Digital Insights

Top 5 Speakers from Pubcon 2014 Las Vegas


Published: October 20, 2014

Attending industry conferences is always a great opportunity to find out if the current Internet marketing tactics agencies and in-house marketing folks are using to help clients or company get ahead of the competition will be good enough or if anything can be improved upon. I have attended SMX and SES/ClickZLive, however Pubcon in my opinion was a better conference than the other two at least this year. Pubcon 2014 Las Vegas featured an awesome line up of speakers, but we have narrowed it down to the top five speakers of the conference and here they are: Duane Forrester, Jay Bear, Bill Slawski, Eric Enge and Mary Bowling.

Duane Forrester ‎Sr. Product Manager – Webmaster Outreach at Bing
Duane Forrester – Duane gave one of the most upbeat, funny and insightful keynotes to wrap up the conference. He was joking about Miley Cyrus twerking, kidding around with Eric Enge about his Tesla, and joking with other SEOs about them rowdy audience members. Plus he delivered his keynote wearing a tiara that was place on his head after winning Fabulous Search Personality of the Year by Marty Weintraub. One of his main messages was about device connection and how this is going to have a great impact on how marketers are going to be able to reach their audiences. Some of the examples he talked about were how in the near future parents will be able to tell who drank the last of the milk and did not put it on the grocery list. Another example was how based on GPS systems people will be able to order and pay for their orders on the way to the restaurant. After the keynote I went up to meet him and he was telling me as well as the others, how there are going to be self-driven vehicles that will be available that are going to change the paid industry. Duane explained that marketers will be able to reach their consumers based on their needs. So if you need to buy home improvement items, Lowe’s, The Home Depot and others will have the ability to show you their ads and the one that is willing to bid the highest will have their ads shown. Of course he mentioned that this will increase the amount people will pay for their ads to be shown but it will increase conversion rates.

Jay Baer President of Convince & Convert
Bill Slawski – I had a chance to talk, meet and chat with Bill before his presentation in which he gave me a sneak preview about his topics. Semantic Web, Knowledge Graph and Other Changes to the SERPs. Bill gave a quick historical background on Google’s Knowledge Graph that goes back to 2003. Most of his presentation was backed with research that he presented based on patents that Google has registered. He recommended that if you want Google to find and index your data, microformating needs to be used. Also as to ensure your website ranks above competitors semantic language needs to be used throughout your content. Another recommendation he made was that SEOs must use Google’s Data Highlighter to have all the Schema elements required on individual pages to get better ranking. Lastly to ensure your business complies with Hummingbird update, he recommends that marketers use synonyms, example “What place/(restaurants,stores,pizzerias) can I eat deep dish style pizza at?”

Eric Enge President of Stone Temple Consulting
Eric Enge – Eric covered organic SEO both on page and offpage. He covered a lot of information so I will just focus on a few highlights. Enge pointed out that SEOs must audit websites to ensure the websites have the following items in place; clickable page titles, using keywords properly, every page has at least on H1 and H2 tags, Schema, and XML sitemap with minimal errors. Once you have diagnosed your problems fix them or work with your developer to ensure they get fixed. Bill Hunt was part of the presentation and he insisted that SEOs must be included during the design process to make sure elements for SEO are included during the process to prevent from missing elements. For offpage focus on earning quality back links and STOP outsourcing to overseas resources. Because using overseas resources can lead to your website incurring a penalty from the search engines. Lastly, make sure you have a search engine optimization plan that is scalable.

Mary Bowling Co-Founder of Ignitor
Mary Bowling – Spoke on the topic of Local Search Strategies. She used some very insightful Mind Maps to showcase her information; the importance of a locally focused website, establishing trustworthy location information, good link profile and reviews. According to Mary it all starts with your website, it needs to be properly structured from the main to the subcategory pages. Show the search engines what your website is about and where you are located by implementing location based content using long-tail keywords, using your NAP across your website with Schema, sending social signals, trust logos, citations and embed a map. Establish a clean and local back link profile, and eliminate all bad links to prevent penalties. She mentioned that it is important that local businesses have links from local destinations, including the BBB, Chamber of Commerce, local blogs, etc not just to your homepage but also internal pages “deep linking” just make sure that your link building appears natural. Lastly, encourage customers to leave reviews on different profiles, “Yelp, Google+ Business Page, etc”. By having more positive reviews they will outweigh the one or two negative ones that may show up throughout time.

Thank you to all the speakers at the workshops I attended but these five people stood out to me and I learned a lot of new strategies that I will be implementing on our current and future clients’ campaigns. Looking forward to next year’s Pubcon. For anyone who attended the conference and happens to be reading this post. Feel free to share what you learned or maybe mention a speaker that stood out to you in the comment box below. I am certain there were other great speakers that I missed during the conference.