SMX Advanced SeattleThe world of marketing is changing quickly, and that couldn’t have been more obvious than at last week’s SMX Advanced. SMX Advanced is an annual SEO and SEM conference packed full of information that marketers, business owners and everyone in between can use to take their marketing to the next level. The conference takes place every June in Seattle, which is a great place to visit when you need a break from the increasing humidity in New Orleans. Check out some takeaways from the conference below. 

Where should I be advertising online?

Gone are the days of a simple funnel so you can only reach your customers via just one silo. Customers use multiple devices and multiple channels. Marketing needs to reach them in the moments where they’re ready to learn more about a business or make a purchase.

What if your best ad is one that no one clicks on?

In the world of digital advertising, all too often the ad that directly led to the sale gets all the credit. Lost in the mix is the display ad on a website, Facebook ad or similar ad that doesn’t get credit because the sale can’t be attributed directly to the ad.  The user might see the display ad, then do a search for the brands website and make a purchase from that point. Or it might be the Facebook user that clicks on an ad, but doesn’t make a final purchase until much later. Marketers need to look at the bigger picture to determine the true value of an ad, either via analytics or research user behavior.

What is the best way to see what marketing is working?

Now that we know that the ad that drove the last click before purchase isn’t always the best one, how do we determine the right attribution model? Google says it varies from business to business, but you can use their Analytics to see a more holistic view. If you use AdWords, they will begin offering more attribution models built into their dashboard later this year.

If more people are using mobile, why isn’t my business getting more mobile conversions?

If you’re looking only at your online stats, you’re not looking at the complete effect of mobile marketing. After seeing an ad on their phone, many people aren’t buying online; they’re buying in the store. Businesses with brick and mortar locations need to start using the available data to optimize to those customers. And by optimize, that means the ads online, as well as the actual store itself. Famous Footwear rearranged their physical stores based on top searches by their customers, effectively turning their stores into landing pages.

Are keywords dying?

Yes. Google already removed keyword data from their Analytics and in the not far distance they’re likely to remove keyword targeting from AdWords. This isn’t such a bad thing. If a business is already creating quality content, they don’t need to worry about SEO as much. If they’re doing paid advertising, they need to focus more on audience and categories.

What is quality content?

In 2015, if a business wants their site to organically show up in the search engines, they need to have quality content. But what exactly is quality content? Google answered that at SMX Advanced, saying that quality content something that is valuable to the user. A business can determine if they’re creating quality content by the number of people linking to their site and liking their content on sites like Facebook. If the business is doing that and seeing those signs, it’s only a matter of time before the Google Gods rank the site better.

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