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Bruce Clay, Inc. Newsletter
  SEO Newsletter | Special Report | March 26, 2014
  Special Report: SMX West & Pubcon South

This month Bruce Clay, Inc. sent bloggers to two Internet marketing conferences to report the news, presentations and conversations happening at these major SEO and digital marketing events. Between the sessions, keynotes, Q&As and community discussions, 33 liveblogged reports from SMX West and Pubcon South were posted to the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog in March.

To help you find the content that interests you, we’ve summarized each post here and categorized them: Marketing Mentality 2014 (big picture ideas), SEO, Paid Media, Social Media, Content, Mobile, Data Analysis and Conversion, and Small and Local Business. We hope you find our conference coverage useful. Please continue the conversations by leaving your thoughts in the blog comments.


Marketing Mentality 2014

Robert Cialdini on the 6 Universal Principles of Persuasion — Pubcon
Dr. Robert Cialdini — the most cited social psychologist in business — discusses uncertainty, the six universal principals of persuasion, and how we can present information to potential consumers in a way that makes them open their ears and minds to the offering we’re presenting.

Peter Shankman’s 4 Rules of Customer Service and Social Media — Pubcon
In this session Peter Shankman divulges how four simple rules helped him transform his business (HARO - Help a Reporter Out) and move on up from grad school dropout to founder and CEO. The rules?

  • Rule 1: Transparency
  • Rule 2: Relevance
  • Rule 3: Brevity
  • Rule 4: Top of Mind

The 4 Pillars of Trust: Keynote by Tim Ash — Pubcon
How do people truly respond to your marketing efforts? Do your consumers trust you? Student of computer engineering and cognitive science, Tim Ash, offers what he considers to be four primary pillars every brand must master in order to attain consumer trust and boost conversion rate.


Google Search Chief Amit Singhal’s Keynote Conversation — SMX
In this keynote presentation, Google's Search Chief and Senior Vice President, Amit Singhal, shares his thoughts on link building, the Knowledge Graph, social signals, authorship, secure servers, Google’s efforts to understand natural language, and more, with Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan.

Matt Cutts and Duane Forrester Talk Online Marketing — SMX
Google Distinguished Engineer, Matt Cutts, and Bing Sr. Product Manager, Duane Forrester, join host Danny Sullivan for an SMX West audience Q&A session. With questions fielded from the audience and lots of back and forth discussion, topics covered include:

  • The top seven SEO “themes of the year” according to Matt Cutts
  • Google's progress shutting down link networks world-wide
  • How penalties will or won't follow when you move a site
  • What sites can do if they are hacked
  • How to get URLs right
  • Mobile versions and whether having one affects your rankings
  • Penalty handling
  • Local Carousel

SEO in 2014 as Bruce Clay Sees It — Pubcon
A session about the landscape of SEO in 2014, led by Bruce Clay, Inc. president, Bruce Clay. Incorporating the latest news from last week's SMX West conference, this Pubcon session digs into mobile SEO, Google Places and local ads, the Knowledge Graph's impact on website traffic, the ever-shrinking number of organic links being represented in SERPs, the finality of (not provided), and much more.

Q&A with the SEO Old School — Pubcon
A no-rules open-forum Q&A session with seven old school SEOs who cumulatively have more than 150 years of experience. Described as “one of the most interesting SEO conversations that took place in New Orleans this week” by Pubcon liveblogger Virginia Nussey, if you’re a marketer interested in where SEO is going and where it’s been this Q&A session is not to be missed.

Q&A with 5 Expert SEOs — SMX
Five veteran SEOs come together for an anything-goes, PowerPoint-free panel discussion about SEO strategy, where the industry has been, and where it seems to be headed in 2014. Questions and topics the panel fielded include, but are not limited to:

  • Content: What about quantity of content? Does it still matter?
  • Agency Pricing: What are tips for determining agency pricing levels?
  • Insights from Search: How can you use search to get insights for SEO, etc.?
  • Google+: Does Google+ provide SEO benefits for businesses?
  • In-house SEOs: How can agencies collaborate well with in-house SEO teams?

Online Marketing Community Forum with Danny Sullivan — SMX
In this brilliant, non-scripted and candid open forum, Danny Sullivan (editor of Search Engine Land) addresses issues facing the entire SEO community. Fielding questions from the audience, Danny discusses:

  • What a start-up business should do if they have only $500 to spend on marketing
  • Recent negative and positive SEO fluctuations of Google
  • Structured data markup (and whether or not you should use it)
  • Authorship and whether "Publishership" is coming
  • The Disavow Tool and whether it is a remedy for Penguin "disasters"
  • How Google+ can affect ranking

Long-Term SEO: How to Win for Years, Not Days — SMX
This session is all about trading in sparkle and fade short-term SEO tactics for big-picture SEO strategies that can get your website ranking high in SERPs for the long haul. Three industry expert presenters discuss SEO-friendly web design, holistic marketing campaigns, ways to strengthen in-house SEO teams, link building, the vital importance of reputation and trustworthiness, and more.

How SEOs Can Deal With Algorithm Chaos — Pubcon
Dealing with 500+ Google search algorithm changes per year makes SEO a bit chaotic. In this Pubcon session, three industry leaders pick apart the volatile algorithm with the aim of educating and making marketers less vulnerable to constant fluctuation.

Life After (Not Provided) — SMX
So we lost our keyword data. Now what? What does life look like after (not provided)? In this SMX West session panelists addressed this topic, touching on:

  • Ways to glean organic insights from Google Webmaster Tools
  • How to leverage big data
  • What SEO metrics you do need to know (and why keyword data isn’t necessarily one of them)
  • Third-party tool recommended for SEO
  • How to integrate paid and organic to get organic search keyword data
  • How to identify what works and what doesn't

Keyword Research Tools in the Age of (Not Provided) — SMX
Post-(not provided), it’s becoming more and more important to rely on third-party keyword research tools. This SMX West session documents how two industry experts are using third-party keyword research tools like SEMRush and SpyFu to collect and analyze keyword data.

Google+ and Authorship Hot Topics and Trends — Pubcon
This session discusses the factors that affect authorship and what you can do to gain increased authorship recognition from Google. Topics covered include:

  • Common characteristics of full authorship results in SERPs
  • Discussion of authorship as it pertains to ranking, identity and what’s to come in the future

SEO Beyond the Filter Bubble — Pubcon
The filter bubble is the knowledge “bubble” Google’s personalized search results have the potential to create. In other words, the bubble where searchers find themselves consistently seeing search results filled with only web pages, authors, and viewpoints that they’ve previously “liked” or otherwise engaged with in the past. In this Pubcon session two speakers discuss how the personalized search “filter bubble” can affect branded, non-branded and local searches, and ways marketers can improve SERP exposure by circumventing Google's personalization layer.

Paid Media

Where’s Paid Search Going In 2014? — SMX
Four industry experts discuss Enhanced Campaign strategy, whether PPC (not provided) could become a reality in 2014, why display and mobile are the future, how social media ties into SEM, and much more.

Why the Display Ad of the Future Is All about You — SMX
Tim Mayer explains what makes display advertising in 2014 different than the display advertising we used to know in the early millennium, and why contemporary marketers can’t afford to ignore the power of display. Topics discussed include:

  • The importance of storytelling
  • Resonance vs. relevance, and how very few advertisements are optimized for both
  • The huge divide between data marketers and brand marketers
  • How to touch people with data across channels
  • Why last-click attribution is insufficient for conversion tracking
  • What's next in display marketing

Power Boosting Sales with PLAs — SMX
Online retailers: are you doing product listing ads with Bing as well as Google? If you’re not, according to this panel of industry experts, you should be. Learn why Bing product listings matter, tips for managing PPC ad campaigns, Google PLA strategies, and more in this SMX West liveblog coverage.

Paid Social Media Opportunities Including Facebook for Business — SMX
SMX West’s Social Media Marketing Boot Camp continues on the topic of paid social media advertising and amplification. In this session Lisa Buyer explains how social media has evolved into a “pay to play” arena, and offers PR and social advertising tips for new marketers.

Social Media

Social Media Etiquette Guide — SMX
This Social Media Boot Camp session is geared toward fresh online marketers and community managers seeking a basic foundation. Expect to learn social media best practices from several case studies that show how brands are (and aren’t) doing it right.

Twitter For Business — SMX
Ric Dragon runs down the basics of using Twitter for business, with presentation insights that include:

  • What makes the language in a tweet great
  • Why and how to use Twitter lists and Twitter chats
  • Some great third-party Twitter tools
  • When to have more than one Twitter profile
  • Why “boring” brands can leverage Twitter, too

Social Media Analytics — Pubcon
How do you measure social media? This Pubcon session answers the 10 most frequently asked questions about social media metrics and measurement. Speakers Alan K'necht and Adam Proehl cover:

  • What measurement figures are "total BS"
  • Tools that let you measure engagement accurately
  • The metrics to include in a C-level social media report
  • How to use social to influence search
  • How to tie revenue back to social activity
  • Examples of brands doing it right

Shifting From Content Marketing to Media Company — SMX
What does it mean to adopt a “media-first” business strategy? In this SMX West session Copyblogger Media Founder and CEO Brian Clark tells us (in 25 minutes or less):

  • The ingredients of engaging content
  • What it means to adopt a media-first business strategy
  • The changes organizations must make to survive in the era of content-first marketing

Email Marketing and the Audience Imperative — SMX
Don’t let social media make you blind to the sustainable online marketing power of email. In this 25-minute mini-session, Jeffrey Rohrs, author of “AUDIENCE: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans & Followers,” discusses the future landscape of email marketing and why C-suite decision makers need to consider their audience a prime asset.

Creating and Selling Awesome Content in Boring Niches — Pubcon
If you think your business is "boring" and are consistently finding yourself in a struggle to create content that matters, this resource-packed Pubcon presentation may be just the mental fix you’ve been needing. Look forward to two presenters and discussion that covers:

  • How to write content that engages
  • How to get content buy-in from key stakeholders
  • Analysis tools that can you speak the language of your C-suite

The Coming Paradigm Shift In Mobile Marketing — SMX
Mobile devices like smartphones and iPads are cheaper, faster and more accessible than ever. For marketers this means a major shift in the way we conceptualize, approach and actualize online and offline marketing strategy will soon be in order. In this 25-minute SMX West session MobileMoxie CEO Cindy Krum discusses the future of mobile marketing with a specific focus on the importance of cross-device compatibility and big data.

App Store Optimization and SEO for Mobile Apps — SMX
This session is all about uncovering opportunities to reach new users through mobile app SEO and App Store optimization. Expect to learn the what, why, and how of App Store optimization (ASO); all about SEO opportunities in organic search for mobile apps; and how to evaluate whether you should take your app global.

Capturing the Mobile Paid Lead — SMX
Four industry leaders talk paid mobile, maps, apps, app store development, and more. Discussion highlights include:

  • Using mobile app "deep links" for indexing and user experience
  • SEO for app stores
  • How to turn app downloaders into customers
  • Mobile advertising for phones and tablets
  • How brands and agencies should approach “click to call” advertising
Data Analysis and Conversion Optimization

Revolutionizing Decision Making: How the Analyst Will Take Over Business — SMX
The world is changing, technology is changing, why shouldn't our marketing analytics strategy change, too? In this session expect to learn:

  • How Big Data will change analytics — and the way we report them — forever
  • Three ways to nurture successful ongoing analytics efforts
  • Four tips for communicating analysis to stakeholders
  • How to integrate data into everyday business decision-making

Conversion Web Design — Pubcon
In this session presenter Kim Krause tells us why it’s critical that a website have conversion elements built right into the foundation of its design. Starting from the beginning with “What are conversions?” Krause takes us through the importance of customer service and social integration, to 13 common design elements that can decrease conversions, and beyond.

Small and Local Business

How Small Companies Can Achieve Big Results — SMX
Being small doesn’t mean you're unable to succeed with big business competition! In this session three successful SMX marketing experts share with us their success stories, including tips for small business content marketing, website redesigns, and internal team organization.

Google Local Optimization in 2014 — SMX
If you need to set up or optimize your local business presence online, this fast and furious SMX West session delivers! Topics include:

  • Google+ Places vs. Google+ Local, and where things stand
  • 14 actions that will help your Google+ Local profile win
  • Factors that can affect your local listing rank
  • Eight directories to consider in addition to Google+
  • 12 ways to better optimize your local landing pages
  • The importance of citations

Local Search Hot Topics and Trends — Pubcon
How can a local business piggyback on authoritative sites (such as YouTube) to improve its visibility in Google search? Which items are essential for local SEO — reviews, citations, on-page optimization, Google+ Local listing, NAP and so on — and how do each move the dial? Local search experts Will Scott and Gregg Gifford answer these questions with real-world advice in this Pubcon liveblog session.

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