Big Takeaways from SearchFest 2014

Takeaways from 2014 SearchFest
SearchFest is always a conference that we look forward to attending. It’s a full-day of insightful and powerful presentations on trends that are shaping Search Marketing and Social Media. The conference organizing body, SEMpdx’s, original mission was to “put search on the map in Portland, and Portland on the map in search.” Not only have they done this, but they give firms like us, fresh ideas to help our clients better compete online.

Two members of our SEO team attended this year’s conference held at the Sentinel/Governor Hotel in Portland on February 28. They brought back some great information and some takeaways that we thought we would share with you.

1st Takeaway: Mobile – 65% of all searches start on a mobile phone. Even though a prospective customer may convert somewhere else in the sales funnel, mobile is often their first contact with your business.

Helpful tips: Put calls-to-action close to someone’s thumbs and at the bottom of the scroll; and use shorter headlines and Meta data for mobile search results (50 – 60 characters for title tags, 115 for descriptions).

2nd Takeaway: Brand Marketing – All marketing is becoming loyalty marketing to keep consumers engaged with a company’s brand. There’s a shift taking place from marketing to consumers, to enabling ambassadors to market for your brand. The future is not going to be about marketing just to personas, but marketing to actual individuals. Social media integrations are encouraging and enabling this through their access to personal profile data. And Google’s Analytics Universal is enabling greater customized metric tracking.

3rd Takeaway: SEO & Higher Conversions – Industry best practice is moving away from a specific keyword strategy to a broader topic/landing page focus. Also having a solid content marketing strategy is crucial for generating links.

Helpful tips: Use pop-up when prospect is exiting your site and offer them a coupon or incentive to capture their email (this strategy saw a 60% return); and after getting their email, set-up an automated drip email campaign to get them to convert.