By: Andy Morris – Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team
Bayshore Solutions recently attended SES (Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo) Atlanta where leaders in the digital marketing industry discussed SEO and paid search tactics as well as ways to measure campaign success. Here are 8 major takeaways from the conference that can be applied to marketing and website development efforts
1. Local doesn’t mean what it used to:
The notion of “Local” SEO is changing as technology grows and attempts to make our lives easier. Local isn’t just a specific pinpoint on a map anymore. Local means where a business or location is in relation to me as I’m driving in my car, in my drive way or at my office.
2. If you aren’t marking your websites up with schema data, you’re going to get left behind.
“Mark that stuff up or we’ll pick your competitor first,” said the conference’s keynote speaker and Bing senior product manager Duane Forrester. Schema data allows search engines to find important information about your business faster to deliver relevant, timely results to searchers. Investing the time to ensure that your site includes schema data is no longer just something to consider and should be a no-brainer.
3. Pausing your SEO efforts until after a new, redesigned site launches could be costly.
This is a decision that happens all too often, but can have a dramatic impact on your website. “We are going to wait until the redesign is complete before we work on SEO.” That’s not a problem, unless you care about user experience, traffic to your site and generating and saving revenue. Most internet sessions begin with a search engine. Even if you take all the necessary search engine friendly steps before launching a site, you are still likely to see a brief dip in traffic. Involving the SEO team early in the website redesign process is key for planning how the website is built to ensure positive organic traffic results. In addition, the SEO activities done prior to launch will pay dividends after the site is live.
4. Negative SEO is a bigger problem than ever.
Topher Kohan from Rockfish mentioned that several of his clients are facing the challenge of competitors paying for bad links to be sent to his clients’ websites. Using tools such as Webmaster Tools to monitor your site on a regular basis is vital to discovering these issues and handling them before they negatively impact the website.
5. Think about remarketing and retargeting as more than just a way to follow potential customers around the web. Develop a sophisticated buyer journey to guide them through the awareness, consideration and purchase process.
Developing an understanding of your audience and learning what motivates them to make a purchase decision will result in better targeted campaigns with higher success rates. As the web grows to become more and more personalized, if you aren’t speaking directly to your target audience, then your ads and messaging is just clutter to a user.
6. There is more pressure than ever to deliver verifiable SEO traffic analysis despite the search engines providing less information to marketers now.
Keyword rankings and general traffic figures are no longer effective measures of SEO results. The dreaded “Not Provided” has nearly reached 100%. However, through controlled testing with your SEO strategy, it is possible to develop projections of SEO results for specific pages and sections of a site in order to understand the total impact. In addition, adding subfolders of your site as separate sites in Google Webmaster Tools will allow you to see more specific data about that section of the site to better understand the organic traffic.
7. Paid social content should be about serving and not selling.
We’ve all heard that organic reach for Facebook content will continue to decrease, especially for brands. How can you break through the noise? Amplifying your content marketing through paid social will help you reach those users as well as target them in a highly sophisticated manner. But paid social content should not just be “Buy this Widget!” Paid social content should be informative, unique and interesting to a consumer in order to encourage them to click your ad and continue to your website.
8. Psychographic targeting helps find better qualified customers and promises better return for your efforts.
The ability to target and segment Internet users through psychographic data is available on many digital advertising channels, including Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and demand-side platforms. Precise targeting allows you to spend your advertising budget more efficiently and effectively. Instead of showing your ads to everyone in an entire city, you can target someone of a specific gender and age with a certain income level. You can narrow that group even further by their hobbies, interest, technology they use or vehicle they drive. Taking your advertising to this level will result in better user engagement and higher return on investment.
Learn more about how Bayshore Solutions’ expert digital marketers can help you stay on top of these trends and deliver search marketing results that grow your business.