For those of you who attended SMX East 2012, it was great to see you there! We noticed a lot of fresh faces and companies, which is encouraging–the industry is growing and there’s still a lot to do.
We certainly learned a lot, but mostly about WordPress sliders and how few good ones exist. Those technical difficulties caused a delay in our coverage, but we wanted to bring you something good and useful. Hopefully, the delay was worth it and you find at least one kernel of knowledge that can improve your Internet marketing strategies or SEO campaigns. We’re happy to have our process worked out just in time for PubCon and we’ll see you then (or on the blog).
In the meantime, check out all of the great shots, quotes, and takeaways we picked up from SMX East 2012 (as well as a fashion trend!):
SMX East 2012: Meet & Greet, Monday, October 1st
SMX East 2012: Day 1, Tuesday, October 2nd
Day 1 Takeaways
What SEO Performance Metrics Are Truly Important– Measure what matters to your business. When you focus your metrics on your business goals, your efforts will be more successful. Your data needs more than reporting, it needs to be analyzed in order to create actionable items. Use keyword bucketing, Lower Funnel Actions & Higher Funnel Actions.
Looking Ahead: Local Search in 2013- Local search is more than just optimizing your Place page, recognize the opportunities that are out there with other local listing sites. Many of these are necessary to increase the number of citations your business has, which will improve local rankings as much as on site optimization and link building.
Google Bought A Zoo: Surviving Penguins, Pandas & Other SEO Beasts- Just because you weren’t hit by penguin, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be hit. Be proactive and clean up your links, and diversity your search marketing efforts so that there isn’t over reliance on a single, and potentially high risk method, but rather a long term investment in branding.
SEO Beware: Black Hat Tactics To Avoid & Be Wary of- Don’t be shady. Think like a black hat SEO, but don’t be a black hat SEO. By being aware you can avoid and defend yourself against them. If you are aware of these tactics, you can run the opposite direction to something that is more long term and low risk.
SMX East 2012: Day 2, Wednesday, October 3rd
Day 2 Takeaways
Getting Ahead With Google+: Google+ is a young platform, as such, if you find an interesting or innovative way to use it, or to make it work for your brand, you will be rewarded with attention. Find ways to use the tools that Google+ has that are unique to them; hangouts, and circles have great marketing possibilities, if you put the time and effort into developing a campaign that utilizes them.
Schema 201: Real World Markup for Success Get to know the data available through your site and identify opportunities to automate schema on it (plugins can help do this on certain CMS platforms). Markup will help drive rich snippets and other compelling elements for searchers and visitors alike. The search engines are looking for opportunities to display data more creatively–give it to them.
Tuning Up Your Twitter Tactics: Twitter is a community, treat it as such. Find ways to add content and have conversations, always being careful not to spam your fellow community members. If you make your twitter presence a conversation with rich takeaways for your followers, you will be successful. Outside of Twitter, make it easy to share your content on Twitter through integrated share buttons, and valuable content worth sharing.
Pagination & Canonicalization For the Pros Take advantage of the canonical tag, rel=”prev” and rel=”next,” and the hreflang=”[x]” tags to help fix complex problems like duplication, international targeting, and domain acquisitions. The search engines are offering a new way to communicate with them and it’s up to you to learn more about these opportunities and find ways to automate intelligent inclusion on your sites. Be careful though! With great tags comes great responsibility.
Getting Liked and Shared on Facebook: It is absolutely necessary to get your fans to interact with your page. As long as you have engagement, your fans will be able to see your posts, without it, you will disappear into the background. How do you get engagement? Questions, surveys, contests, promotions, pictures, Facebook is a multimedia platform–offer as much as you possibly can. Partner with your vendors, your community, and your fans to make content that is rich and engaging in visual, dynamic ways.
Direct Answers & The Knowledge Graph: Friend or Foe? The decision was split–Knowledge Graph is both a friend and a foe. It may keep searchers contained within the SERPs for informational queries, but it’s also a great way to drive more clicks for related queries. If you’re providing information to Wikipedia or Freebase, take ownership of your data to ensure that Knowledge Graph has accurate information.
SMX East 2012: Day 3, Thursday, October 4th
Day 3 Takeaways
Conversation: Is There Really Advanced Link Building? Short answer- No. Long answer- No there are no specific tricks that will make you an advanced link builder, instead there is just better marketing. Advanced Link Building is all about thinking like a journalist, finding a story and an audience, and pairing the two. You need to be adaptable to the situation, find the right content, the right source, and the right pitch.
The New Killer Content: Focus, first and foremost, on your readers. What are they looking for on your site, and on other sites? Offer up something that they aren’t finding elsewhere, and you will have successful content. Make sure that your content extends to your title tags and meta descriptions, don’t let any opportunity to create a headline pass you by.
How to Use Search Marketing as a Force for Positive Social Change: How does (RED) approach search marketing? They tell a story, with content that’s about those they help, not the organization itself. They engage people by using pictures that make an emotional impact.