This article was originally published on the Search Marketing Expo blog by Chris Sherman, Executive Editor of Search Engine Land and conference chair of SMX Advanced London.
Our fifth Search Marketing Expo event in the UK is just five weeks away, and it’s shaping up to be an exceptional show. You can expect the great content, speakers, networking activities and meals for which SMX events are famous. To take advantage of our Early Bird rates, be sure to register by this Friday, April 15th!
Remember: SMX London is now SMX Advanced London, taking place on May 16 & 17 at a new venue, the Millennium Gloucester Hotel & Conference Centre. For those of you who weren’t aware that we changed the focus of SMX Advanced London, a brief recap:
Why an advanced focus?
While most of our SMX events have had a mixture of basic through advanced content, we’ve only run one conference that was totally dedicated to the needs of experienced professionals: SMX Advanced, held in June in Seattle each year. We host that show in a medium-size event center rather than a large convention facility, and work hard to make sure that there’s a strong community connection among the real pros of the industry. The “problem” is that the show is consistently so popular that it sells out weeks in advance, and we’ve also heard from many search marketers in the U.K. and Europe that they’d like their “own” advanced SMX. We listened: SMX Advanced London.
As my partner Danny Sullivan describes it:
“SMX Advanced is for vets. It gives them the unique opportunity to learn and discuss search marketing topics in a group setting without any time lost bringing others up to speed. As I’ve said before, one of the best metaphors is that the show is a place where everyone can speak their native language without slowing down. Everyone at the event speaks search marketing fluently. You can have rapid-fire and high-level conversations about SEM.”
Are the two Advanced SMX conferences the same?
SMX Advanced London is modeled on our always-sold-out SMX Advanced Seattle show, but with a distinct UK and European focus. For example, the majority of speakers hail from the UK or Europe, and some of the sessions deal with specific issues unique to the region, such as country specific search engine features and legal and compliance issues. All of our speakers have proven track records, and are expected to share case studies, best practices and the knowledge and experience gained from working in the trenches and managing successful campaigns.
What can you expect at SMX Advanced London?
SMX Advanced London covers all of the search engine marketing topics – SEO, paid search advertising, analytics, social media marketing, local, mobile, and much more – again, with each session taking a deep dive into a topic, covering aspects of search marketing that many may not have considered or even known existed. Our goal is to “wow” an audience full of people who themselves are qualified to speak.
And don’t forget – many of our speakers are representatives of the search engines themselves, allowing you to get “inside information” and ask questions directly to the people who know best how to answer.
On the search engine optimization side of the equation, we’re covering:
SEO In 2011: What’s Working, What’s Not – While the fundamentals of effective SEO remain relatively constant, algorithm updates, new features and other changes made by the search engines can have a dramatic impact on search rankings (did any of you get impacted by Google’s Panda update?). Come hear our panel of experts discuss what’s currently working for SEO, what’s old hat, and what to look for going forward to keep your SEO edge.
SEO For Google Vs. Bing: How Different Are They? Back in the old days, some SEOs walked through the snow for eight miles and made different versions of their sites for Infoseek, AltaVista, Excite, Lycos and others. Each search engine liked different things, and so the effort was deemed worth it, by some. Then came Google, which grew and grew to the degree that for many, it was the only search engine to care about. You built a site for Google and didn’t worry about the rest. Now, with the search alliance between Microsoft and Yahoo in place, things have changed. Suddenly, a second player with an estimated 25-35% marketshare has emerged. Does it make sense to build a Bing-specific site? Is there that much of a difference between ranking factors for Bing versus Google to justify the effort? This panel explores the issues.
Link Alchemy: Creative Ways Of Conjuring SEO Gold Despite all the recent changes in search engine algorithms, links remain the single most important part of an effective search marketing campaign. And to successfully compete, you need to go beyond traditional link building techniques to create natural but scalable campaigns. What tools are available to analyse competitor links? What non-traditional channels, such as .edu links and retweets can be used? Our speakers show you how to reinvigorate your link building campaigns and take them to the next level.
What’s Really Important for Technical SEO? How do you prioritise improvements to technical architecture? What will make the biggest impact? Is it really all that important to speed up client-side page load times? Server side load times? Change your IIS configuration to stop generating those default.aspx pages and case-insensitive URLs? What technical SEO advice is just the latest fad and what’s really going to make the difference in improved customer acquisition from search.
Powering up paid search
Paid search has also changed considerably in the past year, and we’ve got some great sessions lined up to show you how to supercharge your PPC campaigns.
Best Practises With Google’s New Ad Features Google has breathed new life into the text-based AdWords format, introducing an entire new lineup of ad formats. These include AdWords video ads, AdWords sitelinks, local AdWords, product AdWords, comparison ads and more. They’ve also added modifiers, extensions and other features that aren’t always easy to use or understand. This session explores how to take advantage of these new features, integrating them into your existing AdWords campaigns.
Best Practises With adCenter For Bing & Yahoo Now that Yahoo and Bing have a combined estimated 30% market share, you know you can’t ignore this appealingly large source of traffic – but you’ve also heard that you can’t just clone your AdWords campaign and expect to get good results. What are the key differences between AdWords and adCenter? What adCenter features are unique and powerful? What kinds of features should you be taking advantage of to maximise your ad campaigns on Bing and Yahoo? How does your campaign on Bing differ from what appears on Yahoo? Come to this session to find out.
Remarketing For Fun And Profit Some call it remarketing; others call it retargeting, but if you aren’t doing it you’re squandering both money and opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers. Remarketing involves understanding user intent via search, and then subsequently advertising to each individual with a combination of search, display or other online ads beyond search, reinforcing your messaging and increasing the likelihood of conversion. Sounds complicated, but recent developments have made it relatively easy to launch and run remarketing campaigns. Our panelists show you how.
Essential Paid Search Power Tools You’ve mastered pivot tables in Excel, and know your AdWords dashboard backward and forward. As good as these tools are, they’re limited. To really scale or take advantage of bid inefficiencies, you need to get automated. In this session, advertisers (not tool providers!) discuss their favorite tools, and how they can be leveraged to save time, improve performance and profits, and generally ratchet up the quality of life for a paid search marketer.
Keeping current with critical issues & tactics
Search marketing has evolved, and most people agree you need to have a serious toolkit to keep up with your competitors. How?
Search Analytics & Competitive Intelligence Your competitors are smart and aggressive. Knowing their search marketing strategy allows you to validate your own, and to outflank them with innovative tactics. Search analytics is the answer. This session shows you how to implement and profit from a comprehensive competitive intelligence campaign.
Refriending Google: Dealing With Penalties & Suspensions Although Google says only 12% of all websites were affected by its recent “Farmer” update, many legitimate websites felt the sting of new ranking algorithms. And it’s not always easy to understand why Google suspends paid search campaigns. But fear not—If your site or ad campaign has had a setback you can get back into Google’s good graces by following the tips and tactics our panelists present during this session.
Keyword Research Ninja Tactics Keyword research tools are powerful and plentiful—and your competitors are using them for the same reasons you are. This session explores keyword research “outside of the box,” mining unique or unusual sources of data for insights and opportunities that others overlook.
Social Signals & Search It’s no longer theoretical. Both Google and Bing say that they factor social signals into their ranking algorithms for “regular” search results. Who you are socially, your authority, the authority of those who talk about you (or your company) all play a role. This session looks at how social signals are currently being used with search.
Legal Update: ASA Compliance, Click Fraud, Privacy & More As if managing the complexities of search optimisation or a paid search campaign weren’t enough, online marketers face increasing challenges on another front: compliance with regulations and policy guidelines. In this session, search marketers and legal experts discuss recent developments you need to be aware of to avoid running afoul of regulators with increasing power to derail your marketing efforts.
It’s no longer just Google, Google, Google… here are some of the other key areas online marketers should be focusing on:
Beyond Search: Leveraging Ads On Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn Not advertising on Facebook? You’re missing out on potential traffic from the second largest internet website, with more than 600 million unique users. And if you’re familiar with Google AdWords or Microsoft’s adCenter you’ll love Facebook’s self-serve image and text-based ads that let you advertise your own web page or even your own Facebook page or event. Twitter and LinkedIn offer similar programs. You really should make time to friend these programs at SMX.
Credit Where Credit Is Due – Demystifying Online Attribution Measuring ROI is key to effective online acquisition efforts. When you know what’s working (and what isn’t), you can react quickly. Just as important are the insights online data can give you about your customers: what were they searching for that caused them to buy? Did that display ad make all the difference? Unfortunately, attributing all conversions to the last click is easy to do with current analytics products, yet doing so obscures real customer data and effectiveness measurements. This panel will provide real answers on how to track a customer’s searches through all phases of the buying cycle, how to measure cross channel “assists”, and how to avoid the dangers of last click attribution.
Speaking In Tongues: Mastering Multinational Search Setting up and running multinational campaigns is the new frontier for search marketers. But it’s not enough just to translate a website and expect good results. Cultural localisation, hosting issues, working with different currencies, tariffs and payment systems all need careful work. This session shows you how to master the lingua franca of the international marketplace without making costly mistakes.
What’s New In Local & Mobile According to Google, as many as 30% of all search queries have local intent. And according to IDC, more internet-capable mobile devices will be sold this year than computers. In short, local and mobile are both here and huge, and will continue to be an important part of many search marketer’s activities. This session looks at new developments in local search, location services, mobile apps and ads.
Extreme Makeover, The SEO Edition Is it really possible to take a site from nowhere to top rankings in 3 months? That’s the challenge we issued to each intrepid speaker on this panel, who volunteered to work on a small business or charity website, each in a different niche, that was ranking on page 5 (or worse) on Google for the site’s main search term. The speaker had 3 months prior to SMX Advanced London to work with website and improve SEO rankings, traffic and revenue. Our speakers will reveal what advice was offered, the changes made—and most importantly, the end result.
Keynote address: The state of search in 2011
Search has seen more change over the past year than any time since the very early days. While the fundamentals of core search marketing remain constant, new innovations and features such as Google Instant and the incorporation of social signals into relevance algorithms have been significant. Updates like the recent “Farmer/Panda” tsunami impacted the rankings of thousands of web sites. And new features and changes to ad programs have presented both opportunities and challenges for marketers. In this keynote, Search Engine Land executive editor Chris Sherman looks at recent changes and talks about where things may be going as search evolves into the 2010s.
International Search Summit
Want even more? This year for the first time the International Search Summit will be running as part of SMX, on 18th May. If you run international search campaigns you need to attend ISS too! Sign up for both SMX Advanced and ISS for the special combo price.
Sponsors, networking & parties
Of course, our sponsors & exhibitors do have great information to share with SMX attendees. The exposition hall runs for both days of the show. In it, you can get information from exhibitors and sponsors about many products and services available to search marketers.
Beyond the conference sessions, there’s networking — and at SMX Advanced London, we don’t leave networking to chance, where you hope to randomly encounter the right people. We’re organized!
In the evening of the first day, we have a reception in the exposition hall.
So don’t be worried about meeting people. You’re going to meet plenty – all of whom share your passion for and knowledge about search marketing.
Good food, WiFi & fabulous venue
There’s no sense providing great sessions, great networking and letting the conference experience be ruined by a terrible box lunch. That’s why with SMX, boxes lunches are a no-no. You’ll get a great meal, on a real plate, and you’ll want seconds. No joke, people take pictures of the food at our events, it’s so good. You’ll also get refreshments during the day.
We’ll also keep you connected, providing free WiFi in the conference rooms. Tweet, and Facebook, and Foursquare and email to your heart’s content — though consider shutting that laptop or turning off that iPad, lest you miss a great point one of our speakers is going to make.
And with glass-domed atriums, the Millennium Gloucester Hotel & Conference Centre is an open, inviting venue.
Don’t Delay! Early Bird Rates Expire Soon!
Want the best deal for attending? Take advantage of our early bird rate, which expires on Friday, April 15. After that, rates increase, so now’s the time to act for your best value.
Go. Now. Register today!
See you in London!