Last month I had the pleasure of attending BrightEdge’s 4th Annual Share Conference (commonly referred to as Share14). BrightEdge, a preeminent search engine optimization company and tool, is the perfect company to bring together digital marketers to share their knowledge and experience.
With over 1,000 SEO and SEM professionals in attendance, it was one of the largest gathering search engine professionals in the country.
The packed conference featured over 15 panels, keynotes, and presentations. Take it from someone who was there, we have some inspiring and exciting trends coming down the pike in the world of SEO.
But enough with the setup, here are 7 things that inspired me at BrightEdge’s #Share14 Conference
1. Content Marketing Is Here, Content Performance Marketing Is the Future
If I took anything away from the conference it was this: content marketing is the future of SEO. Sure, this isn’t a new idea, but it’s certainly a powerful one. Nothing made that clearer than the newest planned updates to the BrightEdge software.
Among the many announced updates coming for BrightEdge users, the most excited was the “Data Cube Community Edition.” Any user of BrightEdge will tell you that the Data Cube is one of the most powerful tools in all of search, but with the Community Edition, BrightEdge is allowing users to take it out of the walled garden and bring it with them anywhere.
As a browser plugin, users will be able to see through any page on the internet: what keywords is it ranking for? What are the trends? What’s the biggest opportunities for related keywords?
With this tool and other innovations, search engine optimization experts will be able to accurately measure the performance of their content marketing efforts. And that’s something worth sharing.
2. Everyone Wants Analytics
This is related to the above point, but worth repeating. The internet provides us with an opportunity to measure just about everything, so as we move forward with SEO, content marketing, and more, success should be more than a feeling.
Here at Forthea, we love numbers. In fact, one of our core values is the continuous drive for measurable results. That might sound like a mouthful, but we think it’s important. We want to win for our clients and then provide them with quantifiable results. BrightEdge gets that and we’re looking forward to unlocking new ways to show our clients good work.
3. Build Content with Strategy
Now, content is great, but it’s got to serve a purpose. One thing I took from Mike Grehan’s great presentation was that content strategy is a vital component to success. When users fire up Google (or Bing, for that matter), their search query falls into one of three categories:
As you build content, keep these in mind and make sure you’re writing to solve a specific question posed from one of these perspectives. As you do research and begin making a plan for your blog or website, place yourself inside the mind of your customer’s purchasing journey and do your best to answer a question they might have.
4. Data Everywhere
Share14 was lucky enough to get an afternoon keynote from Bing’s Duane Forrester. In his position at Bing, he sees the inevitable shift to mobile (another common theme of Share14). I’ll ask you what he asked the audience:
Do you know the date your website will be 50% mobile?
Mobile is already happening. All devices are connected and as we move to a reality where your devices are all connected to the internet – car, refrigerator, watch – marketers must learn to mobilize those new devices. Don’t get caught off-guard; think about how to connect with your audience in new and innovative ways.
5. We’re All Superheroes
The power that each of us hold today is incredible. Today’s consumers are empowered with the devices we interact with every day. Cell phones and tablets have changed how consumers interact with brands and products. No longer is our first step along the purchasing journey walking into a brick and mortar store, but our last.
Our always connected states changes how we purchase items and that means we (as marketers) should change how we sell items.
6. Experimentation is Good
Melissa Walner from Hilton spoke to a packed room about the importance of experimentation. When her sites got impacted by a Google algorithm update, her team began to question the status quo. In particular, their best practices surrounding Meta titles.
Running tests, making changes, and by being great skeptics, they were able to improve the Google rankings of several of their property pages.
Remember, questioning the way things have always been done can yield unexpected results.
7. Stay Ahead of Changing SERPs
Google’s Algorithm changes are often the bane of any search engine optimizer’s work. Unpredictable, volatile, and inevitable, Google is apt to change their search engine results pages (SERPs). Leslie Gibson gave conference attendees a cheat sheet on how to stay ahead of changing SERPs and because we’re friends, I’ll go ahead and share that with you too:
- stay on top of Google trends,
- Perform ongoing optimization,
- use shared markup,
- Continuous keyword research (trends, techniques, terms, and seasonality), and
- optimize for your audience
Now, each of these are an entire blog post unto itself, but for now, take my word for it. BrightEdge put together an amazing conference and I came away excited for what’s to come – both in terms of one of the best SEO tools out there and an industry as a whole.
To find out what exciting things Forthea can do for company, contact us today.