Digital Insights

2015 SMX West Day 2 Recap

Published: March 5, 2015

Day two of Search Marketing Expo was another great day to learn about the future of Internet marketing and the new bumps on the road that the 800-pound gorilla, Google will layout for us. So be ready to turn pigeon droppings into gold, launch a website that is great for users and converts into sales, invest in paid search and more.

Session One
Today’s first session was taught by three awesome individuals, Chief Architect from SEO Clarity, Mitul Gandhi, Bryson Meunier, from Vivid Seats and Gary Illyes from Google. First speaker of the day was Mitul Gandhi who covered The Data Behind Mobile Experiences.

You need to know not just what percentage of your traffic is made up by mobile, but what time of day that mobile traffic is at its highest.

Organic mobile traffic is significantly increasing and it is only going up.

Mobile Percentage of Total Organic Traffic by Industry – 450 websites on their platform study.
(Travel 29.4% Ecommerce 31.7% and Fashion 28.6%)

See image of different devices visiting your site during the day.

Average mobile friendly sites are already ranking better than not mobile friendly sites. After the Google update on April 21st, they are not going to be ranking sites that aren’t mobile friendly.

Bryson Meunier followed a tough act but he was just as great with the information he presented.

3 options for mobile – Google says you can use responsive if it is right from the user and m. when it is right for the user and dynamic serving when it is right for the user.

He is reviewing case study of his company site going mobile.

First review mobile errors in Google Webmaster Tools

Their process – Identified corresponding template, prioritized based on revenue impact and redesigned priority templates.

Track errors being fixed during the process and what the impact is on bounce rate and revenue within this time frame.

They found no difference before and after mobile usability errors fixed in terms of bounce rate and revenue so this depends on a per website basis.

Gary Illyes from Google was just as impressive as the first presenters and when someone from Google speaks we better listed. They will most of the time tell you things without actually telling you.

We are almost at a point of Internet being around us 24/7, but the issue of why we are not there yet is because all websites are not mobile friendly yet.

Once Google launched the “mobile-friendly” label in the SERPs next to a website, they were asked why they weren’t using mobile friendly as a ranking signal. This is why they came out with the April 21st date of making it a ranking factor.

Content just needs to be available and ready on mobile devices.

See Google mobile documentation Guide. – search mobile friendly websites

Mobile Friendly means the content is Available + legible + usable

Don’t disallow resources or Google will not be able to understand your content correctly.

Make users happy.

You need to unlock CSS and Javascript to pass the mobile friendly test.

Responsive does not have ranking benefit over mobile sites.

Filter ranking changes for mobile only in Webmaster Tools.

Session Two
After grabbing a cup of coffee and getting fully-caffinated session two was very insightful on Actionable Insights and Conversion Tactics for SEMs. This session was taught by Luke Alley from Avalanche Media, one of my favorite conversion experts Tim Ash from Site Tuners and Soren Ryherd Co-Founder of Working Planet. First speaker to take the microphone was Luke and his topic was Closed Loop Marketing For PPC: Measuring & Optimizing Beyond Cost Per Lead.

Businesses don’t want leads, they want quality leads.
Half the money I spend in ppc is wasted on low quality leads. I just don’t know which half.

Need to be tracking phones calls dynamically as well.

Cost per Lead – CPL – doesn’t consider quality of leads.

You can’t be just a PPC guy, you need to work with your sales and customer service team too.

  • What is CPX Bidding
  • Cost per X bidding
  • X = the status of

Closed Loop Marketing
Paths to visitor and how close loop marketing is set up.

See circular diagram in slides for this CLM process.

Only 30% of people say they have an adequate solution for tracking and optimizing the quality of leads.

50% of businesses say they rely on client feedback to track the quality of their leads.

Make sure your sales teams are marking leads in CRM like they are supposed to.

Track results per campaign to judge which ones are driving conversions, leads, demos, new clients, etc.

Also, look at keyword on a cost per lead and cost per converted client basis.

Co-Founder, of Working Planet Soren Ryherd‘s topic was Proper Ad Structuring For the Interruption Curve and here are some important take aways from his presentation.

Don’t test on the data you have. Test on the Data you need.

Dedicated landing pages work well with Search and especially non-branded search, where a majority of users click on the ad.

You have a smaller degree of attribution modeling in Paid Search more then any other campaign.

The vast majority of people that become customers do so without clicking on an ad.

The more you are presenting an ad in front of someone that is doing something else the less likely they are to engage in the ad. They will absorb the ad, but they might not act on it in the moment.

Do not try tricking your audience into clicking on an ad.

What you need to do:
Embrace audience behavior. Test across channels. Understand where you want to take them and how you want to take them there. Make sure it is something they want to accept. As we said, people want to engage even if it is not in the first moment.

Use attribution data. How many brand or direct visits started in another channel?
Don’t overvalue last click data.

Set up tests that look at out of channel behavior, such as geo test.

Take over the home page (hey, that’s where the people are going).

Mention website and company name in your ads so that people can engage at a later time.

Make sure that the brand name you are using on ads matches the domain if you are not saying what the domain is.

Be sure that if you are doing a contest or a campaign the landing page you send people to is in direction explanation of what the contest is.

Make sure that if you are doing advertising about a special discount or new product in display ads that your website home page easily and clearly calls out an ad for this offer in case the user just comes to the site through searching instead of clicking on the ad.

Good ad components have short, compelling brand messages. They restate the URLs. Flows seamlessly to home page to call to action.

Then to wrap up this session Tim Ash dropped some knowledge on Actionable Conversion Strategies for SEMs. This is the part I was waiting for since one of my main roles is to work with designers to ensure that every website we launch and take over converts.

Will give us 3 actionable strategies for direct response PPC campaigns.

Strategy 1 – Create a Small Number of Clear Choices
Choice kills. Make it simple. The limit of human short term working memory is 4. So never have more then 4 choices.

  • Making choices tires the brain and can make subsequent decisions making difficult
  • Help guide customers
  • Don’t overwhelm them
  • Remove similar choices

Use wizards – simple question to take people to the next section.

Strategy 2 – Use a Big Anchor
Compare the best options to what you just experienced. Do the big price item first so the second price seams more reasonable.

Show things in decreasing price order.
There was a study done where they asked the group the last two numbers of their social and then asked them how much they would pay for a watch. The people who’s social ended with 9 were willing to pay 40% more then those whose social ended with 0.

  • Add a new high-end item (which will not sell well)
  • Show in decreasing price order
  • Sales of reasonable compromise will increase
  • Irrational anchors can be put in the “lobby”

Direct response formulas work because they are starting with larger numbers.

Strategy 3 – Be in my Cultural Tribe
Kids don’t care what their parents think. They care about what their friends think.
The key is to really resonate for your tribe.

  • People are tribal
  • Some tribes are self-selected
  • We care more about people similar to us

Look the part – dress, tone, animation for your tribe. Communicate your tone with graphics and text that is appropriate for your target audience. Don’t try to be the bigger guys. It’s taken already. You need to stand for something different.

Communicate your values with editorial tone Don’t worry about alienating outsiders.

The messaging of your ad can control the quality of your traffic.

Session Three
In this session we were taught how to Deconstruct Pigeon, Google’s Local Search Algorithm. This is a very important lesson that I was anticipating to learn how to help our clients with their local SEO campaigns. Adam Dorfman from SIM Partners covered Pigeon Droppings and Onpage Performance.

Analyzing customer performance pre and post pigeon update based on softwares data from their clients.
April 1 2001 Google first talked about Pigeon rank

Looked at data two weeks before pigeon and two weeks after pigeon. Then today.

Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location parameters. –Barry Schwartz SEL

Locations in small towns were hit hardest when Pigeon first was released but that has since evened out. If you want to perform well and you are in a suburb

Google is pushing the urbanization of suburbs.

Google is showing a preference for locations closer to the centroid in suburbs.

Off Site metrics
The higher the Mozscape Page Authority the greater the change was post Pigeon. Page authority matters, Internal links can trump external links and domain strength has growth in importance.

Over-optimization is being targeted on companies who have more areas served so don’t over optimize.

Turning Pigeon $#!+ Into SEO Gold
Local packs still missing on valuable real estate agents.

Head terms were gone across 40 different real estate sites, but traffic was growing.

They lost rankings, but traffic went up.

Data from 20 national local directories – traffic has growth between 5-20% from these.

Niche local directories saw the biggest increase.

Focus traffic on local pages through content, citations and links.

More traffic to all location pages compared to other pages.

Fixing duplicate citations will significantly increase rankings.

Regularly update content to your location themed pages.

The Pigeon update is causing Google to shift the local SERPs more then non-organic results.

Pigeon Poop: You’ve got to learn to live with it

Look at math equation to learn more.
Make sure you are up to date on barnical SEo tactics. Attach your business to authoritative local sites.

City state in every on page factor not just city. is better than

Embed Google Map from Google My Business Page and not from Google Map

Be sure that you are testing your schema markup through Google’s testing tool.

You must use local phone numbers and make it a number that you own.

Make your blog a local destination

Do link building to blog posts as well.

Post-Pigeon links are more important.

Don’t just have links, have the right links. Quality is better then quantity. Don’t ignore low DA local sites. They may have no authority, but they count for local relevancy.

If your business has moved, be sure to clean up your local citation data and NAP everywhere before you do anything else.

Google My Business
Google My Business page should have a long description with links. Choose the right categories instead of all categories.
Upload a lot of unique, local photos.

Post on Google+ daily

You have to rely on yourself if you want to get good reviews.

Yelp powers Apple Maps so you can’t ignore Yelp.

Set up a review page on your site with all your review channels to send your clients to.

Send people a postcard and follow up with email to encourage them to leave a review.

You can leave reviews as a business.

Don’t copy Google reviews to your site because if you do they will filter it from your Google My business page.

Greg recommends to just use local phone numbers and establish your local authority instead of using unique call tracking phone numbers.

Day two has come to an end and now I know how to turn pigeon droppings into gold, design a website that converts and that we must always have enough bidget for a paid search campaign. What did you learn?