Insights from SMX Israel 2014
This year’s SMX Israel was chock-full of information about SEO, social media and PPC. Most of the sessions I attended dealt with ways to create great online content and distribute it widely.
One of the best lines of the conference was coined by Laura Ben-David of LBD Creative, who said “Content is king, but the queen is context.” It’s not just about writing good content, it’s about writing content that’s relevant to your audience. It’s about choosing the right social media channels for a specific piece of content and writing the blurbs to attract that particular audience.
Ashley Tate continued the theme of writing for your audience when she talked about creating audience personas. By this, she meant that you should think about the different types of audiences you have so you can write slightly different articles to appeal to each one. Once you have identified your audiences, a brainstorming session is in order. Ashley assumed you had a staff you could gather in one room for a brainstorming session involving Post-It notes, but if you are on your own you can brainstorm as well. A piece of paper and a pen or a blank document along with some random Googling should help you think of good topics.
Ashley also recommends putting together an editorial calendar, with what will be posted when for at least a month in advance. But don’t forget to be flexible when you need to be, such as writing an unscheduled post in response to a hot news item.
Sharing Your Content
Once content is written, it’s time to share it with your audience. Hillel Fuld made a pretty convincing argument for taking another look at Google +. The high number of interactions are unparalleled on the other social networks, and direct contact with influencers – including Google employees – is within reach.
Suggestions from Ari Nahmani included using StumbleUpon (which is apparently making a comeback) and writing content for Buzzfeed which includes a link back to one of your posts. Retargeting ads can be used to bring loyal readers to specific posts they haven’t seen yet.
Tom Harari suggested TwtrLand and Followerwonk (as part of the paid Moz) for ferreting out information about key influencers in your niche and connecting with them. He talked about fostering real relationships with people, not just leveraging others for your own gain.
The Future of SEO
One of the themes of SMX Israel was looking at the future of Google and how it affects SEO. Guest blogging is no longer effective simply as a link building tactic and Google Now (discussed by Gil Reich) is changing the face of search. Keyword data in Google Analytics is disappearing and mobile sites are the wave of the future. John Mueller from Google suggested making websites more secure using https, in accordance with the new Google preferences.
Despite all of these changes, Laura’s words were echoed throughout the conference. Good content – relevant to your audience, coupled with relationship-building and social sharing – is still king.