Conference Recap: PubCon New Orleans 2013

PubCon

From the Pubcon New Orleans (2013) Trenches

PubCon (New Orleans, LA) – So many sessions, so much to consume and share. Where to begin? My week in New Orleans flew by as I soaked in both sessions and sightseeing. This was my first time attending Pubcon as well as my first time in NOLA. The first 48 hours were filled with numerous firsts: my first beignet, first walk down Bourbon St and the French Quarter, first tornado warning, and first full day in the SEO Masters Group Training. The conference sessions mainly focused on SEO, social media, and marketing. While I attended mostly the sessions in the SEO track, I did bounce around a little. The only way to try and recap the week effectively is for me to give you the top 5 areas from which I took the most away and what those in part covered.

PubConSEO

There were endless sessions on SEO, including tips, tricks, and tools. I heard multiple times a good way to rename “Search Engine Optimization” would be to start calling it “Search Experience Optimization.” Understanding the relationship between what people are talking about and how they’re searching is very important.

Top 5 takeaways:

  1. Create partnerships with other businesses and get your own company page on their sites. Then link back to a subpage of yours rather than a main page to boost rank on lower ranking pages.
  2. Build your own dashboards for compliance and performance so everyone is accountable for their part. Utilize Google webmaster tools and analytics to aid in this.
  3. Set up your own Google alerts to track your industry, keywords, and competitors.
  4. Use various tracking tools such as 3rd party sites or Firefox add ons like disabling JavaScript to literalize the page and see exactly how search engines view your page.
  5. Organize and profile your content. Profile favorite tweets that mention your company. Write your pages in 3rd person so your company name is spelled out more for Google.

Content

As everyone always says, “Content is King.” It’s not about creating info you can’t get anywhere else, it’s about packaging it in a smart way. You must become an “infotainer.” In other words, consume and spit out information to people in a better way.

Top 5 takeaways:

  1. Fresh content is the sign of a strong website. Make it unique and don’t duplicate content. (Don’t just change a few words around or switch it into a different language for international customers. It must be different).
  2. Your keywords should be mentioned in your content at least 2xs on the page.
  3.  Content drives community. It’s a digital battlefield to get people to see your stuff. Utilize images with impact, microlisten, use social media, try A/B testing, and see what your search is telling you .
  4. “Content is king but images are everything.” Infographics and social images with a power punch get more shares. Blog posts and press releases with compelling images get shared 77% more of the time, local searches with good images get shared 60% more, and 63% of people on ecommerce sites care more about the product pic than reviews or descriptions.
  5. Great content contains content that is authentic, useful, relevant, and actionable.

Link Building

You must engage with people where they choose to engage, not where you want. You must build relationships and work on being a linkable asset.

Top 5 takeaways:

  1. Populate a CRM to track who has been contacted already.
  2. Have reputable people write for you and link to you.
  3. Have a unique selling point so you have linkable assets.
  4. Always utilize your social accounts. Link your G+ accounts to your blog for better SEO.
  5. Research your industry and competitors so you know where to branch out to.

PubConKeyword Research

The number one problem all businesses face is obscurity. If they don’t know you, they can’t buy from you. So you must first research your market so you know how to get your name out there.

Top 5 takeaways:

  1. Research competitors.
  2. Utilize analytics and third party sites that can track industry trends, keywords, and top pay-per-click words and phrases.
  3. Utilize your own sites search and find out what people are searching for on your own site to know what is important to your users.
  4. Use content optimization sites such as Hittail.com that show you what keywords brought people to your site.
  5. You can’t cheat organic engagement, so dig deeper.

Helpful tools:

I have a huge list of helpful tools for everything from analytics to keyword tracking and how to see industry trends so I’ll list 5 good ones for you here:

  1. Spyfu – Lets you research your competitors profitable keywords
  2. GSiteCrawler – Free site crawl that exports all your site info for you. Defines problems, keywords, duplicate content etc.
  3. Getlittlebird – Identifies experts in your industry you could connect with.
  4. Hittail – Shows you all the keywords that brought people to your site.
  5. Screamingfrog – Shows you what is really being indexed on your site.

It was a great week in NOLA with a lot of positive takeaways from various sessions. I was pleasantly surprised how many recommendations I heard while I was there that we currently already do on a regular basis at SoftArtisans. It’s always good to hear that what you are doing is going in the right direction and have ways to build upon and improve your current strategy. I look forward to using some of the tools and tips I learned this past week and hearing from you if you have any tips of your own.

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