SMX Toronto is a conference held annually for Search Engine and Social Media marketing and professionals of all skill levels and experience. This conference features a star-studded cast of industry experts and pioneers who share their tips, ideas, solutions and insights about marketing in the new digital space. Topics included Search, pay per click campaigns, online reviews, the emergence of mobile and Social Media marketing techniques and best practices. Helen and I attended this two-day conference which promised education, networking and inspiration. The conference was split into two sections – Helen attended the SEO driven portion of SMX Toronto while I was drawn to the Social Media side. Here are my favorite quotes, stats and takeaways from the conference.

Search

  • Google makes 200-300 changes every year – and they kill off 2/3 of their initiatives.
  • Google’s efficiency with Search saves us about 350 million hours per year.
  • BING stands for “Bing Is Not Google”
  • There are more searches made on Twitter each month than Yahoo! And Bing combined
  • Google Instant isn’t changing the way people Search, but the way they read the results. With Instant, searchers rarely look past the top 5 results.
  • Google Instant decreased time to click by 50%
  • SEO is not just about rankings, it’s about conversions
  • 3 key success factors for Search: Relevance, Speed and Usefulness
  • The average search query on Google today is 4.3 words
  • Over 50% of queries are over 3 words in length – and 2/3 of them yield no exact match
  • Local Search queries are up 54% year over year.
  • YouTube is the 2nd most popular Search Engine on the planet
  • When optimizing videos, follow similar SEO practices – links always matter!
  • Multi-lingual SEO is a whole other ball game. Adidas faced many challenges with international campaigns which included SEO for 19 languages and the use of slang terms
  • With multi-lingual SEO, you can’t just translate keywords. You need to consider different dialects of languages in different regions
  • Your homepage is not a consumer’s first impression of your brand online. It’s what they see on a Search Engine Results Page.
  • Go after those who are actively searching for you, stop searching for them.
  • Are you optimizing your landing page? Bring users to where they want to be. Stop sending them on a wild goose chase.
  • Always add negative keywords into your PPC campaigns.

Social Media

  • There are over 1 billion Social Media users worldwide spending 2 billion minutes a month
  • 25% of activity on Facebook is from a mobile device
  • Facebook is becoming a bigger enemy to Google than Microsoft is.
  • Three often overlooked YouTube Ranking factors: 1) Increase of views over time 2) Quantity of inbound links 3) Inclusion of video in playlists
  • When it comes to Social Media don’t ask What – ask Why? “What” is a tactic, “Why” is a strategy.
  • Foursquare experienced 3400% growth in 2010
  • When creating a Facebook Deal consider the “What if’s”. What if 500 people claim a 50% off deal? Can you support your deals?
  • The 4 pillars of Location Based Strategy: Context, Location, Social Interaction and Platforms

Mobile

  • 101 million smartphones were sold in Q4 of 2010 compared to only 94 million PC’s
  • 2011 will be the year of mobile – expect for it to really take off
  • A major difficulty faced with mobile advertising is the discrepancy between a user’s location vs. their destination.
  • Is your website optimized for mobile? If not, do it.
  • All 5 of Google’s strategic initiatives for 2011 revolve around mobile
  • 544.6 million text messages were sent in Q2 of 2010

Online Reviews

  • 62% of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase
  • 62% of people trust online ratings and reviews of people they don’t know
  • 18% of people who were contacted by a company after they had left a negative review ended up buying more from that company in the future
  • 33% of those mentioned above removed their negative review, and 34% went on to write a positive review about their experience.
  • A bad review online shouldn’t be seen as a threat. It is a great opportunity to address the problem, satisfy that customer, and show others that you care.

Quotes

  • “How do you demand innovation, creativity and radical rethinking if you can’t imagine it?” – Avinash Kaushik
  • “My three year old son will look at a keyboard the a same way I look at a rotary phone” – Mitch Joel
  • “Plugging your computer into a phone line to get Internet ten years ago was so barbaric. Look how far we’ve come.” – Mitch Joel
  • “Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is.” – Chris Anderson
  • “Never do anything in marketing that doesn’t add economic value to your company.” – Mitch Joel
  • “Incorporate your digital marketing efforts into your marketing mix. Think “with” not “instead of”.”
  • “Just because someone is on Facebook all day it doesn’t make them a Social Media Marketing expert. I turn the lights on when I walk into a room, am I an electrician? No. “ – Mitch Joel
  • “Display will grow into a $200 billion market” – Eric Schmidt
  • “Search is the connection between intent and content.” – Bill Barnes

That’s all folks! Two days of intense sessions with lots of great insights and takeaways. Have you considered these strategies when it comes to marketing your business online?

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