The goal of attending any conference is to learn something and to apply the knowledge you gained to make yourself or your work better. After attending the State of Search Conference 2012, I not only have knowledge to improve my skills and become a better SEO, but I also have a better understanding of Canadians in cowboy hats and boots.
The following take-aways are not all I learned, but a couple that I felt can help other SEOs out there:
- Followerwonk: Having had the opportunity to use this tool for a couple of months, I feel it’s completely underutilized in the industry. Followerwonk is great for breaking down your twitter analytics, building reports for clients and creating a social media strategy. As an SEO you can get the most out of this tool by analyzing your followers, their followers and so on to build relationships and network.
- Lifetime Value (LTV) of a Client: Duane Forrester mentioned this subject, which is also overlooked by marketers. “LTV defines the lifetime net profit or value a customer will generate your business in their lifetime.”
- Who better to offer tips on guest blogging than an editor? Elisabeth Osmeloski, editor of Search Engine Land, provided very actionable tips on guest blogging. Elisabeth stated that editors are aware bloggers are looking for a link, and in many cases they are willing to give it, but they ask bloggers to do their homework.
- Research the website and read the guest blogging requirements
- Write content that provides value and will appeal to the audience
- Have a unique voice
- I have never met Chris Brogan before, but he proved to be equal parts entertaining and knowledgeable. His commentary was very useful, especially in the fact that it forces one to think outside the box. For example, Brogan said that he emails his newsletter at 4am on a Sunday simply because no one else does that and that as a result it has increased his CTR. I thought this was quite amazing. I’m sure others will try to use this now, but the big lesson learned here is sometimes you’ve got to take a chance and try new things. Additionally, be sure to back up your process with reasoning and documentation.
- Ruth Burr and Wil Reynolds both had great statements about link and relationship building. According to Burr, one should “build relationships that build links that drive traffic.” A key takeaway of Reynolds was that you should “connect with people on Twitter first then do outreach…this will yield a 3-4 times higher response rate.” The relationship you can build with someone is going to be worth more in a lifetime than one link. A common topic discussed was how important it is to treat bloggers like a person and not a link. Bloggers write for a living and they are always looking for content topics. Wouldn’t you rather make a contact and build a relationship that can get you multiple links or mentions than just a once? Even if you never get a link, it will be more beneficial to have another friend in the industry and build a bridge than to use someone for a short spike in traffic.
These topics are only a small portion of what was covered at State of Search, but they are huge, and it’s worth doing your own research and finding other resources that feature these topics as relevant discussion items. The individuals I mentioned are industry veterans that are extremely knowledgeable. I recommend finding them on Twitter or reading their blogs, as they are great resources.
Who are some of your go to resources inside or outside the industry? Let me know in the comment section below.