At the end of every conference comes the onslaught of obligatory summary posts of the top takeaways from the day. You can learn about all the best speakers, who had the most creative slides and catch some great summaries of the more intricate details of the presentations. But this time I thought I’d write something ...
Keynote: Keeping up with the Consumer
If you want to understand Google's knowledge graph then it's time to think Star Trek.
Ian Carrington, Google's Director of performance, opened the day at SESLondon this morning as the keynote speaker presenting all about "Keeping up with the Consumer." With over 10 years experience at Google and previous work with Alta Vista search engine too, Carrington shared his expertise with the conference this morning to help us to understand how to cope with a consumer who is constantly connected, increasingly demanding and expecting simplicity.
With 28% of 3-4 year old's in the UK using tablets, a change that would have been unimaginable pre-2010, the emphasis of this talk was being prepared for the increasing development of devices using the internet; with speak of the google glass, cars and fridges that all will adapt to the user in ways we have never seen before.
Carrington quoted Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, as saying "if you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a future strategy" with Google develops aiming to not just answer questions but also to converse and anticipate uniquely with the user.
Something for the average user: it's definitely time to start using your devices as one consistent access point to the internet, by logging into your Google account not only will the device you use remember your searches and anticipate to tailor results to you, but you can swap across devices. In practice this means you can query something on your phone and then simply buy on your laptop when ready, or search on your iPhone then swap to your nexus 5 as demonstrated brilliantly by Ian.
More specialist: RLSA shows a potential future for ad campaigns, it is able on average to provide 43% cheaper CPA with higher conversion rates. The ability to adapt bids to suit individual consumers whether they're returning or a new customer, plus their previous purchasing behaviour on the site allows efficient spending on new campaigns. As it's claimed to be one of Google's best releases in the past 18 months it represents the future direction of Adword marketing.
Bas Van Den Beld has won the Speaker Medallion at the International Search Summit not once, but twice, and was voted as one of the Top Influential Marketers in the UK. As the owner of the State of Digital he managed to attract a crowd to the Mountbatten room for his presentation on Brilliant Blogging: 7 Lessons for Blogging Success. Supported by Lee Odden, CEO of toprank, the duo provided a comprehensive guide to all things blog-related.
Lee opened the presentation with a 7-point breakdown of the components of a successful blog:
1. Specificity will help you to gain credibility and stand out from other blogs.
2. Optimise your writing by focusing on continuous collection of information about your readers and customers
3. For event blogging and live blogging make sure your blog is unique by cooperating with the brand and speakers for exclusive questions.
4. "Great content isn't great until it's discovered, consumed and shared."
5. Ideas need to come from more than one person, discussion and participation will help create even better content ideas.
6. Actively engage in comments on your site and on others to show an interest in others, this is what makes your blog interesting.
7. The most important thing is to commit to your blog, by standing out and maintaining working on the blog you will gain readership.
Bas then took over to discuss the foundations of content on a blog, he urges writers to not be self-indulgent in their topic selection. Instead it is important that the blogger embodies their readership and understands what they want to read about and then importantly to love what they're writing about to.
This advice can be implemented according to Bas' guide on finding the best content ideas using social media as a basis, by following targeted reader groups on twitter, utilising hashtag and topic searches, and Google + features for community questions you can identify the areas people want you to be talking about.
When finalising a piece Bas' last point of advice is to Never forget the 'so what'
The most important part of a blog posts is the reader being able to do something with your information, whether it's determining their own opinion, taking some expert advice or gaining knowledge the point is your blog content must have a use to the reader. Bas tells us this is one of the most important things to keep in mind when writing your blog, content is key.
With people debating whether they're sticking a fork in it, or burying it forever, Bas couldn't conclude his presentation without discussing the controversial topic of guest blogging at the moment. A guest blog is not going to damage your credibility as long as you're using good content; and let's be honest why would you want to post bad content anyway? Bas invites key guest bloggers who know about the industry to write one off pieces or a series on valuable topics, by doing it the right way guest blogging content can reach much further with both you and your bloggers network.
Standard rules apply- there is nothing wrong with a guest blog as long as it's the same strength of content as the rest of your blog.