In April, several members of the HostandStore.com team traveled to Austin to take part in a digital marketing conference called Pubcon. It’s important to us to attend conferences where we can learn from experts because we ultimately hope to share that knowledge with you. We are far more than a hosting company, so it’s important that we stay up to date on what’s going on in digital marketing.
After all, that is a key part of learning SEO or any other aspect of digital marketing. Pubcon was an opportunity for us to hear from many of the industry’s leading experts. So what did we learn? It’s hard to sum up such a useful event in a single blog post, but we’ve narrowed down six key takeaways that we believe can help each and every person that reads this post.
As an aside, we will not be linking directly to any of the speakers’ presentation decks from the event, as Pubcon is only making this content available to conference attendees. You can, however, reach out to the presenters individually and ask them directly for access to their presentation decks.
1. SEO for Your WordPress Website
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. In fact, we heavily recommend to nearly all of our customers to consider moving their site to WordPress if it isn’t there already. This presentation covered several helpful ways to optimize WordPress sites for search engine optimization. It also further reinforced our belief that in today’s world, a site that’s easy to manage and maintain can really have a tremendous impact on your business. WordPress is built to be user-friendly and making sure that your WordPress site is optimized for search engines like Google is actually not as challenging as you might expect.
2. Your Business Needs to Measure Social Media Success
This session was delivered by Adam Proehl of Minneapolis-based NordicClick.
Social Media has proven that it’s not a fad. It certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! So what can social media networks like Facebook or Twitter do for your business? Turns out, they can do quite a bit as long as you’re measuring for success. Social media can show you what is going right (or wrong) in your business as long as you keep your company goals in mind and tie them to your social media marketing efforts. No matter what your business goal is, social media can help you achieve it. To really understand how well it’s helping you, though, you have to make sure you’re always monitoring the right things.
3. It’s Time to Try Content Marketing
By now, you’ve probably heard of content marketing. If you’re a small business, it may sound like something out of reach. That may not be the case, though. Content marketing is actually all about creativity. Of course, a great idea is only the start. At some point, you have to move on to actually creating your content. From there, what really matters is how you draw attention to the content you create. How can a great piece of work help your business if no one ever sees it? And remember, there’s more to content than text. As you’ve probably noticed as a consumer, there’s much more out there being shared these days than articles and blog posts.
4. You Should Be Using Facebook Remarketing
This session was delivered by Damon Gochneaur, founder of Dallas SEO agency, Aspiro.
Remarketing is probably the most effective digital marketing channel that you’ve never even tried. Remarketing is the practice of continuing to show ads targeted to your previous site visitors. The ads typically reflect the actions those visitors took or didn’t take while on your site. It’s an incredibly efficient and super cost-effective way to follow up with an audience that has already been engaged at some point. The key words there are “follow up” because remarketing truly eclipses the realm of advertising. Because Facebook has such broad reach and tremendous targeting options, it’s the perfect place to begin remarketing your audience.
5. Your Business needs Online Reviews
This session was delivered by Thomas Ballantyne, Director of Marketing for Bulwark Pest Control.
Reviews have become a major factor in online purchasing decisions. In fact, 80% of Millennials say they’re influenced by user-generated content (UGC), such as reviews and testimonials. Over half of Millennials say they trust UGC more than their own friends and family. Think it’s a generational thing? 70% of baby boomers say the same thing. And in case you were wondering, Amazon is the largest source of customer reviews on the web. Of course, there is also more to UGC than reviews. Just remember that what is shared about you can be favorable or negative. And as Mr. Ballantyne said, “Consumer reviews shatter crafty marketing.”
6. Google’s Knowledge Graph Can Help Your Business Grow
This session was delivered by Eric Enge, founder of digital marketing agency, Stone Temple Consulting.
Google has admitted that their destiny “is to become that Star Trek computer…” In many ways, they are already accomplishing this goal. You’ve probably seen it. For instance, when’s the last time you typed a question into Google search? Chances are, you’ve seen the results page pop up with answers supplied by what is known as the Knowledge Graph. There are actually quite a few variations of ways these answers appear, but Google is working to draw from websites (just like yours!) to quickly provide the information its users are searching for. According to Eric Enge, about 75% of these Knowledge Graph results included attribution to the source of the information. With proper on-site SEO, including adding appropriate markup from Schema.org, your site can be featured in Google’s Knowledge Graph. Of course, there’s no cut and dry, one-size-fits-all way to achieve this, but the results are sweet when it happens. Just keep in mind that the great Google giveth, and the great Google can taketh away. The key is to really understand what a user might ask for and to provide a clear, direct answer. Make sure to draw Google’s attention to this using appropriate on-page SEO and you just might find yourself in the Knowledge Graph one day.
What You Should Do Today
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of everything we learned at Pubcon. A conference like this, with such great speakers, can get pretty overwhelming. At the end of the day, though, this all boils back down to a single strategy:
Treat your website as if it has goals to accomplish.
Every website should be built with some sort of conversion goal in mind. Based on what that goal is, there are many strategies and resources available to help you achieve what you hope with your site. Just remember that if you do nothing, you get nowhere. How can your website help you if you never do anything to attract people to it? Is your website designed to convert the people who do visit your site? If your website is not helping your business the way you’d like it to, give us a call. We’re here to help you reach all your goals online!