This year, SMX was different; instead of a live, in-person event, we attended a 2-days online event. Today, we’ll share our highlights from day 2. 

This June, the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) took place online, in a 2-days event, featuring some of the biggest names of in digital marketing. Our recap for SMX day 1 is already out, so let’s get started with our key takeaways for the second day. What were the top topics the keynote speakers covered? 

The day started with a session on Local Search, and more specifically about Google My Business (GMB). Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land kicked it off with a retrospective going back to 2005 and GMB’s birth as Google Local Business Center. He guided us through the major changes we’ve seen and explained GMB’s importance for local search. Finally, he uncovered its contribution to businesses during COVID-19 and kept an eye to the future, in a post-COVID marketing environment. 

At the same time, a redundant session on Content Marketing was going on. Thanks to SMX Next, we were able to follow it on replay. We took a close look at how content trends shift during uncertain times and uncovered the importance of being able to come up with timely, unique, and relevant content. In times of constant shift, adaptability is the key to success. 

The next session we followed was titled “How to use your PPC campaigns to power your SEO strategy”. We are super-excited about this subject. We, at Nanato Media, don’t work in a silo, but on the contrary, prefer holistic approaches, and firmly believe that PPC is the fuel you need to kickstart your success with digital marketing. The keynote speaker, Anthony Allison, guided us through the value of consumer research, highlighting keyword research, Ad copy, messaging and targeting. The main takeaway is that by starting with PPC, you can get invaluable results and data, that you can implement in your SEO strategy to boost your traffic, conversions, and ultimately ROI.   

Towards the middle of the day, Jim Boykin took the virtual stage to share his experience with SEO, and navigate us through the complex world of link building. What did we highlight?

  • You can’t afford to disregard link building. Websites with successful link building strategies rank better, but that’s not an easy task.
  • There’s no shortcut to getting the links you need. Avoid all grey areas, as you might end up getting penalized. For example, don’t fall for suspicious guest posts and links from buy-lists.
  • Create content that searchers want to read, and websites want to share.
  • Evaluate the backlinks you get. Pay attention as you don’t want to get associated with spam sources and low-quality content.

Moving forward, we followed a session on the value of tracking your ROI coming from paid search campaigns. The subject was covered from a different perspective on the first day as well, making it obvious that experts consider it a hot topic. If you want to learn more, we’ve prepared a detailed guide to call-to-action tracking

Next up was Kevin Rowe, who returned to link building, and more specifically the value of identifying quality websites for your backlink strategy. He explained how valuable it is to analyze websites and not just look a the authority score. By doing so, you can avoid potential pitfalls, and at the same time, you can focus on the websites that can have a meaningful impact on your SEO performance and organic traffic. If you wonder what else should you look for apart from authority, here is the list:

  • Content.
  • Link Profile.
  • Authorship.
  • Admin.
  • Technical Aspects.

The next session we followed was on advertising in a stay-at-home economy. It included some valuable data on how consumer research and behavior is shifting as people spend more time at home and have restricted offline options. Then, the keynote speaker talked about Microsoft advertising. 

On a concurrent session (again, thumbs up SMX for the replays), we moved back to SEO and heard about strategic content writing and its connection to local search. The table below successfully summarizes the best practices that were shared.

SMX Next wrapped it up with three live sessions; one about career and recruitment, another on relationships with content writers, and a third on local search. We focused on the last one, talking about secrets, lies, and hacks with local search. The lineup of speakers discussed the current situation and tried to put the focus on what’s next, stating that local search and GMB should be part of every digital marketing strategy that wants to succeed. 

We enjoyed SMX next, and we are looking forward to the next one.