SMX East: All Good Things Come to an End
Two days ago was the last day of SMX East and my mind is still reeling with 3 days of information stuffing. I am seriously trying to find areas in my brain to pack in everything I've learned, especially now as I'm going over notes and adapting our strategies. (And given that this is a virtually impossible task, I think it just means I need a little vacation time, right?)
The awesome part about attending these sessions is that not only do you listen to expert panelists go over their fortes, but you also get to ask whatever questions you have and discuss with your peers to open your mind to even more new ideas.
The morning session on Day-3 Keyword Relevance Beyond Google-was good, and since I am specifically interested in keywords it was great to hear from peers in the industry. The panelists agreed that search numbers just indicated relevance and not actual search figures. They recommend working on other tools like Hitwise and Wordtracker to get a clearer picture. Additionally, some useful tools to spy on your competitors keywords are Spyfu, SEM Rush and Keyword Spy.
After having my fruit yogurt and muffin (brain food!), I headed very early to the next seminar for a conversation on where SEO is heading 2013. (I left well before it started because Danny Sullivan was moderating and I knew it would be jam-packed.) With Duane Forrester (Sr. Product Manager of Bing), Alex Bennet In-House SEO Expert for The Wall Street Journal), and Scott Gardner (VP of Search Engine Optimization for Bank of America) as some of the panelists, it was basically a home run right away. The take away was 'SEO is not dead' but 'move over to inbound marketing (!!!). Social signals are important and Bing admits to using them to assess a site's strength.
After lunch I got a little adventurous and decided to sit in on a session that I personally don't really focus on, but I know that it will matter more than ever at a local level: 'The Future of PPC in 2012'. This session talked about cross device tracking and tracking conversion and user behavior, which is definitely going to become increasingly important as social continues to intersect with search.
And after that seminar it was all over. I can't believe how fast the 3 days at SMX East went by, but I am recharged. I'm looking at our business and our clients in a completely different way. From learning from the experts on SEO Performance Metrics and Responsive vs. Dedicated Mobile Websites, to Tackling Content Duplication and Penguin Penalties, it was an exciting convention that has taught me a lot and has allowed me to discuss ideas with many new friends.
And believe it or not, I am itching to get back to the office and start implementing the ideas I've been brainstorming ever since!