Last week, a few of us at Arketi had the opportunity to attend SES Atlanta, an industry-leading search marketing conference held in various cities across the world. The focus of the conference was education about search marketing best practices and trends, but also served as an outlet for attendees to network and share knowledge and experience.
The search world is always changing, so it’s important to pick the brains of industry leaders as they share ideas and tactics that have helped them stay ahead of the curve. With that in mind, here’s a re-cap of the key messages we took away from the conference.
Understand Searcher Interest and Intent
Keynote speaker Bill Hunt, best-selling author and president of Back Azimuth Consulting, emphasized the importance of examining the intent of search queries as it provides insight into consumers’ interest and needs. Specifically, one of the best things search marketers can do is to integrate search strategies in all areas of organizations—from IT to finance. He also explained how to best use data to advance your agenda and how to understand the economic value of search marketing.
How to Show ROI in SEO
Ivey Evans, Digital Strategy and Analytics Manager at Aflac, led a session on SEO ROI analytics. She emphasized the importance of establishing KPIs and setting a benchmark to compare performance over time. The KPIs she recommends tracking are traffic, engagement and conversion, while keeping in mind that the definition of engagement and conversion will vary across organizations.
For example, Aflac defines engagement as “the percentage of people who stay or the site three or more minutes, view three or more pages or complete a site interaction.” Defining conversions can be difficult, especially in B2B organizations where it’s hard to find value of your leads, so sync with your team and define what a conversion means to you.
Its important to keep in mind that there is no real x+y=z formula for SEO. Investing in SEO is like investing in the stock market and a long time strategy and a lot of patience is needed.
Mobile SEO Best Practices
There’s no question that searchers have gone mobile. In May, Google announced that smartphone searches officially overtook desktop searches. In light of this and the recent Mobilegeddon Brian Ussery, a leading SEO Consultant, shared insights on how to adapt to a mobile-friendly world. Here are a few best practices he shared:
- Create a mobile friendly website design (responsive, dynamic, material, m. mobile site, etc.)
- Keep mobile website menus short and sweet
- Make it easy for your users to get to the homepage
- Place your calls to action front and center
- Limit promotions
- Autopopulate forms, credit card information, etc.
- Create a site search function
Content Creation for Linkbuilding
The last session of the day was a panel of social media and content creation managers who shared insights on how to leverage compelling content to drive more links. The panelists stressed the importance of focusing on creating content that makes sense for the sites you’re reaching out to. With this in mind, organizations should create content that is not only specific to their audience but also specific to the channel in which the audience is interacting with them.
The panelists also recommend using tools like Google Trends to determine what consumers might be interested in seeing or hearing about.
We hope you find this recap helpful, even if you weren’t able to attend. However, if you were also at SES Atlanta, let us know what your key takeaways were in the comments section below!