Another sold out success. Search Engine Land’s annual SMX Advanced conference drew search engine optimization professionals from around the world. I hobnobbed with SEOs from major corporations, agencies, development teams at the 2 day Seattle event.
Why do so many marketing geeks show up? No, it’s not the parties (and yes they are epic). We converge to hear breaking news giving us a competitive edge to help our sites rank well.
Every year Google breaks news at SMX Advanced
The biggest news was on the technical side of SEO.
Google is looking for ways to be more transparent. Mobilegeddon was the first time that they ever warned webmasters ahead of time to prepare for an update. The reason it didn’t end the SEO world is that many websites upgraded in time.
Google is encouraging a move to https: protocol even for content that doesn’t require security. Your website address doesn’t start with www. It actually starts with either http:// or https://. The “s” can be thought of as “secure” because you need a security certificate. Yep, this one is going to cost everyone some money.
Penguin updates will soon be continuous rather than occasional. Penguin is a code word for the Google update that looks at your incoming links. What will be important soon will be to keep the incoming links cleaned up all the time.
Not new but really important!
The biggest takeaways were surprisingly nothing new. A successful local website should:
Be a well optimized organic site with quality content and good user experience built in.
Get your Google My Business listing up and keep it up-to-date.
Make sure your content actually uses your city and state by name!
Get those local links in place. (Who do you contribute to, who do you do work with who do you volunteer for?)
Reviews trump testimonials. Even if your industry doesn’t seem to need a review process, your website’s seo does.
Very interesting new tools
Usually the expo hall is focused heavily on enterprise level customers. Most of my clients will not be spending millions on analytics this year. I only decided to go through to check out whether I won a free Apple Watch from one of the booths. (I didn’t).
I was delighted to find a number of tools that will work for my clients. Here are a couple of the big winners:
Yext – Their Location Manager tool will be very handy dandy. My clients will be using it this year!
If your website needs to generate phone calls instead of emails or form results – There were several cool products available including Dialogtech and Marchex.
Want to know what the other guy is doing? SimilarWeb lets you see the keywords, traffic sources and more.
Google Search Console can help your site stay effective.
Google’s name change from Webmaster Tools to Search Console was the source of many sarcastic slurs but the actual value is very real. Being able to find out what is really happening to your efforts and how google sees your site is invaluable.
I’m looking forward to implementing everything I’m bringing home and watching the rankings go up!