I spent the last two days at the SMX Search Engine Marketing Expo in Melbourne, Australia, which also incorporated the Online Marketer Conference and Expo, the Mobile Marketing Workshop, Online Marketer Boot Camp, Marketing Optimisation Summit and the Social Marketer Workshop.
Now, first and foremost I am a writer, but I’ve been writing online for a long time, and in the process have picked up a lot of knowledge about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). I have never studied Marketing or Information Technology, so I thought it might round out my knowledge base if I went and gleaned a few titbits from the masters. However, being surrounded by hardcore marketers was quite a new experience for me, and more than a little bit strange.
As I’m starting my own online content writing business (MiContent), I figured it would be in my best interest to study up on the more in-depth technical elements related to helping businesses with their internet identities and web traffic. I am confident in my article writing and story writing, but I wanted to make sure I knew everything I could about keywords, social media, hyperlinking and page rank. It may have been expensive, but in the end the SMX Expo fulfilled my needs.
There were presentations and clinics all day long, each one focusing on a different aspect of online marketing and search. Everything one learned was ultimately about the simple task of how to get the right people to find your website, then contact you, or purchase your product or service. I’d have to say at the end of taking extensive notes each day my brain felt like it was a waterlogged sponge unable to think about anything except the optimisation of business websites.
I’m not going to tell you about everything I learned, as it’s still soaking in, but I will say the experts from Bald SEO, DejanSEO, First Rate, No Drama Media, The Online Circle, aimClear, Weber Shandwick, Fang Digital Marketing, Mindshare, Experian, Datalicious, Internet Marketing Ninjas, First Click Consulting, FatCowBusiness and Steak Digital all had a lot of relevant information to share, and those were only the talks I was able to see. Each time I was being ‘schooled’ there were at least two other presentations happening simultaneously, but I made sure to focus on the elements that would help me understand what creates the best internet writing.
So, what did I learn? I learnt that the whole web content issue is not as difficult as you might imagine. A lot of it is basic logic: You need to have written content that is interesting, and which expresses your knowledge and enthusiasm about your industry.
I also learned there is a massive number of tools out there of which can help you figure out the aspects of your website and web content that are working well to attract visitors.
Last but not least, I studied what kind of content the search engines like Google rate as being of high quality. Content needs to be original, come from a trustworthy source, written by an enthusiast or expert (authors are now being ranked for authority), have no spelling or grammar errors, be written out of genuine interest – not solely for search engines, and be posted on a regular basis. If you have news that is fresh and you’re the first one to publish it, you’ll add a whole extra level of relevance to your site.
I’m definitely keen to try out some of these new content optimisation tools. However, the secret of good web content is quite easy: Write from your heart, from your unique mind, and share what you know with interested people. The questions remain: can you write well, and do you have the time?