I was lucky enough to attend PubCon last week in Las Vegas. PubCon is a conference centered around search marketing and websites. Some of the top experts in SEO and PPC were there. I met a lot of super cool people and took a lot of notes.
Here are ten things I learned:
1. Quick – what is the #2 Search engine on the web? Is it Yahoo? Bing? Nope. It’s YouTube. But only 41% of search marketers surveyed actually have a YouTube strategy. This is a huge opportunity. Are you using YouTube? This was from Jay Berkowitz (@jayberkowitz) – his presentation on Social Media was outstanding.
2. You can actually get a decent hotel for $25/night in Vegas. Thanks to tips from Todd Mintz (@toddmintz) and Mike Belasco (@belasco) I stayed at the Sahara, which was right by the monorail so I could get all around Vegas easily. It was no Venetian but what a great deal. Everything else in Vegas, of course, is a huge money grab.
3. Google may add page load time as a ranking factor to the algorithm. According to Matt Cutts, Google wants searching to be as fast as flipping through a magazine, and page load times are a natural factor here. AdWords already uses page load time as part of the quality score for a page. Use http://code.google.com/speed/ to check the load times of your pages. Also http://www.webpagetest.org. More at Search Engine Land.
4. The SEOverflow team is not only smart, they are also super cool. I got to hang out with Mike, Mary, Alex, Reid and Chris a bit at the show. I’ve met them before but this is the first time I really got to hang out with them and they are super cool people. Check them out – SEOverflow.
5. Zappos #1 priority is not customer service. It is actually company culture. Tony Hsieh did a very interesting keynote where he talked about how company culture is the most important factor to getting things right. Zappos just got picked up by Amazon for $1.2B so he has certainly built a company of value! You can download a free audio book on the topic – Tribal Leadership, courtesy of Zappos.
6. Test your keyword phrases with AdWords before investing in SEO. Don’t choose your keywords based on search volume alone. You should also consider click-through and conversions when deciding which keywords to invest your SEO efforts in. You can find this out fast by running a mini AdWords campaign. The Keyword research session with Carolyn Shelby (@cshel), Wil Reynolds (@wilreynolds), Craig Paddock, and Mark Jackson (@markjackson) was excellent.
7. Twitter is so mainstream now, that several thousand SEO Geeks tweeting up a storm for 4 days could not make #pubcon a trending topic on the Twitter home page! I guess after Oprah and Larry King the cat is out of the bag…
8. Google is redefining the definition of “content.” Google is starting to index the content inside images, video and audio so that they can search deep. In the Universal Search session, Bruce Clay (@bruceclay) said he has the research to prove they are experimenting with this. If you are doing audio and video now, you will be in for a huge boost when this starts rolling out. If not, you’d better get on it!
9. The value of traffic to Google is 5-10x more than to anyone else. (From @bobbrisco ‘s keynote.) Ever wonder why Google always beats Microsoft, Yahoo and others out on acquisitions? (Think YouTube.) Well it’s because they can monetize better and therefore pay more to get what they want.
10. The Raven SEO Tools rock. Now I can chuck the spreadsheets we’ve been using to track link campaigns, keywords, etc. I sat through a full demo of this new toolset with the co-founders and can say they have really nailed it. I signed up and am already using this toolset for managing my SEO team and clients.
Follow me on Twitter here (@doncampbell) for more tips from PubCon. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on these in the comments below.
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