SMX West is coming! Here’s everything you need to know

February 14, 2018
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Search Engine Land’s SMX® West is just five weeks away, and it’s shaping up to be an exceptional show. You can expect the quality content, speakers, networking activities and meals for which SMX events are famous.

SMX West features three packed days exploring the marketing topics that matter most to professionals like you — SEO, SEM, retail, analytics, social media marketing, local, mobile and much more. Each expert-led session dives deep, covering aspects of search marketing that many may not have considered. Our goal is to “wow” attendees, to go above and beyond the ordinary industry conference and to arm them with actionable tactics they can implement as soon as they return to the office.

If this sounds like it’s up your alley, continue reading my big show preview, and then register today to save $100 off on-site rates.

Stay sharp on the cutting edge of online marketing at SMX West

Anyone who’s tried to stay on the cutting edge of online marketing knows that from time to time, you get thrown by things like unexpected algorithm changes, newly introduced ad enhancements or formats, experimenting with seemingly benign tactics that go wrong or even doing nothing… and watch your hard-earned traffic slip away for no apparent reason.

This is why world-class marketers are on constant alert for solid, proven information and actionable tactics that keep them on the cutting edge of search marketing. And that’s why we designed SMX West to offer both full-scale preventative advice as well as state-of-the-art triage techniques for experienced marketers.

The art & science of SEO

In the early days of search marketing, Bruce Clay popularized the use of the phrase “search engine optimization” (SEO) as the term to describe the art and science of achieving good rankings in the dozen or so search engines that were popular at the time. A lot has changed in the nearly two decades since Google arrived on the scene; today, SEO pretty much means achieving success within Google.

Google has changed a lot in two decades as well. Rather than relying primarily on PageRank to evaluate the quality of webpages, Google now uses a vast array of techniques to suggest a wide range of content in response to queries, from simple, direct answers to multimedia audio and video files to spoken responses — and all this across a variety of devices.

With loads of guesswork and assumptions, the debate about Google’s ranking factors is never-ending and evolves with every algorithm update. What’s on the rise, what’s on the decline, and what still works? How does machine learning affect the tactics SEOs use to influence results? And what impact does voice search have on what works today?

At SMX West, we have SEO sessions dedicated to answering these questions. We’ll cover the ever-changing expanse of issues and tactics SEOs need to keep up with to maintain their edge and achieve exceptional search marketing results. Such sessions include:

  • All Google Manual Penalties Explained.
  • AMP: Do Or Die?
  • SEO For Google’s Mobile-First Index & Mobile-Friendly World.
  • SEO Ranking Factors In 2018: What’s Important, What’s Not.

Untangle yourself from crazy-complicated technical SEO issues

Even SEO veterans can run into serious challenges when they dive into website infrastructure and find that things are more complicated than they expected. URL parameter facets + pagination + canonicalization? Mobile + hreflang + international versions? AJAX multiget calls? And if you don’t solve these issues, the fantastic content you’ve created may never be indexed.

Need a life preserver? Our deep-dive sessions into technical SEO include:

  • Going All-In On AMP.
  • JavaScript & PWAs: What SEOs Need to Know.
  • Solving SEO Issues In A World Of Constant Change.
  • Successful SEO Using Markup & Structured Data.
  • The Latest In Advanced Technical SEO.

See the SEO track.

SEM for fun & profit

Think you know everything about Google AdWords or Bing Ads? Have all the best practices nailed? Are you a master of extensions with encyclopedic knowledge about gaining the upper hand when sparring with the quirky idiosyncrasies of bidding, scheduling and conversion optimization?

Think again. As kung fu masters remind us, “The wise always remain humble, grasshopper.”

You’ll get plenty of unique insight, shared experiences and practical hands-on tips during the SEM sessions at SMX West, including:

  • Conversion Optimization: Turning Quick Wins Into Winning Streaks.
  • Faster & Smarter: Moving From Manual to Automated SEM Campaign Management.
  • How To Maximize & Measure Performance On The Google Display Network.
  • Must-Have Reports For Search Advertisers.
  • The Art & Science Of Crafting Successful Ads.
  • The Great SEM Toolbox Roundup.

See the SEM track.

One of the harsh realities of being a search marketer is that you can become incredibly skilled at your job, technically adept and masterful of all of the nuances of SEM… yet still struggle to get the kind of results you hope for. Why? Because your competitors are working just as hard, or they may be using tactics or techniques that you’re unaware of.

At SMX West, you’ll get content that’s specifically focused on how to do competitive research for SEM. You’ll also learn how to optimize and re-architect your campaigns for maximum effectiveness, taking advantage of new ad formats, extensions, enhanced campaigns and other changes. Our speakers will discuss everything needed to squeeze new levels of performance out of existing campaigns, from design and testing through execution and measurement. If you’re looking for practical tips or just a bit of inspiration to tackle a necessary job, you won’t want to miss these sessions:

  • Competitive Research For SEM.
  • Advanced Audience Targeting & Management Tactics.
  • B2B SEM: Meeting Specific Challenges With Really Smart Tactics.
  • Beyond Text: Mastering Other Ad Formats.
  • How To Develop Multichannel Attribution Models That Move The Needle.
  • Perfect Your SEM Testing: How & Why To Evaluate Everything.
  • Thinking Outside the SEM Box.

See the SEM track.

Focus on e-commerce & retail

Key for online merchant success is the ability to run effective marketing and advertising campaigns. Both Google and Bing have had shopping search options for ages. But both introduced big changes over the past few years that changed the experience for shoppers. You need to understand these changes to be a successful online vendor. And it’s not just Google and Bing. Amazon is racing to market with powerful e-commerce tools, as are Reddit, Pinterest, and of course, social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Each has its pros and cons, and all are all great channels to interact with and sell to customers in their own ways. At SMX West, you’ll get juicy insights into critical aspects of running profitable e-commerce efforts across these channels if you attend these retail sessions:

  • Driving Sales On Social Media.
  • Shopping Campaigns That Keep Paying Off.
  • Winning More Customers With E-commerce Offer Testing.
  • Your Mission: Increase Sales, Cut Costs, Maximize Profits.

See the retail track.

SMX Boot Camp gets you in shape

If you’re new to search marketing, our SMX Boot Camp will get you up to speed. Boot Camp runs during the first day of the show, Tuesday, March 13. Attend and you’ll learn the fundamentals you need to get in shape quickly. Sessions include:

  • Keyword Research & Copywriting For Search Success.
  • Link Building Fundamentals.
  • Paid Search Fundamentals.
  • Search Engine Friendly Web Design.

To encourage new people to learn about search marketing, we offer all of these sessions through a low-cost SMX Boot Camp ticket. Boot Camp includes admission on the first day to the Expo Hall, networking lunch and that evening’s Expo Hall reception. You can upgrade to a full pass if you want to attend more sessions on the second and third day of the show.

SMX Boot Camp is also open to anyone with a full All Access conference pass. Everyone who attends every Boot Camp session gets a Certificate of Completion.

Exploring important search marketing issues

We all love the art and science of search marketing, the tactical aspects of optimization or bid management and the thrill of seeing analytics demonstrate successful and improving campaigns. But there are other aspects of online marketing that are often overlooked and just as important.

Each of the sessions below features speakers who take deep dives into a topic, providing you with actionable, thought-provoking insights, often sharing the results of their own research. You won’t want to miss out on:

  • How Cisco Harnesses The Power Of SEO For Digital Transformation.
  • Local Search: Significant Changes On The Horizon.
  • Optimizing Content For Voice Search & Virtual Assistants.
  • Using Search Ads & Social To Deliver The Ultimate Knockout Punch.
  • Understanding Offline Targeting And Attribution.
  • Unleashing The Power Of Online Video Ads.

See the complete agenda.

The clinics are open!

Craving specific advice from experts about issues with your own sites or campaigns? The specialists will see you now! On the second and third days of the show, our popular clinics return, covering these areas:

  • SEO Site Clinic.
  • Social Media Clinic.
  • Link Building Clinic.
  • PPC Tune-Up Clinic With The SMX Mechanics.
  • Analytics Clinic.

See the complete agenda.

Ask the experts who are obsessed with SEO & SEM

Got a puzzling issue? Wondering about emerging trends or tips and techniques? Ask the experts! During the “AMA (ask me anything) With Google Search” session, Webmaster Trends Analyst Nathan Johns will open up about how Google interacts with your site and content. And he’ll also answer your questions about algorithms, ranking factors and other components of Google’s “black box.”

And during the “Meet The SEOssession, it’s no-holds-barred as veteran practitioners take any and all questions.

We know you wish you could attend every session at the conference, but have no fear!…

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