Key learnings from Big Digital Adelaide

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Last week I was fortunate to attend Big Digital Adelaide “Australia’s newest and most exciting digital marketing conference.” 

The organisers congregated an impressive selection of global digital marketers to discuss what’s happening in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), website content, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), social media marketing and more.

Unfortunately I was only able to attend the first of 2 days, but I totally got my geek on and was blown away by the speakers and their presentations. Our industry is one filled with sharks, so credit to Big Digital for handpicking speakers who have a focus on quality (not just quantity) and share Scout’s vision to make the internet a better place.

Here’s a quick wrap up of a few key themes that emerged to me from Day 1 speakers:

Back links are still very important:

Dan Petrovic @dejanseo

  • Contrary to recent algorithm update reports, back links are still very important to search engine rankings, but other factors are growing. The importance of links is not reducing though, rather more factors are becoming equally important.
  • Achieving back links to your site should not be the goal. Back links are a by product of you being awesome and doing awesome things.

Casey Meraz @caseymeraz

  • Easy links are easy to get (by everyone), so build more authority by focusing on attracting back links that others can’t get. For example news articles, PR campaigns, your own marketing campaigns.
  • And not strictly about back links, but another gem from Casey; focus on attracting positive online reviews on relevant channels, e.g. Google, TripAdvisor etc. Studies have shown that millennials place more trust in third party reviews than friends and family.

Dawn Anderson @dawnieando

  • Don’t forget the value of internal cross links. They are not only useful to visitors to your website, but can assist with search crawling and rankings. For example, link to related content on your own website, or link “contact us” to your contact page.

Focus on quality over quantity:

Casey Meraz @caseymeraz

  • Don’t create duplicate listings and accounts! Try your hardest to get access to any existing listings or accounts, especially in Google Maps. Duplicate listings cause many many issues.
  • Don’t do anything that sucks. Pretty self explanatory.
  • Help keep the internet a great place and report spam.

Dawn Anderson @dawnieando

  • Remove unnecessary files and code from your site to assist with site speed and crawling capacity.

BUT

Jennifer Slegg @jenstar @thesempost

  • Think twice before removing content. Check its rankings and value before doing an overhaul of your site.
  • Don’t get stressed about word count, make it relevant. There’s no point padding out a page to a perceived ideal word count if its not required. That will look spammy and be annoying to read.
  • Provide value, quality, think about your audience first, and focus on answering the questions that people are looking for.

Make use of the data available to you:

Aleyda Solis @aleyda

  • Use the Devices list in Google Analytics to understand users’ device preferences and what app type to invest in. For example, if the majority of your website visitors from mobile devices are using Android devices, don’t develop an iOS app first.

John Clayton, Predikkta

  • Use your digital analytics to understand and improve business. For example, do your customers use different terminology in different regions.
  • Look for anomalies in your data and explore them further. For examples pages with a high search rankings position but low Click Through Rate (CTR), what might be wrong?

Dawn Anderson @dawnieando

  • And if it interests you to get into this level, you can even check server logs to see exactly when your site has been crawled etc.

Don’t overcomplicate things:

Website content and SEO is an ongoing process. Create a list of tasks, prioritise them, and gradually work through them.

Dawn Anderson @dawnieando

  • If you can’t improve content or a section of your site, exclude it from search indexing using your website’s robots.txt (for now).

There was even more quality information shared, but I hope these few themes help with your digital marketing.

If you have any questions about any of these areas, please feel free to ask them in the comments below, or contact me.

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