Here’s your preview of what to expect next month at SMX East

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Attending SMX is a bucket list item for many search marketers. Join us October 24-26 in New York City for three days of learning, 50+ sessions, 80+ dynamic and expert speakers, keynotes, exceptional networking and more. If you’re involved in SEO, SEM, social media marketing or other customer-facing activities, this is the conference for you (and your company)!

Constant change, constant challenge, constant opportunities

To borrow a famous marketing slogan, “The hits just keep on coming.” But for online marketers, this catchphrase has multiple meanings. On the one hand, we’re seeing virtually continuous change and innovation: It’s a great era for marketers, because the hits just keep on coming.

But professional marketers share a lot in common with professional athletes, especially in sports like football and hockey, where… the hits just keep on coming. And taking those hits, surviving and continuing to play at the top of your game requires stamina, persistence and a willingness to continually improve your plan to outplay your competitors.

We designed SMX East to help you with all aspects of those hits that just keep on coming — with cutting-edge tips and techniques you can put to work immediately to take your marketing campaigns to the next level. Attending SMX will give you key insights and strategies that help sharpen your competitive edge.

If this sounds appealing, read my comprehensive preview and then register today.

Transform your SEO into a competitive advantage

With constant algorithm changes, machine learning influencing search results and an ever-increasing number of competitive websites appearing every day, it’s challenging for SEOs to keep up. A further challenge is to justify your hard work and persuade bosses or clients why — and exactly how — your work is valuable. If you’re just getting started with SEO, SMX East’s SMX Boot Camp can help, but we’ve also got plenty of sessions designed to help seasoned professionals sharpen their edge:

View the complete SEO track.

Illuminating the SEM universe

Paid search marketers have plenty to keep up with, too: new ad formats, extensions, more sophisticated options for remarketing and retargeting and enhanced automation tools, to name just a few. In fact, SEM is so important to marketers that SMX East features full tracks on each of the three days dedicated to best practices and case studies in paid search.

Knowing what you’re doing from start to finish is essential. Do you have the right messaging, ad formats and offers in your ads? Are you reaching the right audience at the right time, maximizing exposure? Have you built high-quality landing pages to convert visitors into leads?

SEM sessions that explore these and other questions include:

View the complete SEM track.

Keynote: Search marketers are the trailblazers in the emerging martech era

We get it. Marketing is now a software-powered discipline that blends the art of creative with the science of data. New technologies are deeply interwoven into marketing operations and strategy, and effectively harnessing them demands new capabilities, skills and management.

In his SMX East keynote, martech pioneer Scott Brinker celebrates the influence and power of search marketers and how your skills make you a trailblazer. His keynote will cover:

  • the evolution of marketing from the “arts and crafts department” to a results-producing, software-driven dynamo.
  • how organizations are reinventing their operations and institutional metabolism to cope with the always-on and multichannel world.
  • why search marketers are uniquely qualified to lead in the new “martech era.”

You won’t want to miss Scott’s inspiring and visionary look at the brave new world of online marketing.

Conversion, attribution & analytics

In this multitouch world, where customers move freely between devices and the offline world, understanding the overall buying process is more important than ever. It’s crucial that you build a conversion journey and meet the needs of your customers throughout their entire experience. Are you properly attributing and making informed decisions on the leads you generate? Do you really understand what your analytics are telling you, and are you using that data to adapt and adjust to changing conditions?

At SMX East, our expert speakers will focus on these and other measurement topics, with sessions including:

Unique content and perspectives for brands & agencies

Brands face unique challenges when it comes to search marketing, including:

  • maintaining their brand image within restrictive headline and description requirements.
  • ensuring that testing takes into account other branding efforts.
  • marketing in multiple countries, potentially in multiple languages.
  • following trademark guidelines and more.

Brands also often work with agencies or other marketing partners and must find effective ways to work together on such tasks as coordinating the ownership of keywords, content and other assets.

Come hear from brand SEO and SEM experts about how they are handling these and other challenging issues in their search marketing campaigns in sessions including:

Thriving in the new mobile-first era

Mobile devices have become the dominant tools your customers and prospects use to access online content, and if you haven’t adapted to this new reality, you’re missing out in a huge way. Google has even changed the way it ranks content, favoring mobile-friendly design. And Google’s AMP (accelerated mobile pages) protocol provides huge advantages for publishers and advertisers alike.

Succeeding in local & retail

Google estimates that between 30-40 percent of all queries have some sort of local intent. Indeed, for many brick-and-mortar businesses or service providers, local remains the only way to reach and interact with customers.

Retailers also face unique challenges, maintaining complex sites with hundreds, thousands or even millions of products that constantly change based on inventory, new items or models and consumer demand. Beyond maintaining and optimizing their own sites, retailers also must deal with issues like providing structured product listings to shopping and comparison search engines.

SMX East features experts who have faced all of these challenges and will offer lessons learned and best practices for thriving in these complicated environments. Sessions include:

SMX Boot Camp gets you in shape

If you’re new to search marketing, our SMX Boot Camp will get you up to speed. It happens on the first day of the show, Tuesday, October 24. Attend and you’ll learn the fundamentals in these sessions:

To get you started if you are new to search marketing, we offer all these sessions through a low-cost SMX Boot Camp ticket that includes admission on the first day to Expo Hall, networking lunch and the Expo Hall reception. You can upgrade to a full pass if you want to attend more sessions on the second and third day.

SMX Boot Camp is also open to anyone with a full All Access conference pass. Everyone who attends every Boot Camp session gets a Certificate of Completion.

Let’s get social

It’s common knowledge that social media can drive tons of traffic to a website, but there are right ways and wrong ways to interact on social platforms. SMX East sessions exploring effective social media tactics include:

The clinics are open!

Want specific advice from experts about issues with your sites or campaigns? The doctors are in! On the second and third days of the show, our popular clinics return, covering these areas:

Ask the experts obsessed with SEO & SEM

Got a puzzling issue? Wondering about emerging trends or tips and techniques? Ask the experts! During the AMA With Google Search panel, Webmaster Trends Analysts Gary Illyes and Juan Felipe Rincón open up about how Google interacts with your site and content. They’ll also answer your questions about algorithms, ranking factors and other components of Google’s “black box.”

During the Meet The SEOs, it’s no-holds-barred as veteran practitioners take any and all questions. And don’t miss the Paid Search Roundtable for our experts’ take on all things SEM. We know you wish you could attend every session at the conference, but have no fear! SMX East wraps up with a perpetual favorite: Best Of Show/Key SMX Takeaways. In this session, speakers and fellow attendees will share their personal highlights from SMX East.

Quality programming & speakers

All of the 50+ sessions I’ve described above are editorial sessions. People are speaking on them because we feel they have great information to offer. Note: No one bought their way onto a panel.

Each session is developed by a session coordinator who reviews speaking pitches and reaches out to knowledgeable people to assemble a panel. The session coordinator works with speakers to create a session where presentations support each other, rather than overlap. Formats also vary. Sometimes we have panels with multiple people or only one or two speakers. Some panels are all Q&A. Some feature presentations. We use several formats because different topics require different presentation approaches. That makes for the optimal SMX experience.

The entire editorial portion of the show is overseen by me and our SMX programming team — Lauren Donovan, Brad Geddes, Ginny Marvin, Michelle Robbins, Barry Schwartz, Greg Sterling, Jessica Thompson and Matt Van Wagner. We’ve been organizing search conferences longer than anyone in the industry – more than 19 years and counting!

Find the solutions and services you need in the Expo Hall

Explore the Expo Hall to meet market-leading vendors, find new ideas and network with experts. You’ll gain access to our classroom and solutions tracks featuring sessions from Google, Bing, Amazon Marketing Services, Bruce Clay, Stone Temple Consulting and more.

The classroom and solutions tracks are part of the agenda; they are produced by sponsoring companies. These companies know they are competing for your attention with our educational sessions, so they’re highly motivated to deliver great information and value.

If you are looking to connect with Google, Bing or Amazon Marketing Services and get the latest offerings and solutions or to ask questions, don’t miss attending these sessions. The opportunity to connect in person at SMX East is unique in the search marketing world.

Bing and Google will conduct full days of programming on their search advertising offerings Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Amazon Marketing Services, for the first time ever at a marketing conference, will be talking about their self-service, cost-per-click advertising solutions.

The Expo Hall is open Tuesday and Wednesday, October 24 and 25. There you can get information from exhibitors and sponsors about the many products and services to accelerate your business and performance.

Looking to network and visit the Expo Hall? An Expo+ Pass might be the right fit for you. Learn more.

Hands-on workshops

Looking for even more advice in a smaller group setting on particular topics? Come a day early, and you’ve got a choice of in-depth workshops and training classes to choose from:

You’ll save $400 off on-site rates by registering for an All Access + Workshop combo pass.

Networking with like-minded peers

SMX East brings together the most accomplished search marketers in the world, and we provide plenty of organized and social networking activities for you to connect with them.

Our SMX East Facebook Group will allow you to connect with other attendees and speakers before, during and after the conference.

If you’re new to SMX, be sure to attend the SMX Orientation, where we’ll show you how to optimize your conference experience. The orientation is from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, October 23, at The Westin New York at Times Square, 270 West 43rd Street, 9th Floor, in the Palace Room.

We’ll kick off the conference with the SMX Meet & Greet reception, sponsored by Bruce Clay, Inc. Arrive early, pick up your registration materials, and join us at the Stitch Bar & Lounge, 247 West 37th Street, for an informal evening reception with fellow attendees, speakers and invited guests.

During lunch, sign up for an “Obsessed With…” networking table, where you’ll network with other attendees and discuss specific topics. Being grouped with people who share a common interest is a great icebreaker.

The SMX Expo Hall Reception, sponsored by Stone Temple Consulting, takes place on Tuesday, October 24, from 4:45 to 6:00 p.m. The reception offers another great chance to mingle and check out the best-of-breed marketing solutions from our exhibitors and sponsors.

All these options can be found our SMX East networking page. We keep SMX East intentionally intimate, so you are guaranteed to meet plenty of amazing people!

I hope you’ve found this preview useful, and that you’ll be joining us in New York. Register today!

Chris Sherman, your SMX East Concierge


Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.




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