SMX West 2014 – Topic Sneak Peek
Please note: The final SMX West 2014 agenda may vary from the sneak peek agenda. These descriptions are a sample of the topics we might cover, but there could be changes. To be notified with the official agenda launches, and other show updates, please fill out the form below!
SMX Boot Camp
SMX Boot Camp: Keyword Research Tools & Techniques
The first step to success of any marketing campaign is to know your message. With search marketing, that means knowing the search terms that are being used by your target audience. Understand what they’re searching for, and you can tune-in to their traffic via search engines. This session covers tools and techniques for performing keyword research.
SMX Boot Camp: Link Building Fundamentals
Ever since Google created PageRank more than a decade ago, every good search marketer’s motto has been “I link, therefore I am.” They’re important! Though linking seems easy, it’s a far more subtle art than most realize, and there are right and wrong ways to conduct your linking campaign. Not only that, since Google’s Panda updates and its introduction of Google Plus Your World, the type of links that are important have changed. In this session, we’ll look at how to reach out and get quality links, how to craft anchor text to build authority, and how to avoid commonplace mistakes that will hurt your web credibility (and search engine rankings).
SMX Boot Camp: Paid Search Fundamentals
Paid search allows you to generate traffic from search engines by purchasing ads, usually on a cost-per-click (CPC) / pay-per-click (PPC) basis. This session covers the basics of how to purchase placement from the major search engines, including best practices for success with your ads.
SMX Boot Camp: Search Engine Friendly Web Design
“I’m not designing my site for search engines,” is a common designer objection to SEO suggestions. But if search engines have problems “understanding” your site, either due to technical issues or because your content is presented in “confusing” ways, they will never be able to provide you with those precious top rankings. This presentation focuses on how to strike the perfect balance between appealing to your human readers and accommodating the technical needs of the search engines.
Essential SEO Analytics: The Performance Metrics That Truly Count
Your boss or client may think top rankings are gold, but veteran SEOs will tell you those stats are so 20th-century that they’re virtually irrelevant. So how do you measure – and more importantly, prove – the value of your SEO activities, especially in the age of personalized, unique search results? Speakers in this session have promised to “open up their kimonos” and reveal the really useful, measurable techniques they use to demonstrate the value of their work.
The Technical SEO Metrics You Should Care About
The greatest content in the world will never be ranked by search engines and seen by searchers if technical issues are keeping the site from being full crawled and indexed. But what metrics can help you determine what technical problems a site has and which are important? This session shows you what technical metrics portray the technical health of the site, how to determine what issues are critical and which don’t matter, how to calculate the ROI of making technical investments, and how to monitor technical changes that you make to ensure everything has been implemented correctly and is having positive impact.
Schema 101: Why Meta Data Matters
Schema.org is a joint alliance between Google, Microsoft and others to provide a common foundation for microdata standards. In other words, provide trusted meta data that allow site owners to express important “facts” about their businesses that both inform searchers and build authority with search engines. This session looks at these microdata standards and how to use them to enhance the importance of your own online content.
Schema 201: Real World Markup For Success
You know semantic markup is important, but are you using it in the most effective way possible? This session’s speakers will share how they fine-tuned their approach to microdata and other ways to express authority to search engines. They will also offer case-study examples of how paying attention to detail has had a significantly positive impact on online visibility.
From Authorship To Authority: Why Claiming Your Identity Matters
While “content is king,” many marketers overlook the all-important factor of authority, and the process required to establish and maintain it. This comprehensive session delves into the steps to claim your identity; brainstorming sessions between SEO, social and content development teams, content promotion tactics for gaining authority links and more. Both enterprise SEO teams as well as outside consultants will benefit from strategies shared in this session.
SEO Site Clinic
This interactive session takes volunteers from the audience and examines their web sites live to provide general feedback about improving them to boost traffic from search engines.
Link Building Clinic
This interactive session takes volunteers from the audience and examines their questions about link building by going live to the web to seek answers and examples.
Conversation: Is Link Building Still Crucial, Or A Waste Of Time & Money?
As search engine algorithms grow more sophisticated, increasingly relying on signals like the knowledge graph and semantic markup, it’s time to ask: is link building still a vital part of a successful SEO effort, or has its heyday passed? Join our panel of expert link builders as they debate the future of links and field any and all questions about this longtime-core SEO activity.
Conversation: What’s Needed For SEO Success In 2014 & Beyond?
No question: SEO remains crucial for web marketers, but what signals and tactics remain important, what’s changed, what new opportunities exist and what’s become imperative for SEOs to focus on looking forward? In this PowerPoint-free discussion, panelists will share thoughts on what is takes to succeed with SEO in the year ahead and in the long-term.
Paid Search Topics
Forget What You Know About PPC – Best Practices Debate
Think you know paid search? Does quality score really matter? Does targeting really get better with Google’s Enhanced Campaigns? Is account history sacrosanct? Is it really better to send people to product specific landing pages than a brand’s homepage? In this session, our panelists challenge commonly accepted best practices and provide evidence that what you “know” about paid search can actually work against you.
Ready, Aim, Fire… Then Retarget!
If that visitor from your search ad doesn’t convert, retargeting (also called remarketing) allows you to keep your message in front of them as they visit other sites across the web. This session looks at how the pros are making use of retargeting to extend their reach and boost conversions. Learn the right and wrong ways for advertisers to stay on target.
Fast And Easy PPC Analytics
Paid search campaign optimization is vital, but pulling the data to make decisions needn’t be difficult. There are about a dozen shortcut reports that offer invaluable information for advertisers, and our panelists will show you not only how to access them but how to avoid “analysis paralysis” and enhance the performance of your paid search campaigns.
Optimizing Success In Search Networks
Too often, we think PPC = search results. There many ways of targeting ‘search’ behavior beyond just Google & Bing. Between search syndication, keyword driven display, and smaller PPC engines, advertisers can extend their reach beyond the big two paid search players. This session will examine additional networks and give you tactics to help expand your overall search advertising reach.
Conversation: Paid Search Keeps On Growing, But Where Is It Going?
Paid search marketers have a lot of new things to consider: disruptive process changes to accommodate enhancements in AdWords and Bing Ads, increased competition and costs, subtle and sophisticated new retargeting options, changes in result page layout, paid inclusion in shopping search, new ad formats and more. Join us for this non-power-point discussion of all the ways you can keep your PPC campaigns effective and up-to-date.
PPC Tune-Up Clinic With The SMX Mechanics
Just like your favorite old car, PPC campaigns can use a tune-up every now and then to keep them running at optimal performance,. In this hands-on clinic, our certified (and certifiable!) SMX PPC Mechanics will offer you their expert advice on your PPC ads, bidding tactics, and anything else on your mind. Bring your toughest PPC questions! Based loosely on the hilarious jovial NPR radio show Car Talk, this session is guaranteed to be as fun as it is informative!
Social Media Topics
Supercharging Reach & Engagement On Facebook & Twitter
With over a billion users, Facebook is the biggest social network out there. Tapping into it the right way can generate plenty of attention and traffic. Twitter is also a proven source of traffic, but you need to do more than just push out a quick 140-character tweet to gain traction and engagement with your followers. Attend this session for the tactics you need to drive more traffic – and gain potential customers or favorably influence existing ones – via these thriving social media channels.
Social Media Automation: The Good & Bad
Life can be much easier with the right tools to help automate your social media sharing. But leaving the machine unattended can cause problems. In this session, best practices for blending automation of social media with human oversight will be covered. Learn how to create a more efficient, yet still human “voice” and avoid potential disasters.
Social Media Ads
Many online marketers are familiar with the advertising programs offered by Facebook and Twitter. But there are also opportunities for advertisers on other popular social media networks, both directy, and indirectly through networks and third party providers. This session looks at compelling and often overlooked alternatives to the ad programs offered by the big social media powerhouses.
Social Media Clinic
Got questions about how to deal with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or other social media sites? We’ve got experts on hand ready to take specific questions from the audience.
Local & Mobile Search Topics
Trends In Mobile Search
Mobile search has exploded, with people increasingly turning to their smart phones and tablets to find answers and make purchases. Our panelists in this session provide you with solid stats on how people are using mobile, predict growth trends, and discuss key aspects that are unique to mobile marketing such as optimizing for mobile, voice search, Google’s new introduction of “enhanced campaigns” and responsive design.
Being Found Through Mobile Apps
Most marketers recognize the increasing significance of mobile apps. Many developers are optimizing web pages to help their apps get found – but how, specifically, do you optimize an app so that it can be found in an app store, when you’re competing for attention with hundreds or possibly thousands of similar apps? This session looks at some of the most popular search-oriented apps and provides solid advice for creating “appilicious” content that’s more likely to be found by those not using traditional desktop search.
Mobile Ads: From Click-To-Call & Beyond
Mobile ads are similar to traditional PPC ads, but mobile users have different needs, which requires a different approach to the user experience. Do you provide click-to-call links in your ads for those users who needs immediate gratification? Or do you create unique landing pages for mobile users that lead them to an immediate, uncomplicated conversion? And how will Google’s enhanced campaigns affect your decisions? Dial-in to this session to learn the best approaches to creating successful mobile advertising campaigns.
Converting The Mobile Customer
Research shows most mobile users are either on the run (of course), or are using a tablet during non-work hours (most likely from the couch). How you engage with these potential customers through your landing pages and sites can mean the difference between consumer engagement or abandonment. Do you expect mobile users to convert on their smartphones, or later through an alternative, possibly off-line channel? How can smartphone-influenced sales or conversions be tracked? And should tablets be treated like smartphones or PCs or neither? These and related critical mobile questions will be addressed by the panel.
Must Have Local Search Tactics
If you cater to a local clientele, local search is an essential channel. But the current state of local search is messy, with confusing options, variations and alternatives. Don’t waste your time trying to piece together this multi-layered puzzle – in this session, our seasoned local search experts will help you navigate the maze and get your business on the map when and where people are searching for your goods or services.
Being National, Going Local
Large national retailers and service providers enjoy an inherent advantage in online marketing: widespread brand recognition. But brand awareness may not be enough to compete with the locals, who have deep knowledge of the wants and needs of customers in specific areas or regions. So how do you strike the perfect balance between brand and being a good neighbor? This session explores how major companies have found a home and success by going local in dozens and up to hundreds of specific markets.
Up Close With Product Listing Ads
Think understanding quality score for ads is challenging? With Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) (and Bing’s to rollout the summer of 2013), the success of your ad is now even more complicated. Beyond optimizing your CPC bids based on keyword, match type, device, time of day, day of week and other “old school” criteria, you must now consider variables such as sales price on CTR and eventual conversion rate, images in feeds and an array of other new factors. Our panelists will show you how to sort through the options and achieve success without having your brain explode.
Advanced, Bullseye Keyword Research Tactics
Doing keyword research? Chances are you’ll go straight to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find answers. But popular keywords are often too expensive or not worth the effort to bid on. So how do you find your own “bullseye” search terms? This session looks at tools and techniques to ferret out high-performance keywords your competitors overlook.
Content Isn’t Just King, It’s Also Queen & Ace
Google has made it clear that quality content is key – but what exactly does that mean? With frequent algorithm updates, how can you keep producing great content and avoid penalties? This session explores the various types of content sites you should be creating, how to repurpose existing content and slice it up for social media, and many other techniques that will increase your visibility and keep your sites out of trouble.
Using Personas To Bridge the Gap Between Search and User Experience
Personas are a way to model the basic types of visitors you expect on your site and tailor an experience to meet their needs. To be successful, you must truly understand the needs of your customers, and “get into their heads” to model optimal online paths to satisfy them. This session looks at how personas can be a powerful tool for attracting and converting customers through organic or paid search campaigns.
Blow Me Away Blogging
For many, a blog is the hub of a company’s social media marketing efforts. But building a consistently high-quality blog is a challenge. How do you keep your blog updated with fresh and appealing content? Is there a way to get more comments and build a community of readers? Can you use your blog to generate leads and increase sales? This session will cover those questions and more with actionable ideas for new bloggers or those looking to make an existing blog even better.
Enterprise & In-house Topics
Maximizing Enterprise SEO
Large organizations face unique challenges when it comes to SEO. Multiple websites, perhaps running on multiple content management systems, in different countries and languages… the list goes on. And with increasingly strict content guidelines, it’s crucial for organizations to coordinate and integrate their SEO efforts across the enterprise. In this session, speakers who have had hands-on experience managing large-scale SEO efforts share best practices and offer practical advice for maximizing site visibility – and avoiding disasters.
Maximizing Enterprise PPC
Paid search offers many benefits for large organizations: increased sales, enhanced brand awareness – even channels to counter competitors. But managing enterprise paid search campaigns can be a nightmare, especially when different departments think they should “own” the process. This session explores the challenges of running an enterprise-level paid search campaign, and how to get all stakeholders in alignment to assure the maximum return possible.
In-House SEO With Agile Development Process: Success At Rapid Speed
SEO isn’t easy to implement, it can be even harder in an agile environment when projects move at the speed of sound. In this session, you will hear how different companies handle SEO in an agile environment, what goes wrong, how to prevent issues and what makes it highly successful.
In-House SEO And PPC: What You Can Learn From Each Other, Optimally
In this session in-house SEO and PPC marketers will discuss how they collaborate and learn from each other over time. Glean tips on SEO/PPC strategy creation, how tactics get modified, how other companies justify adjusting PPC spend based on SEO rankings, communication within the organization, and more.
Ten Rock Your World 5-Minute SMX Takeaways
We admit it – three solid days of great content at SMX West can leave your head spinning with all of the opportunities and potential improvements you can implement to invigorate your online marketing campaigns. This session highlights the “best of the best” of SMX, with tactics you can put into play immediately for your SEO, PPC and social media campaigns.
A Photo Is Worth A Thousand Links
People love images, love to share them, love to link to them, and if you create lovable images on Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr you’ll get a lot of traffic love in return. What makes a compelling image? What traditional elements (text, captions, user-reviews) do you need to support your image? Our panelists will focus on how you can create the most favorable images to attract customers to your site.
YouTube Words: Tying Your PPC Campaigns To YouTube
Google literally owns YouTube (by some measures the second largest search engine after Google), but for years the two companies and their advertising options have been run separately. That’s changed – it’s now possible to tightly integrate your YouTube and paid search campaigns and get the analytics feedback you need to see how effectively your paid search efforts are converting. Attend this session and come “watch” how.
Going Viral On YouTube
Going viral on YouTube can generate thousands of views. But that doesn’t mean you should promote your business via a cute kitty video or as a conversation with your 12 year-old CEO. So what’s the best approach to leveraging the huge potential of YouTube? Panelists in this session share best practices for socially promoting your videos while assuring you also maintain the integrity of your brand.