Best of SMX Toronto 2010
Great conference. Here’s the best of the best:
- Avinash Kaushik: I know my books were successful because the top search results for the book’s topics are the pirated versions of the book.
Avinash Kaushik: The important question is the Why. The internet is full of weird people and they’re all on your Website, simply trying to screw with you.
- Bryan Segal: (asking for a show of hands on different questions) BTW, this isn’t how we get our data at comScore.
- Shari Thurow: The 5-second usability test. Let people look at your site for 5 seconds, then ask them what the site is about. If they can’t tell you, you’re site isn’t focused enough.
- Shari Thurow: You have to pass the “What kind of X are you?” Test. What kind of law firm are you? “State of the Art?” “World class?” No. You’re a corporate law firm, that’s what you have to say most clearly. [I love that marketing hype is now one of the worst ways to market. People aren't searching for superlatives or marketing hype, they're looking for concrete information].
- Dawn Wentzell: “Worst of” lists rank better than “Best of” lists.
- Shalom Issenberg: Since we had to stop buying links, link-building got really expensive.
- Larry Bailin: People don’t search for the solution, they search for the problem.
- Sionne Roberts: We’re going to be discussing a tsunami of information. That’s from the session description. I don’t know what it is, but it sounds like a good thing.
- Warren Raisch: There’s a lot of confusion in the market. Which is good for us, because we’re consultants.
- Warren Raisch: If you could have a car or a cellphone? 80% of kids said phone. The digital need to be connected is more important than physical mobility to kids today.
- Sionne Roberts: So far we’ve had 2 answers to every question:
- It depends
- Focus on outcomes, begin with the end in mind
- Larry Bailin: Successful internet marketing is more about sales and marketing strategies than technical skills & faulty tactics. This will never change.
- Larry Bailin: Article in Feb 2010 Entrepreneur says “The SEO business is 80% spam” That number is probably a little low.
- Larry Bailin: A few years ago I was here and we all said the future was Second Life. 3 months later is was dead. We don’t know the future.
- Guillaume Bouchard: There’s a lot less content internationally. Think if you were doing SEO in US a few years ago, but with today’s algos.
- Avinash Kaushik: Paid searchers are often only converting days later. Optimize for those later conversions.
- Bryan Segal: Organic search has become a richer experience. Paid search will catch up, and will then be used more for branding, not just direct response. (Backs up Avinash’s key takeaway)
- Dawn Wentzell: Content that gets linked to naturally:
- Original research, with good visuals
- The Definitive Guide to your industry
- Industry coverage, including live blogging conferences. Lisa Barone’s PubCon coverage got 293 links [but that's an outlier].
Best Examples / Case Studies:
- Avinash Kaushik: When they saw conversion on a Travel site was only coming days later, even with paid click, they made 3 changes:
- Changed from immediate sales pushes (“Buy Now”) to softer (“Learn More”)
- Added “Save My Itinerary” feature
- Added checkbox to “Notify me if prices go up or down more than 10%” with box for e-mail address.
- Shari Thurow: Design for your users, not for yourself or your spouse. A site about cement was in purple and teal, because those were the designer’s favorite colors.
Best Warming up the crowd:
- Manny Rivas did a good job waking us up before a Friday afternoon session.
- Particularly great presentations by: Avinash, Bryan Segal, Dawn Wentzell, Christina Keffer, Barbara Coll, Rob Garner, Joshua Dreller, Ken Jurina, Warren Raisch, Manny Rivas
Best of Tim Ash:
I didn’t include anything from the eMetrics conference, which was co-located, but apparently Tim Ash rocked (and Manny Rivas captured it, thanx Manny!).
The 7 Deadly Landing Page Sins …
- Unclear Call to Action.
- Too many choices.
- Asking for too much, too soon – “Would you like me to hold your credit card while you shop?” [Heh]
- Too much text – unclutter content by striking out adjectives.
- Not keeping your promise – if you set the bar high, you damn well better stand up to it.
- Visual distractions – Don’t kid yourself, boring works. Make sure your prioritize goals.
- Lack of trust – don’t undermine your potential to gain your customers trust.
Tim’s best lines:
- You decipher images 4-500X quicker than reading words
- The purpose of the homepage is to get people off the homepage. (hat tip to Manny Rivas)
- If the desired action isn’t obvious you’re losing money!
Best Live Blogging:
- CT Moore at NVI.
Did I miss anything? Any corrections? Let me know!
More SMX Toronto coverage:
- Top 3 Takeaways from SMX Toronto
- Link Building Strategies and Ranking Tactics
- Search Marketing Toolkit
- Crystal Ball Panel: What’s Next in Search
- Digital State of the Nation: Search Edition
- What is Search Analytics and Why Should I Care?
- Mobile Search
- Next Generation Agency: Search, Social, Viral, Mobile and Analytics
- Optimizing Video: On Site and on You Tube
- Personalized Search
- Search and Social Media: Insight and Inspiration