Several Meetup Groups and marketing organizations in the Windy City plan to attend the SES Chicago networking cocktail reception on Tuesday, Nov. 5, for a collaborative get together with SES attendees, speakers and exhibitors.
This will be the first time that this many Meetup Groups of marketing professionals, brand advertisers, agencies, and business leaders from Chicagoland have converged at one industry networking event.
The groups that will meetup at #SESCHI include:
- CIMA – Chicago Interactive Marketing Association, Chicago’s only interactive-centric professional organization;
- SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) Chicago, the local chapter of a global, global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it;
- The Chicago Search Engine Optimization Meetup Group, local people who are interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and more general issues related to Search Engine Marketing (SEM);
- Chicago Social Media Managers, a group of social media experts and community managers.
- Chicago Women Tech, a group of local women in digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine marketing (SEM), web development, information technology (IT), social media, affiliate marketing, blogging, or any other tech-related field.
I asked the organizers of several of these groups four questions about hot industry topics and here are the answers that Antonio Casanova (AC), Bob Tripathi (BT), and Mary DuQuaine (MD) shared with the SES community:
Greg Jarboe: What are your initial thoughts on Hummingbird and how (or if) it affects your future search strategies?
AC: Marketers should: Continue to place the creation of original, high-quality content at the core of your search marketing efforts. Determine if the Hummingbird update (rolled out over a month ago) has affected your organic rankings or traffic. Include conversational queries on your keyword research process.
Besides researching keywords that you would enter on a search engine to find information, evaluate phrases that you would use to ask a friend for such information. You can also use Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, or Google’s search box suggestions to identify conversational queries.
Closely monitor the popularity of conversational queries. Search volume around these queries is expected to go up now that Google is well equipped to answer the questions that conversational queries pose.
Use the schema.org markup convention, which allows you to provide detailed, structured information about your assets (e.g., products, videos, images, locations, recipes, etc.). Leverage authorship and publisher tags to connect your content to your Google+ profile.
BT: Hummingbird was a change that was in the works so it was expected. Overall, it’s a good change as its time SEOs start looking at marketing holistically and start looking at all the “Digital Marketing” channels as one.
MD: Hummingbird is to Q/A sites what Google Places was to the Yellow Pages. It will affect how people use search queries. People will ask more questions in the search bar which push us to optimize our anchor text & content for question phrases.
GJ: How are you coping with “(not provided)”?
AC: Focusing on page-level metrics (visits, number of URLs receiving organic traffic) and SEO rankings; leveraging paid search data, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing/Yahoo keyword data; putting additional emphasis on keyword research (using internal search data, UGC, social listening, and site surveys to inform keyword research)
BT: As they say in Hollywood, the show must goes on, so we SEOs need to look at life beyond Keywords. I would say this means we would need to reply more on Webmaster Tools and also on actual conversion data.
MD: I am depending more on entry page performance, AdWords, Bing/Yahoo keyword performance data. Competition analysis tools such as Spyfu/SEMRush, and free tools such as ubersuggest.org that scrape Google suggest data are invaluable.
GJ: What are three things marketers/SEOs should focus on for success in 2014?
AC: Content strategy (including the creation of great content and the promotion of such content via social media), semantic markup (schema.org, author/publisher tags), and mobile SEO (responsive design or dynamic serving being preferred).
BT: I would say focus on making their sites device friendly (responsive design), bring more synergies with the top 3 inbound channels like SEO, Social Media and Email, and think more of themselves as Digital Marketers as opposed to SEO’s.
MD: User Experience/Web based customer service content/tools. Building useful/shareable tools and/or expert level content. Building editorial calendars/creative distribution processes for your awesome content.
GJ: If you could ask Google for a holiday gift, what would it be this year?
AC: Make search query data on Google Webmaster Tools accurate and comprehensive.
BT: Can I get my keyword data back in Google Analytics, Please?
MD: Create an easier AdWords experience as the AdWords enhanced campaigns are far too time consuming for most small-/medium-size businesses.
SES Chicago 2013 offers a variety of conference passes and on-site training. For more information, click on rates and registration details. Group discounts for pass holders from the same company are also available by contacting [email protected] and are the best value for the lowest price possible.
I should disclose that SES Chicago is a client of my agency. But, trust me; you won’t want to miss the networking cocktail reception sponsored by Stone Temple Consulting on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, in the Exhibit Hall at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.