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High Level and Hands-on Tactical SMX East Takeaways

Author: Virginia Nussey

Want to know what the experts in SEO, paid search, social media, local and mobile marketing were sharing at this month's SMX East conference? Here we've broken down the info into two categories:

1. High level trends to expect in personalization and the increasing influence of social signals on search and consumer behavior. Understand how multiple marketing channels work together allowing you to get the most from your marketing and maintain relevance as the Web evolves.

2. Tactics and best practices that you can apply to Internet marketing campaigns today to see improvements to KPIs and ROI. Skip to this section if you're interested in hands-on info you can use right now.

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SEO-Friendly Web Development ─ How Silos and the CMS Can Make or Break Your Site

Author: Jessica Lee

It's a problem we here at Bruce Clay, Inc. see time and time again in the Internet business community: poor information architecture and inefficient content management systems (CMS) are obstructing SEO. And while there are many aspects that go into a successful SEO-ready website, information architecture, or siloing, and a good CMS play a huge part in the way a site performs for the search engine, the way visitors interact with the site and the way site owners manage it.

The way the site is built, designed and organized can actually either totally boost search engine optimization or completely hinder it. The dream scenario in the SEO world (at least ours) is for a site to be built and designed within an SEO-friendly CMS, and the content neatly organized into silos to establish clear subject themes, which in turn creates a great user experience.

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Measuring Performance When Rankings Are Dead

Author: Richard Bedford

Did we mention rankings are dead?

"Great. Now how do I stop my boss from measuring performance with rankings?"

Each pitch has it's challenges; building a relationship with the new client, presenting case studies, meeting the expectations of the client, agreeing on the price, setting KPIs and outlining the return on investment (ROI) of the anticipated SEO project.

Now, more than ever, justifying any form of marketing investment requires some estimation as to the anticipated return on investment. The predicted ROI and the detailed analysis and methodology behind the numbers is often a key factor in winning a pitch. However, for some clients, somewhere along the way, once the work has been won and the project is underway, rankings become an all-encompassing KPI ─ especially for "vanity" rankings. If you don't manage this early on, the team may lose focus from the original KPIs and true measures of SEO success, such as total non-brand SEO traffic, SEO traffic growth or conversions from SEO traffic.

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  Hot Topics

Facebook and Google+ Roll Out Competitive Updates

On September 20, Google announced updates to its social platform, Google+. The group video feature, Hangouts, is now available on Android 2.3+ devices, features broadcast setting, and the ability to share documents, sketches and more. Google+ specific search was released and the social network was also opened to the public. In those first two days of being open for public sign ups, growth exploded for a gain of almost 10 million new users.

This boom coincided with major changes to Facebook's platform, many of which were announced at the annual f8 developer conference on September 22. Weeks prior to the conference, Facebook had made the creation of friend lists easier, comparable to Google+ Circles, and had added a Subscribe feature that allows you to follow updates from users who aren't friends.

A Ticker, Timeline, engagement options beyond "Like," and group hangouts for media viewing and listening were introduced at f8. The Timeline, a sort of life-long scrapbook, provides an extensive contextual identity unlike anything heretofore available online.

The changes at Facebook were met with much vocal discontent from users, and the uptick in Google+ use may have been, in part, a result of users looking to experiment with other options. However, a mass migration seems unlikely as time has shown it takes more than a round of updates to push warrant protest. And the moves Facebook made in the last month will all help keep users on-site longer, supporting theories that Facebook is poised to become the new Web.

SEOToolSet Version 5

In a move that will boost the search giant's local offerings, Google acquired Zagat and the accompanying reviews, ratings and insights into businesses around the world.

Bing and Twitter have extended their partnership, whereby Bing search features real-time results from the popular social platform.

Social news site Reddit has been spun out as a standalone operation by publisher and parent company Conde Nast.

The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile has been put on hold by a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, citing anti-competitive forces.

DVD rental and movie streaming company Netflix divided these two divisions of the business, creating a new company, Qwikster to handle the DVD by mail service.

Yahoo! ousted CEO Carol Bartz following a rocky 32 month tenure. CFO Tim Morse was named her interim replacement.

Hewlett-Packard replaced CEO Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman. In Apotheker's year as CEO, the company lost nearly half its value.

In a closely watched public row, tech news blog TechCrunch broke ties with founder Michael Arrington. The catalyst was potential journalistic conflicts arising from Arrington's newly founded venture capital fund backed by AOL.


Pubcon Las Vegas will occur November 8 to 11.

SES Chicago happens November 14 to 18.

The newly updated SEOToolSet® standard and advanced training and certification course will take place in Simi Valley, CA, on December 5 to 9.

Bruce Clay Australia presents an upcoming one-day training course in Sydney on 3 November.

SMX Melbourne will be held on November 16 and 17 for anyone in the online or search marketing field.

The Internet Show launches October 27 through 28 in Melbourne for anyone in the online, search mobile and social media fields.

iMedia Brand Summit takes place in India September 21 to 23 and brings together marketers for keynotes, breakout sessions and round table discussions.

The ITmedia Virtual EXPO 2011 kicks off September 13 to 30. This online event features lectures and interviews from business leaders across the globe.


A formal code of conduct has been adopted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and it's members, including Google, MTV and the New York Times, will now be held to its standards dictating consumer control over data collection and anonymity. The intended effect is a voluntary self regulation of the online ad industry, in hopes that Congress will be persuaded that proper safeguards are in place.

Microsoft's Internet display advertising platform has improved the tailoring of ads and measurement reporting for advertisers via new tools and a partnership with AppNexus Inc. and MediaMath.

Offline modes of several Google Apps services have been made available. Gmail, Calendar and Docs can be accessed without an Internet connection through applications for the Chrome browser.

Apple has launched a company-wide charitable donation matching program, up to $10,000 annually.

A new user interface at Amazon simplifies the browsing experience for tablet users. Many buttons and graphics have been removed in favor of more white space, resulting in easier navigation on mobile devices.

Word on the Wire has opened its community answers service, previously in limited beta, to the public. New features include a question and answer exchange called Ask People, search results designed around Q&A, and improved sharing and social features.

Search engine blekko introduced WebGrepper, allowing users to mine data on the Web. The new feature allows users to submit regular expressions to pattern match HTML content in blekko's search index. Two expressions will be run per day and users will be able to rank resulting data through social voting.

Bing introduced Adaptive Search, refining and personalizing search results based on a users past search activity, beyond just the previous search.

Google now recognizes new HTML link elements rel="next" and rel="prev", allowing webmasters to indicate relationships between URLs in a paginated series and provide another signal to clarify potential duplicate content issues.

Forrester Research predicts that interactive marketing spending in the U.S. will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent to reach more than $76 billion by 2016.

A new report found that 28 percent of American adults use social or mobile location-based services. Another report indicates that almost 90 percent of Twitter users follow a brand, and just over 10 percent of Twitter users find Promoted Tweets annoying.