Day 2 of SMX New York 2012 kicked off with the keynote speech which Jackie Hole has covered in an earlier post on State of Search. After the refreshment break, it was time to learn more from the sessions at SMX. Here are some of the highlights from Day 2 at SMX East.
Getting Ahead with Google+
Kari Clark – Product Marketing Manager at Google
What is Google+?
- In simple terms, it is a better way of using Google
- Google thinks people can make it more powerful
- There has been a big uptake, 400 million people upgraded to Google+ since it launched last year
- 100 million active users
- Google+ is really allowing you to build relationships all over Google.
What are they doing?
- They are connecting over shared interests and forming communities – circles
- Can take the circles and share them to others
- Add an entire circle to your stream
- Photographers love Google+ cause images beautiful
- They started creating shared circles of other photographers
- There is lots of different interest in Google +
- Discovering people who share an interest
- Discovering content (Daria Musk on Google +)
- Using mobile – more people using Google+ on mobile than desktop
- Sparking Real Conversation – Obama did a hangout with 8 of his constituents which was then broadcast to the rest of the world
- Google+ is breaking down boundaries
Why are there 1 million brands using Google+?
One of the reasons is that it improves their marketing in three ways:
(two ways Google+ makes marketing more relevant)
1. +1 button, recommendations from friends and family are from trusted source of info, but hard to find when searching – gives yourfans a megaphone
+1 is increasing your performance, it is increasing the search ads CTR by 5 – 10%
2. Search plus your world
By having this personal info, it is making search more relevant for consumers.
- Cadburys using Google + to connect with its customers
- They have done 3 hangouts
- What is a hangout?
- It is a new video chat
- can have 10 people in room at once
- Ability to broadcast it on Google+ and YouTube
- Introduced social reports that allow you to take goals made in GA and show how social affects it
- Ability to tie real monetary amounts to what a company is doing in social
- Ripples help brand influences.
This is just the beginning, there is a lot more to come with Google+.
How to Get Started
- Create a Google + Page and have it verified
- Link your site and ads to your page
- Add the Google + badge to increase your followers
Kerry Dean, CTO Performance Media Group @kerrydean
Case Study of Google +
- One of the clients – Viator.com
- 3 million travelers, tours and things to do.
- Aim – to build a network of blogs targeted to a different city. They have ravel agents all over the world but based in Australia, US HQ in San Fran.
- Facebook and Twitter profiles for each blog
- Wanted to get people to write frequently on these blogs, have FB page as well. 86 sites, FB, Twitter accounts
- If you have a worldwide appeal can build an audience for these worldwide destinations
- Kerry wanted people to like these pages, Google + it. They have authorship as well, ties in with their Google +
- A lot of this was for content but also social
- Lots of FB and Twitter pages but one to have one Google + page to control them all.
The Google+ page grew from 100 to 100,000 in just 2 weeks. Why? What happened?
Strategies that led to an increase in Google+ fans
- Post 1 or 2 times a day
- Post pictures, videos, links to great content
- Use hashtags
- Mention other people/pages when possible
- Re post other +1 other page’s post when relevant
- Participate in weekly photo hahstags
- Add link to Viator.com
- Set up Google+ authorship pages
- No longer recommended for new users on G+ follow
- Not getting the engagement as would like
What’s working for other G+ pages
- fewer flowers
- less frequent posts
- but very creative posts
- Lots more content and +1’s
- Most of their posts are asking a question
- 500k followers
- Every one of their photos, prompts you to do something for them
- +1 if this photo took your photo away
Best Strategies for Google+
- Post often
- Respond to comments
- Participate in hashtags
- Follow and share relevant G+ users/posts
Jed Paulson, Director of eCommerce and Marketing – Free People @jedpaulson
FreePeople have nearly 1 million followers on G+.
How did they achieve this?
- Early adopter
- Get verified
- Amazing content and daily updates
- Helps that we are in fashion
How is it performing?
- Sessions and sales via G+ are low but it is growing
- Organic search is increasing due to Google+
- Think correlates with strong growth on Google+
- The knowledge graph sidebar is good
Desired functionality and what’s next
- Want more reporting and follower insight
- Associate G+ store pages with Brand parent pages
- More hangouts – get styled by our creative director
- DIY live with our blog team
Schema 201: Real World Markup for Success
Paul Bruemmer – Founder and Managing Partner – @PaulBruemmer
What is semantic SEO?
- It is vocabulary and syntax for structured data
- Semantic markup is what we are talking about
- Schema.org has a hierarchy that you can go through with their site
- Schema inherits properties
Google announced its algo change in Nov 2011. One of them was the snippets. Matt Cutts said it helps to choose more relevant text and Google will be using that more than text that is apart of the header or menu.
What is Google doing?
- Using structured Markup for relevant to improve local user experience.
- They want good user experience
- Adding Microdata to HRML of web pages allows all major search engines to immediately understand the meaning of the content
- Seen an increase in CTR on sites with RDA Markup
There are tools out there that allow for you to automatically inject the syntax.
Why should you use Markup?
- All your business data and digital content becomes easily accessible
- It is trustworthy and authority and therefore search engines love it
- “Like chocolate to a search engine”
- Semantic SEO is best practice
Benu Aggarwal – Founder of Milestone Internet Marketing @milestonemktg
Schemas – How to implement
- Go to Schema .org choose the schema you can deploy in your site
- Identify correct entity and hierarchy
- Test it out
- If you have reviews with schema, it will show up.
- Don’t tell developers they are implementing schema – just decide what you want to do
…… and what were the results
- For all the pages, bounce rate is constantly reducing
- Higher SEOr rankings
- Click throughs
Key take aways
- Identify right schema for your vertical
- Think about the site architecture and content changes to deply Schema ad CMS level
- Communicate to developer, designer and content important data dields you need
- Explain the changes in site architecture
- Do not tell peple it is schema otherwise they get scared
- Schema can help get relevant traffic, reduce bounce rate and relevant long tail searches
Great practical information and it really easy to implement, so no excuses, start it today.
Jonathan Goodman – from Halyard Consulting @halyardconsult
Jonathan spoke about how to insert the schema code which is important for implementation.
- Yoast’s WordPress SEO is great for implementing schema with this CMS
- The open graph data from Yoast can also do Facebook and Twitter and Google+
- Rel=author – Authorization is very important and is the major factor for ranking
- Yoast plugin will automaticall use it
- Twitter card – also available through Yoast
- HCard Microdata – a lot of data is from open graph
From Authorship to Authority – Why Claiming Your Identity Matters
Elisabeth Osmeloski was moderating this session with Carrie Hill @CarrieHill as the Q&A moderator
Bill Slawski – Senior SEO Consultant at Webimax @bill_slawski
Bill Slawski talked bout the different agents released by Google:
Agent Rank Part 1
- This was the first one
- Google was looking at reputation and will be part of the ranking signal
- Many pages have more than one agent or author
- This digital signature is in your Google+ and profile posts
Agent Rank Part 2
Agency Rank Part 3
- Part 3 introduced the concept that when a user +1’s a post or image, they are not endorsing the content but the author
- Author Badge – provides attribution
- An author Badge also allows visitors to verify who you are
- Your interactions, your Google+ can help your reputation rank and may play a role in websearch
Some personal takeaways
- To earn authoritative links you need to become an authority that others want to link to
- Clients are more likely to be perceived as the subject matter experts they are with the right tools and coaching
- Its never good idea to put all hopes into third party site – have no control over
- Build positive relationships with others
- Include signs of expertise and education and credibility, trust seals in social profiles
- Show off that authoritativeness in interactions with others
Practical uses of Authorship and Authority
Mike Arnesen, Senior SEO Analyst at Swell Path @Mike_Arnesen
- Google Authorship – tell Google what you do, about you and then they decide whether to consider you as authority
- Google Penguin and Panda cleaned up a lot of spam. Fortunately all the content we identify back to authors.
- Authors and Authority does not have an influence on Ranking if outside of personalized search.
- The no of people in your cirlces does not help you to increase rankings
- Journey of authorship to authority takes a while
How to get authority
- Authorship is a prerequisite to authority
- Add name and image
- Link content from Google+ – fill in contribution area
- Link content to Google +
Once set up, go to Google Structured Data testing tool and make sure it works
- Familiarity with your brand – people will then look for that content
- Increased CTR on search results – Ranking #1 is not what is the most important anymore
Tips for authorship
- Have a good profile
- Write a few posts and then you will show
- AuthorRank is coming
- Google is really focusing on authors
When AR does come in, it will be a filter based on PR rankings
- Start to implement AR
- Pick a topic you are passionate about and specialise it
- Write amazing content
- Content that people want to share
- Engage in Google+
- When on Google+, share it
- Use Google+ ripples to find people
- Google will look at different social networking sites as well.
- Moving from authorship to authority is a gradual process
LisaWeinberger – Director of Content Promotion at Bankrate @BankrateLisa
Content with a purpose
- Stable process that works
- Real business targets
- Measurable outcomes
How we operate
- SEO and content work very close together to hit business goals
- Whole editorial team
- Social manager works with content
- Weekly brainstorming meeting
- Brainstorming really works – getting published is half the process
- Knowing when the content is going to be published is very important
- Do a pre publish promotion – have a list of contacts and speak to these people if they can contribute additional content
When writing content
- Have a content Goal
- Decide the target
- Clarify the goal
- Create the strategy
- Ask yourself why are we creating this piece of content?
Promotion No Nos
- No buying of links
- No link exchanges
- No directories
- No Article submissions
- No duplicate content
- Earning links is not a quick process
- Brainstorming is a must
- Identify the target
- Create the strategy to make great content
- Maintain good relationships
Brahm Booth – Director of Marketing WowWee @brahmbooth
- Top down approach – Brand creation and Gaining Authority
- Brands grow before the world knows about them
- Avoid background radiation through intensive search engine and social searching as well as trademark and legal analysis
Then build behind the scenes
- Keep it private, within the company
- Claim your domains, URLs, services and social properties
Your content and Imagery – nurture and watch it grow
- Use social sharing tools on the site
- Write great copy
- Captive images
Employ a symphony of strategies
- Start with Display – start with low budget, standard delivery, large pool
- Direct search
- Social advertising – FB start and then Twitter use sponsored tweets Promote Tweets. Not same quality as quality spread round Twitter
- Social management – have enthusiastic people regularly posting
- YouTube and tie in with Adwords
- Budget – know how much there is to spend on each platform
- Structure- put this in place before get it out there.
- Northsocial.com and hootsuite and feedreader
- Topsy – great social media search engiens
- Omgili forum searcher
Rise above the fluff
- Most powerful influence on SEO is people
- Keep your root domain relevant
- Have different content for your site and your partners’ sites
- Generate regular updates and tie that into your social channels
- Webcollage to syndicate content to the retailers and to amazon
Authority requires premeditated plan of attack. You need to be engaged across the web, social and also offline. Authorship is the first step towards authority and for those who do not have a Google+ account, it is not too late, but set up one straight away before you are left behind.