SearchLove San Diego 2018 Round Up

2018 was our fifth year in San Diego for SearchLove and what a blast it was. This year we hit a couple of personal milestones: selling our 5,000th SearchLove ticket and San Diego was completely sold out for the third year in a row. SearchLove San Diego 2018 saw 200 people in one room from all over the world including USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Australia and more, all united to watch some of the leading speakers in digital marketing take to the stage. Let’s see what they had to show us!

Dana DiTomaso - From Organization-Centric to Customer-Centric

  • Goals that are often set by management encourage marketers to be reporting the wrong metrics such as email signups, bounce rate and time on site.
  • Always think about the users’ needs and use those to shape your marketing goals.
  • Define customer conversions by building personas with the goals the customer is trying to achieve rather than goals your business is trying to achieve. “I am a....... Who wants to...... So I can.......

Rob Bucci - Featured Snippets: From Then to Now, Volatility, and Voice Search

  • Featured snippets are appearing for longer, natural language queries with the words “how”, “where”, “is”, “does”. These type of queries are still growing in volume.
  • Featured snippets are the cornerstone of voice search - they're stable, not going away any time soon, and they are the way to maximize your reach for voice searches.
  • Optimize for voice search by creating snippet content for long tail search queries.
  • Voice search commands are translated into search queries: “What are the best headphones for $100” turns into: [best headphones for $100]”

Alexa Hubley - Real Lessons in Growth Marketing... From Watching Romantic Comedies

  • Create intimacy with your customers by using segmentation to speak to your customers at scale, while still talking to them as individuals. To do this, you need to create personalized assets including landing pages, pricing plan tables, emails, videos, and at times personalised items such as thumbnail images at scale (Alexa created 3,500 thumbnails for one campaign!).
  • “Woo” customers by generating humour. “If you can make someone laugh, there is an emotional connection with them, and anything you say beyond that is going to be more meaningful.”
  • Build trust with your customers by offering items such as swag packs, conference tickets & exclusive deal extensions. This helps make your customers feel special,  building the trust between them and your brand.

Justin Briggs

  • You can get YouTube search volume using YTCockpit. It’s like SEMRush but for Youtube!
  • When creating titles for your YouTube videos you should look to keep them under 50 characters to avoid truncation in most places, e.g. organic search & suggested videos. Video descriptions should be between 300-350 words to hit the sweet spot.
  • The optimal number of word phrases in tags is 2-3. You can source suggestions and common keyword tags using TubeBuddy.
  • Older videos tend to perform better. Videos originally receive a freshness boost when they are launched for the first 0-6 weeks. To leverage this, you should use high publication rates to help your other videos perform better.
  • Make your thumbnail images even more clickable by bumping up image contrast and saturation.
  • When measuring the success of your video content, ensure you are focusing on the right metrics. Views is a pretty poor metric, instead, use watch time which is a stronger ranking factor.

Tom Anthony - An Introduction to HTTP/2 & Service Workers for SEOs

  • Browsers typically open around six connections maximum, causing a backlog of file requests as a result slowing down page load time.
  • HTTP2 solves this issue by allowing many requests to happen on a single connection.
  • HTTP2 is quite simple to implement and doesn’t require a site migration in the same way we had to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. It doesn’t even need developers to do anything as the servers do all the work!
  • Service workers can modify view source (and thus you can get different source code with and without JavaScript).

Mat Clayton - Site Speed for Digital Marketers

  • Images often account for ~50% of file size for any given page. Compressing images, is one of the easiest wins you can make to improve site speed.
  • Use progressive images rather than baseline images. Progressive images produce a low res image to the users creating an illusion the page has fully rendered.
  • Make sure you are removing redundant code from your site, in particular, remove any unused CSS. Less code > less data to transfer > faster site.
  • Remove all code bloat such as tracking pixels and 3rd party scripts.
  • Caching is super important. Use a CDN to reduce latency and server load.

Rand Fishkin - How Marketers Can Incite Hunger Rather Than Just Serving Food

  • Don’t cater to existing demand in the market; use your marketing efforts to create the demand.
  • Don’t undervalue your branded search volume.
  • To create demand we have two options. The historical approach that SEO has taken; serve existing search demand by ranking. Alternatively, create more demand for your brand and rank automatically!

Wil Reynolds - Power BI For Marketers - Make Big Data Easy Again

  • “Don’t bring an opinion to a data fight.”
  • There are no more broad-based rank factors. There's only what matters for your rankings."
  • Stop talking about keywords and let's start talking about MONEY!
  • Don’t just use search volume to make decisions. Instead, use Power BI to back up your recommendations with dollar amounts and actual click-through data from paid accounts to prioritize the most valuable terms for a specific client.

Sarah Esterman - Marketing Emergencies: A Survival Guide

  • Sometimes marketing mistakes can open opportunities, but only if you aren't too wrapped up in feeling like a failure that the error happened in the first place.
  • It is vital to set up an emergency response plan and to establish a point person for marketing emergencies.
  • Sarah’s five steps to dealing with a marketing emergency:
  1. Keep your cool - remember to breathe!
  2. Be kind - when stress is high be kind to others and yourself. Choose your words carefully.
  3. Know the facts - use positive facts about yourself and your abilities to reassure yourself.
  4. Don't freak out - ask questions about the scenario
    • What actually happened?
    • How many people were affected?
    • Is there any $$ to be lost?
    • How would your customers be feeling?
    • What are the consequences?
  • 5. Take action - Do you need to respond to this incident? 
  • Potential ways you could respond to any given situation:
    • Fix the thing
    • Email a follow-up
    • Social call-out
    • 1:1 customer relations

Darren Shaw - Local Search Hacks You Probably Haven’t Seen Before

  • Hack for driving more interactions on your Google My Business listing: Seed the Q&A section with your own questions you want customers to know the answers to.
  • Incentivizing customers to leave reviews directly breaches guidelines set by Google. Instead, incentivize your employees to have customers leave reviews.
  • Ensure consistency with your phone numbers. Add additional phone numbers to the second and third listing spots on Google My Business and Google will tie all of this data together.

Ashley Ward - Reuse, Recycle: How to Repurpose Your Content and Make the Big Bucks

  • Mobile devices projected to reach 79% of global internet usage this year, mobile-first content strategy essential.
  • Think about your own user behaviour patterns when you are creating content for your customers, especially on mobile!
  • Steps to reuse content: Define specific business goals, audit your existing content, create your “gem” list (this is the content you will repurpose), distribution (get that information out there).
  • Use the content you already have! Repurpose existing content into an ebook, update content with more relevant & useful info, recycle it to make the original into something new. TIP: don't change the URL.
  • There are two types of repurposing content:
    • Republishing - find content that had previously been successful and update it with new imagery and stats.
    • Recycling - turn existing content into new content, e.g. podcasts, videos, infographics etc.

Aleyda Solis - Moving URLs

  • Simplify hreflang implementation by avoiding adding it to every single page of different international versions of your site.
  • Migrations require involvement from marketing, development, and design & UX. Collective buy-in and understanding across these teams makes all the difference.
  • Three reasons to consider using AMP
    • You can’t fix your mobile site speed.
    • You need to appear in Google’s Top Stories Carousel ASAP.
    • You're building a new site and using AMP is your easiest solution.
  • However, be aware of “shiny object syndrome SEO". Determine what is relevant for your website visibility before investing time, effort and resources into something like AMP.

Brandy Lawson - Smarter Reporting with Data Studio

  • Creating reports can be time-consuming and feel like a waste of energy, particularly if we feel that no one even looks at them. Google Data Studio gives us the platform to start demonstrating value to our clients/bosses.
  • Google Data Studio can help cut the amount of time you spend compiling reports for your clients by roughly 50%!
  • Reasons why you should start using Google Data Studio for reporting: it automatically updated, the reports are interactive, you can add other data sources, it’s versatile, it comes with pre-existing templates removing a whole lot of work!

Ryan Charles - Newsjacking: How To Add to the Story and Earn Big Links in Real Time

  • Newsjacking requires agility. Can you build something and ship it within 24 hours for that story.
  • For newsjacking its best to have a connection to the story, there are varying degrees of connections required to newsjack. Do you have a unique and original angle? You need this for it to land with the audience.
  • Reporters have to generate news 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they are on the look-out for a story. HARO... Help a reporter out by adding to their story.
  • If you’re looking to newsjack a story start local. If you see success this will create a ripple effect into larger news organizations.

Will Critchlow - From the Horse’s Mouth: What We Can Learn from Google’s Own Words

  • Early web spam was okay as long as it didn’t make Google look stupid by flooding the SERPs with low-quality sites. In fact, early Googlers saw this as a game of cat and mouse. As this spiralled out of control, this forced Google to produce more complex algorithms to protect their reputation.
  • Adsense is one of the most underrated things Google has ever done. It incentivised the creation of a huge amount of long-tail content, but it also created the monster that eventually required Panda to fix it.
  • Where is Google going next? Given their recent purchases, Google is (most likely) coming for the cloud computing space.
  • Facebook is going through many of the learning curves that Google has already experienced, e.g. content spam/fake news.

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About the author
Tim Allen

Tim Allen

Tim joined Distilled in March 2013 after making a considerable impression upon Duncan and Tom Anthony by wearing a Panda jumper to his interview. Originally moving from Lincolnshire to London to study acting at Reynolds Performing Arts, Tim soon...   read more