Our fourth Search Marketing Expo event in the UK is just two weeks away, and it’s shaping up to be an exceptional show. You can expect the great content, keynote, networking activities and meals for which SMX events are famous.
But this year we’ve added a new – and we think very compelling – focus to the show: SMX London is now SMX Advanced London, taking place on May 17 & 18 in Covent Garden.
Why an advanced focus?
While most of our SMX events have had a mixture of basic through advanced content, we’ve only run one conference that was totally dedicated to the needs of experienced professionals: SMX Advanced, held in June in Seattle each year.
As my partner Danny Sullivan describes it:
“SMX Advanced is for vets. It gives them the unique opportunity to learn and discuss search marketing topics in a group setting without any time lost bringing others up to speed. As I’ve said before, one of the best metaphors is that the show is a place where everyone can speak their native language without slowing down. Everyone at the event speaks search marketing fluently. You can have rapid-fire and high-level conversations about SEM.”
As the search marketing community has matured, we kept hearing from people outside of North America – what about us? We want an advanced experience, but we can’t travel to the U.S. What can you do for us?
The answer: SMX Advanced London.
Are the two Advanced SMX conferences the same?
SMX Advanced London is modeled on our always-sold-out SMX Advanced show, but with a distinct UK and European focus. For example, the majority of speakers hail from the UK or Europe. All of our speakers have proven track records, and are expected to share case studies, best practices and the knowledge and experience gained from working in the trenches and managing successful campaigns.
What can you expect at SMX Advanced London?
SMX Advanced London covers all of the search engine marketing topics – SEO, paid search advertising, analytics, social media marketing, local, mobile, and much more – again, with each session taking a deep dive into a topic, covering aspects of search marketing that many may not have considered or even known existed. Our goal is to “wow” an audience full of people who themselves are qualified to speak.
On the search engine optimization side of the equation, we’re covering:
SEO Ranking Factors In 2010 – Google’s Matt Cutts recently said that Google makes one change per day on average to its ranking algorithm. That’s a lot to keep track of, and our expert panelists will discuss what’s working this year, and equally important, what used to work but isn’t any longer—including once-successful tactics that today may in fact be harming rankings.
Leveraging Digital Assets For Maximum SEO Impact – Search results have evolved far beyond ten blue links, including video, images, news and even real-time Twitter streams. This makes it harder to rank well in traditional web results, but also presents huge opportunities for SEOs who know how to optimize other types of content.
Link Building Outside Of The Box – As important as link building is, it’s really just about slogging through drudge work – or is it? Our panelists have developed different, unique ways of gaining those oh-so-important votes of confidence and will share their techniques in this session.
Keyword Research: Beyond The Ordinary – Everyone has access to the same keyword research tools – so how do you gain a competitive edge? This panel explores different ways of thinking and applying creative strategies to attract even more visitors to your site.
Powering up paid search
Paid search has also changed considerably in the past year, and we’ve got some great sessions lined up to show you how to supercharge your PPC campaigns.
Exploring Google’s New Ad Formats – Google has launched more new ad formats this year than ever, and yet according to Nicholas Fox, Google’s Business Product Management Director, surprisingly few search marketers are taking advantage of them. Here’s a look at what they are and how to get in on the action before your competitors do.
Amazing New PPC Tactics – OK, admittedly whenever anyone uses a word like “amazing” it’s easy to be skeptical. But the search advertising gurus on this panel have truly made some breakthrough discoveries and have the ROI and other metrics to prove it. Better yet, they’re more than willing to show you how they did it.
Search Ad Quality, Under The Microscope – It’s not enough to write an ad with a landing page any more. All of the search engines are now assigning a “quality score” – a measure of relevance and potential profitability – to ads, and this score has a direct impact on both ad position and cost-per-click. But quality score remains widely misunderstood. Panelists in this session demystify this opaque metric and show you actionable tactics for boosting your quality scores.
Yahoo! & Microsoft Search Alliance: The New Search Powerhouse – Once weak challengers to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have joined forces, creating a compelling alternative that can’t be ignored by anyone wanting to reach the widest possible audience. In this session, both search marketers and representatives from Yahoo and Microsoft map out the possibilities and potential going forward.
Let’s get social
With the meteoric rise of Facebook and Twitter, it’s impossible (or maybe just willfully stupid) to ignore social media as part of your online marketing efforts. SMX Advanced London has an entire track dedicated to integrating social media into your campaigns.
Proving Social Media’s Value – Skeptics say, “Social media is great, but you can’t get reliable metrics to show whether it’s working or not.” Our panelists in this session beg to differ, and offer an array of tangible methods for demonstrating its value – especially to clients or bean-counters who control your marketing budgets.
Advanced Tactics For Promoting YouTube Videos – Quick: What’s the second largest search engine? YouTube! And if YouTube isn’t part of your overall search marketing campaign you’re missing out on huge traffic. Beyond Video SEO, our panelists on this session show you how to get the most out of YouTube using a variety of innovative tactics.
Killer Facebook Marketing Tactics – If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. On top of that, web users spend more than three times as much time each month with Facebook than they do with Google! Even though it’s not a classic search engine, Facebook nonetheless offers both organic and paid options for reaching the citizens of its virtual nation.
Social Media, Search & Reputation Management – News spreads like wildfire on social networks, regardless of whether true, false or rumor. If your company or client’s good name is threatened online, you can effectively contain the damage or even burnish its reputation, if you do it properly. Here’s how.
Give It Up! Social Media Edition – Our “give it up” sessions at SMX Advanced are a cherished tradition for regular attendees. The idea is for top experts to tell all about their “secret” SEO techniques and tactics. In London, we’ll be doing the same thing but with a twist: focusing on popular social media networks.
Connecting with customers
Over the past year or two, search marketing has become less about rankings and position and more about improving the searcher experience and measuring outcomes. At SMX Advanced London, a number of panels focus on these vital conversion and analytics topics.
Conversion Science – The goal of any search marketing campaign is getting searchers to convert – that is, getting them to buy, sign up, download – whatever specific task you want them to accomplish. In the past, getting searchers to convert was often a matter of putting your best effort out there and hoping for the best. Now, conversion has become something of a science, with proven methods and processes to achieve continually improving results, and our conversion scientists will brief you on the most recent findings.
Bullseye! Reaching and Closing Your Ultimate Customer – Too often, it’s easy to forget that there are real people with real needs behind all of those clicks your site receives from search engines. By having a better understanding of who your customers are you can move from a “search/click” experience to tailoring a thoroughly satisfying process for all.
Top Ten Customised Search Analytics Reports – Basic analytics reports are great… but your competitors are seeing the same types of numbers and are using them the same way you are. The good news is that it’s easy to tweak reports to fit your own needs and give you crucial insight into your customers that your competitors may not have. Here’s how.
The Art Of Measuring Local & Mobile Search Results – With the overwhelming popularity of the iPhone and smartphones, we’ve finally at the point where local and mobile search have “arrived.” But how do you know if your campaigns are effective? This session goes into different ways of attributing credit to parts of your campaigns to make sense of what mobile and local searchers are doing.
Making Sense Of All The Numbers – The great thing about analytics packages is the amount of data they provide. But it’s easy to get lost in all that data, or to use the wrong numbers altogether. In this session, our analytics gurus show you what reports are the most important, and which ones you can safely disregard.
Keynote address by Barak…
Barak Berkowitz, that is. Barak is Managing Director of Wolfram | Alpha, the award winning “Computational Knowledge Engine” that arrived on the scene with a splash last year. Berkowitz will talk about how Wolfram | Alpha offers a compelling alternative approach to Google, Bing and other search engines. He’ll also offer some great insights about how search has evolved – he’s a longtime industry veteran who at one point oversaw the integration of Infoseek into the Disney Go network among many other accomplishments in his storied career.
Sponsors, networking & parties
Of course, our sponsors & exhibitors do have great information to share with SMX attendees. The exposition hall runs for both days of the show. In it, you can get information from exhibitors and sponsors about many products and services available to search marketers.
SMX Advanced has teamed up with UTalkMarketing to provide free workshops in the exhibition hall. Come along and join experts from Google, eBay and Coremetrics in discussing the topics of internet marketing and search optimization.
Beyond the conference sessions, there’s networking — and at SMX Advanced London, we don’t leave networking to chance, where you hope to randomly encounter the right people. We’re organized!
Even before you arrive, our SMX Connect networking system will allow you to meet people. Think of SMX Connect as an easy-to-use, disposable Facebook for just this event. You can find people with common work or personal interests, plan sessions to attend and see others who say they’re going. Connect with someone new during a session or plan to meet during a break!
In the evening of the first day, we have a reception in the exposition hall.
So don’t be worried about meeting people. You’re going to meet plenty – all of whom share your passion for and knowledge about search marketing.
Good food, WiFi & fabulous venue
There’s no sense providing great sessions, great networking and letting the conference experience be ruined by a terrible box lunch. That’s why with SMX, boxes lunches are a no-no. You’ll get a great meal, on a real plate, and you’ll want seconds. No joke, people take pictures of the food at our events, it’s so good. You’ll also get refreshments during the day.
We’ll also keep you connected, providing free WiFi in the conference rooms. Tweet, and Facebook, and Foursquare and email to your heart’s content — though consider shutting that laptop or turning off that iPad, lest you miss a great point one of our speakers is going to make.
The conference venue is beautiful, by the way. Held at Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, the building has been the Headquarters of the Freemasons since 1717. It’s an elegant setting for two days of cutting-edge search discussions!
Want even more?
See you in London!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.