SES San Francisco 2011 Recap: Key Take-Aways
Search Engine Strategies 2011 was – by far – the biggest internet marketing show of the year. By partnering with OMS, the Email Experience Council, IAB and various other organizations the show was able to crank out up to 8 sessions per time slot over 5 days of education, inspiration and conversation. This year I was fortunate enough to speak on two panels and felt I really got my finger on the pulse of the industry. Here’s what I noticed at this year’s SESSF…
Emphasis on SEO post-Panda
Surprisingly enough, the folks sitting in on the Search Engine Watch Lab for advanced search marketing tools and tactics on Day 3 did not seem to be hit that hard by Google Panda; if they were, they weren’t admitting it. The recurring theme at SES for recovery after Panda seemed to be loud, clear and consistent:
- Fix duplicate content issues immediately.
- Address poor user experience by checking for high bounce rate first, time on site and page-depth second.
- Make your pages more “sticky” by including rich media such as images and video.
- Build and maintain quality links from relevant sources. Good links promote page rank, but poor links depreciate page rank.
SEO never has been a tactic you can just set and forget, it takes work, but as Bruce Clay put it, “you don’t have to be a gold medal sprinter to outrun a bear, just faster than the other guy.”
Emphasis on Building Community
Put the “connected” in “connected marketing” by joining your users, prospects and clients online and actually participating in online conversation. Not every social network was built alike; not every social network was built for your business. Remember the following social media engagement tips:
- Twitter is 24/7, hyper-local, and extremely interactive. Don’t sit on Twitter and vegetate; don’t Tweet haphazardly. Be in it to win it.
- LinkedIn is a premier B2B community. Make use of existing groups or start your own. It’s a little less intense than Twitter, so it may be easier to phone it in.
- Don’t obsess on the big three: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are literally thousands of social media sites.
Companies that are doing it right in social media can avoid fundamental swings in traffic volumes caused by rapid Google algorithm updates.
Opportunity in Conversion
It’s obvious that this year marks a significant turning point in attendee philosophy. From my perspective, fewer attendees are ranting and raving over SEO and paid search in favor of finding new opportunities in converting the traffic they receive. What most don’t realize is that helping conversion can also help SEO. Win-win!
Did you attend this year’s show? Let me know what you thought!