The annual Search Marketing Summit, formerly the SMX Search Marketing Expo, is one of Australia’s premier search marketing conferences. Held at the SMC Conference and Function Centre in Sydney, NSW over five days in May 2018, the agenda included Advanced Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Paid Social, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Mobile Workshops as well as keynote speeches about industry trends from leading technology companies including SEMRush, Optmyzr and Microsoft.
Our SEO Manager Matt Elshaw and Digital Advertising Manager Gabe Mach were fortunate to attend the conference and discovered several key takeaways to help marketers and business owners improve their performance online.
- Foundational SEO is not going anywhere, it’s still as important as ever to get the basics right.
- As expected voice is the fastest growing segment in search marketing. This means optimising Google’s featured snippets is extremely important for your business.
- Businesses need to ensure they are paying attention to the new Q&A section of Google Maps. While it’s a public forum, it’s also a great opportunity to answer FAQ style content about your brand.
- If you’re struggling to get local citations indexed, consider linking to them from your website.
- Video content in Google My Business live posts significantly outperforms text/image posts. They are a great way to humanise your brand.
- Experiencing high bounce rates? 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- Check your social media referrals to identify highly shared content and use it as the basis for outreach link building.
- Upgrading to PHP7 is a great way to speed up the performance of your WordPress website. Check your compatibility with this plugin.
- Optimising campaign settings is not a competitive advantage. This is where automation, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are taking over. Want to gain an advantage over your competitors? Campaign creative and strategy is the direction to follow.
- If you have a low budget, you will pay for account performance with time. Whereas if you have a high budget, you will pay for account performance with money.
- To stay competitive in the PPC space, Bing has created the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN) which includes placements on MSN, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Outlook and other partners. It uses LinkedIn professional profiles as part of its targeting which is available in beta now with a full release coming soon. This will mean advertisers can market to users based on information available from LinkedIn including job title, company and education.
- Marry SEO and Social Ads. There is a 70% increase in leads when brand awareness is combined with Social Ads using targeted keyword lists.
- Adding ‘Layers’ to audiences. This is not simply demographic or remarketing audiences, but ones with personas, interest variables, behaviours plus more. Businesses should be constantly testing to find winning combinations.
- Increasing prevalence of ‘Dolphin Attacks’, audio layers which can’t be heard by humans, but can be heard by smart assistants. These can force commands like ‘open browser, go to page XYZ, turn on camera…’.
Overall, there were two overarching sentiments from the conference – embrace change and prioritise the customer experience. Industry changes should be embraced as short-term pain often foreshadows long-term gain. While customer experience is paramount as consumers don’t care about the channel or technology, they just want a solution to their problem.
Our SEO Manager Matt Elshaw and Digital Advertising Manager Gabe Mach.