Two members of PixelMEDIA’s digital marketing team recently attended the SearchLove Boston conference. The event, sponsored by Distilled, featured tons of tips on the latest happenings in digital marketing. With speakers from companies like Google, Moz, Wistia, and even a PixelMEDIA alum, there were plenty of perspectives on SEO, social media, analytics and online strategy.
Since we always love talking about digital marketing here at PixelMEDIA, we asked them to share their favorite takeaways from the two day event.
There were several moments that really stuck out for me. The first came from our good friend Rand Fishkin of Moz fame, who spoke about social clickthrough rates and optimizing for sharing.
Through various tests it’s been found that providing options for a person to share your content on any social network under the sun can actually inhibit them from doing so. Providing just a single channel icon, Facebook for example, can be much more effective.
An example Rand gave of a company that is doing this really well is Buzzfeed, a business that lives and dies by the social share. Buzzfeed has customized the share buttons on their content based on the channel that brought you to their site. For example:
If you arrive via Facebook mobile, there’s no Google Plus icon, because you likely use Facebook over Google Plus:
If you arrive via Pinterest, they only provide icons for Facebook and Pinterest because those are the likely channels you will share the content on:
If you arrive via Google search you better believe they’re providing a G+ icon:
Obviously all channels saw the twitter icon, because everyone loves twitter, but by removing the distraction of the other channels you are more likely to share! Even a small percentage increase on this metric can make a big difference for your business.
Another compelling presentation came from Chris Savage, CEO of Wistia. Chris discussed the power of video as part of your digital marketing efforts. We’ve been a proponent of video here at PixelMEDIA for some time now, and it was really cool to hear Chris validate a lot of what we’ve been saying. The most powerful statements for me came at the end of his presentation. They were:
“You can’t send one email a year and hope to have a good email marketing strategy. Make video a part of everything you do with your business.”
“Bring the humans back.”
Video has a way of allowing your clients and community to connect with your company in a far more personal way than we’ve seen in recent history. What better way to get people to identify with your brand and mission than through video!?
As SEOs we often accept the word of experts in our field without questioning the intent or the data behind their recommendation. At SearchLove we were encouraged to think twice about these “best practices” and look to our own data to help guide our decision making. This was the most important tip for me, to learn from my data and to test, re-test and test my findings again to determine whether my optimization practices are producing the desired results from users.
That’s another thing I took away – to continue my efforts to get people to stop looking at GA data as numbers, but as users. GA data is based on real user actions and the data should be viewed in that context. It was great to hearJustin Cutroni from Google talking about this too!
Since we optimize for users, what are the ways to test an optimization strategy to see if it’s driving the action we are seeking? Josh Braaten of Collegis Education did a really great job covering this topic! Josh spoke aboutOptimizely.com which is a website optimization platform with free and paid components that make it much easier to do A/B or multivariate testing. You can use it on a number of site items like calls-to-action and button color. They also provide a user-friendly dashboard to access your findings and determine how significant they are. You can be sure I’ll be using this tool a lot more going forward.
In short, SearchLove provided tons of useful tips on how to be user-focused, and tools to test what you think you know about your site and user activities.