Learninbound & the future of SEO

If you’re involved in Digital Marketing and you haven’t been to Learninbound then you need to put this event in your diary. Learninbound is a super digitial marketing event. The calibre of last week’s speakers was remarkable. Larry Kim responsible for billions of pounds of Google AdWords spend was the highlight.

The line up included 3 speakers included Larry Kim, Backlinko and Joanna Lord. The venue was central dublin in a very cool venue (the Academy) with free bar, and the sound was excellent. DigitalDNA are you listening? Unfortunately/fortunately I was driving so took lots in and didn’t miss a word. Tickets prices were fairly reasonable.

Backlinko touched on the importance of the about us page, building email lists with pops up and page specific bonus content. You can see the ideas implemented on his website. You can also read more from Gustavo’s write up here.

Brian mentioned relying on exit intent for pop-ups, though I’m not sure if you can do this for mobile, so it’d be interesting to find out what he recommends for mobile.

Joanna Lord’s talk ‘Habits of High Growth Companies’ focussed on unicorns. I think these are start-up companies valued at $1 billion dollars, there’s about 140+, so maybe not too relevant to a relatively small venue in Dublin, which was presumably filled with small businesses, though I could be wrong!

Nevertheless this was a fascinating talk with alot of takeaways for businesses of all sizes. Joanna encourages her developers to know a bit of everything, every team member dips into other departments and there’s plenty of cross team visibility & training.

Larry Kim’s talk on the future of SEO covered Google’s algo Rankbrain, heuristic algos and machine learning code. The talk was in danger of flying above everybody’s head, but with great slides and an engaging personality, Larry brought it back and delivered. It was great to hear someone associated so much with Ads giving his spin on SEO. There’s no doubt that the lines of SEO and Ads are blurred and there’s a big overlap.

Larry stressed the importance of CTRs (not surprisingly as he’s an AdWords guy at heart and this is a major factor of the AdWords algorithm) and engagement metrics such as bounce rate and time spent on pages. Keyword driven titles lead to average CRTs, if you’re relying on writing meta titles focused on Keywords, DON’T! You should concentrate on improving your CTR (one way is to test your ads with Google AdWords and using the best performing ad). Google Search Console will have all your CTR’s, look for the unicorns.

My own thoughts on this is that I wouldn’t go ahead and recommend ripping up your traditional SEO titles and writing titles just for CTR’s. Getting a balance with keywords and a hook would be my advice.

For landing pages small changes like changing the colour of a button, font size are all balls, and over the course of time will level themselves out. Test bigger changes.

In a nutshell Larry also mentioned brand affinity, recognition, facebook targeting, custom targeting and remarketing. Be everywhere you can and your conversion rates will greatly improve.

Next up is a full day conference in October with over 10 guest speakers. Great job, Looking forward to it. Hopefully the quality of these events can only lead to more, not just in Dublin, but even Belfast, to save me the journey.



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Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 225729 or use the contact form.

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