State of Search Conference has just wrapped up its fourth year delivering Texas-sized digital marketing wisdom and strategies to the masses. The 2016 edition at Gilley’s Dallas featured an eclectic mix of rockstar presenters from small to medium agencies to industry behemoths including Microsoft and Google.
If you’ve ever been to a music festival like Lollapalooza or Vans Warped Tour, SoS’s structure is nearly identical to those events — excluding the deafening acoustics and belligerent mosh pits. There are three stages spread out across the venue with various speakers simultaneously presenting their lectures. Of course, the only problem with this format is that one person cannot be in multiple places at once. Luckily, since over a dozen Wpromoters at the Dallas office attended, our presence evenly was dispersed throughout the venue.
It was two days of enlightening, pertinent information regarding the future of this ever-changing industry and its numerous components. Here are just a few nuggets of what our team took away:
- SERPs are going to use machine-learning algorithms for content and to measure authority links.
- If you aren’t properly tracking and optimizing the user experience, you’ll fall behind in SEO.
- You can’t have great local SEO without great organic SEO.
- When it comes to what you can do to affect rankings, get positive reviews on Google and ensure your information is correct. They’ll most likely show the best answer first in the customer’s search.
- Content generation must be authentic and simple, yet shareable and capable of spurring a debate.
- Video isn’t a maybe. It’s a must. Website content with a visual sees a 94% increase in page views compared to website content without it.
- People buy brands, products, and services because they love stories. You need to communicate why your business matters.
- Monitor the visibility of your content daily and remain inside customers’ minds.
- Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on signals rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.
- Google will look at the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site.
- Google Maps is a must for any business. If you do not have your company on Google My Business, customers will not be able to find you.
- While AMPs are blazing fast and consume less data, the format provides limited customization and no ranking boost.
- Google is moving closer to having people purchase straight from them with different experiences for desktop and mobile. Google continues to invest in Ecommerce and will give priority to PLAs over text ads in the future.
- You don’t have to improve ranking to get your clients more money. Revamp the meta descriptions by seeing what is successful in ads. This can lead to better clickthrough rates and increased revenue.
- Do not layer RLSA into search campaigns because bid modifiers stack up.
- For better budget control, segment campaigns by match types.
- Exclusivity is important. Creating perceived value around your brand is a real benefit to securing returning customers.
- Search marketers should not strive to be No. 1. The real objective is to figure out where people are searching and get in front of them.
- Transcend your biases. Talk to and understand your client’s customers, as well as people outside of your bubble. Look at what people are searching for on Google and think about how you can solve their problems.
- The future is structured data and A.I. interfaces. The more knowledge we have about what users want, the more we’ll be able to incorporate this into everyday products.
Daniel Loehr, Will Edmonson, Tucker Smith, DeAndre Upshaw, Jessalyn Bradley, Lindsey Austin, McKenzie Cranford, Eric Yates, and Bart Peters contributed to this post.