Couldn’t make it to last Friday’s MnSearch Summit? Lucky for you we sent our brightest minds (and most thorough note takers) to bring back the goods from Minnesota’s biggest search marketing event.
Let’s Do This
The day kicked off with a presentation from Google’s own analytics guru, Krista Seiden, titled “Moving from a Web to a Mobile World.” No one should be surprised that the digital marketing landscape is rapidly moving from desktop to mobile as more people spend more hours buried in their phones. However, it was shocking to learn that 85% of mobile time is spent in apps, which is a notoriously difficult nut for search marketers crack. We learned that getting in the mobile app game takes a commitment to doing things differently, especially when it comes to performance tracking. Say goodbye to page views and page sessions and say hello to uninstall rate and average revenue per user.
Next, some 400 attendees broke out into smaller groups for more specific sessions led by experts from Denver to Istanbul and everywhere in between. Invaluable processes and best practices were shared regarding conversion rate optimization, integrating search and social marketing, content marketing experiments, conversion attribution, SEO local ranking factors and so much more. Here are some of our favorite learnings from these pre-lunch sessions:
- Search excels at capturing demand, social excels at creating it. Use Facebook and PPC marketing together for immediate increase on ROAS.
- When it comes to mobile video, you have only three seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Make it count with thumb stopping content that also incorporates your brand. And please, plan for it to played on mute.
- Immediacy beats loyalty. Google knows people want it now, and will award the companies that understand this.
- Last click attribution is dead. Track engagement throughout the whole sales process to find out where your customers truly make their decisions.
- Take risks in your content marketing, but make sure they are calculated risks. Using the Coca-Cola model is a great place to start:
Man Vs. Machine
Following the first round of breakout sessions, we were able to watch two titans of the industry go head-to-head on the topic of Man vs. Machine in marketing. AimClear founder and Minnesota marketing legend, Marty Weintraub, represented man in this debate while Third Door Media’s VP of Technology, Michelle Robbins, represented the machines. The duo tackled the scary question of “are machines coming to take our jobs?”
After much animated discussion, we learned that no, they are not coming to take our jobs. While new technologies, like Albert and Persado, are becoming smarter and helping us automate certain aspects of our daily work, machines will never be able to replace our approach to strategy and creative content. Not yet at least…
After sitting on the edge of our seat while Marty and Michelle determined the security of our jobs, we were all happy to head into a couple more breakout sessions. Once again, the topics were far ranging. Whether the speaker discussed content marketing, voice search or Google Tag Manager, the discussion always revolved around concrete processes we can incorporate to get better at our jobs.
To finish off the day, Cyrus Shepard, SEO wiz and former Content Astronaut at Moz, took center stage to talk about the outlook for SEO in 2017. Because search queries have increased 550% since 2009, he reminded those still weary from the Man vs. Machine debate that we will always have a seat at the table when it comes to search marketing.
Cyrus was generous enough to share some really powerful “SEO Hacks” that we have added to our SEO toolbelt. For instance, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are the future and Google will someday expect every page they show to operate like this. Get your pages there before you are left in the dust!
Additionally, here are some other takeaways we gained from his presentation:
- Because so much mobile usage occurs within apps, you should make your website behave and look like an app
- Get yourself at the top of the SERP by hacking Google’s snippet feature. To do this, craft your content in the following way:
- Use 3-4 lines of text and 40-60 words
- Include the question in your answer
- Instead of having specific pages that align with a select number of keywords, have more content rich pages that utilize 100-1000 keywords
- Use Google Search Console to determine which search phrases brought users to your site and match your call’s to action to the intent behind the search.
- Always give users ZERO excuse for hitting the back button, even if it means linking to the competition
We Did That
Long days often result in exciting breakthroughs, and last Friday was no exception. It’s hard to quantify how many light bulb moments our team experienced and we hope by reading this you have had a few of these moments as well.