Obsessed With SEO & SEM

January 30-31, 2019
San Jose Convention Center

Five questions for 2016 Search Personality of the Year Eric Enge

Do you deal with big SEO problems? Do you work in a large enterprise, or have a site with millions (or billions) of web pages? If so, the basic SEO training material is not what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the master class, the one that is loaded with advanced content. You need the Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques workshop taught by well-known SEO expert Eric Enge. Read on as Eric talks about what he’ll be covering and how you’ll be able to put what you learn to use right away.

Who should participate in your workshop?

I always like to help people understand the answer to a few key questions when I teach. These are:

  • How will doing this thing, or pursuing this idea, help my business?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • What’s involved in executing it?

I’m going to try to help the attendees to my workshop learn that across a broad array of aspects of SEO today. The material is designed for:

  • Marketers involved in SEO. I’ll provide a view of the major trends that help marketers determine what’s most important for their business, but that also help tech people gain perspective as how their work helps drive business growth.
  • Technical people involved in SEO. I’ll provide technical insights that are of high interest to the tech people, but that also help marketers get a feel for what’s involved.

What makes your workshop unique? What will attendees get that they can’t easily find elsewhere?

This workshop is ADVANCED. I’m going to go deep on a wide range of topics. This will include topics like:

  • The role of links in today’s algorithm
  • Why content really is king, and how to create content that will provide strong results
  • Why Schema is here to stay, and why you need to get it right on your site.
  • Strategies for earning featured snippets on your site.
  • How machine learning will change search.
  • The power of AMP and why you should consider implementing it 2018.
  • What PWAs are and how they can increase your site speed.
  • Creating apps for the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
  • The power of YouTube and how to optimize for it.
  • And, much, much more.

Bottom line: I’m going to get detailed and technical. You want the advanced class, this is it.

Describe three actionable takeaways attendees will be able to put to work in their own search marketing campaigns.

In my response to the last question, I provided some specifics of things users might learn from this class, but I also hope to impact them in more general ways. What I mean by that is that the workshop is going to cover a lot of ground, and present a lot of different opportunities that each attendee can derive value from – probably more opportunities than they can possibly execute against.

For that reason, I’m also going to try to help attendees learn enough to come up with these takeaways:

  • What the top 3 opportunities are for them to pursue over the next year.
  • What it will take to execute against those opportunities.
  • The information they need to persuade their management (or themselves) that these things are worth investing in now.

What is a search marketing mistake you made that others can learn from?

There is a big trap that all people interested in SEO face. It’s called “taking the easy way out” (or grey hat SEO). There is always the lure of using an SEO tactic that works in the short term, but in the long term, these always carry a major risk.

Once you go down that road, it’s hard to stop. A little grey hat SEO becomes a lot of grey hat SEO, and then the hammer falls, and you lose a large amount of your organic search traffic. This may be OK if you’re a black hat SEO running churn and burn sites, but not if you’re running a real business that employs real people.

So, I’m a pure white hat SEO, through and through, but when I first learned about SEO (way back in early 2002) I tried some things and found out the hard way that using short term tactics has consequences. I’ve taken that lesson to heart, and have played it straight for fifteen years now. I’ve built and sold four companies that were run solely with a white hat approach to SEO.

In fact, I work hard to educate people on why it’s important to learn how to play by the rules AND excel at it. Once you learn how to do that, doing the grey hat thing completely loses its appeal.

Time to gaze into your crystal ball and tell us what you see in the future – what does the search marketing landscape look like in five years?

We will have more automation and machine learning – that’s not really anything new in the predictions arena. However, The pace of change in our industry is accelerating. Technology has been accelerating for hundreds of years, but it’s more frenetic than ever. So what will happen in the next five years? Here are a few things:

The year of voice will unfold. It’s use is rising exponentially now, but it’s still quite rough in it’s execution. Voice recognition is getting very good, but there is still much progress to be made. With the major investments that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are making in this arena though, we will see its usage level soar. The idea of being able to using voice to ask for what you want is just too compelling.

The use of digital personal assistants will grow dramatically. They will be used for search, managing calendars, booking reservations, e-commerce, home control, and more. In fact, the current assistants can do ALL of these things NOW. Google reports 400M active users of Google Assistant and Siri reports 500M users of Siri already today.

Those numbers will go up, and usage levels per user will also go up. There are already significant branding, reputation, and visibility gains to be had by developing apps for these, such as an Action on Google (what we call a Google Assistant App) or an Alexa Skill. We’ve done both at Stone Temple, and see this area as a huge opportunity.

A significant portion of search will exist outside of search boxes and browsers. This is a logical consequence of the rise of voice and the rise of the Internet of Things. In these environments, queries only get one answer in the verbal response provided. If you’re not that answer you’re out of luck.

In a small research study done by digital marketing agency ROAST, they found that 80% of Google Home responses were drawn from featured snippets. This makes sense, as the Google Assistant (which is what is running on Google Home) wants to provide the best single answer to that question, and this is exactly what the featured snippet algorithm is designed to provided. This is one more reason why learning how to get featured snippets for your business is so important.

Augmented Reality will continue to grow. This may not seem like a search related item, but the lines around what is search, and what’s not search, are already blurry, and they will continue to blur even more. The landscape is going to shift more towards users doing what they want, and getting a particular piece of information is only part of that. As is playing some music, making a dinner reservation, controlling my home (security, lights, heat, etc.).

The concept of enhancing your perception of what’s going on around you with additional information is a powerful one. As I’m walking down the street around dinner time, imagine getting information streaming your way on the reviews for each restaurant your passing by, or learning if any of your friends have eaten there. Or having a system that will allow you to see what you look like in a pair of pants without actually having to try them on.

Or customizing your appearance in social media environments, which you can already do in Snapchat with Bitmoji. Users can pick various Bitmoji to reflect their personality, or how they feel at the moment. AR is going to have an increasing impact on our world over the next five years, and even more so over the next ten.

Blockchain will evolve past cryptocurrency and will start disrupting marketing, including search marketing. One of the reason that companies like Google and Bing can run advertising campaigns on third party sites (like Google’s AdSense program), or we need companies to operate display advertising networks, is that an intermediary is needed to manage the process between advertiser and the publishing site. The essence of this is accurate tracking of impressions and clicks to the benefit (and for the comfort) of both parties.

Blockchain can handle such tasks with ease eliminating the need for such an intermediary, thereby allowing advertisers and publishers to connect directly, get accurate, independently validated data, and remove the need to pay an intermediary for that service.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know.

I sometimes share these things in decks, so many people have learned over the years that in 1984 I was a world champion in foosball. But here are three other things that they might not know:

I’ve run in the Boston Marathon 3 times. The first time I actually didn’t finish because I hadn’t fully recovered from a bout with Bronchitis (something about aerobic capacity is important when you run). I’ve also run in the Falmouth Road Race (7 miles long) for 24 straight years. This year’s race in August will be the 25th.

I swam competitively in college, for Tufts University. I was by no means the star of the team, but I was on it. Imagine swimming 3 miles of various sprint combinations five days a week. I’ve never been in better shape than I was then.

I was number one in my class at Northeastern University when I graduated in 1982, and I graduated with an Electrical Engineering Technology degree. Even back then, it was a great school, and a great experience.

Thanks Eric!

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn from one of the most experienced pros in the industry! Read more about Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques at SMX West, and register today!

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