SMX East New York Recap Day 1

The KeyRelevance team recently returned from SMX East in New York City full of enthusiasm and ideas for moving into this next phase of online marketing.

Don’t forget to check out Day 2 and Day 3 coverage when you’re done here!

There was a ton of information shared on Microdata, SEO, Mobile Marketing and more – I thought I’d do a recap of the high points I found, or saw tweeted, while I was there, along with a little analysis and speculation about what it means to you, the marketer or website owner who is trying to stay ahead of your competitors.

KeyRelevance President, Christine Churchill, knocked it out of the park with a great Keyword Research boot camp.

Some great nuggets were:

  • “A lot of times Popularity is overrated” popular keywords are more competitive, expensive, not necessarily profitable.
  • Make sure your social media profiles are also optimized with keyword phrases
  • Use Google product search instant keywords often different than standard search instant keyword via @SeoWaterman
  • Try Tilde search In Google for synonyms via @SeoWaterman
  • Homepage is strongest page for targeting two or three keyword phrases. But, don’t overdo it. via @LinearOutput
 I attended a Local Search in 2013 panel with Matt McGee, Andrew Shotland, Greg Sterling and Gregg Stewart and Matt Booth.  This was a pretty killer session, although because things are so up in the air with Apple Maps and Google Plus Local, there weren’t a lot of “do this it works” tips.  Here are my high points from the session:
  • Yelp, Infogroup, Localeze and Axiom are important to Apple Maps, make sure you’re there and correct
  • Gregg Sterling (@gsterling) stated that Google Plus Local creates a burden on all marketers, even business owners and in-house folks, that previously didn’t exist.  I 100% agree!
  • Google is telling business owners with a branded Google+ Local page and multiple locations not to verify or do anything with your branches yet, something is coming to help.
  • Matt Booth (@biakelsey) shared that they found a Restaurant that gets an “A” rating can see a 15-20% lift in revenue
  • Greg Sterling shared his thoughts on Facebook & Local – basically saying there is a tremendous opportunity they’re not taking advantage of
  • Andrew Shotland shared a tip during Q&A – to determine if you need a mobile site & mobile advertising presence, set the AdWords tool to “Mobile” and see if QUERIES are happening on mobile, if the answer is yes, you need mobile display/website/ad strategy.
  • Andrew (@localseoguide) also suggested getting to know the TRUSTED Yelp reviewers in the area and inviting them in to visit your business.  You cannot compensate for a review, but you can get to know them
  • @MattMcGee let everyone know that Yelp will filter reviews from untrusted reviewers – those that have only 1 or 2 reviews and an incomplete profile – they’ll show reviews of the folks that traditionally spend time on Yelp.
  • My takeaway from the Local in 2013 session was that it’s way to difficult for a mom & pop business owner with a small local website to keep up with all the changes.  It’s expensive and complicated, which is too bad because Google always talks about them being who they WANT in the search results.
I then attended the “Google Bought a Zoo” track that went through the Panda and Penguin updates. For me, this session was a little thin on new knowledge, but I’ve been living Panda and Penguin for months – so the beginners and intermediate SEO’s in the crowd I’m sure got some great information.  Here are the goodies:
  • Todd Friesen told us Penguin isn’t done, if you didn’t get hit yet, it doesn’t mean you’re safe.  Don’t ignore what you need to clean up just because you’re safe right now.
  • Todd (@Oilman) also shared this tidbit, which I thought was pretty appropriate and funny: “DO NOT lie to your SEO agency about the stuff you did, we’ll find out”
  • Re-inclusion request is basically outing yourself to Google, don’t do this unless it’s your last resort and you’ve cleaned everything up and are still not seeing results – also via @oilman
  • Eric Enge shared his thoughts on anchor text distribution.  He indicated it is important moving forward, your brand should dominate – either or your brand name.  If a keyword phrase is your #1 anchor text, you’re headed down the road towards being excluded.
  • Eric (@stonetemple) also stated that Google is spending their time trying to model how users think, they want the most clickable content to rank highest
I hopped into a Mobile ads track next.  I don’t know nearly enough about mobile and was hoping to expand my knowledge, I picked the right one.
  • Tim Reis from Google shared the link which is Google’s guide to winning with mobile advertising
  • 50% of us smartphone owners used a mobile commerce app in June of 2012
  • @gsterling shared that One Kings Lane is seeing 25% of their sales coming from their mobile app
  • Bill Dinan shared that automotive & travel mobile searches are converting at 46-51% conversion rate.
  • 40-50% of all mobile searches are location related, 70-85% of all local searches lead to transactions via Bill Dinan (@telmetrics)
  • Also via @telmetrics – “How do I deal with Mobile” and “How do I deal with Tablet” many times have different answers
  • Monica Ho (@hoindahizzy) shared that 11% of mobile activity is searching, that leaves 89% of other activities you need to consider targeting with mobile display
  • Monica (@hoindahizzy) Desktop search activity wanes as folks go home from work, mobile searches continue to grow until 8-9pm, mobile ads are a way to expand your visibility
  • Laura Thieme of Bizwatch shared that the CTR on store hours links in mobile paid search ads is 22%
  • Laura (@bizwatchlaura) also suggested making sure your mobile ads targeted keyword misspellings and plurals, she also said to make sure your hours and “in stock” information was in your mobile site to cut down on those phone calls, then you know a call is more about a sale.

I spoke on the Schema 101 – Why the new metadata matters panel – check out all o f the tweets from my session – it was info packed!

Schema 201 happened right after 101, and I was there to see it happen.  This was a nice extension of the 101 session with nice progression in the data.  Here were the highlights:

  • Paul Bruemmer (@PaulBruemmer) shared that Semantic SEO is now a best practice, and I agree.  If you can mark it up with Microformats, then you should – within reason and always ethically and honestly
  • Benu Aggarwal of Milestone Marketing shared a great nugget – she said “Never ask your developers to deploy Schema, they’ll have a heart attack.”  Her advice was to mark some content up and show them how it should look, not to just tell them to do it and see what happens.
  • Johnathan Goodman (@halyardconsult) had some great tips – he recommended, and I second, that if you use WordPress, you use the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast.
  • @HalyardConsult also shared that there was no more critical change in search engines than Authorship.  I see this as being extremely important also!
  • I cant remember who shared it, but they did say that Webmaster Tools will now give you Rich Snippet abuse warnings, so take heed.
Hungry for more? Check out our coverage of Day 2 and Day 3 of SMX East in New York City!




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