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Bruce Clay’s Predictions for Digital Marketing in 2018

Bruce Clay, President

Bruce Clay’s Predictions for Digital Marketing in 2018 was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Do you remember the buzz and flurry of activity around Y2K? Possibly not, but it was a fire drill of activity to avoid disaster. This year may seem similar as things evolve rapidly in the realm of search.

For example, sites that have put off mobile readiness — thinking that most of their traffic comes from desktop, so why bother with mobile? — will find themselves in crisis this year.

Marketing teams across the board will face receding budgets as the C-suite becomes increasingly unwilling to dole out money without solid proof that it delivers results (per Gartner’s Oct. 2017 CMO survey).

As a result, I expect to see a focus on attribution tools and better data reporting as the industry scrambles to connect the dots of customer journeys and justify marketing spend.

Predictions for digital marketing in 2018 are fairly easy to make — at least compared to the last 13 years of annual prediction posts I’ve written. I am sure that most in the SEO industry who follow Google see these trends already progressing.

In a nutshell, the hot buttons SEOs know now will stay hot.

Make the right moves this year, informed by Bruce Clay’s 2018 digital marketing predictions.

Here are my predictions for mobile first, voice search, content, linking, speed, SEO, ecommerce, machine learning, virtual reality and video, to help you make more informed decisions this year.

My Digital Marketing Predictions for 2018


Mobile First: Google’s mobile-first index will become a bigger player starting around February. I expect that there will be a significant “disturbance in the force” when companies that have rested on their brand realize that the indexed content has changed enough to disturb their rankings.

For sites that are not mobile friendly, Google may continue to index the desktop version and hold off moving it to the mobile-first index. However, I don’t expect their rankings to hold since mobile user experience is the search engine’s top priority.

I anticipate Google will roll out mobile-first faster than expected. But even the preparation for it is changing the search engine’s index — which impacts rankings.

For instance, businesses trying to speed up their sites may remove large images, eliminate non-essential content, and modify other elements including links. Just altering the navigation menu to simplify it for mobile users changes a lot. All of this fluctuating content will affect the index and (combined with other changes) potentially create a flurry of lost-traffic panic.


Sites that have put off mobile readiness — thinking that most of their traffic comes from desktop, so why bother with mobile? — will find themselves in crisis this year.
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Voice Search: Right behind mobile, I predict voice search will be a major SEO focus in 2018. This is not because it impacts ecommerce so much as it impacts information and news sites.

Users will ask questions, and many sites are not well optimized to provide answers to questions. The traditional phrase-centric search will become archaic, and optimization will need to be about spoken Q&A instead of who used the keyword best.

Virtual assistants (such as Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant) and smart devices (such as Amazon Echo, Google Home) will continue improving their ability to interpret spoken language through machine learning. That’s a given.

But voice searches are still imprecise in many cases, and users often have to restate questions in different ways to get useful information. For example, try this:

  • Can you find your product with a voice search if you don’t mention your brand name?
  • When you do a voice search for your business or products by name, are they correctly understood or mistaken for something else?

Businesses should test voice searches and make sure their online information is sufficient to give people multiple ways to find them (by name, by type of business, by location, by specialty, etc.). In addition to all the local SEO factors, local businesses in particular need to consider how to be found for various descriptive terms through voice search while the technology is maturing.


Businesses should test voice searches and make sure … to give people multiple ways to find them.
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Content Focus: Content is next in line for a major 2018 emphasis, but now more of the same. The creation of intelligent content that answers people’s needs is the role of the content writer (more so than the SEO), so empowered content teams with SEO tools will dominate this area.

This will be a period of significant growth in the development of content teams with tools and training, enabling an army of writers many times larger than the SEO team to start doing SEO themselves as the content is created.

As a sidebar, I expect the usage of WordPress, which currently runs 29.3% of all websites, to multiply this year, with a massive number of sites redesigned using WordPress. There will soon be a new era of Active WordPress Plugins (AWPPs, to coin a term), which actively give guidance while you’re working in WordPress (like a digital assistant for WP). They will empower content writers to do more SEO themselves, leading to better-optimized content on WordPress sites.

This improvement will be countered by the possible late-2018 release of WP Gutenberg, a new editor interface for WordPress that’s currently in the testing phase. In my opinion, it will be difficult for Gutenberg to gain favorable recommendations for use if it takes away plugin-derived revenue from the web design and hosting companies.


Linking: Links have always been a headache for Google — they empower the search results, but they are also heavily spammed.

As good as the Penguin filter is, which has been running within Google’s core algorithm for over a year now, we see that unnatural links still work way too often in the search results. There’s room for improvement.


Unnatural links still work way too often in the search results. There’s room for improvement.
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I predict Google will issue a major update to the algorithm sections that deal with links to better filter spammy, off-topic links.

Search engines will also be adjusting to a diminished number of links from and within mobile sites (due to sites becoming more efficient for mobile, as discussed under Mobile-First, above) as well as other undisclosed mobile-first algorithmic factors. I predict Google will examine the speed and popularity of the linking page to determine the probability of the link’s being seen and clicked. Eliminating any link unlikely to be clicked because of poor performance will become critical as the link patterns are reviewed. All of this certainly should change how we acquire links in 2018.


Speed: Another factor for digital marketing in 2018 will be the increased adoption of Progressive Web App (PWA) technology to achieve faster site speed. Both app and website developers will embrace this hybrid approach that is easier to maintain and promote while delivering impressive speed for users. There’s a lot of resources out there for details on PWAs; this recent post by Cindy Krum is one of my favorites.

Coupled with a rise in PWA usage will be a diminishing regard for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), certainly wherever bandwidth is acceptable. If pages are fast enough and fully responsive, then AMP is not needed (a point Google’s Gary Illyes made during a keynote in June).

By the holiday season a year from now, I predict AMP will be a non-issue for most websites. The AMP project was all about speed anyhow, and as internet speed in general increases, the need for AMP will diminish — even if, as Google has promised, the odious problem of masking the publisher’s URL in search results gets fixed in the second half of the year.


Coupled with a rise in PWA usage will be a diminishing regard for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
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I expect speed to be seen as a cloud issue this year, as well.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and similar cloud-based platforms will expand. Meanwhile, Content Delivery Network (CDN) usage will decrease. Serving up a website’s static resources from the cloud provides greater speed and efficiency than doing it from nodes, as CDNs do, except for sites with a significant quantity of large files (such as high resolution images). CDNs are certainly becoming less important, and by year end, CDNs will be seldom used. While CDNs solved a significant conversion issue in the past, with higher speed networks and server technology changes, they will be unnecessary by the end of the year.


SEO: So what about traditional technical SEO?

It continues and actually becomes more important. As easy links stop working, companies will increasingly turn to other parts of the algorithms — specifically content as well as on-page structure, navigation, internal linking and better compliance with SEO practices.

Building a site’s expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T) will dominate this focus and become more critical across the board. The winning companies will be the ones with the best trained staff already working on an SEO-aligned content-based strategy aggressively. Between equally helpful content, the tie-breaker will be E-A-T, and we’ll see fewer sites ranking without it. This is likely to benefit established brands in the rankings.

As cited above, there will be considerable activity impacting the content in the Google index. A great amount of the algorithm is based upon the index’s having a reasonably large and steady population of content pages. The advent of the mobile-first index, query changes towards questions, a massive SEO content change (in kinds, volume and number of competitors), the diminishing access to links both internally and inbound (backlinks), and other easily identified factors all add up to a massive index change this year — and that will destabilize rankings.


Factors all add up to a massive index change this year — and that will destabilize rankings.
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Ecommerce: Google will step up as a major competitor in ecommerce this year. Google’s ecommerce site Express.Google.com has a network of manufacturers and resellers already in place. I believe it is poised to rival Amazon.

I order a lot of products online, and I think there is room for a second major service. Consider that as Amazon gains usage, people are going straight to Amazon.com. That threatens Google’s search business.


Machine Learning: Due to machine learning, Google’s ability to figure out what the user wants is advancing at lightning speed.

As Google’s algorithm learns to map user intent to each search query more and more accurately, sites must match that intent in order to rank.

Consider this – as Google figures out that a query requires purely information, your ecommerce site will lose rankings for that keyword. Sites that used to perform well for head terms need to pay attention to what is being ranked and forget what used to rank, including themselves. Getting an ecommerce site to rank for an information keyword is much harder now.

As a result of Google’s machine learning, rankings lost may be next to impossible to regain. In a competitive keyword field, the profile of the website silo (associated themed pages), and not just the ranking page, must match user intent.


As a result of Google’s machine learning, rankings lost may be next to impossible to regain.
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I’ll give a personal illustration. Google recently upended its search rankings for the query [search engine optimization]. This query is popular with do it yourself (DIY)-minded searchers, rather than people looking to consume SEO services. The algorithm detected this in 2017 and rapidly shifted rankings to favor news and information sites, not just the most in-depth answer to the query. As a result, our SEO Tutorial hub page fell from the middle of Page 1 to #15 in just a few months for this specific query.

Marketers will need to take user-intent cues from Google by watching what results are shown as the SERPs fluctuate this year. Doing so will help you avoid futile keyword targets and find new search queries to optimize for in order to match your site content to the right user intent.


VR: Virtual reality (VR) and especially EEG controls will continue to grow throughout 2018. The technology enables remote conversations to feel like everyone’s in the same room.

Beyond chat rooms (e.g., Facebook’s experimenting with a VR hangout app), imagine business meetings leveraging VR to pull remote workers together in one place. Conversations and examples would jump to life better; collaboration could be virtually face-to-face, all without travel expenses. It will be the business applications that monetize VR and propel it forward, so watch for opportunities there. We are considering it for our classroom SEO Training course.


Video: It’s about time for Google to seriously leverage the revenue opportunity of YouTube (which it owns). I expect to see many more video results co-mingled with organic listings this year.


I expect to see many more video results co-mingled with organic listings this year.
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Video production for marketing purposes will grow exponentially. Video has been expanding as a marketing tool for years now, ever since Google first started blending results in Universal Search.

But companies in every niche are now investing in video production at record levels. A mid-2017 HubSpot survey found that the top two content distribution channels that respondents planned to add during the next year were both for video: YouTube and Facebook Video. We’re considering this as an option for our training materials, too.

Last thoughts as we launch into 2018

Google is in the business of making money, and they are banking on/assuming that search advertising is primarily how that happens. On a mobile device, that could mean less exposure for organic results. I expect PPC to be taking budget from SEO when this occurs.

As for how marketing is going to do in a year of shrinking budgets, that is a tough situation. Digital marketing is getting more complex, and ROI is still difficult to measure. Social media is a big cause of the current wariness, since companies have tired of throwing money across various social sites without seeing tangible results. The attribution problem is still not solved, and companies will require more proof that marketing is working.

If results can be measured, then digital marketing will get more buy-in and more investment.

That is enough new for now. If you would like a hand with your digital marketing strategy for 2018, let’s talk.

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Source:: bruceclay.com

Are Writers Expected to Do SEO? New WordPress SEO Tools to Support Content Writers

shares and links to content

Are Writers Expected to Do SEO? New WordPress SEO Tools to Support Content Writers was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

We’re in a time when writers carry a heavy responsibility. They produce the fuel for SEO and marketing strategies to keep sales funnels full.

That’s because content marketing requires a LOT of content. In fact, 72% of marketers surveyed said relevant content creation is the most effective SEO tactic.

It makes sense, then, that writers should be equipped with tools that help them make informed SEO decisions along the way to making relevant content.

At the beginning of each year I share my marketing predictions, and last year I wrote:

“New tools will help content marketers produce targeted, high-quality content at the time of publishing. Content writers demand more data and become more technically bold as easy-to-use tools provide traffic and competitor SEO stats, ushering in a new generation of targeted high-quality content.”

Admittedly, this led to the WordPress SEO plugin that we developed and announced last October. After all, if you predict something you should also act on it!

What a plugin like Bruce Clay SEO for WordPress does is give writers and publishers a tool to create targeted content that is reasonably search engine optimized. Writers are empowered with website and web page analytics data in a familiar environment in a user-friendly UX. Writers get competitive analysis of the targets they are aiming to outrank with their own content. And writers get all this at the point of publishing allowing for streamlined analysis within the World Wide Web’s most popular publishing platform.

This is critical because …

Original Content Is Becoming Harder to Produce

Marketers are increasingly turning to content as a way to market to ad-averse digital natives. As a result, the amount of content available on every topic possible has grown exponentially. Content works at every stage of the customer journey from brand awareness to lead generation. And everyone knows that content is needed to be in business today. This has led to content burnout.

It’s obvious that today’s best writers have a growing need for SEO skills to help them analyze data and decide what content needs creating.

Content burnout or overload has happened as so many topics have been covered in-depth online. Original content is harder to produce because so much has already been written on so many topics. Targeted content is in some ways easier to produce because of the amount of tools available and the lower volume of existing content online, but to produce both original and targeted content is still difficult.

Is Too Much Content a Bad Thing?

This content economy has positive implications for SEO. The more quality content you have on a site covering one particular topic, the more likely you are to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). We believe that authors need SEO to become first among equals.

Creating a massive amount of quality SEO content makes it hard for the competition to keep up. As long as your body of quality content is continually increasing, companies with smaller budgets or that begin producing later will find it difficult to ever catch up to your site in terms of domain authority.

But if you are new to the web, not all is lost. What helps new bloggers is that even though much content exists online, most of it never gets any attention. In a study of a million articles, 75% of 100,000 randomly selected pieces had no external links and fewer than 39 shares.

A 2015 study by BuzzSumo and Moz analyzed the shares and links of over 1 million articles to see the format of content that get relatively more shares or links.

We believe that writers who are able to produce great written content with search marketing value have a huge advantage. By properly optimizing their content for search, writers are gradually adding SEO to their normal content-focused duties.

Are Writers Expected to Do SEO?

At one point, 85% of B2B marketers reported they couldn’t connect their content marketing activity to business value. This led to a number of reputable organizations making it a priority to determine what the ROI of content marketing was, and what it should be.

Now we know a lot about the ROI of content marketing, like:

  • Content marketing brings in 3x leads per dollar spent vs. traditional outbound marketing.
  • Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads per month.

Even with all the information about content marketing ROI, only 21% of content marketers say they are successful at tracking content ROI.

Understanding the ROI of SEO has additional challenges because there are a number of ways SEO affects revenue, and a number of ways to “do” SEO.

We believe it is vital to provide authors with feedback on their work — traffic, time on page and bounce rate — in order to increase quality and SEO awareness.

Additionally, ROI from an SEO campaign often extends well after the campaign is over, making it even harder to track. Years ago, a study showed 43% of marketers couldn’t measure the ROI of their SEO. Imagine if every writer had access to data to see how popular their articles are and how much new traffic their content is bringing to a business!

As a writer, having access to the tools that show you how you’re performing provides focus and direction when deciding what pieces to create next to contribute to business objectives.

writers do SEO

How Content Writers Are Doing SEO

The content marketing industry is becoming more data-driven as it matures. This means leading writers have adapted by becoming more technically savvy, using tools that provide data to justify why a particular piece of content is needed, as well as tools to show how it’s performing after publishing.

This Whiteboard Friday video details how bloggers should SEO-optimize their posts. A good portion of the video is devoted to teaching bloggers how to do research during the pre-writing process. The premise of the video is this:

  • Pick a goal for the post
  • Choose an audience
  • Find 3-5 long-tail keyword phrases
  • Scope the competition
  • Create the post

Only the last step has anything to do with the creation process; all of these SEO suggestions take place before the first word is written. As a result you would almost never find a content writer job description without SEO as a need-to-know skill.

As our dependence on data increases, writers need to continue to access as many data sources as possible to create new SEO content. Not only do writers need to know where to find data, they also need to understand how to use this data to create meaningful content that resonates with their target audience.

What Was Missing

Writing quality content may not be enough. The tie breaker we see over and over is a deftly search-optimized page. Tools have evolved to allow writers unprecedented access to data, yet there’s still plenty of room for improvement, especially in the area of SEO content tools.

Hunting for data on multiple websites, scouring through months of Google Analytics data and typing queries into Google itself eats up precious time that could be spent creating content that’s going to bring more traffic and revenue to a site.

WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, boasts over 50,000 plugins. But with all its flexibility and power, the platform is still lacking. WordPress is a content management system and not an SEO tool. Let me repeat that. WordPress is obviously about content management and not SEO.

Here are some of the things we’ve found that most WordPress content creators still need:

  • Ability to optimize for more than one keyword
  • Content performance data
  • Visual map of keywords within a post
  • Customized keyword analysis based on the actual page content
  • Automatic tracking of which posts/pages are succeeding in search results with rankings and traffic data
  • Mobile-friendly scoring, mobile errors and page speed statistics
  • Duplicate content flag
  • Content reading level score of your post compared to the top-ranked competitors
  • Gamification for authors and contributors through author-specific post metrics (top posts, rankings, visitors and more)
  • Access to rich, integrated research and analysis tools

Many of the tools added to the WordPress platform are not adequate for a writer taking SEO initiative. Most data is not in one place and is not readily available to an author or publisher. If these tools were condensed into a single place within WordPress, then more writers would create quality content that is highly-targeted and data-driven. Because the tools and processes are scattered and time-pressed writers don’t often have the time to go to multiple websites to gather all the information, SEO success may suffer.

There Is an Easier Way

It’s obvious that today’s best writers have a growing need for SEO skills to help them analyze data and decide what content needs creating. In fact, it is a very big part of every writer’s job already and will become even more so in the future.

But hunting for data on multiple websites, scouring through months of Google Analytics data and typing queries into Google itself eats up precious time that could be spent creating content that’s going to bring more traffic and revenue to a site. The solution is to bring data to writers in the content publishing environment.

Adding SEO into the publishing workflow is the surest way to improve the distribution and visibility of labor-intensive content investments — that’s why we’ve been working hard to finish our coming Bruce Clay SEO plugin and bring it to the WordPress community.

If you’re looking for a solution that will quickly provide insights to writers and publishers looking to get answers without going through half the internet to find them, sign up for the early preview release of our SEO plugin for WordPress. It will give you answers to your most pressing SEO needs within WordPress, saving hours of frustration.

Source:: bruceclay.com

The Digital Marketing Conference Calendar: 250+ Events Across the Globe, Updated for 2018

digital marketing conference attendees clapping

The Digital Marketing Conference Calendar: 250+ Events Across the Globe, Updated for 2018 was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Digital marketing conferences are held all over the world, from Los Angeles to Beijing and everywhere in between. Thousands of SEOs, SEMs, content marketers, social media strategists and business owners attend marketing events for the whirlwind of information, education and networking.

Where else but a digital marketing conference can you learn from the likes of Gary Illyes, Purna Virji, Rand Fishkin, Larry Kim and Bruce Clay all in a single day? We’ve updated our Digital Marketing Conference Calendar for 2018 with more than 250 events worldwide so you can start planning your year ahead. (Click here to skip straight ahead to the full calendar.)

We’ve organized this massive list — 250+ digital marketing conferences! — in three ways. You can view events by regional location, by topic focus, or by month on a calendar that can also be downloaded. Whether you’re looking for an in-person networking opportunity that’s close to home or willing to travel around the world to find the perfect conference experience, this list will make it easy for you to find digital marketing events that fit the bill. Happy planning!

2018 Digital Marketing Conferences listed by location:

2018 Digital Marketing Conferences organized by topic focus:

Or to see all 250+ digital marketing events organized month by month through 2018, jump to the full calendar.

2018 Digital Marketing Conferences Around the World

Events are listed below by their geographic region: U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South and Central America, and the Middle East. Scroll down to view events organized by topic or see the full calendar.

EVENT DATES LOCATION FOCUS
U.S.
Affiliate Summit West Jan 7 – 9 Las Vegas, NV Affiliate
Advanced Positioning + Lead Generation Jan 18 – 19 Nashville, TN Miscellaneous
WordCamp Albuquerque Jan 19 – 21 Albuquerque, NM WordPress
IMG Expo Jan 22 – 24 New Orleans, LA Digital
AMA’s Leading the Marketing Planning Initiative Jan 25 – 26 Chicago, IL Digital
NamesCon Global Jan 28 – 31 Las Vegas, NV Miscellaneous
Bruce Clay SEO Training Jan 29 – Feb 2 Simi Valley, CA Search
BlogHer18 Health Jan 30 – 31 New York, NY Blogging
Dent 2018 Feb 4 – 6 Napa Valley, CA Digital
DeveloperWeek Feb 5 – 7 San Francisco, CA Web Development
Social Media Strategies Summit West Feb 6 – 8 San Francisco, CA Social Media
Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit Feb 6 – 7 San Diego, CA Data/Analytics
GrowthHackers Conference Feb 6 San Diego, CA Digital
Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit Feb 8 Anchorage, AK Digital
AdCon Feb 9 – 11 Tampa, FL Advertising
Owner Summit Feb 11 – 13 Charleston, SC Digital
iMedia Brand Summit USA Feb 12 – 14 Bonita Springs, FL Digital
Agents of Change Summit Feb 12 – 13 San Diego, CA Digital
WordCamp Phoenix Feb 16 – 17 Phoenix, AZ WordPress
B2B Marketing Exchange Feb 19 – 21 Scottsdale, AZ B2B
Digital Summit Feb 21 – 22 Phoenix, AZ Digital
Pubcon Austin Feb 21 Austin, TX Digital
Wisdom 2.0 Feb 22 – 24 San Francisco, CA Digital
Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit Feb 22 – 23 San Francisco, CA Digital
AMA Winter Academic Conference Feb 23 – 25 New Orleans, LA Digital
eTail West Feb 26 – Mar 1 Palm Springs, CA Retail/Ecommerce
Social Media Week Feb 26 – 28 Austin, TX Social Media
Traffic & Conversion Summit Feb 26 – 28 San Diego, CA Digital
ConveyUX Feb 27 – Mar 1 Seattle, WA Digital
Digital Strategy Innovation Summit Feb 27 – 28 New York, NY Digital
Mobile Innovation Summit Feb 27 – 28 New York, NY Miscellaneous
MozCon Local Feb 27 – 28 Seattle, WA Digital
Social Media Marketing World Feb 28 – Mar 2 San Diego, CA Social Media
WordCamp Lancaster Mar 3 Lancaster, PA WordPress
CMO Digital Insight Summit Mar 5 – 7 Austin, TX Digital
LeadsCon Mar 5 – 7 Las Vegas, NV Digital
RampUp2018 Mar 5 – 6 San Francisco, CA Digital
Big Data Innovation Summit Mar 7 – 8 Las Vegas, NV Data/Analytics
C3 Mar 7 – 8 New York, NY Search
SEMpdx Engage Mar 8 Portland, OR Digital
SXSW Conference Mar 9 – 18 Austin, TX Miscellaneous
Local Online Advertising Conference Mar 12 – 13 New York, NY Advertising; Local
SMX West Mar 13 – 15 San Jose, CA Search
Ragan’s Social Media Conference Mar 14 – 16 Orlando, FL Social Media
Intelligent Content Conference Mar 20 – 22 Las Vegas, NV Content
Chief Marketing Officer Summit Mar 20 – 21 San Francisco, CA Digital
eCommerce Innovation Summit Mar 20 – 21 San Francisco, CA Retail/Ecommerce
TOPO Summit Mar 20 – 21 San Francisco, CA Digital
IA Summit Mar 21 – 25 Chicago, IL Conversion/UX
American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference Mar 22 – 25 New York, NY Advertising
Advanced Search Summit Mar 22 – 23 Napa Valley, CA Search
Adobe Summit Mar 25 – 29 Las Vegas, NV Digital
ANA Brand Masters Conference Mar 26 – 28 Dana Point, CA Digital
SearchLove West Mar 26 – 27 San Diego, CA Search
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference Mar 27 – 28 St. Louis, MO Digital
ConversionXL Live Mar 28 – 30 Austin, TX Conversion/UX
Napa Summit Mar 29 Napa Valley, CA Digital
An Event Apart Apr 2 – 4 Seattle, WA Web Development
Jacksonville WordCamp Apr 7 – 8 Jacksonville, FL WordPress
Marketing United Apr 9 – 11 Nashville, TN Digital
Pubcon Florida Apr 10 – 12 Fort Lauderdale, FL Digital
Digital Summit Apr 10 – 11 Los Angeles, CA Digital
AI Marketing Summit Apr 11 – 13 Santa Barbara, CA Miscellaneous
Marketing Analytics and Data Science Apr 11 – 13 San Francisco, CA Data/Analytics
WordCamp Atlanta Apr 13 – 15 Atlanta, GA WordPress
Bruce Clay SEO Training Apr 16 – 20 Simi Valley, CA Search
ANA Brand Activation Conference Apr 16 – 18 Chicago, IL Digital
DeveloperWeek Apr 16 – 18 Chicago, IL Web Development
HeroConf Apr 16 – 18 Austin, TX Advertising
Digital Summit Apr 17 – 18 Seattle, WA Digital
Data Visualiation Summit Apr 19 – 20 San Francisco, CA Data/Analytics
Marketing to Millennials for Financial Services Apr 19 – 20 New York, NY Miscellaneous
DigiMarCon Cruise Apr 22 – 29 Orlando, FL Digital
MarTech West Apr 23 – 25 San Jose, CA Digital
Social Media Week NY Apr 24 – 27 New York, NY Social Media
Social Media Strategies Summit Apr 24 – 26 Chicago, IL Social Media
Search Insider Summit Apr 25 – 28 Captiva Island, FL Search
SoundBoard Apr 27 Athens, GA Digital
Marketo Marketing Nation Summit Apr 29 – May 2 San Francisco, CA Digital
Collision Conference Apr 30 – May 3 New Orleans, LA Miscellaneous
Digital Summit May 1 – 2 Salt Lake City, UT Digital
Content Marketing Conference May 2 – 4 Boston, MA Content
Sellers Summit May 3 – 5 Fort Lauderdale, FL Retail/Ecommerce
The Social Shake-Up May 7 – 9 Atlanta, GA Social Media
SiriusDecisions Summit May 8 – 11 Las Vegas, NV B2B
Next10x Conference May 9 Boston, MA Digital
DigiMarCon East May 10 – 11 New York, NY Digital
Experiential Marketing Summit May 14 – 16 San Francisco, CA Digital
Gartner Digital Marketing Conference May 15 – 17 San Diego, CA Digital
Loyalty Expo May 15 – 17 Orlando, FL Customer Experience
Affiliate Management Days May 16 – 17 Las Vegas, NV Affiliate
Digital Growth Unleashed May 16 – 17 Las Vegas, NV Digital
Digital Summit May 16 – 17 Kansas City, MO Digital
Customer Centricity May 17 – 18 San Francisco, CA Customer Experience
MAC Marketing Analytics Conference May 17 – 18 Atlanta, GA Data/Analytics
Confab May 21 – 23 Minneapolis, MN Content
Digital Summit May 21 – 22 Atlanta, GA Digital
Incite Group Brand Marketing Summit May 30 – 31 San Francisco, CA Digital
The Marketing Forum USA Jun 3 – 5 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Digital
eMetrics Summit Jun 4 – 7 Las Vegas, NV Data/Analytics
Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition Jun 5 – 8 Chicago, IL Retail/Ecommerce
DigiMarCon South Jun 6 – 8 Houston, TX Digital
Customer Analytics Innovation Summit Jun 6 – 7 Chicago, IL Data/Analytics
SearchLove Conference Jun 6 – 8 Boston, MA Search
SMX Advanced Jun 11 – 13 Seattle, WA Search
Social Media Week LA Jun 12 – 16 Los Angeles, CA Social Media
DigiMarCon West Jun 13 – 14 Los Angeles, CA Digital
DeveloperWeek Jun 18 – 20 New York, NY Web Development
VidCon Jun 20 – 23 Anaheim, CA Miscellaneous
ICON Jun 20 – 22 Phoenix, AZ Digital
DigiMarCon Midwest Jun 20 – 21 Chicago, IL Digital
MnSearch Summit Jun 22 St. Paul, MN Search
An Event Apart Jun 25 – 27 Boston, MA Web Development
World Domination Summit Jun 26 – Jul 2 Portland, OR Digital
MozCon Jul 9 – 11 Seattle, WA Digital
Digital Publishing Innovation Summit Jul 11 – 12 New York, NY Content
Digital Summit Jul 12 – 13 Portland, OR Digital
Bruce Clay SEO Training Jul 16 – 20 Simi Valley, CA Search
AMA’s Nonprofit Marketing Conference Jul 16 – 18 Washington, DC Digital
Digital Summit Jul 17 – 18 Denver, CO Digital
Podcast Movement Jul 23 – 26 Philadelphia, PA Miscellaneous
ANA Digital & Social Media Conference Jul 25 – 27 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Digital
Commerce Next Jul 25 – 26 New York, NY Retail/Ecommerce
An Event Apart Jul 30 – Aug 1 Washington, DC Web Development
eTail East Aug 6 – 9 Boston, MA Retail/Ecommerce
Digital Summit Aug 8 – 9 Tampa, FL Digital
Connect: The Mobile CX Summit Aug 13 – 15 Chicago, IL Customer Experience
Digital Summit Aug 15 Boston, MA Digital
Digital Summit Aug 21 – 23 Minneapolis, MN Digital
Digital Summit Aug 26 – 28 Washington, DC Digital
An Event Apart Aug 27 – 29 Chicago, IL Web Development
Content Marketing World Sep 4 – 7 Cleveland, OH Content
Inbound Sep 4 – 7 Boston, MA Digital
The Marketing Forum USA Sep 9 – 11 Carlsbad, CA Digital
Social Media Week Sep 10 – 14 Coeur d’Alene, ID Social Media
Digital Summit Sep 11 – 13 Detroit, MI Digital
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Sep 12 – 13 San Francisco, CA Digital
Social Media Week Sep 14 Fairfax, VA Social Media
Confluence Sep 20 – 21 Oklahoma City, OK Digital
Concept ONE Sep 20 Rapid City, SD Digital
Brand ManageCamp Sep 25 – 26 Las Vegas, NV Digital
eTail Connect Sep 26 – 28 San Diego, CA Retail/Ecommerce
Digital Summit Sep 26 – 27 Chicago, IL Digital
Type-A Bloggers Annual Conference Sep 27 – 29 Chicago, IL Blogging
MarTech East Oct 1 – 3 Boston, MA Digital
Digital Book World Oct 2 – 4 Nashville, TN Content
AMA Marketing Week Live Oct 3 – 5 Las Vegas, NV Digital
Connect to Convert Oct 3 – 5 Boston, MA Conversion/UX
Digital Summit Oct 3 – 4 Charlotte, NC Digital
An Event Apart Oct 8 – 10 Orlando, FL Web Development
DMA’s &THEN Oct 8 – 10 Las Vegas, NV Data/Analytics
Retail Global Oct 9 – 11 Las Vegas, NV Retail/Ecommerce
BrightEdge Share Oct 9 – 10 San Francisco, CA Digital
Bruce Clay SEO Training Oct 15 – 19 Simi Valley, CA Search
Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala Oct 17 – 19 San Antonio, TX Miscellaneous
Seattle Interactive Conference Oct 17 – 18 Seattle, WA Digital
LavaCon Content Strategy Conference Oct 21 – 24 New Orleans, LA Content
Smart Social Summit Nov 5 – 7 Austin, TX Social Media
MarketingProfs‘ B2B Marketing Forum Nov 13 – 16 San Francisco, CA B2B
Digital Summit Dec 4 – 5 Dallas, TX Digital
An Event Apart Dec 10 – 12 San Francisco, CA Web Development
Brand Strategy Innovation Summit Dec 10 – 11 New York, NY Digital
Canada
Generation NOW Feb 27 Toronto, ON, Canada Digital
Dx3 2018 Mar 7 – 8 Toronto, ON, Canada Retail/Ecommerce
VendastaCon Apr 3 – 5 Banff, Canada Local
Social Media Camp May 2 – 3 Victoria, BC Social Media
Digital Media Summit May 9 Toronto, ON, Canada Social Media
eTail Canada May 15 – 17 Toronto, ON, Canada Retail/Ecommerce
DigiMarCon Canada May 17 – 18 Toronto, ON, Canada Digital
Traction Conference Aug 8 – 9 Vancouver, BC, Canada Digital
The Content Experience Aug 21 – 22 Toronto, ON, Canada Content
Unbounce Call To Action Conference Aug 27 – 29 Vancouver, BC, Canada Digital
Social Media Week Nov 13 – 16 Toronto, ON, Canada Social Media
Europe
Affiliate Summit Europe Feb 6 – 7 London, UK Affiliate
Amsterdam Affiliate Conference Jul 17 – 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands Affiliate
SUPERWEEK Jan 29 – Feb 2 Hungary Data/Analytics
inOrbit 18 Mar 15 – 16 Portoroz, Slovenia Digital
GDPR for Marketing Summit Mar 22 London, UK Digital
DMWF Conference Apr 16 – 17 London, UK Digital
The Inbounder Global Conference Apr 25 – 26 Madrid, Spain Digital
Engage May 16 – 18 Prague, Czechia Digital
EMAC Annual Conference May 29 – Jun 1 Glasgow, UK Digital
UnGagged London Jun 11 – 12 London, UK Digital
Savage Marketing Jun 13 – 14 Amsterdam, Netherlands Digital
Digital Travel Summit Jun 27 – 28 London, UK Digital
DigiMarCon UK Sep 5 – 6 London, UK Digital
DMWF Conference Sep 19 – 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands Digital
Digital Marketing Exchange Sep 26 – 27 Hounslow, UK Digital
Digital Growth Unleashed Oct 17 – 18 London, UK Digital
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Oct 18 – 19 London, UK Digital
Web Summit Nov 5 – 8 Lisbon, Portugal Digital
Marketing Festival Nov 9 – 10 Prague, Czechia Digital
Digital Growth Unleashed Nov 13 – 14 Berlin, Germany Digital
Rethink! Mad Minds Europe Nov 18 – 20 Berlin, Germany Digital
Brands and Domains III Nov 26 – 27 Valencia, Spain Digital
LocalComm Apr 11 – 13 London, UK Local
Mobile Shopping Europe Jan 30 – Feb 1 London, UK Retail/Ecommerce
E-Commerce Berlin Expo Feb 15 Berlin, Germany Retail/Ecommerce
RECon Europe Mar 6 London, UK Retail/Ecommerce
ICSC European Conference Apr 25 – 26 Barcelona, Spain Retail/Ecommerce
eTail Europe Jun 18 – 20 London, UK Retail/Ecommerce
Paris Retail Week Sep 10 – 12 Paris, France Retail/Ecommerce
eTail Delivery Sep 19 – 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands Retail/Ecommerce
eTail Nordic Oct 2 – 3 Copenhagen, Denmark Retail/Ecommerce
IX2 SEO Campixx Mar 1 – 2 Berlin, Germany Search
SMX Munich Mar 20 – 21 Munich, Germany Search
BrightonSEO Apr 27 Brighton, UK Search
SMX Paris Jun 12 – 13 Paris, France Search
SearchLove Conference Oct 15 London, UK Search
Social Media Week Feb 25 – Mar 2 Copenhagen, Denmark Social Media
Social Media Week Feb 26 – Mar 2 Hamburg, Germany Social Media
The Social Conference Mar 22 Amsterdam, Netherlands Social Media
Social Media Week Jun 12 – 16 Milan, Italy Social Media
European Social Marketing Conference Sep 5 – 7 Antwerp, Belgium Social Media
Social Media Week Sep 11 – 15 London, UK Social Media
Social Media Week Sep 11 – 15 Rome, Italy Social Media
WordCamp Zaragoza Jan 13 – 14 Zaragoza, Spain WordPress
WordCamp Jyvaskyla Feb 9 Jyvaskyla, Finland WordPress
WordCamp Gran Canaria Feb 23 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain WordPress
WordCamp Antwerp Mar 2 – 3 Antwerp, Belgium WordPress
WordCamp Oslo Mar 2 – 3 Oslo, Norway WordPress
WordCamp Paris Mar 9 Paris, France WordPress
WordCamp Rotterdam Mar 23 – 24 Rotterdam, Netherlands WordPress
WordCamp London Apr 13 – 15 London, UK WordPress
WordCamp Retreat Soltau May 4 – 6 Soltau, Germany WordPress
WordCamp Bari May 11 – 12 Bari, Italy WordPress
WordCamp Belfast May 26 – 28 Belfast, UK WordPress
WordCamp Europe Jun 14 – 16 Belgrade, Serbia WordPress
Asia
WordCamp Udaipur Jan 27 Udaipur, India WordPress
Bruce Clay India SEO Training Feb 7 – 9 Gurgaon, India Search
Content Marketing Summit Asia Feb 15 – 16 Delhi, India Content
WordCamp Bangkok Feb 17 – 18 Bangkok, Thailand WordPress
ad:tech New Delhi Mar 8 – 9 Gurgaon, India Advertising
China Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Mar 12 – 13 Shanghai, China Digital
Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit Apr 18 – 19 Hong Kong Digital
eCommerce Fair May 30 – 31 Osaka, Japan Retail/Ecommerce
International Social Marketing Conference Jul 15 – 16 Singapore Social Media
DigiMarCon Asia Pacific Sep 19 – 20 Singapore Digital
Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit Oct 10 – 11 Singapore Digital
Digital Marketing Strategy & Innovation Summit Nov 21 – 22 Beijing, China Digital
Australia
ad:tech Sydney Mar 22 – 23 Sydney, Australia Advertising
CXO Leaders Summit Australia Feb 22 Melbourne, Australia Conversion/UX
CXO Leaders Summit Australia Aug 8 – 9 Sydney, Australia Customer Experience
Intrigue Summit Jan 31 Melbourne, Australia Digital
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Mar 15 – 16 Melbourne, Australia Digital
Growth Marketing Summit Mar 29 – 30 Melbourne, Australia Digital
Big Digital Apr 18 – 20 Adelaide, Australia Digital
Mumbrella 360 Jun 12 – 14 Sydney, Australia Digital
DigiMarCon Australia Aug 22 – 23 Sydney, Australia Digital
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Oct 4 – 5 Sydney, Australia Digital
Retail Global Gold Coast May 23 – 25 Gold Coast, Australia Retail/Ecommerce
Search Marketing Summit May 28 Sydney, Australia Search
Africa
DigiMarCon Africa Nov 8 – 9 Johannesburg, So. Africa Digital
Social Media Week Jun 12 – 16 Nairobi, Kenya Social Media
Social Media Week Sep 10 – 14 Accra, Ghana Social Media
Social Media Week Sep 10 – 14 Johannesburg, So. Africa Social Media
WordCamp Lagos Mar 10 Lagos, Nigeria WordPress
WordCamp Kathmandu Mar 17 – 18 Kathmandu, Nepal WordPress
Social Media Week Jun 12 – 16 Mexico City, Mexico Social Media
RD Summit Nov 7 – 9 Florianopolis, Brazil Digital
Middle East
DigiMarCon Middle East Oct 23 – 24 Dubai, U.A.E. Digital
Social Media Week Nov 13 – 17 Kuwait Social Media

2018 Digital Marketing Conferences by Topic Focus

Here you can find events listed by their primary focus, though many cover a wider range of topics as well. Click the conference links to read detailed descriptions. (See the full calendar here.)

EVENT DATES LOCATION
Advertising/PPC
AdCon Feb 9 – 11 Tampa, FL
ad:tech New Delhi Mar 8 – 9 Gurgaon, India
American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference Mar 22 – 25 New York, NY
ad:tech Sydney Mar 22 – 23 Sydney, Australia
HeroConf Apr 16 – 18 Austin, TX
Local Online Advertising Conference Mar 12 – 13 New York, NY
Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Summit West Jan 7 – 9 Las Vegas, NV
Affiliate Summit Europe Feb 6 – 7 London, UK
Affiliate Management Days May 16 – 17 Las Vegas, NV
Amsterdam Affiliate Conference Jul 17 – 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands
B2B Marketing
B2B Marketing Exchange Feb 19 – 21 Scottsdale, AZ
SiriusDecisions Summit May 8 – 11 Las Vegas, NV
MarketingProfs‘ B2B Marketing Forum Nov 13 – 16 San Francisco, CA
Blogging
BlogHer18 Health Jan 30 – 31 New York, NY
Type-A Bloggers Annual Conference Sep 27 – 29 Chicago, IL
Content Marketing
Content Marketing Summit Asia Feb 15 – 16 Delhi, India
Intelligent Content Conference Mar 20 – 22 Las Vegas, NV
Content Marketing Conference May 2 – 4 Boston, MA
Confab May 21 – 23 Minneapolis, MN
Digital Publishing Innovation Summit Jul 11 – 12 New York, NY
The Content Experience Aug 21 – 22 Toronto, ON, Canada
Content Marketing World Sep 4 – 7 Cleveland, OH
Digital Book World Oct 2 – 4 Nashville, TN
LavaCon Content Strategy Conference Oct 21 – 24 New Orleans, LA
Data/Analytics
SUPERWEEK Jan 29 – Feb 2 Hungary
Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit Feb 6 – 7 San Diego, CA
Big Data Innovation Summit Mar 7 – 8 Las Vegas, NV
Marketing Analytics and Data Science Apr 11 – 13 San Francisco, CA
Data Visualiation Summit Apr 19 – 20 San Francisco, CA
MAC Marketing Analytics Conference May 17 – 18 Atlanta, GA
eMetrics Summit Jun 4 – 7 Las Vegas, NV
Customer Analytics Innovation Summit Jun 6 – 7 Chicago, IL
DMA’s &THEN Oct 8 – 10 Las Vegas, NV
Digital Marketing
IMG Expo Jan 22 – 24 New Orleans, LA
AMA’s Leading the Marketing Planning Initiative Jan 25 – 26 Chicago, IL
Intrigue Summit Jan 31 Melbourne, Australia
Dent 2018 Feb 4 – 6 Napa Valley, CA
GrowthHackers Conference Feb 6 San Diego, CA
Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit Feb 8 Anchorage, AK
Owner Summit Feb 11 – 13 Charleston, SC
iMedia Brand Summit USA Feb 12 – 14 Bonita Springs, FL
Agents of Change Summit Feb 12 – 13 San Diego, CA
Digital Summit Feb 21 – 22 Phoenix, AZ
Pubcon Austin Feb 21 Austin, TX
Wisdom 2.0 Feb 22 – 24 San Francisco, CA
Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit Feb 22 – 23 San Francisco, CA
AMA Winter Academic Conference Feb 23 – 25 New Orleans, LA
Traffic & Conversion Summit Feb 26 – 28 San Diego, CA
ConveyUX Feb 27 – Mar 1 Seattle, WA
Digital Strategy Innovation Summit Feb 27 – 28 New York, NY
MozCon Local Feb 27 – 28 Seattle, WA
Generation NOW Feb 27 Toronto, ON, Canada
CMO Digital Insight Summit Mar 5 – 7 Austin, TX
LeadsCon Mar 5 – 7 Las Vegas, NV
RampUp2018 Mar 5 – 6 San Francisco, CA
SEMpdx Engage Mar 8 Portland, OR
China Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Mar 12 – 13 Shanghai, China
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Mar 15 – 16 Melbourne, Australia
inOrbit 18 Mar 15 – 16 Portoroz, Slovenia
Chief Marketing Officer Summit Mar 20 – 21 San Francisco, CA
TOPO Summit Mar 20 – 21 San Francisco, CA
GDPR for Marketing Summit Mar 22 London, UK
Adobe Summit Mar 25 – 29 Las Vegas, NV
ANA Brand Masters Conference Mar 26 – 28 Dana Point, CA
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference Mar 27 – 28 St. Louis, MO
Growth Marketing Summit Mar 29 – 30 Melbourne, Australia
Napa Summit Mar 29 Napa Valley, CA
Marketing United Apr 9 – 11 Nashville, TN
Pubcon Florida Apr 10 – 12 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Digital Summit Apr 10 – 11 Los Angeles, CA
ANA Brand Activation Conference Apr 16 – 18 Chicago, IL
DMWF Conference Apr 16 – 17 London, UK
Digital Summit Apr 17 – 18 Seattle, WA
Big Digital Apr 18 – 20 Adelaide, Australia
Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit Apr 18 – 19 Hong Kong
DigiMarCon Cruise Apr 22 – 29 Orlando, FL
MarTech West Apr 23 – 25 San Jose, CA
The Inbounder Global Conference Apr 25 – 26 Madrid, Spain
SoundBoard Apr 27 Athens, GA
Marketo Marketing Nation Summit Apr 29 – May 2 San Francisco, CA
Digital Summit May 1 – 2 Salt Lake City, UT
Next10x Conference May 9 Boston, MA
DigiMarCon East May 10 – 11 New York, NY
Experiential Marketing Summit May 14 – 16 San Francisco, CA
Gartner Digital Marketing Conference May 15 – 17 San Diego, CA
Engage May 16 – 18 Prague, Czechia
Digital Growth Unleashed May 16 – 17 Las Vegas, NV
Digital Summit May 16 – 17 Kansas City, MO
DigiMarCon Canada May 17 – 18 Toronto, ON, Canada
Digital Summit May 21 – 22 Atlanta, GA
EMAC Annual Conference May 29 – Jun 1 Glasgow, UK
Incite Group Brand Marketing Summit May 30 – 31 San Francisco, CA
The Marketing Forum USA Jun 3 – 5 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
DigiMarCon South Jun 6 – 8 Houston, TX
UnGagged London Jun 11 – 12 London, UK
Mumbrella 360 Jun 12 – 14 Sydney, Australia
DigiMarCon West Jun 13 – 14 Los Angeles, CA
Savage Marketing Jun 13 – 14 Amsterdam, Netherlands
ICON Jun 20 – 22 Phoenix, AZ
DigiMarCon Midwest Jun 20 – 21 Chicago, IL
World Domination Summit Jun 26 – Jul 2 Portland, OR
Digital Travel Summit Jun 27 – 28 London, UK
MozCon Jul 9 – 11 Seattle, WA
Digital Summit Jul 12 – 13 Portland, OR
AMA’s Nonprofit Marketing Conference Jul 16 – 18 Washington, DC
Digital Summit Jul 17 – 18 Denver, CO
ANA Digital & Social Media Conference Jul 25 – 27 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Digital Summit Aug 8 – 9 Tampa, FL
Traction Conference Aug 8 – 9 Vancouver, BC, Canada
Digital Summit Aug 15 Boston, MA
Digital Summit Aug 21 – 23 Minneapolis, MN
DigiMarCon Australia Aug 22 – 23 Sydney, Australia
Digital Summit Aug 26 – 28 Washington, DC
Unbounce Call To Action Conference Aug 27 – 29 Vancouver, BC, Canada
Inbound Sep 4 – 7 Boston, MA
DigiMarCon UK Sep 5 – 6 London, UK
The Marketing Forum USA Sep 9 – 11 Carlsbad, CA
Digital Summit Sep 11 – 13 Detroit, MI
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Sep 12 – 13 San Francisco, CA
DigiMarCon Asia Pacific Sep 19 – 20 Singapore
DMWF Conference Sep 19 – 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Confluence Sep 20 – 21 Oklahoma City, OK
Concept ONE Sep 20 Rapid City, SD
Brand ManageCamp Sep 25 – 26 Las Vegas, NV
Digital Marketing Exchange Sep 26 – 27 Hounslow, UK
Digital Summit Sep 26 – 27 Chicago, IL
MarTech East Oct 1 – 3 Boston, MA
AMA Marketing Week Live Oct 3 – 5 Las Vegas, NV
Digital Summit Oct 3 – 4 Charlotte, NC
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Oct 4 – 5 Sydney, Australia
BrightEdge Share Oct 9 – 10 San Francisco, CA
Digital Marketing & Strategy Innovation Summit Oct 10 – 11 Singapore
Digital Growth Unleashed Oct 17 – 18 London, UK
Seattle Interactive Conference Oct 17 – 18 Seattle, WA
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit Oct 18 – 19 London, UK
DigiMarCon Middle East Oct 23 – 24 Dubai, U.A.E.
Web Summit Nov 5 – 8 Lisbon, Portugal
RD Summit Nov 7 – 9 Florianopolis, Brazil
DigiMarCon Africa Nov 8 – 9 Johannesburg, So. Africa
Marketing Festival Nov 9 – 10 Prague, Czechia
Digital Growth Unleashed Nov 13 – 14 Berlin, Germany
Rethink! Mad Minds Europe Nov 18 – 20 Berlin, Germany
Digital Marketing Strategy & Innovation Summit Nov 21 – 22 Beijing, China
Brands and Domains III Nov 26 – 27 Valencia, Spain
Digital Summit Dec 4 – 5 Dallas, TX
Brand Strategy Innovation Summit Dec 10 – 11 New York, NY
Local Online Advertising Conference Mar 12 – 13 New York, NY
VendastaCon Apr 3 – 5 Banff, Canada
LocalComm Apr 11 – 13 London, UK
Miscellaneous
NamesCon Global Jan 28 – 31 Las Vegas, NV
Advanced Positioning + Lead Generation Jan 18 – 19 Nashville, TN
SXSW Conference Mar 9 – 18 Austin, TX
AI Marketing Summit Apr 11 – 13 Santa Barbara, CA
Marketing to Millennials for Financial Services Apr 19 – 20 New York, NY
Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala Oct 17 – 19 San Antonio, TX
Mobile Innovation Summit Feb 27 – 28 New York, NY
Podcast Movement Jul 23 – 26 Philadelphia, PA
Collision Conference Apr 30 – May 3 New Orleans, LA
VidCon Jun 20 – 23 Anaheim, CA
Retail/Ecommerce
Mobile Shopping Europe Jan 30 – Feb 1 London, UK
E-Commerce Berlin Expo Feb 15 Berlin, Germany
eTail West Feb 26 – Mar 1 Palm Springs, CA
RECon Europe Mar 6 London, UK
Dx3 2018 Mar 7 – 8 Toronto, ON, Canada
eCommerce Innovation Summit Mar 20 – 21 San Francisco, CA
ICSC European Conference Apr 25 – 26 Barcelona, Spain
Sellers Summit May 3 – 5 Fort Lauderdale, FL
eTail Canada May 15 – 17 Toronto, ON, Canada
Retail Global Gold Coast May 23 – 25 Gold Coast, Australia
eCommerce Fair May 30 – 31 Osaka, Japan
Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition Jun 5 – 8 Chicago, IL
eTail Europe Jun 18 – 20 London, UK
Commerce Next Jul 25 – 26 New York, NY
eTail East Aug 6 – 9 Boston, MA
Paris Retail Week Sep 10 – 12 Paris, France
eTail Delivery Sep 19 – 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands
eTail Connect Sep 26 – 28 San Diego, CA
eTail Nordic Oct 2 – 3 Copenhagen, Denmark
Retail Global Oct 9 – 11 Las Vegas, NV
Search
Bruce Clay SEO Training Jan 29 – Feb 2 Simi Valley, CA
Bruce Clay India SEO Training Feb 7 – 9 Gurgaon, India
IX2 SEO Campixx Mar 1 – 2 Berlin, Germany
C3 Mar 7 – 8 New York, NY
SMX West Mar 13 – 15 San Jose, CA
SMX Munich Mar 20 – 21 Munich, Germany
Advanced Search Summit Mar 22 – 23 Napa Valley, CA
SearchLove West Mar 26 – 27 San Diego, CA
Bruce Clay SEO Training Apr 16 – 20 Simi Valley, CA
Search Insider Summit Apr 25 – 28 Captiva Island, FL
BrightonSEO Apr 27 Brighton, UK
Search Marketing Summit May 28 Sydney, Australia
SearchLove Conference Jun 6 – 8 Boston, MA
SMX Advanced Jun 11 – 13 Seattle, WA
SMX Paris Jun 12 – 13 Paris, France
MnSearch Summit Jun 22 St. Paul, MN
Bruce Clay SEO Training Jul 16 – 20 Simi Valley, CA
Bruce Clay SEO Training Oct 15 – 19 Simi Valley, CA
SearchLove Conference Oct 15 London, UK
Social Media
Social Media Strategies Summit West Feb 6 – 8 San Francisco, CA
Social Media Week Feb 25 – Mar 2 Copenhagen, Denmark
Social Media Week Feb 26 – Mar 2 Hamburg, Germany
Social Media Week Feb 26 – 28 Austin, TX
Social Media Marketing World Feb 28 – Mar 2 San Diego, CA
Ragan’s Social Media Conference Mar 14 – 16 Orlando, FL
The Social Conference Mar 22 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Social Media Week NY Apr 24 – 27 New York, NY
Social Media Strategies Summit Apr 24 – 26 Chicago, IL
Social Media Camp May 2 – 3 Victoria, BC
The Social Shake-Up May 7 – 9 Atlanta, GA
Digital Media Summit May 9 Toronto, ON, Canada
Social Media Week Jun 12 – 16 Nairobi, Kenya
Social Media Week Jun 12 – 16 Milan, Italy
Social Media Week Jun 12 – 16 Mexico City, Mexico
Social Media Week LA Jun 12 – 16 Los Angeles, CA
International Social Marketing Conference Jul 15 – 16 Singapore
European Social Marketing Conference Sep 5 – 7 Antwerp, Belgium
Social Media Week Sep 10 – 14 Coeur d’Alene, ID
Social Media Week Sep 10 – 14 Accra, Ghana
Social Media Week Sep 10 – 14 Johannesburg, So. Africa
Social Media Week Sep 11 – 15 London, UK
Social Media Week Sep 11 – 15 Rome, Italy
Social Media Week Sep 14 Fairfax, VA
Smart Social Summit Nov 5 – 7 Austin, TX
Social Media Week Nov 13 – 17 Kuwait
Social Media Week Nov 13 – 16 Toronto, ON, Canada
UX/Conversion
CXO Leaders Summit Australia Feb 22 Melbourne, Australia
IA Summit Mar 21 – 25 Chicago, IL
ConversionXL Live Mar 28 – 30 Austin, TX
Connect to Convert Oct 3 – 5 Boston, MA
Loyalty Expo May 15 – 17 Orlando, FL
Customer Centricity May 17 – 18 San Francisco, CA
CXO Leaders Summit Australia Aug 8 – 9 Sydney, Australia
Connect: The Mobile CX Summit Aug 13 – 15 Chicago, IL
Web Development
DeveloperWeek Feb 5 – 7 San Francisco, CA
An Event Apart Apr 2 – 4 Seattle, WA
DeveloperWeek Apr 16 – 18 Chicago, IL
DeveloperWeek Jun 18 – 20 New York, NY
An Event Apart Jun 25 – 27 Boston, MA
An Event Apart Jul 30 – Aug 1 Washington, DC
An Event Apart Aug 27 – 29 Chicago, IL
An Event Apart Oct 8 – 10 Orlando, FL
An Event Apart Dec 10 – 12 San Francisco, CA
WordPress
WordCamp Zaragoza Jan 13 – 14 Zaragoza, Spain
WordCamp Albuquerque Jan 19 – 21 Albuquerque, NM
WordCamp Udaipur Jan 27 Udaipur, India
WordCamp Jyvaskyla Feb 9 Jyvaskyla, Finland
WordCamp Phoenix Feb 16 – 17 Phoenix, AZ
WordCamp Bangkok Feb 17 – 18 Bangkok, Thailand
WordCamp Gran Canaria Feb 23 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
WordCamp Antwerp Mar 2 – 3 Antwerp, Belgium
WordCamp Oslo Mar 2 – 3 Oslo, Norway
WordCamp Lancaster Mar 3 Lancaster, PA
WordCamp Paris Mar 9 Paris, France
WordCamp Lagos Mar 10 Lagos, Nigeria
WordCamp Kathmandu Mar 17 – 18 Kathmandu, Nepal
WordCamp Rotterdam Mar 23 – 24 Rotterdam, Netherlands
Jacksonville WordCamp Apr 7 – 8 Jacksonville, FL
WordCamp Atlanta Apr 13 – 15 Atlanta, GA
WordCamp London Apr 13 – 15 London, UK
WordCamp Retreat Soltau May 4 – 6 Soltau, Germany
WordCamp Bari May 11 – 12 Bari, Italy
WordCamp Belfast May 26 – 28 Belfast, UK
WordCamp Europe Jun 14 – 16 Belgrade, Serbia

2018 Digital Marketing Conference Calendar by Date

Want to add the Digital Marketing Conference Calendar to your Google Calendar to see which upcoming events fit your schedule best? Add it to your Google Calendar here (you can toggle it on or off once it’s added).

Internet Marketing Conference Fast Facts

  • There are more than 250 digital marketing conferences in 2018 (that we’ve found so far).
  • March is the busiest conference month.
  • San Francisco is the epicenter of digital marketing conferences — more conferences take place there than in any other city in 2018.
  • The longest digital marketing conference of 2018 is the South by Southwest (SXSW), where techies, entrepreneurs and digital marketers will work, learn and undoubtedly play for 10 straight days Austin, Texas.

Plan Ahead & Spend Less to Attend

Everyone likes a good deal, and the easiest way to save on conference registration fees is to book early. You can save hundreds of dollars when you take advantage of early bird rates. So you can save big if you plan ahead for 2018 using this Digital Marketing Conference Calendar — your guide to more than 250 marketing events throughout 2018!

Add Your Event: Digital Marketing Conference Calendar Submissions

If you know of an event that you think should be included on this calendar, we want to hear about it! This resource is open to any in-person conference associated with digital marketing, including search engine optimization, search engine marketing/advertising, content or social media marketing, digital marketing, internet technology, B2B and B2C. Meetups will not be included on this calendar.

To submit a conference for inclusion on the calendar, please email Social-BC[at]BruceClay[dot]com with the name and dates of the conference and a link to the event website.

What digital marketing conferences are you most looking forward to in 2018? Share with us in the comments!

Source:: bruceclay.com

How Do I Rank Higher in Google Local Search? Our Checklist for Local SEO

Local content types diagram by Mike Ramsay

How Do I Rank Higher in Google Local Search? Our Checklist for Local SEO was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

The good news: Showing up in Google’s search engine can be extremely beneficial to your local business.

The bad news: Google doesn’t care if you rank high or low. It cares only that there are quality results that answer the query to the total satisfaction of the searcher.

So the pressing question is, how do you rank higher on Google Maps and Google local search results? Improving your local search rankings is possible, and the results are very real. A Google study found that:

  • 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
  • 50 percent of local smartphone searches lead to a store visit in less than a day.
  • 18 percent of local searches on a smartphone result in a sale within a day.

If you’re asking, “How does Google local search work, and how can I rank higher in local search?” then this local SEO checklist is for you!

I first presented these 41 factors that contribute to local search ranking at Pubcon earlier this month (see my slide deck at the end). Here, I list them executive summary style, to help you understand how you can increase your local search rankings.

Disclaimers: Each of these topics could be an article in itself, but I’ve tried to give brief explanations and links for further reading, in keeping with a list format. This is not an exhaustive list of local ranking factors. It’s not in priority order either, but grouped into general categories which you can jump to as follows:

Housekeeping Signals

1. Branding
Being a respected business in your community will increase your local search visibility. Google pays a lot of attention a brand’s perceived trust and expertise. Even if you’re just starting out, aim for happy customers and consistent quality to attract traffic and mentions.

2. Domain name
Your website’s name should accurately represent your business or brand. It’ll be in every URL, so make it something appropriate and easily remembered. Don’t use a keyword phrase alone (e.g., www.FloristLosAngeles.com) to avoid an exact match domain (EMD) penalty. On the other hand, including a keyword as part of your domain (e.g., www.FirstStreetDental.com) can help you as a local business if it’s tied into your brand name. Search algorithms are getting better and better at weeding out low-quality results, so make sure your domain doesn’t look like spam.

3. Hosting
When it comes to web hosting, think about speed, availability, and maintained software. Choose a host that ensures your content is served up quickly, since page load speed is now a factor in Google’s algorithm. Beyond the hosting platform, there are many ways to speed up your web pages. Using Accelerated Mobile Pages and/or Progressive Web Apps may be worth considering, as well.

4. Content management system (CMS)
Above all else, your CMS should be easy to use. Here, WordPress is king, consistently the top CMS used on the web. Consider how you can improve your system’s functionality with plugins — WordPress.org lists 1,864 plugins for “local” alone. And, don’t forget about a WordPress SEO plugin, too.

5. Compatibility
We’re in a mobile-first world, with the majority of searches happening on smartphones and Google evaluating sites based on their mobile friendliness. Check your site to make sure it’s mobile friendly and optimized for mobile devices — otherwise, your rankings and visitor counts will suffer. Voice search is the next big area of compatibility.

6. Email
Use your business’s domain in your email address (@bruceclay.com) rather than @gmail or another generic provider. It’s a small point, but worth putting on the housekeeping checklist to increase your professionalism and perceived trustworthiness.

Keywords and Content Signals

7. Keyword and content gap analysis
Identify the keywords working for you in terms of hitting key performance indicators and bringing in revenue. Use keyword research to find additional phrases that can serve your personas/community, and examine your competition online for their keywords. Wherever you find a gap in your own content compared to the top-ranking sites, expand accordingly.

8. Detailed competitive review
To get a more in-depth look at your competition, you’ll need to perform a detailed review. Examine their performance in every area in this checklist, then outdo them. The goal is to be the least imperfect with your local SEO.

9. Content creation
Content that informs, educates or entertains readers improves your engagement. We recommend siloing your web content based on the themes your business is about. Set up your navigation and internal links carefully to create a hierarchical structure for the content on your site. Doing so will strengthen your site’s relevance and expertise around those topics.

10. Content variety
Many different types of content can be “localized” to pertain specifically to your community. The list includes images, news, events, blog posts, videos, ads, tools and more. Having a variety of types of content indexed also gives your site more opportunity to rank, since they can appear in the vertical search engines (e.g., Google Images, YouTube, etc.).

Local content types diagram by Mike Ramsey

11. Content creation strategies
To establish yourself as a local authority, tell local stories and express your opinion about the topics your business and your customers are focused on. Excellent content can become a strategy for attracting search traffic and also local expert links.

12. Local videos
When you create videos that are appropriate to your website and region, you’ll soon discover that people will share them more on a local level. Build landing pages for your videos on your site to attract links and mentions. You can do this by uploading a video to your YouTube channel first, then embedding it on your page (copy the HTML right from YouTube’s Share tab into your page’s code).

13. Long-tail rankings
Use locally relevant content to rank higher in searches around the Local Pack. Examples would include posts like “The 5 Best Restaurants in Las Vegas,” which could answer long-tail queries such as, “What are the best restaurants in Las Vegas.”

14. Local relevance
Having content that’s locally focused can improve your reputation and reach in your area. This requires more than doing a find-and-replace on the city name to create hundreds of basically duplicate pages. You can start with templates, but make sure you’re including enough customized text, images and data to be locally relevant.

15. Landing pages
For the best local results, create optimal landing pages. For example, if your brand serves a wide region, you might have a different landing page for each city in that region, like “dog grooming Simi Valley” and “dog grooming Thousand Oaks.”

16. Schema NAP+W
Schema markup is code you can add to your website to help search engines understand your various types of information. According to Searchmetrics, pages with schema markup rank an average of four positions higher in search results.

Local businesses need schema in particular to call out their name, address, phone and website URL, also known as NAP+W, as well as hours of operation and much more. As an example, here’s what schema for our NAP+W would look like in the page code:

Local business schema markup example

Local business schema markup example (in Google’s preferred format, JSON-LD)

Google is planning to expand its use of schema, so be sure to take advantage of all the structured data that applies to your content. Check out Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to confirm you’re implementing schema correctly.

17. Information in the Local Pack
Search engines want to make sure local business information is valid before presenting it in the “Local Pack” (the handful of local listings Google displays at the top of a web search results page, with addresses and a map). A business’s proximity to the searcher heavily influences whether it shows up in Local Pack results, so your location matters.

Keep your NAP+W data consistent across all sources. This is a local SEO priority, as it improves the search engines‘ confidence in your business listing’s accuracy.

Be sure to include your business address on your own website. You can do this in the footer so it appears on every page, or at least show it on your contact page.

18. Google Map embedded
By adding a Google map to your contact page or footer, you can quickly show searchers and search engines exactly where you’re located. Using an embedded map rather than a static map image provides extra functionality and reduces friction — a human visitor can just click the map and grab directions. On our site, the embedded map shows in the footer when a user clicks [Location & Hour Information]:

Embedded Google Map on BruceClay.com

Embed a Google Map to add an interactive element to your site.

19. Testimonials
To boost your brand’s credibility, you’ll need to get some local reviews or testimonials. Earn them (here’s a list of SEO-approved ways to get local reviews) and then add them, localized and with the author identified whenever possible. Testimonials, especially on a local level, can have a big impact. Seventy-three percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.

20. Hawk update
In the past, Google filtered out local listings that shared the same address or that were on the same street (part of the Possum update) under the assumption that those sites belonged to one business trying to get multiple listings. But since the August 2017 Hawk update, Google seems to have removed “same address” filtering for organic ranking.

On-Page Signals

21. Technical on-page SEO
On-page elements are critical to get right for organic SEO on any web page. In addition to the standard optimization items (see our always-up-to-date SEO checklist for a list), a locally targeted page should have:

  • City in the title tag
  • Schema markup (as appropriate to the page contents)
  • Do not stuff keywords
  • Do not simply find-and-replace city names
  • Appropriate reading level and complexity (compare top-ranking pages to find your sweet spot)

22. Local keyword optimization
Be sure to mention local keywords on your web pages (such as the name of your city, state or region and other geographical/local references) to help solidify Google’s understanding of your location and help you rank for local keyword queries.

Linking Signals

23. Local link building
You cannot rank in a city without having local links. When relevant, quality websites within your city link back to you, it shows you’re a trusted local brand. Only links coming from unique IPs, unique domains and unique WhoIs for your geographic area will help you rank, so don’t fall for link schemes. The anchor text (clickable text) used in the links also send a signal to search engines. (See more link building guidelines.)

24. Local directories
To make it easier for searchers to find you, you’ll want to be included in geotargeted directories for services, such as Yellow Pages online, a local restaurant database, or other. These citations add more weight to your site in the local search ranking algorithms. (This interview with local expert Darren Shaw gives helpful information on local listings, including a directory list.)

25. Social and web mentions
Are people talking about your brand online? Even if they don’t include a link, brand mentions on social media platforms show engagement and interest in your business. These linkless mentions (and also “nofollow” links) help your business by attracting new customers and reinforcing your brand’s reputation, which can even influence local search rankings. Use a tool like GeoRanker to identify local citations and social media tools to keep tabs on the conversation.

26. External links
Boost your credibility by linking to local expert resources that would be useful to your site visitors. Choose external web pages that are relevant to your subject matter and region. Remember that in order to be viewed as a local expert, you should visibly network with other local experts.

27. Competitor backlinks
If someone is linking to your competition, they might link to you as well. Start by looking at the backlink profile of your top-ranked competitors (using a backlink analysis tool such as Majestic, Ahrefs or other). Identify good candidates — high-quality and relevant sites that don’t already link to yours. Then see if you can earn links from those same sites.

Local Pack Signals

28. NAP+W consistency
As mentioned earlier, NAP+W refers to your business name, address, phone number and website URL. The goal here is for your NAP+W to be consistent across the board — wherever it’s listed online. For local optimization, you don’t want to have various versions of your address and phone number out there, such as:

NAP inconsistencies per Yext tool

NAP inconsistencies identified should be fixed (via Yext)

To see if your NAP+W is consistent, try Yext’s free test.

29. Google My Business (GMB) optimization
Having a Google My Business listing is critical for businesses with service areas and physical businesses. It’s a free business listing to start building your visibility in Google Maps and Google Search.

In addition to ensuring NAP+W information is accurate, here are some optimization tips for your Google listing:

  • Add a unique description about your business. Make it long (400+ words), formatted correctly, and include links to your website.
  • Add your open business hours.
  • Select the best categories for your business (use Blumenthal’s Google Places for Business Category Tool).
  • Include a high-resolution profile cover image, plus as many additional photos as possible.
  • Use a local phone number (not a toll-free number).
  • Encourage reviews from your customers.
  • Use Google Posts to enhance your brand’s Knowledge Panel with upcoming events or special news. Your post displays only temporarily (usually for seven days), but will remain visible to anyone looking up your brand using Google mobile search, so make each post unique.

Secondly, create and optimize your business listing on Bing Places for Business.

30. Check your site on Google Maps
Your Google My Business listing and schema also help get your business to show up in Google Maps. Since navigation systems and customers may refer to Google Maps to find you, make sure the pin marks the correct location for your business. Here’s how to add or edit your site in Google Maps.

31. Local business listings
Increase your visibility by including your business on sites such as Yelp, Thomson Local, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, OpenTable, Merchant Circle and Foursquare, as well as local travel and news sites — choose the sites that fit your type of business and customer base.

32. Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Boost your credibility by ensuring that your business is listed with the BBB. Monitor your ratings there and display your BBB rating on your website as a trust signal for visitors. As with all local directories, make sure your location information on BBB matches your NAP+W.

33. Citation building and reviews
Reviews will usually reflect absolute happiness or absolute misery. So it’s important to monitor the quantity and sentiment of your online reviews so you can actively manage your reputation.

  • Review sites to monitor include: Facebook, Google, Yelp, Bing, local chamber websites and more.
  • Sites where citations and mentions may occur include: Reddit, Quora, news media sites like WSJ, etc.
  • Consider adding a page to your website with instructions on how to provide reviews and feedback.

34. Location pages
It’s recommended that you have one or more pages on your site dedicated to each location your business is in. Dedicate a page to each keyword, for example, “real estate agent, Simi Valley” (services, then city). Design this to be a good landing page for anyone searching within that area, and make the content unique. Avoid laundry lists or simply doing a wild card replace for the city name. Search engines can spot that type of duplicate content a mile away. (See our tips for dealing with thin content on your site.)

35. Press releases
Press releases can be a great way to let locals know that you exist, especially if you have breaking news. Opening a new location? Hosting a charity event? Be sure to publicize it, and include the local geo references (city name, etc.) in your text. A press release published through an online PR site might catch the eye of a reporter who will publish a news article about your business in a local publication.

Social Signals

36. Social profiles
Being active in social media and sharing your content (think content marketing) contribute to keeping your business top-of-mind. On social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest, your profile pages matter — make them consistent with your brand voice and informative. Be sure to include your contact information. Engagement with your brand is a social signal, such as when something you’ve posted is shared or liked. It’s also a way to engage with current and potential customers.

37. Touch your followers
Help customers stay in the know. Social media can be an efficient way to spread news, local deals, alerts and updates to your customer base as well as get the word out to others. Interact with them one-on-one, and you may develop a brand advocate for life.

38. Become the local expert
Make yourself known as a trustworthy business by building local expertise and authority in your space. For example, you could teach a class or speak at a local event. Brainstorm presentations that bring value to an audience while showcasing your expert knowledge related to your business.

39. Local discounts
Attract local customers by offering discounts for locals. For example, you could offer members of a local organization $x or x% off your products or services, accept AAA discounts, or other.

Success Signals for Local SEO

40. Online and offline conversion tracking/analytics
Stay on top of your conversions — actual results and dollars earned from your website — through analytics. (If you haven’t yet, set up Google Analytics for free.) Pay particular attention to rising or falling click-through rates and bounce rates, which will show you how many searchers clicked through to your site and whether they liked what they found.

Enable mobile users to simply click to call your phone number wherever it appears, and track those interactions. Appointments and sales made online may also be important metrics for success. Remember, not counting progress is a failure.

41. Monitor rankings
Be aware of your rankings in regular organic results and in the Local Pack. I suggest you choose at least five specific local keyword phrases to focus on at a time, but test more for rankings. Regularly check to see whether your business shows up on the first page of search results; compare your results to that of your competition. You can do this through manual viewing of “[keyword] near me”-type searches, if you’re in the local area. You can also use a tool like AuthorityLabs to track local rankings.

While there’s a lot of work that goes into boosting your local search rankings, it will be well worth your time and effort as a local business. It may even mean your survival. The points on this local SEO checklist give you lots of ways to attract more customers with your online strategy.

I want to hear from you. Would you add anything to this list? Share your local checklist to-dos in the comments below. Then share this article with a friend.

Local Search Ranking Factors from Bruce Clay

Source:: bruceclay.com

The One Thing Your Business Can Immediately Take Away from Google I/O

Google I/O conference

The One Thing Your Business Can Immediately Take Away from Google I/O was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Google leads the world in technological advances that affect the way we live and do business. At the Google I/O developer conference this week, we glimpse a preview of how people will interact with computing in the near future.

Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, scene of the 2017 Google I/O conference

Kicking off the conference, CEO Sundar Pichai opened a two-hour keynote to a packed audience of developers, tech reporters and others who were joined by viewers in 85 countries watching online to hear what was new from the tech giant, including one overarching announcement:

We have shifted from a mobile first to an AI first world.

This shift into an “artificial intelligence first” world will impact the way customers find your business AND the way you interact with those customers.

Lots of articles no doubt list the many Google feature announcements coming out of the I/O conference. But here, we zero in on something that all business owners should be aware of as we move forward into this AI-powered, machine learning-based new world…

Focus on solving user problems

One thing becomes clear as you watch the tech giant unveil feature after feature: Each new product is designed to solve a problem. You could say this is the key to Google’s success.

During yesterday’s keynote alone, Google announced many coming AI-enabled features that exemplify this problem-solution strategy. Here are just a few.

  • Google Assistant will be much more connected, even allowing people to type their interactions through a phone instead of speaking them — because there are times you don’t want people to overhear what you’re saying.
  • Google Photos is getting Photo Sharing, a new feature that can recognize people in your photo and proactively suggest sending them the file — because people have a problem following through and sharing their photos.
  • Google Visual Positioning Service will be able to guide your indoor movements through a store such as Lowes to help you find what you want — which solves a big problem for visually impaired people, not to mention the rest of us who need help navigating aisles.
  • Google Lens is a fascinating new AI feature that takes visual identification to new heights. In one application, Lens can remove obstructions in front of a subject, such as a chain link fence (see demo tweeted below), and fill in the missing elements — because people want to be able to take better pictures.

Yes, this is a real thing real people at Google are working on. #Googleio2017 pic.twitter.com/vZJqkHBtH3

— Golden Krishna (@goldenkrishna) May 17, 2017

Let’s apply Google strategy to your business. In a nutshell:


“Your greatest opportunities as a business are probably hiding under the cloak of user problems.”
Click To Tweet


To find the opportunities awaiting discovery for your own business, ask yourself two questions:

  1. What do people complain about in my industry? Complaints expose problems just waiting for a new product, service or technology to solve. This kind of negative feedback also provides clues for how to best engage your prospective customers.
  2. What is difficult or time-consuming for prospective customers to accomplish today? In addition to listening for pain points, also just observe. Look for processes that everyone just accepts, but which require a lot of time and effort to do.

If your business innovates a solution to a problem, you can make people’s lives or jobs easier, potentially jump ahead of your competition, and grow your business.

But even if you’re not going to invent the next great product, by understanding people’s needs better you can offer solutions more effectively. Your marketing campaigns will ring truer (and have better click-through rates!) if they come from a point of empathy.

Solving people’s problems underlies the majority of Google’s advancements. Make it your business’s mantra, too.

Note: You can watch Google I/O to see various presentations live May 17–19 (check out the schedule here).

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Source:: bruceclay.com