Blueglass LA Search Marketing Conference, Key Takeaways avatar
Blueglass LA Search Marketing Conference, Key Takeaways

Recently I attended the Blueglass LA search marketing conference and came away with some great insights on what’s happening in the search marketing industry. The lineup of speakers was great and included some the most widely respected people in search marketing.

On Google and Search:

Greg Boser

  • Google is in a rush to get you on Google+ to get accurate info on where you are so they can serve more relevant results to you.
  • What Google is showing in SERPs (search engine results pages) is now more influenced by relationships, not who is most authoritative.
  • More emphasis in Google now on authors and structured tags (rich snippets)
  • Predatory Aggregation: a term I heard Greg Boser use referring to Google using your markup data and showing it as their own, like sports scores etc…ESPN uses structured data to display sports scores but Google eventually big G is going take that data as their own.

Mark Suster, “50k foot view”

  • Eye tracking studies show that almost no one pays attention top banner and right-side skyscraper
  • Ads should be integrated. Images are the ad, see Robb Report, Vogue etc
  • YouTube integrated as are off the charts for conversions
  • Sponsored stories: people engage on this as much as normal stories
  • Media sites more likely to convert, Google too competitive

Jason, Docstoc, Landing Page Optimization

  • Only one objective per page
    • Docstoc landing pages have everything else removed, no other links, no nav, no back and forward. No 2-step purchase–put it all on one page.
  • Headlines: the single most important element on any landing page.
    • Biggest mistake is putting too much text into a headline
    • Test dozens, if not hundreds of headlines
  • Sell the benefits, not features
    • People buy on emotion and justify with logic. People care about benefits, but need to sell with emotion.
  • Call to action: make sure button is not hidden–needs to be easy to see.
    • Changing the call to action button can have big effects
  • Social proof for any landing page to increase conversions
    • List your clients
    • Use, “As seen in Forbes” or “As seen on TV” etc
    • Customer testimonials
    • Have near the purchase button, “Verified BBB” etc
    • Offer 100% money back guarantee
  • Utilize 99designs.com to help improve landing page designs and test them all
  • The 10 Commandments of Landing Pages That Work by Copyblogger
  • Docstoc, “Landing Page Conversion: 7 Golden Rules”
  • With FB ads, trying to capture customer info and build awareness and relationship with the customer.
  • Develop different landing pages for SEO vs PPC traffic.
  • Video on a page is much less effective than people think. Very few people click on the video.

Chris Brogan and Brian Clark Panel, How Do You Get Started and Build an Audience?

  • Easier now than ever to build an audience, there’s just more noise now
  • Chris Brogan: Google+ has the people you want to network with, Facebook has all your old friends from high school
  • Email newsletters: make them brief, 250-400 words. Don’t make the first line, “If you can’t view this email click here.”
  • Brian: went completely away from HTML emails. Don’t talk like an advertisement. Use your opt-in to exclude people.
  • Brian: Twitter is main content distribution. Facebook we don’t really pay attention to. G+ is more personal for Brian.

Afternoon Session

News

Social sites that drive traffic, the biggest one’s if you get on the first page:

  • Hacker News, 5k-10k
  • FARK, 15k-20k
  • Reddit, 50k-100k
  • Drudge Report, 100k-250k

Link Building

  • Write great content–that’s the goal
  • Plan your content, develop a content calendar, sources: Google Calendar, Kapost
  • Seed your content with link targets.
  • Produce more types of content
  • Look at your CMS, make content that is unique, use pull quotes, 2 col layout
  • Video: provide an embed code and have a link to your site in the code
  • User generated content
  • Make sharing of your content easier on your blog, maybe 3-4 places to share
  • Use bit.ly custom URLs
  • How to find people using tools:
    • follwerwonk
    • Topsy.com
    • Here’s a hack to find email addresses: install Rapportive into gmail, type in guesses for the person’s email and it helps you figure out the correct email
  • Links are not just about authority, some drive a ton traffic

Jon Henshaw, Raven Tools

  • Google is a relevancy machine
  • Link building is not just about SERPs
  • Edu sites are trustworthy
  • Tools
    • Ontolo
    • Citation labs
  • Social monitors: amazing link prospecting tool. Constant flow of relevant sites that pertain to the sites you’re interested in.
  • Managing links; buzzstream

Alan Bleiweiss
  • Google is hiding more data from Google Analytics. Not Provided–is the missing data really that valuable anyway? Look at pages/visit, time on site for Not Provided…in many cases it’s not very good for those visitors under that category.
  • Google has never provided complete data
  • All the organic keyword data will disappear eventually from Google
  • Google in-page analytics is invaluable now in terms of data
Afternoon panel, Sonia Simone, Adam Singer, Peter Shankman et al
  • Listen to your customers. Listen to social media, find out what their problems are. For example, a fitness gym’s customers don’t have problems with their facility, they have problems with time management so they can make it in to the gym.
  • Declare war on your customers top 10 problems.
  • Peter’s rules for writing
    • Be transparent
    • Be relevant
    • Be brief
    • Be top of mind
On WordPress Optimization
Andrew Norcross, Senior WordPress Developer
  • Ditch the share buttons, i.e. Add to Any, Share All…shows branding from another company, shows buttons nobody uses.
  • Facebook URL linter: will tell you waht FB sees/user sees
  • Andrew uses size 16 fonts
  • A/B test your plugins for site speed or whatever variable you’re testing
  • Plugins: look for single purpose plugins–plugins that do all sorts of things are not good
  • Move simple functions into the theme, one less to update
  • Look for well programmed plugins, i.e. not calling jquery multiople times
Yoast
  • His plugin makes it easy to do Facebook Open Graph tags.
  • XML sitemaps: he will be releasing xml video sitemap so if you put a video in a post it will add it to video sitemap
  • Yoast’s seo plugin allows you to put a link in the content for scrapers which points back to your site
  • Don’t show your date in posts. Change posts to page if really important content. Google will pick up dates even if you don’t put the date in there–they get it from yoru RSS feed. Pages are not in RSS. Or you can change the date on your posts frequently.
  • Be careful with plugins: every plugin has full admin right on your site
  • How do you find trusted plugins? how many ratings does it have? Has it been updated frequently? Check the change log too.
  • WordPress numbering system: they add .1 for each release
  • Plugins they both like:
    • W3 Total Cache
    • Gravity Forums
    • Shopp-Andrew like this ecommerce plugin