Here’s an exclusive insider look at SMX East

Search Engine Land’s SMX® East returns October 24-25. We’re bringing a revamped, updated agenda and more than 50 world-class speakers to NYC, and we can’t wait to see you there. If you’re involved in SEO, SEM, marketing, content, social media or any other customer-facing activity, you owe it to yourself (and your company or client’s bottom line) to return.

SMX East delivers actionable marketing tactics and techniques you’ll put to work immediately to harness opportunities and balance challenges in an ever-changing ecosystem. Register by Saturday, September 15, to secure your pass and take advantage of Early Bird rates!

Five compelling keynote speakers

SMX East kicks off on Wednesday, October 24, with two keynotes from Bing. SEOs will want to join Microsoft’s Search Evangelist Christi Olson and Program Manager Frederic Debut, who is responsible for spam and malware, for a forward-looking discussion on the recent developments at Bing. You’ll get an update on how Bing is creating more intelligent search answers, as well as a preview of the technical initiatives Bing is undertaking with crawling, indexing and AMP.

For SEMs, David Pann, Microsoft General Manager, Search Business Group, will sit down for a wide-ranging keynote conversation with Ginny Marvin, Associate Editor of Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. You’ll hear what the Bing Ads team has been working on, what’s in store for advertising opportunities on the platform and where Microsoft sees search headed.

On Thursday, October 25, Naomi Makofsky, Google Global Product Partnerships, Search & Assistant, will deliver the SEO keynote: Age Of Assistance. Naomi will take you on a roller coaster ride from where we are today to what the future holds, including how some future tech that is already here is having a significant impact on marketing campaigns.

The SEM keynote conversation will feature Jon Diorio, Google Ads Group Product Manager. He’ll sit down with Search Engine Land’s Ginny Marvin to discuss what’s new with Google ads and what future developments and opportunities the company is working on for advertisers. You’ll hear directly from Google about its take on the SEM landscape.

SEO & SEM Sessions: Wednesday, October 24

The latest in technical SEO

Even experienced search veterans run into serious challenges when they dive into website infrastructure. URL parameter facets + pagination + canonicalization? Mobile + international versions? Local/geo + rel next/prev + AJAX?

If you’re stumped on some of these issues, you’re not alone. At SMX East, we have a number of sessions where experts tackle the crazy, complicated technical issues that can sabotage even the best SEO efforts. Here’s a look at some of the SEO sessions on the agenda for Wednesday, October 24…
  • Over the years, Google has become better at crawling, understanding and indexing dynamic websites. But there are still situations where GoogleBot can’t access content within JavaScript, leading to problems with indexing and poor rankings. JavaScript: SEO Tips & Tricks will explore those situations through various JavaScript frameworks, URL formats, dynamically loading content, expandable content, DOM Snapshot, SPA applications, automatic vs. user-interaction loading and more.
  • Have you ever wished you could sit down with someone who has spent years working within Google, helping to shape the company’s ranking algorithms and spam policies? Here’s your chance: In A Google Insider’s Guide To The New Search Console, All About Penalties & More, former senior Google Search Quality team member Fili Wiese takes you on a deep dive into all of the goodies in the new Google Search Console. He’ll also explain Google manual penalties, their impact on your website and how to deal with them swiftly and successfully.
  • These days, Google says that more searches are conducted on mobile devices than on desktop, so for several years, the company has been using the mobile version of the web as its primary search engine index. This means that even if you don’t have a mobile site, you need to be aware of the factors Google considers important. During Mobile-First SEO Success, you’ll learn advanced techniques to perform an audit in a mobile-first world to ensure that content, links, metadata and structured data are compliant, regardless of how users access your site.
  • Speed has been a noteworthy ranking factor for some time. Google research has shown that as pages take longer to load, the likelihood that a user will “bounce” to another page or activity increases dramatically. As page load time increases from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of a bounce goes up 32 percent. Increase load time to between 1 and 10 seconds and the probability of a bounce skyrockets to 123 percent! So, how can you speed up your pages? The Speed Update: Faster is Better for Everyone is a comprehensive tutorial on optimizing your site for speed, including site images, CSS, JS, HTML and more.
  • In Understanding Crawling & Indexing, you’ll sit down with Frederic Dubut, who spent five years at the helm of Bing’s crawl team, for insider advice on optimizing crawl budget and its impact on your content’s visibility in the SERPs. You’ll come away with an in-depth understanding of the factors that impact what, when and how much of your site content search engines will crawl and invaluable tips for maximizing your site’s “crawl budget” to ensure your most important content remains forever accessible.
  • A site redesign is often seen as a golden opportunity to address multiple known problems that may have cropped up over the years. However, radical strategic shifts can be risky, not least because it’s hard to predict how users and search engines will react to them. During Seamless Site Migrations, Taylor Robinson, who has been involved with more than 40 site migrations for global publishing giant Condé Nast, will share tactic-rich advice on how you should plan your relaunch to avoid common problems.
  • Have you ever encountered a hairy SEO problem where all of your hard-won, proven experience just doesn’t seem to help? You won’t want to miss Solving Complex SEO Problems When Standard Fixes Don’t Apply. Our seasoned speakers will share the metrics that indicate significant SEO problems.

Actionable & measurable SEM tactics

Is your job centered on paid search rather than SEO? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of amazing content just for you! Both the SEO and SEM tracks run for two full days at SMX. When it comes to SEM, some sessions focus on “pure” pay-per-click strategies and tactics, others on integrating search ads into other marketing channels. Check out what’s in store for Wednesday, October 24…

  • In today’s on-demand world, sales and marketing don’t follow the traditional funnel of guiding a customer from awareness to purchase. Rather, success means understanding that your prospects follow their own path, and your campaigns need to accompany them. Aligning Your Marketing With Your Customer’s Journey explores how to get in step with your customer (and your team) as they follow their own paths toward interest, engagement and conversion.
  • With billions of users online, it’s senseless to take a one-size-fits-all approach in your advertising campaigns. A far more efficient and profitable approach relies on data and precision to reach your ideal customers. Spending Less, Getting More: A Comprehensive Guide To SEM Targeting is all about getting the most out of all your targeting options right from the start — keywords and match-types, bids, devices, locations, audiences, ad copy and more — by leveraging them all together for maximum impact on ad spend and conversion.
  • This year, both Google and Bing updated their primary search advertising tools, adding, enhancing or, in some cases, eliminating tools. Getting The Most Out Of Google Ads & Bing Ads Interfaces & Editors gets up close and personal with the new AdWords and Bing Ads offerings, showing you how to maximize your ad campaigns with the search giants.
  • Common sense says that creative ads are more compelling than plain-vanilla generic ones. But with so many extensions, device adaptations, dynamic text, and other components available, creating ads can seem more like an engineering challenge than a creative one. In Perfect Your SEM Testing: How & Why To Evaluate Everything, our experts will show you how to develop great ads that are equal parts creative genius and technical savvy, and how testing can improve their effectiveness.

SEO & SEM Sessions: Thursday, October 25

The art & science of SEO

Of course, not all SEO involves highly technical work. SMX East also focuses on other aspects of optimizing content to attract both search engines and human visitors. Here’s a look at the SEO sessions on the agenda for Thursday, October 25…

  • Despite being one of the oldest SEO techniques, link building remains a critical part of any SEO’s ongoing efforts. If anything, it’s harder to do effectively now than ever before. Why? Because modern link building requires the skills of a traditional (and experienced) PR professional. How To Drive Inbound Links In The Age Of Content Skeptics covers what to write and how to find and convince authority-rich sites to take a chance on new content.
  • With the advent of services like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana, there’s a whole new frontier for gaining visibility for your content on Internet Of Things devices. Learn the new and different SEO techniques for these devices in Optimizing Content For Voice Search & Virtual Assistants. This session will explore how to optimize your content and user experience for a future in which half or more of all queries will be spoken.
  • Do you run a small business? Or do you provide search marketing services for companies who serve predominantly local customers? Then you know that local search is a unique beast in its own right, requiring different approaches for organic optimization, paid search and social media marketing efforts. With Leveraging The New Realities Of Local Search, you’ll get street-savvy tips from marketers who work on the ground daily. They’ll offer case studies highlighting successes — as well as failures and hard-won lessons learned — from working in a constantly changing landscape where both true competitors and local search providers like Yelp and Google can derail even the most carefully implemented local search campaign.
  • If, after all of these SEO-centric sessions, you still have a puzzling issue or a lingering question, fear not. Put it to the veteran SEOs who stand ready to answer your queries about search engine optimization in real time during the Meet the SEOs session.

Online ad strategies and tactics

SMX’s roots are in search. Our team has been organizing search marketing conferences longer than any other company in the world. Over the past few years, we recognized that search was morphing into a multifaceted species of marketing and that search marketers were increasingly wearing multiple hats and integrating their search efforts into diverse channels. That’s why we offer dynamic sessions that speak to this level of blended knowledge. Take a look at what SEM sessions are in store for Thursday, October 25…

  • Data can be a best friend, but it can also be a frustrating nemesis that thwarts interpretation with sheer volume and conflicting signals. Attend Turning Your Data Into Compelling Stories for an advanced course in data-driven storytelling. You’ll learn to transform unorganized data into compelling and convincing presentations that showcase the trends, successes and future potential of your SEM campaigns.
  • From branding to content marketing to performance marketing, companies are finding success with Facebook ads. In Driving Sales & Profits From Facebook Ads, you’ll learn innovative ways advertisers are tapping into Facebook’s evolving capabilities, such as using first-party data and testing ad formats and messaging to meet engagement and revenue goals.
  • Google AdWords launched as a platform for running text ads on Google Search. It has since evolved to include advertising beyond Search: Google Display Network, which includes apps and websites, Gmail and YouTube. All of these have recently been rolled up under the simple Google Ads brand. In Advanced Tactics For Display & Video Ads, you’ll get real-world insights on how to prioritize ad formats and creatively use audience segmentation, as well as strategies for picking placements, considerations for brand protection and the employment of attribution methods for display.
  • Most marketers are awash in analytics data. It’s easy to slice, dice and combine thousands of metrics and create reports that demonstrate just about anything. But this abundance can lead to a maddening case of information overload. That’s why Making Your Analytics Work Harder And Smarter focuses on the best of the best: the most important metrics, reports and ways of interpreting and acting on them for your campaigns.

The clinics are open!

Bring your burning questions to a panel of experts ready with answers and advice! The SMX Clinics are 100 percent Q&A sessions on search marketing foundations. At SMX East, we’re running two full days of clinics covering SEO, SEM, Link Building, Social Media, Content, Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimization and more.

Clinics are your chance to speak directly and openly with the SMX experts you know and trust. There are no presentations. No PowerPoints. Raise your hand, take the mic, and ask your questions. Our panelists will take turns sharing their opinions and advice.

Attend SMX clinics for…

  • Meaningful conversations with knowledgeable speakers.
  • Live audits of your website, campaigns, content, social assets and more.
  • First-hand recommendations of tools and platforms.
  • General discussions and insights.
  • Specific pointers and advice.

Panelists are picked by the Search Engine Land team and show moderators to reflect a blend of professional experience and background, so you’re sure to get a balanced set of expert opinions and answers.

Solutions Track, Classrooms, the Expo Hall and the SMX Theater

All of the 30+ 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. But we also recognize that our many SMX East sponsors and exhibitors also have great information to share. That’s why we provide several ways for you to hear from them:

  • The Solutions Track is produced by sponsoring companies. These companies know they are competing with our editorial sessions for your attention, so they’re highly motivated to deliver great information and value. Check out the Solutions track for full-length presentations from brands including TrustPilot, Amazon Media Services and Bruce Clay Inc.
  • Step into the Classroom Track Wednesday, October 24, for immersive training with Bing. You’ll get first-hand advice and tactics to help make the most out of the Bing Ads platform.
  • Swing by the SMX Theater each day of the conference for bite-sized presentations, case studies and demos from our exhibitors, plus valuable Q&A opportunities. Presenting brands include Bruce Clay, Invoca, Botify, Adthena, Instapage, Digital Crew, Crowd Content, Accelo, Page One Power, Marin Software, Acquisio and more!
  • The Expo Hall is home to 25+ market-defining exhibitors and sponsors ready to demo their products and answer your questions. Pop by during session breaks or spend some focused hours vetting all of the time-savings solutions and services in store.

Interested in sponsored content, networking and exploring the Expo Hall? An Expo+ Pass might be the right fit for you.

Additional immersive SMX training

The SMX East agenda offers a ton of valuable learning opportunities — but that just isn’t enough for some attendees. That’s why we offer a full day of pre-conference training designed to take your search marketing to the next level.

Workshops are held Tuesday, October 23, for an extra fee, but this level of hands-on, immersive training is well worth the investment. Keep reading for a closer look at the workshops coming to SMX East…

Our Search Marketing Boot Camp will get you up to speed. Fundamental sessions include:

  • Keyword Research & Copywriting For Search Success.
  • Link Building Fundamentals.
  • Paid Search Fundamentals.
  • Search Engine Friendly Web Design.

The Search Marketing Boot Camp is available at an incredibly affordable price to encourage anyone interested in learning about SEO and SEM to take the leap. In addition to the workshop sessions, you’ll get access to breakfast, lunch, refreshment breaks and a Certificate of Completion if you attend each individual boot camp session. Upgrade to an All Access pass if you want to unlock the complete SMX experience, including all sessions, keynotes, clinics, Expo Hall access, networking and amenities.

Looking for some more intermediate or advanced training? Choose from one of four in-depth workshops and training classes:

These workshops also include breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks. Bundle your workshop with an All Access pass for maximum value! You’ll save $500 off on-site rates.

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 Facebook Group will allow you to connect with other attendees and speakers before, during and after the conference.
  • All Access pass holders get more out of lunch than just hot, delicious meals. We invite you to Meet & Eat with fellow attendees during our extended lunch breaks. SMX always draws a knowledgeable and engaging crowd, so you’re sure to sit with people eager to talk shop and trade ideas. Prefer a little more structure to your networking? Sign up for one of our Birds of a Feather lunch tables for topic-driven discussion about specific areas of search. These tables provide a rich opportunity to continue the conversation with others who share your interests. We’ll post a schedule and topic list several weeks prior to the conference and you can reserve your spot online.
  • The SMX Expo Hall Reception, sponsored by Stone Temple Consulting, takes place on Wednesday, October 24, from 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm. Check out all of the solutions offered by the SMX East exhibitors while enjoying cocktails and snacks. You’ll meet fellow delegates and learn about tools and services that can make you a more effective marketer.
  • Janes of Digital, an event devoted to important conversations about diversity and inclusion, is also happening Wednesday, October 24 (time TBD). Join for a thought-provoking discussion on key issues facing women in the workplace (Men, you’re welcome and encouraged to participate!). Stay tuned for the theme and registration link!
  • We’re also hosting two community meetups Wednesday, October 24, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm to connect you with like-minded professionals and get answers to your questions: an In-House SEO & SEM Community Meetup and an Agency SEO & SEM Community Meetup.

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

Don’t take our word for it…

You’ve just read 3,000+ words on what you’ll get at SMX East and why we think it’s worth the investment. Now, check out what some of our past attendees have to say about their time at SMX:

“Lots of great information. I came away with solid action items to implement on our site that will improve our search ranks. It was invaluable to our business!” — Amy O’Brien, Yankee Publishing Inc.

“Great opportunity to cross train our team and share knowledge with industry peers.” — Jennifer Barry, DragonSearch

Check out even more testimonials.

I hope you’ve found this preview useful and that you’ll be joining us in New York. We guarantee you’ll walk away with at least one actionable tactic that will help your team drive real results. Register today!