Marketing at the SMX London

Marketing at the SMX London

It would be unfair to make any sweeping generalisations about the intelligence or otherwise of professional footballers, but it is pretty likely that the IQ levels at Chelsea Football Club suddenly spiked last month when it played (no pun intended) host to SMX London. SMX, the Search Marketing Expo, is a search marketing conference designed exclusively for experienced internet marketers. But calling them “marketers” is a bit of a misnomer – although the line between IT and marketing gets fuzzier by the day – as these aren’t really cuddly “4Ps of Marketing” traditional types. These are sharp-eyed internet marketing gurus, experts in search engine marketing, all getting together to share the tactics that make them successful in SEO, paid search, social media marketing, semantic SEO and more. It was, in short, an SEO/PPC Geek Fest in London.

That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting. Even for relative beginners (relative in the sense that you really shouldn’t attend if you need to ask what SEO or PPC is), there was an opportunity to get to grips with the fundamentals the day before the main event with a series of introductory workshops covering subjects such as keyword research, copywriting for search success, link building, paid search fundamentals and search engine friendly web design.

The two days of the main event in London were split into two tracks, depending on whether SEO or PPC was your area of interest. The SEO track kicked off with a session on the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors, a deep dive examination of search ranking factors that influence results. There were also sessions on Hummingbird (the new Google search algorithm, but you already knew that, right?), making SEO work long term, a fascinating “meet the search engines” session with representatives from Google and Bing and a discussion on the best SEO tools. And that was just Day 1, which you had the option of rounding off with drinks with the London SEO gang, a group of like-minded London SEO experts who regularly get together to drink beer. Oh yes, and “network” a bit. Day 2 was host to more advanced areas, such as technical SEO issues (canonicals, crawl priorities and dynamic URL management, anyone?), discussions as to whether link-building is still a vital part of any successful SEO effort and if specific “mobile” SEO really exists, the integration of search and social media and a final blast of universal analytics and an “ask the experts” session. And possibly more beer.

This has been a lighthearted dig at the IT geeks but, with spend on digital marketing already exceeding that of print advertising and on target to overtake television spending in just a few years, it is essential that businesses maintain their education in search marketing and its ever-changing ways. It is crucial to stay up to speed with the tactics and strategies necessary to maintain a competitive edge. SMX London has, over the last few years, become the must-attend search marketing event in the UK and will be back in May 2015. Keep your diary free.

Leave a comment