

Video Strategy

2017 is the year of video content for Aptify and the recent Moz article titled How Marketing Like Netflix Will Save Your Lead-Gen Strategy really got me thinking about how to produce, and effectively make available, our video content. In the article they reference Unbounce’s Landing Page Sessions that I found extremely useful from a content and learning perspective but also from a video content delivery perspective.


So what do you think? Was this list helpful? Are you comfortable with your SEO, CRO, content strategy, KPI management, and video expertise? Leave a comment and let’s get the dialogue started.

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  • Wallet Squirrel ,

    What a great post! I completely believe that having a mobile friendly website as well as amazing content are two of the biggest things you can do for your SEO Strategy. I just created and wrote about our SEO Strategy for 2017 (yes, I know, I’m 3 months late 🙂 ). Feel free to check it out to see if anything might help you and might be important enough to add to your list here. Just like our last step says in the article, it is always good to revisit old high performing blog posts!

    – Adam

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