In the world of search engine marketing, staying ahead of the latest changes and implementing new, competitive ideas is half the battle. That's why this July we participated in one of the biggest, most cutting edge search marketing events of the year -- MozCon.
It might sound made up, but we can assure you it's a real thing. MozCon is a conference held every year in Seattle that brings together some of the most forward-thinking industry leaders in the world of SEO, social media, marketing analytics, content strategy, data science, and more.
For three days straight, presenters crammed our heads with all the latest knowledge and answered many of our burning questions about search engine marketing in 2013 and beyond.
The event is put on every year by Moz (previously called SEOmoz) -- one of the best resources for search marketing information and tools in the country -- and included presentations from the founder of HubSpot, the director of President Obama's highly-successful 2012 web campaign, local SEO expert David Mihm, and many others.
What we learned (the abridged version)
As you can imagine, after three long days of presentations, the team has learned a lot about the changes and trends in the world of search for 2013. But we won't bore you with any of the technical details -- that's for our SEM team to worry about. Instead, we would like to share a few of the big trends that hit the search marketing field this year:
- Brands are beginning to dominate the search results, making it harder than ever for small businesses to get noticed. Building your social and local presence is more critical now than ever before.
- Mobile browsing is exploding in popularity, even for industries where you wouldn't expect it. If you haven't already, it may be time to consider getting a mobile site or investing in a responsive design for your current site.
- Google now has 90% of the market share worldwide and 80% in the US. Bing might want us to believe more people prefer their search results, but the numbers don't lie.
- Social signals -- especially +1's from Google+ -- are a quickly growing ranking factor for search. Remember that Google+ account you created last year? You might want to start using it.
- Google is slowly taking away keyword data with the rise in (not provided) results in Google Analytics, which will make it harder to accurately track non-branded organic search traffic.
- Google is rapidly introducing new search features -- like Carousel, info cards, and comparison charts -- that keep searchers on Google longer and change the way rankings are measured.
- A lot of the "black hat" SEO tricks and tactics of the past are losing or have lost their power to manipulate search results. The businesses who have relied on these shady marketing practices are beginning to lose big time.
How we measure up
The good news is, if you have Avelient as your search marketing team, your rankings and traffic are immune to any changes Google makes to their search algorithms to weed out spammy sites. We have never relied on any short term SEO tricks because we don't believe our clients deserve to be subjected to the Google roller coaster. It's just not sustainable.
Instead, we've embraced new features in search -- like Google Authorship, schema.org, and Google Business Photos -- to help our clients stand out from the competition. And our web design team has been proactively addressing the rise in mobile browsing by encouraging our clients to invest in responsive design for their websites.
We focus on building our clients' brands online through local and social mediums, by serving up content that searchers are actually looking for, and by continually improving user experience. You can't trick people into doing business with you -- you have to earn it.