8 key takeaways from SMX London 2013

At last month’s SMX London, the world’s largest search conference, we discussed the current challenges SEO professionals face when optimizing websites for international search engines. Here are our key takeaways from the event:

Claiming your digital identity matters

Even good content is worthless if no one can find it. This is where authorship and authority help. For example, Google Authorship is a way to link online content to someone’s Google+ profile. An article or blog post can be tagged with the author’s name and their Google+ profile image will appear next to the search engine listing of that content. By linking your online content, your authority or ranking strength increases. Authority is a way to verify rank and content based on a variety of factors, thus making it an important search engine factor. Individuals with great authority can easily leverage their authorship to rank higher in search engines.

Killer content remains King, Queen and Ace

For marketers in general and search marketers in particular, “Content is King”. For any SEO strategy to become successful, content needs to be made the defining principle. It is not easy to create great content, especially at scale. Often, one of the best ways to go is to repurpose existing content and distribute it via various social media channels.

Search optimization must be done with powerful SEO tools

To keep ahead of the competition, we have to work with the best-in-class SEO tools, which save time and money in the long run. The good tools are the ones that enable search marketers to do 10% reporting and 90% analysis, through automation, flexibility and scalability.

Link building is still relevant

As search engines and their algorithms have evolved, many search marketers believe that link building has become difficult and ineffective, therefore not worthwhile. However, if done intelligently, it can become a core part of today’s SEO strategy. The key to this is organic growth patterns. You must rely less on optimization and more on topical relevance and building relationships with bloggers and key influencers within the industryThis will deliver earned links, which positively impacts your search engine visibility.

Turning up your Twitter tactics is essential

Taking your Twitter tactics to the next level will help engage your followers. These tactics include tweeting during important times of day, maintaining a consistent tweet/retweet frequency and targeting high-authority people to retweet you.

Facebook’s new Graph Search could revolutionize SEO

Facebook’s new Graph Search is still in its beta phase. Once released to its billion-plus user base, it may change SEO as we know it. Although not yet a direct competitor to Google’s search, it has attractive features for people search, local and vertical search and event search. Every search marketer should start thinking about the best ways to utilize it and exploit its capabilities.

Advanced keyword research and competitive analysis need to be unified

SEO must take a cue from market research by unifying its two basic processes- advanced keyword search and competitive analysis. The tools available to search marketers are limited but utilizing them in a structured way will help identify the right target phrases.

Google+ is becoming increasingly important

If growth rates remain at their current level, the Google+ user base may exceed Facebook’s by 2016. Google’s CEO Larry Page believes Google+ is the “new DNA” for all of the company’s productsThe platform is becoming an unavoidable strategic element of SEO strategies. Every search marketer should know about its unique features and understand the impact the network has on both traditional and social search.

Performance is a moving target. It is crucial that all parties involved in performance marketing stay up to date with developments like these in order to achieve the best possible outcome.