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November 20, 2015

3 talks of note from this year’s State of Search

This year’s State of Search conference in Dallas, Texas came through with a lineup of search engine marketing figureheads and professionals from across the industry. Having just wrapped up this past Tuesday, high-profile speakers chimed in on their latest findings and thoughts about search in 2015, and where it is headed into 2016.

While keeping track of the State of Search on Twitter and conference’s website, we decided to pick out the highlights from the past two days and share them here.

All information below is from stateofsearch.org.

Ross Hudgens: Content Marketing Data that Moves the Needle

Ross Hudgens is the founder of Siege Media, a content marketing agency based in San Diego. Siege’s focus is the strategy, development and promotion of content while keeping organic search marketing in the big picture.

In his talk, Hudgens discussed how most articles that get published online barely make a blip in the massive galaxy of content that is circulated around the web every day. He used a recent finding from Moz that 60% of articles get only eight shares or less.

So what is the difference between the big guns and the novices?

A lot of it has to do with not just how well-researched the content being created is, but also observing the quantitative trends assigned to traffic source, title stylizing, as well as word count.

Some interesting numbers from Hudgens’ research and article reviews include:

  • Content that is published on Mondays converts 80% better than content published on Thursdays.
  • Concise content – that is quick and easy to read – has a readability of 128%.
  • The most popular infographics on Pinterest have 387 words on average.
  • The most popular infographics on Twitter have 442 words on average.

Chris Silver Smith:  Structuring Local SEO for Multi-Location Businesses

Chris Silver Smith is president of Argent Media, a Dallas-based digital agency. State of Search noted Smith’s well-detailed presentation this year, in which he stressed how many local businesses are still overlooking a great deal of basic SEO. He did however acknowledge that despite the oversight, many new efforts are being taken.

This is a big presentation, so what we’re highlighting here is really just scraping the surface. If you’re trying to up your local SEO game, going through these slides are definitely worth the time.
Some highlights from Smith’s presentation:
  • If you have a business with multiple locations, create a separate page for each location on your website. This can send strong signals to Google that your business has success in multiple communities, increasing consumer trust.
  • Focus on the connection of ranking factors for local businesses – distance, prominence, and relevance. Think about how these factors affect one another.
  • Focus on “classic SEO” for all local pages – on-site optimization factors such as header tags, alt text, links – all the good stuff. While surprising to hear, Smith suggests that there is a good chance that your competition is ignoring classic SEO.

Rand Fishkin: Two Algorithm World

An Internet search conference these days would not be complete without the presence of Rand Fishkin, who serves as the fearless yet benevolent leader of Moz. At State of Search, Fishkin gave a monster 125-slide presentation about how Google’s Skynet-esque RankBrain and humans are the two algorithms driving how rankings are influenced.

We’re just going to leave this presentation here for you to enjoy.

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