WOW! SMX Advanced never disappoints. I mean first off, you can’t really go wrong in Seattle as the city is amazing and the fresh seafood, oh my! But then add a two-day Online Marketing conference that is always jam packed with experts in the industry and a ton of knowledge to bring back to the team. Talk about a great trip!
There is no way we could get into all of the nuts and bolts from the conference in a single blog post, but below are some of the top level items Ellie and I picked up from the event and E-Power Marketing will be keeping a very close eye on in the coming months.
- Integration! Integration! Integration!
- Your Social Media team needs to know what the Online Advertising team is up to. Those teams need to know what your SEO team is doing. Everyone working on marketing your brand needs to be up to speed on Content Marketing efforts. In order to truly create an integrated, successful Online Marketing program, EVERYONE needs to be working together towards the same business goals.
- AMP - Accelerated Mobile Pages
- One question marketers have is that creating a responsive website has been the push, now are they to switch gears and move towards Accelerated Mobile Pages? How much of a priority should companies give to creating AMP pages? Are only certain industries being affected? Talk to your Online Marketing team for the right answers for your brand.
- Marking up your website with Structured Data
- Schema.org and markup is no longer limited to reviews and products. Your website should include as much markup as possible.
- Creating an Exceptional User Experience (on all devices!)
- This is true for all aspects of Online Marketing. If your website doesn’t look appealing (or worse yet, isn’t mobile friendly) all efforts are going to provide limited results.
- In 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches, yet surprisingly, 1 in 4 websites are still not designed to effectively reach and convert a mobile audience. Think of the market you're missing out on by not providing a mobile-friendly experience!
- Be visual! On average, website content with visuals receives 94% more traffic than content that isn't visual. But don't just throw stock images onto you website. Use and create unique, personable images that will connect with your audience.
- This is Google’s machine learning technology that learns what results worked well for what queries and what results are good for a certain query. According to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, “It’s enhancing our relevancy in the search results based on what you have on your pages. It makes sure the user gets [the best page for the query].”
- Expanded Text Ads
- With double headlines and longer descriptions rolling out in both Google AdWords and Bing Ads in the coming months, marketers were eager to hear from experts on how this will change the Online Advertising game. One thing is for sure, our advertising team will be busy writing LOTS of new ads this summer!
- Shopping Campaigns
- Google and Bing Product Listing Ads were a main topic of discussion in many Online Advertising sessions at SMX Advanced. With the recent changes to the SERPs, PLAs have been given a lot more real estate. This means more opportunity for brands to showcase their inventory. Google Shopping spending already surpasses text ads in the US and UK among ecommerce brands. Additionally, Google Shopping is growing at a faster rate than any other ad format. Case in point, Google and Bing are only going to continue to put more emphasis on their Shopping platforms so ecommerce brands should be prepared to jump in if they haven't done so already.
- Voice searches are on the rise
- 43% of users have started to use voice search, which makes for longer search queries that are often question based. Bing has reportedly seen a 60% year over year increase in question and natural language queries.
- Your Online Marketing strategy should address this new trend. Do you have website content that can answer these questions? Does your ad copy address these queries?
All in all, it was another great conference that truly showcased the undeniable rate at which the landscape of Online Marketing is changing. Many thanks to all of the outstanding speakers, moderators, and sponsors of the event! We're looking forward to putting all of our great takeaways into action!